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Indian cuisines and Independence Day musings

Unity in diversity may sound cliched, but it is exactly that defined Indid’s culinary heritage By Anoothi Vishal If you happened to be in Hyderabad and decided to go on a biryani crawl—a hopping expedition across restaurants and clubs, big fat wedding dinners (where indeed some of the best is to be had) and small [...]

A café with British pub grub… In Delhi

Forgetful Elephant By Anoothi Vishal In the gastronomic universe, French food is revered, Spanish seen as unutterably chic, Italian as pop but British as mostly crap. Of course, it’s an unfortunate reputation. British pub staples are wholesome, wonderful comfort food that will fill your stomach and gladden your heart while (usually) not costing the earth. [...]

Mughalai meets Bengali: The story of a heritage cuisine

By Anoothi Vishal The Mughals undoubtedly had the biggest impact on the cuisines of northern Indian (as also the Deccan) and even though “Mughlai” food is a generic term today, usually standing for a hodge podge of commercially-constructed dishes, some of our most interesting heritage cuisines have Mughal roots. So what are these heritage cuisines [...]

Roti chanai, dim sums and an “anti-cafe ”

Fu In Chinese, it means “good luck” and indeed Fu marks a great turning point in the business of restaurants in Delhi—at least, when it comes to Chinese food. Unlike the “family-style”, Indian-Chinese places of yore, this is an anti café with nothing stereotypical about it. So abandon all old-fashioned expectations of how a Chinese restaurant [...]

The truth about Chettinad

One of the few south Indian cuisines to be really exposed to us all over the country is, of course, Chettinad — or more correctly, the cuisine of the Nattukotai Chettiar community of Tamil Nadu. Speak of south Indian non-vegetarian food (at least outside the four peninsular states) and nine out of 10 people are [...]

CommonWealth Games: Guide to Delhi

Introduction Delhi is a city on the move. The Delhi Metro has helped connect previously unconnected parts of the city, specifically east Delhi and the National Capital Region — Noida, to the central business district area of the city. This has speeded up connectivity and given some relief to the city’s roads, which are overflowing [...]

Tea Time

Despite the fabulous teas that we grow— India, after all, is the world’s largest producer and exporter of tea in the world—it is shocking to come across such poorly prepared cuppas in most homes. Thanks to my work with a (high society type) magazine, I have been visiting some of the poshest (and costliest) homes [...]

Get, Set, Games: Sneak peek into prez suite at Ashoka Hotel

Delhi’s preparation for the Commonwealth Games may be sorely behind schedule but some projects have got completed. The sprawling, government-owned Ashoka Hotel, occupying prime real estate in Chanakyapuri, was scheduled to get a makeover from its smelly, dingy ways to designer-fitted look and some designers had already been booked to do up each of the [...]

Paya, paella and some omlette talk

How to serve up trotters… and the best of eggs… By Anoothi Vishal “By the way, Chandra can now cook the perfect paya,” said uncle-in-law, who can be quite the intimidating editor with a fondness for all things food and French. Chandra is his cook, an affable pahari lady who has withstood perfection in the [...]

Anoothi’s Culinary Experiences in Goa

You wouldn’t think there is either a global recession or an off-season in Goa, crossing the Mandovi in a chartered mini-bus. The vehicle, after all, is just one in a snaking line of several used by hotels to ferry guests to and from the airport. Since I was last here in the land of sun [...]