PRODUCT REVIEW: HOKEY POKEY ICE CREAM

For troubled times
There are days that can only be survived with the aid of your most comfortable {and most tattered} pyjamas and a tub of ice cream. My preference is usually mango or in particularly dire circumstances, double chocolate. Nature’s Basket and Modern Bazaar are now stocking gloriously creamy tubs of Hokey Pokey for exactly those kinds of days. India’s answer to Ben & Jerry’s, Hokey Pokey’s quirky, yet delicious, flavour blends include Live and Laugh Brownie {Fresh Cream Ice Cream with Crumbled Brownies, Roasted Cashews and Dark Chocolate Fudge} and my current favourite, Manic Monkey {Chocolate Ice Cream with Almonds, Crunchy Praline and White Chocolate Fudge}. The adorable packaging and unabashedly rich ingredient layering all recommend Hokey Pokey over its more mundane, plain vanilla competitors {I can’t wait to try Cherry Chipchunks and the Black Forest Blend} but what really caught my eye was that the products contain no added flavours or preservatives.
A walk down HKV revealed that they’re opening up a full fledged ice cream parlour where you can realize all your ice cream fantasies but till then we’ll have to make do with their pint tubs!

Dig into a tub of Hokey Pokey and you’ll find the texture is palpably creamier than most Indian brands, and you don’t have to feel guilty about having bought a product with a larger carbon footprint than you. No added colouring and preservatives mean there’s less chemical gunk floating around in your system at the end of the tub. Crazy flavour combinations mean you’ll never get bored.

*photos from Hokey Pokey

PRODUCT REVIEW: JUGMUG THELA – ARTISANAL TEAS AND COFFEE

There’s more than one chaiwala gaining social currency in the capital these days. Jiten Suchede decided to put his talents as a designer to unexpected use by cobbling pallets into a makeshift thela that serves exceptional tea and coffee across the city.

 Disgruntled by the step motherly treatment being meted out to tea shops in a city increasingly invested in café culture, Jiten decided to make the chai ki dukaan relevant again. Metamorphosing that run down, unglamorous fixture of our youth into a charming mobile dispensary of teas, {surprisingly} coffees, and homemade snacks, so Delhiites can reconsider rushing into impersonal coffee chains and reconvene at their favourite artisanal chaiwala.

 Stop by for a cup of tea, a refreshing Vietnamese Iced Coffee, or the fiery Mattha. Unfortunately, till Jiten sets up his café, we have no option but to chase him down at the various exhibitions that’ll sprout up across the capital this winter. If you’re too lazy to bother, Foodcloud and Jaypore will home deliver you some Jugmug!

Making the conventional chai ki dukaan, relevant again, Jugmug Thela serves up teas, coffees and homemade snacks. Till they set up shop, catch them at exhibitions around the capital, or order online.

PRODUCT REVIEW: DIVIN-E-LICIOUS CUPCAKES

I’m a huge fan of the good work being done by the lovely sisters behind Divin-e-licious, Gayatri and Anushka Kakkar. They’re an embodiment of my favorite modern fairy tale, both sisters fought off the siren song of filthy lucre to pursue their gourmand dreams and made a huge success of it. The princesses then lived happily ever after pursuing a lifetime of successful entrepreneurship.
I’m not the biggest cupcake fan so I was really excited to hear they had decided to push the baking envelope and expand their menu to include a variety of mini jar cakes. Each eggless cake is baked into a little jar dripping in pearls and packed into a gorgeous floral box just in time for the festive season.
I tore through the classic chocolate, licked the jar of chocolate ganache clean and wept with joy over the red velvet. My personal favorite though was the chocolate nougat which made me feel like my mouth was surfing through waves of impossibly rich chocolate interspersed with perfect, little bursts of nougat-y crunch.

Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/Divin.e.licious.cupcakes
Contact: 9811961572

PRODUCT REVIEW: COCOATEASE – CHOCOLATES AND CAKES

 I don’t know how to recommend these guys – I realize their website is desperately amateur and their facebook page is largely neglected but the chocolates they make are divine. This is not like every other plug for home made chocolates that proliferate lifestyle magazines and blogs these days. My favorites are the Dark English Chocolate, two layers of milk chocolate with a crispy, praline filling, studded all over with chunks of almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts and the equally perfect White English Chocolate and I’m not even a fan of white chocolate.These guys do a lot of corporate gifting and I first came across their confections last Diwali when I ate through half a box. They’re a little tough to get a hold of but if you’re overwhelmed by the crazy number of advertisements for chocolatiers these days, try Cocoa Tease. They are, in fact, incredible.

Try their website here (http://www.cocoatease.com/chocolates.php) or facebook page here (https://www.facebook.com/cocoatease).

PRODUCT REVIEW: HALEEM HOME DELIVERY FROM PISTA HOUSE

Carnivores rejoice! Dedicated meat lovers can now order authentic, very satisfying, Hyderabadi haleem which Gati will deliver to your doorstep on the very same day. Currently Gati is delivering only to limited locations, you can find more details on their website.
 For those who aren’t familiar with it, haleem is a delicious, decadent meat, lentil and spice paste which comes vacuum sealed in 1 kg plastic tubs. Traditionally haleem can be served with chopped mint leaves, lemon juice, coriander, fried onions, chopped ginger and/or green chillies.Call a few people over and arrange for some rotis or naan because one person should NOT be eating one kilogram of haleem on their own.

I think the most exciting part of ordering the haleem is the thought that we can now order food in from hundreds of kilometres away for perfectly reasonable prices. I’ve been thinking and talking about it for a week and I still can’t really wrap my head around it! For INR 575 a kilogram, Pista House’s haleem is far more affordable than a lot of dine in options in Delhi.