Wednesday, November 2, 2016


Standing in que for my Media Accreditation at the Terra Madre press counter in Torino this year, I noticed an Indian looking girl ahead of me, talkative that Iam ( those who know me will vouch for that) , I asked her if she was from India? ‘I am an Indian but live in Canada’, she replied and as we got talking we connected on various levels including the workshops to attend at the Slow Food event to travelling for food etc. We exchanged numbers so to keep in touch and her tips to what to do in Modena came in rather handy for me (we are both huge fans of Chef Massimo Bottura).
Though we couldn’t really meet after that but were constantly in touch through Social media, discussing what we ate, where we travelled etc. No agenda…she didn’t want anything from me and vice versa…we just connected, thanks to Food! Just day before, she shared her new number and that she was back home after her travels and we both discussed many many food travel experiences and how ‘we itch to travel all the time’!
Then I thought of sharing this lovely girl’s story on my blog….Aman Doasanj and her mother ran a restaurant called ‘Poppadoms- Taste of India’ located at Mccurdy road in Kelowna, British Columbia. Interestingly they hired some chefs at their restaurant and when the mother daughter duo got them their permanent residency, they quit, so her mother and Aman went exploring mainly to the South of India for about 5 weeks to learn other regional cooking. ‘As a family business, you have to figure things out; so, when our chefs left, it was sink or swim’, shared Aman.
The menu offered Indian food via the Farm to Table concept and had dishes like ‘Meen Pollichathu’ and ‘Lamb shank Roganjosh’ on the menu.

Her mom had a heart attack in January 2016, so they had to shut down the restaurant unfortunately; ‘It wasn't a life, when all you do is work. She’s alive and doing well! So, time to re-evaluate, food is how I heal, so that’s why I was learning more and writing about my experiences, starting from scratch again’, shares Aman. ‘So many good things happened to me on this trip to Italy, It was weird. But after so many years of hard times, it was an incredible feeling. Now to make that time count!’…says Aman.
Aman is a go getter, this Friday she’s having a pop up using stories from her travels to create a menu ( coincidentally I am planning do the same as well in the following year !) until she gets a marketing job. Even when Aman gets her job, which she will eventually, she will continue doing her pop ups to save up as Travel Money.
For Aman the idea is to make people smile. ‘Which is the point of my food memory project, and to get people thinking, not just eating’, she says. Her menu has four courses plus an amuse. There’s a meatball story. And she’s doing a kebab on a rice poppadom cracker and doing some tangy beet pearls (because pomegranate doesn’t grow in Canada), mint yoghurt etc. so, not a literal translation. She’s also doing a vegetable Tikki, but not telling anyone what it is all about until they are eating it. (I can’t share the secret too as yet, lest they read it!!). Another course is a fish inspired by a fisherman in Fiji. The finale or the dessert course is her grandma’s green cardamom rice pudding, but a saffron poached local pear, which is her twist. Aman’s grandma was the reason she started her project, to keep her memory alive ‘She used to tell us that ‘if you cook from your heart, people will come’, If I can make just 1 person think, then I can sleep with a smile on my face and know I made a difference’, adds Aman. ‘I soooo want to come for this pop up’, I said… ‘Will do one when you visit Canada’ Aman replied!!! Food connects and how, doesn’t it?

Aman Dosanj can be followed on @paisleynotebook
Today Aman's parents run a little farm to table food trailer in Kelowna plus a farmer's market


Discover the wondrous natural wonders & cuisine of these travel destinations you must visit…symbiotically with Safety! No one country is more unsafe than another…So go on…common sense is enough to see you securely around practically everywhere. 
Promenading through the dappled and meandering streets of the old town to get a feel for the city’s ambiance is one of the first things to do while holidaying in Nice. This district, with its mesh of slender streets and luminously blushed façades, echoes the insignia and panache of Sardinian architecture. Visit the Castel Hill, this park and its botanical garden offer a magnificent vista of the spectacular sea with the old town in the foreground.

The Flowers and vegetable market in the quaintest market in France, offers a feast for the eyes and a glee for the palate.

Indulging in Cours Saleya, the most vibrant neighbourhoods, animated by its lively cafés and restaurants is worth taking the time to appreciate the pulsating colours of splendid flowers and get to know the native producers. 

Do not miss the trying the famous Pan Bagnat, accurately ‘moistened bread’, aka a circle formed white bread around the classic Salad Nicoise. Also try the Pissaladière, onion tart with olives and anchovies, the ‘Socca’, a large crepe of chickpea flour, to be eaten tubing hot and liberally peppered and the ‘Fougasse’, Provencal bread fit to burst with vegetables. Also not to be missed is the ‘Place Garibaldi Area’, the Rue Bonaparte with the news coffees and the stores!

The city straddles the Bosphorous River with one side of the bridge being Europe and the other side Asia it certainly mixes and blends perfectly between the two; and the best way to visually explore the city is to take a cruise down the strait. The Topkapi Palace is grand and the museum pieces sensational; Blue Mosque is a global symbol of Turkey with the beauty emphasized by its gorgeous setting near the Marmara Sea. Just across the street is the Hagias Sophia Museum, which has functioned as a Christian church and an Islamic mosque over the centuries….again unquestionably stunning! A trip to the Grand Bazaar, cited as a shopaholic’s paradise in ‘100 Places to See before You Die’ is a must, stretched over fifty acres with eleven different entry points, and filled with jewelry, spices, carpets and food.
The Spice Bazaar is also a dekho if you are a foodie for your sumac, Zatar etc. Food wise, recommendations go all out from the fresh fish from the Bosphorous, pistachio Turkish delights, Pomegranate juice, local meat balls and olives of all tastes and colors and of course the Turkish coffee!. Interestingly Jam here means rose petal and quince, and when I say honey, there are typically assortments of diverse floral honeys to choose from. Cheeses array from soft feta to hard Kasar. Taksim Square is where the night life begins and has narrow alleys filled with unique bars and restaurants to choose from.
Truly with so much remarkable foodie buzz around the city it is easy to see why Istanbul is the epicurean epicentre of Turkey.

There’s more to Kathmandu than meets the overwhelmed eye, and a whole escapade anticipates you yonder the backpacking area of Thamel. The Kathmandu Valley is a paragon of Nepalese culture, and an imperative side of that ethos is its architectural heritage. Situated on a plateau across the Bagmati River Patan a beautiful little neighbouring city with its well conserved magnificent heritage and the antiquity of premium craftsmanship is a must visit. Don’t miss the momo’s when in Kathmandu, very different from the ones we get in India.
If you want to experience tranquillity and devour indigenous delights within a picturesque courtyard ‘Bhumi’ is the place! The Nepali gourmandise is categorised by its variety; as a cuisine Newari which is on offer here is intended to be shared and therefore, is very much favourable with clan style service. With lungs, bone marrow as well as great sekuwa, and chwoela on offer, Bhumi goes the entire buff; and yes for the less carnivorous, there is plenty on offer too like the Bara and Chatamari.

published in HT City