Welcome to IshitaUnblogged!
This is my Culinary Travel Blog, featuring Dubai, Kolkata & the world beyond. Culture, history, recipes, food stories and nostalgia unfold here amidst humor, soul-search and visual stimulation. And oh! How can I ever forget? With 2 kids in tow!
As you visit my blog, I hope that you will spend some time browsing through and leave behind your comments. This will not only make the blog more interactive but it will also help me chalk a direction for my future posts. You could inbox me your messages here or mail me and please don’t forget to be SOCIAL (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and have now recently joined Instagram)!
A Bit About Me:
We love to travel. And we love to eat when we are travelling. We refers to my husband (referred here in this blog as S) and me with our two little girls whom we address as the Z-SISTERS (even outside the blog!). Big Z
is going to turn 8 this May has turned 8 and Li’l Z is going to turn 3 in Marchis now 3.
I love clicking pictures. And I’m trying to pull Big Z into my team by having gifted her a small Canon ‘aim and shoot’ on her 7th birthday. I think she’s fallen into my trap without realising it. I have been told by my family and friends that I drive them up the wall when I am with my camera – a trusted Nikon SLR. They have, however, learnt to tolerate me mildly over the years. But the obsession to click pictures could well be an undiagnosed case of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)!
Here, I’m unblogging it all.
A Bit More About Me (I struggled quite a bit to make this ‘Bit’ as small as possible – if you skip this part you will still get the essence of this blog):
The following idiosyncrasies in us that you have a right to know and which will only help you, in-case we happen to be sitting next to each other while travelling -
- If you have the window seat and I don’t, then you must necessarily look out of the window all the time. Otherwise, YOU DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE SITTING BY THE WINDOW. I’ll pester you till we would have swapped places
- If the food served to you is different from mine (even though I have been served exactly what I have ordered), I will necessarily STARE at your food since at that point I will be thinking that YOU EXACTLY KNEW THAT YOUR FOOD IS GOING TO BE BETTER THAN MINE
- My magazines and newspapers would necessarily be lying on the floor or would have been torn into multiple pieces by the Z-SISTERS. And I will definitely BORROW MAGAZINES AND NEWSPAPERS STACKED IN YOUR SEAT POCKET EVEN THOUGH YOU HAVEN’T FINISHED READING THEM
- I will want to take out my handbag from the overhead loft every half an hour to use my hand moisturiser, lip balm, chewing gum and my TRAVEL ITINERARY LIST – in exactly that order. THIS IS TO MAKE SURE THAT I HAVE INCLUDED EVERYTHING THAT HAS TO BE SEEN AND DONE, AS PER ALL THE TRAVEL GUIDES & WEBSITES. And No, I cannot keep my handbag on my lap or under my feet.
- Lastly, I look at people either through my camera lenses or through my senses – ‘Do they appear the way they sound? Does the face tally with the name of the person? Does the surname complement the name?’ etc. SO, EITHER I WILL STARE AT YOU BECAUSE YOU WILL BE A FABULOUS SUBJECT FOR MY PHOTOGRAPHS OR I AM BOTHERED THAT YOU LOOK DIFFERENT FROM WHAT I EXPECT YOU TO APPEAR
- LASTLY, I WILL BE STARING OUT OF THE WINDOW EVEN IF IT IS DARK!
If you are still interested in the other members in our family, then here are two more bullet points -
- The Z-SISTERS will definitely order apple juices and when they are being served apple juices THEY’LL START HANKERING FOR MANGO JUICES. SO EXPECT SOME POLITE SCUFFLE (read chit-chat) BETWEEN THE STEWARD/STEWARDESS AND US
- S will necessarily DRINK BEER on the flight and catch up on MOVIES; if he falls asleep HE WILL DEFINITELY SNORE. If he’s awake and his co-passenger sitting next to him snores then HE WILL DEFINITELY GET IRRITATED. The Z-SISTERS will definitely fight amongst themselves for the REMOTES, HANDSETS, COMFORTERS and constantly declare that THEY ARE HUNGRY OR THIRSTY OR THEY ARE GETTING PLAIN BORED
I love Art museums and hate children’s parks that have millions of rides where one ends up paying for his/her headache as well as the roller-coaster rides and bumpy cars. Big Z hates them too. But, Li’l Z is gradually showing promising nerves – hence entertainment parks are probably going to be our future holiday destinations for sure.
S loves architectural ruins and historical places where you can still hear the cannons boom. His shopping will typically consist of local T-shirts with profanities written on them and he’ll cover himself up with jackets (even if it is boiling hot) so that Big Z doesn’t end up reading them. He’ll also buy caps and spices or liqueur from the region that we are visiting. As for me, I will definitely buy junk jewelleries made locally and a cookbook on the local cuisine. Big Z will want to buy everything that she sees. And Li’l Z is yet to form her own shopping preferences.
How does Food come into the picture? Blame it on my Bengali genes, perhaps!
