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kunal vijayakar

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Most countries have some version of food on a stick. In India, there is, of course, the seekh kebab. But also kulfi, golas, cocktail snacks and, more recently, bite-sized desserts on skewers.(iStock)

Stick ’em up: The best treats on skewers, with Kunal Vijayakar

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Vijayakar
UPDATED ON MAR 13, 2020 08:54 PM IST
You can cook almost anything on a stick. The first recorded use of skewers was in Turkey, in 1377. And America even has a ‘National Something on a Stick Day’, coming up on March 28.
‘Sometimes I dream of hot butter naan and mutton rara. My favourite place to eat this — United Coffee House at Connaught Place in Delhi.’
‘Sometimes I dream of hot butter naan and mutton rara. My favourite place to eat this — United Coffee House at Connaught Place in Delhi.’

Meat dreams are made of these: Kunal Vijayakar on the stuff of his fantasies

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Vijayakar
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2020 09:41 PM IST
‘Three mutton dishes appear constantly in my dreams - the rara, do pyaza and jalfrezi’, says the foodie. ‘And each has a riveting origin tale.’
Pooja Dhingra’s Le 15 cupcakes are what they should be, not blobs of sweetened cream on sponge, but little bites of joy.(IMAGE COURTESY LE 15 PATISSERIE)
Pooja Dhingra’s Le 15 cupcakes are what they should be, not blobs of sweetened cream on sponge, but little bites of joy.(IMAGE COURTESY LE 15 PATISSERIE)

Let me eat cake! Kunal Vijayakar on his favourite city desserts

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Vujayakar
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2020 09:03 PM IST
From time-honoured tortes and brownies that built an empire to light-as-air macarons and gateaux that get you going
‘To work, for me, an omelette must have masala,’ Vijayakar says, ‘but the truth is you can mix the eggs with pretty much anything - even, as above, oatmeal, whipped cream and fruit.’(Shutterstock)
‘To work, for me, an omelette must have masala,’ Vijayakar says, ‘but the truth is you can mix the eggs with pretty much anything - even, as above, oatmeal, whipped cream and fruit.’(Shutterstock)

How the omelette won my heart: Kunal Vijayakar on his love for the Parsi pora

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Vijayakar
PUBLISHED ON FEB 21, 2020 09:32 PM IST
The pora is an omelette so packed with ingredients that you can hardly taste the egg — much like the original omelette itself.
The Royal Malwa Thali served at a pop-up at Flea Bazaar Café was a feast of deliciously different kababs, curries, daals and parathas.(Photo courtesy Rushina Munshaw-Ghildiyal)
The Royal Malwa Thali served at a pop-up at Flea Bazaar Café was a feast of deliciously different kababs, curries, daals and parathas.(Photo courtesy Rushina Munshaw-Ghildiyal)

Have you ever eaten a halwa made of meat? Kunal Vijayakar did, and loved it

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Vijayakar
UPDATED ON FEB 14, 2020 10:09 PM IST
At a recent Malwa cuisine pop-up, Anuradha Joshi Medhora served up rare treats from Madhya Pradesh. The crowning glory - an exquisite, delicate maas ka halwa.
(iStock)
(iStock)

Don’t be flaky. Poha is as desi as it gets, says Kunal Vijayakar

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Vijayakar
PUBLISHED ON FEB 07, 2020 08:03 PM IST
‘Across India, from Maharashtra and Goa to Odisha and Karnataka, there are much-loved recipes built around the dried rice flakes. Too much poha un-Indian? That’s absurd.’
The bhutte ka khees, a specialty of Indore, is grated corn, boiled then fried and spiced with hing, jeera, dhaniya and other spices. Ishara serves it garnished with pomegranate. Scroll down to meet the true stars of the establishment - Ishara’s staff.
The bhutte ka khees, a specialty of Indore, is grated corn, boiled then fried and spiced with hing, jeera, dhaniya and other spices. Ishara serves it garnished with pomegranate. Scroll down to meet the true stars of the establishment - Ishara’s staff.

In a rare treat, Kunal Vijayakar makes a meal of signs and symbols

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Vijayakar
UPDATED ON JAN 31, 2020 09:26 PM IST
The food at Ishara is good. But the true delight is the warmth and brightness that greet you at this unusually inclusive restaurant staffed by the speech- and hearing-impaired.
Hoppers offers some of the best Sri Lankan food in the English capital. (Above) Their Jaffna beef rib fry.
Hoppers offers some of the best Sri Lankan food in the English capital. (Above) Their Jaffna beef rib fry.

