Pangot

If you’ve never heard of Pangot, it means, quite simply, that you are not a birder. It’s one of the prime spots in Kumaon for bird watching, where regular sightings of the notoriously shy chir pheasant take place. In addition, Pangot has two added attractions: you’ll find more types of birds here than in any…

Chinese the Indian way

On a recent trip to Beijing, I was intrigued with a vegetarian dish of what appeared to be noodles, but which were made with vegetables mixed with flour. Called Liang Bei Fen Pi, it was composed of pale green noodles lightly steamed and topped with an intensely spicy sauce of coarsely pounded red chillies fried…

The French Farm

Rumour has it that the day of the humble turnip is over. What has appeared in its place is a cornucopia of exotic vegetables which the average Indian farmer would have trouble pronouncing. Bell peppers – red, yellow and purple, mangetout, shitake mushrooms, escarole, endives, celery and baby carrots are all snapped up by executive…

Indian Accent

The Manor in Friends Colony West is buzzing nowadays. Deservedly so: after a long time it has acquired F & B that is worthy of its classy interiors. Indian Accent may be new to the city, but it is the country cousin of Delhi’s Oriental Octopus and Chor Bizarre as well as Tamarai in London.…

Naldhera for Gateway

“Pack your golf clubs and get the hell out of this house. Permanently.” Under normal circumstances, this ranting would constitute very sound grounds for divorce. On the other hand, in the Sud household in Shimla, it was the extremely propitious start to a business that has been lucrative and satisfying. You’ve heard the term golf…

Manali

Foreigners on the luxury coach from Delhi to Manali outnumbered Indians 3:1. That, however, wasn’t the curious part. What was unusual was that all the foreigners appeared to know exactly where they were headed. The Indians, on the other hand, yours truly included, exchanged notes about hotels uncertainly. The first one off the bus was…

Smokehouse Room

In the bright firmament of the restaurant scene in our city, there’s a brand new star and that is Smoke House Room. It sounds like a cliché to claim that it is a never seen before concept, but that really is the case. It is a small dining room – a 40 seater to be…

Old Delhi’s Bakeries

Light as air and as flaky as a snowdrop – that’s fan for you, never mind the curious name. They’re made by traditional bakers in pockets of Old Delhi, almost always by the Muslim community, and tend to be concentrated in Muslim-dominated localities – Kallan Masjid near Turkman Gate, Pahadi Bhojla and Matia Mahal. They…

Bengali Widows’ Cuisine

My best friend Raka has a maternal grandmother who is 96 years old. Today she lies infirm and barely coherent after a lifetime of eating what must rank as an extremely Spartan diet. The sheer wonder of it is that it was not economics that imposed the diet: it was a mixture of societal expectations…

Chaobella

Given Delhi’s predilection for Italian and Chinese food, it was only a matter of time that someone opened up a single restaurant serving both cuisines. The brand new Crowne Plaza Today Okhla (not to be confused with the similar sounding hotel in New Friends Colony) has done just that. Chao is the Chinese half of…