Showing posts with label Indian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Indian. Show all posts

Friday, July 24, 2015

Recipe: Kesar Phirni and Rose Phirni!

I am of the firm belief that food binds religions together. I love that people of all faiths indulge in the food specialty of every religion, not to mention even take part in full fledged celebrations all around the world. I feel honored to have friends who come over to our house during Ganesh Chaturthi and help around the kitchen while making ukadiche modak for the deity's offering, or when all of us go together to a Gurudwara and do seva together. Me and my brother go around our apartment complex every year without fail, with a plate full of faraal (a variety of sweets and savoury snacks including laddu, karanji, chakli, barfi etc.) during Diwali to the doorsteps of all the families regardless of what their religion is.

This year I missed out on visiting Mohammed Ali Road during the holy month of Ramadan. For those of you who don't know, Mohd. Ali Road is THE place to be during this month, with an overdose of food awesomeness along the streets ranging from Keema Pav, Kebabs, Offal masala, Biryanis, Baida Rotis, Ice Creams, Malpuas with luscious Rabdi, Gulab Jamun, Halwa Poori... The list goes on and on! Just because of the excellent offerings, this place has become the go-to destination for every foodie in Mumbai and off late a popular place for curated food walks as well. I must confess, I have never been to Mohd. Ali Road before. But every year, someone or the other brings lots of packed goodies home and at least I get to devour them.

I have been so upset about completely missing out on all the yummy things, especially my favorite dessert - Phirni. Phirni is kind of a rice pudding which originally has its roots in the Middle East. You can find versions of this dish all over the region. Here is a special tidbit: Whenever there is a special occasion at home I ask my mom to make Phirni for dessert and she always, always makes Kheer instead. When I argue with her, she tells me that it is the same thing. But it isn't. Kheer can be served warm or cold but the awesomeness that is Phirni, needs to be served chilled. Not just that, Phirni is made out of coarsely ground rice whereas Kheer can also be made out of whole rice. By now, I am sure you can already tell that I really have missed my dessert.

I went to the market to get milk and thanks to Mother Dairy's price drop by 2 rupees I stocked up on multiple packets of milk. Which is why I could make not one but two kinds of Phirni! I prefer Mother Dairy milk to make my Kheer and Phirni as it definitely yields better results over the skimmed milk variety which is usually consumed in my house. #TooGoodForTwoLess indeed! Mother Dairy has been a trusted name since its establishment in 1974 for all things related to dairy. I, for one, am a sucker for their Mishti Doi among other favourites such as their Dahi, Paneer and Ice Creams! So here's the recipe for Kesar Phirni and the original Rose Phirni! :)

Serves 4
Takes 40 minutes + Chilling time. 

1/2 Cup Basmati Rice
1 Litre Mother Dairy Milk
3/4 Cup Sugar (I use less, you can add more if you like but this works just fine)
6-8 Cardamom pods (Elaichi), powdered (alternatively 1 tsp Elaichi Powder)
12-15 strands of Saffron (Kesar)
4 drops Rose Water
8-10 Blanched Almonds
8-10 Pistachios, slivered.
Aluminium Foil, cut into squares that fit the circumference of the serving bowls. 


Heat the milk in a thick bottomed non stick pan till it comes up to the boil. While the milk is heating up, grind the rice in a spice grinder to a coarse powder, make sure it isn't too fine. 8-10 pulses do the trick for me.

Reserve 2 tbsp milk when it reaches a decently warm temperature. Add the saffron strands in this milk and set aside for later.

Place the Almonds in a microwave safe bowl and cover with water. Microwave for 90 seconds. Let them cool slightly and then peel them. Slice or chop as desired. Set aside for later.

When the milk comes to a rolling boil, reduce the heat to low. Add in the ground rice and sugar. stir constantly so as to avoid any lumps. Note down the time at this point. Keep stirring occasionally. Do not cover your pan.

