The Origins of the Wazwan

Walk around in the Old City of Srinagar and if you are lucky, you might hear the strains of wanvun – a rhythmic tune sung by a group of women. Listen closely. You just may hear the rhythmic thwack of wood hitting meat. It’s a sure sign that there’s a wedding being held in the…

A Blast from Bali

“With the advent of Coca Cola into Indonesia, the entire population began calling it Chocha Chola” chortled my guide in Bali a few years ago. In Bahasa, the national language of Indonesia that has 8844 named islands and over 10,000 more that have not been dignified with a name, the letter C is pronounced as…

Chef Raymond Sim

The infamous cuisine known variously as Indian-Chinese or Sino-Ludhianvi is not alone in the world. It is but part of a continuum that extends all over the world, except in China itself. Chinese cuisine is not only the most popular choice worldwide, but has the inbuilt capacity to adapt itself to local tastes. Don’t believe…

Chef Raymond Sim – Crab Tales

It´s the norm that most hotels have expatriate chefs that arrive on two-year contracts. Some contracts are renewed once, which means that the chef stays with the hotel for four years. So, what would you say about a chef who has been with one hotel for an astonishing 15 years? That chef is Raymond Sim…

100 years of Restaurating in Delhi

It was the year of the Great Darbar, 1911. A young man from the outskirts of Delhi thought he spied an opportunity to earn a living. He moored a push-cart near Gate Number One of the Jama Masjid, and served dal as well as meat and potatoes with freshly made rotis. Business boomed: he was,…

Manish Mehrotra goes to Tel Aviv

Mustard oil Haakh Jaggery Banarasi aloo papad Sabudana papad Kolhapuri masala Whole aamchur Any guesses what these ingredients could be doing in Chef Manish Mehrotra’s diminutive office at Indian Accent? They’re getting ready to be shipped to Tel Aviv where Mehrotra is getting set to participate in a food festival. As festivals go, this one…

The Austerity of Maharashtrian Food

Don’t underestimate Chef Prakash Pawaskar of Trident, Nariman Point, Mumbai. In the outwardly unassuming Executive Sous Chef lurks a connoisseur of the cuisine of Maharashtra in all its Spartan glory. Pawaskar’s links with the food of his home state go back to the time of Shivaji as a matter of fact: his father-in-law, from the…

Rice

I’s a fair bet that more rice gets eaten in South East Asia and the Indian sub-continent than anywhere else in the world. The interesting thing is to note not how much is eaten as how it is eaten. McDonald’s have famously added a rice burger to their menu in Japan, which tells you not…