There are certain F&B products you find yourself purchasing again and again because of the quality. Then there are those that go beyond quality and manage to strike a chord on a more personal level. For me, Paper Boat is one such brand that evokes fond childhood memories every time I pick up products from their tempting range of beverages. I have grown up loving aam (mango), imli (tamarind) and jamun (Indian blackberry), and I remember those days back in boarding school when I would eagerly wait for summer vacations to start to head back home to relish these fruits. So when I came across drinks by Paper Boat with flavours such as aamras, jamun kala khatta, imli ka amlana, and the like, it was an absolute delight and now I am hooked! Continue reading
I cannot mention the exact year when I understood what alcohol meant or what it was capable of doing but my introduction to the intoxication was through the Old Monk. I remember I didn’t quite like the taste the first time though it was sweet caramel-like. But it grew on me. Slowly. Building memories over the years with many others for whom the Old Monk is a ritual. Continue reading
There are plenty (including yours truly) who are convinced that food magically tastes better when it’s served against a spectacular backdrop. So far, the best view I’ve enjoyed with a meal was at Thalassa, Goa, where the sight of the sun sinking into the Arabian Sea, leaving a riot of orange, purple and yellow in its wake, made my grilled jumbo prawns taste heavenly.
If I had a plump wallet and a private jet, I would be enjoying my next meals at these incredible restaurants. Continue reading
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I believe, for a meal to be deemed memorable, taste is not the only criteria. It is the whole experience that lends meaning to it. Some maybe particular about the setting, linen, flowers, glassware, cutlery, etc. As for me, pretty dinnerware play an important role when having friends and family over and I am serving them the best from my culinary repertoire. Continue reading
When this Goan-themed waterhole opened doors in Koramangala, party people in the locality cheered. What’s great about it is that it manages to keep the focus on food as well. Here are a few dishes we loved over several visits. Continue reading
I must admit that I wouldn’t choose salads as the first pick while at a restaurant. It is only after deciding on the hors d’oeuvre and main course, if need be, then I would consider ordering a salad. Or if I was attempting to go on a diet yet again. This is not because I detest my greens; on the contrary, I love them. But while eating out, I prefer putting my money on the many meat options than spending on mere veggies.
But this gloomy Sunday afternoon, after many years, I decided to opt for a light salad rather than an elaborate brunch. And what a refreshing change it was! Heaps of fresh lettuce with pears and walnuts, dressed in vinaigrette and garnished with Parmesan. Simple yet with an immensely satisfying aftertaste. Here’s hoping for many more lunches seeking the green diet!
A morning staple, these doughnut resembling fritters are a favourite in South Indian cuisine with its light and crisp texture. The recipe is simple and instructs grinding soaked black lentils (urad dal) with cumin seeds and peppercorns along with a little water till a smooth paste is acquired, and then deep frying till golden in colour. Plenty variations flock the traditional recipe in an attempt at innovation. It is advised to allow the paste to ferment for a few minutes before frying it. This results in the vadas being ultra light and fluffy. The best vadas that we’ve had in years are the ones served at India Coffee House in Ooty. We guarantee that you cannot stop at one! A tangy sambar and a spicy coconut chutney accompany these fritters.
Food by itself holds less value unless dipped in memories. My first memory of meringue dates back to this Christmas party at the tea estate club when I was a little girl. Can’t remember the exact year, what I wore or the gifts I received. All I remember is being seated at the kid’s round table and this lady in green sari placing a silver tray filled with these little white swirls in front of us. I had never seen anything like it before. And as I took my first bite, the crisp texture easy loosened up and immersed my mouth in absolute sweetness. What were these little treats, I kept questioning again and again as I munched more.
(Pic, from left: Walnut Meringue at The Humming Tree; and Lemon Meringue Pie at Cafe Noir)
My most vivid memories of summer vacations in Kolkata are the ones associated with food. Being a child of two busy parents, and brought up on a steady diet of idli-vada-dosa, dal-rice and the occasional burger, elaborate meals were a rarity.
I witnessed food orgies every day. Starting from 9 am in the morning (because, really, who willingly eats cereal in the City of Joy?), the table in the kitchen groaned under the weight of a smorgasbord of fantastical dishes. I soon realised that my favourite meal of the day in Kolkata was the evening snack. Or high-tea, if we want to be fancy now.