Give the mixture around 10 minutes, and then add in the Almonds and Cardamom Powder. Give it a good stir. If you are making Kesar Phirni, add in the saffron strands as well. (I divided my milk mixture into two and added Saffron to half of it, since I was making two types of Phirni)

Save some Almonds for garnish and add the rest to the Phirni and continue to cook till the rice is done and the desired consistence is reached. The Phirni should be set in the bowls upon chilling, but it is important to know that Phirni thickens as it cools, so a slightly pourable consistency works best.

For the Classic Rose Phirni, turn off the heat and add in the Rose Water. Give it a good stir. Let the Phirni cool till it reaches room temperature. Transfer the Phirni to bowls and garnish with Pistachios and Almonds. I used Rose petals as well.

Place Aluminium Foil squares on the bowls and press so that the surface of the foil touches the Phirni. We do this because Phirni forms a skin on top if left uncovered, and that is not very desirable. Chill the Phirni bowls thoroughly, and remember, serve them chilled too! :)


Friday, March 20, 2015

Two Recipes with Dal! Dhokla and Mulligatawny Soup!

Did you guys know that World Water Day is around the corner? I, for one, have been in the water-wasters club for many years, with brushing my teeth leaving the tap on. While this is one of the major habits one needs to change in order to conserve water, there are many more (especially in the kitchen) which won't take much getting used to and will in turn impact our water conservation practices in a hugely positive manner. Here are a few:

1. You do not need to use a lot of water while boiling vegetables. The idea is for the water to just cover the vegetables in it. Instead of pouring out the water, you can use that flavourful Vegetable Stock in place of water while cooking your next meal!

2. Don't use water to defrost food. You can just leave the frozen food in the fridge overnight instead!

The good folks over at Tata I-Shakti have taken a great initiative during this #WorldWaterDay to make everybody aware of these little things, while also talking about their wholesome unpolished Dals. I have made the switch recently, and I could not be happier. Not only does 1 cup yield more Dal as compared to polished Dal, these Dals only require 2 cycles of rinsing as opposed to 4 times with the regular polished variety. Not to forget that the Polished Dals also are stripped off of their nutritional content.

On this blog post I will be sharing 2 recipes from my kitchen, that waste minimal amount of water. First one is a healthy take on the globally favourite Dhokla, which I have been making with Moong Dal off late. Not only is this healthier, I have used the soaking water to blend the soaked Dal, instead of pouring it down the drain and replacing with fresh water.

The second recipe has a story of its own. It is the world famous Mulligatawny soup. Mulligatawny soup comes from Mooluga Thanni, which literally translates to Pepper Water. It was served to the soldiers during the British Raj in India, just because they demanded there be a Soup course. Well, the British left, they took the recipe with them, and heavily anglicized it to suit their palate. They added meat to the soup, thickened it with Coconut Milk, but I am not complaining, for I am a huge fan of this dish! It may be a bit lengthy but it is really easy, and the final product will blow your socks off. I guarantee it.

So, without further ado, I present these two recipes to you, one by one!

Recipe: Moong Dal Dhokla
Serves 6
Takes 20 minutes plus 4 hours soaking time.


1 cup Tata I-Shakti Moong dal.
2 cups Water
An inch of ginger
2 Green Chilies
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Red Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
A pinch of Asafoetida (heeng)
1 tsp Oil plus some more for greasing
1 tsp Eno Fruit Salt or Baking Soda

For the Tempering:

1.5 tbsp Oil
1 tbsp Mustard Seeds
1 tbsp White Sesame Seeds
2 Green Chilies, Chopped
6 Curry Leaves
A pinch of Asafoetida
3/4 Cup Water
1 tbsp Sugar (optional)

For Garnishing:

A handful of Coriander leaves, chopped.
A handful of Grated Fresh Coconut, scraped.


Soak the Moong Dal in 2 cups of water for 4 hours. Drain it but reserve the water.

Grind it in a blender with the Chili and Ginger. Use the reserved water (add more if desired) to get the pouring consistency like that of a Dosa.

Set up your steamer on the stove. Grease the steaming plate with Oil. I used 2 flat plates.

