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…

Goa Diaries

After Hyderabad, we headed to Goa. At the airport, we had yet another Hyderabadi biryani as a farewell. Bad decision. The biryani was Andhra-style (hot), masala biryani. I couldn’t finish my plate, more like I didn’t want to, fearing episodes of stomach-gone-bad at the airport (which actually did happen, but much later during our trip)….

Art Supplies Post # 01

Hello! It’s been a while since I uploaded an art post and more importantly, I’ve a bunch of new and yet-to-test art supplies which I guess need to be reviewed:) While I was away on vacation some weeks ago I sketched a bit but mostly ate, explored book and art supply stores. It’s nice to…

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…

Bread and Salt

Bread, called nan in Persian, is the staple food of Iran in all regions except around the Caspian, where rice supplants it. Nan is a Persian word first used in Achaemenid Iran (550-330 BCE), from which all other languages borrowed it. In Iran, bread and salt are treated with great respect. The main Persian breads are flat breads but…

Persian Tea

Tea was discovered about 5000 years ago in China. In the early 17th century, tea was introduced to England and its Chinese name, tay, changed to the English name tea. In England, tea was brewed in china teapots. The English believed that a drop of milk in the teapot would prevent it from breaking and thus…

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…

That time of the day…

Everyday holds magic and there’s a certain time, that special moment during the day when we feel good about everything. This ‘feeling good’ has nothing to do with external events. It is something that comes from within. That special time for me is in the afternoon. That’s why I prefer walking around the city during this time. I…

An Evening at Jal Mahal

Yesterday, I decided to take a break and visited the Jal Mahal near Amer. I wasn’t expecting as many people and went with my sketching kit. I was wrong- the place had a lot of visitors and that was quite a nice thing because it looked so colourful and lively. Of course, that made sketching…

Fresh from the Tandoor

As a little break from architecture and knick knacks, I decided to sketch something in between. A little eatery around the Auliya Masjid area called Wasim Hotel (Jaipur, Rajasthan, India) caught my attention where heaps of tandoori rotis (bread) were selling out every second! The person at the tandoor expertly rolled out the dough and as someone called out for…

New Year Resolution.

So my New Year resolutions this year are many. One of them is to sketch daily. I’m a bit late that way since it’s the 9th today but I shall upload earlier sketches anyway. This first post has a picture I drew of my current kit and color swatches of the paints I have used/ tried- Pebeo, Camel…