The Ancient Art of Kebabs

Most people read the Mahabharata for ancient wisdom. When Salma Hussain reads the age-old text, she uncovers recipes for kebabs. Kunduazizi, according to her research, is a kebab which predates the Mughal period by millennia. Its recipe? The meat of a fowl, citrus fruit for marinade, crushed black pepper for seasoning, and spit grilling as…

The Elite Club of Chefs des Chefs

In the days before Google burst upon the scene, I used to have a Dutch friend who was the second violinist in the National Philharmonic Orchestra in The Hague. He once recounted a hilarious story of an elderly Russian conductor who came to conduct a concert with the Dutch orchestra and needed to rehearse for…

The Origins of the Wazwan

Walk around in the Old City of Srinagar and if you are lucky, you might hear the strains of wanvun – a rhythmic tune sung by a group of women. Listen closely. You just may hear the rhythmic thwack of wood hitting meat. It’s a sure sign that there’s a wedding being held in the…

A Blast from Bali

“With the advent of Coca Cola into Indonesia, the entire population began calling it Chocha Chola” chortled my guide in Bali a few years ago. In Bahasa, the national language of Indonesia that has 8844 named islands and over 10,000 more that have not been dignified with a name, the letter C is pronounced as…

Chef Raymond Sim

The infamous cuisine known variously as Indian-Chinese or Sino-Ludhianvi is not alone in the world. It is but part of a continuum that extends all over the world, except in China itself. Chinese cuisine is not only the most popular choice worldwide, but has the inbuilt capacity to adapt itself to local tastes. Don’t believe…

Chef Raymond Sim – Crab Tales

It´s the norm that most hotels have expatriate chefs that arrive on two-year contracts. Some contracts are renewed once, which means that the chef stays with the hotel for four years. So, what would you say about a chef who has been with one hotel for an astonishing 15 years? That chef is Raymond Sim…