Posted in hawa mahal, india, indian, Iphone, Iphonex, jaipur, jaipur city, jaipur diaries, photography, Rajasthan, travel, travel diaries, travel writing, traveller, travelogue, Uncategorized

Travel Musings #1

It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.

So one fine day, I forgot about my dream to visit Hawa Mahal and here I am, standing in front of it.


Momentary dwelling is always better than day dreaming.

Caption credits: Eleven minutes by #paulocoelho

Posted in himachal, himachal pradesh, himalayas, india, indian, indian cuisine, indian food, kullu, mountains, north indian, road trip, things to do in himachal, tirthan, tirthan river, tirthan valley, travel, travel diaries, traveller, travelogue, trek, trekking, Uncategorized

Travelogue – Tirthan valley, Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, India

Nestled amongst the mighty Dhauladhars and the fierce Tirthan river, this enticing valley should be on your wish list if you adore mountains.

I was fortunate enough to visit this beautiful place on a team outing and our stay was at the Camp Chrysalid, Tirthan, which is at the edge of the Great Himalayan National Park.
The rage of the Tirthan can be heard from a far off distance. It originates from the Tirthan glacier (I had no idea about this one) and flows through the treacherous landscape of the Himachal before
The journey from Delhi is an arduous one – 14 long hours and the last one hour is on a very narrow stretch of road. Forget your luxurious Volvo, a 30 seater has a better chance here.

The twittering of mountain birds welcome you as you step into the property of Camp Chrysalid. About 15-20 camps stand tall on a railed edge near the Tirthan river with damp Himalayan grass guiding your way. The camps/tents are well equipped with charging points, warm beds and blankets, inside pockets for keeping essentials, a shoe rack (wow!) and double layered mattresses. They are built on a raised platform, so no worries about water spoiling your luggage and beds during the monsoons or sporadic rain spell.

Washrooms are situated a few metres from the camps and are gender differentiated. The staff here is very energetic and loves to initiate all the team building activities with innovative energizers.
On day 1, after a back breaking journey of 15 hours and resting/refreshing for two hours, we decided to trek to a famous waterfall here. The trek is a short one but steep as hell. The crystal clear cold waters soothe your tired feet, so why not have a dip in them?

The meals are heavenly delicious and the variety in the dishes is exemplary.


On day 2, we proceeded for the adventurous activities – rappelling and valley crossing on a ropeway in the middle of the jungle on the mountains.
We visited this camp during the onset of monsoon and the river was in full flow. We were advised not to wade near the Tirthan so we restricted ourselves to a three step staircase while revelling in the songs that Tirthan played.

Posted in afghani chicken, chicken, chicken kebab, chicken tikka, gurgaon, india, indian, indian cuisine, kebab, mughlai, mughlai cuisine, mutton, north indian, seekh kebab, Uncategorized

Biryani Bhaijaan, Sushant Lok, Gurgaon

Yet another restaurant that promises to tantalize your palate, Biryani Bhaijaan is a nwly opened restaurant in Sushant Lok, Gurgaon. I commend the owner of this outlet because very few have the courage to experiment in Mughlai cuisine and succeed in that.

Chicken Malai Tikka: When mellow chicken pieces are drenched in thick, yoghurt based gravy, magic happens! The use of their secret masala adds to the depth of this mesmerizing appetizer. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Mutton Seekh kebab: As if the usual seekh kebabs weren’t appetizing enough that these guys drenched them in tangy and creamy gravy and presented it to you. Perfection is a small word for this one. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Murg Mussalam with Khameeri roti and Naan: I thank Biryani Bhaijaan for making my first experience with Murg Mussalam a memorable one. The consistency of the curry is perfect with the addition of peanuts and ginger jullienes. Chicken pieces are tender and egg perfectly boiled, but what baffles you the most is the addition of chicken seekh kebabs. A Mughlai experimentation at its best! Kalonji seeds are embedded in the naan imparting an unusual dimension to this whole ensemble. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


 Biryani Bhaijaan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in bangalore, biryani, coorg, coorg hills, dum biryani, hills, india, indian, indian cuisine, karnataka, kaveri, kushalnagar, madikeri, mutton biryani, mysore, mysore palace, namdroling monastery, resort, south indian, south indian cuisine, thallakaveri, travel, travel diaries, traveller, travelogue, Uncategorized, western ghats


