Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Sri Lanka : A Teaser

Many people would ask me, "What to do in Sri Lanka?"

Because, I was in Colombo in November 2015, and in Kandy the following January.

Here are the reasons why you should NOT be asking me that question:
I was there for work. Alone. Not exactly, but without friends and family - I had senior colleagues with me. And amidst tight deadlines. So much so, we had to work day in and day out, even during weekends, leaving us no time for enjoying.

Now comes the reason you may still consider asking me, nevertheless:

A beautiful country is beautiful in all aspects: so what I could absorb is enough to give you a feel.

Look at this- the road is adjoined by a railway track, and the sea is right after that!

Colombo has a sea face along Galle Face Road.. the view of the sunset is so tranquil. 

Kandy, on the other hand, is a land locked town. The key attraction is the beautiful Kandy Lake. It is a man made lake... a jog round it is a perfect start to your mornings!

And while you move around the lake, you'll come across the world famous temple, Temple of Tooth. Many followers of Buddhism travel from all over the globe just to visit this temple. Just make sure you are dressed decently. Men in shorts are not permitted inside.

But, what to eat? Well, all cuisines are available. And if you want to try something Sri Lankan, then try their chicken curry. Make sure you check out the local bakeries which offer fresh pastries, cakes and snacks.
You may like to shop for Sri Lankan cottons, gems and local handicrafts in Kandy. Money exchange is quite convenient, so there is no need to carry too much local currency.
Photos courtesy: Myself
For more details, contact me on my Facebook page

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Summer Collection Menu at The Imperial

While the heat waves sweep over North India, do not let the heat get your appetite. Try the Summer Collection Menu at The Spice Route, The Imperial, New Delhi, which balances our desire for good food with the fruit of the season – mango. When asked for the inspiration behind such an innovative palette, Chef Veena smiles and says, “We dress differently in Summer. So why not eat differently too?”

You are in for a surprise as you shall move on to try the new, yet simple recipes inspired from Thailand, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. For example, the traditional salad is replaced by YUM SEE KLER, also called “Four friends’ Salad”, which contains tangy carrot, raw papaya, raw and ripe mango.

Tossed with peanuts, this keeps you admiring the balance of the ingredients and sets your mood on the hunger track, where you want to delve for more.

Another salad you may like to try is YUM MAMUANG, Chef Veena’s signature preparation: freshly grated green mango tossed in spicy and tangy Thai dressing. 

But do not let the salads fool you to think that the Summer Collection Menu is all about vegetarian dishes. Chef Veena admits that some of these recipes are her own, but born out of experimenting with different spices.

Next in the menu that is likely to catch your fancy are AMBA ISSO TEMPERADU and ALLEPPEY FISH CURRY. The first is a Sri Lankan preparation of prawns, stir fried with curry powder and slivers of raw mango, while the latter is a recipe from Kerala, as suggested by the name. It is fish fillet cooked in traditional Kerala curry and raw mango.

For the chicken lovers, the menu features GA XAO HOT DIEU, a Vietnamese preparation of stir-fried chicken with ripe mango and cashewnuts. It has a subtle tangy taste, which makes it my personal recommendation for all food lovers.

Mangoes dominate the main course too, where Chef Veena tosses up Jasmine rice with ripe mango cooked in coconut milk. I never knew one could cook rice like that!

Also try the MAAMBALAM  APPAM, or soft centered rice pancakes with mango. And if you still have space left in your tummy, finish your meal with the Vegan Mango icecream. 
Photos Courtesy: Self, Team Imperial
For more photos, visit my Facebook page.