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May 9, 2015

Glue wein - Winter warmth in a Glass #TravelFood

The place was Pushkar, a  small town amongst the barren lands and deserts of Rajasthan, India. The place is world popular for its Pushkar camel fair. The time was December, Christmas day.
We, two of us, the two girls from Norway and the German lady had already struck a friendship the day before. We had taken them to the religiously significant Brahma temple. Two days later, we were all sitting on the rooftop pf our guest house - Atithi - meaning Guest. The rooftop overlooked the barren mountain with Sarasvati temple. The sun was setting in the backdrop. Kirsten, the German one looked a little lost.  Its Christmas and I miss home. Me too. Me too. We two Indians looked at each other. Christmas was just a holiday for us. Not our typical "festive", but we felt for them. You wanna go out and eat at that nice cafe ?!
Noo. I need my mom's Gluhwein !
Me - What's that ?
Andrea, one of the girls from Norway jumped in. I make a pretty decent one. Will it work ?
Kristen's answer was a sure Yes !
My friend - What all do you need ? Pappu has the spices. The fruits can be bought just round the corner. But the wine ?
The town is a temple town where no alcohol was available.
Not giving up, we all got into our Indian car. Drove to the bordering town's wine shop. Picked up one bottle of red wine and two hippies staying in the same guest house, who had hiked till there.
And thus we all came back together to the guest house's rooftop, hijacked the smoked up guest house owner, pappu's, kitchen. Did some chopping, heating, spilling.
And the result was a great Gluhwein, with cookies and chocolates, on the Christmas night, in the freezing desert town, on a rooftop cafe. With the efforts of two Indians, two Norwegians, one German and two hippies (they added the cannabis!).

So I learnt how to make a traditional German drink, from two Norwegian girls, made to make a German feel at home German, in the deserts of India !


Red Wine - 2 Cups
1 Apple
1 Orange
1 Bunch of Black Grapes
1 Bunch of Green Grapes
Cinnamon - a few pieces
Nutmeg - 2 Piece
Star Anise - 2 Piece
Clove- 3-4 pieces
1-2 Table spoon of Sugar
A great recipe for freezing winter evenings, to beat the cold and get warm with friends.
Generally consumed during the festive season, around Christmas. Not only does it beat the cold, its a festivity in a glass !

Preparation Time: 15-20 mins
Prepares 2 cups
The Fresh Spices: Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Star Anise, Clove

The Fruits: Grapes, Apples, Oranges

Adding Wine

Glue Wein Ingredients

Chop all the fruits

Warming the wine

Glue Wein - Serve warm on a Winter Day

Wine and Fruits - Two of my favorite things together

1 ) Zest the orange i.e. cut the outer peel in small pieces (For the aromatic tangy flavor to stand out). Pulp rest of the orange. Dice the apple and the grapes in small pieces.
2) Get a large pan, pour the red wine in it, put it on low heat. Let the wine heat for a few minutes (do not let it boil)
3) Add the Cinnamon and Clove to the pan. Grind the Nutmeg in the pan. You can add the star anise now for a very strong flavor or just towards the end for a mild flavor (Recommended to add towards the end, just before you put down the pan from heat). Add one tablespoon of sugar. After a few minutes, your kitchen will start smelling of the heavenly spices and great aromas, something to wake up the festive spirit.
4) Add the cut fruits to the wine and let the pan stay on low heat for a while. (Now is a good time to add that star anise). Remove the pan from the heat just before it comes to boil.
Pour in two glasses and serve warm.
All the fruits are advised to be freshly picked. The whole spices are preferred over already ground spices. You can add a Vanilla Stick to the spice list if available.

Mar 14, 2015

Pattaya - More than walking street, Street Food

(Okay, cheating on my title for this post !)

Eating our way through Pattaya. 
(The double meaning here !).
But pattaya is truly a heaven for the foodies. 
And for food, pictures will talk more than the words.

Starting from the streets, where all the food is available. 
The streets are called Soi, and are named by numbers. i.e. Soi 1, Soi 2 and so on.

The Streets
The Beach, just next to the main street, which leads to walking street
The Streets, lined up with open pubs, and strolling food stalls.
Just next to the beach, the shacks sell beer as well as the sweetest coconut water in the world.

No, the vegetarians will not starve. And neither do you have to pack your khakra.
You can live on Pancakes & some of the most freshest naturally sweet fruits, available on the streets.

And to add some drink to the pancakes.

And for the non vegetarians who choose to remain so, and not change their food preferences scared by all the bugs and worms on the plate, here are your appetizers.


Oct 15, 2014

A Kerala just out of dreams

Photos from a month I spent travelling parts of Kerala.

A place called Kattoor beach. If you want to be close to nature. If you want to experience nature as if is was created only for you.

Can you believe this is India ?! - Kattoor Beach, Near Alleppey, Kerala

These waves dance to my heart's beat

The Kattoor Beach, also know as the secret beach

I swear I saw rays of light originate from above the clouds, and travel to the ocean, and light it up. In slow motion.

And then I saw the rays do some more magic... just for me
Somewhere when you travel from Allepey to Marari Beach. All you do is ask for KAAttoor.

There were some serviced apartments bang on the beach, but alas they were for the rich and wealthy (was it 15k per month).
For rest of us normal humans, we found this. Though we didnot stay at the place but would given a chance.

Oct 10, 2014

Postcards from Pushkar

Pushkar becomes a little more postcard-ish every time I visit !

A trip I will never forget. A trip which changed me at different levels.