The Chowk, Gurgaon

The Chowk is among MGF Mall’s latest crop of eateries, many of the original ones having faded away into oblivion, but then, that is the malaise that affects all of Gurgaon. This restaurant is reportedly a branch of Khaaja Chowk, in another mall down the same road. This avatar has none of the exuberance of…

West Delhi’s Delights

Am I alone in thinking of West Delhi as a gastronomic treasure trove? I’ll happily by-pass Chandni Chowk and its culinary offerings for a day of roaming the area that lies between Karol Bagh and Rajouri Garden. Here’s where you’ll find dhaba owners who are virtually unknown in all but the neighbouring localities. Take Sindhi…

The Fabled Kashmiri Wazwan

What makes the Kashmiri wazwan the culinary masterpiece that it is? There are several answers. The first one is that it is only in the cool climes of the Valley that you can eat around a kilo of lamb over a dozen courses and actually enjoy it. Then too, it is fiendishly difficult to replicate…

The Mystique of Saffron in Kashmir

Kashmir is the only place In India and one of the few places in the world where saffron, the world’s most expensive spice, grows; to be more specific, it grows only on the plateau land of Pampore, just outside Srinagar. Saffron is not grown on any of the other fertile alluvial plateaus of Kashmir, and the people of Pampore…

Chef Suman Kaul

Trust ITC Hotels to be on top of the game. This hotel chain has always been at the forefront of hiring chefs, researchers and caterers that few others in the hotel industry would have considered, but who have gone on to become pillars in the group’s quest for excellence in Food and Beverage. One example…

Memories of Restaurants

It was our final evening in Tunisia. All twelve of us had met for the third time; we were fated to meet a few times more – food writers from all over the world, who would collect in a different country once a year at olive harvest time. All of us – from the US,…

Leela’s Latin Fiesta

When the organizers of India Fiesta Latina got in touch with Leela Ambience Gurgaon for a venue for their salsa performances and workshops, Chef Ramon Alvarez of the hotel pricked up his ears. Alvarez is from Spain (Barcelona, in fact, and he’s done a stint at El Bulli but that’s another story) and his wife…

Coffee: Ways to Brew It

Unless you live in south India, where coffee is grown, it’s a nightmare getting a decent cup. It shouldn’t be, because India grows plenty of coffee, of which, three are specialty coffees: Monsoon Malabar, Mysore Nugget Extra Bold (MNEB) and Robusta Kapi Royal. OK, so you’ve heard the age old argument that arabicas are inherently…

Pakistani Passion

Every hotel vies with its competitors to host the most innovative food festival. There are a couple of variables. Though the cuisine has to be bold and novel – and of course memorable – it also has to appeal to the taste-buds of the public and be as popular as possible. There are a few…

Galauti versus Kakori

Most red meat eaters thrive on the texture of the stuff. So it is inexplicable that Lucknow’s gourmets have invented kebabs so soft that they could give a vegetable a complex. The galauti and the kakori have both originated in Lucknow. In my ignorance, I thought that they were both largely the same, until a…