Missing You Already!


Well, this is it – finally time for us to head back to Scotland. There I’ve said it, although still can’t quite believe it.  In fact we’re now less than a month away from leaving the city we came to in 2005 for a one-year lark.  Ten years on and Delhi in many ways now feels more like home than Edinburgh.

It’s going to be a period of adjustment to put it mildly.  Needless to say, we’re in reflective mood and our days seem to be full of potential ‘lasts’.  The last time we see friends; the last time we go to our children’s school; the last time the peacocks flap onto the balcony; last mangoes; last poha breakfast in bed; the last time we see the horse-drawn vegetable cart; the last visit to the spice merchants; just one last aloo tikki, chhole bhaure, bedmi aloo, egg parantha, mutton korma…

Inevitably I had to think about what might be my last Eat and Dust post. I was looking back through the archives this morning though, and as well as wallowing in all the incredible memories, I was struck by how many personal ‘firsts’ there were  along the way.

I started the blog back in 2009,  after years as a freelance journalist writing about anything and everything, so that I could focus on what I really wanted to write about – food.  It turned out that India provided  me with more material than I could ever have time to blog about, even if I stayed another 10 years.

The first post was called ‘Long Live Uparwali Chai’ – a slightly eccentric look at what culinary delights the Scots had left behind in India over the generations – including a Himalayan speciality that looked suspiciously like a deep-fried Mars bar!  That line of research  became a feature for the Sunday Times – my first professional piece of food writing.

‘Upar Wali Chai’ went on to become the name of Delhi’s first pop-up event, a series of high teas which I ran with my great friend Laura.

The pop-ups led, indirectly, to me doing a weekend baking column for Mint Lounge. Since my first column, about mulberries, I’ve enjoyed creating hundreds of recipes, many inspired by India’s wonderful seasonal bounty – cape gooseberries,  lychees, mangoes, plums, cherries, apricots, peaches.

The Piece of Cake column is coming to an end but I’m delighted that I’ll be starting an exciting new one – beyond baking this time, but still in Lounge.  Coming soon.

One of my early posts was about the food of Old Delhi and it wasn’t long before my relationship with the food and people of  Old Delhi started to eclipse everything else.  The obsession eventually became my first book- an extended love letter to the old city – Korma, Kheer and Kismet, published last year.

I’m not sure how I’m going to cope with not being a 20 minute metro ride from some of the places I’ve loved most – Ashok and Ashok’s mutton Korma, Old and Famous jalebis,  Jamal Siddique’s kheer – there are definitely going to be dark and hungry days ahead!  (Although there will be some compensation to be had from fish suppers and the fabulous Edinburgh farmers’ market).

As we start to do our round of goodbyes, I’m trying to make sure that every sight, sound and sensation is recorded  – Instagram may break in the next few weeks – I’ve even started to take little audio clips of the birds outside our bedroom window in the morning and the call of the kulfi-wallah in the evening.

I will no doubt have to be sedated and carried onto the plane…

Happily, though, we’re not likely to let go of  India in a hurry.   Both Dean and I plan to come backwards and forwards as much as we can.  And as well as my Mint column,  I’m also hoping to organise some food tours and am working on a proposal for another Indian food book.  Fingers crossed.

So chin up –  hopefully this is not goodbye, but the first of lots of little  ‘tatas’.  And a huge thank you for looking in every now and then.


40 thoughts on “Missing You Already!

  1. I’m going to miss reading Piece of Cake! Your marble cake is still one of the best cakes I’ve ever tried and an important part of my own blog 🙂 Have a safe trip back and can’t wait for the new Lounge column!

  2. Always loved your column in Mint Lounge, and of course, your book! Looking forward to more of your writings….all the very best to you and your family!

  3. I’ve been a longtime reader Pamela, so glad this is not a goodbye, more a see ya for now. Excited to get your book too. Good luck with your new adventures!

  4. Noooo! We nearly made it to one of your early tea-parties when it coincided with us being in Delhi though it wasnt to be, but your terrific tips on where to eat in Old Delhi has lead us on many a great food hunt from which we never emerged hungry. Will sorely miss your blog and column but look forward to the next chapter. Best wishes!

  5. Thank you for “sharing your food”. Look forward to your new post – Eat and neeps ????? (Sorry!)

    Sent from my iPad


  6. Thanks for maintaining such a great blog over the years! I will miss reading about your adventures in Delhi. And I wish I’d met you when I lived there.

  7. Have really enjoyed reading your posts Pamela. They have brought back many happy memories of both India and Pakistan in the 1960s (VSO) – I haven’t been back, so thank you.

  8. Love your blog. Will wait for new posts. The world is small now because of the net. I am back from a short vacation in Scotland. Just loved the country. Edinburgh is beautiful. All the best.

  9. So sad….I’ve been following you from the beginning! I’m really sorry that I missed the opportunity several years ago to meet up with you in Old Delhi just after your post on the street food walk in Old Delhi came out. I was visiting from Canada…..we did manage to replicate it though with the rickshaw guy you recommended.
    Life is an adventure and I wish you many all the best in whatever the future holds!

