I said this when I came back from Pondicherry and Chennai. I am saying the same after Bangalore. The Delhi food scene needs to crash and burn before anything comes out it. In Pondicherry, the lanes around promenade have restaurants that are known for something – creole food, French food in an old villa, drinks with a view of the sea etc etc. In Bangalore, I ate 4 meals a day for 4 days in order to just cover as many places as I can….Continue Reading “What’s killing Delhi food scene?”

moradabadi biryani nizamuddin

Moradabadi biryani. As someone on twitter said when I posted one of these photos – there are more people selling moradabadi biryani in Delhi than there are people in Moradabad. Now, that is a little exaggerated, but just a little. Suddenly, there are so many of them in Delhi that it seems less like a trend and more like a conspiracy. Anyway, the distinct markers of a Moradabadi biryani are shah jeera, yellow chilli and lemon. I always had some confusion about saunf but that…Continue Reading “Moradabadi Biryani, Nizamuddin”

When I peel garlic, I wonder what the hell was the plant thinking all through the evolution? That it will fly and build a colony on Jupiter? For god’s sake, the pods are shrink wrapped, tied at both ends and then they hug each other like it’s a tribal dance inside a clean film and then there is extra packaging on top so that they can last ten cataclysmic events. It is the Hilsa of condiments. I can still understand some human misbehaved with a…Continue Reading “Peeling garlic, thinking Hilsa, evolution and tribal dances”

Why should girls have all the fun! I am tired of seeing women tag each other in some saree challenge, some gorgeous pic, some black and white pic and what not. Yaar hadd hai, hum mardon ka koi tag hi nahin hai. So, here are a few ideas, let’s finalise one and start a tag. And, these are very man tags, no woman would ever dare hijack this. So, feel free boys. 1. Post a shaving photo of yours and tag real men who shave….Continue Reading “Facebook tagging campaign ideas for men”

A decade back, while on a bus to Mussorie, I had written how Delhi was a city that acted as a jail. Punishing those within the premises and punishing harder the ones who tried to escape. That was about the roads, now a decade later, same can be said of the airways. During the last few months, I have had numerous instances of flights that refused to either take off or land in time. One of the Air India flights that I took, this one to…Continue Reading “Flights and learnings”

Okay, I have been saying it to everyone I meet. Time to say it to everyone I don’t meet. I really like Rahul Gandhi. I know in today’s politics, there is a special place in hell for all who say that. Even then, I like him. And, then one day, he would be PM. No matter what you feel or do, that is inevitable. In five, ten, fifteen, twenty years, UPA will come to power. If he is around, he has a chance as anyone…Continue Reading “Why I am not giving up on Rahul Gandhi”

There is a term in English – whine. It is a senseless, irrational white noise that grabs your attention and keeps you off more important stuff. Whiners are attention seekers who employ it as a strategy. The upperclass, elite, cool cats – or whatever they call themselves in Delhi – are masters of the art. In a metropolis of nearly ten million, you would hardly hear other voices. Just a few dominate all discussion, all perspectives, all city planning – without any value addition. The…Continue Reading “In support of car free zones and rooftop ban in CP”

raja rani temple odisha

I am the wrong person to write about temples. Because, I hate them. Most of them. At least, the ones with deities inside. I am indifferent to mosques and churches. Why? I have never been harassed in a mosque or hounded for money in a church. Actually, no one really cares when you are there in an Indian church. Apart from the peculiar Indian habit of leaving shoes outside, churches here are really nice, calm and friendly places. Mosques have ruled about shoes and head…Continue Reading “About Rajarani temple in odisha and a few others”

Industry experts and watchers wield a massive amount of influence when it comes to determining outsider’s view of the sector. That’s why, while we need those who support and promote nascent sectors, we also need dispassionate journalists who can evaluate facts, write with a global perspective; and state things as they are so everyone is wiser. Against this background, you will notice a massive void in Indian wine writing. Though I have never been much interested reading about wines and must confess that have not…Continue Reading “About wines”

dwarka market spice

Okay, I think I am getting into the food walk space. Only one walk – Dwarka haat one. Yesterday, I wrote about the cupcakes and then we got these spices. Then, you get everything else from the east and south that you get nowhere else, not even in CR Park. Banana stem, banana blossom, gondhoraj lemon, moringa flowers, some ten types of grasses that I had never seen before (calling them grass, will be saag once we eat them), unknown tubers, pumpkin flowers and leaves,…Continue Reading “Weekly haat in Dwarka Sector 23”

