Saturday, January 16, 2016

Fix Your Health-Getafix

These days whenever someone asks me if I am a ‘foodie’, I really don’t know whether to say yes or no. My mind conjures up images of a glutton who lives to eat and would perhaps die on the dining table, eating. I certainly do not want to belong to that category. I’d rather eat food that is something to live for and live by, full of health, vitality and lightness of being. Food should lift your spirits and not weigh you down.

People are turning health conscious these days like never before. For some it is a fad, for some a necessity. I am hypothyroid and for me it is a necessity. Yet most restaurant food, I feel, messes up with our systems so badly. One lavish meal on the weekend and the entire week’s careful eating and exercising can go down the drain. I feel it is the responsibility of chefs to keep track of the health factor of a dish when they create fantabulous feasts. Taste should not compromise health. Very few restaurants in Delhi really pay attention to health, as they fear losing out on a city clientele so addicted to OTT, heavy and calorie rich food.

On the other end of the spectrum are a bit insipid salad bars that leave you cold. It is a very sad day when you walk into them to have a cold impersonal meal, hermetically sealed in plastic containers. Not many people can actually live and thrive on salads and juices alone. Worse still are live salad bars which have many good and green crunchies but oodles of mayonnaise, thousand island dressing, cheesy dips right next to them! I even spotted a fun quote on FB recently-"If you see me having a salad in a restaurant, I have been kidnapped and I am trying to signal you"!

That is why the concept of Getafix seems very refreshing. They do not make a claim to serve only health food, which to many translates as bland soups and cold, impersonal salads. Getafix claims to serve the foods you love, cooked in a healthier way.  A first glance at the menu makes you wonder ‘I hope they know what they are talking about’ for you see burgers, pizzas and cakes on the menu. But delve a little deeper, and you realise each dish has undergone a subtle but certain change, in the magical hands of Dhruv Chawla and Aanandita Chawla, who have created this restaurant with great love and care.

Located in the swank M Block Market, G K I, a place that has always been a trendsetter of sorts in Delhi, Getafix is thankfully setting another type of trend. It’s the trend of guilt free, good food. Of course such menu planning requires great deliberation and the smarts. It requires indepth analysis and prolonged experimentation. It requires a true commitment to people’s wellbeing rather than just feeding their palate. Full marks to Dii Consentes Hospitality of Chef Tarun Lal who has been the primary planner of the refreshing restaurant.

The décor is fuss-free but eyecatching. The longest wall in the café is a carefully designed hand painted art piece that has been created in complementary colors to offset the entire café in a bright way and it also adds a European feel to the entire space. The wooden look adds warmth and cosines to the place while the vast window adds space and gives an airy appearance to the café.  A small cozy section is created at the entrance that encourages casual conversations as well as for those who would like to unwind with a comic or a book.

The café has one united section of seating in fresh vibrant colors that echo the theme of natural, vibrant and healthy food. The colors used in this café are teal, lime green and yellow, thereby giving a fresh appeal to the environs and subconsciously conveying the message of good health. On every table there is an Asterix comic that you can relish while you wait for your order, which was a rather cute touch.
Now they take their food seriously, aiming to pamper guests with their eclectic offerings. I was recovering from a bout of bad flu that day so I begin with a clear chicken soup that is actually clear and light and does wonders. Getafix cold pressed juices are very popular and come in unusual combinations. We tried the C nergy that is a blend of pineapple, orange, green apple and amla and as obvious, literally a large shot of vitamin C and Just Beet It that has beetroot, carrot, blueberries and lemon. There is of course no added sugar whatsoever. One distinct feature is, with every juice, they serve a few bites of the fruits used to make it, in a small dish, reassuring you that the juice is actually what it claims to be
The sceptic in me is really curious to figure out how a burger can be healthy. Aanandita tells me that their vegetarian Quinoa Burger is a hot selling item. It has a patty of quinoa and sweet potato in a whole wheat bun. However being an avid fish lover, I go for Grilled Fish Burger, that has a sole fish filet with a tangy slaw in a wheat bun. All their breads are baked in house.The French 'fries' on the side are air fried and they do not serve ketchup or mustard unless you literally really really beg for it as they encourage you to try the lovely relishes served alongside that are much healthier.

We go for the Popeye Pizza which is a veg pizza with oodles of spinach and corn on thin crust. It is definitely a winner and a must-try. We also try the Shrimp Pasta that comes in a Basil Pesto Sauce which is light and wholesome at the same time.

