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Patanjali and Us January 12, 2016

Posted by simarp in : Food, Marketing , add a comment

My this post is a kind of comment/response to an article by Ravi Ananthanarayanan – Patanjali mountain or molehill? Article was published today in Mint.

Baba Ram Dev’s brand is definitely entering households, it is a slow and steady multi product entry. For my family it has entered our kitchen and replaced one FMCG brand – Dabur and two “any brands” would do to Patanjali is better. We have moved from Dabur Honey to Patanjali Ayurved and we have moved from “brand doesn’t matter” Amla Juice and Aloe Vera Juice to Patanjali Ayurved brand Amla Juice and Patanjali Ayurved brand Aloe Vera Juice. That is about Rs 1,500 per month of FMCG spend from a total of Rs 15,000.00 – Rs 20,000.00 spend. 10% share in our household which has no pro Ramdev sentiment is great for Patanjali Ayurved. All the three products are recommendations by my wife’s dietitian and endorsed by me. So, it is a word of mouth for us.  We definitely use over 300 products in our home in four FMCG lines which Patanjali Ayurved operates in, mostly brands and almost all bought at least 3 times a year. So out of 300, Patanjali Ayurved has a 1% share. Patanjali Ayurved’s two of four categories have us as buyers, Juices and Food. We don’t buy any cosmetics or any Ayurveda medicinal products from them.

One FMCG major has lost about Rs 12,000.00 p.a. account, that is Dabur for Honey, which has been built over 3 decades or more. That business has moved lock stock and barrel to Patanjali Ayurved. For juices, we don’t even know who the loser is, we bought what was available at a local grosser or a chemist or a modern retail outlet.

Here are some questions I landed putting to myself. Having done that I flipped my laptop around and sat on the opposite chair to answer them inline.

  1. Are we inclined to move to Patanjali from MDH if they come to Masalas? No, we are happy with MDH quality and price for this range doesn’t matter.
  2. Are we likely to move over  tea & coffee purchases to Patanjali as and when their products are freely available? No, it has taken us ages to get our combinations and tastes right. We know when we need Bru and when we need Nescafe and when we need premium brand because of a particular roast. Same with tea, Aap Ki Pasand handles our Super Premium Tea needs since two decades or more and Tata and HUL largely take care of our daily tea requirements.
  3. Would we move our Atta away from ITC’s Ashirwad Sharbati? Very very unlikely. That is what we need.
  4. Would we move our laundry detergents and current soap brands, largely HUL to Patanjali? Even ITC couldn’t succeed here, Patanjali has almost no chance.
  5.  Our lentils? Tata Shudh has just started making an entry, local brands are getting replaced, looks unlikely that we will move.
  6. Chips from Lays? Cold Drinks from Coke & Pepsi? Regular juices from Tropicana & Real? Cookies from Britannia & Parle G? Almost impossible.
  7. Ice Cream from Amul, Mother Dairy, Kwality Walls, Naturals and Gianis? Are you joking. too tough, 5 brands dominate our house because of particular flavors. At best if Patanjali comes with some Amla-Mango ice cream and it tastes nice, it can become a 6th brand, that’s the best chance.
  8. Amul & Mother Dairy Milk? Amul, Mother Dairy and Britannia Cheese? Mother Dairy and Gopalji Paneer? Mother Dairy and Nestle Curd/ Yogurt?  Mother Dairy & Amul Lassi/ chhach? No way.
  9. Chef’s Basket Pasta? Maggi Noodles? Knorr & Keya soups? Probably after next seven generations ;)
  10. Nonveg? Are you kidding? Patanjali won’t enter that section ever.
  11. Cadbury’s Chocolates? Bournvita? Horlicks? Too toucgh for Patanjali.

I think they will replace in our household things like Hamdard’s Roohafza, Dabur Chawanprash, Organic India’s Tulsi, Dabur’s Pudinhara, Hamdard’s Sualin, Dabur’s Hajmola. Broadly the Ayurveda connected FMCG, other that odds are firmly against them. Patanjali Ayurved as brand has been developed around Ayurveda and for it to be a universal FMCG brand would be a challenge.

 

 

Blue Ginger – Taj Palace Delhi – Review March 9, 2011

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1. Upscale Vietnamese Restaurant
2. Food: Excellent, I had the only seafood soup on the menu, loved it. Main course of Fish in Hanoi style, Chicken a variety of Satay and sticky rice. I have not had better Vietnamese food in Delhi.
3. Ambiance: Ultra modern, but tight seating for a fine dining restaurant.
4. Service: Horrible, we were let down again and again.

