Ten days in Japan = approximately twenty sushi and ramen meals: I was working out the math when I chanced upon Matt Goulding’s Rice, Noodle, Fish – Deep Travels Through Japan’s Food Culture. The book opened up a world of Japanese food to me, even before I stepped into the country. Suddenly, there was so much to squeeze into just 10 days. The plans and lists went out of the window and I decided to go with the flow.
In the dense by-lanes of Lucknow’s Chowk area, as you make your way to a hole-in-the-wall biryani and kebab joint, look around the old buildings and worn-down walls. These walls hide history and stories that date back to 16th century. Artist and blogger Adity Chakravarti’s coffee-table book Rehaish–At Home In Lucknow peers beyond these walls, into the homes that are witness to this nawabi city’s affluence.
In 1723, when Nawab Saadat Khan Burhan-ul-Mulk, the founder of the Nawabi dynasty, came...
Makkhan-malai in Lucknow
Growing up in Lucknow, a city in the north of India where winters were always bone-chilling, there were only two things that would make us crawl out of our cozy blankets—catching up on the morning sun and the cry of makkhan-malai on the streets. I have feeble memories of an old guy, standing at the doorstep with a huge basket on his head.
The contents of the basket always appeared mysterious to me. I’d look with wide-eyed wonder the way the old man scooped out a bit o...
Eggs in Mumbai
Living in Mumbai, I miss winters. The only way I feel close to my favorite season is by visiting the vegetable market, where the greens call out to me from carts and baskets. Apart from the usual suspects like spinach, mustard, fenugreek, and chenopodium, I love the green garlic that’s available for only a few weeks.
Green garlic is young garlic, harvested before the cloves begin to mature. It looks like a clove of garlic with long, bright green stalk and a bunch of white hair ...
Croissants in Kyoto
I love Japanese food. Sushi and sashimi, ramen and donburi, okonomiyaki and yakisoba; bring it all and I am more than happy to wolf it down, with a glass of sake, of course. But rice, miso soup, and grilled fish for breakfast don’t quite do it for me. In Tokyo, we mostly skipped breakfast and went for brunch; in Osaka, I attempted to eat supermarket sushi for breakfast but ended up cooking scrambled eggs at my Airbnb. In Kyoto, I found my breakfast groove.
Locho in Surat
“Surat nu jaman, Kashi nu maran” (eat in Surat and die in Kashi and you’ll attain nirvana). This adage inspired me to get an early morning train from Mumbai to Surat. The love for food is apparent in the city; the weekends are planned according to what to eat and where, I am told by a local auto rickshaw guy. And even though I am in the city in the middle of a busy week, my plan is to eat.
Yeah, Why Aren't Vodka Shots With Unripe Mango Juic...
The story behind Calcutta's most famous sherbet shop.
Eating through north Calcutta's iconic eateries peppered with stories from India's pre-independence era.
What and where to eat at the night street-food market in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
Khasta-bada in Lucknow