The Behzad family, owners of Oriental Bakery & Restaurant, established in 1962, have opened a new retail outlet at Ezdan Oasis. ABN Corporation chairman J K Menon, Indian Cultural Centre president P N Baburajan, advisory council member Jayati Maitra, Indian Business and Professionals Council vice president Manoj Megchiani, Bhavan's Public School directors Mohsin P, V K Salim, Manikantan AP and Al Muftah Rent A Car general manager Ziad Usman were present at the opening.
The decision by the Qatar government to lift Covid curbs on access to public places has once again given students opportunities to experience learning outside the classroom. A group of students from Rajagiri Public School visited Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (Qeeri), a part of the Hamad Bin Khalifa University. Students interacted with scientists and also visited the labs. Anna Jerry, the two-time winner of the Young Innovator Award, organised by Qeeri, said the visit was highly beneficial.
Peru ambassador to Qatar, Jose Benzaquen Perea, presented a Diploma of Recognition to the managers of Coya Doha restaurant for promoting Peruvian gastronomy, declared one of the best cuisines worldwide. Coya is an award-winning luxury restaurant that opened its doors in Doha last March at W Doha Hotel and Residences. Risen from the Peruvian Andes to the Amazon rainforest, Coya has the reputation of being the "ultimate luxury dining destination", a press statement noted. The restaurant offers an extensive a la carte menu inspired by the traditions of Peruvian cooking and hospitality.
Winter is the time when backyard and kitchen gardens flourish in Qatar. A variety of vegetables and fruits grow well from November to March outdoors, when the country experiences the best weather. Tomatoes, ladies' fingers, brinjal, bitter gourd, long beans and strawberry are among them. Pictures by Gulf Times news editor Bonnie James
Amaranth or Amaranthus dubius, also known as red spinach, is a nutrition packed, easy-to-grow leafy vegetable in kitchen gardens. Red spinach is a member of the plant family Amaranthaceae, which includes nearly 2,500 species ranging from spinach to beetroot, to grains such as amaranth and quinoa.Unrelated to spinach but known to contain thrice the calcium and five times the niacin content of spinach, red amaranth has oval leaves with deep red veins running through it. The young leaves and stems of red amaranth are used raw in salads in southeast Asia. Mature leaves are extensively used in stir fries across Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Vietnam and China, using very few spices and embellishments to highlight the hearty flavour and tender chewy texture. (Picture by Gulf Times news editor Bonnie James)
With his trimmed beard, red scarf and bronze-coloured waistcoat, Kazem Mabhutian serves a steady stream of customers in the smallest and oldest teahouse in Tehran, but at 63 years old, he is counting on God to find him a successor. Tucked in an alleyway of the Grand Bazaar, wedged between a clothes shop and the door of a mosque, his 1.5-square-metre chaikhaneh (tea house) is invisible from the main street. And yet it is the most famous among tea connoisseurs in the Iranian capital. In between pouring glasses of steaming brew for his customers, Mabhutian tells the century-old story of the fabled Haj Ali Darvish Tea House with pride. His father Haj Ali Mabhutian, nicknamed the Dervish or Beheshti, or "He who deserves paradise", was born in Hamedan in western Iran, he says. "He came to Tehran at the age of 15 to earn a living. He bought this shop from Haj Hassan who had opened it in 1918." Arranged around him are cups and teapots, boxes of tea and a samovar water-heater. There is an antiquated radio, a paraffin lamp, statuettes of dervishes, and gold-coloured sticks of Nabat, a saffron-scented barley sugar. On the wall, a tourism ministry certificate assures that the place "is part of the intangible heritage of the national culture". - 'Tea of kindness' - Aside from the traditional Iranian black tea, Mabhutian prepares cardamon, cinnamon, mint, thyme and hibiscus brews every day from 7:30 am. But his favourite is his signature "tea of kindness", a mixture of mint, lemon and saffron which gives it a zesty yellow colour. Business is usually steady: experts say that Iranians consume an average of nine small glasses of tea a day, or 100,000 tonnes nationwide every year. "Until 2007, my father ran this house, known as the smallest in the world," said Mabhutian. "Then he broke his leg and never returned to work. He stayed at home until his death in 2018 at the age of 92." Kazem then left his advertising agency job and took over the business. "I don't regret it at all," he said. "Advertising was a business, but this is a question of love. I chose this job with my heart, not for the money." On the menu, the price of a cup of tea is listed at 100,000 rials (35 cents), but "the rates are not fixed," he said. "It depends on the financial situation of the customer." Every day he serves some 200 customers. "Most of them come from outside the market because they know us," he said. "There used to be a lot of tourists too, because this shop was in the guidebooks, but the foreigners disappeared with the pandemic." - 'Made with love' - Given the miniature size of the teahouse, there are no tables, but customers can pull up a plastic stool outside, amid the bazaar's bustle. Seated there was Shafagh, a 32-year-old graphic designer, with her friend Forough, 47. "Everyone sells tea, but the important thing is to know how to make it," said Shafagh, enjoying a cup of kindness tea. "It's like cooking -- when someone makes tea with love, it tastes completely different." Forough chimed in that "I also come to chat with the owner. I think his tea is nothing like the tea served in other places". Every weekday, Habibollah Sayadi, 70, leaves his nearby clothing shop to enjoy his Iranian black tea. "I'm a regular -- I've been coming here for almost 50 years because I love the taste of his tea," he said, adding approvingly that "Mr Kazem respects hygiene" in times of Covid. Mabhutian, the owner, is getting on in years and is still single, so does he worry about what will become of his beloved shop in future? "Not at all," he said confidently. "God will find me a successor. A place like this one does not die."
