Pooja Pillai

Pooja Pillai is a Special Correspondent working with The Indian Express.

Articles By Pooja Pillai

Finger-lickin’ good: The story of chutney in India

In most meals, the chutney is on the margins of the plate as an accompaniment. But, in its variety of ingredients and burst of flavours, it remains the common taste that binds our multicultural eating practices together.

Explained: Reading Leo Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace’ in our times

At a time when political "strong men" in several countries are seen as larger-than-life heroes (or villains), and are extolled (or denounced) for having single-handedly brought about sweeping change in their countries, Tolstoy's ideas about historical determinism are especially relevant.

Looking the part

Costume designer and stylist Indrakshi Pattanaik Malik on what went into the National Award-winning costume design for the Telugu-Tamil biopic Mahanati

How Keerthy Suresh almost said no to playing Savitri Ganesan in Mahanati

Keerthy Suresh was one of the many who doubted that she could pull off the role of Savitri Ganesan in Mahanati. The actor on a role which surprised her, and has just won her a National Award.

Older, Wiser and a Tiny Bit Nicer

If Sex and the City (1997) took a caustic, unsentimental approach to the dating scene of a certain class of white people in Manhattan, this follow-up is mellower.

From my pantry

The cheese that we make at Begum Victoria is inspired by Europe, but like with wine, the terroir plays a role in how the product finally tastes, says the chef.

Lunch at your leisure

At Tenali, one can enjoy a good and unhurried meal of Andhra specialities

In a new location and with a revamped menu, Diva Spiced mostly delivers on its promise of Asian food with a twist

It is the little things like this that made our lunch at the Diva Spiced interesting. The restaurant, which used to be located in Meherchand Market, opened this week at a new location in Greater Kailash 1’s N Block Market.

Seven chefs, all alumni of the award-winning restaurant Noma, come together for a collaboration in Gurgaon

Vanshika Bhatia and Nitin Tewari are playing host to the second round of this collaboration — christened Chefs World Tour — at Together at 12th.

Fates and furies

Anger is a powerful emotion, but it seems a little reductive that a show of female power should occur mainly within this paradigm of violence and retribution.

Why poha, the light and tasty breakfast staple, remains a classic

This breakfast dish has recently been in the news, thanks to an application made by the Indori Mithai Aur Namkeen Nirmata-Vikreta Vyapari Sangh to grant a Geographical Indication (GI) tag to the Indori Poha. “

The enduring appeal of artist Jitish Kallat’s lunar rotis

Jitish Kallat's interests lie in celestial cycles, circadian rhythms and the mysterious orbital geometry of the moon, earth and sun.

Chef Dhruv Oberoi on his favourite equipment

Food isn’t just meant to be sweet or spicy: umami is an essential, but underestimated aspect of good food.

Despite being one of its birthplaces, India has forgotten many varieties of rice

The story of rice in India is complex, influenced as much by geography as by taste, faith, politics and contemporary nutrition science. But, after years of getting panned for being unhealthy, it is finally making its way back to the centre of the table.

From my pantry: Chef Hussain Shahzad on his favourite technique

Making poee, the staple Goan bread

Cheese, No Please

Nut and Bowls, a raw vegan cafe in Delhi, is hit-and-miss with its food and philosophy

The body electric

Bhupen Khakhar had worked out that he was gay fairly early, but it wasn’t until he travelled to the UK in 1979 that he became aware of the gay rights movement.

The Man Who Rejigged Our Palate

Jiggs Kalra, who toiled to get the perfect meal and put Punjabi food on the global culinary map, leaves behind an incredible legacy.

Sun and Shade

In Beyond the Boulevard, Aditi Sriram offers a deeper look at this quaint little town — aspects of which, the average tourist might catch a glimpse of as she speeds down the narrow streets on a hired bike.

A Bite Too Large

The food at La Roca is sophisticated and delicious, but it is not necessarily tapas