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October 3rd, 2016

Your Hindi word of the day – “chakotra”

As in pomelo.

And, I suspect, by default, grapefruit. (But I am open to correction here, friends.)

But right now, though, we are talking about the huge fat pomelos that are sold at this time of the year by the side of the road in rural Haryana.

Driving up from Chhachhrauli to Dehra Dun, we passed loads of stalls and stopped and shopped and ate.

As one does.

The stall-holder, under the gaze of the inevitable people just sitting around in the middle of nowhere, peeled a pomelo for me to eat on the spot.

He cut […]

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May 1st, 2014

Anyone for a mango doughnut? OK, well perhaps mango spaghetti, then?

Thanks to those pesky fruit flies that cheekily exported themselves to Europe along with our fabulous Alphonso mangoes, the latter have been rejected.

Leaving we poor mango people** back in India (geddit, geddit?) hopeful of getting cheaper fruit.

Khas Aam for the Aam Aadmi. Arre, all these puns…


So, since we are all soon to be flooded with mangoes, some enterprising chefs have come up with ideas for us all to use this hoped-for bounty.

I give you mango doughnuts.

To be consumed along with that Oprah Chai Tea, of course.


And if that doesn’t appeal, well there’s […]

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April 30th, 2014

And today’s Hindi word of the day is “Oprah Chai Tea”

Thanks goodness for Oprah and Starbucks (not to mention teaologists – what a fab word) for drawing the world’s attention to our humble desi masala chai.

Sorry, Chai Tea.



Should we tell them that they are actually saying “Oprah Tea Tea”?

Nah, leave ’em in blissful ignorance, say I.

I mean, honestly, what a load of you know what…

Talk about re-inventing the wheel.

Carrying coals to Newcastle.


I give you a couple of my own tea/chai posts, below, by the way.


This is a TEA post.


And this is a CHAI post.


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June 1st, 2013

What is cutting chai?

India never ceases to amaze me.

Or perhaps, rephrasing that somewhat, life never ceases to amaze me.

30+ years of knowing India and I never knew there was a name for those ubiquitous little glasses of sweet, milky chai.

It took breakfast in an elegant south Delhi 5 star hotel to teach me what “cutting chai” is all about.

Here is the hotel version, which is way smarter and more colourful than the on-the-street version :

Now, yes, the inevitable question. Why “cutting chai”?

Chai is the Hindi word for tea. And cutting is the English word for – […]

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