Celeste- A Chocolate Boutique

Celeste

What would you do if you are invited for a tasting at a chocolate boutique?

You accept the invitation without any delay. Thats what exactly happened when I was invited to Celeste. Located in Ambience Mall, Gurgaon; Celeste is a chocolate boutique on the first floor of this gigantic mall and it’s a chocolate lovers paradise.

Celeste - The Artisan of Fine Chocolate

Celeste – The Artisan of Fine Chocolate

 What?: Celeste- The Artisan of Fine Chocolate, Ambience Mall, Gurgaon
But, how to get there?:  If you are driving from Delhi to Gurgaon on NH-8, Ambience Mall is easy to spot. The outlet is on first floor.
How heavy my pocket should be?: a minimum cost of Rs 50. The cost varies on the basis of flavor, style, type etc.

Even before you enter the store, you get to know that Celeste is different from other stores you have ever been to. The decor of the boutique has been done with a Victorian theme but the first thing that catches your eye in this boutique is the wonderful display of chocolates. Think of a flavor and they have it. And if they don’t have what you are looking for, then they will be more than happy to create a flavor of your choice. Whether you like plain milk chocolate or dark, whether you like soft truffles or chocolate buttons available, Celeste has everything and a lot more. Made from the finest, these chocolates use only the best and natural ingredients. I was lucky enough not only to try these chocolates but also see how these chocolates are made. The owner Nidhi Bhageria created wonderful rum and raisin chocolates for us. The boozy raisins soaked in rum for more than 3 days were covered with melted milk chocolate. One bite and I was in heaven. The heady combination of rum soaked raisins and smooth chocolate was enough to turn me into a fan. But that’s not all, Celeste has a lot more than just chocolates. They also offer a wide range of trees sourced from a number of places around the world. The teas are delicious and definitely a must try.

If customization is what your are looking for, then Celeste is the place to be. Not only do they make amazing chocolates, they do even more gorgeous customization. The only limitation is your imagination. Celeste is the brainchild of Nidhi Bhageria, a woman whose love for chocolate since a young age, led to the creation of one of the most unique chocolate experiences you will ever come across. Celeste aims to bring to their customers, premium chocolate products in exclusively designed packaging. Whether it’s wedding reception or a corporate event, a themed birthday party or valentines day, they provide you with one-of-a-kind gifting options. The boxes and decorations they use are so wonderful that one holds on them, even after the chocolates are long gone.

Keeping up with the times, Celeste this year on Valentine’s day came up with edible chocolate body paint. The kit consists of a range of different colors complete with a brush and palette. So if you are looking to spruce up your love life, then you should definitely contact them. Currently, Celeste has outlets located in four different locations Ambience Mall, Gurgaon, Wazirpur,  G.K. II and Chanakyapuri.

Scroll down for the pictures as I get lost in their yummy remembrance! 😉

Exterior of Celeste

Exterior of Celeste

Beautiful packing for chocolates

Beautiful packing for chocolates

Yummy chocolates in making

Yummy chocolates in making

Chocolates on display

Chocolates on display

Range of Tea

Range of Tea

Different varieties of chocolates

Different varieties of chocolates

Truck carrying chocolates

Truck carrying chocolates

colorful cheerful

colorful cheerful

Lets ride to chocolate land!

Lets ride to chocolate land!

Celeste chocolates

Celeste chocolates

Creative packs

Creative packs

Looks delicious

Looks delicious

Nidhi Bhagaria: Founder, Celeste Chocolates

Nidhi Bhagaria: Founder, Celeste Chocolates

Valentine special body art chocolates

Valentine special body art chocolates

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Street food trail: Kamla Nagar

A few weeks ago we went out with our girlfriends to gorge on some amazing street food. Delhi University North campus area also known as, Kamla Nagar, is one of the most well known hang out spots amongst students. Whether it is cheap clothing, lip-smacking food, important study material or something else a student might require. You will find anything and everything here.

So we decided to do a street food trail here as our pockets were denying us the pleasure of eating out at a fancy restaurant so we friends decided to look for more pocket-friendly options and Kamla Nagar (K-naggs, in the slang lingo) came number one on our list.