5. Lunch for two with soup, without drinks is about Rs 3,000.00 plus tips

Clove and Mint Poached Fish March 1, 2011

Posted by simarprit in : Food , 4comments

This one came out very well.

What you need.

  1. Fresh Water Sole (Fillets) – 500 Grams
  2. Cloves – 10
  3. Black Cardamom – 2
  4. Mint Chutney – 3 Tablespoons
  5. Poaching Liquor (I used onion, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, green chili and chicken stock)
  6. Ginger Paste – 1 Spoon
  7. Garlic Paste – 1 Spoon
  8. Lemon Juice – I Tablespoon
  9. Carom Seeds (Ajwain) – 1 Teaspoon (grounded)
  10. Turmeric Powder 1 Teaspoon
  11. Salt
  12. Black Pepper

And now this is what I did:

  1. Washed fish in Salt and Turmeric Powder
  2. Marinated fish (Salt, Black Pepper, Garlic Paste, Ginger Paste, lemon Juice)
  3. Added Mint Chutney, Cloves, Carom Seeds, Black Cardamom and one Green Chili to Poaching Liquor and took it to boiling stage
  4. Added Marinated Fish Fillets
  5. Poached till the poaching liquor reduced to half its original volume
  6. Took the fillets out and had them with a side of veggies

Done and enjoyed.

Gajalee Vile Parle, Mumbai – Review March 16, 2010

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Date: March 15, 2010

Time: 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm

City: Mumbai (Vile Parle Outlet)

Address: Kadamgiri Complex, Hanuman Road, Vile Parle (E) Mumbai -57

Country: India

Restaurant: Gajalee; Owner Gajalee Coastal Food Pvt. Ltd.

Occasion: Been there done that.

Cuisine: Malvani – (Malvan is a town towards south extreme coast of Maharashtra. Malvani cuisine is arguably different than the Konkani cuisine in variety of dishes and in form of preparation)

Format – Casual Non A/c and Air-conditioned Semi-Fine Dining

Drinks: Diet Coke – No issues (Rs 35/-)

Soup:  Sol Kadhi – It is a traditional Malvani soup made of Coconut and Kokum flower, very tasty, refreshing and a natural appetizer. it takes couple of minutes to feel what the soup does as an appetizer, once done you may not be able to stop at one.  It is served in a glass like a drink and is pink in color and slightly above the room temperature (Rs 25/-) 5/5

Starter: (Non veg) Bombil Fry (Rice flour coated fried Bombay Duck fish fillet) served with Green Chutney (Chutney made of onion, Mint, Cilantro, Ginger, Garlic and spices) (Rs 150/-) Wow taste, my personal choice would have been slightly less oily 4/5 for Fish and 5/5 for chutney.

Starter: (Veg) Paneer Tikka Hariayali – Tandoori Paneer Tikka marinated with Sesame Seeds, Mint and Green Masala. very well cooked (Rs 200/-)  5/5

Main Course: (Non Veg) – Baby Shark Masala (Cytora Moori Fish) Masala had Kokum flower for flavor and fragrance. Slightly spicy for my taste (Rs 175/-) 4.5/5

Main Course: (Non Veg) – Crab Stick Kabab (In picture) Excellent, served with onion flakes and lemon slice (Rs 225/-) 5/5

Main Course: (Veg) – Mushroom Peas Masala – I was told it was a Punjabi Dish (I am sure it was not). The flavor of fresh peas was standing on its own in front of a great gravy and super tasty mushrooms (Rs 200/-). 4/5

Breads: Chappati & Roti (Rs 10/- & Rs 20/-) perfect 5/5

Important: As they cook fresh, it is important that you order by course together, not an ideal place for “as you eat” ordering

We didn’t go in for any dessert/ sweet dish.

Thank you Sharad for joining me and tolerating me while I went about creating my notes.

More to come…

Pasta Avs February 27, 2010

Posted by simarprit in : Uncategorized , 4comments

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My daughter Avval wanted me to make something which she has never had before, this is her standard demand from a friend. So Gourmet Chef Simar started thinking, looked at stuff available at home and got going. For once, I put my pen to paper and wrote what I wanted to make and decided to follow the written recipe over my wild instincts in front of the pan.