In the mean while, mix in the Turmeric, Red Chili, Asafoetida, Salt and Oil and give it a good stir. Just before adding into the steamer, add in the fruit salt and mix well with a steel spoon such that the batter is fluffy. Pour it into the two plates and set them in the steamer.

Steam for 12 to 15 minutes, then turn the heat off and let it stay for another 2 minutes. In the mean while, make the tempering.

Heat up a small pan with the Oil. Add in the mustard seeds, when they pop add the Asafoetida and the chopped chilies, followed by sesame seeds and then curry leaves. Let them splatter. Top this up with water and Sugar if desired, and let the mixture come to a boil. Turn the stove off and keep this aside. You can choose to skip the water soaking step, but I like my Dhoklas moist.

Remove the Dhokla from the steamer and cut them into desired shapes. Soak them with the water from the tempering, and add the tempered goodness all over them. Garnish with Coriander leaves and grated coconut. Serve with chutney!


Recipe: MulliGatawany Soup
Serves 4 to 5
Takes 1 hour

An inch of ginger
6 cloves of Garlic, finely minced
1 large Onion, finely chopped
1 Green Apple, peeled and diced.
½ Jalapeño, finely chopped (optional)
2 tbsp flour
½ tbsp. Coriander Powder (Dhania Powder)
1 tsp. Cumin Powder (Jeera Powder)
 ¾ tsp. Turmeric Powder (Haldi)
4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock (You can use 4 cups of normal water, and add a stock cube to the masala while cooking, or you can also use plain water)
¾ cup Tata I-Shakti Red Lentils (Masoor Dal)
A handful of Coriander leaves, chopped.
½ cup Coconut Milk
Salt and Pepper, to taste
4 tbsp Oil
A cup of cooked Basmati Rice (You can substitute with Brown Rice for a healthier alternative)
A dollop of Yogurt, to garnish.

Soup: Heat 2 tbsp Oil in a deep pan over medium high heat. Sauté the Ginger, Garlic, Onion and Jalapeño until the Onions are translucent. Add in the Apples and give them a minute, then add Coriander Powder, Cumin Powder and Turmeric Powder and stir till the masala blooms. At this point, also add in the Stock Cube if you're planning to use one. Top up with Water/Stock and pour in the Red Lentils. Let this come to a boil.

Turn the heat to medium low, cover the pan and let this go for 30-45 minutes, until the Dal gets cooked. Throw in the chopped Coriander leaves. Purée 75% of the ingredients to a smooth velvety goodness, while letting the remaining 25% be chunky, for a superb textural contrast. You'll thank me later!

Return the soup to the pan on a low heat, and add in the Coconut Milk. Give it 3-4 minutes, then season with Salt and a generous cracking of Pepper.

To Serve: Place a small handful of boiled/cooked Rice in each bowl, and top it up with Soup. Garnish with a dollop of Plain Yogurt. You can also add a squeeze of Lemon Juice. People also serve this 'best-soup-they've-ever-had' with pan fried/roasted Cashews or Almond slivers. I'm salivating already.

Note: You can make this recipe with Chicken as well (traditionally it is made with Chicken), in which case you will need 200 gm of Chicken sliced into cubes. Pan fry them before you start the Soup process, for 90 seconds on each side, and remove them. Continue with the Soup recipe as above. Throw the Chicken pieces in along with the Coconut Milk at a later stage and cook for 6 minutes instead of 3! I made mine with Chicken :)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Recipe: Instant Oats Lite Dosa

The parents have been out of town for a week now. As much as I'm loving the silence, I am missing them more. Every morning I wake up early only to find that Dad has already woken up and is practising Yoga before he starts getting ready to go to work. When I'm back from the gym, while Dad has already left for work, Mom is warming breakfast up in the kitchen with the TV blasting in full volume in the hall, just so she can hear the dialogues. If it's a Sunday I'd wake up at the same time (I go to the gym on Sunday's, it's empty and you can really get a good workout done) but everyone's asleep. When I return, TV is blaring full volume and Mom is in the kitchen, fixing breakfast. Sunday breakfasts are staple - either it's Idli or Dosa. Followed by Chicken or Mutton curry for lunch, where I'd make more Dosas and eat with the curry. And then it's siesta time, it's only fitting after all the yum overload we go through every Sunday.

