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To Your Heart through Kolkata and Goa!

Posted by: The Gastronaut on Friday January 15, 2016

The saying goes like this: ‘Way to a man's heart is through his stomach’. But, I think this can’t just be about a man! After all given a chance who won’t be feasting on his/her choicest of foods on the table? So here is a gastro-trip for you through Kolkata and Goa.

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Midsummer Musings

Posted by: The Hummer on Monday June 15, 2015

Manning up midsummer, I’ve come to realise, is a matter of reconciling the adventuring and tender sides of ourselves. For June is invariably the month we travel and June is also Father’s Day.

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The Art Of Teppanyaki

Posted by: The Gastronaut on Monday June 8, 2015

I’d always thought of surprises life has in store for us as a box of chocolates or a brown paper package tied up with strings… That is, until I experienced the way of the iron-born. As chefs diced and set aflame a bespoke okonomiyaki for me, amazing me with their jaw-dropping knife skills, dexterous egg toss and prodigious pyro-magic, I learnt how surprises can dazzle, all flash and fiery and fresh!

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Nine Days and Nights of Fasting and Feasting

Posted by: The Gastronaut on Saturday September 20, 2014

It’s that time of the year again. Vijayadashami also known as Dussehra, is the nine-day long festival that celebrates the triumph of victory over evil. It is a precursor to the next big festival Diwali which is celebrated twenty days later to welcome the Goddess of light and wealth. Dussehra calls on the strength of the Mother Goddess to provide renewed vigour to the soil at the beginning of the Indian harvest season. Interestingly, this Indian festival is said to correspond to a nine-day Taoist Festival of the Nine Emperor Gods which begins on the eve of the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar. According to Taoism, the Nine Emperor Gods are high-ranking Star Lords who preside over the movement of planets and coordinate mortal life and death issues

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World Cocktail Week: Riding on Cocktails’ Fabulous Coattails

Posted by: The Gastronaut on Tuesday May 13, 2014

YOU DON'T REALLY NEED AN OCCASION TO LEAN OVER the counter and ask the bartender for a bellini or a caipirinha. But along comes one our way. World Cocktail Week . It’s been around for a while now; kicked off in 2006 to mark the 200th year of the cocktail and instituted to promote appreciation for the craft of the cocktail. Of the many questions that I can think of asking on the subject, the one I’ve always wanted to know is - why is a cocktail called a cocktail at all?

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Baisakhi: Cooking up a Storm

Posted by: The Gastronaut on Friday April 11, 2014

AROUND THIS TIME of the year in West Bengal, I am told there is a windstorm that is received with mixed feelings. Its ferocity is legendary, but it also brings relief from the peculiar brand of stifling, humid, heat that grips the region in the first few months of the year. Kalbaisakhi as the storm is known as, is the harbinger of a festivalthat marks the first month of the year in the Vedic solar calendar.

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Valentine’s: Count Yourself In as the Countdown Begins

Posted by: The Gastronaut on Wednesday February 12, 2014

THE RED OF VALENTINE'S is also the universal colour of alarm. No coincidence. It's not just meek or headstrong singletons who find themselves in the red on V Day, it's the idea of V day itself. The usual mania of blinkered celebrations paints too many people, animals and things into a graceless corner. It’s a day that will see the usual contingent of nervy kinds signing off early from office citing general weakness, just to avoid being teased. There will also be the teasers themselves signing off early, pretending to have a 'date'. But wait. Why couldn't we all just drop the hang-ups and celebrate?

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Kebabs, Candles and Tandoori Vodka

Posted by: The Hummer on Tuesday December 24, 2013

I HAVE A FRIEND who refuses to fall into the trap of celebrating an occasion on the right day. He's been loyal to the fetish for 20 years now. Earlier this month, he threw his birthday party twelve days ahead of the real day (for no apparent reason) and announced that he was rolling in the real Diwali as well into the celebrations. He is clearly of immense value to society.

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Heart of the Matter

Posted by: The Hummer on Friday February 8, 2013

Valentine's Day presents the perfect opportunity to honour love, the greatest love, in my book, being the love of food. 

I cannot recommend better ways to celebrate your affections in small and big ways than with aphrodisiacal confection – chocolates and cakes at the Gourmet Shop, ITC Sonar. Raise a toast to a profound sentiment with the finest Champagne, strawberries dipped in chocolate – part of an extravagant buffet at Jal Mahal, ITC Rajputana and ...

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Winter hues and Barbecues

Posted by: The Hummer on Wednesday December 26, 2012

I like smoke... when it emanates from a barbeque. 

Before the gloves and quilts are pulled out from obscure nooks, I roll- out my barbecue grill and tend to it. This is my way of welcoming the winters. As I see it, it has been a fine investment, one that has paid rich dividends and rewarded me with memorable evenings decorated with tantalising aromas, the sound of familiar voices engaged in banter and laughter interspersed by the reassuring sizzle of food on the grill.

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