Energy balls Ingredients 10 piece dates 1/2 cup raisin 1 tbsp chia seeds 1 tbsp cocoa nibs 1/3 cup almond/ walnuts 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder Method: These energy balls are absolutely delicious. First we start with removing the pits from the dates than soaking the dates and the raisin in hot water for 5 minutes to soften. In a food processor or a blender add everything except the cocoa powder. Stop the blender in between and mix it. Once everything is blended pretty well just form circles from the date mix. Once everything is rolled with a sieve use it to sprinkle the cocoa powder on top of the date balls. And it’s ready to serve. These are the best energy balls. Enjoy! * The author is a wellness advocate and aims to promote nutritious meals. Instagram: @the.tals
Celebrity chef Izu Ani inaugurated his visit at Mandarin Oriental, Doha’s restaurant IZU on Thursday. He has created a six-course menu with his own Mediterranean-inspired specialties for guests to experience until July 20. The menu features a Foie gras terrine with pear chutney and toasted brioche, Seared tuna carpaccio with truffle dressing, Grilled King Prawns with chilli butter and Wagyu beef cheek with sunchoke purée. Celebrity chef Izu Ani has created a six-course menu with his own Mediterranean-inspired specialties for guests to experience until July 20. Desserts will feature the light and refreshing Mille-feuille, Pistachio ice cream with fresh raspberries and Chocolate truffles with chef Izu’s own coffee blend by BOON. “I believe that as a chef I am a storyteller through my food, my philosophy is to keep looking at the world with an eye of a child because through these eyes you will find opportunities you never thought possible,” said chef Izu, explaining his inspiration for the menu. “Food for me is a part of this adventure of discovery and I am delighted to present this menu to our guests at Mandarin Oriental, Doha to experience a taste of my personal journey and travels.” Dinner is served at two sittings at 6.30pm and 9pm with a six-course menu for QR450. Seating availability is limited to 21 people at IZU restaurant's mezzanine floor and only until July 20. Reservations are required, for which one can call 4008 8888 or email [email protected]
Dates energy balls Ingredients: 1 cup madjool dates 1/4 cup almonds 1/2 cup oats 1 tbsp Cinnamon 5tbsp honey 7 tbsp Coconut flakes Method: These energy balls are absolutely delicious. First we start with removing the pits from the dates then soaking the dates in hot water for 5 minutes to soften. In a food processor or a blender add the almonds, dates, cinnamon and honey and let it blend. Stop the blender in between and mix it. Leave the coconut flakes, it’ll be used at the very end. Once everything is blended pretty well just form circles from the date mix and roll it in coconut flakes. And it's ready to serve. These are such easy bites to make. Enjoy!
Coconut Stuffed Dates Ingredients 1/3 cup coconut cream 2/3 cup coconut flakes 1/3 cup smashed almonds 50g Melted Dark chocolate 30-40 pitted dates 2tbsp honey Method: This is super yummy: the homemade version of bounty. In a bowl add the coconut cream and honey. Mix it well before adding the coconut flakes and almonds. Mix it again. Stuff the dates with the coconut mix, lay it on a plate and drizzle some dark chocolate on it or you can dip the dates in it. Put the dates in the freezer for 10-15 minutes for the chocolate to harden. Next you can put them in a container and keep them in the fridge and have it with your tea. Enjoy!
