September 05, 2010

For a large chunk of my young-womanhood, I lived in B’lore, a heavily residential Anglo-Indian neighborhood. Despite having Khasi (Shillong) relatives myself, I wasn’t actually aware about the area; my family paid little attention to lineage and I never heard the language spoken. Until I met my best friend and later, my bro-inlaw. They were the main source of my North-Eastern influence in the neighborhood, particularly in the area of food. My first life-changing Naga-influenced food experience was delivered courtesy of my bro-in-law’s mum, Aunt Anung, in Nagaland. But not just any meat preparation. Her meals were tastier than any spread I had eaten before. The pork was perfectly smoked and fried, served with steamed vegetables and axone (fermented soy-bean) on the side of raja-mirchi (The Naga jolokia) chutney. When paired with a bamboo mug of red tea, made a far better nightcap than a Hot chocolate with a shot of Bailey's Irish creme mixed in ever could (well, maybe not far better).

So my first lesson in great food pairings came to me on a chilly evening, in a small town of light and bright colors and late night city occupants, while I sat at the dinner table combining tastes and on the edge of every flavor of meat, vegetables, side dishes and drink. And it’s still one of my favorite moments. The crunch of the roasted pork, the snap of the fried fat, the bite of the rajamirchi-axone mixed chutney; nothing on the planet sets up the taste and texture of a meal better.

Picture Courtesy : The Naga Kitchen
But the reason for this post isn’t about the recollection of a gourmet moment. There’s one other major culinary event for which I have the Naga neighborhood to thank: it’s the opening of The Naga Kitchen. The first Naga restaurant in B’lore city that I visited on Friday and Saturday. This local joint, serves a wicked version of authentic Naga cuisine, and from the moment I bit into my first roasted pork piece, I was hooked. I don’t care who you are, or how much you struggle with ethical issues around eating meat: you’re just going to have to admit that there’s pretty much nothing as delicious as properly cooked pork.

What's better than this? Almost nothing.

So allow me to say it: it’s time to come home to Naga food at:
The Naga Kitchen
#26 A.V.S Arcade, Above F Square Garment store
Terrace Floor, Opp. Adidas Showroom
Next to Empire and Nandhini hotel
Kamanahalli Main Road
Bangalore - 84

If you’re around this side of town, do get to The Naga Kitchen and taste some of their smoked pork and your ethical dilemma will be a thing of the past. At least until hunger strikes again.

In exactly three weeks, at 9:01 a.m. on Friday, September 24, I will turn 27. If 27 is dead in woman years, does this mean I am approaching resurrection? Or has my flesh finished rotting off my bones and is my skeleton just lying here, deluding itself that there is any life left in it at all?

Sara Bareilles : King of Anything

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I was trying to branch out a bit on this track. Most of the time I get into the groove of singer/songwriter Indie kid with a jones for folk tunes music and run it until it’s dead. But on this single I was looking for a bit more. A bit of pop oomph. Welcome to Sara Bareilles, almost-gonna-make it pop rock act. But I bring you good music with a focus on the music being good. Hence, she has made the cut.