I'm not getting my Dosa fix since they're out of town, so I thought of improvising. I love how versatile Oats are, and if you can make Pancakes with them, you certainly can make a good Dosa as well. It's a #slite change that makes your life so much easier, not to forget healthier too! I make 3 different kinds of Oats Dosas, but the recent one I tried is the closest to a real Dosa. I used low sodium Tata salt lite to make it just that touch of extra healthy. You're gonna forget you're eating healthy, it's so good!

Instant Oats Dosa
Serves 2 (makes 6 medium sized Dosas)
Takes 20 minutes


1 cup Instant Oats
1/2 cup Yogurt
2 green chilies
A handful of coriander, chopped
2 tsp Cumin seeds
2 tbsp Rice Flour (optional)
2 tbsp Semolina flour
Water, to adjust the consistency
Tata salt lite, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Ghee/oil to grease the pan.


Blend together all the ingredients except Oil, with some water (about half cup).
Let this batter sit for 15 minutes in a bowl. It will get thicker due to the Semolina and Oats. Adjust to a thick, dosa-like pouring consistency with water, add little at one time.

Heat up a pan on medium, preferably non stick. Add a drop of ghee or oil, and wipe the pan surface with a paper napkin so it is spread evenly. Add 3/4 ladle of batter and spread evenly. Add few more drops of Oil down the sides of the pan if desired. I also added some podi to the dosa at this point. You could also add chopped onions and tomatoes if you want this to be an uttappam. Cook on medium flame for 2 minutes.

Be careful while flipping her over, she's a delicate dosa darling! Cook for 30 seconds more and serve hot with chutney, podi, ketchup, or just have as is with a hot cup of Chai!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Recipe: Karwari Style Pan Fried Fish.

For those of you who don't know, I come from Karwar, a beautiful, touristy spot just ahead of the border between Goa and Karnataka (towards Karnataka). I was born and raised in Mumbai, but the annual visits back to Karwar to our ancestral home for Ganpati made sure I could indulge in the beauty of this little town. As a kid, I hated it - I was away from my home, my bed, my people and my life. I had to live in an old ancestral house full of people from everywhere and it was all quite a chore. As time went by, I grew to appreciate the serenity, and now its more of a much needed break from the fast paced city life, where you can just lay back and relax.

I have memories of my aunt cooking fresh Mackerel on the coals, and all of us cousins sitting in one straight line with our legs crossed, and as soon as she'd bring those beautiful fresh charred fish stuffed with homemade masala, topped with a squeeze of fresh Lemon, we would attack with our bare hands and go to omnomnomnom-land instantly. Time has gone by, there is no choolha at the ancestral house anymore, but we still bring some coals and char them Mackerels every time we visit.

Back here in Mumbai, Mom prepares her Signature Fish Curry (Dad won't eat any other) and saves some pieces for Fish Fry. My Dad likes them coated with Semolina Flour, crisp on the outside and loaded with flavour on the inside. I, on the other hand, like it just slathered with Masala, and pan fried with a touch of Oil. It tastes great while being super healthy, and I made a sLITE change by reducing the amount of oil, not coating it with any flour, and using low sodium Tata Salt LITE. I have used Halwa pieces here (Placed both kinds of fried fish, with and without semolina in the picture), but you can use the same Masala for any Fish, Prawns, Squids or even Chicken. Sometimes I eat an entire pan fried Pomfret for Dinner. Its high protein and guilt free, and super easy to prepare!

Karwari Style Pan Fried Fish
Serves 2
Takes 5 minutes (plus 30 minutes prep)


Seafood of choice, cleaned and portioned (500 gm)
1 tbsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
Tata Salt Lite, to taste
Few drops of Lemon Juice
Few drops of Water
1 tbsp Oil


Mix all the dry ingredients in a flat plate. Add the lemon juice, 5-6 drops. Then add water, few drops at a time and mix with your fingers so as to obtain a paste-like consistency. Apply this paste to your seafood and massage thoroughly. Let it sit for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Please wash your hands after this step, you're working with Chili Powder after all.

