McDonald’s India Tries To Get Fancy Gourmet

How did I miss this? McDonald’s India has recently launched a new line of gourmet burgers. Yes you read that right! This unique collection features not one or two but 11 exclusive rich, filling, indulgent, generously sized, and temptingly delicious burgers, with signature McDonald’s touches. Gourmet Burger offerings from the McDonald’s India menu pack comes in with plenty of extras—think more veggies, more sauces, new buns, and in some cases, two patties. Choices can be made between their flaming-hot spicy burgers and the very sinful cheesy burgers, based on what your taste buds prefer or what your mood dictates.

Here’s the lust-list of our excellent 11 from the McDonald’s Gourmet Burger menu. A mere look at their names, and you can say they’re a treat like no other!

  • Triple Cheese American Veg Burger
  • Triple Cheese American Chicken Burger
  • Cheese Lava American Veg Burger
  • Cheese Lava American Chicken Burger
  • Chunky Chipotle American Chicken Burger
  • Jalapeno Rush Paneer Burger
  • Jalapeno Rush Chicken Burger
  • McSpicy Premium Veg Burger
  • McSpicy Premium Chicken Burger
  • Piri Piri Spiced Veg Burger
  • Piri Piri Spiced Chicken Burger

Guess I have to try all of them soon.

Family Favourite Fast Food Chain : Chicking

So it’s the weekend and you have your family & you feeling hungry. You wanna watch a football match on tv or a movie with the family and you don’t want to waste time in cooking. What do you do? You order in food from Chicking. What is Chicking?

Chicking is a fast food restuarant chain very similar to KFC and that was launched in the year 2000 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  since then, the brand has grown to become extremely popular in 23+ countries with more than 180+ outlets.  In India First outlet opened in MG Road and now spread more than 56 outlets including Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Mumbai & Delhi, serving families and alternate to KFC and other Southern Fried Chicken outlets.

While their main flagship item is the southern fried or batter fried chicken buckets and the sandwiches or chicken burgers, they do have a lot of other options on their menu. They also have chicken wraps and subs and recently introduced tacos. The Mexita is a good sub sandwich. They have chicken nuggets & popcorn chicken as well as chicken strips. They have a decent veggie section which are mostly based on their chicken counterparts.

Along with their batter fried chicken they also have flame grilled chicken though it isn’t as good as it used to be. They have rice bowls with chicken in them and they also have some decent pizzas. I think I will do a separate post on their pizzas as I am planning a pizza series for various options in Cochin. But they they do have a few. And they mostly have Coke & 7Up as well as a couple of virgin mojitos. Overall, something for the whole family.

It’s Oreo Cookies In A 5 Star Bar

What is this – two of my favourites in one? A 5Star Oreo bar? Mondelez India, the makers and bakers of some of India’s favourite snacking brands – Cadbury Dairy Milk, Cadbury Bournvita, and Oreo among others, had launched in March a chocolate bar called Cadbury 5Star Oreo, strengthening their premium snacking portfolio and empowering consumers with more choice, yet again.

This stellar combination of the creaminess and crunchiness of OREO and the chocolatey caramel zest of Cadbury 5Star is a sandwich in a sandwich, which aims to entice and tantalize the taste buds of the consumers who are constantly exploring newer eat experiences. Layered with chocolate, caramel, Oreo cream and biscuit chunks, each bite of this decadent duo is sure to leave you with a scrumptious lingering taste. The launch of the multi-textured Cadbury 5Star Oreo will be supported by a 360-degree integrated marketing communication, which includes strong digital, innovative outdoor, solid in-store visibility and engagement building influencer activity. Priced at Rs. 35, Cadbury 5Star Oreo is sure to bring the most delicious and crunchy indulgence experience ever and I can’t wait to try one.

RIP Milkha Singh

Captain Milkha Singh also known as The Flying Sikh, died yesterday. He was an Indian track and field sprinter who was introduced to the sport while serving in the Indian Army.  At the age of 91, he succumbed to post covid-19 complications Friday night after a month-long battle with the virus. He is the only athlete to win gold in 400 metres race at the Asian Games as well the Commonwealth Games. He also won gold medals in the 1958 and 1962 Asian Games. He represented India in the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome and the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. He was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian honour, in recognition of his sporting achievements.