Iced Tahini Matcha Latte Ingredients: 2 tsp matcha 1 tsp tahini 1-2 tbsp honey 1 cup nut milk Method: If you love matcha you will love this refreshing drink. In a cup add some hot water, matcha and whisk it. Then add tahini, honey and whisk some more. In a glass, add some ice and your favourite nut milk – I used almond milk. Add the matcha mix and enjoy!
Hummus Dip Ingredients 1 cup cooked hummus 1/4 cup tahini 1/4 cup olive oil Juice of half lemon 1/4 cup water 1 garlic Salt Method: This creamy hummus dip is super easy to make and super delicious. In the blender or a food processor add all the ingredients and blend for 3-4 minutes. Remove it and put it a bowl and add plenty of olive oil. Cut carrots and cucumber for the dip. Enjoy!
Homemade granola Ingredients: 3 cups rolled oats 1 cup nuts 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey 1/3 cup coconut oil 1 tbsp cinnamon 1 tsp nutmeg 1/2 tsp Salt 1 tbsp vanilla 1/3 cup cranberry 1/2 cup dried strawberries Method: This delicious granola is easy to make. Heat the oven to 180C and line the pan with parchment paper. Mix the oats and any mix of nuts almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, pecans or walnuts in a bowl and stir to blend. In a separate bowl mix the honey, coconut oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and salt. If you like your granola more on the sweeter side you can add a little more than 1/3 cup of maple syrup or honey. Pour the liquid mixture into the oats and nuts. Mix well, until all is coated very well. Spread the granola out evenly on the baking sheet and lightly press it. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes and stir once halfway through. Next remove pan from the oven and leave it cool to room temperature than add the dried strawberries and cranberries. Once the granola is cold, store in an air tight container. Enjoy! * The author is a welness advocate and aims to promote nutritious meals. Instagram: @the.tals
Red bean chocolate brownie Ingredients: 1 cup boiled red beans, washed and drained 50g melted dark chocolate 1 tbsp cocoa 5tbsp coconut oil 7-8 tbsp coconut sugar 1 tsp baking powder 1/3 cup chocolate chip 1 tsp vanilla 2 eggs Method: Preheat the oven to 185C. Add all the ingredients in a food processor except the chocolate chips, blend it until creamy. Add the chocolate chips and mix. Next, grease the pan with coconut oil and add the mixture. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. It's super easy and it doesn't taste like beans plus has good dose of protein.
Tandoori roti (oven-baked bread) has been a popular food among residents and national alike, particularly among South Asian expatriates countries residing in Qatar. Tandoor bakeries selling the bread have see a rise in their business during the holy month of Ramadan. The ever-popular tandoori roti is in high demand just before Iftar and Suhoor during Ramadan as those fasting, particularly from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Nepal, consume the roti as their staple. It is not costly and readily available. As a large number of workers from these countries live in Qatar without families, they tend to buy the bread from the tandoor bakeries. “To have a big and hot tandoori roti at your dining table gives a good feeling particularly after long hours of fasting at Iftar time. It smells aromatic and tastes delicious. It is readily available a hot staple unlike other breads (khubz) that are packaged and sold at stores. “Khubz may be cheaper but it does not taste as good as roti,” claims Shaheen Shah, a long-time Pakistani expatriate in Qatar. The tandoori roti bakeries have been present in Qatar for a long time. The business is dominated by people of Pashtun ethnicity from Pakistan. “I have been in Qatar for over 35 years and my late father came here in the mid 1960s. The tandoori roti bakeries were initially started by the Pashtun community. However, I have also seen Iranian tandoors as well in different areas of Doha. “I still remember going with my father to a nearby tandoor to get the rotis as a child. Though my mother used to bake bread at home we would often eat tandoori roti as we found it more delicious,” said Shah, who too is a Pashtun. One major point in the popularity of the tandoori roti is the presence of large South Asian population, particularly workers. “You do not need to have the hassle of baking bread at home. Go to a nearby tandoor and buy a hot roti for one riyal. The roti is larger in size compared to khubz. One roti is often sufficient for two persons. “Moreover, you get the taste of roti similar to what you have back in your own country,” said Abdul Razzak, a Pakistani expatriate, who drives a cab and lives with a group of taxi drivers in an apartment in Al Mansoura. Razzak finds it very convenient to purchase tandoori roti during Ramadan because all his roommates tend to dine together more during the holy month.“We often have our Iftar and Suhoor together at home during Ramadan. “We are all men so we prefer to buy tandoori roti. At Suhoor time, tandoori paratha is also available at these bakeries. “We often go to the tandoor well before Iftar and Suhoor as otherwise there are long queues as tandoors are not available everywhere in Qatar.” Baking tandoori roti is a skill that is not easily available in Qatar. The business that had already been facing challenges has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. “Although there is good demand for tandoori rotis in Qatar it is not easy to run the business smoothly. A minimum of three skilled workers are necessary to run one bakery. They have to work for at least 12 hours every day in a hot room with a burning oven. In areas where the demand is more we may need five people for one bakery,” revealed Mohamed Shah, an expatriate from Peshawar who runs his business in Najma. For Shah, business was good earlier but now faces challenges.