Heat up the Oil in a pan on High. Add in the Fish pieces and let them sear, about a minute each side. Once the pieces look like they're browning, turn the heat to low and let them go for 1.5 to 2 minutes on each side. Serve them with a squeeze of Lemon and lots of thinly sliced onions to go with!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Recipe : Paleo Butter Chicken.

Let me just start off by saying that this is a healthy dish. Oh, and it has no Butter in it. Allow me to explain.

As I've been constantly pointing out in my previous posts, fats are not bad for our body. In fact, fats are essential for fat loss. There are good fats and bad fats. Healthier fats like Ghee, Cheese, Olive Oil, even organic Butter are actually good for us if we learn to eat smarter. As per Dr. Asif Khan, my nutrition and workout mentor, "fats if used in a good way will increase your HDL levels, also known as the good cholesterol, while decreasing LDL that's the bad cholesterol as well as triglycerides". So, the next time someone asks you to stop eating cheese just because it contains fat, you can ask them to shove it. (Pardon my language, but if you are subjected to statements like those I'm assuming you'd be as frustrated as I get)

This is not the traditional butter chicken, but tastes like one, definitely. I have used Ghee and Coconut Milk in my recipe (don't worry it does not taste like a Coconut overload at all), both organic, and since its Paleo it also calls for free range Chicken, but you can also make this with the normal chicken available at the market. This sLITE change I've made in my life has put me on a new road altogether, and boy am I enjoying the journey! Thank you for, bringing this side out in me, Tata Salt Lite!

Paleo Butter Chicken
Serves 3-4
Takes 1 hour
Adapted from


For the marinade:

500 gm Chicken (I used chicken on the bone. You can also use boneless thighs)
1 tsp Garam Masala Powder
1 tsp Red Chili Powder
1 tsp Dhania Jeera powder (coriander-cumin)
1 tbsp Lemon Juice

For the Curry:

1 tbsp Organic Ghee
2 large Onions, finely chopped.
250 gm Tomatoes, Puréed. You can also use canned tomatoes like I did.
1 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
1 tsp Kashmiri Red Chili Powder
1 tsp Dhania Powder
1 tsp Garam Masala Powder
1/2 to 3/4 can of Full fat Coconut milk. (400 to 500 ml if you're making it at home)
A pinch of Kasuri Methi
Tata Salt LITE, to taste.

For tempering (tadka):

1/2 tbsp Organic Ghee
6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp Kashmiri Red Chili Powder


Mix all the ingredients for marination and keep them refrigerated for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat up a pan with Ghee, on medium high. Add in the Onions and fry them on a medium to medium low flame, until dark brown. This will take about 15 minutes on a  medium low flame.

Add in the ginger garlic paste and give it a stir. Add in the Chili powder, dhania powder and Garam masala, turn the flame to low and let the masalas bloom for a minute.

Add the marinated Chicken and toss to incorporate. Pour the tomato purée, and cook for 15 minutes with the pan half covered.

Keep the flame on low, add in the Coconut Milk and Kasuri Methi. Season with Salt, remember to adjust the salt content if you're using canned tomatoes and also remember that there is already salt in the Chicken that's marinated. Let it go for a few more minutes on simmer, about 3 minutes.

In another small pan, heat up the ghee for tempering. Add in the garlic and fry till it starts turning golden. Turn the flame off and add the Kashmiri Red Chili powder. Swirl it all together and pour over your ready Paleo Butter Chicken.

Garnish with Coriander leaves and a drizzle of Coconut Milk. Enjoy!

Note: you can also serve this with Paneer instead of Chicken. That would make a pretty nice Paneer Makhni! No need for Marination in that case, just add normal fresh Paneer.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Recipe: Sweet Potato Chaat

I don't know about you guys, but I am addicted to Chaat. I am guilty of consuming at least 3 plates of pani puri every week. It's like I just can't function without it. It keeps me sane. Yeah, it's that bad.

