Channelling hangriness

Food led this duo to some of their best 2018 memories


Text and visuals: Twisha Ahuja and Shruti Paranjape

They say we are what we eat, and what we ate this year has played such a big part in leading us to some of our best moments this year.

For us, 2018 has been a refreshing journey towards all that we both absolutely love— food and adventure. Our travels lead us to explore the tastes and flavours of various countries.  This roller coaster ride  resulted in TwoHangryWomen, a project where we passionately chronicle our food adventures.

The food that 2018 has brought us to has been so unique, that we had to throwback to them. Perhaps this is an attempt to re-live some of the finest moments we have had this year.

 

THE BEGINNING

What made us Two Hangry Women: The Jowar and Barley Salad at Bombay Canteen
March 31, 2018.

We had no blog yet.

“If I had to judge your city through its food, what kind of food would you make me eat,” the Hangry Woman from Delhi asked. Without thinking too much, the Hangry Woman from Mumbai suggested the food at the Bombay Canteen, a popular restaurant in the city. Little did we know then, that our friendship of 13 long years would soon turn into a relationship of food discoveries and journeys.

At the Bombay Canteen, the Jowar and Barley Salad convinced us that food is the true love of both our lives and we must follow it everywhere. Next, the absolutely divine chicken ghee roast on toast inspired us to start thinking of names for our soon-to-be-born food blog. (In retrospect, we offer special thanks to the server at the restaurant, who insisted we try the ghee roast despite our disinterest in chicken liver.)

A rich, thick Haleem later, we were toasting to our brand new baby, Two Hangry Women, with a glass of Bombay Sour and Old Fashioned.

At this swanky restaurant, we had a beginning that every blogger can only ever hope for. Amidst great food that vibed with some of the greatest cocktails.

P.S. Despite Hangry Woman from Delhi’s skepticism about a vegetarian salad, the Jowar and Barley Salad won our tongues and tummies with its genuineness. Symbolism aside, it became the first feature on the blog.

It felt just right.

GETTING OUT THERE

The Ministry of Crab, Sri Lanka
May 2, 2018

TwoHangryWomen’s first ever international trip was to Sri Lanka. Here, the food was cheap and delicious. And of course as they say, spicy.

We stopped over at Colombo to visit the highly decorated restaurant, The Ministry of Crab. This iconic fine-dining restaurant is owned by popular cricket star, Kumar Sangakkara. Voted the 29th best restaurant in Asia by Asia’s Best Restaurants 2019,  it creates an added layer of hype, requiring us to book reservations at least 2-3 weeks in advance.

Despite knowing the hard-work involved in eating crab, we went ahead and ordered an 800-gram garlic chilli crab. The blast of flavours in a medium-spice, with a big chunk of utterly-buttered garlic bread to boot, made it all worth it.

As we looked over the Old Dutch Hospital Complex, a charming old area with stone corridors that are surrounded by small antique shops, we ordered in the clay pot prawn curry. Two types of prawns, giant tiger prawn and jumbo prawns were tossed together to make this curry. No serving of sticky rice felt more flavourful.

We noticed how people on other tables were seriously engaged in their crab-eating endeavour.

Any stress we may have felt at our first-ever authentic crab-meal was more than made up for, with all the advice and information we had, patiently given to us at the restaurant by our server. But already in a foreign land, we decided to end on a familiar note—a chocolate biscuit pudding that was comfy, like a hug.

We hear Ministry of Crab may be coming to Mumbai soon. #SeaFoodGoals if it does, we can assure you!

GETTING US OUT OF BED

The breakfast menu,  Jamjar Diner, Mumbai
April 29, 2018

There are few things in life that would get the two of us out of bed at a decent time on Sunday morning. Jamjar Diner’s breakfast menu is one of them.

Jamjar, at both its Andheri (West) and Bandra locations, serves good old American breakfast, with no difference in the quality of food they serve.

The two of us are quite indecisive, and Jamjar Diner’s menu is quite a Sunday-morning test. With the regular American breakfast menu of a vast variety of pancakes, waffles, French toasts, smoothie bowls, and all kinds of eggs, Jamjar serves even full-fledged breakfast meals, smoothies, fresh fruit juices and Sangrias.

