I had been to Chandigargh for a wedding, the city in itself was very beautiful, but I was so close to Dharamsala that I had to visit. So I went to Upper Bhagsu to stay, it is a beautiful mountain village in the Kangra Valley with all the hippie vibes I love, and all the climbing I hate. I stayed in a small cottage room , which was a lot of climbing, that also meant I had to keep climbing up and down for food. I love the places trekkers go, but I don’t like to trek, so in my need to find a good location to sit, where I could write, sketch and just gape at the magnificent view I found a small café , perched on the end of the main road that leads to Mc Leodganj. All of this comes under Dharamsala, and Mc Leodganj also known as “Little Lhasa” where the Tibetans in exile have their headquarters , which also means the place of the Dalai Lama.
Morjim is a lovely beach in Pernem region of North Goa / India. Everyone loves Goa, But well, for different reasons, for some it’s the beach, for some it’s the lazing around, for some it’s the parties, for me it’s the riding around and the ocean of course. A couple of years ago I had been to North Goa and visited Anjuna, Bhaga and Arambol, which I would end up visiting many more times, but South is what got me hooked, a more laid back feel and less of a crowd, well , comparatively. So I went to Palolem , Agonda and Cabo De Rama, many a times in the coming years.
This time I wanted to go to the North and with no plan in hand, I just got down at Panjim and was looking for the bus to Arambol, but the conductor who saw me suggested Morjim. It is by no means a secret beach, it is quite overflowing with visitors and a huge number of Russian tourists. As I had never seen it before it felt like the right thing to do. The bus dropped me off at the main road, from which you can enter any random set of shacks and reach the restaurant, which is pretty much what I did , and after scouting for a good deal, settled in one of the shacks, with a good bargain on the scooter too.
Solo travel can have such wonderful effect, literally no one to answer to and plenty of time to sketch wherever I want, and being the foodie, I am, eat whatever I want, which meant a lot of calamari. Apart from the lazing, unending sunsets, riding around aimlessly, eating the one thing that stood out was a Mexican Death Day Themed party, not being a trans fan by any measure, this was more of a South American Drums combined with Indie rock, with hints of techno, all in all a surreal but good experience.
Morjim is known for being a nesting ground for Olive Ridley Sea Turtles. Morjim is the cheapest of the ” Morjim / Ashvem / Mandrem ” North Goa Beach Triangle. It also has the best variety of food and great places to stay and very unique party scenes along with being at an enviable distance from Ashvem and Mandrem , basically a ten minute drive.
- 4 chicken breasts, pounded 1/2″ thick
- kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 c. panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp. canola oil
- 4 oz. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 c. marinara sauce, store-bought or homemade
- 1 c. grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 c. freshly chopped basil, plus more for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400° and line baking sheet with parchment. Season chicken with salt and pepper. In shallow bowl, combine panko and Parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Place eggs in another shallow bowl. Dip each chicken breast into eggs, then dip into bread crumb mixture, turning to coat. Place breaded chicken on prepared baking sheet.
- Heat olive oil and canola oil in large, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add breaded chicken and cook until golden, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Cover each chicken breast with slice of mozzarella and transfer to oven until mozzarella is melted and chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, warm sauce on stovetop and stir in tomatoes and basil.
- Spoon sauce over chicken and garnish with fresh basil. Serve with green salad or a side of sautéed spinach.
Being a hardcore Bangalorean, I had very little inclination to visit Mumbai or Bombay as they used to call it, it was neither on my list of places to visit nor did it hold an interest in me like Kolkata did.
I had to visit Mumbai to take a few illustration and Urban Sketching Workshops. I was expecting an unfriendly city, a city of big ambitions and no time for chit chat, which was also kind of true, but it pleasantly surprised me with its friendly café and pubs, where especially if you are traveling solo you are neither disturbed nor looked at much, most of the waiters and owners of the establishment were more than cordial. Whether it was because I looked like an obvious clueless outsider or they are that way, or because my friend had chosen the best list of places to visit I don’t know.
