Friday, July 17, 2015

Of Kuala Lumpur and Some Food

That Malaysian Holiday,it was all about the food , but I would be doing KL  a great disservice by not blogging about the mighty Petronas.

These are the most iconic of all buildings in the world-The Petronas Towers.
I learnt two things here.
    1. That vertigo is not to be laughed about.
    2. That Dan Brown has forced me to look for symbols in whatever monument I see and question them. However bizzare they may be. Here it was the Rub el Hizb Islamic symbol. The two overlapping squares in unicode (8 pointed star)ending the Arabic Chapter in Calligraphy. I read about it first after I noticed it in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

This picture was taken after the Suriya KlCC experience.
Majestic , these twin towers 86 levels high . And with a concrete ,steel and glass facade. Oh and the Sky Bridge is where I realised that vertigo comes to one and all.
41 and 42 levels above and all you can see is the clean and planned  BBKLCC /Golden triangle or the Bukit Bintang Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre area of KL city. The observation deck is at the 86th level.
Suria KLCC houses a shopping complex of upmarket brands and offices. Small tableaus recreating village life and Kites had been set up in honor of the holy month of Ramadan . Salam Aidilfitri is the greeting of the hour, a way to greet the people in the holy month of Ramadaan.

Before the ascent to the two stages-one to the sky walk bridge -the 41st floor at 170m and then the deck at level 86, you will be guided by a virtual presentation. This little boy had the time if his life walking through the video.
The Petronas Sky Bridge is almost like a walk in the sky. I needed the force to be with me... Luke ...Luke...
Solar panels and the logo of the Suria KLCC visible from the 41st level skybridge.
The ride up to the 86th level was in two stages...level 83 and then up three levels to the observation deck. This was the coolest thing. The interactive TVs could read the bar code on our tickets and produce visuals.

I tried looking out and taking pics from the observation deck but I was beginning to feel giddy.
A few more pics...

So I sat and looked around.
There's more about the BBKLCC and stuff but it was time for dinner already. At the Big Apple Restaurant in the Berjaya Times Square ,Kuala Lumpur ,dinner was served.

Iftaar is the meal at the end of the Ramadaan fast and is had at 7:28pm after the prayer  plays on the Radio.

Rose drink and pitted dates
 So every one fills up their plates and waits patiently for the fast to end. The Ramadan fast ends with a date and a sip of the Rose drink.
While wandering, I checked out the dessert platter first.
Such a huge array of fruit and sweets. I had tried the Malaysian Papaya and melons the same morning and of course the star fruit and Dragon fruit are common enough in India. But ,I had only ever tried the Rambutan in a can.

I wasn't quite sure how to open it... camera in my hand you see...
So flash a smile and you get tons of information.

                    A fresh Rambutan is firm ,sweet and tastes similar to a lychee. Its a lot easier to peel and the seed is smaller. The mango steen was thankfully peeled and the startfruit sliced. I loved the star fruit here. Tart and sweet and juicy.
Spread of Ciku-Cheeku,Rambutan starfruit,Rose Apple(from crocodile and monkey story) etc
The ones we get in India are way too tart to eat without the requisite masala salt. This was delicate and  not as tart but sweet-nice.

Bite sized desserts made of Pandan leaf and also the Malaysian Kuih.
The cookies were different too,ubiquitous chocolate fountain and snowy marsh mallows...
I tried coating my dragon fruit slice in chocolate too...Strawberries taste way better.

That was the pi├Ęce de resistance. 
A huge barbecued lamb with roast vegetables.
And gravy. All nicely carved out for you.
When you have the lamb, the veggies are just add-ons.

  There was a slew of accompaniments, pickles, relishes and preserves. Fish-Anchovies seemed to be the favourite. Beef and chicken and veggies were served too                               Salted duck eggs quartered were being enjoyed too.

That was the chef doing tempura. He did oyster(or was it scallop?) and squid tempura for us.
Lemme say I am not really partial to  Japanese cuisine.  I love my flavours strong and my music loud.
So wasabi is good. But a tempura does not inspire my taste buds so.

The chicken and the roast mutton and barbeque's we eat here In India too. I was more interested in the fresh sea food . And I had a taste of it all.

Coming up, more food adventures in Malaysia...

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Selamet Datang and a Teh Tarik

Yes ,not English here.
If you did notice ,I have been MIA -Missing in Action from blogosphere here.
Baketitude has been part of the Mega Familiarisation trip to Malaysia these last few days.Being a Media VIP with three other writers enjoying the legendary Malaysian hospitality in Kuala Lumpur and Penang.
Well,What can I say?
The last few days have been a wonderful experience.  For once I can respond with more that "Same old,Same old" to "Hows Life?"
Shonita Joshi learning just how we say Selamet Datang.
Five crazy days with strangers who became friends  before parting at the airport. An education for me...I re learnt what it is to be young again and forget the "Been there done that" phrase that I repeat often.
And it started at the Mumbai International Airport.  We boarded the Malaysian Airlines MH195 to Kuala Lumpur at about 2330hrs and were welcomed by pretty stewardesses with a Selamet Datang. At that moment all one could think of was reaching safely.
The stewardessesbseemed nice...

