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October 14th, 2017

Your Hindi word of the day is “japani”

Friends have just returned from Himachal, bearing gifts.

To wit: These are “japanis”, known in English as persimmon.

In Hindi, “japani” is an adjective meaning Japanese. There’s even a classic 1950s Bollywood song called “Mera Joota Hai Japani” (“My shoes are Japanese”).

The first time I ever saw a persimmon – up in Himachal a few years ago – I admit to being surprised at the name.

Turns out that the fruit is native not only to Japan but also China and Korea, but in India, at least, it is known as ‘japani”.

Here’s a quick bit of info, courtesy […]

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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 […]

Click to continue reading Anyone for a mango doughnut? OK, well perhaps mango spaghetti, then?

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, by the way) 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’m sharing one of my own tea/chai posts, below, by the way.