A Royal Repast

A decade ago, a publisher had contacted me. He wanted to do a book of recipes from a sprinkling of royal households. I raided my address book and those of my friends, to come up with names of princely states and small heritage homes who would part with a few recipes. Or, at the very least,…

Begum Kulsum – One for the Road

Once upon a time there lived a king and his prime minister. Each had a slew of palaces in the city where they lived, one more fairytale than the other. Cars, retinues of helpers, suitcases of fabulous gems – they had them all. Even when the privy purses were abolished, they lived happily ever after.…

The A to Z of Punjab Grill

In the universe of the food and beverage world, you will see several restaurant models that keep playing out, over and over again. One is the family-owned restaurant where the colour scheme has not been changed since the ‘80s. The other is the modern bar that opens in January and has shut in November, after…

Militancy’s Child

Fear and other emotions are alien to a generation of Kashmiri youth who grew up under the shadow of militancy..   In 1991, when militancy was at its peak, Omar Jan was three years old. It was the year I got married and travelled to Kashmir as a bride. Before that, my visits to Kashmir had…

Witches’ Brew

Jancis Robinson, the well-known wine writer, and Silverio Cineri, master chef from Italy, occupy two ends of the spectrum of food and beverage. But last week, both found themselves in New Delhi. While Robinson, on a private visit to the Capital, was co-opted by The Oberoi to hold a wine workshop for the staff, Cineri…

Family Feasting and Fasting

DELHI’S FIRST FAMILY OF MUGHLAI CUISINE, THE OWNERS OF KARIM’S, HAVE TRADITIONAL TASTES AT HOME AND AT WORK The building in a narrow, sunless alley just off he imposing bulk of the Jama Masjid is just like any other in the neighbourhood. There’s nothing — absolutely nothing — to mark it as one of the…

The Family Pot

Lucknow’s Qureshi family were butchers who have evolved into the country’s finest chefs The rise of north India’s first family of food can be traced to one man alone: master chef Imtiaz Qureshi of Dum Pukht, the signature restaurant at Maurya Sheraton Hotel and Towers in New Delhi. Chef Imtiaz started his career in the…