Posts

Robust meals and rich flavours abound at Tenali-The Andhra Kitchen

Image
Mashi, who looks after Bono at home in my absence is from a village in Howrah. When she first came into our house six years ago, I noticed she liked her food spicy. Owning a palette that couldn’t take much heat, I kept asking her how she was digesting the red chillies with such ease. “Habit!” she reasoned, adding, “Without the red chillies I feel the food isn’t tasty.” Despite she imploring us to try her cooking, we were wary. Because somehow, I felt that the heat of chillies would mar the delicacy of the other spices. But yesterday, I realised that it takes a deft hand to balance things out. As I tucked into the expansive vegetarian thali (Rs 350) at Tenali – The Andhra Kitchen yesterday afternoon, I will admit that my nose resembled a little spring from the mountains but my tongue was happy with the strong flavours and spices. And of course, I had the curd and the Sabudana Payasam to temper things down.
Tenali Kitchen is not your fancy fine diner. It offers a humble ambience, with …

Plum Food in a Posh Ambiance

Image
When I stepped out of home yesterday for a lunch date at Plum by Bentchair, Lutyen’s Delhi’s new posh dining destination, I was anticipating a quiet experience amidst the colourful interiors with a spread of what the restaurant has termed fusion Asian. I was wrong.

I hadn’t expected it to buzz that way on an afternoon when the city was preparing for Janmashtami Puja in the evening. A steady stream of guests walked in throughout the two hours I was there. I actually was pleasantly surprised by how well foodies have responded to this concept retail restaurant. After a chat with the manager, I realised it was a good decision to choose yesterday. “The tables are completely sold out on weekends,” he said with enormous pride.
Coming to the definition of a retail restaurant, it is where you can purchase as you eat. Not just the victuals. Tables, chairs, consoles, paintings, accessories, home décor collectibles… just about anything that you lay eyes or your behinds on… if you fancy them tha…

Walking into Wok in the Clouds in Connaught Place

Image

Greenr gets a new spin!

Image
I wonder at the resolve of those who turn vegetarian by choice. Even more if they do so after tasting the best meats, fishes, oysters, clams and prawns of the world. Then, what exactly prompts them to give all the goodies up? Is it really easy to stick to a tofu roll when you can smack your lips after wolfing down a juicy tuna burger? Or feel sated with a beetroot and caperberry salad when somewhere beside is working a fork through a grilled corn-fed chicken breast? Won’t you miss the rustic beef bolognaise as you slurp down a vegetarian khao suey? Will the succulent scallop or the lobster sushi roll not beckon you while you deal with an asparagus tempura? Yesterday, a very good vegetarian meal at Greenr Café in Dhanmill Compound quelled the doubts. If the green options are as innovative and diverse, with a thought towards health as well, then who wouldn’t mind choosing that over animal protein (the source of which is perennially under the scanner these days).
Last May while the sun …

Incredible India, served fresh at Fire, The Park this season...

Image
While we almost wilted in the gruelling June heat of Calcutta this time, one morning our house-help of 20 years, shoved a mug of liquid in my hands with a stern, “Drink up. This will cool you down.” The translucent brown liquid had things floating in it. While I apprehensively took a gulp, she affectionately added, “This is kothela.” Surprisingly, the Jigarthanda served at The Park’s Fire yesterday, had kothela too. Almond gum for the uninitiated. And, gond in local parlance. The milky sherbet that was topped with a dollop of caramel ice cream is a popular Madurai drink concocted with almond gum, nannari syrup and milk. On tasting it, I couldn’t help but exclaim, “This is kothela, right! The coolant!” The appreciative nods at the table meant I had been able to connect the dots. How amazing is regional food! Eaten in different kinds of preparations in different states but for similar effects. This is how cultural differences are bridged, I believe. Over unique food that take different…

Abheri --- A Rich Cauldron of Art and Craft

Image
Imagine a giant canvas. Four young women walk towards it. They pick up brushes, pens and other mediums of art and start doodling. They don’t hesitate. It’s about freedom of expression. So, they pour out their thoughts taking from history, hobbies, memories and all that they have been encountering through their growing up years. What do you think will be the end product? A canvas of colour, lines, scribbles… basically a confused vocabulary, right? But Abheri Crafts is anything but befuddling. It is a beautifully constructed conglomeration of Indian colours, textiles, art, craft, history and so much more. A canvas that takes you down memory lane. Through handmade sarees, dupattas, separates and menswear. Abheri is also an instance of how if you put your mind and dedication to it, you can make it happen. A labour of love that bore fruit on Valentine’s day of 2014, it was conceived by three school friends, Rohini Raychaudhuri, Sanjukta Ghosh and Punnya Guha Thakurta. They were joined in by …