At Kuala Lumpur International Airport, we were welcomed by our super friendly Ground Handler and tour Guide Mr Azhar Esmi at. He welcomed us with a Selamet Datang again and a Salaam al lekum...
Hosted at the Berjaya Times Square Hotel ,Kuala Lumpur we were welcomed with traditional Malaysian Hospitality and a Teh Tarik.
Teh Tarik... or Pulled tea.
Teh Tarik

Sweet , warm and full bodied ,this cup of tea was frothy and brought back the taste of home.
Served with a cookie and a shot of was great.
In the next leg of our journey at the g Hotel -Kelawai ,Penang ultra chic and contemporary- ,I saw how it was made.

Typical Tamil vest and belt and lungi and Teh tarik.
I have to redo this tea.

For the

Teh Tarik or Pulled Tea

you need

3 tsp tea leaves to make a strong brew
100 mils condensed milk- Milkmaid.

Boil the tea leaves with 2 cups of water till you get a strong brew.
Strain into a saucepan into the condensed milk.
Pour this mix from one saucepan to another pulling your hands apart.
Steady does it...don't make sudden movements or you just might spill it on yourself and scald your skin or worse ,if it falls on the ground, you.ll need to mop many times or face Ant Attacks...
The condensed milk helps you get a good froth.
OK , I saw the technique only in Penang though. Bukit Bintang,  Kuala Lumpur is too cosmopolitan to have Teh Tarik stalls. But the dinner Buffet at the hotel G, Penang and the food stalls at the end of the Persiaran Gurney, Gurney Drive Hawker Centre sure had them.

Now pour into a pretty glass and enjoy.
This is the first impression of Malaysia and a very warm one at that.
Selamet Datang.
Teh Tarik is the Malaysian National drink , as famous as Nasi Lemak. Coming there...
The skill in tarik-ing or pulling the tea is what pulls a lot of people to certain vendors.  The condensed milk balances the flavor of the tea. So its a little familiar but then not so...

This is just the beginning, you wont want to miss the excitement of the shopping carnival...come back for more to know more about
Malaysia, Truly Asia and #TourismMalaysia.

Come back for more...
Oh and the real reason,the Shopping Festival...

I'll be recounting my adventures ,but not chronologically- I'm too old to learn to follow the dikats of time...

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Honey, I love you -Dabur

Some thing sweet to start the day and somethimg sweet to end the day.
Sweet is the order of the day for a dessert before main course person.
I am Sweet.
For the longest time ,I never used my given name online . I was "Sweet".
Well I am Sweet.
And the best thing to sweeten my day -Honey. Dabur Honey is my choice any day.
And it really knows how to sweeten my disposition.
I start my day with a glass of warm  water . The juice of a couple of lemons and a couple of spoons of Dabur Honey.
Now that I am on a sabbatical from work so I enjoy my fresh fruit and green tea breaks . My fruit and green tea and probiotics inspired diet is all thanks to the news flashes that we keep getting bombarded by face book and whats app and email forwards.
All these news flashes talk about checks and balances.Honey and lemon juice in the morning with warm water is a drink that is an elixir.
Like the balance of flavours. Sweet and sour.
This warm drink is what keeps me going.
I have not needed my morning cup of caffeine for more than a decade now.
Other than my allergic rhinitis flaring up once in a while, me succumbing to the flu is extremely rare.
I have clear skin with the rarest of rare acne peeping out to check if the world is still functional.This for me is a wonder, because my teenage years were all Clearasil  and Clean and Clear doused.
My digestive system functions well and I am generally free of tummy aches and upset.
I don't have morning breath and am energised and ready to go early in the morning.
"2 minutes" rings true for us. The ease it offers is down right amazing.
A full meal in two minutes, by just boiling water and adding pre cooked noodles or pasta...
Or just by paying a bill and driving trough to the next counter...
But there are no free lunches.
Even if you pay for them.
Somewhere that quick meal will leave behind its dirty footprint in your body.
And those of us who starve ourselves to fit into that little red dress,soon realise how difficult it is to control binges. Because crash diets are disastrous for nutrition loss to our bodies.
Suddenly cutting down all sources of protein and carbohydrate and essential fats and oils to the body does extreme amount of harm to the body in the long run.
Long term effects will encompass something like dull and patchy skin tones, muscle loss leading to slower metabolism ,lethargy ,sluggishness,hair loss,being prone to illnesses and so many more problems .
So be insouciant enough going against the desires to achieve results super fast and take it slow and steady.
Add honey to your lemon water every morning and sweeten your smoothies and tart desserts with Dabur honey instead of refined sugar and reap the benefits as old as time.
Your body will thank you for the change some day soon.
So make a change today. Add honey to your daily routine as the  #HoneyDietIsHere

Until the next

Until the next


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