Homesick in London? Here’s where to eat, says Kunal Vijayakar

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Vijayakar
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2020 07:45 PM IST
There’s a lot of great Indian food, of course, but also Sri Lankan, Chinese, Thai and a myriad other choices to satisfy a palate craving spice and familiar flavours.
We use a lot of terms loosely and interchangeably... korma, curry, tari, salan. But each has a distinct meaning. Salan, for instance, is Hindi for a dish freshly prepared with spices. It can be veg or non-veg; indeed, you can make a salan out of almost anything. But it is meant to be consumed immediately, not stored.(HT Photo)
We use a lot of terms loosely and interchangeably... korma, curry, tari, salan. But each has a distinct meaning. Salan, for instance, is Hindi for a dish freshly prepared with spices. It can be veg or non-veg; indeed, you can make a salan out of almost anything. But it is meant to be consumed immediately, not stored.(HT Photo)

Decoding the mysteries of Mughlai food, with Kunal Vijayakar

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Vijayakar
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2020 09:02 PM IST
Why are some gravies thick and creamy, others thin and swimming in red oil? I decided to investigate, and found that there are actually clear answers.
Scones, brownies and hot, crisp jalebis - the latter so fresh that they only came out two at a time - were how Ashish Kaushik and his wife Jyoti marked tea time at their Nashik home.
Scones, brownies and hot, crisp jalebis - the latter so fresh that they only came out two at a time - were how Ashish Kaushik and his wife Jyoti marked tea time at their Nashik home.

Kunal Vijayakar heads to Nashik, for a feast crafted by true foodies

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Vijayakar
PUBLISHED ON JAN 10, 2020 09:24 PM IST
A day of unforgettable food included a high tea of homemade samosas, a terrace barbecue, and the best brownies I’ve had in my life.
Why do we need a black burger bun or a scoop of ice-cream that looks like a ball of grease?(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Why do we need a black burger bun or a scoop of ice-cream that looks like a ball of grease?(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

I’ve had enough: Kunal Vijayakar on food trends to retire in 2020

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Vijayakar
PUBLISHED ON JAN 03, 2020 07:57 PM IST
Kale, avocado, food with activated charcoal — the author lists all the food trends from 2019 that need to go and trends like cross-cultural and hyper-regional cuisine that are emerging
Yellowtail salmon carpaccio with tuna caviar and pine nuts at the newly fashioned Eau Bar, at The Oberoi.
Yellowtail salmon carpaccio with tuna caviar and pine nuts at the newly fashioned Eau Bar, at The Oberoi.

Greatest hits: Kunal Vijayakar lists his favourite restaurants from 2019

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Vijayakar
PUBLISHED ON DEC 27, 2019 07:32 PM IST
A straight-from-the-heart account from eating joints, new and old, that made the foodie sit up and take notice this past year.
A good lemon pudding should separate, with the top crusty and cake-like, and a tarty and zesty lemony sauce at the bottom. For me, one helping of this miracle is never enough.(iStock)
A good lemon pudding should separate, with the top crusty and cake-like, and a tarty and zesty lemony sauce at the bottom. For me, one helping of this miracle is never enough.(iStock)

Go on a treacly pudding trail with Kunal Vijayakar

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Vijayakar
UPDATED ON DEC 20, 2019 09:51 PM IST
‘This form of dessert has its origins in the Roman invasion of Britain,’ Vijayakar says. ‘My favourite pudding? Lemon. My least favourite? The useless blancmange.’
Tender coconut and cashew sukke at Goa Portuguesa. Even a regular fish curry tastes different, when done in the Hindu style, because of the different spice mix.
Tender coconut and cashew sukke at Goa Portuguesa. Even a regular fish curry tastes different, when done in the Hindu style, because of the different spice mix.

A tour of Hindu Goan cuisine, with Kunal Vijayakar

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Vijayakar
PUBLISHED ON DEC 13, 2019 09:10 PM IST
It’s not easy, but it’s worth the effort, to try and find places where you can explore this vast and very different world.
Bheja Fry at Nagdevi Street. Before refrigeration, once an animal was slaughtered, all of it had to be consumed in one steady stream, and so — around the world — each body part acquired a unique recipe and method of treatment.(HT File Photo)
Bheja Fry at Nagdevi Street. Before refrigeration, once an animal was slaughtered, all of it had to be consumed in one steady stream, and so — around the world — each body part acquired a unique recipe and method of treatment.(HT File Photo)

Offal with it’s head! Kunal Vijayakar’s guide to feasting on ‘scraps’

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Vijayakar
UPDATED ON DEC 06, 2019 08:56 PM IST
Some might shudder at the thought of bull’s testicles in Spain, I drool. There’s a beauty to the nose-to-tail approach in cooking, and a tonne of gorgeous flavours too.
Tuna tartare with kokum saar. In his words, Rahul brings his international and Konkani tastebuds together in a chorus of strong flavours and vibrant textures, at Qualia, Lower Parel.
Tuna tartare with kokum saar. In his words, Rahul brings his international and Konkani tastebuds together in a chorus of strong flavours and vibrant textures, at Qualia, Lower Parel.

