Tag Archives: Food

Food Encounters Of The Third Kind

Mum has left town this week so it’s time to play house-house again. I know what you’re thinking – how hard is it for a grown woman to manage a house? It’s not. What is difficult for a grown woman to manage, is another woman’s kitchen. Yes. We may share a living space. But when it comes to the culinary castle, my mother treats it like her personal kingdom and guards it jealously.

It is wonderfully convenient for me that she is such a good cook. So it really doesn’t hurt me too much to throw up my hands and concede the throne of Kitchendom to her. The trouble comes, when she has to travel for a few days. Unlike cupboards, study tables and bookshelves that can be locked away (What, you’re laughing at locking away a bookshelf? You must have never been a booklover then.), the food supply chain has to keep running. What to do?

In the early years, I shouldered the mantle of Temporary Kitchen Monarch. Naivete never had a better victim. All hell broke loose when I attempted to make a dum aloo, as a welcome-home, the day mother was to return. This being before the advent of Wikipedia and Google, I used a more primitive form of information gathering. I called my best friend’s mother. The recipe she gave me sounded simple enough. I was really quite proud with what turned out a few hours later.

Mother walked into the house. Stopped. Sniffed. Eyes bored into me accusing.


That incident has stayed a sore point with us since then and will probably go down in family lore. I deduced that she was smelling the garam masala (made from scratch using *I promise* vegetarian ingredients only). But maybe my Goan auntie’s recipe smelt like our Goan neighbor’s fish fry. Mother refused to touch a bite of the dum aloo. I protested, telling her that I had used ingredients from that very kitchen. I think she has never forgiven me for managing to turn out ‘non-vegetarian’ food from her very vegetarian ingredients.

Well, time to go. It’s been over 24 hours since mum left and the leftovers are nearly over. Weekend promises food encounters of the third kind. I better get my armour and shields ready. TO BATTLE, WOMAN!


Digital Kitchen

* Also served at Plain Salted.

Rooh Afza popsicle

….or pepsi-cola as we called it when I was a kid. Delighted that we could make it at home and not have to rely on the whimsical mercies of the adults. Competing to see whose popsicle came out solid and whose was like mush (ice-halwa, still delicious to eat and which we’d shell out 20 bucks for later in college when it was sold as ‘slush’).

I’ve been checking the fridge every hour since last night. (I can hear adult voices from my childhood shouting at me to stop playing in the kitchen). And then, this morning, I took out a slice of my childhood summers.

* Also served at Plain Salted.

A Perfect Sunday Luncheon

In this time of overpriced rubbish, rude staff and unpalatable servings, Irish Pub comes as a delightful change.This is my perfect Sunday afternoon lunch:

They don’t add Service Charge to the bill, which in my mind, is a sign of the classiness of the restaurant. And here’s a little touch of 🙂 on the bill:

* Also served at Plain Salted.

A Mouthful Of Heaven

Crisp, crunchy puri made of maida, not sooji.
Thick, clotted tamarind-date chutney, sweet and sour both at once.
Chilled, green, spicy mint water
A handful of mashed potatoes, boiled watana & white chana.

I could die happy.

* Also served at Plain Salted.

Bubble Blog

Look at what I spotted inside Sterling’s ground floor food court:

It turns out that ‘bubble blogs’ are those round, chewy, glassy things inside the cup. Imagine that! 🙂

* Cross posted to Plain Salted.

Weekend With…


* Also served at Plain Salted.

Wannabe Activities That Masquerade As Hobbies

One of the prevelant traits of urbanisation is the upsurge of wannabe behaviour & attitudes. Wannabes are people who do and say things for the sole purpose of fitting in or seeming cool. While I have no problem with the activities or the words themselves, the obvious fakeness of their endeavors really gets my goat.

  • Food – Only the most basic need of every living creature. What makes this one suspect is that the average ‘foodie’s taste doesn’t go beyond mummy’s food, perennial streetfood favorites like panipuri & unanimously popular restaurants. Everyone enjoys a good biryani, panipuri, steak or pasta. What sets you apart from the entire human race?
  • Travel– I still can’t understand what makes people count this as a hobby. Travel means going to a different place. If it’s not on work, it means you’re on a vacation. Find me one person who doesn’t enjoy that. Again, what sets you apart from every schoolkid, corporate

    whore, ratrace junkie?

  • Holding a DSLR Camera

    Image via Wikipedia

    Photography – This one is misleading. On the surface of it, it looks & sounds like a real hobby and an artistic one at that. Indeed, a decade ago, it would have been considered a respectable interest to have. But in this day & age of digicams, phone cameras and point-and-shoots which you can all but have sex with….what’s that mammoth clicker for, but to show off? What gets me is when people pull out foot-long lenses to photograph a plate of food right in front of them. Weren’t those created to be able to shoot dangerous animals in their habitat, in the perfectly civil role of a wildlife enthusiast?

