CORIANDER AND MINT PESTO
• ½ cup pine nut seeds • 3 cups coriander, leaves and stalks • ½ cup mint leaves • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil • 4 cloves crushed garlic ( or 1 tbsp from a jar) • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated • Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste • Green chilli, minced, to taste
Lightly roast the pine nut seeds.
Grind all the ingredients together in a blender.
Serve cold and enjoy with kebabs and other appetisers.
• 1 tsp star anise • 400 gm beetroot, grated • 100 ml orange juice • 100 gm sugar • 2 tsp star anise powder • 30 ml white vinegar • 1 tbsp pecan nuts, chopped • 1 tsp green chilli, minced • 1 tsp orange rind, minced
Heat oil and add star anise.
When it begins to crackle, add beetroot and cook.
Then, add orange juice and cook well.
Add sugar and allow it to melt properly, before adding star anise powder.
Add vinegar and cook for 15- 20 minutes until dry. Finally, add the pecan nuts and fold into the mixture.
Garnish with chilli and orange rind. Serve cold.
etter late than never. Film autobiographies are happening. Last month witnessed the book launches and cushy sales of Karan Johar’s An Unsuitable Boy ( which Shah Rukh Khan declared should have been more appropriately titled An Intelligent Boy), and Rishi Kapoor’s long anticipated Khullam Khulla, which roughly translates into ‘ Tell All, NoHolds- Barred’.
My intention in today’s column isn’t to bang out a review of either of the books. I’d rather take up the topic of how the life and times of film personalities — within 250 pages — are considered a safe- selling bet by India’s publishing trade, largely centred in New Delhi.
Not surprisingly, in the course of a brief visit to the Indian capital, I was approached for such collaborative biographies, the predictable pitch being, “You know quite a few of them so well, you could write it blind- folded.” Flattering, yes, but far from being accurate. Truth be told, a journalist can never quite know a film personality, absolutely up close and personal.
A healthy professional distance has to be maintained. If it isn’t, there is every likelihood of the result turning out to be a hagiography. Admittedly, I felt quite disappointed ( with myself) after a shot at a book, coffee- table albeit, on Amitabh Bachchan over a decade- and- a- half ago. Titled To Be or Not To Be, and released on the actor’s 60th birthday, it isn’t available any more for love or money at book stores and, I presume, online. “Can you get us a copy? We’re willing to pay any price,” the demand persists. Bachchan Sr’s fan following has swelled — and how! — during the years gone by.
Yet, the heavy tome of a book is not something I relish on listing on my biodata, essentially because the assignment was a command performance of sorts. In recreating the estimable career and personal crests and troughs of Amitabh Bachchan, I could not really probe his heart and mind insightfully. Certain ticklish questions had to be asked in a roundabout manner. Moreover, a few photographs and paragraphs had to be dropped. Just an occupational hazard, you might say, but I’d rather not take on the responsibility of chronicling an actor’s jagged beat than to wince every time I see it on my shelf of keepsakes.
Mr Bachchan is prone to tweeting squelchers and the tiniest semblance of criticism ( even if it is directed at myself and not anyone else) on the greats is an invitation for vituperative trolls. Unarguably, Amitabh Bachchan is a great actor and an institu-
SPEAKING HIS MIND: Karan Johar’s An Unsuitable has evoked interest due to the revelations he's made on his equation with other stars