What a Treat!

Those who know me, know I love books, I live for books, and I would kill for books. So imagine my happiness, when I got the chance to experience absolute heaven on my recent visit to Ranchi, Jharkhand. Yes, it was a book fair of course.
And imagine my happiness when I got to see stalls that were selling some of the best selling novels for not more than a fifty bucks, and some of them were generous enough to give another book for free. Unfortunately, we had arrived on the very last day of the fair, and at the time when they were packing up stuff.

So, off we scurried like rats in a cheese factory, and above is an image of what all I managed to pick up in merely 20 minutes. Quite an adventure, phew!

When we were packing our bags, me and husband got into quite an ugly fight for he wasn’t too keen on carrying all those books (logical), but I wasn’t going anywhere without my books (not too illogical either). And by the time we got home (36-hr train ride), I had already finished Roald Dahl’s Fantastic MrFox and Esio Trot, and Jaspar Utley’s Tales from the Puffugees.

I absolutely enjoyed Esio Trot. It took me back in time, I almost felt like I was a fifth grader again, sitting in the classroom with my friends on a hot summer day, and our English teacher, Mrs. Iyer, was giving us all the cool we needed by reading out this hilariously simple story. Roald, you charmer you!

And Tales from the Puffugees is not only gripping, it’s just as witty too. You know how there are some people who no matter what you say is going on in your life, WILL have a story for it. Same is the case with this General guy (narrator of this book). No matter what is happening at the club, be it Mrs. Chatterjee (wife of the Club’s President) banning smoking in the club, or be it about a fellow club member’s life problem, he somehow managed to enthrall his audience with a beautifully narrated story. Such a miracle worker this one.
Currently I am reading Andersens Fairy Tales (yes, all over again). But I know that this one is not a book you finish in one go, you save it, for when you want to feel like a child again, and get lost into the enchanting world of fantasies. And so, I have picked up Thomas Hardy’s A Pair of Blue Eyes to go with it.

I’ll be sure to keep you posted how I like it.

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Molgapodi Idlis – The reason to ditch Vaishali and head to Wadeshwar next time

What: Restaurant
Where: F C Road
Seating: Indoor, Outdoor
Cuisine: South Indian
Pricing: Reasonable
Parking: Not available

Why am I even writing this post? I am sure you would have thought the same. Who wouldn’t know Wadeshwar, right? But my dear Punekars, this one’s for those who don’t belong here – the ones visiting the city for the first time, those who moved in a few a years back and haven’t explored this heaven yet, and even the Vaishali-lovers who just don’t want to try South Indian delicacies anywhere else. Well, I can’t blame them, I was one of them myself until a few years back.

But once I explored this one, I knew how both of them had their own specialties to offer. While Vaishali offers the best Mysore Masala Dosas, Wadeshwar takes pride in serving the best Aappe and Kothimbir Vadi. My personal favorite, the Molgapodi Idli here is a must, something everyone needs to try.

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So far, I have tried almost everything on the menu here. To be honest, I am not a fan of the Mysore dosas here, I like the ones at Vaishali more. The Kothimbir Vadi, I fear has failed to impress me too. They are a bit too oily for my liking. But the Rasam Vada – yeah, the ghee idli – yeahh, and the sponge dosa – oh my god yes! They are just so good, so flavorful, so yum!

The outdoor seating here is perfect for an early morning breakfast and endless conversations. The service here is too good to be true. This last time we ordered multiple rasam vadas, dosas, idlis, and what not – and it was at our table within minutes.

Vaishali lovers, the chai is another reason you should come here. Needless to say, you also wouldn’t have to wait an hour to get a table here. So, if you are running out of patience this Sunday morning, do give Wadeshwar a try and let me know how you like it. And please bless me if you happen to like the Molgapodi idlis just a little too much.

Bengali Sweets and Foods Shop, Viman Nagar

What: Eatery
Where: Viman Nagar
Pricing: Inexpensive
Cuisine: Bengali
Seating: Indoor, Outdoor

It has not been long since I was introduced to the fine Bengali cuisine, but it is something that I can’t seem to get enough of. Having been a lover of subtle flavors all my life, I guess it was only a matter of time that me and Aloo Posto hit it off. Since then, there has been no looking back for us.

I am totally and completely in love with all the Bengali dishes that I have discovered and experienced until now. The Maachh Bhaat, the Mutton Kosha, the Aloo Bhaja – all very flavorful. And if you are one such lover, you know how difficult it can be to find good Bengali food in the city. Restaurants offering the cuisine are only a handful, and sadly, they are not all that great.

But there’s one place that fails to disappoint me, at least as far as few dishes are concerned. The Bengali Sweets and Foods Shop is a very small eatery in Panama Towers, just adjacent to the Air Force Station in Viman Nagar. Yesterday, the temptation for my favorite Posto+Dal+Bhaja combo urged me to visit again.

And if the combo is what had urged me, doesn’t mean I stop there right? I also tried the Mughlai Paratha this time, which was better than the other Mughlai Parathas that I have had so far, but I am not going to say it was extraordinary either. The Mutton Kosha was just as impressive, the best mutton I’ve tasted in the town I would say.

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Sondesh

Now I know I went a little overboard, but how do you come to a Bengali Sweets Shop and not have sweets? And just so you know, no Bengali meal is complete without a little bit of mishti. So basically, I just played by the rules. 😀 The Gud Roshogulla – heavenly, The Malai Chom Chom –  divine, and the Sondesh – I think no adjective can do justice to the sondesh here, they are indescribably good, you are just going to have to try them yourselves. Just be sure to give the Kheer Kadam a miss though.

And you are going to be damned when you go over and pay the bill … you will be damned to see you had all that food, ALL that delicious food just for a dime. Despite the not-too-fancy seating arrangement and ambience, this is one place you wouldn’t want to miss.

Look What I Found:

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It is a common practice to mould sandesh into a variety of shapes, for example shells (shankhs) or elephants, typically in a Bengali wedding. I stumbled upon this huge fish-shaped sandesh at the restaurant, made on demand for a customer. Now there are two kinds of fish I love, ah well!