The City Which Never Sleeps

Marine Drive
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Living in a city like Mumbai means the city lives in your veins. It’s the city that helps to keep me on the toes, to chase my dreams. So, when tata motors, made of great asked me to write about my favourite city, there was no second thought. It is, and it should be Mumbai.

So, how to define my city remembering the key features as drive, design and connect?

Prince of Wales Museum
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Mumbai has an indomitable spirit and the city successfully transfers this very spirit in the soul of every Mumbaikar. The drive to make the journey of life worthy enough. People of all parts of the country and even from outside India, have poured into Mumbai adding more to its volume. Sustaining successfully with a large population is not a cake walk. From morning to night, Mumbaikars are running behind their dreams, to make their life a successful one. A well-connected network throughout the city makes it possible. Most of the roads in Mumbai are in decent shape and though there is heavy traffic almost all the time ( except the wee hours in the morning) driving through the city is not a bad experience. It is rightly said, Mumbai drives you to success and makes you able enough to drive along Mumbai.

The city sprawls along in four directions, the sea reclamation has produced  more land for it. Though the city has not been developed following any definite plan and architecture from the beginning, but one can see a perfect amalgamation of Portuguese, British and Indian architectural grandeur. Mumbai, after Miami, has the second largest number of Art Deco buildings in the world. The signature landmark of Mumbai, the Shivaji Terminus (formerly known as Victoria Terminus) is the prime example of a Gothic Revival structure. Crawford Market at Dhobi Talao is a Norman Gothic structure. The Bombay University, also in South Mumbai, is a splendid example of Venetian Gothic architecture. Three grand examples of Indo-Saracenic architecture, again in South Mumbai, are the Prince of Wales Museum, Gateway of India and the Taj Mahal Hotel. Along with these heritage buildings, the city also boasts of  great contemporary architectural style which can especially be seen in the opulent shopping malls and sky scrappers.

Mumbai is extremely well-connected in every way with every other part of the planet. Roads, railways, metro, monorail, private vehicles, ferry service, airways, auto-rickshaws- there is no dearth of communication. One domestic and one international airport, they never keep quiet and the hustle and bustle continue with the arrival and departure of flights in every minute. Gateway of India marks the end of the Mumbaiya land in the southern part. The busiest port of the country, the Jawaharlal Nehru Port is located in the eastern part of the city.
But, above all, the railways has connected Mumbai most efficiently and, perhaps, carries the largest number of commuters each day in terms of public transport. Even, India’s first train ran between Bombay and Thane during the British period. Excellent connectivity has made the city accessible to more people thus inviting more business to it. The film industry of India, popularly known as Bollywood, is a part and parcel of the city. Mumbai is rightly known as the financial capital of India.

Everybody whoever has visited Mumbai is likely to feel the pulse of it. As a person born and brought up in Mumbai, I’m deeply connected to it.  Amchi Mumbai, my city, Mumbai meri jaan!

Gajar Ka Halwa With Sugar-Free (Carrot Halwa)

Sugar Free Dessert Challenge

Life becomes easier with foods. We just can’t deny the fact. It’s true that the womenfolk are too much obsessed with weight, calorie, size zero, and similar other things, but they love food anyway. For men, the obsession is not so much in vogue, not at least in this country. I love to eat and, I like to spend a considerable amount of time in the gym to shed the extra calories gained. In short, I’m a foodie who is ready to have a rigorous workout to keep himself healthy and fit.

The best food I ever have experienced in my life is mummy ke haath ka. She loves to cook for us and whatever she cooks, even everyday dishes, taste heavenly. Perhaps, the extra ingredients are love and care.

My mother’s special dish is gajar ka halwa and, she makes it at least twice a week during the winter. Though carrots are available almost throughout the year, according to her, the red Delhi carrots which are available at this time of the year, are softer and juicier and, hence, are best for this dessert dish.

When I told her about the Sugar Free Dessert Challenge and asked her whether she would be able to share the recipe using sugar-free instead of normal sugar, she began to laugh. Then she said, that she has already made the halwa using  Sugar Free Natura just a week ago. As dad’s recent postprandial glucose test revealed that he is on the threshold of the danger zone, mom has started using sugar substitutes while making desserts and other sweet dishes at home.

I didn’t have to request her a lot to make the halwa once again this week, and so, here is mom’s step-by-step recipe with pictures.

Gajar ka Halwa With Sugar Free

1. First rinse, peel and grate the carrots (9-10 medium sized tender juicy carrots, serves four- five)
2. Put a kadhai ( pan) on the oven and pour 3tbsp ghee.
3. Heat the kadhai and after a minute put 3/4 pieces of green cardamom and 1/2 pieces of bay leaf in it.

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4. Pour the grated carrots in the kadhai. The carrots are juicy and retain water in them, so you need not add water. Keep on stirring continuously and, cook on a low to medium flame.

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5. When the carrots look dry ( after 4-5 minutes) add 2 cups of milk and keep on stirring often.
6. The mixture should reduce the milk slowly making it look softer.

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7. Add the  Sugar free Natura at this point. (Mom used palettes this time as we didn’t have the powder handy at the moment. She took 25 palettes finely powdered in a mortar-pestle beforehand)

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8. Add raisins and cashews (optional). Stir and continue to simmer on a low flame till the mixture starts to thicken and reduce more. Stir at short intervals.
9. Add khoya/mawa and let it cook for a little more.

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10. When the mixture looks dry enough, stop stirring. A little amount of moisture is also fine, some like it that way.

Garnish it with some more cashews (previously fried lightly in ghee) and serve hot.

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Thanks to Sugar-Free that we could enjoy mom’s gajar ka halwa once more. It feels heavenly to have it.

P.S. Unless informed it is impossible to find any difference that Sugar Free Natura has been used as the sweetener.

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