Up for some beer and sliders?

Sunday comes in about three-and-a-half days to be precise and if you happen to read this after that, well, no worries coz there is a Sunday every week and what better to do a beer-slider brunch at home with friends and family.

The other day I was talking about it with some friends and one of them said sliders….. can we call it ‘Kachi Dabheli’? Ya, sure because in India you might not get pretzel buns or the fancier varieties but you can sure get your hands on some paav buns and Kingfisher premium beer, atleast at this place called Ferozepur.

I couldn’t hold my culinary self and decided to share my own sliders recipe with some fine beer cocktails created by my loving husband.

Chicken sliders

One packet paav buns and don’t separate them. Cut across an entire loaf of paav buns from the middle like you would slice a cake from the middle for icing. Make mixture of hung curd mixed with very finely chopped garlic, fresh coriander, finely chopped jalapenos and chopped olives mixed with little salt. Make salsa by roasting full tomatoes on low flame for about three to four minutes and peeling off the skin, grinding it and adding finely chopped onion, green chilies, fresh coriander and a bit of fresh mint.

Cook small pieces of chicken in little butter with salt and pepper and add about 1/4th cup of white wine after about five minutes of sautéing the chicken. Cover and cook till the pieces are soft and done.

Now, spread the hung curd mixture on one side of the sliced paav loaf and top it with salsa layer and add cooked chicken pieces. Place a cheese slice (optional). Add some finely chopped onion and fresh coriander on it and cover with the remaining half paav loaf. Brush the top with butter and bake for about 10 minutes in oven (convection mode) at 180 degree Celsius.

Remove and serve!

(Do not forget to serve crisp french fries along…. Indulge)

Veggie sliders

Follow the first three steps mentioned in chicken sliders recipe. Slice onions, tomatoes, bell peppers and mix them with olive oil and herbs dressing with salt. Grill them for six to seven minutes in an oven on grill option. Now layer hung curd dressing on one portion of paavs, spread salsa sauce on it, add grilled veggies, put grated mozzarella cheese (people who wish to ditch cheese can do so), put some fresh lettuce and cover this with the other half. Brush some butter on top and bake for 10 minutes on convection mode at 180 degree Celsius.

Remove and serve!

Beer with sweet lime

Take a beer mug, fill it half with chilled beer and pour fresh sweet lime juice (has to be just squeezed as it tends to get bitter) till the top (pour sweet lime juice very slowly else it will ooze out). If you wish add ice and a teaspoon of fresh coriander juice. Voila, this is by far the most refreshing mix I have tasted.

Beer with lemonade

Add beer and home-made concentrate of lemon juice and ground sugar (the way you make desi nimbu paani). Top it up with ice and if you want, add a slit green chilly.

Beer and sprite

The classic mix of beer and sprite with a dash of lime on top is a no-fail combination.

Call friends over and indulge in some classic beery conversations with beer and sliders.

Cheers to Sundays!

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Top 10 backwater resorts in Kerala

Kerala is just perfect to experience a stress free and relaxed holiday. The wholesomeness of this place is simply incomparable to any other place. The culture of the state is simple and unique. It is minimalistic yet very impressive. The state thrives on tourism and one of the experiences the state offers is the backwaters. We have listed out the 10 best backwater resorts in Kerala.

The Lalit Resort & Spa, Kasaragod

Situated at the North Kerala coast, this resort is amidst beautiful coconut groves. The place lies amidst the Nombili River and the Arabian Sea making quiet a backdrop for lots of fun. There are cultural performances to witness and a beautiful outdoor swimming pool to add to the experience.

Lemon Tree Vembanad Lake Resort, Alappuzha

Experience Vembanad Lake in all its splendor at this luxury resort. Located on the Janashakthi Road, at Kayippuram in Alleppey, the resort offers a unique and relaxed atmosphere. Fishing at the lake is gratifying and so is practicing yoga and water sports.

Vythiri Village Resort, Wayanad

If you are looking for an uber luxe place in Kerala then this is it. The Vythiri Village Resort is scenic and beautiful. While here, do experience their yoga and ayurveda facilities, spa and massages. See the beautiful backwaters while on a houseboat with your loved one. Cycling, archery, zip lining and campfire are other activities they organize.