Qualia is all you’d expect from the original masterchef, says Kunal Vijayakar

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Vijayakar
PUBLISHED ON NOV 22, 2019 07:36 PM IST
Rahul Akerkar changed the way we ate in Bombay. First with Just Desserts, then Under the Over, then Indigo. Now, he’s doing it again.
I recently discovered a gem at Breach Candy, Mer Konfekt. They make vegetarian breads without any maida. Seen here is their Jowar Shingoda Baguette.
I recently discovered a gem at Breach Candy, Mer Konfekt. They make vegetarian breads without any maida. Seen here is their Jowar Shingoda Baguette.

Rise and shine: Where to find the best breads in Mumbai, with Kunal Vijayakar

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Vijayakar
PUBLISHED ON NOV 15, 2019 07:56 PM IST
Bakeries still make me light-headed. From brun pav to baguettes, I love them all. Here are some of my favourites, old and new.
Butter-garlic lobster at Mahesh Lunch Home. This is just one of the many mish-mashed Mangalore-inspired seafood recipes that the city now cannot do without.
Butter-garlic lobster at Mahesh Lunch Home. This is just one of the many mish-mashed Mangalore-inspired seafood recipes that the city now cannot do without.

Sync and swim: An Udupi seafood trail with Kunal Vijayakar

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Vijayakar
UPDATED ON NOV 08, 2019 08:47 PM IST
Once they had conquered Mumbai’s tastebuds with their impeccable idlis and vadas, the Shetty restaurateurs branched out — into marvellous, mouth-watering seafood.
The traditional banana leaf thali, the food hot, fresh and pure, is still much-sought-after in Mumbai.(iStock)
The traditional banana leaf thali, the food hot, fresh and pure, is still much-sought-after in Mumbai.(iStock)

How did Udupi get to be a city favourite? A culinary tour with Kunal Vijayakar

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Vijayakar
PUBLISHED ON NOV 01, 2019 09:11 PM IST
How come the idli is everywhere? And why is our rasam so sweet? Take a look at how one cuisine took over the eating-out scene, and then evolved to get even more popular.
Chef Metrani served, among other delights, Kibti, a recipe from the kitchens of the Maharaja of Patiala. It’s slow-cooked chick meat with saffron potato fondant, heirloom tomatoes and fenugreek.
Chef Metrani served, among other delights, Kibti, a recipe from the kitchens of the Maharaja of Patiala. It’s slow-cooked chick meat with saffron potato fondant, heirloom tomatoes and fenugreek.

A feast of lost dishes: Kunal Vijayakar looks back on a meal like no other in Rajasthan

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Vijayakar
UPDATED ON OCT 26, 2019 10:41 AM IST
It’s always Laal Maas, Ker Sangri and Dal Baati Churma in the desert state. But this time, I met chef Prasad Metrani at the Fairmont Jaipur, and it was a pan-India extravaganza.
The classic dishes at Copper Chimney are back on the menu, helping diner to turn back time over a meal.
The classic dishes at Copper Chimney are back on the menu, helping diner to turn back time over a meal.

Repast from the past: A meal from Kunal Vijayakar’s memory

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Vijayakar
PUBLISHED ON OCT 11, 2019 09:37 PM IST
One restaurant, serving Indian food in the city for generations, reintroduces its classics. And they taste just as good as they used to.
A good rogan josh is Kashmiri cuisine’s calling card across India and the world, and yet there is so much more to the region’s food.(HT FILE)
A good rogan josh is Kashmiri cuisine’s calling card across India and the world, and yet there is so much more to the region’s food.(HT FILE)

