Royal Rajasthan : Food Festival, Oberoi Bangalore

“Rajasthan, the mystical beauty & the land of the royals, is not only rich in its culture but also the food.” And Oberoi Hotels Bangalore is hosting a celebration of this rich heritage – The Royal Rajasthan Food Festival 

Two incredible chefs – Chefs Vipin Mogha and Rajender Joshi,  from The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur and the talented Mangania folk band have together to create a unique journey across this incredible state of India. An experience that is on offer at Le Jardin, Oberoi Bangalore.

I was invited to dine at this fest and through this post I intend to share a little glimpse of the my experience. Title Collage

The seasoned chef duo, have been specializing in cuisine from this amazing state of India. 

The interesting array of food ( roughly about 75 authentic dishes on a rotational menu) in this fest showcases the culinary strength of the duo and the nuances of the traditional rajasthani cuisine.


What we get to savour are some quintessential foods of the state – like the Lal Maas, Ker Sangri, Junglee Maas, Safed maas, Dal Pithode, Gatte ki Sauzi, Mirchi Pakode, Dal Baati Churma, Jalebi , Ghewar to name a few.

Fresh green and dry red chilli
Dal Bati chura
Dal Bati Churma

Some of the delicious dishes that this fest showcases are Amrood ki Subzi, Ambi Mangodi , Khad Khargosh , the incredibly flavourful Punchkuta ( It is a dry curry that celebrates the Ker, Sangri , and 3 wild berries) , Aloo Shorba.

What makes the dishes standout is not just the flavour, and technique but also ingredients that go on , the legend behind the dishes…and how the dishes came about. It was a delight to hear the stories, from the chefs, behind these signature dishes, while relishing them.

A satisfying dining experience lets you soak in a bit of culture and the royal rajasthani hospitality.


Raw Ker Sangri

veg kabab
Vegetarian Kabab and some fresh veggies as prop decor
Vegetarian Thali
Steam dal
Piping hot Dal on a beautiful earthen chulha.
Non-Vegetarian Thali
Jalebi ( and Rabri, not in the frame)


Period of the FestivalAugust 30 th to September 10th
Timing : Lunch ( 12:30pm – 3pm) and Dinner ( 7:30pm – 11pm)
Format : Buffet ( with a rotational menu)
Pricing : INR 1575 plus taxes per person / INR 1775 plus taxes per person with one domestic beer
Prior bookings preferred. Call at 080 2558 5858 


Drifting Focus 3 – Catch of the day!

Drifting Focus Part 3 – Catch of the Day!

Last month I took off to my sister’s place in Pune and also happened to make a quick trip to Mumbai. While In pune I wanted to experience the bazaar life and that’s exactly what I did. An opportunity for another Drifting Focus.

 Because I went all out crazy with camera – I ended up on a clicking spree. I decided to group the photos and split into two part. This post here is first part in the two-part series. (Coming up in the next part is food and other eats )

This 3rd Drifting focus ( & first in the two-part series) takes you a witness some still (ocean, mostly) life at a bustling Fish market in Pune.

When my sisters and I were little, sundays meant accompanying my ma or appa to the fish / meat market, because sundays were designated non-veg days (irrespective of fact that we may have had it during the week). Then in my teens I stopped it because, sadly, you know back then like a typical teenager, it was ‘not cool’ to be shopping with parents , let alone be seen in the fish/meat market. And then I was sensible enough understand and look through that shallow attitude, life happened. And I was all grown up and busy and away from parents. *Sigh*

Memories work in a strange way!
This time when I was in Pune for a couple of days, every time I would pass by a certain fish market , It brought back those childhood memories. I think it the sound of marathi amidst the smell of fish. Because my most earliest memories of fish market was of those market in mumbai, growing up in Vashi, Navi Mumbai.

So here is a glimpse of that Fish Market (and the ocean life it offers) in Pune, through my lens.

I stepped out to explore it and came back with some lovely little memories of meeting some super friendly fish-butchers, some incredible vada pav, and some of these – photos and some good catch ❤

The wait.
For the tones of red, blue and green!
Fresh ‘handpicked’ prawns
Crowded crabs
“Why me” !!!


