Oriyarasoi is on twitter !

Showing posts with label 27coupons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 27coupons. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Foods for the Festive Season

[My guest post for 27coupons. Link here]

The Navratris have started and the Dusshera festivities have kicked off. With most of the shopping malls, Mom & Pop shops and e-commerce sites having fabulous discounts and deals going on, this is just the time to revamp your home and wardrobe. Check out the awesome coupons for your favorite sites here.
Justifying the ‘Incredible India’ tagline floated by the Ministry of Tourism, the festival which is celebrated in almost every corner of the country is observed in unique ways in different parts of the country. Be it the elaborate Pandals and light decorations of West Bengal/Odisha or the scintillating Dandiya/Ras garbha performances of Gujarat, each region has its own way of ushering in the Goddess. The Mysore Dusshera with its royal mustering and a grand elephant led procession are in no way less captivating than the grandiose Ramlila ( depiction of scenes from the life of Lord Rama and the final burning of the effigies of Ravan, Kumbhkaran and Meghnad ) of North India.

Lesser known but equally beautiful are the Golu dolls ( also known as Bommai Kolu or Bommala Koluvu or Bombe Habba) of South India. These wooden or porcelain dolls are used to depict the stories from the epics. While the more traditional ones stick to dolls of deities and demons, the contemporary artists also create dolls depicting musicians, couples dressed in traditional clothes, farm scenes, lavish weddings, cricket matches, etc. However, the God of wealth, Kubera is a must have of all such displays. Unlike the more public festivities in other parts of India, Gola dolls are more of a family tradition. Some of the dolls displayed in such households have been handed down through generations and every year a few new ones are also added to their collection. ( For more details, click here)
Whether it is Lord Rama vanquishing Ravana or Goddess Durga slaying the demon Mahisasura, the festival symbolizes the victory of good over evil. But at the same time it is also the season which sends all foodies into a tizzy. Food stalls invariably pop up at every small and big celebration venue and become a major draw for people ( who obviously discount the hygiene factor ). Even the vrat ka khana or sweets which are laden with ghee and dry fruits, are enough for most folks to break all diet resolutions. In fact, lot of folks try to work out and lose weight in the first three quarters of the year only to gain it back in the last quarter (most of the major festivals/weddings happen around this time). Here are some popular Navratri recipes –
1. Sabudana Vada – Sabudana is rich in carbs which gives an instant energy boost. Quick to prepare and good to eat, it keeps one full for hours. This one is made with soaked sabudana (sago) and mashed potatoes dumplings deep fried in oil.
2. Sabudana Khichdi - It consists of almost the same ingredients as the sabudana vada but is lower in calories. Equally yummy.
3. Shakarkand ki subzi – A tangy preparation of sweet potatoes, this one is light on the stomach and easy on the palate.
4. Shakarkand ka halwa – Made with mashed sweet potatoes, milk and ghee, it is simple yet filling. One can skip/reduce the quantity of ghee used without compromising on taste.
5. Fruit Kebabas/Fruit Chaat – Low in calories but quite yummy. They are easy to make and nutritious too.
6. Kuttu ka dosa/Kutta ki puri – Kuttu or buckwheat is a popular choice among most folks who observe a strict fast (cereals being forbidden) during the Navratris. Being high on fiber and proteins, it is a good choice for folks who eat only one meal per day (after sunset). Also, it is gluten-free.
7.Rajgire ki Puri/paratha/thepla – Another popular item on the menu for those on a no-cereals diet. This one also happens to be gluten free.
8. Gajar ka halwa – It is hard to find a soul who can resist this deliciously fudgy and decadent dessert. For calorie conscious folks, try the Microwave version or the gajar ka kheer.
9. Raita – A cooling raita is a must when gorging on festive food. The good bacteria in the yogurt helps in digestion. Try the staple potato/cucumber/boondi ones or get adventurous with Singharas, sweet potatoes or even a fruit raita .
10. Makhane ki kheer – A light kheer made with puffed lotus seeds and nuts, it is easy to digest. For those for prefer the savory, makhana or fox nuts can also be cooked with paneer or green peas in a nuts based gravy.
11. Sundal - Made with boiled and lightly tempered pulses, this one is as healthy as it can get. No wonder, most South Indian folks swear by it.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Changing Face of Indian Retail (Guest Post for 27coupons.com)