We live in the vicinity of the Himalayas and it seems to be our first choice for a weekend getaway or even a long vacation. But when we are not yearning for an adventurous journey or a challenging trek, the hills of South India seem to be our next option.
Kodaikanal and Ooty have been on our bucket list for a long time now but we wanted a place away from the hustle bustle of the city life and touristy crowd. And that is where Coorg came in. No internet connection for two days with minimum network coverage can definitely leave anyone mad, but not when you are surrounded by three big hills, coffee plantation, colonial wood cottages, a small pond and an excellent hospitality.
Coorg is an enchanting travel destination located in the Western Ghats. When you head from Bangalore to the hilly slopes, the winding terrain bewitches you and it is difficult to take your eyes from the alluring scenic beauty.
Where to start: It takes around 6 hours from Bangalore to Coorg by a car through NH 2575 and en route you can enjoy the beauty of the famous Ramgarh hills where the legendary Sholay was filmed.
Pit stops: Kamat Upachar and Nakshatra
We had a light breakfast at Kamat located at Mudhugere, Bangalore Mysore Highway. The authentic South Indian Upma is to die for – a novelty for us North Indians.
A heavy lunch awaited us at Nakshatra located at the Bypass road, Hunsur on the Bangalore Mysore Road or NH 275. The chicken dum biryani was exceptional and it was the Mysore version of the biryani and was served with a spicy hot saalan or rasam. The vegetable curry was good though extra hot with the flavours of gun powder and garam masala igniting a lava on my palate. Washrooms are clean and ambience is good.

Just two hours from Coorg, we took a halt at Kushalnagar, which is home to several Tibetan settlements as well as the abode of Namdroling Monastery. A splendid Tibetan temple with a golden pagoda occupies the crest here. At around 4pm, you can hear the booming Buddhist chants when the monks gather in the main temple for their evening prayers. The chants sooth your clamorous soul and bring the eluding peace.
You can buy prayer flags, Tibetan handicrafts and paraphernalia from the shop at the starting of the monastery.

The uphill drive starts after Kushalnagar with very narrow paths. The roads become narrower as we proceed with the forests and the sideway plants/trees growing thicker and denser. The roads are not dangerous compared to the Himalayas, but they are deserted with no sign of a living being for miles. So it is better to avoid driving or even visiting the resort after 6pm.
The roads are not jittery and you will not feel even an impulse to vomit. But if you are a newbie, better to carry Avomin.
We had booked a resort, Leisure Vacations Three Hills, which is located in the valley and three giant hills surround it. It had three separate cottages and there were rooms in the main villa as well, but we had booked a cottage for ourselves and each morning we were greeted with a raw, enchanting natural beauty. There is a little pond nearby and one can spot the ducks gracefully swimming in it.

We visited Talakaveri the next day which is the place where the river Kaveri originates. A temple is situated here and because of the extreme height at which it is located you will be greeted by clouds which will be floating away in front of your eyes. Now if that doesn’t leave you flabbergasted, what will!

It is advisable to wear knee length or longer clothes to this place as you will not allowed to enter the temple. Additionally, they will rent out the traditional “lungi” or the wrap around garment at a meagre price of 10 bucks.

There are about hundreds of steps located near the temple and after climbing them, you can witness the whole picturesque and vividly green valley from the top. Though it would have been better if the temple authorities allow the tourists to wear footwear while climbing the stone steps, especially when the ground on the top is not levelled properly and has huge stones and boulders lying carelessly.
Our stay at the resort was pretty luxurious and relaxing. The steward assigned to us – Mr. Shiva took excellent care of the our requirements and was there to guide us about the place. We wished for authentic Coorg cuisine to be served to us and he, along with the cook presented the most explosive dishes to us. They were pretty new to us, extremely flavourful and way too spicy.



The dining area was in the main villa and the feasts were prepared on demand. We came to know about a local favourite here – Karimpettu – a rice and sooji steamed ball taken with spicy vegetable curry. Another favourite was the bread omelette they served us in the breakfast – fluffy yet thin omelettes wrapped around raw breads.

After a stay of two nights, we headed back to Bangalore and what better than Mysore for an afternoon stop over?
Note: Do not forget to buy home made chocolates, organic honey, spices and cosmetics from the local shops while driving from Coorg to Madikeri. You won’t regret any bit of it.
Our next stop over was at Desi Platter, Mysore were we got to gorge upon the exploding Mysore mutton dum biryani and a vegetarian meal before heading on to the famed Mysore Palace.

The famed Mysore Palace, which is the official residence of the royal family of Mysore was next on our itinerary. Towering over you, the behemoth palace casts a spell on you with its beautifully crafted walls which light up in the evening.

It was built by the 24th Raja of Mysore and is exquisitely designed. The glittery yet pastel shades of the ramparts and the ceilings can give those French balustrades a run for their money. The graceful and gigantic pillared halls echo with the voices of the tourists without losing their mysterious sheen.

The marriage hall or the Kalyan Mandapa is a unique octagonal shaped hall with symmetry raging in every mosaic and motif. We were awed by the glass panels situated towards the top of the hall and we are pretty sure you will be too.


Posted in bacon, butter chicken, cheese, dal makhani, delhi, fettucine, fusion, fusion food, indian, indian cuisine, italian, italian cuisine, mac n cheese, macaroni, mushroom, mushroom sauce, naan, Pasta, risotto, Salad, spring roll, Uncategorized, white sauce pasta

The Chatter House, Khan Market, New Delhi

Food innovation is the current trend in the food industry and restaurants experimenting with fusion food are sure to attract customers time and again. Because combination dishes invite a loyal fan following and I am one of those people who love to explore new cuisines, even the blend of two or more.
The Chatter House has earned a fine reputation for experimenting with dishes and boy, they have succeeded in changing our palette preferences. Who could say no their Blue Cheese Naan or Port Wine with chocolate syrup?

