Tuesday, 31 January 2012

All new..Part II

To introduce the product, we are back in our healthy snacking space with a milk based snack for children. French food giant Danone, recently launched a brand called 'Fundooz' (they should have called it FunDude - with a fun dude looking character). They first came out with Fundooz Yum Creamy, flavored in strawberry and vanilla. Flavored yogurt. This product is called Yum Chuski which comes in chocolate and kulfi flavors.

The problem is that I have no idea what exactly this product is. Pudding? No. Milkshake? No. Evidently, it is a launch meant for children, so clearly, it doesn't appeal to 30+ me (not even the child in me). Right from the packaging, to the product and the caricature, I found down right ugly.

Then comes actual product (that the only word that come to mind) - the texture is exactly that of milk with lots of cornflour added to it. Goop.

Danone Fundooz Yum Chuski Plus comes in easy squeeze pack which I couldn't pry open, even when I tried to neatly pull it along the 'tear here' perforated dotted line. I used a scissor to cut it neatly. And no chuski business here, I scoooped all the goop out with a desert spoon. The husband liked the product - he works in the food business so I guess he knows better - this product certainly didn't work for me. Let me try it out on my almost 2 year old.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

No bake cheesecake

I love cheesecakes. I can't remember from when, but I always have. From the day of yore, where there was no internet, I'd sit for hours looking a cookery books with recipes of cheese cake and long to make it. But for this ingredient called 'cream cheese'. Unfortunately, cream cheese in India comes with scary prices & even scarier expiry dates. So cheesecaking was limited to friends and relatives arriving from anywhere out of the country.

An unforgettable experience was having that one giant slice of Juniors cheesecake after watching a show at Broadway. This humongous slice of creamy cheesecake - just YUM!

A few months ago, my friend shared this wonderful recipe, which has been modified slightly to suit ones taste. Here goes a cheesecake recipe with well, no cream cheese!


2 packs of digestive biscuit
25 gms of butter (you can add more if you want a crunchier harder crust)

1. Crush biscuits in the mixie, add butter to the crumbs and mix till it all come together.
2. Line a springform tin (or any tin with a loose base) with foil and pack the crumb mixture into it.


Yogurt made from 1 lt milk (full/regular - both work well)
Paneer made from 1 lt milk (full/regular - both work well)
200 ml cream
3/4 cup powdered sugar (can be increased to 1 it you like it sweeter)
1.5 tbsp gelatin
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Hang the yogurt in a muslin cloth till all the water has drained out - usually around 3 to 4 hours
2. Dissolve gelatin in warm water and keep aside
2. Blend together the hung yogurt and cream till smooth
3. Keep adding little bits of paneer till to achieve a smooth texture
4. Add gelatin and vanilla to the above mixture
5. Pour over prepared crust and refrigerate.

You have a choice of toppings, since strawberries are in season you can made a coulis by blitzing about 100 gms of the berries with a little sugar added (depending on how sweet the fruit is). With such gorgeous fruit how can one not use it.

I have also made it earlier with blueberry spread by St. Dalfour. But nothing like using fresh fruit.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

All new..

The first of the series, I hope to update this regularly, provided there are new products arriving in the market.

I honestly do not why I haven’t blogged on this topic before, honestly, because I am such a sucker for new product launches. Earlier it extended to everything new that I saw in the market, face creams and washes, shampoos, lotions – you name it! Now that I’ve turned 30, I have decided to stick to one accessible brand, in this case Himalaya Herbals. Although I did just get off the L’Occitane website, after having spent a packet. Lets get back to food.

Here are ones that have caught my eye, so far. Appears, there is a lot of stress on “healthy snacking”.

Maggi Noodletz: The package design is rather cluttered and garish - at first one couldn’t really figure what it was. Maggi has seen so many variations in the recent years, first Atta Noodles then Multigrain. So when one saw this, one wasn’t sure if it was another ‘healthier’ variant or something new. On further scrutiny one sees the “Ready to Eat Noodle Bits” in the south west corner of the package. They are also very quick in adding NO ADDED MSG! ‘Crunchy noodles in a pack’ is how they describe it. Priced at Rs. 15 a pack.

Taste wise – its rather like regular masala Maggi crushed into tiny shards with the tastemaker premixed. Called Swinging Masala, also available was a Rockin Chicken variant. I’ve eaten regular Masala Maggi uncooked so this tasted pretty much the same. Except, they did live up to the crunchy experience. They are tapping a segment which has only hosted a Wai Wai and Top Ramen Mug Noodles so far. So if you find it hard to spare 2 minutes (do minit) all you need to do is open and eat!

Lay’s Baked Chips: I liked the package design, very clean, simple and straightforward. The ‘Baked’ in bold red letters screams out loud. How can one not pick one up?! There is so much guilt attached to snacking these days – guilt created. I mean if you really wanted to snack healthy why not a gajar (carrot) or kheera (cucumber) salad! This product tries to fit into this ‘healthy snacking’ segment by stating 50% less fat than fried chips. In 3 variants, Regular Salted, Herb Cream & Onion and Tomato – I bought the first two. Priced at Rs. 30 for a pack of 67 gms.

Made out of potato flakes (47%) and wheat flour (maida/flour, duh?! – also they don’t mention how much) they taste almost identical to Lay’s Stax or Pringles except they are ridged (I really wish they weren’t). Had tasted this product about three years ago in the US, liked those better mainly because they weren’t ridged. So basically we have your regular Lay’s flavours with the texture of Stax/Pringles and the claim of being baked. A funny thing, Lay’s always goes out and out to state No Transfats – here there is no mention of this – all it mentions is Fat 15.4 per 100 gms. Food for thought?

Mother Dairy Mishti Dahi: I must say they have done a really good job of bringing the yummy mishti doi to the masses. Ofcourse, nothing can replace the wet earthen pot holding the doi bought from Ganguram great grandson on Ho - Chi - Minh Sarani (yes yes, it’s a sweet shop in Kolkata and the actual name of a road). But when you’re sitting in a concrete jungle I guess one has to do with a plastic cup. Priced at Rs. 10 for a 90 gm pack, they also have a 400 gm SKU. The taste is perfect, almost store bought – once again, yes, one does miss the earthen pot.