  10. Oh, Pamela, I just found your blog a few months ago. I am in the process of reading every entry! I certainly hope you will leave it up for a while….!! Or forever. It is a marvelous record of your time in Old Delhi. Old Delhi is an amazing place. I will visit there one day. You have really made it approachable. And real! …and alive! I do want to thank you for that. You have really done something wonderful with your writing!

    I will miss your blog so much. I now want to visit India and Old Delhi because of all the wonderful things you have written. I loved your book too! You have brought Old Delhi alive for us all! Do let us know if you get another book deal. I will certainly want to read it.

    I know you will write wonderful things about Scotland too. And we will all want to visit there as well! Let us know if you start another blog….. I will be first in line to read it. And thank you, thank you! And if you ever do any Indian food tours, do let me know, I might be able to make it, even from Japan where I am…..

    Missing you already…..

  11. OK Tata……what an ideal picture to start your farewell blog from Delhi. I missed your Upar Wali Chai and never got to meet you………..but through your blog you were, and will be, like a best friend………someone who will be sorely missed and remembered for introducing us to the various delights in our city. Do continue your blog from Edinburgh………..maybe about the culinary delights of Bonnie Scotland. Best wishes always.

  12. Oh dear! I woke up to all these wonderful messages this morning and spent a good hour crying my eyes out. I’ve never met most of you but you’ve been the best, most loyal blog readers anyone could wish for – I’ve always felt you cheering me on, a huge, far-flung, virtual but very real support system. Thank you all so much – what wonderful way to send me on my way. I’m going to miss India and writing about it terribly but if I can find a way to keep Eat and Dust going I certainly will. After all it’s going to be a whole new adventure trying to recreate my favourite Indian dishes back in Scotland and I have to let you know if I manage to smuggle out my Old Delhi pickles and wild honey – wish me luck!

    Tata for now xxx

  13. Pamela it was a delight reading all your articles specially Old Delhi Food….I guess you came here with a purpose and I’m so thankful to you for being a part of our country for such a long time and giving us such a wonderful book.Im sure India is gone be your second home….keep writing because I always look forward to your blog. Anyways good bye for now and wish you a lots of happiness.

  14. A great column and a simply brilliant view of Indian food. We loved Delhi and the food we had there. So now is it Haddington South Queensferry Gullane or Aberlady ? Very best wishes

  15. Thanks Rajiv for your good wishes – I’m really glad you’ve enjoyed what I’ve written over the years. I’ve loved every minute and to be honest India and particularly Old Delhi has given me so much more than I could ever repay. All the best, Pamela


    blogging at: eatanddust +91 9871927320 T: @eatanddust F: Eat and Dust Skype: pamela-timms I: eatanddust

  16. Really looked forward to reading your blog posts Pamela. Loved our breakfast together. I am sure you must be gutted to leave a country and city you made your own. I am sure that great new adventures lie ahead and lots of writing. Wishing you unlimited happiness for the future.

  17. Dear Kalyan, thank you for your message. It was so good to meet you and I’m sure we’ll always keep in touch. The only way I can cope with leaving this amazing country is to vow to come back! India has given me so much – I don’t know where to start with gratitude! All the best for your own food adventures – I know it’ll be amazing xx

  18. Hello Pamela, I’m sure news you shared of you leaving the country has saddened many readers. Me and my mother are just a couple of them. We started reading your columns in Mint, and though we no longer subscribe to the newspaper, your outings in Old Delhi and your amazing attempts to incorporate local produce in your recipes made us your look forward to reading your blog posts..
    We’ve become so used to reading your experiences, it almost feels like saying goodbye to a dear friend. You’ll surely be missed 😦

  19. Checking your blog after a long time. By this time you are probably preparing for winter in Scotland as i sit here sipping tea in smog covered city of Delhi. It was yours and Hemashu’s blog at eoid that introduced me to some of the hidden jewels of purani dilli. I will remember your blog while savoring the wonderful kheer or fruit sandwiches on my next trip. Goodbye. You will be missed.

  20. What a lovely blog you have here. I stumbled upon it while googling for old Delhi delights. I will be visiting some of the places you have so delightfully portrayed. Thank you and hope you do get the chance to visit Delhi again soon.

  21. I just discovered your blog only to learn that you’ve left it. At least it will take a while for me to work my way back through the archives. Do you see a blog from Edinburgh in your future? I know it’s not as exotic as India, but from where I sit, it sounds pretty good, too.

  22. Thank goodness you eventually left India after the bullshit you written about me, ironic that you have a food blog when you refused to eat any food that was laid on for free when you covertly interviewed me in Gujarat for the scum arse rag.

  23. Your evocative food writing always makes me feel cozy. And your recipes are a very heartwarming blend of cultures and yummy! God bless you, wherever you are and thank you for your generosity in your food and food for thought. Looking forward to finding more of your work.

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