Punnamada Resort, Alappuzha

The Punnamada Resort is nothing short of an alluring little paradise tucked by the lake. Due to its location, this place offers a beautiful glimpse of mother nature to tourists. The place offers plenty opportunities to sightsee and experience a houseboat.  Rowing Boat and Mini Golf is also available at the resort. There are several indoor games available here.

Coconut Lagoon, Kumarakom

This resort close to Vembanad Lake in Kumarakom is a heavenly abode where tourists can enjoy boat rides and village walk, visit to Kavanar bird sanctuary and farms. Do organic farming and fish cultivation and see Kathakali and traditional music concert. The resort is surrounded by palm trees and is quite a site to see.

Vasundhara Sarovar Resort, Alappuzha

This immaculate and lavish resort is surrounded by a tropical garden and is also encompassed by Vayalar backwaters. This place is also close to Andhakaranazhi Beach. The resort offers spa, massages to relax, or grab a drink or two at their Lake View bar. Their swimming pool is definitely worth a dive and the restaurant offers an assortment of dishes.

Kumarakom Lake Resort, Kumarakom

This resort is popular for its incredible backwaters. The resort is located in Kumarakom and is a frequently visited resort by people from around the globe. This place is also a heritage resort and its construction stands as evidence to it. It overlooks the lake adding oodles of beauty to this place.

The Zuri Kumarakom Resort, Kumarakom

Another resort located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake, it offers luxury at its best. There are private gardens and plunge pools, apart from a common swimming pool, which adds to the feel of this resort. The verdant green cover makes it an ideal place for honeymooners and families. The rooms are spacious and comfortable.

Vivanta by Taj Malabar

The Victorian charm comes alive at this resort. Taj does not need an introduction as it has told the world what luxury is all about since years now. This resort is well appointed and has excellent spa facilities. The landscaped pool is another attraction here and it overlooks the Cochin Harbour.

Houseboat experience

While in Kerala, a houseboat experience is a must. There are various houseboats, both owned and operated by hotels and resorts and private operators. Spend time at a houseboat, stay here, eat here and bask in God’s own country.

A teardrop island called Sri Lanka

Close to India, is an ecstatic country called Sri Lanka. The teardrop shaped island towards the southern tip of India is abundant with mesmerizing beaches, historic temples, forests, Colonial fort. People visit Sri Lanka to soak up its natural beauty, swimming, sailing, surfing and more.

Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya is a 19th century hill station and is a treat for the eyes. The place boasts of golf course, one of the best rail journeys, clubs, waterfalls and tea plantations. The mountains around this place are pure nature and nothing else.

Pinnawalla Elephant Orphanage

One can see elephants eat and bathe here. Seeing an elephant is a calming experience as these animals love nature and are composed. The place is beautiful with clean water and green environs.

Ella

The Ella gap gives a breathtaking view of a spectacular gap in the southern mountain wall. The hill station has tea plantation and abundant forest. People often come here to witness fresh nature.

Dambulla Cave Temple

The temple is home to 150 Buddha statues in a cave. It talks about Sri Lanka’s ancient times and the religious inclination of people. The temple is well preserved and nestles in tranquil surroundings.

Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa is a place with historical remains. These remains will take you back into the erstwhile era and you can envision how people lived back then. The place comprises stupas, statues, temples and tombs.

Adams Peak

One of Sri Lanka’s most beautiful places, Adam’s peak is a delight to watch. It is a UNESCO world heritage site and is a perfect spot to watch sunrise. The peak is visible from most parts and people especially make an effort to climb the peak to see natural beauty.

Old Dutch Fort at Galle

The charming Galle Old Dutch Fort is a must see because it is very well preserved and talks a lot about the colonial rule. One of the best preserved sea fort within South Asia, you can get a spectacular view of the sea from this fort.

Sigiriya Rock Fortress

Sri Lanka’s most eye catching site, the Sigiriya Rock Fortress is indeed a pleasure to see. It is a boulder garden that consists of caves where Buddhist Bhikkus lived and meditated. It is surrounded by lush forests and water gardens. The magnificent view from the top is simply amazing.

Unawatuna beach

Sri Lanka is an island and this makes it a beach paradise. Unawatuna beach is a little horseshoe beach and has villages around. There are plenty of activities done here with amazing food served.

