Paris II

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A Gallery & Some News

New Art Gallery at Walsall, simple, vibrant, informal and interactive – just as it should be.

Oh and yet again, I’m running behind on my best wishes to all you gorgeous ladies out there……Happy Women’s Day!

A 3-day delay is unforgivable really, especially when I’ve turned up without a recipe to show for it and also because I owe my schoolmate Sagarika, a loud thank-you for tagging me!

I should also let you know that my lifelong dream of visiting The Louvre (…or Pompidou, or the Eiffel Tower, or Pierre Hermé…) is no longer a distant possibility.

That’s right….I’m off to Paris for my Easter Break!!!

*Jumps up and does a pirouette!!*

I’m packing my camera, sketch-pad, water colors and a stuffy itenerary (something that I plan to put up soon for all of you scrutinize and add to).

Meanwhile, I have a request.

For all those of you who are lucky enough to have visted the city before, I desperately need help with the must-sees, must-eat-at, must-shop-at places in Paris!!!

Knick-knacks, high fashion, low fashion, shows, macarons, bistros, stationery, pottery, antiques, artichokes, coffee, et all!

Any suggestions?

Home Again


Only for four measly days though. But at least a vacation. Desperately needed a break from work…since we’re impossibly under-staffed…and those of us who still have their jobs are knee-deep in architectural soup.

BTW, I slimed out my camera inside the cabin and clicked a picture of my view.

I’m excited about the new look of the blog. Desperately trying to keep it stark and simple. Can barely contain myself.

Kareem’s

A sweaty Mumbai evening, greasy duct-taped tables, worn-out wooden benches, a couple of black soot-lined tandoors and the intoxicating smoky smell of kebabs.

Kareem’s, just off Carter Road at Bandra, Mumbai, was where we splurged on our Saturday night dinner. Being hardcore non-vegetarians, it was an obvious choice for me and Azaz. Fauri on the other hand, was apprehensive as always, since these eat-outs rarely have sufficient choices for vegetarians.

The menu is a humble single-page book. But don’t let the simplicity of it fool you.

The service is prompt. The crowd is a mixed one that includes college students, professionals, couples, families and friends just looking to spend the evening gorging on food at another eat-out.

But Kareem’s is not just another eat-out. There is only one workd to describe the food : awesome!!!

We ended up ordering Murg ke Reshmi Tikke, Sabz Dum Biriyani, Murg Nizami Roll and a Nawabi Gosht Nalli curry.

The reshmi tikka is technically skewered boneless pieces of chicken (or sausages made out of minced chicken, kheema) marinated in sour curd and a delicate mixture of spices. The kebabs melt in your mouth! The amount of sour curd used was near perfect in making the pieces tender and succulent without being too overpowering.

The usual accompaniment with kebabs, is a green mint chutney, which was, honestly, disappointing. It was minty alright but too bitter and lacked salt.

The roll was a delicious (and super-hot) combination of spicy meaty filling with a crispy flour wrap…not for the faint-hearted though, cosidering the amount of green chilies use.

The Nawabi Gosht Nalli curry was, well a nalli curry. A gorgeous meat-on-bone-with-marrow mutton curry — spicy with a sweet edge to it, which in turn brings out the taste of the marrow. The fun part, as always, was sucking the marrow out! The only down-part, if I can call that, was the fact that the curry was mealy. Heavy enough to make me push the other dishes away.

The Sabz Dum Biriyani was a regular dum biriyani, cooked in a flour-sealed pot in steam. The refreshing touch which set it slightly apart from most dum biriyanis was that a sprinkling of rose water in addition to zaffran (saffron) had been added before sealing the pot. The aroma was pure heaven!

The meal ended with a decadent chocolate firni (a traditional Indian, milk and rice flour pudding). Tasted good though not upto expectations and the quantity, unfortunately, was miserly.

Kareem’s does not burn a hole in your pocket at all but isn’t that cheap either. The kebabs are worth INR 125-180, depending on the “exoticness” of the ordered dish. The rolls at INR 85-100 are not so okay, considering the fact that they’re snack-sized but are not something you want to snack on. the vegetarian menu is limited, but delicious and appropriately priced, with the biriyanis priced at INR 125-150. A meal for two would cost you anything between Rs.400 – Rs.700.

My rating: 8/10….totally worth a weekend visit!

Ssshhh…

If you keep really quiet, you can almost here a pin drop…if only the crickets shut up.

I know I know, I’ve been away for God knows how many days. Weeks, rather.

But, in my defense; I WAS BUSY. No, really.

The festive season in Bengal is infectious and a hectic one. It affects everybody and somehow, work and hobby takes a back seat. I don’t know exactly what is it about Durga Puja, that makes every red-blooded Bengali jump up and go in a frenzy. Maybe its the faith, the aarti, the idols, the fumes of dhunuchi, the red of vermilion, the sound of dhak, or maybe its just the idea of wearing a new outfit everyday, dancing carefree to the beats of the dhaaki, gorgeous aloo bhaja and biting into the occasional naarkel naaru, the pandal-hopping, and everything else that follows. Whatever is it, I know this is one occasion everyone comes home for.

Well, honestly, I seriously didn’t have time to breathe, what with the proshad bitoron, and running around trying to gather the kids together for the evening performances. But I did get a few chances to click away happily at everything around me.

Mum and the ladies lined up for sindoor khela

Buli (the one in yellow) and me…yes yes, I know I look drunk….I’m not though…