The race for which Singh was best remembered is his fourth-place finish in the 400 metres final at the 1960 Olympic Games, which he had entered as one of the favourites. Various records were broken in the race, which required a photo-finish and saw American Otis Davis being declared the winner by one-hundredth of a second over German Carl Kaufmann. Singh’s fourth-place time of 45.73 seconds was the Indian national record for almost 40 years. From beginnings that saw him orphaned and displaced during the Partition of India, Singh has become a sporting icon in his country. In 2008, journalist Rohit Brijnath described Singh as “the finest athlete India has ever produced”.

Singh’s autobiography, The Race of My Life (cowritten with his daughter Sonia Sanwalka), was published in 2013.  The book inspired Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, a 2013 biographical film of Singh’s life. The film is directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, and stars Farhan Akhtar in the lead role, and Divya Dutta and Sonam Kapoor in pivotal roles.

Kerala Pandemic Lockdown Eased

Ah it’s some good news! Kerala will get to see more relaxations starting today as the state government decided to ease lockdown restrictions that were placed to check the spread of Covid-19. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said there would be relaxation on curbs in the state, based on the average weekly Test Positivity Rate in Local Self Government bodies. He also said that strict restrictions will continue in the state during the weekend.

  • Shops selling essential goods to open every day from 7 AM to 7 PM
  • State-run beverages outlets will reopen in a restricted manner.
  • Activities in the industrial and agricultural sectors will be allowed in all local bodies. Transportation will be provided to workers in these areas.
  • Akshaya Kendras will be open from Monday to Friday.
  • Central and state government offices, Public Sector Undertakings, government companies, Commissions, corporations and autonomous institutions will be allowed to operate with 25 per cent staff on a rotation basis
  • Private companies will be allowed to operate with 50 per cent of employees.
  • The Secretariat would function with up to 50 per cent of the staff on a rotation basis.
  • Public transport would be allowed on a limited basis
  • Banks would continue to operate only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
  • The number of those participating in weddings and funeral services will continue to be limited to 20.
  • No social gatherings or public events will be allowed.
  • Restaurants will be allowed to offer only home deliveries and takeaways.
  • Tourism, recreation and indoor activities in crowded areas, including malls, would not be allowed.
  • BEVCO outlets and bars can open from 9 AM to 7 PM and slots should be booked through the app.

Lockdown Extended Till 16th June

The lockdown in Kerala, which was to have ended on June 9, has been extended by a week till June 16. There will be a complete lockdown with no movement allowed on June 12 and 13, an order by the Kerala Chief Minister’s Office said. Stores selling essential commodities, raw materials for industries (including packaging), construction materials and banks will continue to function as they are doing now, it added.

The Covid death toll in the state crossed the 10,000 mark on Monday. In a statement issued here, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that 9,313 people turned positive after 70,569 samples were sent for testing in the past 24 hours, taking the total active cases to 1,47,830. The day saw 221 Covid deaths, taking the total death toll to 10,157. Vijayan had, last month, warned that the death rate has every chance to go up as the number of daily cases last month had crossed 40,000. The lockdown extension came though last week indicating that the stringent restrictions would be withdrawn if the test positivity rate for three successive days comes below 15 per cent and the total number of active case drops below two lakh.

But despite the two parameters being accomplished and Monday’s TPR at 13.20 per cent, the high-level official meeting here decided to extend the lockdown till June 16. The day, however, saw 21,921 people turn negative, taking the total cured to 24,83,992. Across the state there were 6,32,868 people under observation which included 39,061 people in hospitals, while the state had 889 hotspots.

Vanilla Lattes From CCD

Vanilla lattes are one of my favourite coffees to drink. Ofcourse now because of Covid I mostly order in my coffees, be it hot lattes or cappuccinos or cold frappes from one of the coffeeshops. Today’s brew is from Cafe Coffee Day. My once favourite place to go for a cold or hot coffee. They haven’t seemed to improve on their menu much but some of their coffees sure do hit the spot.