Wazwan and then some: Kunal Vijayakar on Kashmiri food

Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON OCT 05, 2019 04:33 PM IST
There are several places in Srinagar which serve a decent Wazwan, but try finding good Kashmiri Pandit food.
A lunch of berry pulao, made to Boman Kohinoor’s wife’s recipe, is considered one of the must-do meals in Mumbai.(SANTOSH HARHARE/ HT PHOTO)
A lunch of berry pulao, made to Boman Kohinoor’s wife’s recipe, is considered one of the must-do meals in Mumbai.(SANTOSH HARHARE/ HT PHOTO)

Berry old memory: Kunal Vijayakar on Britannia’s delights

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Vijayakar
PUBLISHED ON SEP 27, 2019 09:46 PM IST
Mumbai will miss Boman Kohinoor, who passed away at 97, after a lifetime spent behind the counter of Ballard Estate’s iconic Britannia & Co. See what makes the place so special.
The steak tenderloin burger at Indigo Deli, which has made excellent burgers since its birth in 2005.
The steak tenderloin burger at Indigo Deli, which has made excellent burgers since its birth in 2005.

Meat your heart out: Kunal Vijayakar goes on a burger trail in Mumbai

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Vijayakar
UPDATED ON SEP 20, 2019 09:13 PM IST
The real meat burger is making its way back into our lives, and in the proper way. Take a look...
A big part of the appeal of institutions like Gallops, at the Mahalaxmi Racecourse, is the old-world charm of everything from their menus to their decor and kindly, old-fashioned waiters.(HT File Photo)
A big part of the appeal of institutions like Gallops, at the Mahalaxmi Racecourse, is the old-world charm of everything from their menus to their decor and kindly, old-fashioned waiters.(HT File Photo)

A salute to restaurants that survive and thrive, in a city of flux

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Vijayakar
PUBLISHED ON SEP 13, 2019 09:42 PM IST
Gallops turns 33 this week. Gaylords is still going strong. Kunal Vijayakar takes a look at some of the best-loved classics in Mumbai.
You can do anything with the idea of the modak, as long as it’s the right shape. Country of Origin makes a Hazelnut Fudge one that’s nutty and gorgeously rich.
You can do anything with the idea of the modak, as long as it’s the right shape. Country of Origin makes a Hazelnut Fudge one that’s nutty and gorgeously rich.

Why is the box warm & other modak tales from Kunal Vijayakar

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Vijayakar
PUBLISHED ON SEP 06, 2019 08:29 PM IST
The peda version of this Ganeshotsav treat has become so popular in Mumbai, that many people have forgotten that the real modak is a steamed, soft creation with a stuffing.
A traditional Onam Sadya is served on a banana leaf, and should have at least 23 items. Now that’s what I call a feast!(iStock)
A traditional Onam Sadya is served on a banana leaf, and should have at least 23 items. Now that’s what I call a feast!(iStock)

A veg meal that even I adore, is the Onam Sadya, says Kunal Vijayakar

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Vijayakar
PUBLISHED ON AUG 30, 2019 07:23 PM IST
I am an ardent worshipper of food from Kerala, especially of Mapla and Syrian Christian delicacies, but the Sadya has a special place in my heart.
The world on a plate? It looks like a desi thali, but the gulab jamun has Persian roots, and the chicken tikka masala is actually Scottish.(iStock)
The world on a plate? It looks like a desi thali, but the gulab jamun has Persian roots, and the chicken tikka masala is actually Scottish.(iStock)

Notes from all over: Kunal Vijayakar traces the roots of some of our favourite foods

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Vijayakar
PUBLISHED ON AUG 23, 2019 08:50 PM IST
The rajma’s not Punjabi, the jalebi has roots in Lebanon. A look at other ways in which the world has enriched our ‘traditional’ cuisine.
Would you look at that spread! All the starters and mains we tried at Arth, Bandra.
Would you look at that spread! All the starters and mains we tried at Arth, Bandra.

Kunal Vijayakar looks back on a week of glorious restaurant meals

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Vijayakar
PUBLISHED ON AUG 09, 2019 09:19 PM IST
From desi food with a twist to a visiting culinary star, it’s been a stellar time for eating out, if you know where to go.
For tradition with a modern twist, try the Puran Poli Ice-Cream at Aaswad in Dadar.(Aalok Soni / HT Photo)
For tradition with a modern twist, try the Puran Poli Ice-Cream at Aaswad in Dadar.(Aalok Soni / HT Photo)

When is a fast as good as a feast? During Shravan, says Kunal Vijayakar

Hindustan Times | By Kunal Vijayakar
UPDATED ON AUG 02, 2019 09:10 PM IST
For two days a week during this season, even the meat-loving Pathare Prabus go vegetarian, and it’s a different kind of delight.
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