Spices from Jammu & Kashmir

Think Kashmiri spices and you will automatically be reminded of saffron, that most expensive spice that grows nowhere else in India except the Valley. However, on my annual pilgrimage – or would it be more (politically) correct to call it Hajj? – I came across facts that I had never suspected before For instance, in…

Smokey’s

Barbecue Grills What used to be Smokehouse Grill is now Smokeys Delhi was crying out for a New York style barbecue place. At last, we’ve been given Smokeys You know those dark, all wood, masculine interiors that you see in the movies? Well, they’ve been recreated here in GK 2 now. Retro music, a superbly…

Purani Dilli

It is not as well-known outside the immediate locality as, say, Karim’s is, but Purani Dilli is headed for its place in the sun. No artificial flavourings (like kewra or screw pine), no lashings of pure ghee. Just no-fuss surroundings in the heart of South Delhi, good biryani and down to earth prices. You’ll have…

Hauz Khas Village in the 1990s

Delhi’s foodies are keeping their fingers — and palates — crossed that the trickle turns into a flood before long.Restaurants are opening at the rate of one a week. Most of these are of the stand-alone sort. Of these, Food Heritage in Hauz Khas Village is the brainchild of three young people. Sheemita Saxena’s first love may be sculpting,…

Carnatic Cafe

The only known Karnataka restaurant serving home-style food of the Brahmin community. it is in the homely market that used to be Grandlay Cinema. Brick flooring, an open kitchen, cooks from villages in South Karnataka, prices so low as to be laughable and an owner who is in his restaurant from morning to night, going…

Sushi ~ the Culinary Haiku

A few decades from now, they’ll probably be asking a riddle: what started in China, became popular in Japan, was expounded in California and became a hysterically frenzied cult in New Delhi? The answer, as anyone who has visited the capital in the last decade knows, is sushi. The Chinese character was first found in…

Karavan

Atop a flight of stairs from behind the Defence Colony market is a curious little restaurant. It’s a radical departure from the plush, impersonal eateries that typify those in this market. This one is run by the owner and her family: they take orders, clear plates, set tables and work in the kitchen. Not surprisingly,…

Give us today our daily tchot

It never fails to amaze me how Kashmiri wazwan has percolated the consciousness of every foodie in the country, yet how few know anything at all about Kashmiri bread. At the most basic level, there are three types of bread that are eaten morning and evening: tchot, lavas and tchachvoru. All are made with wheat…

Kitchens all over the world

Think that commercial kitchens around the world do nothing but churn out food? Imagine that all chefs think and behave in the same fashion? Some of my chef friends reminisce about kitchens on the other side of the globe. When Chef Ravitej Nath, Executive Chef of Trident Gurgaon went to Hilton Beijing for an Indian…

The Birth of Diva Kitsch

Ritu Dalmia, the feisty lady behind the Diva brand in Delhi, turned 40 a few months ago. Besides the frenetic juggling that she does, between writing cookbooks, managing a fine-dining Italian restaurant and five cafes across Delhi, catering for top parties in Delhi, Mumbai, Thailand and Italy travelling across the globe like a restless ghost…