Au naturel the Natti way 

I am currently playing catchup to the concept of suitcase living due to multiple travels and find myself on days like these playing George Clooney’s character in the movie Up in the air. I assure you there is no resemblance or similarities between us two (apart from the fact that we both own a Harley- and well, were single- alas the good one bit the dust all but recently dear ladies. My sympathies) but it’s more towards the concept. So let’s not detract when post all this madness between multiple cities, some slow and some super hectic it felt good to head over to Natti’s Naturals in Anjuna. 

Often, many of us in the food industry get asked the age old question- Wow, what a life? Eat and review food all day? what does it take for me to land that job? Ever heard the saying- “the grass is greener on the other side?” It’s NOT in my opinion unless it’s got faux pas AstroTurf present. Even the best of us succumb to health issues from eating out so much and at times require and deserve some wholesome good organic food. The minute you enter her place you are greeted by this effervacious host- Natti,  who makes it her personal mission to ensure you have a healthy hearty good time. The menu and the offerings are organic, simple and wholesome. Most of the vegetables used in the preparation come from the garden behind. And her drinks prepared are preservative free. 

The minute I entered her cafe, I felt healthy rejuvenated and fresh. Something I was long looking forward too. In conversation about LIFE (which we normally gravitate towards- there’s something about Food and Life which is so entwined.) A small example being ,Natti’s principles which she imbibes in her meal – all her salads are washed with filtered water with himalayan salt & white wine vinegar. All the juices are made from scratch so she asks you upfront to be patient. Raw organic sugar & local honey from a farm is utilised and you have options for gluten free bread, almond or soya milk.

 I choose a  vegetarian offering. Yes I love my veggies and given a chance, I eat my greens for the majority of ones week. I must admit when I was suggested the quiche I squinted towards a more substantial ‘filling’ item on the menu. Natti assured me my trail would not be in vain. Each of her portions can easily feed two. She accredits her half punjabi genes for the wholesomeness of quantity without discounting quality much like my lovely Punjabi brethren. Their hospitality is for another upcoming story. 

The Mini broccoli & feta quiche with green salad had a light base (given it was a gluten free) not to mention the size was filling yet appetising. The greens were crunchy and fresh recently plucked as promised. The beauty of this dish was the fact it made way for the decadent yet healthy Natti’s Nutti Chocolate cake (gluten & dairy free made with almonds- which most of you still question me on in wonder- be nice to Natti and she might tell you her secret ingredient – alas no Promises) 

And just like that the better part of the afternoon comes to an end. My appetite and hunger fulfilled only monetarily. She urges me to try a few non vegetarian items off her menu. I am stuffed to the gills and happily so. 

There’s a round of travel in my calendar Natti but I assure you I shall return soon. 

Mini broccoli & feta quiche with green salad Pic courtesy: Nolan Mascarenhas Photography

What a Green Day

“Mama says, Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what your gonna get” in Mr. Gumps words. And mine sure has a funny way of teaching self a thing or two. 

For one on the move across cities and fast paced jobs to shifting back to nature paddy fields galore. Now that’s a view to behold of on a daily basis. 

P.S. Peacock attractions are frequent during the rains mind you. 

I love this……feeling blessed. 

Pic courtesy: Nolan Mascarenhas Photography   

The Morning After

Ever heard those LIFE inspirational quotes where when one shuts a door a window is opened somewhere?  I ain’t on the verge of a spiritual discourse however given my condition the night before this image it is truly is a wonder I made it through the night without freezing my butt in the rain. 

With hail and brimstone in the middle of nowhere literally I chanced upon this ashram at the stroke of midnight and requested shelter from a rather grumpy priest (wouldn’t you be on your best behaviour having being woken up at midnight to a stranger now) and he offered to lend me shelter in his godown with the caveat of keep one eye open for critters and creepy crawlies that come visiting (he was referring to the garden snakes that might have jostled me and eventually nestled up in my sleeping bag)

Just like the Stones all I could think of with sigh of relief was the humming of the soundtrack Gimme Shelter and pray that I woke up without unexpected company. 

And viola I see this early in the morning. I mean gobsmacked would be an understatement. I never wanted to leave. Right next to the temple -pristine clear drinkable water and the serenity of an undiscovered Shangri-la. 

Thank you. Last night a Monk saved my life and we bonded like long lost life seekers over a cuppa chai (tea) in the morning. 

The little joys of travel. Your adventure awaits…what you waiting for?

Pic courtesy: Nolan Mascarenhas Photography