63 Linger over brunch
“There are few things I look forward to more than languid, long and divine Sunday brunch complete with Bellinis, lots of appetizers, sexy tunes and lazy conversation.”
Malini Ramani, Delhi-based fashion designer
“I love the laid-back attitude about Sunday brunches. I sit back with friends and have a few beers and go through all the courses really slowly. It’s a four-hour meal, by the end of which I barely move.”
Rohit Barker, Bangalore-based radio jockey with Radio Indigo
Brunches at Olive Beach and The Leela Palace in Bangalore and at ai in New Delhi cost around Rs1,500-2,000 per person (taxes extra).
64 Burn your mouth
Sometimes all it takes for a jolt of endorphins to the head is a quick dose of chilli peppers. Not only do they release endorphins, research also suggests they work as aphrodisiacs. For the biggest burst of blazing spiciness, try the hottest pepper in the world—bhut jolokia, or the “ghost pepper”. Known for years to the Assamese, the pepper became internationally famous after making it to the Guinness World Records 2007 book as the hottest pepper in the world. To order enough to keep you on an endorphin high for weeks, contact Frontal Agritech, an Assam-based farming cooperative at www.frontalagritech.co.in
65 Raise a toast
A University of North Carolina (UNC) Alumni Heart Study monitored students at UNC in 1964-1965 over 35 years to study cardiovascular disease risk factors. The moderate drinkers (who opted for a glass or two of wine a night), were far happier and healthier (and smoked less cigarettes) than people in all other drinking categories. Start your new drinking schedule with recommendations from international wine expert Robert Joseph. His 2008 Indian Wine Challenge awarded medals to Chateau d’Ori’s Cabernet Merlot, Chateau Indage’s Marquise de Pompadour Brut and Sula’s Late Harvest Chenin Blanc.
66 Throw a party
If people feel like they’re supposed to celebrate—even if there isn’t really any reason—the pleasure boosters will flare up, encouraging people to switch to party mode. Gurleen M. Puri, wedding planner to the stars, recommends these party boosters:
Shells—Spread sand on the table, place some candles around, serve the food in large shells, put on some Caribbean tunes.
Banana leaves —Replace the dishes with banana leaves, plan a south Indian menu, put on some traditional Carnatic music.
Terrace — Lay out some colourful mats and white, woolly pillows for the seating, serve all the food on trays, keep away from the table, put on some ambient music such as DJ Tesco.
67 Go looking for the white gold
“It is no exaggeration to say that peace and happiness start, geographically, where garlic is being used in preparation of food.”
Marcel Boulestin, French chef and gourmand
68 Pack your kid’s lunch
British chef Jamie Oliver tried a straightforward experiment in London schools three years ago: serve the students healthy lunches, rather than junk food, and see how they respond. Schools that instituted the healthy-eating rules suddenly saw a massive drop in bad behaviour and a corollary hike in their test scores. Eating healthy made the children calmer, more eager to learn and, yes, happier. The results were enough for then prime minister Tony Blair to enact new legislation to support healthier eating in schools.
69 Scream for ice cream
In 2005 the Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences, Institute of Psychiatry, London, discovered that eating ice cream lights up the hypothalamus or the pleasure centre of the brain. Head to Nirula’s Ice Cream Museum at C-135, Sector 2, Noida, for a history lesson on ice cream, stop off at India Gate for a ready-made bite, or make your own at home with this recipe:
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp vanilla essence
6 tbsp rock salt (or regular salt will do)
3ltr-size Ziploc bag
1ltr-size Ziploc bag
Flavourings of choice (fresh fruit, chocolate sauce, crème de menthe)
Fill the larger bag with ice about halfway, add the salt and seal. Mix the sugar, milk, vanilla and flavourings in the pint-sized bag and seal. Open up the large bag and put the small bag inside and seal the large bag again. Shake the bag (around 5 minutes) and you’ll see your mixture in the small bag turn into ice cream.