Colonial cuisine that dominates the Dutch food culture

Culture and cuisine goes hand-in-hand. A country’s food culture tells you a lot about the country, its people and in part how they have evolved over time. Take India for instance. Kind of food you find differs from region to region. If it is all about rice and sambar in Tamil Nadu, fish, red rice…

The Dosa evolution

Dosa! It is the first thing you hear the minute non-South Indian people you travel with you learn that know you are a South Indian. It could be the auto walla who was driving me from my meeting place to work or the Dutch official who you met for a story on a sunny afternoon….

Depth of ‘I don’t know’

“I don’t know”. It is an ominous word really. You hear them the most when you do not want to and people generally do not use them when they are supposed to.   But when you think about it, it is probably the most common and irritating word you hear on a daily basis.  More often than…

An old Ambassador car and a watch that ticks MGR’s grave

I recently visited late Chief Minister MG Ramachandran memorial house in Arcot Road, T.Nagar. You would think that memorial house of politician who died 30 years ago would invite hardly any enthusiasm. MGR, as he is fondly called, is obviously an exception. He was an actor-turned-politician who served as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu…

Reading Haruki Murakami

I do not understand. I simply do not understand what is so great about Haruki Murakami and his most popular book Norwegian Wood. What the hell was the book supposed to mean? As someone who loves Japan and Japanese culture, it is natural that I want to consume any sort of literature about the country….

When Gods are imperfect

Mythology is as much about a country’s history as much about religion. More often than not literature or movies on a country’s mythology portray Gods as an all powerful entity. It could be Greek mythology about Zeus, Japanese folklore or Indian epics, the ideals of God does not change. While in a religion like Hinduism…

Ramen: a foreign bowl of comfort for Japanese

It is only recently that I took a liking to ramen, a popular Japanese noodle dish. It would not be right to say it is just popular, for ramen is part of Japanese food culture and in the last few years have taken over the world. And it is not even a Japanese dish.  You…

Middle-eastern cuisine at Mezze, Chennai

I had always wanted to try the food at Mezze, Chennai. For one I have never tried Middle eastern food and wanted to do so at an affordable place. Only Mezze fit the bill. Let me start from how you pronounce the word.  Mezze is pronounced Mezzah and not mezzi/messi like it spells. The word…

South Indian’s obsession with curd rice

One of the perks of being a business journalist is that you get to eat in fancy hotels, where more often than not wonderful array of mouthwatering delicacies from pasta salads to exotic desserts are spread before you. But no matter how much I drool over those refined dishes, my eyes always look for that…

Nagercoil Summer diary: Nungu Sharbat

Summer in Nagercoil is not pleasant. It is hot and humid. Air that blows is so hot that your eyes are burning all day. You sweat all over. But there are rewards though when you go out brazing the blazing sun, like Nungu Sharbat. You could say it is the watermelon and tender coconut equivalent…

When you can eat with your eyes

The story on importance of food arrangement in Japanese culture was published in the Hindu MetroPlus today (March 30).  There is a popular saying in Japan: “Me de taberu Nihonjin (Japanese people eat with their eyes)”. Yuko Shimizu, a Japanese language teacher in Chennai, explains that for the Japanese, the art of arranging food is…