Café Mondegar established back in 1932 was one of the first few café’s I visited. It is situated in the Metro House in Colaba, an Iranian café that was refurbished in 1990’s with one of my all time favourite artist’s work on it’s wall – Mario Miranda. It was one of the first few places to install a Jukebox, and I am from a generation that saw Jukeboxes just before they vanished. It is one of the landmarks in Mumbai now, one that props up in tourism brochures, though I usually intend to avoid these tourist traps sometimes they pay off.
- 100g boneless – Chicken breast without skin
- 600ml hot chicken stock
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 piece of Ginger – finely chopped
- 1 clove Garlic – finely chopped
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 100g Sweetcorn
- 1 Egg beaten
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Shredded Spring onions to garnish
- Soy sauce
- Toasted Sesame seeds to garnish
- Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, add spring onion and ginger and saute for a minute. Add the shredded chicken and saute for a minute. Add cream style sweet corn and chicken stock or water and bring to a boil. Reduce flame and cook on low flame for a minute.
- Add sugar and adjust salt to the simmering soup and cook further for 3-4 minutes.
- Mix the cornflour in 4 tbsps of cold water and keep aside.
- Add the cornflour mixture and go on stirring till the soup thickens on low to medium flame. Slowly add the beaten egg and continuously stir in one direction only. Ensure that the flame is low and the egg will form into thin white threads in the soup. Keep stirring for a few more seconds and turn off heat.
- Pour into soup bowls, garnish with spring onion and serve hot. You can season with white pepper powder.
And Voila your Chicken Sweet Corn Soup is ready !
You can also find my recipe on They Cook and Draw Website https://www.theydrawandcook.com
Venkatappa Art Gallery cafeteria adjacent to Cubbon Park. The gallery is one of the oldest in Bangalore, started in 1967 to house K.Venkatappa’s works and now functions as both a museum and gallery for other contemporary artists !
Backpacking is the best way to see the world and explore. But packing can be tricky and it is always useful to have list ! So here is my illustrated list of ” Things Not To Forget In Your Backpack ”
what would you add to the list ? Comment below
Most people who visit Bangalore see its busy streets, new cafe’s business and IT sector, parks and pubs but miss out on some of the good parts of Old Bangalore.
” K.R. Market ” is one of the most busiest parts of city and also one of the places in the city where you can get an unadulterated taste of old Bangalore. Built in 1928 it is said to have been a water tank and a battlefield in the 18th century during Anglo Mysore Wars. It is full of colour , vibrancy and it is pulsating with vendors and customers going about buying everything from vegetable to flowers, from condiments to materials used for religious purposes, and everything here is sold at wholesale prices !
- 3 8-oz. blocks cream cheese, softened
- 1 c. sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 c. sour cream
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- Sliced strawberries, for garnish
For the crust
- 15 graham crackers, crushed
- 5 tbsp. butter, melted
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- pinch of kosher salt
For the sauce
- 1 c. strawberry preserves
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 325º and grease a 9” springform pan with cooking spray. Make cheesecake mixture: In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until combined. Add eggs and beat until combined, then add sour cream, vanilla and lemon zest. Divide cheesecake mixture into four bowls.
- Make crust: Stir together graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar, and salt until completely moist. Spray a 9” springform pan with cooking spray and press graham mixture into prepared pan until packed. Pour cheesecake mixture over crust.
- Bake until slightly jiggly in the center, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Let cool 1 hour in oven, then refrigerate until completely cool, at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
- Make glaze: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine strawberry preserves and lemon juice. Whisk constantly until the mixture is smooth.
- Top the cheesecake with strawberries, then brush the glaze over strawberries. Slice into wedges and serve cold.
Pondicherry or Puducherry is a beautiful place in SouthEastern India. Which has a lovely mix of Tamil culture and French Influence. There are beautiful cafe’s , boutiques amazing galleries and good food here. This is a sketch I did of Via Pondicherry on Rue Romain Rolland Street !