Celebrating Winter’s Bounty!

Slanting rays of the sun shining on your face, a soft blanket spread over your legs, a book in your hand, and a plate of your favourite food beside you. No, we are not describing an Instagram post here; we are talking about an ideal winter day. Winter, in India, happens to be special, and …

In Birla House with Memories of the Mahatma

That Girl In Muddy Boots

The Birla House, or Gandhi Smriti, stands inconspicuously among other sprawling bungalows in the heart of Lutyens’ Delhi without any trappings of an important building even though it is far more important than any of its neighbours; it is not only the house where Mahatma Gandhi spent the last 144 days of his life, but also the place where he breathed his last after being shot in his own prayer meeting.

I reach Gandhi Smriti expecting it to be full of visitors: can there be a better time to go around Delhi than a winter afternoon? I also expect heavy security at the premises; but I find neither. A group of tourists – American and Japanese – and the working staff of the complex are the only people I see apart from the vendor selling tacky handicrafts and ice cream.

The wooden gates of the premises are wide open and…

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The Delhi I love (and that loves me back.)

Delhi is a hard place to love. It is rude and ruthless, cold and indifferent. It tests you in ways no other city can. Its vast open spaces can intimidate  you, its crowded streets can terrify you. And its people? The lesser said about them the better -- or so they say.  Landing into this …

Millets for Dinner — and Lunch and Breakfast!

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when I say millets? Until not very long ago, I could think of only ragi mudde, bajra khichdi, and makai roti. That changed about a month ago when I attended the #tastingindiasymposium in December. The symposium focused on matters like sustainability of crops, welfare of the farmer, …

I’m making Sagpaita this Dal Day, What about you?

The thing about tasty, soul-satisfying food is that it it never complicated. Neither to make, nor on the palate. It is usually just simple everyday ingredients put together to create something that is wholesome, nutritious, tasty, and satisfying. Sagpaita is one such thing. I grew up eating Sagpaita. In my dadi's sprawling bungalow in Kanpur, …

This Spring Colour Your Rice Yellow

Today is Basant Panchami, a day of celebrating Tehri in all its glory.

That Girl In Muddy Boots

The first time I had to describe tehri to someone, I was at a loss. More difficult than explaining the simple dish was accepting the fact that there was someone who did not know what tehri was. After all, I had grown up eating it every other day.

As luck would have it, in the years to come, I had to describe the dish many times over, to many people. And so I adopted a simple shortcut: I called it “yellow pulav”. It is another matter altogether that tehri and pulav are as different as chalk and cheese; their only similarity is that they are rice dishes. The differences I usually leave for my culinary skills to explain.

A staple of vegetarian households in the dusty small towns of Uttar Pradesh, tehri is a potent one-pot meal that owes its origin to the vegetarian employees of the Nawabs of Awadh…

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People of Delhi

Delhi is often seen as the city of rich and powerful. It is known for its ill-mannered people and their brashness; their new money and their 'show off culture'. (In)famous for  rudeness and in-your-face attitudes, known for hostility and competitiveness. But is that all that the people of Delhi are about? What about the invisible …

Madame Tussauds, Delhi: A Glamorous World of Iconic Celebrities

A middle-aged man, wearing a red turban and a shy smile, stands awkwardly next to Madhubala, the glint in his eyes suggests that he is half believing himself to be Salim of Mughal-e-Azam; Madhubala only seems glad about it. Not very far away, a lady in her 40s has her arms around Ranbir Kapoor. She …