Vanilla lattes are made with 1?ÂĽ cups 2% milk, 2 tablespoons vanilla flavored syrup & 1 (1.5 fluid ounce) jigger brewed espresso. Pour milk into a steaming pitcher and heat to 145 degrees F to 165 degrees F (65 to 70 degrees C) using the steaming wand. Measure the vanilla syrup into a large coffee mug. Brew espresso, then add to mug. Pour the steamed milk into the mug, using a spoon to hold back the foam. Spoon foam over the top.

These are best enjoyed hot and with a biscotti or some cookies on the side. Or maybe a muffin. Or even a sandwich. Hmmm I could go for a nice sandwich right about now.

Living On McDonald’s For A Day

So since the recent lockdown started on May 8th I have been staying in alone at home. Most of my meals have been delivered from restaurants and cafes. Breakfast I can manage with a bit of bread but I am not good at cooking so I order in for lunch and dinner.

It’s usually a wrap or some rice and veggie gravy but yesterday I got stuck on getting some McDonalds’s as I felt like getting one. So for lunch I bought a McSpicy Paneer burger (yeah yeah, I know a veggie burger) with fries and a Coke. When I got it the burger went down well but for some reason I didn’t like the fries. I usually eat my fries first before I unwrap the burgers but I just couldn’t wait to be done with the fries. And I usually love fries. For some reason I didn’t like them.

In the evening I wanted to get some sub or wraps from Subway and also get a cookie or two. However due to the lockdown, the delivery services like Zomato & Swiggy are only allowed to deliver till 7:30 pm and hence most of the restaurants stop accepting orders by 6:15 pm or 6:30 pm and I completely forgot to order them because I was in the shower. I tried but I couldn’t get any of the Subways (6) in the city. I checked and saw that McDonald’s was available. Two orders from McD’s in the same day? Well I got a double McSpicy chicken with 6 piece nuggets and a large Oreo McFlurry. No fries this time.

So for a day I was like millions of people in a Western country who perhaps have had all their meals for a day from McDonald’s. Like maybe in America, where as far as I know, some people who are below the poverty level do get a lot of their food from the Golden Arches as they are cheaper. And it was ok!

Heavy Rainfall In Kerala Due To Cyclone Tauktae

We been having continuous rain, heavy rain for the most part, non-stop since yesterday evening. It’s been 24 hours now since the rain started. We are experiencing this following cyclonic storm prediction by the India Meteorological Department (IMD). The storm is expected to hit Kerala in the next 18-22 hours. For Kerala, the department has predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places with extremely heavy falls at isolated places on May 14-15 and heavy to very heavy falls at isolated places on May 16 and 17.  

Sea conditions will be rough to very rough over Comorin area and along and off Kerala coast on 14th and 15th, very rough to High over east central Arabian Sea along and off Karnataka coast on 15th May and Maharashtra – Goa coasts on 15th & 16th May. It is very likely to be very rough to High over northeast Arabian Sea along & off south Gujarat coast from 17th May morning. The IMD has also issued a red alert in five other districts for Saturday– Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod. Located near Lakshadweep, the low pressure will move in a north-westerly direction gaining enough speed by Sunday.

Many areas in south Kerala have been witnessing heavy rainfall and strong winds since morning and high tide has been reported in several coastal areas. The Kerala Disaster Management Authority has also advised people to remain indoors and take enough safeguard against lightning, thunder, strong winds and heavy downpour. Many low-lying areas in Thiruvananthapuram have been submerged due to incessant rain, revenue authorities said.

10 Day Lockdown

With Kerala reporting nearly 42,000 cases on Wednesday, the highest-ever single day spike, the state government announced a nine-day complete lockdown in the state from 8 May morning to curb the spread of the virus. The lockdown will come into force on 8 May morning and extend up to 16 May, according to official sources. Strict lockdown-like restrictions are already in place in the southern state and the Pinarayi Vijayan government decided to clamp the complete shutdown in the wake of a severe spike in the positive cases.

