Tuesday, 9 February 2016
Monday, 9 November 2015
Wednesday, 28 October 2015
Friday, 2 October 2015
Sunday, 10 May 2015
I admit, I'm hooked on hummus. This Levantine dish is such a nutritious, healthful snack and I can literally eat tubs of it. Like most people, I used to buy the ready-made variety until I started reading the labels more closely and noticing all sorts of preservatives, additives and artificial ingredients I didn't recognize. I did some research and found that making ones own hummus is, in fact, ridiculously easy. It tastes so much better and fresher when you can control the quality of the ingredients and it's completely vegan. Best of all, it requires no cooking, proving that some of the nicest things in life are often the simplest!
It's not an exact science, so adapt proportions to your own tastes but here's how I make my Roasted Red Pepper Hummus:
- 1 can of chick peas/ garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed but save some of the liquid and a few whole beans to garnish)
- A couple of dollops of tahini (you can buy this in a jar. It's basically sesame seed paste)
- Juice of one lemon
- A few spoonfuls of extra virgin olive oil
- A couple of cloves of garlic (I like the caramelly sweetness of roasted garlic so I roast them in a hot oven for a few minutes, but you can use them raw if you prefer)
- A piece of flame roasted red pepper/ capsicum (again, you can buy this in a jar if you don't want to roast your own)
- Paprika or chilli powder
Puree all the ingredients in a blender or food processor with a few splashes of the chick pea liquid. I use the NutriBullet, which is my current favourite new appliance (and what I use to make vegetable blasts). Don't blend it too smoothly — the paste should be a bit coarse. If it's too dry, add more of the chick pea liquid.
Garnish with leftover whole beans, drizzle with more olive oil and dust with the paprika or chilli powder.
I like eating mine with rice crackers, vegetable sticks and the theme from Lawrence of Arabia playing in the background.
Let me know how yours turns out.
Wednesday, 29 April 2015
THOU SHALT NOT DISSERVE PHONE PROTOCOL
At this point in human evolution, one would think we all have enough awareness and common courtesy to understand the basic tenets of considerate cellphone usage. Unfortunately, there are far too many lost souls who have fallen prey to the sin of Pitiful Phone Protocol. There are those that don’t disable the clicks on their keyboard, purposely choose to have that annoying whistling alert tone, and even those that eschew headphones and, instead, play music on their phone’s speaker.
Yet, by far the worst perpetrators of this sin are the following...
Native habitat: Airport lounges, security lines, shuttle buses, elevators and premium aircraft cabins.
How to identify them: The businessmen and executives who feel they’re so important, the world should know it. They’re the ones repeatedly being asked by harrowed stewardesses to disable their devices. Even though they will eventually and reluctantly turn off their phones, so indispensable are they, that barely has the landing gear made contact with the runway on arrival than they resume bellowing stock transactions, legal negotiations and marketing plans into their Bluetooth headsets with the same fervour one would plan a military coup.
Suggested penalty: Covered in banana oil and locked in the gorilla enclosure of a zoo with a particularly amorous primate.
2. THE GYM TALKER
Native Habitat: On the treadmills, ellipticals and stationary bikes of health clubs.
How to identify them: Usually the entitled wives of the Travel Talkers who, the minute they step on a cardio device have detailed gossip sessions with their friends, berate their domestic staff and complain about their husbands to their mothers loudly on their cell phones. They will glare at you defensively if you shush them and rebuke any attendant who dares to direct their attention to the large sign in front of them that says NO MOBILE PHONES ALLOWED. Perhaps they believe tongue wagging and jaw flapping counts as cardio? A rare treat is when they become so involved in their conversation that they miss a step, stumble and get bucked off the treadmill like a rider off a temperamental horse.
Suggested penalty: Locked into a laughing stock in a public square and pelted with the very rotten vegetables they were, earlier, chastising their cooks for bringing home from the market.
3. THE MOVIE TALKER
Indigenous habitat: Dark, quiet cinema halls.
How to identify them: The most heinous of cell phone offenders, and the reason I refuse to go to a public movie theatre. They are the ones who think nothing of taking and making calls, reading and sending texts and checking Facebook every few minutes throughout a film.
