Holy smokes! A year ago at this time I was walking through the lanes of Athens, debating over souvlaki and gyros while ticking places off my ‘must visit’ list. With my favourite travel partners – the elder sister and brother-in-law – I was busy getting a Greek sun tan. Fast forward to the summer of 2018 and …
I promise to make your mouths salivate and ensure that you dream about the wealth that is the Azerbaijani cuisine soon but before that, I do need to touch upon and introduce you to a fascinating experience that is part of the Azari social fabric. This is the drinking of chai or tea, served with some local or homemade fruit preserve that they call ‘jam’.
If you have just one day on hand to spend in Baku, then you must spend time in the Old City. Protected by a boundary wall, the most ancient part of Baku includes the Palace of the Shirvanshahs and the Maiden Tower, both of which have been listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. In fact, if memory serves right, all of the Old City is marked as a World Heritage Site.
My idea of packing has always been to create a huge pile of ‘things to carry’ in one corner of my bed. That pile invariably covers the whole bed leaving me a sliver of space to sleep in. And then, say half a day before I am to leave, I will start frantically dumping things into the bag, much to the exasperation of Maa who loves her things organised.
With a cooking time of just 20 minutes and the flexibility of loading with as many vegetables as you want and seasoned with just two ingredients – turmeric and chaat masala, this is a winner. “I don’t remember where I learned this from but what I do know is that I love it and so do the kids. Makes that a win-win situation!” she says.