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  • India,  luxury travel,  Travel

    Five Reasons Why India Should Be On Your Travel Bucket List

    I have a confession. It wasn’t until I moved to the Middle East that I even considered India as a travel destination. I’d always considered it to be a little too confronting. Too big. Too crazy. Too dirty. Then around five years ago, I finally made a decision. I took a deep breath and booked a trip to Delhi. It was a revelation. Organized chaos and a riot of colors and smells, yet also somehow addictive. So if you are on the fence about India and in honor of their amazing festival Diwali, here’s five reasons why you should take the plunge. THE FOOD: This goes without saying but the…

  • Five Reasons Why...,  India,  luxury travel,  Travel

    Five Reasons Why You Need to Put Kerala on Your Travel Bucket List ASAP

    It’s no secret that I have a real affection for India. But it took 16 trips to this amazing country for me to finally visit the state of Kerala. To the delight of many friends, I decided to change up my planned Eid travel schedule and spend it in Kerala. I based myself in Kochi for practical and personal reasons. The city (known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea) is central, boasts great hotels and is also the hometown of several good friends of mine. With more than 300 languages spoken and a religiously diverse population (Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Jain…), a rich food culture and history everywhere you…

  • Food,  India

    Dear Paneer – A Love Letter to India and its Food

    This is the story of my longest, most stable relationship. It has lasted more than 20 years and has never been disappointing. It’s about my love affair with Indian food. People know me as the “cheese lady”, and yes that is an apt description, but running parallel to my love of the dairy products is also my love of Indian food. I grew up in the western suburbs of Sydney – a melting pot of cultures and cuisines. But it wasn’t until I hit university that I discovered Indian food. This came in the unlikely form of a restaurant on Oxford Street in Darlinghurst called Tandoori Palace. Not only did it…

  • Brunch,  events,  Food,  Food Trends,  holidays,  India,  Middle East,  Qatar,  Restaurant Review,  wine

    Six Places You Should Be Eating at in Doha Right Now (Summer Edition)

    It was a long, hot Ramadan and while it’s a time I really enjoy, I’m happy to be getting back into the swing of Qatar’s dining scene. I wrote this blog post in April and because of its success, I thought an updated version was due. Call it the “Summer Edition” as all the venues around the city start to unveil new menus, concepts and ideas. Luxury and budget, date night and family style, here is where I think you should be eating at right now: Mainland China I will admit, I was dubious – a Chinese restaurant chain hailing from India in an office block in Doha. But one look inside…

  • Cheese,  Doha,  India,  Qatar,  Restaurant Reviews

    Kurrying Favor at Kababs & Kurries

    It takes a fair bit of effort to impress me. When an invite to try this restaurant came through a friend, I was underwhelmed after learning it was located in a fairly minor mall in the suburbs. I should learn not to judge on location and appearance because Kababs & Kurries has been a surprise hit for me. I arrived solo on a recent Saturday afternoon, having battled traffic, heat , dust and my usual hysteria that comes from trying to pack two many errands at disparate ends of the city into a six hour period). What greeted me was a technicolor oasis. The interiors are a little on the garish side,…

  • Cheese,  India,  Travel

    The Goan Rate – 48 Hours in Goa

    Sometimes a gal just has to get out of the city. And at just three hours away from Doha, with its European heritage, spectacular beaches and yes, tasty food Goa is the perfect quickie escape. I gathered up the gang and headed to Goa last weekend, in search of good food, cheap spa treatments and a dust free environment. Goa is one of those destinations that can truly surprise you. It’s kind of India Lite. This was my fourth trip to Goa and unbelievably my 12th to India. They should give me residency or a lifetime supply of dosa anyway. Fresh off a 5am flight and a sprint to Immigration to…

  • Accompaniments,  Cheese,  Cooking,  farmers cheese,  Food Trends,  Hotels,  India,  Media,  Travel,  White Cheese

    Paneer to the Action

    The thing about cheese, is that it’s actually really simple. Milk, a souring agent and time is all it takes to produce a simple white cheese. No complications. It’s when you start adding things like flavor, smokiness, rinds that things get complicated. Kind of like relationships. Except they don’t have rinds.Well, you know what I mean. I’m glad to have introduced my friends to the power of paneer and Indian cheese. It’s to the point where we actively seek it out, like DVD copies of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. We had a couple of brushes with this cheese on our recent trip to Mumbai. This included a unique paneer salad…

  • Accompaniments,  Cheese,  farmers cheese,  Food,  Hotels,  India,  Travel,  Unusual Cheeses,  wine

    A Dosa the Action in Mumbai

    Six women board a plane to go to Mumbai, India. What happened next will shock you. It’s a wonder we all actually made it to Mumbai. With visa and immigration hassles and the copious quantities of bubbles consumed in the lAl Mourjanounge at Hamad International Airport, I was pretty sure there was some kind of black notice issued by multiple authorities. I will admit, there was a moment when I thought this trip would never happen. It was when one of our crew was forced to get her visa at the very last minute. This required the speedy skills of our driver Shafi and many Hail Marys. Many dosa, samosa…

  • Cheese in Cooking,  India,  Restaurants,  Travel,  White Cheese

    Rolled Gold – New Ways With An Old Favorite

    I consider myself a semi expert on Indian paneer and cheeses. Self appointed of course. I had thought I know the whole gamut of ways to eat it until I visited The Indus in Muscat. Falling into the realm of “high end” Indian food, this restaurant really did live up to its hype. For me, the highlight of an excellent meal was their version of cottage cheese style paneer. I had never come across this treatment of the cheese before. Doodhiya Kalmiya which is cottage cheese rolls stuffed with bell peppers, potatoes and Indian spices. The cottage cheese is rolled flat and wrapped around the stuffing. It’s then cooked on a char grill.…

  • Accompaniments,  Cheese,  Hotels,  India,  Travel,  White Cheese

    Destination Delhi

    An Indian friend asked me recently “What is it with you and India?”. Good question! <a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/13089593/?claim=qvjc53vatsk”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a> It’s close to Doha. It’s truly interesting. And they have awesome food. I dragged Alicia and Lesley to Delhi a couple of months ago, promising the Taj Mahal, paneer and seven million people following us around. See in India, tall blondeish well fed white women attract attention. Everyone wants to have a photo with us I mean we’re gorgeous, so frankly who could blame them. The thing about India is when I travel there, I am hungry. All. The. Time. I believe this is because the air is thick…