Saturday, June 27, 2015

My Best 12 Droolworthy Food Photographs

I love food.
Through and through. I am a self-proclaimed foodie and have no regrets on the "foodie" tag whatsoever. I love nibbling, biting, tasting, eating, chomping, slurping, munching, gulping down food. And living in Mumbai has pampered me silly with yummy food I cannot resist. So much so, I dream of good food and make goals to complete my foodie experience - from the raste ka vada pav to the hor d'oeuvress at a fine dining restaurant. And looking at good food can make me go weak in the knees. Literally. So here is my visual treat - The 12 droolworthy food photographs from my Instagram feed, so far:

A photo posted by Gauri (@missalpao) on
Why keep desserts for last? Let's begin on a sweet note (I sense those with a sweet-tooth nod in agreement). Chocolate Mud Pie that I savoured at Sbarro - A fast-food restaurant at their flagship restaurant in Chembur.

A photo posted by Gauri (@missalpao) on
"Who says 'NO' to chocolate must be crazy" I said when I dug into this wonderfully chunky treat at Beanspork, Vashi.

A photo posted by Gauri (@missalpao) on
A cold day called for some freshly baked hot Chicken pizza from Joey's Pizza, Koperkhairane. Care a slice?

We mangloreans love our jackfruit and the leaves too. To the uninitiated, 'Khotto' may simply seem like idli batter encased in jackfruit leaves, but the flavour the leaves impart into the idli is absolutely wonderful.

Goli Bajo. My all time favourite snack. A small story behind this snap. The batter for the 'bajo' (fritters) came all the way from a Hotel in Bailur, a small town in Karnataka. My ma-in-law fried these in hot oil and they came out perfect - firm on the outside, soft and tad bit sweet in the inside - just the way I ate them the first time.

Got some buns? Manglorean Buns are simply deep fried dough. The dough is made with refined flour, curd, sugar, bananas and a pinch of soda-bi-carb. A very very well kneaded and well rested dough makes for a delicious, puffy batch of buns. Buns go well with staple tea or coffee.

A true fish lover is bound to drool at this. Red hot spicy Malvani spicy fish curry is bound to leave you sweating thanks to the red chillies packing the punch in the curry, yet yearning for more.

One of the jaunts that I chanced upon when in Churchgate and devoured the Chilli Cheese Fries at 'The J' Must for a cheat-day.

A chutney connoisseur that I am, I prefer it over the watery sambhar that is made.(Yes, true to my South Indian roots). Though, I love the idli-wala uncle's ground dal based chutney over my mom's coconut and spices only chutney. (Shhh.... don't tell her that, idlis made by her always rock!)

For living in Bombay (Yes I call it that to sound more profound) you cannot, I repeat CANNOT go a week without chaat. I had this sev puri at a local shop at Goregaon. Every chaat guy has his signature style of presenting and plating chaat, and this guy always sprinkled seasoned nuts over all chaats he made.

Iconic as it is, a trip to City Bakery is a must when I'm visiting the Siddhivinayak Temple. It has been as much as a ritual as is smearing the vermilion teeka on my forehead after offering prayers. What I try loooove about this bakery is the fresh bakes they churn out day in and day out plus the affordable rates of their wares. When you're here you must also try the chocolate chip cake- it is out of this world.

When the rain Gods were overbearing outside, I was curled up in my cosy office devouring this succulently coated chindian cuisine. I'm not a purist when it comes to Chinese, so love all my "schezwans", "chopsueys" and "manchows". I had this Chicken Hunan Dry from a local restaurant called Manthan in Goregaon west. Thank you Rain Gods.

So this is my visual treat to you. What do you think? Lemme know your thoughts and experiences in the comments section of this post:

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

I don't know where to start. As I reflect back on the 25 years with you, I literally have tears in my eyes. Where do I start? No memory can be more beautiful than the other. I cherish each and every lovely memory I have with you till date. 

Should I ask you to remember the lavish party you threw when I was born? Or should I ask you to remember the time when you refused to hold me for the first time ever after I was born, only because you had a cold that day? 
Shall I ask you to reminisce the time you scolded me while teaching me to ride the bicycle? And then gradually pushing me to drive a car and ride a scooter.
Or how about the time you helped me ace my maths exam in high school; when I was petrified of it?
Can you remember the time I lost your favourite umbrella in an autorickshaw? And yet you didn't say anything but you gave me your other one.
Or shall I remind you the countless times you used to drop me to school in the car when I missed the bus? Even when
Let me remind you of the countless times I waited for your return from your foreign trips bringing me a memento or a gift each time? I still remember you basking in the smile on my face.
In school, do you remember fighting against a teacher’s wrong for me? I admired the power of your writing then.
In college, when I was staying away from home, do you remember the time you and mom took me to the doc when I was too sick with fever to get up?
When I grew up, do you remember you the time I forgot my exam hallticket at home? You rushed to the exam hall and got it for me. And the countless times you backed me even when I was in trouble.

