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Quinoa khichdi, anyone?
Halloumi cheese, basil pesto and Oreos cookies are usually on the list of most people who go to upscale food stores stocking imported items. But many are also splurging on foreign health foods these days.
At the branches of Modern Bazaar, a high-end grocery store, located at Saket and Vasant Vihar, at least two to three people walk in every day demanding an exotic item such as goji berries from the UK, which they would have not heard of a few years ago. And, the fact that they have to shell out Rs 600 for just 100 grams of goji berries - the amount for which one could buy six boxes of cherries - is not a deterrent. After all, these tiny, red fruits were declared the 'most super of superfoods' by health evangelists in the UK. Goji berries, which have a mild, sweet liquorice flavour, have a very high anti-oxidant level and also enhance longevity.
"People know of the benefits of eating goji berries, so they don't mind the price, " says Kunal Kumar, owner of Modern Bazaar.
Quinoa from the UK, prunes from California, and bottles of ginseng capsules, which are imported from Korea and cost Rs 2, 000 for 60 capsules, also fly off the shelves of stores in Delhi and Mumbai. The ginseng root contains an element called germanium that is used to treat various diseases including leukaemia, asthma, diabetes and Parkinson's. Kumar points out that many people also buy German macadamia and pecan nuts, which are a healthy yet tasty snack.
Of course, as is their wont, Indians add a desi twist to these foreign foods. Food blogger Priya Mitharwal made a moong dal khichdi with quinoa instead of rice and savoured it with mango pickle. She shared the recipe online. A reader posted a comment saying she had made quinoa bisibele bhath (a classic Karnataka preparation). Now beat that.
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