Purplicious!

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Growing up, I didn’t care much for aubergine. It was one of those vegetables that just so happened to be part of the week’s repertoire. Also, I didn’t quite appreciate how its seedy gut oozed out once Mum was done roasting it on an open flame.

But as a food journalist you get bored ordering things that you know — for a fact — are good, and experiment with the unknown instead. At times you also want to test restaurants by trying out items that aren’t popular with the public.

This instinct (and instruction) led me to ordering Berenjaras Rellenas, baked aubergine with goat cheese, at Poco Loco in Bandra. Needless to say, aubergines soon became an obsession. I was ordering auberjine pakodas and sabji at Indian restaurants, and picked the most fragrant basil for the pesto sauce on the aubergine carpaccio I was cooking as a staple. I even wrote a feature about it for The Indian Express, much to the amusement of my editor who claims to have foreseen the headline: Purple Fever. Ah well. She knows me. She truly does.

Full feature here

Photo taken in a friend’s kitchen, Mumbai

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Food Writing | Some Published Work

So, my colleagues have been making fun of me because all my stories of late feature food items that just so happen to be healthier alternatives to staples. It started with a feature on beetroots (I mean, how many people do you know who would pay gourmet prices for something they refuse to eat at home anyway?); expanded to tea in cooking and the latest one features quinoa. Let’s not forget that story about oats, tofu…. and, oh man! Maybe they do have a point. In my defense (these things do need one to put their guard up, for some strange reason) with the right preparation, healthy food can actually taste better than heart-attack inducing favourites. Also, it’s always nice to know you have choices.

But just to prove them wrong, I’m going to do something so starkly different next week, just. Can’t be a writer and predictable at the same time, can you?