The gift of stories

The gift of stories

Just before he began his famous ‘mayur gat’ (a gat is the depiction of a style of walking in Kathak) at the NCPA Mudra festival, Pandit Birju Maharaj spoke about how no one save for his father ever attempted this dance piece, so perfect was the latter’s embodiment. Even Maharajji’s uncles desisted from performing the … Continue reading

Eating Out at Konkan Cafe

Eating Out at Konkan Cafe

The Konkan stretch, from Raigad, Maharashtra, to the upper reaches of Karnataka, is one of the most scenic sites in India. Isolated beaches, historical forts, quirky towns and some mouth-watering food. In Mumbai, you are bound to find many places that serve either Malvani, Konkani, Goan or Manglorean food. There’s one place, though, that serves … Continue reading

In praise of the humble sheera

Breakfast, lunch, dinner, evening snack, pooja food – on some weird levels, the sheera can be compared to a certain species of insects, not out of pervert motives, but simply as a paean to its adaptability. Of all the Indian desserts, maybe even kheer and Bollywood-publicised Maa ka gaajar ka halwa, the simple sheera is … Continue reading

Sexy, a la 1950s

Howrah Bridge had one of the strangest movie posters I have ever seen. A pair of legs (maybe male, maybe female) straddle the title and the rest of the space is crammed with faces. Ashok Kumar pulls off a Bond-esque pose with a lit cigarette and a revolver, Mehmood looks hopelessly young and lost, there’s a … Continue reading

Thoughts of the afterlife

Given how badly people in Mumbai drive nowadays, I sometimes wonder whether I will make it home safe. At such times, it is always best to think  of things I can take with me to the afterlife, just like the numerous Egyptian pharaohs and queens. While I wouldn’t mind a pyramid being built in my … Continue reading

The IPL Opening Nite

Ideally, this post should have been categorised as a sporting one. But since such a category doesn’t exist, and the event doesn’t really redeem itself as a sporting one, it’s easy to classify it as a music-and-dance post. If the IPL Opening Nite is any standard of the event that is to follow, I am … Continue reading

Comfort baking

In a life full of uncertainty, with no idea of a future and regrets of the past, perhaps we find the smallest of comforts in food. In knowing that mixing the ingredients in the right proportion and letting it cook for the right time will give you exactly what you want – assurance. It’s a feeling that beats … Continue reading

Eating Out at Panchavati Gaurav

It’s back!!! The restaurant that defined the ‘thali’ experience for me is back and now when an irrationally insatiable appetite shows up in my stomach, I don’t have to traverse halfway across the city to satisfy it. Panchavati Gaurav, the thali restaurant that occupied a corner opposite Bombay Hospital is now up and running after … Continue reading

Once burnt, twice lucky

Once burnt, twice lucky

  Crème renversée au caramel I don’t know French, so the name itself was intimidating enough. To top it all, I wasn’t just about to make any regular  crème renversée au caramel. This was a recipe from the famed French cooking school Le Cordon Bleu, handed down to us by Julia Child.  If the name hasn’t intimidated you … Continue reading

Eating out at Koh

Eating out at Koh

As a Manglorean who grew up with coconut in everything from chips to dessert, it came as no surprise to me that I immediately took a liking to Thai food. Like any good cuisine should be, it’s diverse, tasty and very wholesome. Thai food is also freakishly difficult to get right. Most restaurants that claim … Continue reading

You ‘Butter’ believe it

You ‘Butter’ believe it

One of the most endearing memories of my childhood is my father staring down at me, as I sat in front of the breakfast plate. More often than not, he would have a resigned look on his face, before he said, “It doesn’t matter. It’s all going to be one big pool of mash inside … Continue reading

Something old, something new…

March is here with exasperatingly schizophrenic weather. It’s hot and dry in the afternoons and gusty in the evening. It’s unlike Mumbai, this weather. Like London (which has just one climate – drizzly), we too have just one climate, humid. Till a few years ago, the mercury dropping below 20 degrees was a reason for … Continue reading

Strawberry Swing

One of the flipsides of being a self-taught baker, with almost no professional qualification, is that no one is quite that ready to take you seriously. How, after all, would you ever trust someone who would be happy to eat the icing with Marie biscuit instead of spreading it on a cake? The upside is … Continue reading

Legends and their legacies

Legends and their legacies

The past few days saw a host of musical and dance concerts being organised in memory of some of the most legendary performing artistes in the field of classical music and dance in India. One such event as the Pandit Durga Lal Festival, organised by the Samved Society for Performing Arts. Now in its 22nd … Continue reading

Ud Jaayega Hans Akela

Ud Jaayega Hans Akela

Perhaps it’s a sign of our times. For centuries, in moments of stress and sorrow, people have turned to the heavens for answers, for respite and for a little strength. I turn to my iPod. This isn’t quite going to pan out as a belated eulogy to Steve Jobs. However, if it weren’t for Apple … Continue reading

About The Blog

Dear Reader, Welcome to the home of The Culture Mole.  On this blog, you will find reviews, opinions, recipes and the occasional rant. The idea of the blog was to create a space devoted to learning all about the classical Indian music and dance space in Mumbai. Now, however, the blog has taken on dimensions of its own. Old Bollywood … Continue reading

28 Before 28

Depending on which side of the age bar you fall, birthdays can be exciting, embarassing and outright cringe-worthy. Well, you can’t be blamed for not wanting people to remind you that you are growing old. It is also true, however, that after January 1, birthdays are the days when people get into resolution mode. And … Continue reading