In the main course they also have lovely meals in a bowl options such as Asian Rice Bowl, Japanese Soba Noodle Bowl and Mexican Bowl. We try the Mexican Bowl and it turns out a burst of wonderful flavours served on a staple, rice served with aplomb.

Mexican Meal in a Bowl

If you are in the mood to eat healthy, of course desserts are something one steers clear from. Yet Aanandita insists, I at least sample them. Again, the desert platter is truly startling, each cake, pastry has undergone a transformation, substituting traditional ingredients with a healthier alternative.

I am somehow off bakery chocolate cakes, preferring what I bake at home maybe twice a year! But I have a pre-teen kid who can have a chocolate cake for every meal. She devours them with a guilt-free joy I knew at least 25 years ago. The winner for me however, was the Pumpkin Cake with a layer of cottage cheese sandwiched between. I thought that was very clever and tasty(top left on the platter).

There are some fabulous green teas to down it all with. I try the Rhododendron Tea which is divine!

We have done justice to the food and yet we do not feel overwhelmed. Beautiful late afternoon sunlight pours onto our table and yet I don't feel like a siesta....... but a brisk walk around Lodhi garden maybe. It is that kind of a meal.
The girl with the sweet tooth!

There are many times I come back from a food review, feeling dull and sleepy. Much as people envy us at times, eating food that does not agree with you can be a professional hazard. Of course there are no 'before' and 'after' pics to prove that on any blog. Only the best ones see the light of day. But yes that day as I reached home, I felt as fresh as I had when I left for GK from Gurgaon almost four hours ago. The proof of healthy eating is perhaps in a cleverly substituted, healthy pumpkin pie. I rest my case!
Before leaving for GK
PS: Part of the fun doing restaurant reviews for me is in dressing up for one. Will add a note from now on, about my look for the day!

So my 'Getafix' look was:

A red polka dotted blazer from Zara I have loved always. I don't think I can ever give up my polka dots!
A blue comfy top I picked up in France a few years ago.
Jeans with a very comfy, snug fit from  Pantaloons.
My blue suede boots I love, an Italian design make called Bruno Manetti I picked from Ambience, Gurgaon.

After coming back from GK

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Two Special Festive Recipes

Lohri is all about festivity and abundance. The festive season transcends across India and takes shape in different colours and forms. If North is busy dancing around a bonfire of joy, South is poised for Pongal and sways to a redolent rhythm. BiteClub is celebrating the two auspicious festivals of North and South India by sharing these exquisite recipes for Lohri and Pongal with us. Both the recipes are oozing with goodness, made with ingredients that are perfect for this weather-sesame seeds, jiggery, cashewnuts and peanuts. Savour these home-made delights and usher in spring. Do try and share with your friends and family! Happy Lohri & Pongal once again!


Recipe of Veg Pongal
By Saumya Shree, Food Specialist,


125 gms - Rice
125gms - Moong Dal
25 gms - Chopped Ginger
10 gms - Curry Leaves
5 gms - Cumin Seeds
2.5 gms - Asafoetida
5 gms - Crushed Black Pepper
15 mL - Ghee
2.5gms - Turmeric
1. Dry and roast Dal till they begin to smell nice.
2. Wash and cook Dal and Rice with 350ml-450ml water and salt till soft. Mash up a bit to get creamy consistency. Let the water evaporate and the rice reach a mushy and creamy stage. Add salt and stir.
3. Heat a pan with ghee, add cashews and fry till golden, set aside.
4. Add ginger, cumin & pepper corn and fry till it turns aromatic, allow them to splutter, add turmeric and Asafoetida.
5 Add this to the pongal, mix and simmer for a minute.
6. Serve with chutney or Sambar.

Recipe of Til Ke Laddoo

By Saumya Shree, Food Specialist,


250 gms - Sesame Seeds

175gms - Jaggery

15 mL - Ghee

60 gms - Crushed Peanuts

125 gms - Ghee




1. Roast the sesame seeds till they are light golden in color. Cool and keep it aside.

2. Heat the ghee in a pan and add the jaggery.

3. Simmer over a slow flame till it caramelizes and forms a hard ball when you add a drop in cold water.

4. Add the roasted til and peanuts and mix it thoroughly with the melted jaggery.

5. Grease your palms with a little ghee, divide the mixture into 12 equal portions and shape the til mixture.