16 July 2016

Jaipur Diaries - Painting The Town Pink

Jaipur is a smorgasbord of culture, colour, and chaos. A city that sits on a threshold of a vibrant, historic past and an emerging future. Jaipur is where I decided to take a whirlwind 48 hour getaway and immerse myself head first into the land of palaces, shop for local artisanal crafts, and gorge on some delicious traditional fare. And most importantly decided to spend some quality time with myself.

My previous Rajasthan holiday took place roughly fifteen years ago, though some memories still remained etched in my mind. A wobbly camel ride in the heat. Spotting peacocks on the drive upto Jaigarh Fort. Biting into a crunchy, flaky kachori and then wiping my hands on my mother's dupatta later. Looking up at the regal, ancient forts in amazement, wondering how they managed to build such structures back then. Fifteen years down the line, I experienced a strong sense of déjà vu throughout the trip. Some things never really change, do they?

The Great Wall of Jaigarh

15 July 2016

Bringing In The New At Kangan, The Westin Mumbai Garden City

For some reason a lot of us, including me, tend to look at Indian cuisine as the last resort when considering options for a fine dine meal. Pan Asian - yes! Italian - yes! But some how traditional Mughlai and Awadhi cuisine is never really considered 'fine dine' material. But in the last few years a pleasant change of sorts is visible. Regional Indian cuisine has started receiving the due it deserves. Indian cuisine has become 'cool' again with the integration of modern cooking techniques with age-old recipes as well as futuristic plating. 

And then there are restaurants like Kangan at the Westin Mumbai Garden City, Goregaon that stay true to the desi roots by bringing us dishes that are rich and exquisite - a meal fit for royalty! All of this at a stunning venue - a restaurant perched atop the 18th floor with a beautiful view of the city by night. And a meal put together by a maestro with tons of experience and expertise in the area of Mughlai and Awadhi cuisine - Chef Angad Rai. If these aren't the ingredients for a perfect meal, then I don't know what is!

2 July 2016

Bhajiyas and Baarish - A Match Made in Heaven

The mind is genetically engraved to think of piping hot bhajiyas the minute it rains. The stomach is automatically predisposed to start craving deep fried goodness the minute the skies get overcast and the rain gods decide to bless us. The rains and batter fried bhajiyas are a match made in food heaven. One that never seems to get old and one that we never seem to get bored of.

Our love for bhajiyas during the rains stem from the fact that it's the perfect warm snack to be had while the temperatures dip - a comforting feeling that the summers do not provide us with. Infact studies explain the link between dropping temperatures and the body's need for a high calorie carbohydrate diet. For me, it's the nostalgia associated with bhajiyas and the monsoon that makes me crave them. It's the sense of comfort and the evocative memories that come with biting into one.