Gone are the days of the wedding cuisine comprising cauldrons of biryani and racks of delicious kebabs. Today, the menu feels like a carefully chosen extension of the location and decor, so it is refined, but also playful.
Five-star caterers across the country offer a variety from Indian with a twist, to East Asian, European or Arabic. The common denominator is freshly sourced, good-looking ingredients that look too good to eat, in flavours that are too amazing to forget.
Rasam shots anyone? Or mini samosas and idlis, maybe? Forget state-wide variations, most states have cuisine that is exclusive to a particular region, so the range that an Indian menu can offer is mind-boggling. The trick is to jazz things up, so that homey food becomes contemporary and global. So, whether it’s lamb seekh paired with apricot chutney, masala-tossed asparagus, trio of rice flavours in lemon, tamarind and coconut, or a live jalebi counter and a gulab jamun pyramid, Indian wedding food now comes with a generous side serving of flair.
While most of us Indians can never get our fill of Oriental food, it has definitely come a long way from the splash of soya sauce on noodles. Continue reading “A Spin on Wedding Food”
It is difficult to keep a good thing secret for too long anyway. While for decades everyone headed to Goa’s famed beaches in Anjuna, Candolim, Vagator and Colva, and on tours of the churches and old bungalows, visitors are slowly discovering that there is a charming verdant personality to this tiny state that comes alive with the rains.
Indian monsoons give a different dimension to the land anyway. In Goa, you feel that nature turns green in an almost sci-fi manner; it’s so lush.
Thankfully, Goan hoteliers agree that the tourist season is no longer confined between October and May. We may have fewer parties and events to head to, when the monsoon starts in mid-May and hits its stride in June, but that means it is more tranquil. Continue reading “Monsoon and Green Goa”
Accessible global travel and far-flung relatives, among other things, mean that a wedding destination today is given almost as much thought as the bridal trousseau. And why not? The ‘once in a lifetime’ event warrants a location that will forever conjure up ‘remember how the waves were beating against the shore while we made the vows?’ sort of happy memories.
From the boho chic to the opulent, here is a bouquet of special spots that will add a rare and romantic magic to the ceremony, be it traditional Indian or a multi-ethnic mix. And it’s all largely al-fresco, so nature lends its abundant beauty to the wedding decor.
Ras Al Khaimah, UAE: Add romance through the mystery of old Arabic tales in this quiet Emirate, which has a beautiful beach, desert dunes and cosmopolitanism, without the price tag of nearby Dubai. Ras Al Khaimah has a rustic charm, but boasts several star hotels and classy beach resorts that will pamper the special guests. Continue reading “Five Exotic Spots For The “I Do””
Coorg in the rains!
We chose to travel by car from Bangalore to Orange County Resort in Coorg. In retrospect, it was a long winded route to take; Mangalore would have been a smarter idea! As it turned out, the drive was long, but it was worth every hour spent on the road. Coorg, or Kodagu, is home to the Kodavas, who were a warrior community. Kodagu was a separate state during British rule, but was merged into Karnataka after India’s independence. Not without reason, Kodagu is rated as one of the top hill station destinations in India.
Our first stop was Orange County, which turned out to be a haven of monsoon delight! The website of the hotel had used the words ‘bygone era of the Gentleman Planter’ and it could not have been more descriptive! Surrounded by coffee plantations, the resort was indeed a step back into another era. But the best part of the whole experience, was, of course, the rain! There’s something to be said for the lush, verdant greenery that only the monsoons bring to India. Continue reading “Coorg in the Rains”
A trip to Rajasthan has always held the allure of stepping back into magical times. The splendour of the erstwhile Maharajas. The lilting strains of ‘kesariya balam’ haunting the sand dunes. Those goose bump raising stories of chivalry and bravery, of battles fought for honour and name. While Jaipur, Udaipur and Jodhpur have remained etched in my memory as the vibrant Pink City, the ethereal white city and the right royal Blue City, my imagination has always been captured by the ruins of Chittorgarh.
My first visit to Chittorgarh, which is just 90 kms away from Udaipur, was made when I was in college, over 35 years ago. We stayed in a train bogey for 15 days, being shunted around all over Rajasthan in the most unceremonious and unromantic way… not how I thought I’d be introduced to this beautiful state. I swore then that I’d come back and do it the right way- in palace hotels, and all the trappings that go with them! Continue reading “Footprints in The sand”