banana flowers

Coconut is called the tree of life because every part of it is used. What should we call Banana tree, whose every part is eaten? Apart from the stem and the flower and fruit, the leaf is used in cooking. A friend from Nagaland once told me that they let the banana trees rot and eat the fatty worms that grow inside. I can’t think of a part that’s my favorite, I love them all, depending on the recipe. One part that i have not…Continue Reading “Eating the banana tree”

murugan idli shop chennai

People wake up differently. Some struggle to down a toast and tea, some are hungry enough to eat the world. I wanted to eat the universe. Staying in T.Nagar, Chennai, in a small hotel opposite Grand by GRT, there were a lot of options to choose from. So, we got down, chose the green coconut over the yellow one and marched ahead towards Murugan Idli shop that a friend had recommended. I remain puzzled about the yellow one till date, some say it is from…Continue Reading “Murugan Idli Shop, T. Nagar, Chennai”

bharatpur bird sanctuary

This is a time sensitive post, in fact, an urgent one. The season is on till March and if you don’t go by then, you will have to wait another eight or nine months to see the bird mela. We entered the park around twelve in the noon and were at four thirty. In roughly four and half hours and may be going only two miles in, we had spotted more birds than we had expected in a whole trip. Let me count them out…Continue Reading “Trip to Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan”

chaat on mahabalipuram beach

Every part of India has its own chaat. Apart from South India. I had never heard of one, never seen a photo, never seen a chaatwala on the streets, one in Nagpur but he was from UP. So, effectively, no chaats in South India. Until, one evening in Mahabalipuram. On a pitch dark beach when it was difficult to see one’s own hand, we saw a saw a circle of white light in the distance. The light was from a cart that had hanging raw…Continue Reading “Chaat on the beach, Mahabalipuram”

The Tamils are intelligent people. Proud, techies and very passionate. But intelligent. Even when they were uniformly called madrasis, there was a reverential respect for their famed IQs.   They occasionally set themselves on fire when a leader died, or half of the state went hungry when a leader fell ill. But who is perfect! Intelligence does not always lead to reason, but you can’t fight law of averages. It pulls down the best of us.   But then a community is led by its…Continue Reading “Jallikattu, Tamil pride and how to view culture”

ghee unites india

Divided by cultures, united by ghee. When I was young, I was given bowls of ghee to fatten up. Lanky kids are bad brand ambassadors of motherly love and generosity. The early training led to turning me into a ruthless ghee raider by the time I was an adolescent. And, I am from the east. The punjabis love their ghee and makkhan. Kashmir uses ghee as a cooking medium. States in the south have a whole range of ghee dishes, from ghee roasts to dosas…Continue Reading “The crux of Indian culture is ghee”

moonrakers mahabalipuram

Mahabalipuram. It’s a big name. Its other name mamallapuram is as big, just one character less. You can walk through the whole town in less time than it would take to say the name ten times. The legends about the town are so massive that your expectations in terms of scale become a little biased. Anyway the naam bade aur darshan chote town is small but not disappointing. There is enough to see and keep busy for a whole day. The few hotels in the…Continue Reading “Moonrakers, Mahabalipuram”

coconut sprout chennai

Have you ever tasted these? These are coconut sprouts. I don’t know how to grow these. I have seen coconuts fresh of the trees which have these and then there were a few that were plucked and stores and grew sprouts. I am from the coastal belt but have no idea how to cultivate this. Leaving the coconut on the tree until it matures may be the way. The point being if you don’t see it on a cart like I did, I don’t know…Continue Reading “Tasted a coconut sprout?”

kiran bedi in pondicherry

Don’t worry about Kiran Bedi. She alright. The house is massive, there is an awesome park in front of the house. The beach is in walking distance. And, every evening, before the guards close the gates, they have these trumpets that they blow, loud and in rhythm. So, it draws you from far and keeps you standing as you watch the opulence. And, then you realise inside there is a political opportunist who is trying to run down an elected govt, just like her counterpart…Continue Reading “Kiran Bedi is alright.”

There have been a few cheese posts lately. I could write this as a comment but this is not about cheese. This is about cheese and wine and anything that is seen as high brow. I usually stay away from all such posts as my experience with both cheese and wine is like less than 2 years old. Never had too much money or inclination for either and both were paraded as such high trends that people like me stayed out because of reverse-disdain. But…Continue Reading “About wine, cheese and food snobs”