Where on Earth? :  Kamla Nagar, Delhi, India

But how to get there? : The Delhi University area in North Delhi is quite famous and easy to reach by road. If you are travelling by metro, get down at Vishvavidhyalya metro station; you can opt for a manual or electric rickshaw and ask for Bunglow Road.

How Heavy my pocket should be? : On an empty stomach you can spend just Rs. 300 per person approx (this includes all the items mentioned here 😉 )

Kamla Nagar

Kamla Nagar

On a Saturday afternoon, we started off our journey by venturing into one of the most famous lanes of K-Nags; the lane where Chache Di Hatti is located.  It is one of the oldest shops in the area. It serves some amazing pocket friendly Chole bhature and they are truly out of this world. The shop opens around 11 in the morning and shuts shop before 3 in the afternoon because their star dish, chole-bhature gets sold out. You will always find this outlet crowded by throngs of people waiting to get their hands dirty with chole bhature. For 35 bucks you can go for aloo wale bhature and chole. The bhaturas are stuffed with potatoes and the chole served with them are a perfect balance of spices and flavors. If you don’t want aloo wale bhature opt for plain bhaturas or if bhaturas are not your scene, you can gorge on a plate of chole. And if by any chance you don’t get to taste either buy some chole masala for your mom so that she can cook some chole for you at home.

 

Crowd at Chacha Di Hatti

Crowd at Chacha Di Hatti

Chacha Di Hatti

Chacha Di Hatti

Rate List of Chacha Di Hatti

Rate List of Chacha Di Hatti

Chole Bhature

Chole Bhature

Next stop was  Bombay stall. Actually it was bhel puri and sev puri. Located on the road right opposite to the Madame showroom. The shy gentleman, Dharmendra, who serves them knows how to balance flavors and each plate of bhel puri and sev puri was too good. We first ordered a spicy plate of bhelpuri. It is a famous Mumbai delicacy but is easily available in Delhi. It is a mixture of rice krispies, roasted gram, tomato, onion, potato, chutney and a number of spices, topped with coriander and sev.  My mouth still waters whenever I think of this dish. Next we tried on a plate of sev puri which is papdi topped with  boiled potato, raw onion and tomato, namkeen, spices and loads of chutney, garnished with coriander and sev. One of my friends, asked him to make this one hot and well, it was like my tongue was on fire. But there is nothing to worry because the spices in both the dishes can be customised as per your taste and liking. To cool the heat off, we all had a glass of lemon soda fondly known as banta. It was refreshing and put the heat on our tongues to a little rest.

 

Bombay Bhel Puri Stall

Bombay Bhel Puri Stall

Dharmendra, stall owner

Dharmendra, stall owner

Bhel Puri

Bhel Puri

Sev Puri

Sev Puri

Summer Coolers: Banta

Summer Coolers: Banta

We were not quite done yet, so we decided to shop for some knick-knacks. After wandering for some time, we headed towards Vaishno Chat Bhandar. One of our friends vouches for their gol- gappas so, with her in tow we reached Vaishno Chat Bhandar. Vaishno Chat Bhandar is another shop which has still retained its old charm, and you can find them on Zomato as well!  At Vaishno Chat Bhandar we were able to enjoy a variety of dishes. We began by stuffing our mouths with gol-gappas which come filled with a very spicy water. The golgappas are filled with a mixture of boiled potato and chick-peas along with a imli chutney. But let me warn you if spice is not your forte, then think twice before you ask for some extra gol gappe ka pani. Next dish on our list was Paneer chilla and it was just right. The chilla was cooked to perfection and stuffed with roasted paneer. The chilla was served with mint and imli chutney and disappeared within two minutes thanks to my friend. Last but not the least was Kachori Chaat. We were unsure whether we would be able to finish off  a full plate of so we ordered half a plate first. The chaat consisted of a crunchy kachori topped with spices, curd, chutneys and kachaloo. My friends liked the dish but I was not impressed. For me the salt content was a bit high. Besides these Vaishno chat bhandar also serves aloo tikki, aloo chaat, pav bhaji, papdi chaat, dahi bhalle, lachha tokri, kachaloo ki chaat and a lot more.