Tray full!
Tell ‘Tails’ – The long & short of it!
Catch of the day!
Pink & beautiful!
Some dried ones
Herbs & Other greens
Fresh, as fresh can be!
Barely there tomatoes 😛
The bargain!
The line-up



In case you are interested to visit or revisit the Drifting Focus so far:

Busy Bazaar –

Walk in the park –



Southern Grandeur – The Launch of Grand Mercure, Mysuru


 AccorHotels and Brigade Group, Bangalore today announced the opening of   Grand Mercure Mysuru in South India’s popular growing tourist destination, Mysuru. Set in the historical city’s heartland, north of the majestic Mysore Palace, the hotel boasts 146 spacious and well-appointed contemporary rooms and suites and is located within close proximity of all major tourist attractions as well as the central business district. 

A few of us bloggers were invited to be a part of the launch of the hotel in mysuru. This post is an attempt to take your through the beauty and offerings of the hotel though my lens.

The warmth of the hotel staff can be felt the moment one steps in – the traditional royal mysuru welcome sets the tone for everything that follows after.welcome

In this beautiful business hotel, the guests can enjoy and experience the strong local connection of Mysuru and Karnataka’s culture and heritage.

blue yellow


The vibrant interior décor gives one a taste of the celebrated Royalty of Mysuru in a whole new contemporary way. The chandeliers on display exude a holistic and soulful concept of ‘bringing stories to life’ for the hotel. The philosophy of embracing the local culture and traditions is further reflected in the names of the hotel’s exclusive restaurants, delicatessen, meeting rooms and banqueting facilities.


sweet treat



Inspired by Mysuru’s rich culinary legacy, guests can feast on an extensive selection of cuisines at the hotel.  La Uppu serves an eclectic mix of global cuisine and local delicacies, is an all-day-dining multi-cuisine restaurant with an option of indoor and al-fresco seating;  By the blue, the rooftop specialty restaurant which overlooks the pool, serves Northern Indian cuisine; Silk Bar, by its name narrates the story of the famous silk in Mysuru and serves a mix of single malts, cocktails, mocktails, spirits and wines; and Deli Shop, a delicatessen at the lobby, serves the finest bakery and confectionary creations by talented chefs paired with an array of Indian coffees.




The aesthetically designed and tastefully done up interiors reflects the seemless marriage of traditional art and craft of mysuru with the contemporary. The use of silk saris, mythological artifacts, flowers, b&w and muted tones of vintage photos of historical places against the high contrast vibrant piece of complementing decorative subject – exhibits the thought behind bringing the hotel’s vision to life.


Strategically located, in what could arguably be the best location for a hotel in Mysuru. A hotel that guarantees the best seats for viewing the coveted Dussera procession, without having to the step out of the hotel. A definite clincher for tourists in the festive season.

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“The Grand Mercure brand prides itself as being a cultural touchstone in each destination that brings local stories to life. The Grand Mercure Mysuru will be the epitome of our vision, combining rich local traditions with renowned French touches to deliver a fresh perspective on world-class service” ( Jean-Michel Cassé, Senior Vice President, Operations, AccorHotels India) 

5A 25A

This upscale network of hotels and apartments combining rich local traditions with renowned French touches to deliver a fresh perspective on world-class service. Grand Mercure is a cultural touchstone in each destination, capturing guests’ imagination and bringing local stories to life.



29A 31A


The grand opening was graced by the esteemed presence of the Chief Minister of Karnataka, Shri Siddaramaiah , who inaugurated the hotel.  The Minister of Heavy Industry and Tourism for Karnataka, Shri R. V. Deshpande ,  M.R. Jaishankar, Chairman & Managing Director, Brigade Group, Jean-Michel Cassé, Senior Vice President, Operations, Accor Hotels India & Vineet Verma, Executive Director, Brigade Hospitality were the other dignitaries present on that evening. 

36A 37A

 To celebrate the opening, the hotel is offering a Deluxe rooms stay with breakfast for two inclusive of any one main meal from INR 7250 per night. This offer is valid from now until 30th June, 2016. The rate for a Standard Room is from INR 6000.

