Food and Drink

Review: The Biscuit

Lizzie Collingham traces the journey of the biscuit from sustenance to sweet treats ♦ This story was originally published in India Today. This summer, when migrant workers streamed out of India’s locked down cities, one of the recurrent images of their long walks to their home villages was of packets of biscuits: sometimes all they …

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Bringing Home the Bacon

India is seeing the emergence of an enthusiastic culture around pork ♦ A version of this story was originally published in India Today. Being in a close relationship with a pork lover isn’t something you take lightly. Once, at a party, a large ham made a brief appearance before the guests prior to being whisked …

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Eating Clean

Theatrically sanitised restaurant meals, untouched by human hands and wrapped in meters of plastic are our new food fetish. ♦ This story was originally published in The Indian Quarterly. For as long as humans have recorded images of the world around them, they’ve recorded images of their food and diet. The earliest figurative cave paintings …

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Provisioning During a Pandemic

Gourmet ingredient delivery around India ♦ Originally published in India Today. Not too long ago, “gourmet” was synonymous with imported. Foreign products occupied the shelves of our loftier kirana dukaans, bearing unheard-of brand names and amusing MRPs. Still, with international shipping curtailed through the lockdown, India’s gourmands might have felt their absence. (But maybe not; …

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bpb Review: Kampai, Aerocity

Samurai gour-meh. ♦ Leaving aside roadside chow mein, unaffordable five-star hotels, and Delhi’s immortal Aka Sakas and Ichibans, three newer categories of east Asian eateries abound in the NCR these days. The first: pan-Asian delivery joints of varying quality, from the comfort curries of Culinaire to the poké bowls of newer contenders like Orient Heritage. …

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Gossip Folks

From feuding queens to rebel sultans, the dead are alive in Manu Pillai’s books. ♦ Originally published on VICE India. When Manu S. Pillai (“the S is important”) and I sat down to talk, gossip was at the top of the table. We were at a mutual friend’s apartment, our chat getting progressively boozy as …

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bpb Review: Piso 16, Nehru Place

Literally on the level. ♦ Many, many New Delhi bars have tried to bring New York home. (Bombay is – of course – worse: an ‘It Happened In New York’ was rampant in Bandra until very recently.) But Piso 16’s vibe is, no jokes, somewhere between a posh Midtown hotel bar and a Harlem cocktail club. …

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bpb Review: Bo-Tai, Mehrauli

Bandage dresses, duck sausage, and Naga fireballs. Oh Mehrauli. ♦ To be seated at the bar at Bo-Tai, restaurateur Zorawar Kalra’s newest establishment, is to survey a food empire from one of its loftiest watchtowers. Above us, the liquor shelves bristle with bottles of Cîroc vodka and Monkey 47 gin; around us waiters and hosts …

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Beef in Sheep’s Clothing

A chef spills the beans about serving beef in India. ♦ Welcome back to Restaurant Confessionals , where we talk to the unheard voices of the restaurant industry from both the front-of-house and back-of-house about what really goes on behind the scenes at your favourite establishments. This time, a Delhi chef tells us about his beef with the ban. …

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