Meanwhile, I'm also trying to add the Chaat element to wherever it makes sense. My doctor asked me to make the SLITE change from Potato to Sweet Potato (seriously, it is loaded with non guilty carbs that will actually contribute positively towards your health with all those workouts) and I was like, hey, I can make this into a Chaat! The very famous Shakarkandi ki chaat on the streets in New Delhi is not just nostalgic, but very comforting! I made my version at home. You can too! Here's how:

Sweet Potato Chaat
Serves 4
Takes 30 minutes.


500 gm Sweet Potato
A pinch of Tata Salt Lite
A pinch of pepper powder
A pinch of Aamchur powder (dried Mango)
A pinch of Chaat Masala
A pinch of Red Chili Powder
2 tbsp Green Chutney (optional)
1 tbsp Chopped Coriander
A squeeze of Lemon
1 tsp Olive Oil. (Not extra virgin)


Boil the sweet potatoes till tender. Peel and cut them into slices.

Heat up a pan on medium with the oil. Place the slices and cook till slightly brown on both sides.

While the potatoes are browning, mix all the powders together and keep them ready.

Once the potatoes are done, transfer them into a bowl and sprinkle with the powders while they're still hot. Toss to incorporate. Add in a squeeze of lemon. You can also add green chutney (green Chili, mint, coriander, lemon, sugar ground together) to this if you like. I did, and it tasted great! Also add in the chopped coriander for an extra dimension!

Serve warm or cold, tastes great either way! You can also serve this mixed with Yogurt, and can also add Sev as garnish. Yum.

We all have that one food item we cannot do without, right? I'd love to know yours, do let me know in the comments section!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Recipe: Taking Idli to the next level : Dahi Idli

Hopping on the 'healthy eating' train has taken a toll on my blog. I have been avoiding food reviews like the plague just because I have been trying to work out and lose all those excess pounds that come free along with the free food and drinks involved. I have decided to limit myself to no more than 2 food reviews in a month. Just as I make my own food at home every day, I need to keep things interesting for myself since it is easy to get bored of eating the same thing. Idlis are something that are both healthy and yummy and I can never get enough of them. But one way to experiment with these is to make Dahi Idli. Ah, the thought of chilled Dahi Idli on a hot summer day! Here is my version for the recipe:

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Food Review : Andhra Festival at The Orchid, Mumbai + What I've been up to lately.

Picture Courtesy: Orchid Hotels Facebook Page

Life has gotten really busy, and I thank the universe for it. Better than the empty mind, devil's workshop situation, right? I have been work work working. The last two months have been extremely busy baking wise and I feel exhausted, nauseated and cranky at the end of the day, but the best part is that home always smells fantastic with the fragrances of Vanilla, Chocolate, Caramel etc. This post is my 99th post and I have something special lined up for my next post. Something I have not shared a recipe for, yet. I wanted to save it for something special :)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Guide to acting like you know what you are eating.

This is the first post on my blog which is purely about something that I think. No food review, no recipe. In over a year of becoming socially active on the food blogging scene and having the opportunity to try new restaurants in Mumbai and Delhi as well as realizing and experiencing the growth and outlook towards 'non-Indian' cuisine, I have come across some great food, some not so great food, some very knowledgeable people and some people who symbolize pretentiousness. 

I am tired of being acquainted with and dining around people who know their Guccis and Pradas and are more than appropriately dressed just for dinner at an up market place, but complain when there is too little on their plate in the middle of a 5 course meal or ask for 'Schezwan Sauce' every time they eat out at a Chinese/Japanese (yes, Japanese) restaurant.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

When time flies but the taste remains : Reviewing Veda at Palladium Mall, Mumbai.

I always segregate my food review into parts such as decor, ambiance, service, attentiveness, taste and presentation, other than the most important question of whether or not I would visit this place again. I follow a checklist (I am a checklist person!) and review places accordingly. I wish I could

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Shahi Tukda with Mascarpone Rabdi.