For more information on the Hotel and for inquiries , click here – Grand Mercure Mysuru 

Drifting Focus Part 2 – A Walk in the Park

In this second part of the Drifting Focus series – I take you for a walk in the park. Probably the largest community park in the city – Lalbagh.. ( Here is the first one in case you are interested – Bazaars of Bangalore)

If you have been following my work, you’d probably be familiar with my fascination for flawed things around me. I find such things very intriguing and am drawn to them.

In this post too, you’ll find my getting drawn to broken, old, dried, rusted everything objects. I wanted to capture things that a very much a part of the beautiful Lalbagh but probably haven’t been photographed much.

And then, of course there is food – our good old desi park-park. Plenty of options for folks to explore.

So, here’s the everyday lalbagh as seen through my lens :

Tree Trunk
Random Tree Trunk
Iron Park Bench
Gorgeous Iron Bench
I had absolutely no idea what this is … but it sure looked fascinating!
One of my fav. shots – Old discarded park bench supported by the tree…. Kept it B&W for it more hauntingly beautiful, than the coloured version ( which you will see further down in the post)
Red Stair_
Red walls & almost in ruins ….just couldn’t resist!
The coloured version of the old broken bench
The coloured version of the old broken bench


Nature caught in action!

Collage rust metal

All things old, metal & rusted …

Green and yellow
and then some more….

And then the glorious food ❤

chaat 1_
Veg & fruits chaat getting prepped
Bhutta !!! ❤
drinks 2
The much need liquid respite !
manga pine2
Pineapple | Raw Mango | Cucumber – Glorious Trio
One of my fav. park food … the immensely addictive Pori / spiced roasted puffed rice & peanuts.



Pori Wala1
The wonderful old man with his wonderful little cart.


Sodesh Momos – Dessert dumplings from Namma Calcutta

   Desserts ….are always a good idea! Desserts that are not overly sweet or the ones that are savoury sweet or simply some out of the ordinary desserts have been my recent fascination.

While a lot of Bengali sweets are notorious for being sugary sweet .. but there are a few that aren’t. Sondesh is one such blessing in the form of dessert… One of my favourites.

So when the good soul from the new Bengali eatery “Namma Calcutta” in the city informs me the I will be sent a sample of their signature dessert that involves Sondesh … I was sent to “Sondesh” heaven, almost instantly!!

New Momo3

This creative dish is the brainchild of Ranaq Sen ( the owner ), inspired by his mother’s cooking.

It is called Sondesh Momo – a sweet dumpling/momo – made with whole wheat flour infused with Nolen Gur ( date palm jaggery ) , stuffed with gorgeously delicious sondesh and served with Nolen Gur dipping sauce!

Solo momo dip 2 NEW

  It is incredible to see how Ranaq’s eyes light-up when he talks about his  signature dish.

     The sondesh is his mother’s recipe and indeed a special one, that! The sondesh stuffing is absolutely delicious.

New Momo4

The idea of using familiar flavours and turning it into something new has always appealed to me. That was indeed one the first things that got me interested in this dish.

The experience of dipping the mildly sweet dumplings/momos in the lovely nolen gur sauce makes it fun!

New Momo6

My only little wish is that the dumpling / momo wrapper be a little less thick. Maybe the fact that it is made of whole wheat flour has something to do with it.

Thinner wrapper will only enhance the experience of these having these beauties – because it would mean more sondesh !! 😛

Solo momo

     An simple creative fusion of familiar flavours & techniques , indeed makes this dish an interesting one. It also happens to be one the most sought after dishes at Namma Calcutta.    Solo momo dip 1 NEW

If you are into not-so-sweet desserts, and happen to be in Koramangala , Bangalore – do swing by Namma Calcutta and give this a go! ❤

Earthy Mediterranean Salad


     Another post that was  long overdue…. but incredible that I happened to post this on St.Patrick’s Day!! Saw a lot of green & white on my FB timeline while I was going over my archive. 😛

I’m going to skip the story on this one and head right into the recipe.