Suggested penance: Unfortunately, if one has reached this stage, there really is no hope for rehabilitation and, like with a rabid dog or a crippled racehorse, the kindest thing to do is to just put them down.
Sunday, 2 November 2014
I got my first sartorial review one autumn afternoon when I rang the bell of the garden flat of a stately Victorian townhouse in Kensington, London. It was the early-1990s and I had on, what I considered to be, the most stylish outfit I owned: acid washed jeans, a thrift store, plaid, flannel shirt under a distressed, leather motorcycle jacket and my prized Doc Marten boots. But the elderly gentleman who answered the door, immaculate in a dark, pinstriped suit, clearly thought otherwise. He took one look at me with his cloudy eyes, and shook his head with undisguised disdain. “Dear boy,” he sighed, wearily, making not even the slightest attempt at any kind of traditional greeting. “You always dress so workman-like.”
Friday, 18 July 2014
Thursday, 17 April 2014
|1:30PM, Late Check-Out, Bali|
How messy is too messy to leave your hotel room? Also, should one tip housekeeping?
Trashing hotel rooms went out with Led Zeppelin’s farewell tour in 1977. Keep in mind, hotels provide housekeeping, not disaster management. As a bit of an OCD neat freak, my problem is the opposite. I have, in fact, had to start messing my hotel rooms up a bit more because on more than one occasion, housekeeping have left without providing service, convinced that another crew had already been in. As for tipping, it’s nice to let them know they’re appreciated, especially if you’ve done something like clogged the toilet, spilled a glass of wine or requested an advance bed linen change after a wild afternoon of passion. Again, I tend to take it to the other extreme. If they leave me extra chocolates on my bedside, I leave a small cash tip on my pillow. If they lay out all my toiletries on a clean, white washcloth, I write them a cheque. If they organize my laundry in the wardrobe by colour, I pledge them a kidney should they ever need one.
People who cut queues and invade my personal space at the airport make me want to punch them. How do I put them in their place without making a scene?
I’m generally a non-violent person, but inconsiderate people bring out my inner Genghis Khan. I say punching is too lax. If someone cuts in front of you, it’s perfectly acceptable to behead them with your boarding pass and then hold up the decapitated head as a warning to anyone else with the same idea. If you’re more Mahatma than Mussolini, I suggest carrying a large backpack and also hanging a camera with a long telephoto lens around your neck to keep co-queuers at bay. If you’re heading to a beach resort, a large swimming tube around your waist would work well, too.
Tuesday, 11 March 2014
My favourite aspects of our city are the sea, architecture & food. It’s sometimes hard to see from within the tangle of indiscriminate over-development and lack of infrastructure but, surrounded by the mystical Arabian Sea, geographically, this is one spectacularly beautiful metropolis. Tune out the ugly concrete structures and focus, instead, on the stunning Victorian and art deco treasures that south Mumbai is home to. And, from street food to fine dining, Mumbai can satisfy the most fanatic foodie.
Thursday, 6 March 2014
I’ve never understood the big deal about sushi. It costs a bomb and never fills you up. What am I missing?
If chocolate is the crack of the gastronomic world, sushi is the smack: It’s just as addictive, and it will cost roughly the same to support either habit. The first time I was invited for a sushi meal, I politely sampled everything that was served, thanked my hosts and then promptly went around the corner and ordered a hamburger. I wish I’d never gone back and given it another try because, soon after, I found my mind wandering to thoughts of it – and before I knew it, sushi had me so inextricably enslaved, I was fielding calls from my accountant who, after seeing my credit card statements, wanted to clarify if I was just a patron of the local sushi joints or an investor.
My advice? Run as far in the opposite direction as you can. If friends suggest sushi for dinner, say you’re allergic; if it’s offered to you at a party, say it’s against your religion. Do whatever you can to resist its siren song. If not, you’re doomed to end up like me: a wasabi-addled chopstick jockey, desperately picking the last grains of vinegared rice off empty sushi platters for two – that you finished, singlehandedly.