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…

Bangal versus Ghoti

“When I tasted my best friend’s mother’s fish curry, it had tamarind in it. I was so horrified by a fish preparation that was sour that I had to wrestle with my better self not to spit it out”. That was my neighbour Sweta talking about her class-mate. The surprising thing is that both Sweta…

Five Food Trends in 2014

Go to Cyber Hub in Gurgaon, walk down the Singapore look-alike walkway with restaurants and cafes on either side, settle down in Sodabottleopenerwala for a Berry Pulao and Tamota Papeta Per Eeda (eggs poached on a bed of tomato and potato). You will have experienced two of the strongest food trends of 2014. The first…

Fat Guyy

The genial patissier, Chef Nitin Upadhyay, was always pleasantly plump and when he thought of opening his very own patisserie, the obvious name he thought of was Fat Guyy. It does call to mind a roly-poly baker, surrounded by couverture, croissants and cookies all wafting delicious fragrances from the oven. However, so stressful was the…

The Story Behind Hainanese Chicken Rice

On a recent trip to Singapore, I made my way to the Mecca of Hainanese Chicken Rice: Purvis Street. Right by the uber fashionable Bugis Junction, no more striking contrast can be found. Purvis Street has started the inexorable change towards modernization, but when I first visited Singapore in 2002, it was an old-fashioned double…

Afghanistan: On the Crossroads of Cuisine

Afghani restaurants abound in pockets of Delhi. They tend to occupy very specific locations like Bhogal, Jangpura, Lajpat Nagar on one axis, and the lane opposite Max Hospital, Saket on another. They are family eateries that offer a small variety of kebabs, a couple of biryanis and mantu: a momo-like preparation that is doused in…