I live in the dusty city of Gurgaon. I don’t like the city, like many of those who move here for work from other parts of the country. What I do love – people I work with. That’s why whenever I get a chance to hop on a plane and go home to Bangalore, I make a big deal of it. Mom’s food, my dog – Cookie, dad’s stories, sister’s stories, and just nostalgia makes me warm and fuzzy.
This time the occasion was Diwali, or as for us South Indians, Deepavali. A week’s break and it had to be spent at home. I get home on a Saturday, just in time for lunch. What’s for lunch you ask?
Fish curry, of course. Spicy, tangy and coconut-y curry where plump sardines were swimming. OK, that was mean, but the curry was delicious. See what I did there?
Post lunch, I walked around near home because that’s what you do when the weather kicks all kinds of ass. I headed to Shoppers Stop to get myself a pair of running shoes. It’s not a good time to step into a mall or any large store for that matter, when it’s Diwali (shopping) season. I didn’t find shoes, but I found something better *evil grin*. Plates and pretty tea cups. Actually, the tea cups were gigantic. It’s almost a hybrid of coffee mugs and tea cups. Anyway, I walked back home.
The next best meal came by after two days. Crab curry. This one’s probably the best thing mom’s cooked in years. She outdid herself. Crab lends so much flavour to its curry, it’s unbelievable.
The next day I took the bus and went to MG Road. I love how green it is right in the middle of the city over there. It’s great to walk around, especially when it’s drizzling. Did I tell you the weather was great. One of my favourite places for breakfast or any other meal in Bangalore is The Egg Factory. I absolutely love eggs and got myself a nice omlette and a hot chocolate. Sitting by the window, reading, and holding on to every minute that seemed to slip away with every bite and sip I took.
A trip to Chikamagalur was on the cards. My sister’s husband belongs to the place and his family lives there amidst their sprawling coffee and pepper plantations. We were invited to lunch and the menu included idiyappam, mutton curry, fried fish, chicken masala, poori, rasam, rice. We wandered around the estate and trust me, the air was so clean my lungs were definitely loving it.
I miss my dog immensely. Just look at her.
It was definitely sweater weather and boy, was it simply amazing. But it’s never not a good time for Corner House. I got myself their classic and my favourite, Hot Chocolate Fudge. Which by the way, is the best.
Before I left Bangalore, I had to have my share of *cough* beef *cough*. I hope nobody heard that. Anyway, I was loitering around the city as usual and was around Commercial Street. That’s when Peppa Zzing happened. Cozy little place, this one’s got the most delicious burgers. And there’s beef. Win-win! I got myself the Peppa Zzing Beef Burger. Service was quick and in a few minutes my face met the burger and I slapped on a big old grin like an idiot. I couldn’t be bothered about what was happening around me as I tucked myself into this burger which had caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, the juiciest and the most flavourful beef patty, in house mayo and a fried egg. There was a party in my mouth and no one else was invited.
Oh and I forgot to show you my running shoes. I did run. Look at all the food I demolished during my stay!
I rummaged through some old stuff at home, hoping to find something old and forgotten. And I did. Mom’s diary, recipe diary actually, from 1993. I found a few pages with my handwriting. Mom must’ve been dictating and I would’ve, like any food loving diligent child, made note of everything. The picture below has my mother’s notes though.
Lastly, I couldn’t leave the city without my favourite filter coffee. Got one straang cup from Maiyas.
I didn’t leave with a heavy heart or a sad face. I was glad to be home, but I also did look forward to coming back to Gurgaon to resume work and my routine. As much as you love going back to visit your family, the novelty wears off in a couple of days and you find yourself a tad restless and wanting to fly back to the nest you made and call it home. Rightly so.