According to a report in Mathurbhoomi, the govt announced the complete lockdown after the state police department reported that restrictions which came to effect on Tuesday, was not as effective as expected. Earlier on Wednesday, after Kerala reported the highest-ever single day spurt in positive cases adding 41,953 infections, Vijayan had described the situation as serious and said stringent measures will have to be taken to curb the surge. The government  also announced several other decisions to strengthen the anti-COVID measures by deploying medical students and government officials to tackle the situation on the ground.

He also wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the state should be allotted 50 lakh doses of Covishield vaccine and 25 lakh doses of Covaxin. The Centre should take into account the number of people waiting for the second dose and those who have registered for the first dose while allocating vaccines to the states.

Current Restrictions In The State

Kerala has announced that the state will not see a total lockdown, but strict restrictions will remain in place to control Covid spread. The Kerala government will press ahead with restrictions on non-essential activities and weekend curfews to curb the spread of coronavirus, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said Monday after a virtual all-party meeting earlier in the day. The political party representatives unanimously agreed that no celebrations or victory processions should be allowed on May 2, when the state counts its votes of the recently held Assembly elections.

Only officials in charge of counting, counting agents of political parties and journalists will have access to counting centres across the state. It will be mandatory for such persons to either take two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine or carry a negative RT-PCR result certificate obtained within 72 hours to get access to the counting centres. General public will not be allowed near the counting premises. Meanwhile, the 9 pm-5 am night curfews and the weekend curfews, during which only essential activities will be allowed, shall continue, the CM added. Public transport will carry on unhindered. For private transport during curfews, people will have to state reasons for stepping out.

Cinema theatres, shopping malls, gymnasiums, sports complexes, clubs, swimming pools, tourism parks, bars and outlets selling foreign liquor will be temporarily shut down across the state. Religious places, especially mosques during the ongoing Ramzan, must control crowds to less than 50 at a time. The faithful should be advised to bring their own mats for prayers and use pipe-water to wash hands and feet instead of common tanks. Government offices will function with 50% of staff capacity. No more than 50 people can attend weddings while the same for funerals is 20. All such functions shall be held after registering on the Covid-19 jagratha portal.

Useful Tips For Travelling India On Motor Bike

If you are traveling to India soon, you may want to consider doing so on a motorbike. This is one of the fastest ways, if not the easiest, strategies for getting through most countries with the least amount of money. That is because the cost of gas for a motorbike will be far less than you would ever pay for gasoline in a larger motor vehicle. That's why many people often look for the best routes to take and the best times of year to go into India, where they can safely use a motorbike to get to their destinations. Here are five tips that you can use for traveling in India if you would prefer to do so on a motorbike.

Start Comparing Different Motorbike Rental Companies

If you would like to start comparing motorbike companies for the best motorcycle tours in India, it is advantageous to do so at least a few months before you go. Assuming that you would be traveling during seasons with very little precipitation, you will likely find many of them rented out if you come in just a few weeks before you need to go. By contacting them by email or simply visiting their website to find their contact information, you can quickly speak with representatives and schedule a time to do the rental. It is recommended that you travel at certain times of the year in India, you need to go when it is not raining.

What Is The Best Time To Travel In India?

If you are coming in from a different country, you are likely not aware of the seasonal changes that can occur due to this country's latitude. If you want to visit India during the most pristine times, October and March are the best time. During this time, especially in the north, you are going to experience blue skies. If you want to travel when it is cooler, traveling during December or January would be the best choice. This will enable you to have clear mountain views, so many people travel to this area of India.

What Can You See While You Are Traveling?

There are three things that you can see while you are in India that many people enjoy. First of all, you can go to the cities. These cities may include Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, and many others. Second, you may want to go to very scenic mountain ranges. Many of them are at extreme altitudes. For traveling on a motorbike, it is much better to travel between October and November if you want to stay warm while you are traveling. Finally, you will likely want to see some of the coastal cities. This will enable you to experience how life has developed very differently in some regions of the country. If you are traveling to the south, where most of the beachfront property is, you will likely travel through Pondicherry, Kanyakumari, and Gokarna.