From Mom & Pop stores and kiranawallas to opulent malls to shopping from the comfort of the living room sofa, Indian retail witnessed a lot of flux over the last decade or so. A lot of it has to do with evolving technology and the changing demographic of the average Indian shopper. With apps that let you shop from almost everywhere ( the Flipkart TV Ads are a brilliant demonstration of this), the thirty something urban professional could not have asked for more. No more worrying about dodging the work deadlines, facing traffic snarls, facing the endless queues at the billing counters. E-commerce firms are paving the way for you to spend quality time with the family.
So do we ditch the existing brick and mortar stores ?? Hardly. For they have the credibility and the infrastructure to provide a holistic shopping experience. But they seldom offer the attractive pricing that one finds on the online shopping portals. In fact some of the smart ones among us have leveraged the pluses of each one and taken to trying out stuff for ourselves at the B&M outlets before purchasing them online at a discount. It is probably one of the reasons behind online entities reaching out to the customers in more than one ways. This is something that even the tech-savvy customer would appreciate especially when it comes to making a big ticket/high value purchase. And I can vouch for it even though I have been making online purchases ever since 2008. A sheer physical presence somewhat on the lines of the FabFurnish offline stores which are much smaller as compared to the regular furniture stores but allow the customer to touch and feel the product, helps to foster confidence and build the brand value in the long run. Another good example of providing the customer with a personalized experience would be the Chumbak kiosks.
For the existing retail entities, a collaboration between the brick & mortar stores and the e-commerce portals that gives both the brands an omni-channel presence and allows each to leverage the existing capabilities of the other. A very good example of this is the strategic integration between Zopnow and Hypercity retail chain stores. For the uninitiated, Zopnow is an online grocery and consumer product goods retailer that operates only in Bangalore. But the move will now allow it to expand to other cities where Hypercity already has a presence. It also sorts out the cold storage issues ( for F&V) that Zopnow had been facing for sometime and effectively reduces the wastage for Hypercity.
As a first hand customer of both entities, I am quite excited as I now get access to the whole range of fruits and vegetables, including the exotic/imported variety and cut vegetables from Hypercity delivered at my doorstep within 3 hours. It also gives me access to the delectable repository of cheese that one can only find at Hypercity. And being a food blogger, I cannot think of anything more exciting. Though the whole integration process is not seamless and I have faced a few issues while trying to place/modify an order, I am hoping that they can work it out over the next few months. Of course, I will keep visiting Hypercity at leisure and keep checking out their offline offerings. But it will not be a need based trip.
Given the tangible advantages/benefits of having an offline presence, many e-tailers have taken to expanding the network of franchisee brick-and-mortar stores. Firstcry, Healthkart and Lenskart are noteworthy names which are going that extra mile to give the customers a real feel of the products before buying from them. Quite interestingly, a large number of these stores are located in Tier II cities where the customer is still a bit wary of online shopping. For those e-tailers who cannot have a physical footprint, offering a fixed/limited number of free trials is the way to go. For example Lenskart offers a trial for up to five frames before the customer has to choose one. Another option is enabling a ‘Virtual Trial Room’ which enables the customer to upload a picture of himself/herself and try on the clothes/make-up before making a purchase.
Not to be left behind, Brick & Mortar retailers are also jumping into the online bandwagon. One of the interesting brands in this section has been Medplus (the pharmacy chain stores) which went the online route selling cosmetics and toiletries at Medplusbeauty.com. But they have now taken their pharmacy online. Check the site and you will find a lot of useful information like alternative medicines with the same composition, side effects, precautions, food restrictions, usage during pregnancy and a whole lot of medically relevant stuff. Definitely one of the most useful e-commerce that one can find.
Either ways, the brands should look at providing the evolving customer a seamless experience. Even it means over-hauling the existing infrastructure to give the customer continued support and connect. It is the only way to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty,which ultimately translate into higher sales figures.
Note: In case you would like to get coupons of the websites mentioned in the blog post, you can go to 27coupons.com and search the same.

Featured Post

Green Papaya Laddoos (SugarFree recipe)

Mom is undoubtedly the dessert specialist at home. God forbid, if she takes to blogging, she could give a lot of folks a run for their mone...