After agriculture, the vocation that provides sustenance to a large number of people in rural India is the handicraft industry. Artisans who create beautiful handicrafts are found in each and every Indian state, with each art form being distinct and varied from the next. There is unfortunately, a huge gaping hole in the market between the artist and the consumer. Somewhere, a bridge is required so that the consumers have easier access to the products, and the artists are able to sell their wares effortlessly.
Call me conservative, but the charm of cooking with a good ol’ recipe book beats YouTube videos or articles on the web! Which is why I was super thrilled to receive Nisha Katona’s new cookbook – Pimp My Rice – where rice is the supreme star! An entire book with recipes ranging from smoothies, to mains, to dessert all emphasizing on everyone’s staple crop, is a genuinely handy book to have.
I read this quote somewhere on the internet – ‘What Masala Library did to Indian food, Pa Pa Ya attempts to do to Asian cuisine.’ If there is even an iota of truth in that statement, it is only fair for me to have sky high expectations from Pa Pa Ya. Zorawar Kalra’s Massive Restaurants group pulls yet another rabbit out of the hat with this new age spin on an Asian bistro. The philosophy behind Pa Pa Ya is simple – present Asian food and drink with a twist. And my meal was filled with tons of twists and turns that night. Buckle up!
You know this Asian restaurant’s going to be different when you don’t spot Oriental motifs on the walls. Metal exoskeletons and cuboids that look like molecules jut out from the wall, forcing me to think of organic chemistry lectures from a decade ago. The food is however, the catalyst in creating this ‘high energy dining’ formula. Throughout the menu you’ll see the influence of newer cooking technology such as molecular gastronomy, and mixology making the meal here a treat for all senses – umami included!
Highly recommended are the Pa Pa Ya Tales – cocktails that each come with a back story, that your enthusiastic server will be more than happy to narrate to you. Infused spirits, and cocktails with Asian ingredients set the drinks apart. Foam, fumes, and fire – expect all three! The Lighthouse – that comes complete with lemongrass fumes, in a light bulb that you have to unscrew every time you take a sip – was my pick of the night.
Before I start off this post, I am going to share some happy news with you’ll. The website Rebates Zone recently published an infographic on the top fifty food blogs in India, and yours truly features in the list at number forty. See the list here.
Anyone who knows me well enough will know that I love Indian regional food more than I love world cuisine. I may be falling into the rare minority group here (no, I don’t mean that I am Parsi), but I rather explore cuisines from different Indian states than run-of-the-mill Italian, Chinese, and Thai. It is a pity that we don’t think of the vastness and diversity that India has to offer when it comes to food or travel.
My food week pushed me out of my comfort zone – Bandra – took me to the far suburbs of Borivali and old gullys of Fort. My food week encapsulated me back into my comfortable cocoon with two cuisines that I love – Maharastrian food and Parsi bhonu.