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…

In Search of the Perfect Curry: Chef Rick Stein

Whenever I hear the word ‘curry’, I’m filled with a longing for spicy hot food with the fragrance of cumin, cloves and cinnamon. I see deep-red colors from lots of Kashmiri chillies tinged with a suggestion of yellow from turmeric. I think of the tandoor oven, and slightly scorched naan shining with ghee and garlic;…

Sadia Dehlvi’s Delhi in “Jasmine & Jinns” is Delightful and Inviting

The title of Sadia Dehlvi’s latest book ‘Jasmine and Jinns’, brings to mind images from fantasies like Tilism-e-Hoshruba and Alif-Laila. And why not! Within its 200+ pages, Sadia Dehlvi reminisces about her childhood, punctiliously preserved in photographs and mostly recollections of people, of whom only some remain. She introduces characters like Apa Saeeda, Amma, Mamoo…