Bentota and Induruwa

One of the finest stretches of beach that stretches south from the magnificent Bentota lagoon is quiet a place to relax and unwind. The place has an array of hotels to choose from. The soft sands and clear waters are welcoming.

Alleppey: Venice of the east

Alleppey or Alappuzha is a popular place in Kerala and people from all over the world come here to bask in nature, enjoy the beach, see history and taste the local cuisine. There are 10 places that make Alleppey a preferred tourist destination and we have listed them out here.

Kuttanad backwaters

Backwaters are a popular sight in Kerala. They are peaceful, tranquil and beautiful. Kuttanad comprises iridescent waterways, canals, lakes, rivers and rivulets. The backwaters are surrounded by hills and the sea and are a sight to behold. Backwater cruising happens the best here. To add to the beauty of it all, paddy fields provide lush views to tourists.

Krishnapuram Palace

Tourists come here to know the culture of Southern India. It is highly recommended to spend atleast a day here and take a look around. It is situated amidst lush surrounding that promise peace of mind.

St. Mary’s Forane Church

When in Alleppey, visit St. Mary’s Forane Church as it is beautiful and goes back to 835 AD. The church is renowned for events, Friday Liturgy and educational institutions. Tourists must come and spend some time with God at this church. It also gives us a glimpse of the Christian life and serves as a pilgrimage.

Alleppey Beach

The wide stretches of soft clean sands and beautiful crystal clear water promises a perfect getaway at Alleppey. One can watch the sunrise and the sunset while at the beach and soak up lots of sun during the day. The beach is easily accessible and is clean. While at the beach, do visit Alappuzha Sea Bridge remains that stands as an epitome of the time gone by. This place had once served as a major port of Kerala.

Karumadi

This village is popular for its black granite statue of Buddha. The village is in close proximity of Alleppey and has played a major role in development of Buddhism. The statue based here does not have a left side and this is what makes it all the more interesting.

St. Andrew’s Basilica Arthunkal

The Basilica is based in Kumarakom, which is close to Alleppey and has a splendid architecture. It is also known for the annual festival called Arthunkal Perunnal, the feast of the patron saint. The green surroundings make it even more charming.

Marari beach

Another splendid location at Alleppey is the Marari beach. The village Marari is close to the beach and offers delectable food to taste and a fun filled day out at the beach. The beach is clean and has clear waters, which is ideal for swimming and walking.

Edathua Church

During the month of May, this church organizes huge feasts and people throng to this place to be a part of these celebrations.

Pandavan Rock

The rock is famous for its historical importance and people believe that the Pandavas had stayed here while they were on an exile. It is just right for a picnic with family as tourists have to walk in order to reach the rock and the walk itself is a nature lover’s delight.

Chettikulangara Bhagavathy Temple

Every year this temple attracts a huge number of devotees for its Kettukazhcha festival. The festival is colourful and divine. There are performances and animals are decorated for the festival.

To know more about Alleppey, contact holidayfreind@gmail.com.

 

 

Kashmir: The heavenly abode

They say that if heaven exists, it exists here and rightly said so because Kashmir is a paradise in the northern part of India. It is all about lush meadows, fresh mountains, crisp rivers and rivulets, colourful foliage, snowy peaks, Chinar trees and the ever popular Dal Lake. We have listed out the places that are a ‘must see’ in Kashmir. The place offers varied Kashmir tour packages.

Srinagar

Srinagar is Kashmir’s most striking expanse. It is popular for Dal Lake, shopping, Shankaracharya temple, Shalimar bagh, Nishat bagh, Pari mahal, Tulip garden and more. The Tulip garden is a treat to watch when the flowers come in full bloom during spring season. The place offers activities like boating, trekking, water skiing, bird watching, shopping for sarees, dry fruits etc. A trip to Srinagar market is necessary as apart from the quaint shops, Srinagar is now home to some fine diners and cafes. A drive through this place will give you an insight into typical Kashmiri homes with apple orchards. Do not forget to pick apples from orchards when in Srinagar.

Gulmarg

Gulmarg is known for its celebrated beauty. It is close to Srinagar, which makes it a frequented tourist destination.  It is a premier hill resort in Kashmir. The road to Gulmarg is a journey to remember. The road overlooks paddy fields, picturesque expanses on the sides, greens that soothe your eyes and hues that give you nature’s best.

