Room Service confusion

So I am working from my hotel room, and too busy to go out and get some lunch. I decide to order room service and press the number for in-room dining.
“I would like to order some lunch, please”
“What would you like Sir?”
“I would like the Thai Red Curry Chicken please”
“Certainly Sir. It will be there in 30 minutes.”
5 mins later my phone rings.
“Sir, the Thai Red Curry Chicken you ordered”
“Do you want Chicken or Beef?”


HFC – Heavenly Fried Chicken!

Dorabjee & Sons

I have just discovered a new (for me) culinary delight!

On the second day of my drive from Bangalore to Mumbai we decided to stop in Pune for lunch. The Boss was having flashbacks to her childhood memories of Chicken Biryani at an Iranian Restaurant called Dorabjee & Sons. Reluctant at first to leave the bypass and head into the city, The Boss’s winsome tones finally won me over and entering the restaurant name in the GPS we plunged into the chaotic traffic heading towards the center of Pune. I was cursing under my breath as the destination was 14kms from the bypass, but The Boss reassured me that it would be worth it.

Dorabjee & Sons
45 mins later and many close calls with errant two wheelers later we pulled into a quiet lane in the old Parsee area of Pune. The streets were still lined with lovely old buildings with shuttered windows, a pleasant change to the usual concrete boxes that have sprung up in modern times.

Dorabjee & Sons

Dorabjee & Sons is a little single story place established back in 1878 by the present owner’s great grandfather. Basically furnished inside with tiled walls and red plastic chairs the place isn’t very fancy, however it is famous for it’s food and my in-laws have visited many times over the years, each time they visited Pune.

I looked at the menu and all the usual suspects where there: Mutton and Chicken Cutlets, Biryanis, Sali Boti etc. however I spotted something I had not eaten before. Chicken Farcha. The waiter explained that it was chicken fried in egg, two of my most favorite things so I thought I would give it a try.

Mutton Cutlet, Chicken Masala, and the heavenly Chicken Farcha

Mutton Cutlet, Chicken Masala, and the heavenly Chicken Farcha

The plate arrived and I tucked in. Fantastic! The best fried chicken I have ever had. The chicken is marinated in, depending on the recipe, but usually ginger/garlic paste, lemon juice and chili powder, then dipped in beaten egg and deep-fried. It is heavenly! I rapidly ordered another plate and could quite happily have sat there all afternoon eating piece after piece until I couldn’t fit any more in! The best fried chicken I have ever had!

Mutton Cutlet, Chicken Masala, and the heavenly Chicken Farcha

Mutton Cutlet, Chicken Masala, and the heavenly Chicken Farcha

If you ever find yourself in Pune, definitely pay a visit to Dorabjee’s and make sure you get a plate of Chicken Farcha!

The Bill

The Bill

The things we take for granted – Part 2 Electricity

Pic Credit

Pic Credit+rex

(Part 1 here)

I have lost count of the number of power cuts we have had in the last couple of days. Power cuts are frequent in Bangalore any way but it is particularly bad now the monsoon has come. Like the roads in India which are made of aspirin so they dissolve with the first rain, the power lines seem also to be made of some soluble material that renders them unable to transmit electricity at the slightest hint of precipitation or anything over a gentle breeze.

The thing is we don’t realize how much we need electricity until we don’t have it. The reality of modern life is that all the things we need to live a basic existence these days require some form of power. The flat screen TV, the Wi-Fi, the rice cooker, the bread maker, the ice cream maker, the I-pad charger, the coffee machine. Without electricity there is suddenly a huge void that needs to be filled. I have to remind myself that water for the cup of tea can in fact be boiled on the gas stove, although often laziness sets in and I grab a glass of water instead.

We do have a backup inverter which runs the fans and the lights in the event of a power cut but often the power cuts are so frequent and long that the inverter battery also gets drained and we end up sitting in candle-light imagining what is on TV.

For reasons unknown to my technophobe brain there is a 5 amp circuit and a 15 amp circuit in the house. The lights and fans run on the 5 amp and the important stuff like the TV, the bread maker, the electric oven and the kettle run on the 15amp. During a power cut the inverter only supplies the 5 amp circuit and with the frequency of the power cuts this does create significant inconveniences. The other night, trying to roast some chicken breasts for dinner, it took an hour and a half instead of the usual 25 minutes as the power kept disappearing, coming back for 5 mins, in which time the oven came back up to temperature, and then going again. By the time the chicken was cooked, all my hunger had disappeared!

On other occasions I have set up the bread maker on a delayed timer overnight, hoping to come downstairs in the morning and be greeted by the delightful smell of freshly baked bread, instead discovering a soggy and slightly warm ball of dough at the bottom of the bread machine, an overnight power-cut screwing up my dining plans.

It’s not just at home that one gets affected. I have often been unable to withdraw money from the ATM machine because there is no power.

Big companies and Hotels get around the problem by having their own generators and I read somewhere that an astonishing 70% of the diesel consumed in India in fact goes to run generators. However for the average home a generator is too expensive and most people now make do with an inverter.

It does make you wonder though, with our society so dependent upon electricity, what would happen if it suddenly disappeared. Would the world be able to function?