  • Cause Crusading– Animal rights. Corruption. Energy saving. Endangered species. Clicking ‘Like’ on a Facebook Page called ‘Let’s vote for (whatever cause)’ does not further the cause. Forwarding an SMS about said cause to everyone in your address book is spam, not crusading. Wearing a tee-shirt with a cause-ey byline helps fund the marketer’s brand, not aid a cause. If you really care about the cause, give something of yourself, starting with time spent finding out exactly what you’re campaigning and what the problem is. I don’t think half the people who wore Gandhi hats & liked/forward the Anna Hazare campaign even knew what Lokpal was.

I call this ‘The Glee Club of Hobbies’. You don’t have to have a talent or skill. You don’t need to know much about anything. And you don’t even need to spend the kind of time & energy that it takes to familiarize & become good at most other hobbies. These are things that everybody does.

I’m just mystified by why they’re suddenly cool. Everywhere around me, I see & hear people talking about one of these as their passions. These get put on resumes, listed on Twitter profiles & linked to on Facebook.

I suspect it’s just the pressure to show that one has a meaningful, full life, complete with hobbies that absorb & enrich one. Gah, wannabedom, your worshippers will even fake what gets them off.

Ideamarked Nov2011: Window Gardens, Bookstores, PS3 & Kolaveri Di

I’ve always loved November. Diwali festivities, vacations to look forward to…as I’ve gotten older, I find the end of the year packing up. The weather is crisper, even in hot & humid Mumbai. Everyone starts to let their hair down and spends more time thinking about parties, picnics & get-togethers than work. The world takes a break next month & November is all about the planning and anticipation of just that.

It’s been a packed and enjoyable November for me. I attended the NH7 festival in Pune, in its second year. A story on women bloggers featured me in a prominent way. For the few of you who remember my long-winded adventure with NovelRace, I finally managed to complete it! Whether this ever comes out or not, I can now die happy knowing that I did write a full novel. 🙂

On that cheery note, here’s this month’s links. As you can see, there was a lot of link-love going around too!

  • DewarsIndia’s channel features music travelogues across India. (on Youtube, link courtesy Sangita Bhargavi)
  • Simi’s new show: India’s most botoxed, banal & brainless‘: Of course, I agree. (via FirstPost, link courtesy Lakshmi Shesadri)
  • MasterChef India: Guaranteed to cure you of any desire to cook‘: Sadly, I’m having to agree. MasterChef India has a long way to go before it can be in the same league as MasterChef Australia. (via FirstPost)
  • Window gardening for the urban-dweller longing for a touch of green – ‘Growing Organic Fruits & Vegetables at Home‘ (via Earthoholics, link courtesy Vishal Gadkari)
  • ‘Worklish’ is a way to cover up how much one doesn’t know. They why is it that we who don’t speak it, are left out in the cold?: ‘Buzzwords at office driving you crazy? 6 ways to cope‘ (via Huffington Post)
  • If your interest in astrology, tarot, dream interpretation & the predictive arts extends beyond mere curiosity, you should definitely visit Magick. The store  is currently looking for fulltime apprentices to initiate into the Wicca tradition. (via Swati Prakash)
  • If you ever wondered why the people you follow, don’t follow you back, here are some possible answers: ‘The Top 10 Reasons I Will Not Follow You On Twitter‘ (via Mashable)
  • Reviews, recipes and workshops, you have to stop by Tulleeho if you have a love of the drink.
  • India as the Indians see it – non PC humour (on Facebook, link courtesy Shweta Madan)
  • ‘5 Tips To Help You Decide How Much Of You Should Show Up On The Blog‘ (via SharingWithWriters)
  • Hail the motherland of idlis, software dreams & kitschy Kollywood songs! This month’s music craze – Kolaveri Di (via Youtube)
  • A 5-yr old post that’ll still interest Mumbai’s booklovers: ‘A Bibliophile’s Guide To Mumbai‘ (via The Idea-smithy)
  • A lovely gift from blogger to blogger – ‘It’s Not Just A Car‘ 55 word story by Manuscrypts!
  • Kitab Khana, a bookstore recommendation courtesy Anuradha Shankar.
  • A little thought on liking and love (via Slices of Time, link courtesy Rehab Chougle)
  • MICHEAL: PS3 Long Live Play‘: A fun advertisement for gamers (via Youtube, link courtesy Ashwini Mishra)

* Catch these links as they happen on The Idea-smithy Facebook Page. You can also post an interesting link of your own to the page and get featured on the Ideamarked post at the end of the month!

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