The most important companion in our travel is FOOD. It’s futile to even try justifying the highest expenditure in our holiday bills – our Food expenditure. After-all, the four of us can travel far and wide just to experience a particular culinary delight. What to eat and where to eat comes first in our holiday planning, followed by everything else. I make notes of all the special cuisine of each place we visit and S scours the local groceries or food markets for local spices of the particular region that we are visiting. Big Z loves to eat and experiment with food. And Li’l Z loves to take everything on her plate! Though our food preferences are contradictory, eating is a therapeutic and a soulful experience for us.
This food fetish can be blamed on our inheriting the Bengali genes. Talking about myself – I am a true-blue Bengali or a Bong, a term that takes the Bengalis into the funky, ubér-cool category! Born and brought up for the most part in Kolkata in India, food has shaped my personality and my character. My Bengali genes are surely to be blamed not only for my relentless creative pursuits but also my unsatiated taste-buds. I am glad to have found a food-mate in S, my Bong husband. And we are happy to have made our ancestors proud by passing on similar genes (the ones that determine the taste buds) to the Z-SISTERS.
Our food preferences are contradictory. S demands everything spicy while the Z-SISTERS demand everything mild but always insist on tasting Daddy’s food and end up coughing till they are almost choked.
As for me – I’m a confused eater. Confused, because I don’t know what I love to eat. And I never know what to order – there are far too many food options available in this world!
little hands, big hearth is our travel inspired experiments with FOOD
My childhood in Kolkata as well as setting up homes with S in different cities like Kolkata, Colombo, Frankfurt and Dubai – have shaped our cookings and molded our taste-buds. Post-holidays, we are on our own food trips at home – experimenting our newly acquired expertise on the local cuisine fused with our regular cooking, thus, inventing new dishes which are mostly eagerly anticipated by family and friends. Since we come from Bengal, India, there’s a lot of experiments on Bengali cuisine – both traditional and fusion. And a whole lot of Filipino food (yes, that too!), courtesy my Lady Friday who hails from Bicol, a region in Philippines known for it’s spicy cuisine. And finally, I have to mention the sweet sigh off – the Desserts & Sweets. This is probably the most important food discussion in our family and amongst friends as Bongs are well-known for their sweet tooth!
Following are the characteristics of all recipes doling out of our little hands, big hearth -
♥ Easy to cook
♥ Regular canned products off the shelf may be used (However, we advocate using fresh products)
♥ Goes well both as a regular or party dish
♥ Children can easily help in making the dish (My two little sous-chéfs are aged 8 and 3 years!)
♥ And lastly, guaranteed to be tasty!
I am an independent Food & Travel Blogger
When I started this blog in October 2011, it was with the intention of sharing my personal food and travel stories with like-minded readers. But down the line, I have started getting invites for Food Events, Restaurant Launches, Food-tastings, to contributing recipes and writing about food and travel. I mostly accept invites where there are ‘no obligations what-so-ever to write!’. And I choose to write about things and places that I want to write. And if and only if something inspires me and I’ve had an experience that can be written about. Each post is based on my own experiences and and my own independent opinions.
Over these months, I’ve connected with many readers at a personal level and have had the opportunity to meet up with some of the leading food bloggers of this region (some international ones too), well known personalities in the food industry, chefs and celebrities – both virtually and otherwise. I’ve been enriched with these experiences. Further motivation comes in the form of comments left by the readers in my blog and in this blog. The blog has also had it’s little share of Print and Media Mentions. So, I am one happy blogger now. Like Music unplugged, this is me – Ishita, #unblogged!
As I Sign Off
From the time I have started penning down our culinary and travel journeys, this blog has undergone many changes in it’s appearance initially, but never in it’s essence. This is because I’m ignorant of all technicalities in web-designing. I’ve found unbelievable support and help from various bloggers in this Blogosphere. If I have liked an element in any blog and I’ve wanted any technical know-how as to how to achieve that look, I’ve always found a response. A big Thank You for that!
Travel, Food and Photography are pure passions for me and I have taken lots of effort and time in trying to make the site visually stimulating. S and the Z-SISTERS have also had to sacrifice a lot, along with my friends. ‘DON’T EAT before I take pictures!’ or ‘FREEZE the spoon in your mouth – that’s a perfect ice-cream dripping shot!’ or ‘Can you please cut my vegetables – your nails will look perfect in my photographs!’ are some of my requests that are most dreaded. So, please don’t use the images or the content unethically or without acknowledging. However, suggestions to make the site more interesting are always welcome. So are suggestions of links and sites which might be of similar interest to us so that I could pin them on my Pin Board. If you wish to get in touch with me, please leave a message in my inbox here or mail me . All images (unless it is stated otherwise), content & graphics belong to IshitaPhotoIdeas, IshitaUnblogged and IshitaDesignIdeas respectively.
As we travel with bag and baggage, cookies and camera chargers, chomping away local savouries and penning down new recipes or making travel sketches in a big fat common note book, my trusted camera tries to ‘capture everything and every moment’ – both the tangible as well as the intangible – the cold tickle in our toes while walking on the grass or the fire-alarm-provoking spunk-spice drifting out of my kitchen.
All these with two kids in tow!
Unblogging it all… Ishita