I have been hearing about the use of quinoa (pronounced as keen-wa), as an alternative for grains, for quite some time now. I must mention here that my life-long struggle with size XL and health challenges has got me to do extensive reading on nutrition values of food. I can tell how many calories in a teaspoon of olive oil or how many grams of fat and protein in a raw egg without blinking my eyes. However, I was not keenly curious about quinoa because I avoid grains in my daily diets, i.e. I don’t eat rice and eat wheat minimally.
“It’s pouring here, guys. Don’t think I can make it” – I texted my friends around 4 pm, feeling a bit guilty because this was the third time I cancelled an adda at Niranjan Agar. The rain god was however not in a punishing mood and cleared the skies giving me ample time to make the journey. I took the metro (underground train), which I was told the most convenient transport for this particular destination. And it was so. It took me under 30 minutes to reach Girish Park Metro Station in North Calcutta from my south Calcutta residence.
It was mid-2012 and I was going through some major changes in my life. I moved to a new job in the city and left behind a 5-year job that involved taking care of four villages. Those villagers had become an extended family. I also moved to my own apartment embracing solo living and left behind my 100 year old ancestral house by the southern avenue lakes where I created 34 years of memories. Adjusting to the new life was not easy and my bipolar heart was on a roller coaster ride.
I had taken up a job with the local branch of Hope Foundation, an Irleand based non-profit organization that was committed to the street children of Kolkata. It funded many projects across Kolkata and one such project was Hope Café. And it was here, my heart found warmth and solace.
Kishh me quick! – If I ever say that to you, don’t pucker up your lips. 99% chances are I am asking you to get me a quiche. Since my ‘little girl’ days, I am enormously fond of bakery products. Be it Nahoum’s, Flury’s or my mom baking, the heavenly aroma of baked goodies used to have magnetic attraction on me. It’s no surprise that I grew up to be a very fat person and a deft baker myself. But in recent times, Kolkata cake scenes have been disappointing. It’s almost impossible to get ‘the real stuff’ at a moderate budget. But fret not…. at this time of crisis, Rayzin is a delicious answer to all our worries.
Sometimes you just remain blind, even though the object of your desire is right in front of your eyes. No I am not talking about the ideal life partner, though in a way it could be that too. I am talking about Hanglaatherium, the restaurant I visited for the first time a few days back. I came to know about it from Indrajit Lahiri’s post a few months back. Yes, the moha-mushkil man who makes our living mushkil with his first-rate food adventures. Next Hanglaatherium came up in Foodka’s biryani review episode. Lake Gardens is a stone’s throw away from my place. But I am too bad with locating places. So I remained unperturbed. Finally the Universe realized some intervention was required and suddenly a lunch was planned at Hanglaatherium with foodie friends.
The Hungry Heroes – Part 1
Let’s meet the faces behind our favourite restaurants. Let’s know the stories of those people who gave us our favourite burgers, or momos, or kebabs. Why?…. because good food is also about the people and the places. In this particular series, I will focus on those self-made food entrepreneurs and chefs who chased their dreams and followed their hearts. Part 1 features, Swarnaditya Upal Das, the man who created Hondo’s.
Swarnaditya Upal Das, the man behind Hondo’s
Classmates in St. Lawrence School called him Hondo, and the name stayed. So when Swarnaditya opened a food delivery centre back in 2013, the obvious choice was naming it Hondo’s. But what made a young man hailing from a two-generation lawyer family and being a law graduate himself, quit the familiar path and venture into the unknown territory of food business?
I was born and raised in Kolkata. Yet in the 4 decades I’ve spent in this city, I have never been to Sabir’s. In my defense I can say that my mom was a wizard in the kitchen and along with daily delicacies, special food was also very frequent. When it came to eating out, mom wouldn’t go beyond Park Street. Though I believe Dad was more adventurous and had been to these gems of food places, but didn’t reveal much at home paying respect to the (British) monarchy ;-).
Also, I never had food enthusiast friends until I got into food blogging/writing and met some of the craziest, most curious and enlightened food enthusiasts, the company of whom I treasure every bit. Sabir’s beeps strongly in their radar and soon a meet-up at the place was planned.