Monday, December 22, 2014


Arriving here with a minimum of fuss, I took a walk through the quaint town surrounded by misty mountain landscape and lush green tea plantations to familiarize myself with the layout. It’s a city with some character that’s for sure; embracing all this is good hospitality, from the warm welcome of a Hotel door, restaurant or shop owner, to the friendly Indonesian who’ll help you find your way. Interestingly this capital of West Java province, Bandung in ancient times was known as Parijs van Java (Dutch) or “Paris of Java”, needless to add I spent the entire afternoon browsing the different Factory Outlets of expensive brands (read Louis Vuitton, Burberry etc.) starting off with Cascade and moving on to the best one in the evening which was Rumah Moda, for the best designs and prices.
Next morning we embarked in our car at the break of dawn, with a hot cup of Javanese coffee. We drove down thirty kilometres north to the fabled crater of Mt. Tangkuban Perahu (translates into upturned boat in Sundanese), which happens to be the only ‘drive-up’ volcano on the island. The road entered an enchanted pine forest and two kilometres after that: right on the crest was a marked turnoff to the left; and just when I thought we were lost on the serpentine road, the crater revealed itself in all its splendour. The first thing to strike me on the approach to the summit was the stench of sulphur, which reminded me of rotten eggs. Once at the crater rim we had a beautiful view down below into the bubbling grey liquid at the bottom. That said, do not be fooled by its quiet demeanour, it is very much active though it has not vented its fury lately. It is believed that mild eruptions occurred in 1969, when Kawah Ratu spewed ash 500m high. This mountain has 3 craters; Kawah Ratu (Queen's Crater), Kawah Domas and Kawah Upas. We only got the chance to see Kawah Ratu as to see the other two craters; we had to hike through mountain trails and I certainly wasn’t up to it.
Being true Indians we shopped at the market stands for souvenirs other local crafts. I also ate eggs that were cooked on the surface of the volcano! Our drive back was via a lake which is a sort of weekend break for many Javanese people. It had a lot of stalls and attractions you would associate with the tourist market, but I did enjoy the fruit stalls and tasting the different offerings. Back in Bandung we dropped by at a Wayang show which was really impressive with all the dancing and the beautiful customs, something we were glad to witness. 

Best Way to Reach- Delhi to Jakarta by Malaysian Airlines and from there it is a 3 hour drive to Bandung, which is a sleepy city that is situated 768 meters above sea level.
Visa & Currency- Visa is on arrival for Indians and costs 25 Dollars. 10,000 Indonesian Rupiah equals to approximately 540 INR.
Best Place to Stay- Savoy Homann Bidakara Hotel, Jl Asia Afrika No.112 Bandung. Tel : (+6222) 4232244
For more information log on to

published in Hm's Food & Wine


Being a Food & Travel writer it’s my constant endeavour to keep my weight in check, so when I received a Kenstar Oxyfryer as my Christmas gift in the first week of December itself; needless to add I was super thrilled.
Mainly because I had heard that it fries food evenly devoid of any oil whilst retaining most of the nutrients. I mean who doesn’t like fried food…sans the oil; yes the Oxyfryer does what it says and further ensures that your cholesterol levels are in check. What I love most about this Oxyfryer is that its food basket has a great capacity (read 3 litres), so it makes it easier even if you have called a few friends over for dinner. There are a few things that fry in just a few minutes, but there are quite a few things for example ‘Paneer Tikka’ which takes a bit too long…but then I guess if you want it completely oil free you got to be patient.
Read on this recipe that I tried from the recipe book of Kenstar's OxyFryer that comes along with the product. The product is available exclusively at Flipkart

Cooking Time: 10 - 12 min
Temperature: 200°C (The temperature setting which ranges from 80°C to 200°C, enables you to set the ideal temperature required for different food items.)
Maida: 1 cup (100g); olive oil: 1 tbsp; salt: ¼ tsp; Warm water - as required to make soft dough.
For filling:
Olive oil: 1 tbsp; onion: 1 shredded; garlic-finely chopped: 2-3nos; ginger-garlic paste: ½ tsp; carrot-juliennes: ½ cup; cabbage-shredded: 1 cup; capsicum-shredded: ½; pepper: ¼ tsp; green chillies-deseeded and finely chopped: 1-2; soya sauce: 1-2 Tsp; salt to taste.
For sealing:
Maida dissolved in 2-3 tbsp water: 2 tbsp
Step 1- For wrappers
Mix Maida, salt and oil together. Add warm water gradually and make smooth & elastic dough. Dip a cloth in water and squeeze well. Cover the dough with this moist cloth and keep it aside for half an hour. Divide the dough into 4-5 equal parts. Roll out each part using a little dry flour if needed, into a big thin chapatti. Heat a griddle/tawa. Place a rolled chapatti on the tawa. Cook lightly on one side for about a minute and then turn. Reduce heat and cook the other side also for 15-20 seconds till light brown specs appear. Remove from heat. Keep warm tortillas wrapped in a cloth napkin or foil.
Note: Do not overcook wrappers, otherwise they do not remain soft and will not roll well. Always wrap in a thick cloth napkin or in foil to keep them soft.
Step 2- For filling
Heat the pan with 1 tbsp olive oil. Add finely chopped garlic. Sauté for 30 seconds. Add sliced onions and stir till soft. Add green chillies and ginger-garlic paste. Stir and cook for 1 minute till onions becomes shiny. Add carrot, cook for 1-2 minutes. Add cabbage. Stir for 1-2 minutes. Add capsicum and stir for 1 minute. Add soya sauce, salt and pepper and toss it well. Transfer the filling in a plate and allow it to cool.
Step 3
Take one wrapper and place some filling on one side. Fold the wrapper and seal the edges with Maida paste. Brush the rolls with milk. Repeat with all other rolls and keep in a tray covered for 5-10 minutes.
Step 4
Preheat Oxy Fryer for 5 minutes at 200°C. Arrange spring rolls in fry basket and close it properly. Keep the Oxy Fryer at 200°C for 10-12 minutes. Cut into pieces and serve hot with sauce.
Kenstar has appointed ShahRukh Khan to promote the Oxyfryer Range