The food channel comes home!


Having spent two nights in a hospital room with a poor WiFi signal, needles piercing my arms and eating some rather bland food, coming home was a heavenly feeling.

The hospital wasn’t all that bad. For starters, atleast we didn’t have to cook, or worry about household chores. Then there was a large TV – a device we have chosen not to include in our house. After all, who needs another screen and another monthly subscription for something we neither have time nor inclination to watch. So there we were in that homely room switching between food and science channels for pretty much all our waking hours. I have to say it had a little bit of an impact on me.

I’m not really a foodie. I know lots of people who are – they know which is the best place to eat in pretty much any part of town; what is the speciality of those food joints; and are even willing to travel a fair distance just to taste that one flavour which has the perfect contrast of textures and smells. For me, all that is Greek and Latin. But after a prolonged exposure to the micro waves of the TV shows, I decided to turn into a chef for a while.

The recipe – a tower of biscuits layered with creamy chocolate and dunked in coffee – was one my mother had been wanting to try out for long.

I took pictures along the way and noted down all the steps – detailing everything a TV chef would likely mention. Taking pictures meant that it took us four times the time it would normally take to make this sweet.

This week, Jen Hooks asked bloggers where their heart is. Right now, it is set on devouring this delicious piece of home-made tower of biscuits!

The tower of biscuits

To see how other bloggers interpreted this week’s photo challenge, head over to the Daily Post.


For those who are interested, here’s the recipe:

  1. Whip some milk cream with chocolate sauce.
  2. Add cornflour and heat the mixture over low flame, stirring constantly, till it thickens into a smooth paste.
  3. Spread the mixture over 6 Marie biscuits and place them one on top of the other.
  4. Cover the tower with an extra biscuit and press lightly.
  5. Pour coffee decoction over the tower, ensuring that the biscuits are fully soaked. Drain the excess coffee and place it in the freezer.
  6. Remove it after about half an hour, or till it becomes stable. It should be soft and have the consistency of cake. Make sure it does not freeze completely, or it will be nearly impossible to eat it!
  7. Serve as is, or sliced.
  8. Consume immediately – we did not keep it to test its shelf life 😉
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WPC: Today Was a Good Day


A photo story…

Waking up to the smell of fresh filter kaapi

Filter Kaapi
Perhaps the best coffee I have tasted – in Vaideeswaran Koil, Tamil Nadu

The sight of beautiful flowers on my way to work

Bougainvillea
Bougainvillea growing wild

Getting hands-on experience at work

Independence Day Decor
Lending a hand for the office decoration

Attending productive meetings, seminars and conferences

Meeting Boats
A conference note-boat (how I wish I had thought of it!)

Coming home to see a dream come to life

Kolam T-Shirt
T-shirt with my mom’s kolam, printed by MyDreamStore

And to end a day on a sweet note, a cake — or two!

Two Cakes
Celebrating my dad’s birthday with a cake baked at home, and one from the bakery

To see what a good day means to other bloggers, visit the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge

Conversations Over Cream Coffee


It was a chilly Sunday. And the best way to spend it was sitting in the winter sun.

We decided to visit the Indian Coffee House at Connaught Place*. We climbed up to the second floor of Mohan Singh Place. There were only a few people on the terrace. Empty tables were spread randomly, while plastic chairs were piled up, one on top of another, along the entrance. We grabbed our chairs, pulled up one of the plastic tables, and sat down to bask in the sun.

Apart from the outfits of the waiters, there really isn’t anything that looks fancy at the Indian Coffee House. Even the food isn’t really great. But the coffee is good, and its cheap! The main reason why I keep going there, however, is that it is absolutely laid-back. There is no such thing as spending too much time here. When most cafés will eventually ask you to leave, no one here will even hint at that. You are more likely to see people stepping in, than stepping out – even if you spend hours. Like my friend said, ‘It’s like being at home!’

We read the menu pasted on the wall, and ordered ourselves ‘Hot Cream Coffee’. A little while later, the waiter kept a pot of coffee for each of us, with cups, spoons, and a small bowl of sugar.

A Sketch Of Our Pot Of Coffee

As we poured out our coffee, and stirred in the sugar, I found myself looking towards the opposite side of the road.  A number of state emporia lined the street.

‘You know, there is a huge flower market here. It opens early morning, and winds up before breakfast.’ I looked towards the pavement. A large number of people were walking there, shouting slogans and carrying banners. It was hard to tell what they were campaigning for, though.

‘We used to come here on Sunday mornings, when we were in school.’

‘I know, you told me.’

‘We would get up lazily, and go about our morning routine reluctantly. And then, our father would ask, ‘Do you want to go to the flower market?’ And just like, that our faces would brighten up, and we’d get ready within no time!

It was such a treat! And I don’t mean just visually. We’d pick up a few flowers – usually roses, or orchids. The orchids would last much longer than most other flowers. And then we’d head over to the nearby McDonald’s. We hardly went to McDonald’s back then. It was a novelty. That particular branch used to open very early. And we’d always order a McShake with our breakfasts. Nah! The McShake was the breakfast. Of course things have changed a lot since then…’

My friend waited patiently, till I realised I had to shut up, and then suggested, ‘Maybe you should blog about it.’

* * *

*Connaught Place is now officially named Rajiv Chowk.

Going through WordPress’ freshly pressed entries, my eyes fell on a familiar image – flower sellers. The post ‘Where guys give roses’, about the flower markets in Delhi, refreshed some memories for me.

More Coffee:

The Delhi Walla’s photo essay, Indian Coffee House
Wikipedia loves the coffee at the Indian Coffee House