The Best Places To Find Gourmet Food

If you enjoy eating fantastic food that is representative of the country of India, several places are highly recommended. Delhi is likely at the top of that list. It is there that you will get to experience some of the best dishes, including chole bhature, aloo chaat, and golgappe. Kolkata is another destination that many people enjoy. It is called the City of Joy. It has some of the best dishes that include fish, suite meats, and spicy jhal muri. If you are traveling alone, you will have plenty of time to check out the many different restaurants, all of which will have excellent meals for you to consume.

Always Pack Light

The final tip that you need to embrace is that bringing too much with you will not work. Motorbikes are very small, even if you get the oversized models, which are designed for two people that will be traveling together. If you are traveling alone, make sure you can put your one piece of luggage on the back. If there are two of you, try to combine everything into one large backpack or suitcase. Doing so will make it so much easier to travel anywhere you want to not worry about what you are bringing.

Using these simple tips, you will be on your way to having a fantastic trip in India. If you are traveling on a motorbike, it’s going to be a fantastic event. It is recommended that you travel from October through February, and if you are heading into the high mountains, December through January will be the best time to go. You now know where to go to get some of the best cuisines throughout the country, and traveling to the coast will likely be one of your most exciting experiences. Whether you are going alone or traveling with friends or a family member, you can always have a great time on a motorbike traveling throughout India.

Wendy’s To Invest Heavily In India

Of the 3 big burger chain franchises that are available in India – McDonald’s, Burger King & Wendy’s – it is Wendy’s that has struggled. I have only had the opportunity to have their food once, back in 2016 when I was in Gurgaon for 2 weeks. And they only had outlets in the Delhi metro area.

Wendy’s launched in India back in 2015 and when I had checked in 2016 they had 5 to 6 outlets in the Delhi-Gugaon area. Now they only have 3 with the others permanently shut down a while ago. While McDonald’s have thrived with over 400 branches in the country and Burger King a distance second at 261, Wendy’s has struggled. However I must say – granted I have only had the one Chicken Baconator with fries and an ice tea from them – they beat out McD & BK in taste and quality. Plus they had real bacon. Pork!

Good news as I did a random check and found out that from an article in December, Wendy’s is investing heavily in the Indian market with their partners Rebel Foods and hope to grow its business in India through digital innovation. Wendy’s plan to open 150 traditional restaurants across the country as well as develop and operate 250 cloud kitchens in India as the coronavirus drives up demand for food delivery. 

I hope they crack the market. Cause I want my Wendy’s.

What Is A Republic?

A republic is a king-less form of government that has no monarchy and no hereditary aristocracy. It originates from Rome, in 509 B.C. when the Romans overthrew the Roman kingdom. Once free, the Romans established a republic, a government in which citizens elected representatives to rule on their behalf. The national sovereignty lies in the authority of the government and not in an emperor or monarch. The word republic comes from the Latin language words res publica, which means a “public thing”. For example, the United States is a republic and India is a republic, but North Korea and Cuba are also called republics. However, Britain and Canada are not republics, since they have a monarch (Queen Elizabeth II in both cases).

The Head of State in a republic is generally a person who has been chosen by the citizens, either by direct election or by a group of elected representatives to act as the top representative of the people. In most republics, the Head of State is called the president. In some countries, the president is elected and has a lot of political power. In others, the president does not hold much direct power, but is important in the legal system for other reasons.

Sometimes a state is called a “republic” when its head is not called “king” but something else. For example, the Roman Empire had an “Emperor” and the Dutch Republic had a “Stadholder” but they worked as hereditary monarchs. Licchavi in India was the first republic in the 6th and 5th century BCE. The earliest republics that were much imitated later were Greek cities in the eastern Mediterranean area. The biggest difference from other city-states at that time was that people chose their leaders by voting. The votes were counted, and the person with the most votes won.

What’s The Beef, India?

Long long ago, long before any religion ever existed, there lived a civilization in the Indian sub-continent who were primarily farmers. They settled in the banks of major rivers, concentrated on agriculture and cattle farming. 