At Gulmarg tourists can do horse riding, hiking, take up cable car riding to Khilanmarg and play Golf. The place is often thronged for snow skiing during winters.

Sonmarg

Sonmarg is often coined as ‘Meadow of Gold’. Sonmarg has flowers all around and is a site just perfect for trekking. The place offers stunning views and incredible greens. Visitors come here for camping, trekking and nature walks.

Pahalgam

The place is located at the convergence of the streams flowing from Sheshnag Lake and the Lidder river. It also serves as one of Kashmir’s leading resorts. The steep hills on the sides are a delight to see. People come here for hiking and horse riding and this place is also the base of a trek passing down Aru and Kolohi Glacier. Pahalgam is also known for its 9-hole golf course.

Leh

A trip to Kahsmir is incomplete without a trip to Leh. Ladakh has alpine lakes, desert mountains and an appeal that takes you back in time. You will see one of the bluest skies here. Bikers often come to Leh due to its terrain and clear wide expanses.

Kupwara

Kupwara is known for crisp water, alpines, mesmerizing meadows and Lolab valley. Kupwara is a place with fresh greens and offers a perfect spot for doing trekking and visiting local villages.

Hemis

Hemis is a destination that needs to be explored by tourists. This place has a Buddhist touch to it and is home to a monastery and a national park. The wildlife enthusiast within will thank you for visiting this place. At Hemis, one can spot rare species like the snow leopard and bharals.

For more details on visiting Kashmir, please contact holidayfreind@gmail.com

 

Surf, sun and lots of fun at Goa

Surf, sun and sand is what we all think when Goa comes to our mind, though, it is certainly more than this but beaches are what this place is known for. Goa is divided into two parts, North and South. The best beaches are in the North, along with all the happening stuff. South on the other hand is calm, serene and less frequented.

We have listed out the best beaches and what to do when in Goa.

Baga

Baaagaaa! We all have heard of it and no Goa trip is complete without a trip to Baga. One of the busiest beaches of Goa, Baga has a promising nightlife, beach parties, and food. Visit Baga for food served at shacks like Brittos, and dance through the night against the fabulous backdrop being the beach. There is Karaoke to try a hand or two at singing.

Candolim

Candolim Beach is an upcoming hotspot close to Calangute and Baga stretch and is home to several shacks, resorts and great food. The waters are clearer than Baga and Calangute and so is the sand. The beach is popular for scrub-covered sand dunes. The Dive Goa activity takes place here.

 

Calangute

This is one of the most visited beaches of Goa and is also termed as the Queen of Goa beaches. People come here for shopping, drinking, eating and sun bathing. Tourists can do water-scooter rides and parasailing.

Sinquerim

Just next to Fort Aguada and Hotel Taj is the Sinquerim beach. People come here for water rides and water sports.  This beach is thronged around the year for Aguada Lighthouse and a great view of the sea. Indulge in banana ride, snorkeling, parasailing at Sinquerim.

Vagator

Vagator beach is calm and peaceful. It is just perfect if you are looking for a secluded beach getaway. There are several resorts overlooking Vagator but a very few beach shacks at the beach. Tourists come to Vagator to grab a bite or two at Thalassa overlooking the beach or spend a lazy day away from the bustling North Goa beaches.

Morjim

Morjim beach is slightly away from the popular North Goan hub and promises a peaceful beach experience. It is just right for experiencing the waves around your feet as you walk across the stretch. A few shacks that stay closed during monsoons serve authentic Goan food and beer and cocktails.

South Goa beaches

The Southern part of Goa is not on everyone’s itinerary but if you are looking for nothing but the beach and beer, then it is South Goa. There are several budget options available here for families and single travelers. South Goa is home to Polem beach, Colva beach, Palolem beach, Majorda beach, Agonda beach, Benaulim beach, Bogmalo beach, Betul beach, Butterfly beach and Patnem beach.

These places promise a serene experience away from the buzzing and glittering Goa. It is perfect for candlelight dinners and a walk at these beaches in the night.

There are beaches and more at Goa. Contact holidayfreind@gmail for more on Goa.