 

Vaishno Chat Bhandar

Vaishno Chat Bhandar

Rate List of Vaishno Chat Bhandar

Rate List of Vaishno Chat Bhandar

Gol Gappe

Gol Gappe

Gol Gappe

Gol Gappe

The Gol Gappa face!

The Gol Gappa face!

Chilla

Chilla

Paneer filling in Chilla

Paneer filling in Chilla

Kachori Chaat

Kachori Chaat

The day ended with all of us heading towards the nearest coffee shop where we sat for a while talking about how satisfied our stomachs felt and happy our pockets remained not that spent.

So if you are low on cash and need to grab a bite, head towards Kamla Nagar, Delhi.

Holi Special Recipe : Gunjiya

Gunjiya says Happy Holi

Chicapicks wishes everyone a very happy Holi. To make the festival even more delicious, here is a special recipe for the traditional sweet specially made on holi – Gunjiya or Gujiya.

This measure is for making approximately 20-25 pieces.

Ingredients 

Refined Flour (Maida) : 500 gms
Khoya : 250 gms
Dry Coconut: 100 gms
Raisins: 50 gms
Almonds: 50 gms
Cashew nuts: 50 gms
Pistachios: 50 gms
Charoli (Chironji) : 20 gms
Castor Sugar (Bura) : 250 gms
Oil/ Ghee : in sufficient quantity to fry

Refined Flour (Maida)

Refined Flour (Maida)

Chironji

Chironji

Method

Grate the coconut.
Cut the almonds, pistachios and cashews into half.

Preparation of filling

Preparation of filling

In a utensil, heat approx 4 tbsp of oil/ghee and add Khoya. Cook it till it turns light brown. Now add, grated coconut, almonds, pistachios, cashews, raisins and chironji to the khoya and mix well. Add castor sugar after removing from flame for 10 minutes.

Heated Khoya

Heated Khoya

Keep this mixture aside. The filling is ready.

The ready filling

The ready filling

Sieve the flour, add melted oil/ghee approx 4 tbsp. Mix well. Knead the dough using water.

Tip- The flour and oil/ghee should be such quantity that even before adding water to the mixture; it can bind a little in hand. Refer the image.

mixture of flour and oil/ghee

mixture of flour and oil/ghee

mixture of flour and oil/ghee

mixture of flour and oil/ghee

Now make small balls out of the dough.

Dough and balls

Dough and balls

Using a rolling-pin help yourself into making some round rotis.

Preparing gunjiya

Preparing gunjiya

In a bowl create the binding material for the gunjiya. i.e., take maida and water and mix it to form a thick paste.

Binding material

Binding material

Take one circular maida sheet into your hands and  in half of the sheet’s sides put the binding material. Fill the filling into the sheet and fold the sheet into half so that it touches the edges. With the help of the thick paste both sides will stick. Finely secure the gunjiya and keep aside.

notice the paste on the edges and the filling positioned

notice the paste on the edges and the filling positioned

pasting both sides

pasting both sides

securing the sides

securing the sides

Preparing gunjiya

Preparing gunjiya

Raw gunjiyas

Raw gunjiyas

Take oil/ghee in a utensil and put it to heat. Now fry the master piece that you had just created!

Frying the gunjiya

Frying the gunjiya

Tip- While putting the gunjiya in the frying utensil, the flame should be high. Just after turning it once, the flame should be a minimum so that the gunjiya is finely cooked.

Fry till golden brown and then be ready to be lost in the delicious delicacy (one must taste their cooked food first! 😉 )

But be careful in the kitchen, do not end up injuring two of your fingers with cuts like I did!

Gunjiya says Happy Holi

Gunjiya says Happy Holi

Treat your guests with these super yummy dish this holi and enjoy to the fullest.

Rose Cafe

Exterior of Rose Cafe

Me and my girlfriends were searching for a quaint little cafe for spending International Women’s Day and Rose Cafe answered our prayers. Rose Cafe is a nice little cafe situated in Saket.

