Living in a city where power fluctuations disrupt every aspect of your life [generator only fuels basics like fan and lights], and finding yourself unable to use the oven or a blender – has certainly forced me to rethink how I cook. I bake less often, make simple stovetop recipes, and minimize the use of any… Continue reading Stovetop Portobello Mushroom Pizza
I’ll be singing praise of Om Made Cafe in Bangalore, until the day I leave India.
The first time I came here, my friends and I sat and ate for 5 hours, without so much as getting a dirty look from the owners. The second time, I came with my partner, and had a relaxed mid-day lunch. The third time…you get the picture.
I rarely travel just for a few days, and that too without an agenda. But in March, I decided to take an impromptu weekend trip to Columbo. No, I didn’t need time away from #chennai. No, I didn’t need a break from work. No, there was no special occasion.
The real reason is that I needed to get a tan and enjoy time on the beach, in a bathing suit, without being gawked at. Life in Chennai was making me pale and pasty, I was loosing too much weight and starting to look even more non-Indian.
Colombo was the perfect destination – close to home, but far enough away…and you get a stamp and sticker in your passport. The beaches are clean[ish], the humans are very friends, the roads are wide and – Colombo [unexpectedly] is a foodie’s paradise.
I wish I could report on sightseeing or deep sea diving, but the only thing I can talk about from these 3 days is swimming and eating. When the only decision you need to make is pool first or ocean, life is truly amazing. And all the time in the water just makes you hungry. With two good eating companions at my side – we explored a number of joints in Colombo / Mt. Lavinia. Some standout places that I will recommend in a heartbeat – Ministry of Crab [go late afternoon and you’ll get a seat easy-peasy], La Viole Blanche [amazing cocktails], Shore by O [lovely views, breeze and fusion fare] and Buba [best seafood platter, 5 feet away from the water].
On my next visit to this lovely island nation, I aim to see more sights, but for now – I just leave you with delicious memories!
I’ve always been a huge fan of South Indian food, and often go out of the way to find it. In the U.S., most Indian food takes the form of oily gravy dishes served with huge naans. You could call this Mughalai cuisine, but all it does is induce tummy aches. Sadly, there are days that you just have to gorge at greasy desi buffets and stuff your face with too-red tandoori chicken, manchurian and rogan ghost.
Ever so often, a dosa joint opens and I spend weeks convincing (read-begging) friends to come with me.
But upon my triumphant return to the motherland (i.e. India), and in particular, Chennai – I’ve done away with convincing, searching, and needlessly dreaming about South Indian food – especially fluffy, melty Idlis.
Although there is no dearth of options, and I do eat roadside ₹10 ildlis with scary regularity, my favourite in this city is definitely the Murugan Idli Shop. Why? Well, aside from having a desirable texture, it’s the only place you can peacefully eat one idli at a time. Without having your idli drowned I sambar or chutney. Or if gluttony strikes (and it usually does), you can eat dosas, vadas, puri, pongal and other dishes I can’t spell.
And after writing this post, all I can do is walk myself to the idli shop and chow down!
There are some foods that signal spring/summer weather, and for me, beets are one of those. Of all the types of beets that one could buy – chioggia beets are the best. Why? besides being sugary sweet, they are also the prettiest and look gorgeous in salads. The marinated beet salad pictured on the left… Continue reading Beet Salads and Summer