Rana Safvi’s Digital Dastarkhwan

The past few days have been glorious. I illustrated some delectable recipes from the incredibly insightful and perceptive Rana Safvi. Rana, as you already know, is an author and historian with a passion for culture and heritage. She is the founder and moderator of the popular #shair platform on Twitter which is credited for reviving…

Sweet Middle East: Anissa Helou

I have a strong sweet tooth and often say it’s because my family name, Helou, means “sweet” in Arabic. In truth, that has nothing to do with it. Most people in the Middle East and North Africa have a serious penchant for all things sugary. Sweets occupy an important place in our lives, and every…

Vineet Bhatia: I Did Not Set Out To Be A Chef

I did not set out to be a chef. My first love was planes, and as a child I wanted to be a pilot and fly high above the clouds. My alarm clock was the sound of the Gulf Air DC10 flying over our flat in Bombay at 6 o’ clock every morning. My brother and I would cycle through the Juhu Aerodrome on our way to school and I would look with awe at the Cessnas and Bell helicopters stationed in their hangars, so close to me yet so distant. How I longed to fly in one of them!

Tea by Saki

James Cushat-Prinkly was a young man who had always had a settled conviction that one of these days he would marry; up to the age of thirty-four he had done nothing to justify that conviction. He liked and admired a great many women collectively and dispassionately without singling out one for especial matrimonial consideration, just…

Muslim Cookery- Fish: Meen Porichathu, Machchi Memoni

Machchi Memoni | Memoni Barbecued Fish Ingredients: 500 gms any round fish like seer ½ lime 1 ½ tsp salt ½ cup yogurt 4 tbsp oil Spice paste 1 small onion 4 garlic cloves 4 whole dried red chillies 1 tsp red Kashmiri chilli powder ¼ tsp turmeric powder 1 tbsp cashew nuts, coarsely crushed…

Olea Europaea : The European Olive

One of the oldest trees to be cultivated; at least 6000 years ago, the olive is a fruit that is popular worldwide and is also revered in most Mediterranean cultures.  By 3,000 BC, it was being grown in Crete and spread to Southern Europe and Africa through the Phoenicians; spread along the fertile crescent which includes some…

Foods of India – Kutchi Memon Cuisine

Introduction While the fare on Cutchi (Kutchi) Memon tables is legendary, it is a little known fact that these recipes are considered sacred and guarded zealously by the owners of the keys to paradise. Those who do not qualify by bloodline have often received the recipe for sheekh kabab without the ingredient that encourages the…

Journey to the heart of Turkish Cuisine

People are always eating and drinking around the clock in Istanbul: grabbing chewy sesame-crusted simit (bagels) on every street corner, sipping refreshing freshly-squeezed pomegranate juice, small glasses of sweetened tea or thick mastic-flavored Turkish coffee on their way to work, stopping at hole-in-the-wall döner and köfte joints for a quick snack or slurping bowls of chickpea and…

Armenian Sweet Bread (Nan-e gisu)

Makes 3 loaves Preparation time: 20 minutes plus rising time overnight Cooking time: 35-40 minutes INGREDIENTS 1 package or 1 tablespoon dry yeast 1/4th cup warm water 3 eggs 1.5 cups sugar 1 tablespoon honey 2 tsp ground mahlab 1 cup whole milk 1 cup melted, unsalted butter or Oil 4.5-5.5 cups cake flour, sifted with…

An Omelette is Born

In 1835, during the Carlist uprising in Spain, the rebels laid seige to Bilbao. One day during the siege, the Carlist commander, General Tomas de Zumalacarregui y de Imaz, was passing a farmhouse and demanded that the farmer’s wife prepare him something to eat. All the woman had were some eggs, a potato and an…

The World’s Most Expensive Salad

  Heinz Tomato Ketchup : 57 varieties. Not really. While riding in an elevated train in New York, H.J.Heinz was struck by a shoe shop sign declaring that it offered ’21 styles’. He was thus inspired to come up with the slogan ’57 varieties’ for his own company – even though at that stage it…