Despite the smorgasbord of items, the straightforward comfort of pancakes placated our hangryness. These were the fluffiest pancakes in the city—and definitely of quality, with no hint of baking soda helping in their rise. Their simplicity only added to the appeal— these pancakes were no drama, just some powdered sugar and orange segments, and a choice of honey or maple syrup. We ignored the various other topping options, preferring to keep it simple.

After a very late Saturday night, what we needed was a wholesome breakfast to satiate our stomachs, which literally led us to Jamjar Diner because quite honestly, theirs was the only menu that got us hooked.

Eating out has become quite an escape— an escape from cooking every day, an escape from the routine of 9-5 followed by household chores. The market clearly taps into this need for escape, and is surely thriving because of it.

But Jamjar breaks that very monotony of needing to eat out, too.

THE HOT WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE

Keema Baati at Spice Court, Jaipur
May 4, 2018

Think Jaipur, and all visual communication has conditioned us to think of camels, kachoris, Hawa Mahal, and long drives to Nahargarh Fort. As natives of the charming walled city though, we’d also add Keema Baati to the mix.

As longtime residents, we’ve frequented Spice Court, but it wasn’t until high school that we were introduced to the Keema Baati by friends in whose homes this is a special delicacy. The dish is a blast of purely authentic Rajasthani flavours in your mouth: Two huge baked balls of dough stuffed with keema (minced mutton and spices) and peas are dipped in ghee. Along with this dish comes the spicy Laal Maas gravy that you pour on top of the broken pieces of the baati. More dollops of ghee follow on top.

One serving easily fills our two bellies.

A few more dishes at Spice Court that really brought us back home at a very primal level, and that we recommend: the Raj Sula (a spicy mutton appetiser), Junglee Maas (a main, of dry mutton made with red chillies) & Safed Maas (a main, of mutton in a white gravy).

THE ‘HELL YEAH! WE’RE BLOGGERS’ MOMENT

Brick ‘n’ Bean Café, Gurgaon
June 20, 2018

One evening when we were not even 3 months old, we received a message on our Instagram from a newly opened café in Gurgaon.

We don’t know how they heard of us, but we remember screaming in excitement when we saw their message— it was our first ever time being invited in our capacity as food-bloggers. We were overwhelmed about how we’d do, but little did we know that we were in for a treat!

Brick ‘n’ Bean Cafe is cute and cosy, tucked away from the busy concretes of Gurgaon. This has nothing to do with them inviting us, but we can’t recall eating a better grilled fish in lemon butter sauce in the Delhi-NCR region. The fish was tender, the mashed potatoes were creamy and the sautéed vegetable alongside each had their natural flavour intact. We also had the Chicken Cacciatore, chicken cooked with mushrooms and olives, served on a bed of spaghetti Aglio Olio. It looked as good as it tasted.

Over waffles for dessert, we had a nice little chat with the owner of the cafe about running and sustaining new ventures—the experiences of which we had in common.

THE ONLY KIND OF ROSE HANGRY WOMEN WANT

 The rose ice cream, Gelarto Rosa, Budapest
October 10, 2018

It was our first ever visit to Budapest. Sure, we had plans to explore everything Budapest had to offer by way of food and culture, while walking through the narrow lanes of city.

But one place that was already on our list was Gelarto Rosa. The gelato here showed us that in Budapest, intricate art isn’t just limited to their beautiful architecture. It is also in their food.

We had planned our visit to Gelarto Rosa but not to the very famous St. Stephen’s Church that stands right next door. But there’s a big menu right outside for the benefit of those that, unlike us, didn’t plan their itinerary around eating.

Gelarto Rosa’s fresh, seasonally aware gelatos had many flavours to choose from. Even the most surprising combinations—like the bitter chocolate, the sour mango and the sweet strawberry or elderflower—would lead to nothing less than perfection in our palette.

Just like all the coming together of all the elements of a spectacular Eurotrip.  It was Budapest, Hungary, that gave us the most beautiful rose.

 

Twisha and Shruti share their food journeys on TwoHangryWomen. They can be followed on Facebook and Instagram.

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