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…

Tantalizing those taste buds

Never did I imagine that I’d ever equate Mexican food with the cuisine of Pakistan, but in the last fortnight, that’s exactly what happened. Taj Hotel invited me to a Mexican food festival where celebrity chef cum TV food show hostess cum restaurateur Monica Patiño was showcasing the food of her country. (Today is the…

Singapore’s Peranakan Connection

Are the Peranakans more Malayan or more Chinese? The jury’s still out on that one, but first things first: who exactly are they? They’re the offspring of the marriages between Chinese men and Malay women that took place mostly in 18th century Singapore, as Chinese settlers – traders, workers and merchants – arrived from all…