Why stick to the ordinary when it comes to food? The world is your oyster when it comes to experimentation with food. There are no rules that one must follow except the ones that keep the sanctity of the dish intact, if not better it, and the real art lies in getting the flavor combination spot on.

This was a crazy idea of mine which I used for a cooking workshop that I hosted with Amrita Rana from Life Ki Recipe called Glam Food. I have made this recipe numerous times since then and it has only caused people to ask me for the recipe. Since I am done with workshops for now, I can blog the recipe :) Here it goes!

Shahi Tukda with Mascarpone Rabdi
Serves 4


4 slices of Bread
1 Cup Ghee
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Water
180 gm/6 oz Mascarpone Cheese
Few strands of Saffron
¼ Cup Warm Milk
Icing Sugar to taste
2 drops + 2 drops Rose Water
¼ Cup Slivered Nuts
Silver Leaf (Optional)
Rose Petals (Optional)
Salt to taste


Trim the ends off the bread and cut into desired shape (baton, triangle, circle)
Fry them in Ghee on a Medium flame until golden brown and crisp on both sides. Set aside.
Prepare Sugar syrup by adding Sugar and Water in a saucepan and letting it melt together till dissolved. Do not stir until sugar is almost dissolved. Add  drops of Rose Water for flavor and let it cool.
Dip the Bread slices for 5 minutes in the Sugar syrup, turning them once in the middle, and then transfer them to a dish.
Let half of the Saffron steep in warm Milk.
To put together the Mascarpone rabdi, beat together the Mascarpone, Salt, Milk and Icing Sugar. Add in the Rose Water, and half of the slivered nuts. We’re looking for a slightly tangy rabdi to complement the sweetness of the Sugar syrup soaked bread.
Garnish with the remaining nuts, Saffron strands and rose petals.
Serve as desired.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The nth time I visited New Delhi but the first time that I experienced it.

Hauz Khas Monument
Note : Picture and Text heavy post.

I make it a point to be in New Delhi during this time of the year, every year. Since Mumbai doesn't exactly have what we call winters and the season is my most favorite, I feel at home in the foggy and unbearably chilly days in Delhi. My relationship with Delhi began on the wrong foot as is the case with most Mumbaikars, with the whole whos-better-than-who battle going on. I lived in the city for a good 10 months and I tried my best to not fall in love with it, but heck, I gave in. A city in its true beauty does comprise of culture and feel, and a certain mix of people, but I learned that people can be crappy anywhere, irrespective of their location. In being a little less judgmental, one can look past crappy attitudes and experience what the city has to offer.

Foggy Mornings

I hate to admit that I am (was) kind of a spoiled child, and this is one reason why I have not been able to even experience my own city in its true glory yet. I barely travel by trains (which I only started to do last year) and I prefer being at home. Same was my case with Delhi, as I was being picked up and dropped off everywhere by car. This time around, things were different, and I visited Delhi with a new mindset. I decided to stay in an International Youth Hostel for the first time in my life on the recommendation by a very dear twin sister duo (Hello Ramya/Kavya!) and was urged to stay in the *gulp*

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Bettering Breakfast #9 : Of Ambarsar, The Golden Temple, Peace and Paranthas. (AKA Parantha Making 101)


Last month I took a trip to North India. It was a work thing which mostly kept me busy throughout my time in New Delhi but what made the trip totally worth it was the 2 day getaway to Amritsar, or Ambarsar as it is lovingly called. Amritsar is home to the famous Golden Temple, and is the kind of place where one has to face oneself and go through self evaluation. Watching those beautifully huge Koi swim in the water where you also see your reflections only makes you realize that the most important things in life are fairly simple. We over-complicate everything.

 Incidentally we visited the Temple on the Birthday of Guru Ram Das, and we got to witness the overwhelming crowd as well as an Aerobatic show

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wine Trail at Veda, Lower Parel, Mumbai. And some Good News..

I have grown to really love my Wine over the past few months all thanks to this blog, and I have discovered that the more I am keen on learning more about Wines, the more I fall in love with them, and the vicious circle just keeps going on. But of course, for these reasons, I had to be present at the Wine Trail organized at the much spoken about Veda at Palladium in Lower Parel, by Four Seasons Wine. Before I talk about any of it, I have a good news to share with you guys.

