I was in Indore a few days ago for a mere one and a half day trip, and man what a trip it was. In just one day I covered 56 Dukaan, Nafees Biryani and Sarafa Bazaar. Here’s my Indore food trip in pictures (it’ll make you pack your bags, trust me) and a quick checklist of what to eat and where whaen you travel to Indore.
“Are you going to Japan? You’ll only get sushi there and it’s really bad”, that was (thankfully) the only cringe worthy “tip” I received just a few days prior to my Japan trip. Thanks to my exposure to Japanese cuisine and Matt Goulding’s Rice, Noodle, Fish – Deep Travels Through Japan’s Food Culture guiding me, I was all set to eat all the sushi and ramen that Japan had to offer. But, what I hadn’t anticipated was that I wouldn’t be repeating a single meal.
I don’t remember exactly when my interest in Japanese cuisine started shaping up; it could be that first taste of sushi with a hit of wasabi eaten at a Mumbai restaurant. Yes, it wasn’t half as good as what I finally ate in Tokyo, but it was still a revelation that something so simple can be so satisfying for the soul. The interest bloomed into a full-fledged love for the culture and food when I read A Strange Weather In Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami. The tiny bars where Tsukiko and Sensei would meet were mapped in my brain and I would envisage myself sitting in one, emptying glass after glass of sake with pickles. Continue reading
Early this month I was in McLeodganj. I was accompanying my sister who was in Shimla for her exams and from there we traveled to McLeodganj to spend leisurely two days in Little Tibet. Two days clearly weren’t enough especially when I was working on this post; 3 days, 6 meals and a whole lot of places to cover. So we decided to walk around as much as possible and pack in small meals at various places. We were disappointed by a few – Tibetan Kitchen to be specific – and found a few on our own – Lhamo’s Croissants, the gem of a place. Here’s what I think are the must try places in McLeodganj. Continue reading
2015 was quite action-packed when it comes to food; we saw some big restaurant openings, budget bars (not all of them worked though) and a number of cafe style eateries. Home chefs and pop-up regional meals became bigger and better and we had restaurants focusing on regional Indian dishes (my favourite part of 2015). I had the privilege of tasting some of the finest dishes by excellent chefs and it only made sense to end the year with a round-up of my most favourite dishes.
Amlori (Red ant Eggs) @ Gitika’s Pakghor, Mumbai
2015 turned out to be quite adventurous for me. I went for Gitika Saikia’s pop-up not once but twice and tried all sorts of exotic ingredients – a piquant red ants’ eggs chutney, stir-fried silkworm, duck intestines and the sweet and tangy rice beer; definitely a meal worth remembering. The Amlori – red ants eggs were my favourite. The eggs were stir fried with onions and garlic in mustard oil and mixed with hen eggs to make it look and taste like bhurji.
Mutton Curry and Rice @ Monkey Bar, Bandra West, Mumbai
When Monkey Bar opened in Mumbai, I expected it to be a fun and upbeat place with a food menu that plays around with ingredients and serves bar food like never before. The Laal Maas Tacos, Duck Empanadas and Black Burger were all impressive, but my meal ended with me getting nostalgic over Chandraji’s Mutton Balti. The typical Kayastha-style mutton curry – a recipe that Chef Manu Chandra has learnt from his father – is something I have grown-up eating and to find it on a restaurant’s menu was the ultimate food high for me. Continue reading
In the last week of August, during my trip to Lucknow, I had organized a Fursat Chaat Walk. The idea was to take people around to places that define chaat in Lucknow; places that are not well known among tourists, but are thronged by locals; places that have been around since past 100 or so years. My dad – who’s been born and brought up in Lucknow – chalked out the map for the walk and picked places where he used to eat as a kid and in college.
Before I go ahead and tell you more about the chaat places that we covered, let’s talk a bit about the walk/drive; yes, it turned out to be a mix of both. My friend, blogger and now a successful food entrepreneur Amrita Rana joined in from Mumbai and we were accompanied by a few members of Lucknow Chefs (a local Facebook group). And…ehm…the walk was covered by the reporter of The Navbharat Times. See, that’s Amrita and I on the front page :D.