Yes, I got featured. And being appreciated for work that is fuelled by your passion maters, a lot! It matters when a travel industry expert appreciates your work and provides a platform where you can share likes/dislikes. All of this while rubbing (virtual) shoulders with some of the most popular bloggers in town.
“Top Indian Food Bloggers & Their Favourite Places to Travel for Food” is a compilation of thoughts shared by bloggers. As Team Tripcrafters says about food bloggers, “…they scourge, they cook, they plate, they travel, they eat; to satisfy their souls as well as their readers.”
One of the main reasons I agreed to be a part of this article was a simple but tough task sent my way by Team Tripcrafters. They asked me to choose five ‘favourite’ dishes from the ones I’ve written about.
With more than 60 recipes and food-related posts on the blog, I was stumped.
How does one choose?
After a bit of hemming and hawing over the possibilities – that led me on ‘mission surf the blog’ – I found a handful of recipe posts that are special to me. For a variety of reasons…
Take for instance that bit about the Scottish Tablets (X’mas Tales with some Scottish Tablet). Reading through this post takes me back to the 3 days I spent huddled in a mini-van with 13 strangers, my nose pressed to the window as I stared in awe at the rolling scenery that is the Scottish Highlands. Tanned, tired but brimming with that sense of achievement – having completed my first solo trip – I remember biting into this beautiful bar of Scottish Tablet picked up at a corner store in Pitlochry. The melting fudginess of the Scottish tablet makes you hum in delight before your eyes pop open as the sugary milkiness melts in your mouth. A sugar coma follows but it’s worth a bite (or more) of that gorgeousness.
The Azeri Herb Omelette or Kyukyu-inspired omelette (Herb-y Egg Delight with an Azeri Touch) has become a household favourite since its debut at our breakfast table. Loaded with fresh herbs and greens, the Azeri version of the frittata is a delight! Not only is it a brilliant way to fill up on the greens, but the taste also brings back memories of the beautiful homemade meals I’d tucked into during my week-long trip to Azerbaijan.
The same could be said for the Azeri-inspired halva or ter khalvasy (An Exotic Diwali with Azeri-inspired Halva). Similar to the Indian aate ka halva (whole wheat flour halva), the ter khalvasy is an exotic treat for the senses touched with the comfort of familiar flavours. Who knew good old rose water and butter could weave magic like ter khalvasy! The dish is reminiscent of the similarities in Indian and Azeri food, culture and traditions. Most likely a result of both countries being prominent stops along the famous Silk Route, the article continues to remind me of the astonishment each time the Azeri host and I discovered something ‘same same’. “It’s all about sharing and adapting,” the much-older and wiser host would point out.
Also read Your Guide to Azerbaijan | Baku, a Potpourri of Influences #Chapter I | Baku, a Potpourri of Influences #Chapter 2 | Chai, Halva & Azeri Hospitality | A Newbie’s Guide to Azeri Cuisine #Chapter1 | A Newbie’s Guide to Azeri Cuisine #Chapter2
An apt example of cultural exchange and adaptation – in my books at least! – is the Shorshe Salmon (Salmon in Mustard Sauce). Taught by my elder sister Raka, this dish is the lesson on how people combine flavours they’ve grown up eating, along with locally available produce. “Because I am not going to drive to a market that is an hour away to get Indian fish!” is what she says when she pulls out her selection of Bengali spices to whip up a kaalo jeere diye courgettes (nigella-spiced courgettes), celery-coconut stir fry or kale bhaaja (kale fritters).
The Carrot & Date Rolls (Carrot & Date Rolls with Chocolate Drizzle) recipe was a result of inspired cooking. The kind that happens after you’ve been binge-watching your favourite food show, like Masterchef Australia. “I’ve got to try to make something beautiful, as I would in a pressure test!” was the thought as I walked into the kitchen, oozing with confidence. Use of my favourite winter food aside, I’m rather proud of the way I ‘plated’ the dish and the photographs clicked.
The last of the five food items mentioned in the article has an emotional connect. An ode to a wonderful woman I’ve known, the recipe for the Bengali Doi Chicken (Bengali Doi Chicken / Chicken in Yogurt Sauce) is a reminder of the way individuals leave behind a legacy in food. One of the main reasons I have a passion for food – albeit it’s mostly about eating! – has been the way the best of my memories of people and places are tied with food. As has been evident by all the rambling above which I shall now bring to an end.
Also read Musings from the Kitchen Corner
A link to the article is woven into the title in the previous paragraph and at the end of this post too. So do read it. And if you would, perhaps you’d like to share which has been your favourite food post (recipe or article) published on From the Corner Table? I’ll be delighted to know what you feel – the comment section is all yours!