• Skordalia & Tzatziki, from the corner table, #fromthecornertable

    ‘Dip’ it Greek Style: Skordalia & Tzatziki

    I will forever be indebted to the hostess at the Moma Rest & Cafe on Adrianou Street, Athens, who introduced me to the wonderful union of Greek dips and freshly baked pita bread. Thank you! It was a ‘perfect’ moment as I sampled the freshly baked warm pita bread dunked in cool tzatziki, my senses doing a jig in delight at the refreshing flavours. And then there was the silky fava dip, so unassuming in appearance yet filled with flavour. Watching the world go by from the corner table on that April evening, I was yet again reminded of my mother’s cooking mantra “simple works wonders.” The tzatziki is a…

  • Travel

    Athens, Where History Lies Under the Sun #1

    Closed my eyes, took a deep breath, succumbed to a cheek splitting grin and ticked Athens off my ‘travel wish list’. And in the same breath, added the city to my ‘visit again’ list. Literally the first thing I did after returning home from a whirlwind 3 day trip to the grand old city of Athens. History has always fascinated me – it comes from being the daughter of a history teacher, I guess. My introduction to Greek civilisation was through the famous story collection Aesop’s Fables, said to have been a storyteller in Ancient Greece. I have a faint memory of a family member reading these stories to me.…

  • IMG_E4763, fromthecornertable, from the corner table, water chestnut halva, photo: gautam chakravarty

    Singhade ka halva | Water Chestnut Halva

    As the loved up ones make plans for Valentine’s Day, several households in India will be preparing for celebrations of a different kind. On February 13/14, devotees of Lord Shiva across the world will be observing Maha Shivaratri (the Great Night of Shiva). For ardent devotees, this means staying awake through the night chanting prayers, meditating and fasting. If there is a Shiva temple in your neighbourhood then I urge you to plan a visit to see the festivities and perhaps have some bhaang too. There are several legends about the origin of Maha Shivaratri – an aunt of mine said it is the night Lord Shiva married Parvati, a…

  • Talk

    Painting Stories in a New Language

    One of my resolutions for 2018 is to get a better grip on my mother tongue, Bengali. While I can converse in the language, I cannot read or write in it and that creates a feeling of disconnect. There is also a lot of literature in Bengali that I am missing out on and the bookworm in me bemoans that. As a bonus to myself, I also want to learn a new language this year – Spanish or French or Urdu. But that’s a decision for the second half of the year – I go by my game plan to achieve New Year resolutions. The credit for this ‘language learning…

  • Travel

    Travelling with Strangers

    The last time I went travelling with a group of people – not family or close friends – was during my post-graduation days when a bunch of classmates went to Goa. I remember being superbly confused with the proceedings – there was a lot of fun, food, and alcohol with a healthy dash of drama and some major ‘clique’-ing. ‘So very high school’ was my sister’s comment when I regaled her with all things Goa. Travelling with a group of strangers can be a challenge for everyone involved and a learning experience too. Depending on the kind of people you’ve been thrown in with, you might forge friendships for life…

  • from the corner table, fromthecornertable, food blog, travel tuck-in talk, culinary experiences, scotland delicacies, scotland diaries
    Travel,  Tuck-In

    Culinary Delights of Scotland #2

    Continuing from the gastronomic delight that the food trail had been, one would think I was done with my food adventures in Scotland. Tsk tsk… never underestimate the capacity of a food-loving traveller. The food trail experience was like the cover page and synopsis of a book – meant to capture your attention with such intensity that you end up buying the book to read and satiate your curiosity. The trail with Eat Walk Edinburgh had only served to fan my appetite for food. And a lot more there was, as was evident from the increasingly snug waistband of my trousers as the holiday inched towards the last day. The…

  • fromthecornertable, from the corner table

    Gifts, tips and Scottish memories

    Ask me about the most ‘stressful’ part of travelling and I would say understanding the local habits/culture to avoid a faux pas and buying souvenirs for those at home. Overtly concerned about the first before my Scotland trip since I was travelling alone, I spent a major chunk of my time at the Bristol Airport – while waiting for the flight to Edinburgh – doing some research about the dos and don’ts while in Scotland. I was rather relieved since the Scottish seemed to be a friendly bunch of people and was I right! As for the latter, well, on the last day of any trip I end up twisting…

  • Whiskey Tasting, from the corner table
    Travel,  Tuck-In

    Culinary delights of Scotland #1

    Why is it so difficult to write about food? No. I don’t mean it’s difficult in the sense I can’t find things to write. I say difficult in the sense that there is way too much to write, to share, to praise, to describe, to… you get the drift. A long time ago – when I was a grumpy 5-year-old and my sister a teenager – maa and baba told us: “Whenever you visit a new place, you must devote time to the local food. Explore. Enjoy. What you see and what you taste will help make your memories stronger.” This bit of wisdom had been delivered over plates of…

  • Talk

    “From boardroom to books”

    One of my resolutions for 2018 is to read (and re-read) at least 50 of the 400+ books I own. The idea took hold when I was making a catalogue of these books – prompted by the discovery that I own three versions of the same book. And the fact that somewhere in the fast-paced routine run of life, I was not reading enough. Not cool. Books are a serious business. They are essential to existence, allowing me to live different characters, understand thought patterns, view new worlds, broaden my horizon and understand different perceptions. In books, I have found my second support system. So a few years ago, when…

  • Scottish Highlands, from the corner table, #fromthecornertable

    Winding through the Isle of Skye #2

    Did you know that real estate prices in the Isle of Skye have skyrocketed in recent times and hotels/homestays have six month long waiting periods? That is what our charming driver-cum-guide Sean Connery had to say when a fellow tourist asked him ‘how has tourism helped locals’. As is always the case, there are pros and cons to this situation. Search Isle of Skye+tourist+tax and you will come across several articles1 that showcase this issue – while increased footfall does bring in money, it affects the harmony of a place that is not equipped to handle the rush. These articles and discussions make me chipper about the decision – rather…