Kaushik Das Gupta


Articles By Kaushik Das Gupta

A brave new world

An extraordinary debut novel that moves seamlessly between myth, history, and reportage

KS Komireddi’s book on brief history of India raises important questions even if it doesn’t address them

In its first part, Malevolent Republic asks a difficult question? Can dynastism and authoritarianism be traced to the times when the country was at its democratic best? Komireddi does not absolve India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru in this respect.

The tart delight of summers: The remarkable versatility of raw mango

The joys — pickled and pulped — of unripe mangoes.

The sugar syrup-coated orange whorls of delight

A date with jalebis during Ramzan in Mumbai.

Bon Appetit! The greatest virtues of the humble potato

The humble potato, which absorbs all flavours and lifts any dish, is best served mashed.

The invisible djinns in our food

No season lends itself better to fermented food than summer. As modern science re-emphasises the wisdom inherent in fermented food, one of the oldest kitchen techniques seems to be making a comeback.

Spread the joy: The many-splendoured nature of chutney

Sweet, sour or spicy — chutneys and relishes can uplift the most mundane, dispiriting meals.

From My Grandmother’s Kitchen

Rice dishes struck a chord with her, especially tehri.

The vastly misunderstood condition of gluttony

Gluttony isn’t a sin. Surplus eating and leftovers can, in fact, stimulate production.

The infinite importance of the ‘kick’ of mustard oil

There’s only one way to tame mustard oil — with deference.

When the Twain Do Meet

A sharp overview of India’s recent history with its heightened interplay between media and politics.

Why new plan to ‘unlock’ Farakka for hilsa recalls old debate on fish passes

Like many other debates in gastronomy, the one on the hilsa, too, is about the seamlessness of legend and myth, ecology, history, and culture.

Memories of ‘nolen gur’ and how a film refreshed empathy with the craftspersons who created magic

Making Magic: Literally “new jaggery,” nolen gur is extracted from date palm. At dusk, men whose nimble limbs would put any acrobat to shame, scale the trees to cleave a thin slice of the trunk.

All it takes to welcome seasons is food and family

In the predominantly Punjabi neighbourhood where we spent most of our childhood, the festivities would be announced with drumbeats and bonfires into which peanuts and popcorn were thrown in as ritual oblation. But, for long, we did not really know what the fervour was all about.

Lessons from chaat: The pursuit of ‘authentic’ food shouldn’t kill spontaneity

And why food can’t live in a time warp.

If the Heart Says So: Can there be a Christmas meal without cake?

Can there be a Christmas meal without cake? The Christmas meal is among the rare times in the year when the extended family meet at the dinner table.

What’s Cooking? To know more about food is to know more about life

A dish is much more than a perfect combination of ingredients acted upon by fire, it is also to do with memories,  history and geography.

Easier Said than Done book review: Love of the Game

In his autobiography, Alan Wilkins explores the changing face of cricket with empathy and self-deprecating humour

Why Muhammad Ali Jinnah still provokes

Indian society lives in the shadow of Partition even today. The search for the “real culprits” behind the division of India continues. And prima facie, Jinnah seems to fit the bill.

In Good Faith: Lives of others

Moral desirability of organ donation must be balanced against the coercion that altruism usually carries in unequal societies.