Cattle became an integral part of their existence because they

  • provide nutritious milk for children on a daily basis,
  • provide manure which was turned into a fertilizer to support agriculture, and
  • actively got involved in physical labor like land tilling, grinding rice etc.

The only major investment was fodder, which anyway came from agriculture. People never hurt cows because they treated it with respect, love and faith. In short, the ancient strategy for preservation worked for thousands of years! Protecting such an asset became vital to the society and its economic stability. It became a tradition, slowly crept into religion and holy books, and thus began the tale of cow worship.

Liberal Hindus: Some people realized why cows were important at one time, understood why it was worshiped, understood why it doesn’t make sense anymore in the modern society. They accepted on eating beef. Few of them chose not to eat it out of respect towards old traditions.

Conservative Hindus: They still believe that cows are sacred and worship them. They don’t eat beef. Some of them understand that it is a personal choice and are okay with others eating beef. While some of the extreme conservative Hindus can’t really stand the idea of others eating beef.

Legislation against cattle slaughter is in place throughout most states of India except Kerala, Goa, West Bengal, and states of Northeast India. In short, it mostly depends on where you live in India, if you do eat beef or not. At the end, roughly 25% of Hindus eat beef. 

Bira 91 – India’s Craft Brew Champs

Bira 91 is a craft beer brand manufactured by B9 Beverages Pvt. Ltd. It was launched in 2015. The company’s first brewery unit was located in Flanders region of Belgium where a craft distillery was used to contract manufacture the beer with ingredients from France, Belgium, Himalayas and Bavarian Farms and the beer was imported to India. After initial success, the company thereafter began manufacturing the beer in India with the same ingredients. Made from wheat, barley and hops, the beer is available in draft, 330ml, 650ml bottles and 500ml cans. B9 Beverages Pvt Ltd was founded by Ankur Jain, an entrepreneur who moved from India to the United States in 1998. Jain completed his degree in Computer Science from Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago.

Jain moved back to India and started his first beer venture in 2008; which was importing traditional craft beers from Europe and US to India. B9 Beverages launched Bira 91 beer in early 2015. The company has five beers in its portfolio – Bira 91 White (a low bitterness wheat beer with alcohol content of 4%), Bira 91 Blonde (an extra hoppy craft lager), Bira 91 Light (a low calorie lunchtime lager), Bira 91 Strong (a high intensity wheat beer with a higher percentage of alcohol content at 7%), and The Bira 91 Indian Pale Ale (the first IPA brewed and bottled in India). Bira 91 garnered unprecedented success amongst Indians due to its distinct taste that is low on the expected bitterness of beer.

Bira 91 made its International debut in New York City at the Tribeca Film Festival 2016 where it was the chief sponsor of beer. It claims to be the first craft beer from India to be sold in New York. In May 2018, Bira 91 was the beer for the month of May at the United Nations global headquarters in New York. The monkey mascot was designed considering the urban millennial as the key consumer of Bira 91 and with the idea of presenting the brand with a playful identity.

Instagram Models

What do you use Instagram for? Sharing your selfies, pics of your loved ones, maybe your latest toys and clothes purchased recently? I use it for the same. Mainly some selfies, pics of food since I am a foodie, drinks, maybe my latest purchase of dvds or something else. I even might share images of a movie poster that I love or a musician/band who I follow. Maybe a funny image or two. That’s it.

What I find so funny is the horde of Instagram model wannabes. Mostly young women. Buying clothes so they can pose in many pics. Make up done even when sitting at home. Lighting setup. Mood lights setup. Getting friends with cameras to shoot a bunch of pics. A lot of girls I know from work have started their accounts and started putting on their makeup professionally just for this. Ofcourse with a filter added to some of the photos. They even go to some hotels, cafes and resorts so they can pose for pics in beautiful locations – against a tree line or a lake or river or a lawn etc etc.

And ofcourse the quotes. You cannot forget the quote. A pseudo-spiritual quote? Seemingly meaningful quote about a women (presumably them) – that’s one small pose for a woman but a giant roll of pics for all womankind. Oh the quotes. Giving off such complicated thoughts and musings! Yuck, yuck!