Dad, with tight hug, I want to thank you with all my heart-

For the education you gave me
For the opportunities you gave me
For making me independent
For the values you gave me
For always being my guide
For the friendship we share
For the always treated me as an equal.
For giving me my freedom to make my choices
For supporting me through and through
For trusting me completely
For making me strong, just like you.

I will always always always always love you.

- Your Gondi Gauri

“This father’s day, I am expressing my love towards my dad by participating in the #HugYourDad activity at BlogAdda in association with Vicks.”

Saturday, June 13, 2015

#ComeCloser to Radiant Skin

A flawless glowing complexion is desired by everyone and envied by all. Right from a young girl to a gracefully ageing old lady, the skin exudes youthfulness, charm and freshness of one’s personality. But come puberty, one is sceptical of one’s skin, especially the face, as pimples, dark spots and blemishes dent the confidence of anyone. Moreover, our facial skin goes through changes with the change in season – summer, winter and monsoon; in age – puberty, pregnancy and old age; in sickness and with diet as well. Regardless of these changes, it is imperative to take care of our skin, starting from a young age.
Starting young, uncannily it was my father who used to keep advising me to take good care of my skin at all times. I have an oily skin and it is imperative that I keep it clean. An oily skin requires to be kept clean as the skin pores can have dust and grime settle in them, which may lead to pimples and blackheads.

I follow a simple regimen daily:

1.       Wash hands and face after coming home:

This is a basic yet a very important and understated regimen. Whenever I come back home after an outing, I first – leaving all other tasks aside- wash my hands and then wash my face using a mild face-wash. I believe, this step not only helps me keep my skin hygienic, but also keeps my face fresh and clean. Especially, I live in a metropolitan city, where everywhere I go I meet pollution and dust which directly affects my face.

2.       Use a mild cleansing face-wash

An oily facial skin needs to be washed and cleansed often, but not more than 3-4 times in a day. Washing face more than 3-4 times can leave it dry. Use of a soap to clean the face can result in more dryness and can make skin more oily.

3.       Use little or no makeup

Even though I am in a profession where looking one’s best is imperative, I believe and advocate in applying little or no makeup daily. To go all natural! Personally, it is only on occasions like parties and weddings do I apply makeup, albeit just to touch up my face. Else on some occasions I sparingly use kajal, lipstick and lip gloss to highlight my eyes and lips.

These were some of my tips that I carry out to take care of my skin. It cannot be stressed enough that having beautiful skin is truly a blessing, but maintaining it is all the more important.
However, acquiring that flawlessly beautiful and radiant complexion may seem like a daunting task, but truth be told, it is not that difficult to achieve. #ComeCloser and see the benefits of Ayurveda with VICCO Turmeric Cream to perfect the natural way to acquiring radiant skin.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Book Review: The House that BJ built

Book Title: The House that BJ built
Author: Anuja Chauhan
Pages: 408
Genre: Drama
Price: Rs. 259 (Flipkart)
Publisher: Westland Ltd

Thanks to Flipkart and Westland for sharing the uncorrected bound proof copy of Anuja Chauhan's second installment of 'Those Pricey Thakur Girls' with me for the review.

Image source:

This book is about the the Thakur Girls coming back together to meet their father LN Thakur, fondly referred to as BJ. He is under the care of his granddaughter Bonita Singh Rajawat (Bonu) at his home on 16, Hailey Court in Delhi, who runs a garment workshop under his roof. Samar Vir Singh, upcoming Bollywood director, step-grandson of BJ visits the House to meet BJ and complete the missing piece of the puzzle of his film's story on BJ's parents - Pushkar and Pushkarni. BJ insists that he sell the house worth Rs 200 crores and divide it into 5 equals hissas for his daughters and Bonu. However, post BJ's death, what follows is a series of family squabbles, vehemence unearthing painful past histories, and a full blown property dispute court case on the House that BJ built.

What I really loved is the style of narration- simply superb with right amount of Hindi words that fit well with the situation and dialogues. Some dialogues are simply unique and memorable, for instance:

I'll make them squirm like well-salted earthworms,
I won't sell, Even my jooti wont sell.
And if I die na, then even my gosht won't sell.

You need balls to do business!...Remember, any incomepoop can work in an office...

And some are truly hilarious, almost that I burst out into laughing while reading the book - an instance of perfect comic timing, that is now-a-days very rare in books.

Throughout the book, I loved the usage of stereotypes and similes that one can connect well with. Moreover, every character in the book had a distinct and distinguishable personality, akin to a family drama, yet the camaraderie shown between them was flawlessly executed. My favourite bit was the bonhomie between Samar and Zee and the random banter and gossip among the sisters and their aunt.
The crunch part of the story was superbly glued together with all the other bits and pieces, coming together as a perfect narration.

Though this is my first book review of one of Anuja Chauhan's titles, I am truly in awe of her style of writing. It is zany, peppy and unputdownable. Looking forward for more !

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