Where on earth? – 2, Westend Marg, Saidulajab, Saket, New Delhi, India
But, how to get here? – If you take the Delhi Metro, Saket station is your best bet. Exit towards Saidulajab, look around for a big yellow board which says “Welcome to Saidulajab”, if you spot it, you are on the right track 😉 if not, ask the people around! 😛 So, keep walking on this road, no lefts no rights, in approx 5 minutes walk you will be delighted at the sight of Rose Cafe towards your right.
How heavy my pocket should be?– Cost for 2: Rs 1500 (approx) {usually it depends on how hungry you are! 😉 }

This cafe has old english charm to it. The decor is chic and vintage done in soft hues of colour pink. An outside seating area is the ideal place to spend pleasant spring evenings. The decor and the location of this cafe transfers you to a different world. You can hang out here with a group of friends or curl up in one of their sofas with a good book in hand, this cafe is just the place to unwind.

Exterior of Rose Cafe

Exterior of Rose Cafe

Outdoor seating

Outdoor seating

Rose Cafe

Rose Cafe

Rose Cafe

Rose Cafe

Old English clock

Old English clock

Rose Cafe

Rose Cafe

Desserts on display

Desserts on display

Rose Cafe has a variety of teas and cakes on offer to make your tea time as good as any other place offering high tea but it has a little bit more than others. The menu at Rose Cafe is just right neither too long, nor too short.

Rose Cafe Menu

Rose Cafe Menu

Rose Cafe Menu

Rose Cafe Menu

Rose Cafe Menu

Rose Cafe Menu

Rose Cafe Menu

Rose Cafe Menu

To douse the fire in my throat, I looked out for the beverages on the menu and soon our table had four amazing drinks. If you are a black coffee enthusiast, you should try for Iced Americano Black Coffee over ice; Green apple soda was a little sweet for my taste; I loved the use of crushed Kaffir lime leaves in the Mint lemonade; you must try the Iced coffee specialty.

(L-R) Iced Americano Black Coffee over ice, Green Apple soda, Mint lemonade with kaffir lime leaves and Rose cafe iced coffee.

(L-R) Iced Americano Black Coffee over ice, Green Apple soda, Mint lemonade with kaffir lime leaves and Rose cafe iced coffee.

We started our elaborate meal with a House Caesar vegetarian salad and it was close to perfect. The dressing on the salad was delicious but I felt it could do with a little more veggies and croutons besides tons of lettuce. Overall it was a lip smacking starter and was finished sooner than we expected. Next in our order was a scrumptious goat cheese pizza with walnuts and herbs. The pizza was a gift sent from food heavens. With a thin crust and the right amount of sauce, it was topped with goats cheese, basil and walnuts. One bite into the pizza and the rest that we experienced was nothing less than a food-gasam. But our hunger for good food had not satiated yet.

Goat Cheese Walnut Rocket Skinny Pizza

Goat Cheese Walnut Rocket Skinny Pizza

The Veg Mezze platter was next on your mind. The platter consisted of mouth-watering hummus, baba ganoush and cucumber dip along with assorted the bread. The pita bread served along was slightly thick but was soft. Within minutes the platter was cleared up by us.

Veg Mezze Platter

Veg Mezze Platter

For two of us carnivores we decided to order their version of Shepherd’s pie made with chicken. The pie was hot and topped with a layer of mashed potatoes baked golden brown. The pie had great flavors in it but the thick layer of mashed potatoes overpowered the flavor of chicken. But overall it was nice fulfilling dish.

Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd’s Pie

We love our desserts and we made sure that we had a variety on our table. From the dessert menu we ordered a Rose Cafe special sundae, strawberry tarts and tiramisu. The owner was kind enough to provide us with complimentary strawberry cake on the occasion of International Womens Day. The sundae disappeared as soon as it came. The sundae consisted of brownie at the bottom topped with cookie crumble and marshmallows. A scoop of vanilla ice cream with caramel sauce along with sliced strawberries around the cup completed it.
The strawberry tarts were small and filled with not too sweet strawberry sauce topped with whipped cream and fresh strawberry slices was too good. The boozy tiramisu was moist and flavor packed. The complimentary slice of strawberry cake was moist and completed our dessert.

Desserts

Desserts

After gorging on so much food we took pictures in the beautiful cafe. For me it was an afternoon well spent along with my closest girlfriends. I would love to go back to Rose Cafe and try other items on their menu till then, the memories of all the mouth-watering food will linger on my tongue.