This one happened only because of the black radish I got from the farms of First Agro Sakura Fresh.

Gorgeous black & white beauty …some complementing greens to go with…balancing the contrast with some subtle beige and some more whites thrown in …. you get yourself a beautiful looking , quick hearty salad …..that almost looks like a St.patty’s day salad 😛


The spice of the harissa goes perfectly well with elements of this salad. Feel free to tone it down with a squeeze of lime or by blending it with yogurt.

I just mixed it with some olive oil and a dash of vinegar ..and that was my dressing.


The flavour profile – the blend of spice & pungency & zesty because of the presence of radish , goat cheese, chickpeas, harissa , vinegar, helps bring out the mediterranean feel of it.


Recipe – Earthy Mediterranean Salad

Ingredients :

  • Radish – 2 small to medium size black radish ( feel free to replace with regular white /red)
  • Boiled chickpeas -3/4 cup
  • Steamed Broccoli Florets –  3/4 cup
  • Spinach – roughly chopped – 1/2 cup
  • Goat cheese ( as much as you like)
  • Fresh coriander – a handful

For the dressing –

  • Harissa sauce ( store bought ) – 2 tablespoon appox.
  • Olive oil – 1 -2 tsp
  • White vinegar – 2 tsp

Method :

  • Make the harissa dressing by mixing the harissa sauce + olive oil + white vinegar in a bowl. Keep aside for later.
  • Slice the radish the way you’d like to. Keep aside.
  • Roughly chop the spinach and coriander …keep aside
  • Assemble the salad by tossing all the ingredients together.
  • Drizzle the dressing and toss well. Or serve it on the side.
  • Note – Feel free to tone the spice level down with a squeeze of lime or by blending it with yogurt.

Honey & My Honeycomb Dreams !


 The doorbell rang and it was our building’s ‘man friday’ …wanted to know if I’d like some fresh honey. Turns out that there was a hive on one of floors above us and that was going to be removed. (Apparently it was in their balcony!)

Honey – fresh off the hive……I said yes immediately and then I heard the most sweetest of words from him ever – ” Would you also like some honeycomb”?

” What? really!! I would love to… thank you! ” Before I even finish that inarticulate sentence…my mind was filled with the images of the all the stunning gorgeous honeycomb I’d seen on TV and on the web. I couldn’t contain  my excitement.

I had to wait…


 Meanwhile I started thinking of all the possible things I could do with the honeycomb. I had never tasted fresh honeycomb. Didn’t even know how to handle one. So obviously I googled for videos and tips.


I reached out a wonderfully talented , powerhouse of knowledge when it comes to food and biodiversity – Sangeeta Khanna ( )

She was more than kind to quickly share easy tips and tricks on how to use fresh honeycomb.


After about 40 odd mins, the doorbell rang again – I know who it was! There he stood with a bottle of honey that I had asked for. ❤

It looked gorgeous , gloriously golden… almost deep crimson silken nectar…. I see could that I had to filter it once before I could use it though.

 I was looking for the honeycomb but was told he will come back with in another 15 mins.


  Didn’t know I was in for a crazy surprise!

He returned with what I was eagerly waiting for …. and was stumped by what I saw. A beige colour crumpled-up blob of a thing!! Wait ..that cannot be my honeycomb… please let that not be my honeycomb!

But it was.

They had pressed it , squeezed the last ounce of honey from it. Crushed it using the palms of their hand.

All my honeycomb dreams came crashing down! 😦


   I still do a few things that Sangeeta had suggested but definitely not the dessert I wanted to do with that. Hmmm…. hopefully sometime soon. Next time!

But I’m really …really happy about the fresh 1 litre of honey,though! Intensely sweet and dark…a little smokey ( because burnt / smoked the hive!) …the depth of the flavour it has is incredible. Talking about flavour ….honestly, the other branded ones fail miserably to this fresh unprocessed honey!  Honey

So, as you can see.. I went a little overboard trying to capture the beauty of this honey… 😛

And finally I leave you with this …. hahaha!


(Ref Honeycomb image courtesy –