The Khichdi of My Childhood, This Sankranti

India is a land of festivals, and festivals, in our country, signify only one thing – food. While most festivals boast of elaborate meals prepared well in advance and cooked through the day, do you know that there is one festival, which celebrates the most humble meal ever? What’s more amazing is that the festival and the food share their name? Thanks to Bollywood we … Continue reading The Khichdi of My Childhood, This Sankranti

Pongal, Uttarayana, Bihu, Lohri: One Festival, Many names

Wherever your compass may face, the season of harvest festivals will have you indulging in a unique local festivity every January. Continue reading Pongal, Uttarayana, Bihu, Lohri: One Festival, Many names

Making of the Muri Mix or Laiyya Mixture.

Muri. Murmura. Laiyya. Mamra. This humble puffed rice has as many names as it has uses: soak and make poha out of it (try it!), Grind it and make sattu with it, fry it and make a snack out of it, mix it up with other fun things to make jhaalmuri or bhelpuri, or, as they call in Allahabad,Β  churmura, with it. You can also … Continue reading Making of the Muri Mix or Laiyya Mixture.

UNESCO World Heritage: A Story of Life and Love

Nothing I had read, or heard had prepared me for Khajuraho. It is not hard to imagine a temple town in India: take a few ancient sandstone temples, fill them up with religious crowds, add a handful of foreign tourists; line its streets with cheap hotels, dot its squares with beggars and touts; finish off with piles of garbage and a few stray animals. This … Continue reading UNESCO World Heritage: A Story of Life and Love

UNESCO World Heritage Week: Borobudur, A Hidden Gem in the Heart of Java.

It is still dark when we arrive at a resort close to the temple. A bright reception welcomes us and a lady promptly hands over torches to everyone β€” we are supposed to walk the rest of the distance. Continue reading UNESCO World Heritage Week: Borobudur, A Hidden Gem in the Heart of Java.

Aloo-Puri: The Quintessential Winter Breakfast

If there is a quintessential UP breakfast, it is Aloo-Puri. Jalebi and dahi, khasta and samosa, makkhan malai is all good but one cannot eat any of it regularly, plus you cannot make them at home. And so aloo puri. Sometimes kaddu too. The aloo sabzi is lightest ever, the kaddu or pumpkin is cooked with red chilli, dry mango powder, and sugar and puris … Continue reading Aloo-Puri: The Quintessential Winter Breakfast

Singhara and Memories of a Winter

It is that time of the year again. Winters are on their way, and all things wintery have started to appear in the streets and markets. So we have peanuts and peas, jaggery and cane-sugar, cauliflower and cabbages. And then there is ‘Singhara’ or what some of us call water chestnut. I can never forget those misty winter mornings of small town North India, when … Continue reading Singhara and Memories of a Winter

Lucknow: A Vegetarians Paradise.

Think of Lucknow and the first thing that comes to mind are kebabs, biriyanis, kormas, and sheermal. While the legendary non-vegetarian food deserves all the attention it gets, there is also an entire alternate cuisine that the city specializes in (and not many know about). The lip-smacking vegetarian options that you find in Lucknow are as good as, if not better than their non-vegetarian counterparts. … Continue reading Lucknow: A Vegetarians Paradise.

Jagannath Puri: A Gem Discovered

Miles and miles of fluorescent green paddy fields covered in mist. A gleaming white Pagoda in the horizon. Impossibly blue skies with cotton candy clouds floating in and out of the frame. Patches of fluffy Kaash phool swaying to mild autumn breeze. And, among all this, the serpent of a road slithering majestically. No, I am not talking about some exotic location in the heart … Continue reading Jagannath Puri: A Gem Discovered