“Earlier many used to run it as a family business with brothers jointly running a bakery. However, it is different now. Shop rents are high and while we would have preferred to hire skilled bakers from Pakistan this has not been possible since the Covid-19 outbreak. “We are forced to hire locally trained people who often ask higher wages. It is not easy to bake some 1, 000 to 1, 500 breads every day. “The good thing however is that bakers from countries other than Pakistan are also getting in to the trade. Bakers particularly from Bangladesh and Nepal can nowadays be seen at tandoors. These workers often have had hands-on training.” PICTURES: Jayan Orma
Award-winning contemporary Peruvian restaurant Coya has opened its doors at W Doha. "Food enthusiasts can now savour the exotic flavours of Peru in a true Peruvian setting, where gastronomy and Incan traditions seamlessly blend under one roof," the hotel said in a press statement. Wassim Daajeh, general manager at W Doha, said: “We are excited to announce the opening of Coya at W Doha. This is an unparalleled opportunity for our guests to explore the gastronomic wonders of South America while revelling in the vibrant atmosphere that the brand represents. "The addition of Coya to our hotel is definitely in line with our unique culinary offerings and we look forward to welcoming guests to enjoy a memorable Peruvian journey.” Coya "boasts of a multi-dimensional platform for guests to not only dine but also have a full sensory experience – its ethos blends food, drinks, music and art", the statement notes. The restaurant offers an extensive a la carte menu inspired by the traditions of Peruvian cooking and hospitality, along with Asian influences and ingredients. Its signature menu favourites, Arroz Nikkei, Costillas de Res, Pollo a la Parilla and Maki Roll de Aguacate, as well as a specially curated selection of beverages, will be on the menu. "Whether for a date night or just a vibrant evening with family and friends, visitors can indulge in the sensational cuisine in Coya’s beautiful setting and reliably convivial atmosphere," the statement adds. Coya Doha will also create an expressive, cultural experience for guests that is "uniquely Coya". The global brand’s flagship in Qatar will showcase acclaimed and emerging artists and talented musicians, in line with W Doha’s mission to enrich the local art scene. Jean-François Casanova, CEO at Coya, said: “Opening Coya at W Doha is a key milestone for our Coya family and we are beyond excited to offer our guests an exceptional journey into the Peruvian culture. We want the people of Qatar to experience the beauty of the South American culture and indulge all their senses in a setting defined by Latin ambiance.” Coya has locations globally, including London Mayfair, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Mykonos, Monte Carlo and Paris.
Marriott Marquis City Center Doha has "teed off two distinctive dining facilities" at Education City Golf Club (ECGC). Green Restaurant and Café 34 Doha will serve golf club members, guests, non-golfers and groups. Guests can also enjoy the panoramic views of the prestigious golf courses and Education City Stadium, according to a press statement. The Green, located on the first floor of the clubhouse with indoor and outdoor balcony seating, offers a wide array of international specialties from salads, sandwiches, sushi combos to vegetarian options, desserts and drinks that "excite the five senses". Open seven days a week with breakfast on weekends, lunch and early dinner, the Green is the "perfect setting for a delicious casual family-style dining experience". It is also "ideal" for celebrations, private functions, business meetings or corporate events with adjacent meeting spaces. Green provides private function spaces where the experience of club life continues far beyond the 18th green. The clubhouse can accommodate any type of event, from corporate outings and team building events to society gatherings, family and birthday celebrations and more. Right at the heart of the club is the more casual of the two venues, Cafe 34. This is the "ideal spot" to enjoy light bites, healthy eats, coffee and refreshing beverages, to visit with friends, or a quick grab and go between golf rounds. “We are very excited to take Marriott Marquis City Center Doha’s well-known internationally inspired culinary scene to Education City Golf Club and expend our partnership for the golf lovers and their guests to enjoy the same top-notch dining experience common across our hotel’s award-winning dining venues by the beauty of a well-maintained course,” said Rick Enders, multi-property general manager, Marriott Marquis City Center Doha. Michael Braidwood, general manager of ECGC, added: “We are excited to be working alongside Marriot Marquis City Centre Doha as we look to provide our members and guests with exceptional dining experiences at the golf club. We look forward to welcoming everyone to the golf club to taste the delights of our revamped outlets.”
