shubhrachatterji shubhrachatterji

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Historywali  Research, Write, Direct, & Curate Projects on #Indian #History #Culture #Food Recent: Lost Recipes/Ekaant/Indipedia).

Bun Maska at Yazdani. Always better than Bun Maska you’ve had elsewhere. <3

Udvada keeps calling me back. And each time I go there I discover new things. To cook, eat, shoot, and this time around, to write into a chapter of a book. I first went to Udvada in 2011, and the sleepy one-lane village-town lined with the most beautiful houses, and oozing zen from every brick in the wall, every swing in every veranda, most faces in the windows, stole my heart. I was in love. And though much has changed in the last eight years, some houses have given way to multi-storey buildings bleargh and you now actually have a Cafe where you can order food as opposed to being served a ‘set menu’, I love Udvada more each time I go there. Also the district Udvada falls within is where I was born, not too far away in another Parsi town, Navsari. I get homecoming feels around here. I do. #Historywali goes #Home #Udvada #Gujarat #OnTheRoad #India #Parsi #Irani

The (half) Bengali in me died a sweet death and went straight to heaven after eating at the lovely new restaurant in town, Mustard, which opens in Bombay this coming weekend. I’ve been an admirer & follower of @pritha7406 ever since I managed to get her to agree to come on the Kolkata episode of Lost Recipes & make a chorchori with foraged greens cooked in a coconut shell sealed with clay soil from a river bed! Her knowledge and skill translate into the menu at Mustard, which has a French Kitchen, and a Bengali Kitchen, both distinct - no there is no ‘fusion’ here. Both cuisines employ the humble Mustard often, and so the name of the restaurant. But there is more than just that connect, the French colonies in Bengal have led to us borrowing influences from their kitchens! I asked a question that had long haunted me. If Bengali cooking claims to follow the principles of Ayurveda (the 6 rasas, and how the meals are eaten course by course, starting with ‘bitter’.), then how do we use milk and doi in our cooking of fish, as Ayurveda cautions against mixing the two? Pritha di put it down to the French influence, ‘They use milk and cream in their sauces, and we borrow what we like!’ We do, I agree! Ayurvedic principles may have been a starting point but over the last 500 years (and more, but largely the last 500) Bengal has seen many cultures pass through as they enter India or skim the coast for trade! Bengali cooking has borrowed from all of these cultures to become what it is today. The Malai Curry, The Doodh - Maach, and the Kosha Mangsho all allude to this confluence. Not fusion. Confluence. #HistorywaliEats #HistorywaliReccomends #NewRestaurant #Mustard #FrenchCuisine #BengaliCuisine

The monsoon - pakoda relationship is a long standing one. You don’t know one without the other. And so, late July, when most of the Indian Peninsula is covered by the dark and heavy monsoon clouds, is the perfect time to celebrate #ChaiPakodaDay hai na? I should have posted this yesterday, but just eating the Pakodas, drinking the Chai, and watching the clouds descend on us in a mist put me in a stupor. There are five kinds of pakodas in there. Aloo. Pyaaz. Raw banana (dip thin slices in the batter). Cauliflower. Paneer. I’d imagine that one can make pakodas out of practically anything that’s available at this time of the year (or any other). (Ps: All pakodas in the photograph were made by @iyerhigher, I just took pictures and ate the pakodas alongside one-fifth a bottle of tomato ketchup.)

The dome at CST, from the inside. Too vast, too grand, and indeed too beautiful to fit into a single photograph. See the stained-glass panels lining the circumference of the dome? They tell the story of the birth of the GIPR or the Great Indian Peninsular Railways, the Railways arm of the East India Company. On it are panels with elephant drawn carriages down to early locomotives, and these are as old as the building, which in my opinion is no less a wonder than the Taj Mahal. There is so much to it that one can’t possibly fit it into one post, article, or blog. It needs a book! I was lucky to shoot at CST recently, but I couldn’t do it half-justice! How do you fit 140 (and more) years of history into a 15 minute narrative. Still overwhelmed. #Historywali #CST #VT #Mumbai #unescoworldheritage

I’m home. I can write anywhere but nowhere is as nice as writing while the mountains stare at me, and I at them. And @iyerhigher pours me endless mugs of coffee which magically turn to glasses of wine come evening. Making a life in the mountains isn’t easy, but it’s always easy on the eyes. 😍

#ShortStory ... He was repairing an umbrella to the sound of the TV. She sat up to take some pills and lay down again. Tell me their story?

How many Tipsis do you see in the image? Tipsi, obviously inspired from Pepsi, logo and all, is a local brand of Badam Milk (Spiced Almond Milk) I’ve come across in Dehradun. Every part of India has its own bottled version, or un-bottled version in large vats in Sweet Shops. Badam Milk is as versatile as you get, had cold in the summer to cool you down, and hot on the winter to warm you up! I went looking up the history of Badam Milk and found that it is an aphrodisiac, hence kesar-badam milk on the wedding night! Also an integral part of the diet of Pehelwans (who are Hanuman Bhakts and Bhramhacharis) and spend hours grinding the badam into a paste as a part of their Kasrat. But mostly documented as a favourite of Royals & other Rich peeps in medieval India. #HistorywaliDrinks #HistorywaliEats #HistorywaliClicks

In some corners of 2018, there still lives a quiet 1990. Can I have a bottle of Gold Spot please?

Half-a-year of having each-other’s backs. We haven’t throttled each other yet, so I think we’ll be fine. Laughter & Stupidity are key. As is Patience. Love only grows fatter, as we are, by the day.

Spoils of a Matunga food + history recce.
Yes, I love what I do. 🤓☕️ #Historywali in #Matunga
#Bombay bolo ya #Mumbai 12 years here yet soooo much still to discover. ❤️

Hit the sweet spot with the Kombucha this week. Anand got me two kilos of beautiful Dehradun litchis, and so Litchi Kombucha it had to be. 6 days of slow (rainy weather) fermenting with the Scoby and another three days of fat fleshy sweet litchis soaking in the jar of fermented tea, and this is what we have. So yummy. And a happy tummy! Loving the colour that the new non-fancy Lipton Red Label leaf tea has lent this too. Was using Makaibari before this, but I’m finding plain old Lipton nicer. Most pleased with myself. #HistorywaliDrinks #Kombucha #HappyBelly #Fermentation #Organic #Litchis #Tea

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