What’s Cooking in Kashmir

There is a wedding in the family, and all day long the courtyard is the scene of activity. A party of professional male cooks spread themselves out under a colourful canopy. The head cook cuts up a whole sheep with a set of wicked looking knives. Nearby, a log fire is being lighted, and an…

The Continuity of Indian Crafts

While shopping around for apparel or household accessories in India, the last thing on your mind is promoting the craft traditions of the country. But, incredibly enough, that’s exactly what you’re doing ! Just as Indian culture has the supreme ability to adapt itself to a succession of alien Influences over the millennia, so also…

What’s Cooking in Kerala

With 360 miles of coastline and over a thousand miles of backwaters, Kerala is something of a paradise for seafood aficionados. There are reminders everywhere: Rows of giant Chinese fishing nets are poised at the edge of the water near the port of Kochi and fishing boats with foamy piles of drying nets idle at…

Kebabs: Meaty Morsels

Growing up in Hyderabad in the ’seventies, Begum Kulsum would always look forward to weddings. That was when the making of the mo’alla kebab took place. “It was around five feet in diametre and took several kebabchis to prepare. Filled with biryani, the trick was to work dexterously with the sheer quantity of ingredients, specially…

The Cachet of Chocolate

When Andreas Roesing, Pastry Chef of the Grand Hyatt Delhi, visited friends in the French town of Tain-l’Hermitage, his chief memory was the all-pervasive aroma of chocolate in the air. “Every time we’d open the door, it would envelope us. I can hardly remember anything else from that trip.” Chef Roesing may have been visiting…

The Sim-ple Things in Life

I’ve always wondered exactly what an expatriate chef de cuisine does in his kitchen. Does he himself cook? Really? Every order? And here we are talking about 200 orders per day, so is it humanly possible? Or does he stand languidly by, rapping the occasional knuckle, while his beleagured team sweats it out at the…

Taiwan

About as large as Sri Lanka, this island is one of Asia’s easternmost outposts, wedged in between China to the west, Japan in the north and the Philippines in the south. Taiwan may be best known for its computer peripherals industry, but it’s a largely undiscovered gem for those who are looking for somewhere off…

Yellow Brick Road

When it came into existence some ten years ago, it became a sort of cult to be seen there. In the intervening years, Yellow Brick Road at the Ambassador Hotel has acquired a few more layers insofar as cuisine goes. Its sunny yellow interiors have worn well, and it still looks as fresh and chirpy…

The Ancient Art of Kebabs

Most people read the Mahabharata for ancient wisdom. When Salma Hussain reads the age-old text, she uncovers recipes for kebabs. Kunduazizi, according to her research, is a kebab which predates the Mughal period by millennia. Its recipe? The meat of a fowl, citrus fruit for marinade, crushed black pepper for seasoning, and spit grilling as…