Recipe Notes:

  1. Penne Pasta – 100 grams
  2. Tomato Puree – 100 ml
  3. Garlic Paste – 8 to 10 garlic equivalent
  4. Salt to taste
  5. Black pepper to taste
  6. Green pepper – about 20 pods
  7. Black sliced olives – about 30 – 40 slices or say 5 olives sliced
  8. One large longish Green Bell Pepper/ Capsicum
  9. Two table spoons of cheese spread, preferably garlic flavor
  10. One white onion
  11. Fresh mustard paste
  12. Herbs
  13. 4 pods of clove
  14. Olive oil
  15. Long flakes of ginger about 20 flakes at least  1.5 inch long
  16. Few cumin seeds

How I cooked

  1. Boiled penne pasta with garlic paste, half of tomato puree, 2 spoons olive oil, few pinches of salt. The idea was to temper the penne and let the flavors go deep inside each pipe.
  2. Made sauce with the rest of tomato puree, chopped white onions, salt, pepper, cloves, fresh mustard paste and cheese spread, cumin seeds
  3. Drained the pasta – couldn’t do anything else with the stock
  4. Put few spoons of  olive oil in the pan
  5. Added ginger flakes and lightly cooked them
  6. Added Green Bell Pepper – (long  cuts)
  7. Cooked for 2 minutes
  8. Added Pasta let the three of them mix well – Ginger, Green Bell Peppers and Penne Pasta
  9. Added sauce
  10. Cooked for 3 minutes
  11. Added olives
  12. Added green pepper pods
  13. Added few spoons of olive oil to get shine
  14. Mixed lightly
  15. Cooked for 2 minutes
  16. Checked salt and pepper
  17. Added fresh cream cooked for 2 minutes -
  18. Put in the serving dish
  19. Added herbs
  20. Served

Planning to file for patent :)

Pizza Hut – Janakpuri – A review February 7, 2010

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Pizza Hut Janakpuri outlet is located inside Satyam Cinema Complex in District Center Janakpuri. The restaurant since it opened about three years back has expanded thrice. Now it is one of the largest restaurants in the complex.

Yesterday Harmeen and yours truly decided to go for a leisurely lunch and we thought we would eat at Pizza Hut what we have never had before. So here we go:

  1. Ambiance: 8/10 As it has been made in parts, it needs one serious makeover to reach 10/10
  2. Staff: 6/10 We reached at 12:30 on Saturday afternoon, the manager was busy on his laptop for all of one hour we were there. The other staff was also in a holiday mood
  3. Crockery & Cutlery: 7/10 Standard Pizza Hut variety- I felt that they must change it more frequently.
  4. Mushroom Soup: Rs 39.00 – 8/10 – Harmeen liked it a lot
  5. Masala Lemonade: Rs 49.00 – 9/10 Pizza Hut’s take on – We will do anything to succeed in India. It was good and they didn’t bill me for the refill.
  6. Cheese Tortillas: Rs 69.00 – 9/10 Great, the sauce could have been better.
  7. Pasta – Fusilli in Mushroom Sauce: Rs 139.00 – 8/10 It tasted good, but we would preferred little more sause and some more mushrooms in the sauce
  8. Pasta – Fusilli  in Spicy Tomato Sauce:   Rs 99.00 – 9/10 Cheery tomatoes and red chili almost always do the trick.
  9. Ebony & Ivory Dessert: Slice of Chocolate Cake, with Hot Chocolate Sauce and a Scoop of Vanilla Ice-cream: Rs 79.00 – 5/10 Looks like pushing it down to this price point is a tough compromise. They write it is adequate for two, which it may not be. The scoop of ice-cream is too small for sharing
  10. They charge you for service – Service Charges @10% and 15% Tax on post service charged amount add to about 27% extra

Still worth it. Best Value for Money – I would rate it overall 9/10

Freshwater Sole Fish – Multistage Cooking January 26, 2010

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It was Freshwater Sole for Dinner tonight. I love experimenting with my fish and I decided to do multistage cooking today.

The issues with multistage cooking are:
Time, it took me about an hour to be done with
Kitchen space, as it is multistage one practically takes over the whole kitchen.
Utensils, one needs to change cooking dishes at least thrice in the process.

