Discussing ‘The Power Of You’ With Anaida, At SodaBottleOpenerWala

Last weekend, I was invited to be a part of a workshop titled ‘The Power Of You’ at the famed Parsi eatery SodaBottleOpenerWala, on Lavelle Road. The workshop promised to touch upon things spiritual and emotional, including the healing power of food, how to choose the right ingredients for your food, and how to be the best version of yourself. The person conducting the workshop was none other than Anaida Parvaneh, pop star of the 1990s, a highly unlikely suspect for such a thing.

Read all about my experience at the workshop, just in on my photo blog!

Dahi Kela| Sweet Yogurt And Banana No-Cook Recipe

Dahi kela is a very easy thing to put together, a task that needs barely 5 minutes. This sweet yogurt and banana dish makes for a lovely accompaniment with rotis and parathas, a saviour on days when you do not have anything else to serve them with or when you are too lazy or tired to whip up something else. It can be a dessert, too, if you so please. What’s more, this is a healthier alternative to many oily, masala-laden side dishes. And, like I said earlier, it requires absolutely zero cooking. Do you need any more incentive to try this dish out? 🙂

Check out the recipe for this beautiful confection, just in on my photo blog!

Sago Fritters, 3 Ways| Healthy No-Fry Sabudana Vada

I’m so thrilled to be associated with this amazing group of food bloggers, as part of something that is called the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. These ladies decide upon a theme every week, cook something based on that theme, and each one posts her dish on her blog the coming Monday!

The theme for this week’s Foodie Blog Hop is ‘vrat ka khaana‘ or ‘food that you can eat while fasting’. For this week’s blog hop, I decided to post about a fasting food that my family and I love having at any time – Sago fritters aka sabudana vada. Here, I have included three different ways to prepare sabudana vada.

Do check out my detailed post, on my photo blog!


Elotes| Mexican Street-Style Corn On The Cob

Grilled corn on the cob, coated with a creamy sauce, drizzled with lemon juice and red chilli powder, sometimes decked up with coriander, and served with a dash of grated cheese on top are, apparently, a popular street food in Mexico. Street-side carts do a brisk business of selling this corn on the cob, locally called ‘Elotes’.
Check out my version of Elotes or Mexican street-style corn on the cob! 🙂

Just Read

The Lost Ravioli Recipes Of Hoboken: A Search For Food And Family – Laura Schenone

Genre: Food, Food memoir, Real life, Non-fiction, Memoir

This is a book that I coveted for a long, long, long time, and got as a surprise birthday gift from the husband, a couple of years ago. I ended up reading it only now – I really don’t know what kept me from reading it all this while. Sadly, though, I didn’t enjoy the book as much as I had thought I would.

Laura Schenone – food writer, blogger, mother and wife – is a good cook herself, but she cannot cook wonderful ravioli, the way her Italian great-grandmother would. This realisation sets her on a quest to find the recipe for the exact recipe for ravioli that this ancestor of hers made. It isn’t a very easy task, though – most of her ties with the Italian side of her family are either broken or strained. Laura is determined to get the recipe, come what may, even if it entails a trip (or two) to Italy, even if the quest doesn’t really make sense to her husband, even if it puts her personal relationships under stress. The Lost Ravioli Recipes Of Hoboken is Laura’s recounting of the little steps she took towards this end.

Parts of the memoir are very beautiful, I have to admit. The passages where the author tries out ravioli in Italy, musing about whether her frugal great-grandmother would have used this ingredient or that, are very touching. Her pondering about the history of certain foods is brilliant and thought-provoking. Her quest for unique, regional dishes and extremely local ingredients is admirable – I must say it alighted in me a similar passion.

That said, the author’s quest did seem to be quite obsessive in some respects. I couldn’t really understand why she made things so difficult for herself at certain points. Also, the memoir seems to go round and round, each relative of hers suggesting a possible change. In the end, there is no conclusion, I felt – no firming up of facts, no ‘real’ recipe in hand.