Marriott Marquis City Center Doha has "teed off two distinctive dining facilities" at Education City Golf Club (ECGC). Green Restaurant and Café 34 Doha will serve golf club members, guests, non-golfers and groups who will enjoy panoramic views over the prestigious golf courses and Education City Stadium, according to a press statement. The Green, located on the first floor of the clubhouse with indoor and outdoor balcony seating, offers a wide array of international specialties from salads, sandwiches, sushi combos to vegetarian options, desserts and drinks that "excite the five senses". Open seven days a week with breakfast on weekends, lunch and early dinner, Green is the "perfect setting for a delicious casual family-style dining experience". It is also "ideal" for celebrations, private functions, business meetings or corporate events with adjacent meeting spaces. Green provides private function spaces where the experience of club life continues far beyond the 18th green. The clubhouse can accommodate any type of event, from corporate outings and team building events to society gatherings, family and birthday celebrations and more. Right at the heart of the club is the more casual of the two venues, Cafe 34. This is the "ideal spot" to enjoy light bites, healthy eats, coffee and refreshing beverages, to visit with friends, or a quick grab and go between golf rounds. “We are very excited to take Marriott Marquis City Center Doha’s well-known internationally inspired culinary scene to Education City Golf Club and expend our partnership for the golf lovers and their guests to enjoy the same top-notch dining experience common across our hotel’s award-winning dining venues by the beauty of a well-maintained course,” said Rick Enders, multi-property general manager, Marriott Marquis City Center Doha. Michael Braidwood, general manager of ECGC, added: “We are excited to be working alongside Marriot Marquis City Centre Doha as we look to provide our members and guests with exceptional dining experiences at the golf club. We look forward to welcoming everyone to the golf club to taste the delights of our revamped outlets.”
For many, holidays and special occasions are all about cheer and enjoyment. But, when it comes to celebrations, this group often goes for a different way - to help persons in need to get food. For Food Heroes of Wa'hab initiative, celebration means feeding persons in need by finding surplus food from eateries and companies and getting donations. Since its inception in 2017, Wa'hab has been active as its volunteers distribute food for underprivileged people across Qatar. “Our Food Heroes go to places like labour camps across Qatar and give them food and food kits. Surplus food is collected in order to bring down the food waste and help persons in need to get food," Mohamed Kamal Sikander, one of the Food Heroes. Surplus food is collected from Hamad International Airport (HIA), hotels, restaurants, functions and food festivals. “Our volunteers approach companies, institutions and organisations while introducing our mission. They, in turn, contact us when excess food is available. The food is packed by volunteers who take it to various areas," Kamal said. During the last two editions of Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF), volunteers approached stalls asking them whether they had surplus food, collected surplus food daily and delivered it to the needy. During the latest QIFF event, an exclusive area was set up by Food Heroes for food collection and packing. Lutfi Khan Kakkar, another volunteer, said Wa'hab has developed a well set up network of volunteers who reach the benefactors and beneficiaries. More than 150 volunteers are working with Wa'hab while focusing on Industrial Area and labour camps at Al Khor, Abu Nakhla and Umm Slal Ali. Lutfi said the volunteers could help hundreds during Covid-19 pandemic and Ramadan. Food Heroes take food once they get notified about excess food. And they drive to the focused areas in their own vehicles even as special vehicles are arranged if food is available in huge quantity, and if it needs special care. A total of 3,886 meals were distributed during Ramadan and on Eid days, to those in need. Kamal said the daily distribution reached 200 kits during Covid-19. As many as 17 tonnes of frozen vegetables were redistributed to the community, among which taxi drivers were given priority after they were found to be hit hard by the pandemic. The distribution was carried while the volunteers adhered to safety measures. Qatar Red Crescent Society also lent a helping hand while organising training sessions for Food Heroes on how to stay safe while helping others during the pandemic. “The initial idea was to reduce food waste and it has turned out to be an initiative that helps many get food," said one of the Food Heroes Mohamed Zubairullah Khan. Taking a cue from the good response the initiative has been evoking, Wa'hab is now set to introduce smartbin, which is the smartest way to compost food waste without the associated hassles. As per the plan, waste will be composted as fertiliser that can be used for homestead farming.