Stage 1: Put the fish in a microwave dish and kept it on defrost for 15 minutes, cleaned the accumulated white fat on the edges and washed the fish again

Stage 2:
For Marination:
Paste made of : Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Salt, Black Pepper Powder, Ginger & Garlic paste
Time for Marination: 30 minutes
Glazed the baking dish with Olive Oil and added fish pieces after scrubbing the unused paste. The pieces were kept in such a manner that no piece touched the other.
I allowed it to bake for about 15 minutes, checked it twice in between
Stage 3:
Put a pan on the flame, add olive oil, little bit, on the pan.
Dress the almost baked fish with a thick coat of grilling sauce
Cook it in the pan till pieces look yummy and turn golden brown/ brownish burnt

Served with lemon, onion flakes and Mint Chutney

The fillet was about 1.5 cm thick from the center and multistage cooking ensured deep penetration of the ingredients even to the center of the fillet
Everyone enjoyed the pan to plate transfer and instant “on table” feel

Tofu Sandwich Recipe November 1, 2009

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A strange situation emerged early in the morning today, my daughter Avval wanted a “Never Had Before” breakfast, here is what she was served:

Tofu Sandwich:

  1. 4 Slices of brown bread
  2. 1 Small Capsicum
  3. 2 (1 cm Thick & 5 cm x 5cm) slices of Tofu
  4. A palm full of corns
  5. Few assorted herbs
  6. Tomato/ Onion Paste
  7. Mint Chutney
  8. Salt and Pepper to taste
  9. Olive Oil

Step by Step -

  1. Bread slices were put in toaster
  2. Corn & Straight Cut Capsicum was cleaned and put to boil
  3. Tofu slices were cooked in Olive oil and Herbs were added after Tofu slices became golden in color.  Flat pan frying with just a hint of olive oil as cooking medium
  4. Tomato/Onion  paste was lightly cooked with salt and pepper added
  5. Boiled Capsicum and Corns were mixed with Mint Chutney
  6. Cooked Tomato Onion paste was put on two slices
  7. Tofu slices were added (1 each)
  8. Corn & Capsicum mixed – with Mint Chutney were divided in two equal portions and put on top of tofu slices
  9. Sandwich was closed with the other two toasted bread slices, and bread corners were finely removed and the ready sandwiches were cross cut into two triangle sandwiches each
  10. Wow, wow , wow was celebrated

Quick Starter Recipe May 30, 2009

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Starters or light snacks are always a challenge. This dish was invented by me about two years ago, it has undergone many modifications and adaptations, the one here is my most favorite.

Name: Steam & Toss Starter

What do you need:

  1. Corn kernels
  2. Fresh uncooked green peas
  3. Cottage cheese or fresh Mozzarella
  4. Lemon Juice
  5. Salt
  6. Pepper
  7. Tomato puree/ paste
  8. Oregano
  9. Herbs
  10. Bell Peppers/ Capsicum (Red, Yellow and Green)
  11. Spring Onions
  12. Olive oil
  13. Butter

Portions:

1-Corn: 1-Peas: 1-Cottage Cheese or Fresh Mozzarella (CC/FM): 1-Red, Green, Yellow (all together): 1-Spring Onions

How to cook:

  1. Make small cubes of say 1 cm (CC/FM)
  2. Cut bell peppers long say about 4 cm wide and .5 cm thick
  3. Round cut spring onions
  4. Steam corns (add one to two spoons of lemon juice, little bit of salt and little bit of pepper – one tea spoon of butter to water for steaming)
  5. Steam green peas (add one to two spoons of lemon juice, little bit of salt and little bit of pepper – one tea spoon of butter to water for steaming) – Don’t steam them together they need different time settings
  6. Grease pan with olive oil
  7. Lightly toss bell peppers
  8. After two minutes add spring onions
  9. After three to four minutes add CC/FM
  10. Add one tea spoon per portion of main ingredients
  11. Sprinkle olive oil, salt and pepper to taste
  12. Add steamed corn kernels
  13. After 2-3 minutes add steamed green peas
  14. Mix it lightly
  15. Garnish with oregano and herbs

Serve directly to plates

You may add green chilli or red chilli flakes

Quick Dinner – Recipe May 22, 2009

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Here is the quick recipe I was talking about -

1. Two eggs
2. Steamed rice (2 Oz. container Size Portion)
3. Cottage Cheese/ Fresh Mozzarella (Half the portion of rice – freshly mashed)
4. Butter about 20 grams
5. Salt & Pepper to taste
6. Beat them all together very well
7. Spread butter towards both sides of the microwave oven cooking dish
8. Microwave it for 2 minutes
9. Mix it well
10. Microwave again for three minutes
11. Serve hot, with or without sauce