Choko La

I’m going to resist the temptation to write (yet again) about Choko la’s pastries, chocolates and chocolate drinks. They’re not only the best in the city, the chocolate drinks are more or less unique. However, I’ve always had a problem with the food that both branches of Choko la served – to me, the food…

Zaffran Biryani

I’m quite fond of the eclectic mix of restaurants that form the Kasbah complex in New Delhi’s Greater Kailash, but it is usually Café de Paris that I head for. This time, however, I was warned by fellow foodies not to miss the biryani festival taking place at Zaffran, their North Indian restaurant. Presided over…

Drift

Drift at Gurgaon’s Epicenter is several notches up from Habitat Centre. Both are run by the same person, yet Drift has an evolved modern European menu featuring duck, sea bass and salmon, all of which are notable by their absence at IHC’s outlets. What remains the same is the cultured, arty crowd; before long, Drift…

Chicken Plaza

Don’t go looking for a gourmet treat. At Rs 100 per head, on a Daryaganj pavement just under the overhead footpath, Chicken Plaza won’t give you a five star meal, but you will have a surprisingly tasty snack at laughably low prices. Chicken Plaza is right by a tiny mosque, which makes it less than…

Journey of Spices

Occasionally, you come across a restaurant that has not a trace of spark in it, yet manages to rake in the crowds. Journey of Spices in Noida’s popular Sector 18 market is such a place. Scan the menu for something approaching novelty or for some sign that the management is trying to stand up and…

Lemon Curd Tarts

Sometimes it is the simplest things in life which are the hardest to do. Lemon tarts are, on the face of it, not rocket science. You stir butter, sugar, lemon juice and grated zest and a beaten egg over a double boiler and add the result to short crust pastry baked in a pie tin.…

Viva Goa

The next time you’re in Goa, if you want to stir up hornet’s nest, try asking a group of house wives for the exact recipe of Goan fish curry. You’ll have a riot on your hands in no time at all. The exact details of the recipe may elude you — whether the gherkin-like bimbli,…

The Truth about Aphrodisiacs

There’s a nifty saying in Kashmiri that goes, “Pir chun’e bod; yakin chu bod” which translates as “It’s not the doctor who is great; its your belief in him that does the trick”. Two aspects strike me insofar as aphrodisiac foods go. The first is that the Kashmiris would appear to be right after all.…

The Uncomplicated Flavours of Kumaon

“Chop off the head of the goat and with the animal’s feet tied, hang it over an open coal fire till you can easily skin it.” That is the first step in preparing the Kumaoni classic, kachpak. I spent last weekend at Bhimtal’s Fisherman’s Lodge, being educated in the intricacies of local cooking. Many of…