This winter, I’ve been reading Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy’s newly released book ‘The Siege: 68 Hours Inside The Taj Hotel‘, an account of the events that lead to, and unfolded on that fateful day in 2008 when terrorists from across the Indian border lead simultaneous attacks on my native city of Mumbai.
For me, the terrorists struck too close to home, and this book brings back memories of November 26th 2008, when we sat at our home in Austin, receiving real time information on the relentless strikes on the stunningly beautiful over-a-century old Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, a place where my husband and I had collectively spent almost two decades of our work life.
Along with the Taj, many other landmarks in the city were targets, including our favorite post-work hangout, the Leopold Cafe right behind the Taj hotel, where we friends would gather to laugh and chat away a long day’s fatigue.
As I read with intrigue about the elaborate plot and complex characters behind this attack; my mind is finally able to let go of the inevitable ‘Shoulda Coulda Woulda’ of such dastardly acts as 9-11 in New York and 26-11 in Mumbai, cause there’s little good people can do to prepare for such strong intent to harm unarmed fellow humans. As always, one thing that comes out on top in the fight of good vs. evil is the resilience of the city under siege and the spirit of goodness itself.
So last summer on my recent visit to India, when I walked into the bustling lobby of the Taj Hotel, and stood at the base of the grand staircase, taking in the grandeur of the 6-story high dome and giving a respectful nod to the proud bust of the Taj’s Parsi Zoroastrian founder Sir Jamsetji Tata; I was grateful that a landmark so precious had survived this attack and come out on top, stronger than ever before.
Inspired by Mumbai’s ever-evolving trendy food scene and a delightful spiced squash dish I tasted on my last visit; today’s recipe is a simple, flavorful, fiber-rich winter meal, using roasted Indian spiced seasonal butternut squash and crunchy spring onions to make a brown or white Basmati rice Pulao.
Enjoy this Spiced Butternut Squash Basmati Rice Pulao as an entrée on a busy weeknight or a side with your favorite meat or vegetable.
This recipe is part of my cookbook ‘Spice Up Your Celebration’ which offers Indian Inspired recipes for your occasions, holidays and entertaining. Click This Link for Details.
Using old Indian entertaining wisdom and today’s modern approach to food from a global perspective, my cookbook ‘Spice Up Your Celebration’ offers an easy to prepare collection of mouthwatering recipes that can be used for any occasion from intimate family and friends dinners, to hosting larger holiday celebrations.
As always, my dishes are inspired by India’s varied and flavorful smorgasbord of regional cuisines and made with everyday fresh ingredients, basic spices and simple step-wise directions.
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