We decided to make the best of a long weekend break in November and picked a luxury getaway over slumming it out. With an anniversary to celebrate – the extravagance seemed justified. A four hour drive on the picturesque NH17 bought us into jungle country – Bandipur (together with the adjoining Mudumalai, Nagarhole, and Wayanad sanctuaries, this area forms the largest protected reserve in South India). Before we even reached the sanctuary, we had already spotted a herd of chital, wild boars and grey langurs.
I hardly find Arugula in the market these days. All the good stuff is siphoned off by restaurants and we are literally left with little or none of this zingy, peppery, salad leaf. So every time I want to eat Arugula or Rocket, I need to go to a fancy restaurant and order their over-priced salads. I know a lot of friends with green thumbs who just scoff at the idea that I don’t grow my own arugula. According to them, it is insanely easy to grow – almost like a ‘salad leaves for dummies’ kinda thing. Unfortunately none of them realize that I have managed to kill even the most resilient cacti, given enough time!
I have a couple of favourite places that I keep revisiting in Bangalore. The years have only added to their charm and increased my love for them. When friends and family ask for recommendations, these names always pop up first in my head and I don’t have any qualms about literally pimping them to all and sundry. Toscano has been on that list ever since they opened in 2005 and I’m thrilled that they are rightly rated as the “Best Italian Restaurant in Bangalore” *Times Food Guide 2014*.
I don’t know what it is about the 1st of January that everything touches ground zero and everyone has hopes of suddenly turning over a new leaf. And for most people that new leaf is losing weight. Everyone writes down that great resolution and goes on some sort of diet (or at least they start thinking of one). Unfortunately for me, everytime I even think of a diet – I get crabby and mean and generally ill-tempered. So to ensure everyone around me and I stay sane, my easy fix for a more healthy meal is to just cook at home.