The Ivy Comes to India

Marketing pundits who think they’ve cracked the code of consumer preferences throughout the length and breadth of the country, may just be in for a surprise. Alan Bird may not be a marketing pundit, nor The Ivy, Covent Garden, London, a marketing research organization, but during his ten day stint in India, there’s a lot…

Goan Wild at the Table

It was hot and overcrowded in the Friday market at Mapusa. On tiny squares of gunny sacks that lined the pavements and roads, hundreds of village ladies had staked out their space to sell a bewildering assortment of vegetables, fruits, sausages and cooking ingredients. In the midst of it all were spice sellers whose cinnamon…

A Mangoey Competition

What do shrikhand, kulfi and tomato chutney have in common? They all use mangoes as a flavouring agent – in the first two, ripe mangoes are the predominant flavour; in the third, raw mango dice perk up the sourness of the tomato. India’s best loved fruit finds expression in a surprising variety of ways, but…

Kashmiri Chutneys

Visit any Kashmiri banquet, and you’ll be proudly told by the host that no fewer than 30 dishes are being served. Just try to put down half that number of dishes at a single sitting and you’ll know that it’s impossible to stuff yourself after a point. Yet, the hosts aren’t lying, so what’s the…

The Breakfast Story

Six years ago, when Eggspectation opened its doors in New Delhi’s Vasant Continental, not only did the name not ring a bell with customers (it is a franchised operation, whose parent company is in Canada), people sniggered at the very idea of eggs cooked in dozens of ways. Three years is a long time in…

Chef Mohd Irfan in the kitchen

When Chef Irfan told his Lucknow-based parents that he wanted to join hotel school, they were happy enough. But when he decided to specialize in kitchen rather than front office or food and beverage service, his businessman father couldn’t understand it. “In our khandaan, we call cooks to our house to tickle our palates; nobody…

Aish

There are not too many restaurants dedicated to Hyderabadi food anywhere in the country, and even fewer that are dedicated to royal Hyderabadi cuisine, which is so painstaking that it was more or less fated to wither into oblivion. All that remains in the city of its birth is a motley collection of unpretentious eateries…

Extra Virgin Territory

The first trip I ever made to the olive growing world was to Andalusia in Southern Spain around five years ago. It was an eye opener. Along with 11 other media people from Canada, USA, Russia, Serbia, China and India, I visited olive groves, travelled through Andalusia’s trademark low hills covered with neat rows of…

Chef Keisuke Uno

This young man, still unmarried, has sixteen years of experience in cooking. He passed out from cooking school in Osaka where he was required to study Japanese, European and Chinese food for one year, before specializing in one area. Uno decided to specialize in Japanese, French and – hold your breath! – vacuum packed food.…