Kitchen of Kamal, Smita and Awadh

It is fascinating to know how various people strayed into the food business. And even more fascinating to figure out that how they were inveigled in and the strength of their bond with the business has little correlation. But I am getting ahead of myself. Gurgaon, also called Millennium City, is a haven for small…

Will the Real Lal Maas Stand Up?

A while ago, the brilliant team behind EatwithIndia invited me to be on the panel of judges for a competition to judge the best lal maas, prepared by 11 different home cooks. The most vociferous on the panel of judges was Hemendra Singh of Bhainsrorgarh, an erstwhile noble state in Mewar. He was the only…

Sadia’s Dehlvi Cuisine

A few years ago, I had been invited to sample a food festival in a hotel. The theme of the festival was the Muslim food of Delhi. The young chef was explaining to a group of us food journalists about each dish as it was brought out. For every question we had, the chef had…

Fish Curries of Peninsular India

All along India’s coastline, the staple diet of the locals is fish curry and rice. But, do you think that it’s a single recipe all the way through? No way. There are many dozens of different preparations, depending on which part of the coast you happen to be. Fish curry makes its appearance during breakfast,…

Gourmet Vegetarian Food: an Oxymoron?

It’s easy enough getting vegetarian options in an Indian restaurant: there’s paneer, dal, vegetables and snacks galore. But, how about vegetarian options in a non-Indian cuisine? That’s a tough one. Some cuisines such as Lebanese and Italian do have interesting vegetarian choices. Others like Chinese lack the basic concept of what vegetarianism is, while still…

Kerala Fish Curries

Last week, within the space of five days, I had tasted close to thirteen fish curries. I’m sure I haven’t plumbed the depths of all the fish curries in God’s Own Country: it is just that time and my appetite conspired against deeper ‘research’ into this fascinating subject. It all started in Radisson Plaza, Kumarakom,…

Home Style Kashmiri Mutton Recipe

Ingredients: Mutton, 1 kg Onion, 1 Garlic, A few cloves (2 cloves garlic per piece of meat) Cinnamon, One small stick Black cardamom, 1 Green cardamom, 2 Clove, 1 Saunf/ Fennel seeds powder Haldi/ Turmeric powder Kashmiri Mirch/ Red Chilli powder (preferably ‘MDH Kashmiri Mirch’) Vegetable of your choice (Peas/ Potato/ Tomato/ Cauliflower) Shahi Zeera…

Coffee and Tea Bars

Many years ago, when Aharnish Mishra and Manideep Chhokra chucked up lucrative jobs in a software company, their plan was simple: they were going to set up a coffee roasting facility. Common enough in the south, it’s virtually unheard of in Delhi. Today, Finca Specialty Coffee supplies freshly roasted beans in a choice of five…

Christmas, Desi Style

Roast turkey, plum pudding, mince pies and Christmas carols may be a part of Christmas in England. And closer home, hotels that advertise their Christmas dinners stick to the traditional roast. But who do they target? In a nutshell, those who don’t celebrate the 25th of December as a religious belief, but want to participate…