Rugda | An Exotic Delicacy of Jharkhand

Jharkhand is the land of forests and forest tribes, so it’s no surprise the state’s cuisine is strongly influenced by the local ingredients of its forests — edible green leaves or saag, flowers, fruit, tubers, mushrooms, and truffles. Rugda is a truffle indigenous to Jharkhand. The rare truffle grows by itself only in the dense Sal (Shorea robusta) forests in Jharkhand. Rich in nutritional value, Rugda has much higher protein content than mushroom and has no carbohydrates.

Trip to Phuentsholing | Bhutan

Phuentsholing in Bhutan is around 25 km from Jaldapara via Hasimara. During our short stay in Jaldapara, we planned to visit Phuentsholing . I had visited this place long ago in 1988. As planned, we decided. In the afternoon, we started driving through the National Highway (NH-31) with tea gardens on both the sides.

Oldest Cookbook from Ancient Mesopotamia

The earliest cookbooks found around the world give people today a fascinating look at not only what the people of the time ate but also their lifestyles, mainly of those from the upper class. The oldest known documented recipes in the world come from the ancient city of Babylon. The Mesopotamian recipe book is the oldest and the first documented cuisine in the world, of which only three Babylonian cuneiform tablets are extant today and is a set of cracked tablets engraved by an early civilization’s version of a master chef going back to 1700 BCE. The recipes are elaborate and often call for rare ingredients. The dishes were slow-cooked in a covered pot to make the food extra tasty. Ancient foodies seem to have preferred fowl and mutton.

Om Ali — bread pudding of Arab world

Umm Ali | Dessert Born in Blood

Recently, I attended an Iftar party at a luxury hotel in Baghdad. After I finished the food, I found a nice, sweet dessert there, called Om Ali — a simple concoction: bread and pastry are combined with raisins, pistachios, coconut and almonds, then drenched in sweetened milk. It’s not the story of a royal chef preparing an innovative dish at the behest of a discerning king, but of a murder and a rather cruel one!