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A home away from home

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Not every hotel can claim 5-star status. It comes after careful examination of amenities. Adherence to international standards must be met. A visit to preview the latest offering of Al Raha Beach Hotel’s Azur Restaurant, came my way. Since I’m based in the northern Emirates it was going to be a three-and-a-half-hour journey to Abu Dhabi. No distance is an obstacle when it comes to work and so I went to check out the property. 

Azur is a casual dining restaurant that has both outdoor and indoor seating options. The recently revamped menu harbours a homely Italian Trattoria. The turquoise-hued place is buzzing with people when I finally arrive. The first course is already over and done with and people are digging in to their Mushroom Risotto. A dish I thoroughly enjoyed. For anyone who favours Italian cuisine, there was a lot more headed our way. In came a succulent Lamb Shank or lamb ossobucco, which was served with its own beef sauce.
The music and the ambience added to the experience.…

Learning to say no

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Toddlers can do it with ease. In fact it is often times the first word they utter repeatedly. 

Would you like to eat, No. 
Want to sleep - no. 
Got to bed, no. 
Be quiet. NO!

There are a multitude of words in the English language but perhaps few are quite as brutal as this. And yet after a sufficient amount of my existence, I often find it hard to stand my ground. To say no and be okay with it.

It isn't easy to be a stay at home mom. Often times I wonder who conjured up the title. Besides running a home which usually includes the cooking, cleaning and running of errands, I also try to earn a living. Be that as it may I often find it hard to describe what I do to total strangers.   

One is regularly bombarded with requests to edit resumes, answer the door bell, fix someone's broken class project, baby sit the neigbours pet hamster for a few days, fix someone's mobile phone... you get the drift. 

The house help often think it is easy to cancel at the last hour because, 'Madam d…

Have we forgotten to be funny?

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An interview with Cyrus Broacha.
When April Fools’ Day ends most of us are back to being blue. Returning to mundane routines and pining for weekends. Some of world’s top comedians make it their business to be funny even when no one is laughing.  For Indian satirists, there’s enough fodder for humour with the twists and turns in the political landscape. Many miles away from my home town, a show that often cracks us up is ‘The Week That Wasn’t, with Cyrus Broacha.’ Hosted on News 18 (Formerly CNN IBN) it is a half hour run down of Indian politics and has ruffled feathers on more than one occasion. It might not be the funniest show on television but the anchors have the guts to make sure they have the last laugh. 
Catching up with the host, Cyrus, seems impossible at first. Like any anchor, he is writing and rehearsing in a Mumbai studio, juggling between events in Pune and even working on podcasts for a radio podcast show called ‘Cyrus Says.’
For well over two decades he’s got brickbats…

What's so funny?

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Can you keep a secret? I got an exclusive interview with a certain Cyrus.
Details very soon.
Keep an eye or two, on to this blog @aboriginal.
Get more people to subscribe and tell us what you do to make life fun and there could be a surprise waiting for you.


A shade of saffron

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Ab:original checks out the latest dining venue on Dubai Marina. 










When you don’t know anything about Persian cuisine you go with the flow. Luckily I am always willing to learn and I have a weakness for good food. It is why I love to travel and explore new countries and opportunities. On this occasion I got to meet what could arguably be the first man in Iranian cuisine in Dubai, Chef Ebrahim.
He is unobtrusive. Almost childlike when we first meet. Addresses my husband at first and I soon realise it is because most women he meets would never really dare to ask too many questions. There’s an air of respect that I admire and it is good to listen to the banter that ensues. The food that is laid on the table is all fresh. I can see a few drops of water on the crisp green grapes that are laid on the table. They are put right next to fresh cheese and walnuts all waiting to be eaten. If this isn’t sheer poetry, I don’t know what is.
Warm fresh loaves of bread are brought to our table by ladies …

Summer holiday

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For most people, a swimming pool may seem like just another place to unwind. To potter about when its not too hot.

For my family it provided hours and hour of great memories. Our recent stay-cation at Millenium Aiport Hotel in Dubai provided loads of sun, some amount of sun-block, family hugs and laughs.

We tend to take the most important things in life for granted. Fresh air and kind service is one of them. Like most people rushing on assignments, we too had a lot to do. It was just an overnight stay so we packed a few things (except the kitchen sink) and were soon on our way.
As my children bathed in the sunlight of a warm Dubai day I knew, our summer had just started with a splash.








We were treated to breakfast at Loumi restaurant. The staff was always on the move as we were there on a busy Friday morning, when the hotel is packed to capacity.
Won't forget watching my daughter pour us a cup of fresh orange juicer herself as she told us about her new foundfriends at the buffet count…

Black eyed beans - Full of good proteins - Simple Goan style

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Hello readers,
If you are stuck with vegetarian options (and I know we all are sometimes), this is something that I love to cook. 
What is lobia. Well its a bean with a black dot in the centre. Its easily available in the market. Stores well and is full of good protein.  All it takes is a few basic ingredients. Most of the time I scout for recipes online. Make them my own. I often ask my sisters, aunts and have some recipes tucked away. At Ab:original we share.




Ingredients:
Black eyed beans or peas (called lobia in Hindi) – 1 cup
Green chillies – 2
Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon
Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
Oil – 2 tsp (I used coconut oil)
Salt – to taste
Hing – asafoetida - a pinch
Medium sized tomato
How to Make Abigail’s Black Eyed Beans

1. Soak the beans overnight or at least for 5-6 hours. Keep it covered in the kitchen. Magically the beans seem to double in the morning. 2. In a pan use coconut oil and add slit green chilly. Saute for a minute or so.   3. Remove chillies. Add a pinch of hi…