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  • Tidbits

    Memory String 2018 Unravelled #2

    Beat this now! I’m getting better at planning! I actually managed to time the second part of my ‘best of 2018’ and am publishing it on the last day of the year! I could go on and on about how amazing it feels but let’s keep it short and sweet today. It is a Monday, several of us are battling the Monday blues with the added shot of sad coz who wants to work on a Monday when you know you are going to party the night into the New Year! Depressing much? I’m going to ring in 2019 with my friends-more-than-family. It’ll be a night of music, dance and…

  • Travel,  Tuck-In,  Talk

    Memory String 2018 Unravelled #1

    It’s been a few days since the giveaway was announced. The winners have been declared and handed over their loot. While in the process of putting together bags for the giveaway winners, I decided to send out a few to friends who’ve been a rock for me in the past year; and some to people who’ve inspired me time and again. So amid the planning, backing, packing and delivery, I’m a little run down and just about ready for the weekend; or to await the beginning of the New Year. But no complaints because this is the good kind of tired – the kind where your back hurts because you’ve…

  • Tuck-In

    Carrot & Date Rolls

    I never thought I would say this but my phone is having a mid-life crisis at the age of two!  No, seriously! All was well till I finished watching the latest episode of Masterchef Australia Season 10 early on Thursday (say 1 am-ish). All continued to be well on Thursday morning as I shuffled into the kitchen, placed the phone on a stool and made the much needed morning cuppa. Suddenly, there was a buzz, a thunk and a crash. I turned and stared. My phone lay on the floor. The left corner shattered artistically with cracks creeping across the screen that was blinking like a disco light on the…

  • fromthecornertable, from the corner table, labanga latika, labangalatika, clove, sweet, mithai, mawa, mishti, bengalisweet, bengali sweet
    Tuck-In

    Labanga Latika | Sweet Clove Parcels

    It’s amazing the way certain foods trigger memories of times gone by, relations lost in the passage of time – the memory brightening your mood faster than a cup of coffee or a quart of ice cream can. Labanga latika, a Bengali sweet dish, is one such food item for me. I don’t remember a time when I’ve not eaten labanga latika; I remember being fascinated with the way Maa would make these little envelopes of crispiness filled with sweet delights. The pretty manner in which the sugar syrup added shine and formed those crystals on this parcel, the anticipation of an explosive taste of a whole spice… all of…

  • Tuck-In

    Mewe ka Paag | Dried Fruit-&-nut Bar

    Spot a festival marked on the calendar and I immediately start grilling my mother about the food. The latest conversation went something like this… Me: Maa! It’s Janmashtami on September 3. What’s special on the menu for the day?Maa: Hmmm… I could make payesh but then you are lactose intolerant so…Me: Okay. What else?Maa: Your grandmother made delicacies when we were kids but we never observe Janmashtami with much fervour so I’ve never bothered.Me: But Maaaaa………….Maa: Go ask Verma aunty; they celebrate Janmashtami every year, I’m sure she’ll cook up something special. And boy, was she right! Verma aunty – our front-door neighbour, Maa’s BFF and a brilliant cook –…

  • Carrot Kheer, Gaajar ka Kheer, from the corner table, #fromthecornertable
    Tuck-In

    Gaajar ka Kheer | Carrot & Milk Pudding

    I love Bugs Bunny and I love his favourite food. I always have. Maa often jokes that as a kid, one of the easiest ways to shut me up was to hand me a carrot – I would be too happy munching on the carrot. Over the years, the munching dwindled significantly but my love for carrots did not. The traditional Indian dessert gaajar ka halwa (carrot based sweet dessert) remains an all-time favourite. But it’s not something I’ve endeavoured to learn yet because it takes a lot of time – a lot – to make. The amount of stirring it requires would probably equal a day’s arm workout. And…

  • Greek Souvlaki, from the corner table, #fromthecornertable
    Tuck-In

    Greek Style Kebabs, the Chicken Souvlaki

    My first meal in Athens was recommended by the owner of the traditional Greek grill house where we had gone for a late dinner. The gentlemen had suggested we try the souvlaki platter and/or gyros. “Never ignore food suggestions from a local” is a mantra I live by. So we went ahead and ordered the souvlaki, gyros and some extras to ensure that we overindulge! The gentleman had been right all along. The souvlaki and gyros were a revelation to the tastebuds! Reminiscent of the traditional kebab eaten in India – and part of Middle Eastern cuisine – the souvlaki is seasoned, bite-sized pieces of meat grilled on a skewer…

  • Athens Panathenaic Stadium, from the corner table, #fromthecornertable
    Travel

    Athens, Where History Lies Under the Sun #2

    Up until a few months ago, a mention of Olympic Games would have entailed a spirited discussion about the performances of Indian players and the support they need, the freakily high medal tallies of some countries, Nadia Comăneci (my first memory of all things Olympics), a goosebump-inducing video titled ‘Freedom Run’ played on the national television back in the 1980s-90s and the Olympic Torch Lighting Ceremony, not necessarily in the particular order. Mention Olympics Games now and I will spend a healthy few minutes talking about the spectacular Panathenaic Stadium in Athens. The gleaming marble of the stadium, the podium for winners and the Olympic Games symbol etched on the…

  • Skordalia & Tzatziki, from the corner table, #fromthecornertable
    Tuck-In

    ‘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…