Overall, The Lost Ravioli Recipes Of Hoboken is a book that I entered into with a lot of expectations, which weren’t, sadly, met. There are some really good bits in the book, though, for which I’d suggest you to read it.

The Twentieth Wife – Indu Sundaresan

Genre: Historical fiction

What a gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous book!

The Twentieth Wife is set against the backdrop of Mughal-era India, when Akbar is ruling, and Salim is but a mere prince, a little boy.  The book opens with a description of how fate brings Mehrunnisa, the baby daughter of a Persian refugee called Ghias Beg, to Emperor Akbar’s realm, too. Mehrunnisa and Salim grow up in the empire, each leading a life the other has no clue about. Well, Mehrunnisa has heard of Salim, of the riches of Akbar’s court, but that is that. She is intrigued by him because he is the son of someone so majestic as the King of India, but Salim has absolutely no inkling of her existence.

As the book progresses, the reader gets to know how the grown-up Salim meets the grown-up, now extremely beautiful, Mehrunnisa, a meeting ordained by fate. They fall in love with each other then, but fateful events keep them from marrying each other. Salim and Mehrunnisa’s love for each other sustains, though, and they do end up getting married, towards the fag end of the book. Mehrunnisa is the twentieth wife to Salim, who has several marriages for the sake of the empire’s politics. Salim’s and Mehrunnisa’s is a very different kind of marriage, one forged by love, in an era when princes weren’t supposed to marry for anything but the benefit of the empire.

The Twentieth Wife is a very beautifully written book, and I thoroughly enjoyed my reading of it. I drew out my reading of the book over the course of a month, savouring it little by little, because I didn’t want it to end. It is difficult to say where fact begins and fiction ends in this story, but I can tell you how compelling a read this is. In spite of being quite a long book, I was captivated from the first page to the last, entranced by the workings of the court, heart all mush at the beautiful love between Salim and Mehrunnisa, who later becomes known as Noor Jehan.

It has been quite some time since I completed this book, but thoughts of it still linger. I am still caught in the wonder that was Mughal-era India – I’m still in Mughal-era hangover, if you may.  If you haven’t read this book, I would urge you to do so. You will surely fall in love with it, too, I’m sure.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think about them?

What are you reading at the moment?





Our Vegetarian Food And Drink Journey In Shillong

The moment anyone gets to know about the trip we recently undertook to parts of North-East India, the first question they usually ask is – ‘What did you eat there? I have heard there is no vegetarian food to be found there!’. Now, after our brief sojourn in the North-East, I know that this is a myth – of course, there is vegetarian food to be found there! The husband and I had the same doubts, the same apprehensions, before we undertook this journey – all laid to rest now.

Check out my detailed post about our vegetarian food and drink journey in Shillong, where we stayed for a couple of days during this trip!

Kacche Kele Ki Tikki (Raw Banana Cutlets), Served With A Cheesy Dip

Are you looking for a different-from-the-usual snack that can be made fairly easily? Try out these kacche kele ki tikki or raw banana cutlets, which are simple to prepare, but delish. They are shallow-fried, so not as much of a guilty indulgence as a deep-fried snack, but equally good! Anddddddd….. they are just perfect for the rainy evenings that seem to be the norm these days, especially in Bangalore!

Check out the recipe, just in on my photo blog!

Tete-A-Tete With Chef Michael Swamy, On His Restaurant, Food And Travel

A while ago, I got the wonderful chance to witness Chef Michael Swamy in action at a cook-off organised by Fairfield By Marriott, Rajajinagar, Bangalore. It was an informative, enriching experience that set me thinking about different food-related aspects.

I am glad to have had the opportunity to interact further with Chef Michael Swamy, to have a little chat with him about things foodie and otherwise. I present our conversation on my photo blog, for your reading pleasure.

Do click here, to check out the interview!