7 beverages you absolutely must try in Sharjah

1- Green Tea, Fresh Zaatar & Pineapple Iced Tea at Shababeek | AED 30 Located in Al Qasba, Shababeek is a contemporary Lebanese restaurant with an extensive menu. Their signature iced tea (green tea, fresh zaatar, pineapple) is a fresh and fruity beverage that pairs very well with the succulent kebabs on the menu. 2-…

The pleasures of a cup of tea

Hotel Breakfasts Few things are more pleasurable than hotel breakfasts. Who doesn’t love elaborate spreads of  baked goods, eggs and cold cuts, chicken and vegetables dressed in ways one only sees in beautifully illustrated volumes of the 1001 Arabian Nights? What a splendid start to the day! What I actually love about these busy spreads…

Delhi – Day 1

…and I’m back on a short sketching trip. This time in Delhi. The flight was delayed by at least 1.5 hours, of which quite some time went in the aircraft, amidst a sea of confusing remarks, panic and crying babies. Phew. Glad ‘that’ got over. I got busy sketching though – By the time I…

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)….

Hyderabad Diaries

Hello from Hyderabad 🙂 So here’s a quick recap of the fun things I’ve been doing in Hyderabad. I carried my art supplies this trip too and began sketching in the aircraft. This was a GoAir flight from Jaipur to Hyderabad which was about 2 hours long and I was left with a backache at…

Travel Tips: Quirky advice from Humans Big and Small

Yesterday, I had posted a things-I-think-of-when-I-have-to-travel sketch. I’ll be traveling shortly and decided to ask some of you for travel tips. I got to hear a lot of quirky advice and some great practical tips too, which I used to make these comics. Hope you enjoy reading these! A huge thank you to everyone who…

Some cashews for the flight…

What you see above, is what goes on in my mind when I think ‘travel’. Unlike most people, who think of beautiful beaches and the mountains, my mind tells me- “Pack some cashews to munch on”, you know, the secret travel tip of Queen Victoria and Queen Latifah, both totally related and equally relevant. Do…

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…

Lebanese street corner bakeries

The manóushé is the quintessential Lebanese breakfast. Named for the Arabic word na’sh which refers to the way the fingertips of the baker “engrave” the dough, the manóushé is indeed engraved upon our collective memories as Lebanese. The smell of manóushé bi-zatar in the morning catapults a Lebanese person back in time to a lively…

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…

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…