For our Rock n Roll fans, this is the perfect place with the framed posters of The Beatles, Def Leppard, The Eagles and what not with a rivalling playlist is sure to seduce you.
Butter Chicken Spring Roll: Fusion food at its best! Who could have thought of combining the staple curry of Delhiites with the famed Oriental snack item? The spring roll has a light and flaky exterior with tender chicken pieces inside. The chicken is slightly drizzled with the smooth and creamy butter chicken gravy which is served separately and you have to dip your spring roll in the curry to enjoy this mouth watering decadence. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Garden in a bowl: Fresh vegetables – black olives, carrots, broccoli and cherry tomatoes along with roasted almonds served in a tangy and creamy yoghurt and eggplant based dressing and garnished with smoked olive dust – healthy as well as light. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Blue cheese Naan: This dish has been the most talked about snack item since the inception of this place. The chewy naan is redolent with the pungent flavour of blue cheese and chopped pineapple are adorned on its top so as to cut the sharpness of the cheese. Served with our very own Dal makhni which is ohh-so-creamy and we have a winner here. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Bacon Wrap Mac n Cheese: Why in the name of heaven did I binge on it? Because I can not stop craving it. The melt-in-the-mouth macaroni drenched in creamy and cheesy sauce and wrapped in a bacon strip which is smoked to perfection – bacon is crispy but not chewy and the mac n cheese is not too cheesy. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Mushroom Risotto: Subtlety defines this – smooth and not so creamy texture of the mushroom sauce with a topping of cherry tomatoes. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Fettucine Fungi De Basco: Their fettucine is prepared in house and when combined in the creamy white wine based sauce with the addition of mushroom ragout – we could not keep our hands off! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


The Chatter House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in achaari paneer tikka, afghani chicken, chicken, chicken kebab, chicken malai tikka, chicken pizza, chicken tangri, chicken tikka, delhi, gurgaon, indian, indian cuisine, kebab, leg piece, mughlai, mughlai cuisine, north indian, paneer, paneer lababdar, paneer tikka, tangri kebab, Uncategorized

Majnu Ka Tilla, Sushant Lok, Gurgaon

There are very few places specialising in Mughlai cuisine which are able to dish out a decent meal, forget about bringing their innovation to the table. The usual tikkas and kebabs sometimes get boring and creative energy in culinary arts is the rule of the day. Majnu ka Tilla has excelled on both the frontiers.

Without much ado, I would straightaway move forward to the loebly spread that was sent to me a few days back:

Chicken Tangri Kebab: Why in the name of God did I taste this? I have always been drawn towards the salivating Tangri Kebabs and these stuffed ones in thick sticky gravy just set a new bar for my taste buds. The stuffing of finely minced chicken with a juicy exterior of the leg piece drenched in yoghurt based gravy and the occasional green chillies will leave you yearning for more. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Achaari Paneer Tikka: Tangy and spicy – wohoooo! The smoked cottage cheese pieces and the red, yellow and green bell peppers were smoked to perfection in the tangy and peppery batter. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Majnu Special Afghani Chicken: The reason these guys call some of their dishes as special is because they use gravy in these appetizers. The tikka was perfectly smoked, succulent and drenched in a lovely gravy of yoghurt, green chillies and coriander flavoured with chaat masala . HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Chicken Tikka: Again gravy based with tender boneless chicken pieces spreading the warmth in your mouth as well as stomach. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Paneer Lababdar: Vegetarians, you have to binge on this one. Thick and sliky gravy with the occasional bite of cumin seeds and a prominent flavour of the onion tomato mixture goes so well with every Indian bread that you can think of. And the paneer – top notch! They also use a secret ingredient in their preparation which I am of course forbidden to reveal. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Majnu Ka Tilla Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in chicken, chicken kebab, indian, indian cuisine, multigrain chicken, seekh kebab, south indian, south indian cuisine, spring roll, Uncategorized

Unplugged Courtyard

Unplugged Courtyard recently launched their Monsoon menu and things couldn’t get any better!! The restaurant is a perfect place to dine out and has an impressive ambience.
Here are the dishes that I tried-
Chennai Express Cutlet – This one is made with rice and has a south indian flavour to it. Crunchy to the core.


Multi grain coated deep fried chicken fillet- As the whole world is getting obsessed with multigrains so why not coat chicken in it? An ingenious idea which is executed perfectly. It is crunchy as well as tangy.


Mexican Spring Roll – For all the people who can’t get enough of Spring Rolls, this one is divine. The sweet chilli sauce with which it is served takes it on a whole new level. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Banana Chicken – This one is grilled to perfection and is oh so juicy and tender at the same time. The flavours are bang on. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Kurkure Seekh kebab – The deep fried crunchy outer covering which encloses a soft chewy kebab is a different take on the traditional seekh kebab. It is spicy as well which makes it a winner for me. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.