30 March 2016

Fruits you must try in India


One thing I love about being back in India is eating all my favourite Indian fruits again! There's an abundance of fruits throughout the year, and some you can find year round. Here are some of the most typical Indian fruits...

Mango is everyone's favourite fruit. This is a summer fruit: available from April through to July. The very first mangoes of the season are available from the end of March and these are always expensive. But very soon there will be an abundance of many different types of mangoes. The number of different varieties is truly astounding.   


Guava is another of my favourite fruits. Especially the pink ones! In India, they're eaten with black salt, but for me, they're best plain (and not too ripe).


Jackfruit is another summer fruit. This is the largest tree-bearing fruit, and it's also very ugly! The smell puts off a lot of people, especially when it's overripe. It's painstaking work to extract the fruit from the outer shell: inside are yellow rubbery sheaths with large seeds hidden inside. The taste is a bit like melon, and more like Wrigley's Juicy Fruit chewing gum!


Papaya is a fruit available throughout the year. It's commonly served when its very, very ripe, but I prefer it before it gets too ripe and mushy, sprinkled with lemon. Many people find papaya has an 'off' taste, but the lemon juice neutralizes it.

Pomegranate is another difficult fruit to 'clean' but so worth the effort. The pomegranate 'seeds' in India are extremely sweet and a brilliant ruby red. 

Custard apple is another interesting and odd-looking fruit. The easiest way to eat it is to scoop out the white flesh with a spoon and spit out the many large black seeds. Yummy.


Sapota (called chikku in the North) is another fruit I can't get enough of. This is a round fruit that looks like a small potato. It has a yummy caramel-like taste, and I eat it skin and all. I've been buying them at the same fruit shop lately and one day there were none left. “No more sapota?” I asked the fruit seller – because in India you have to always ask. I'm glad I did, because he told me to wait, and reappeared a few minutes later with a basket full of sapota. He had just picked them from the tree behind the shop! “Organic”, he announced, with a smile on his face.

What's your favourite Indian fruit?


05 February 2016

Read the sign - part V

After Part IPart IIPart III, Part IV, here are a few more of the quirky (and sometimes unintelligible) signs India is famous for...

A warning in Colaba, Mumbai

I wonder what the results were

Just so you know


Dangerous laptops and 'luggeages' are prowling Shanthinagar bus station in Bangalore!

Not sure what this one means...

Sound advice

More sound advice that should be obvious?

25 January 2016

Common misconceptions about Bangalore


Many people (especially foreigners) look at me in disbelief when I tell them I lived in Bangalore for close to seven years. Most foreign travellers to India avoid Bangalore because they think it doesn't have a lot to offer, or they think it's too 'modern' and therefore uninteresting. It may be true that Bangalore doesn't have a lot of tourist attractions compared to other Indian cities, but what I love about this city is everything it doesn't offer to the tourist. The city takes time to get to know and appreciate, and offers many pleasant surprises to those who choose to explore it.

Unfortunately Bangalore's image suffers from a lot of misconceptions, assumptions and even untruths. Here are a few of the most common ones...

15 January 2016

I'm in India... find me on Instagram



Dear readers,

I'm in India for the winter and have lots of updates waiting for this blog... I'm experiencing a few delays but am working on getting the updates up ASAP!

In the meantime, you can see what's happening outside my window on my Instagram page.

I also post on the Facebook page when I can, so do have a look there.

More very soon!

17 December 2015

What (not) to pack for India



I started writing a post on 'how to pack for India', but it very quickly became a post on what NOT to pack, so here you go... my recommendations on what (not) to pack for India...

15 November 2015

A coffee tour of South India



Don't ever make the mistake of ordering a chai in South India... for South India is the land of coffee. This is the drink of choice, a daily ritual for many, and South Indians can't live without it. If you've never had a cup of South Indian coffee, you're in for a surprise... there are many things that make it unique. 

In an article I wrote for the in-flight magazine of Silk Air, I explored the history of coffee-growing in the region and evolving trends in South India's coffee culture. You can read it here.


You can read some of my other published articles on India here.

21 October 2015

Kalamkari: Fabric of the Earth



I have always loved the Indian textile art of Kalamkari, and a trip to the village of its origin, Sri Kalahasti in Andhra Pradesh, was on my list of places to explore for a long time. I finally had the chance when I was researching an article on Kalamkari for the in-flight magazine of Silk Air.

I spent a day at the workshop of one of India's best-known Kalamkari artists, Jonnalagadda Niranjan, where I saw artists busy at work and witnessed part of the lengthy traditional process used to create the fabric designs.

You can read the article here, and see a few of my photos below...

























You can read some of my other published articles on India here.