I have teamed up with the most amazingly awesome team of photographers, Trisha Sarang from Trisha Sarang Photography and Varun Joel from ComePose photography to capture these one-of-a-kind experiences with me. I am so happy to be working with them and they have been doing an outstanding job. This feature was photographed by Trisha and you can already see how amazing she is with her work!

Veda boasts of its beautiful decor designed by none other than the famous designer Rohit Bal and the bright Red and Black interiors instantly prepare you for the melange of amazing Indian dishes heading your way. Four Seasons managed to up the ante with pairing some of their wines with the melt-in-the-mouth Indian cuisine for a wholesome experience. I spoke about the art of pairing food and wine on my previous post on Wine Tasting with Shamita Singha for Four Seasons here.

The food and wine were paired with great attention such that none of the food overpowers the taste of the wine and vice versa. The Four Seasons Sauvignon Blanc was served with Delhi Spinach Chaat, The Four Seasons Blush Rose Wine was paired with Malai Broccoli which was an interesting combination, The Shiraz from Four Seasons was paired with Veda's signature melt-in-the-mouth Kakori Kebabs and my favorite was The Four Seasons Barrique Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, a 9 month Oak aged beauty served with Gahlauti Kebabs.

With a tummy full of yummy and our minds going Hic!, we enjoyed a good Wine Tasting session with Clive Castelino, Training Manager at Four Seasons who was more than happy to entertain all our questions related to Food and Wine pairing.

A big thumbs up to the team at both Veda and Four Seasons for organizing an event that made us a little more enriched with our knowledge about wines. You guys are doing a great job with introducing the culture of Wine with food in India. All the best!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Of where I'm leading to, hours of clarifications and a 30 minute Egg Biryani that shut me up.

Forgive me for in this post, I am going to rant. Since I don't know where to begin, I will try and categorize it. I don't know how many of you actually go through the descriptions and the couple of paragraphs I put up before I put my recipe, but nevertheless, here it is:

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Food Review: Puraani Dilli ka Zaiqa Festival at Copper Chimney, Khar, Mumbai. Accompanied with the Vlog that could have been.

Few weeks ago I was invited to review the Purani Dilli ka Zaiqa festival at the very famous chain of restaurants, Copper Chimney. One would imagine being lost in transition, especially when that someone is me, who is strongly against the concept of Butter Chicken in Mumbai and Dosas in New Delhi - They are just not as good. But Copper Chimney seems to have proven me wrong.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Of Procrastination, Inspiration, Recognition, Friendship, and a resulting Egg Masala.

Sharing is Caring. Whenever it comes to food, especially. I have always been intrigued with this fad of "secret recipes" especially with people who commercially sell their food, but with time and through experience I have learned that sharing it all does not steal anything from you or the way you would cook a recipe. I, for one, do not remember the last time where I would have followed a recipe to the T. I have always done something to add my little twist to it, or gone with my instinct and trusted my gut. There were times where I went against it and tried to stick to the recipes but that has never worked out for me, and the Chocolate Eclair Episode is a standing testimony to that!

What I actually want to convey here is that if you share your knowledge, you are bound to get it back multi-fold. Just like that, my school friend Rashmi (who posts amazing pictures of food on her Facebook Timeline) once put up a picture of Egg Masala. I'll let the picture do the talking here.

After few minutes of ogling at the picture and realizing that I was drooling, I went ahead and asked her for the recipe and like a true friend (True Friends are the ones who share recipes) she immediately inboxed me the recipe. But then I also had to live up to my other duties like playing Queen of Procrastination so it just went down one day at a time in my list of facebook messages and I forgot about it. But thanks to my specific cravings, I was craving for exactly the dish from the picture and I just had to make it. Until I got lazy again.

So I logged on to twitter to rant about how I was not feeling very inspired to cook anymore but I checked my mentions and could not stop smiling ear to ear coz Burrp Mumbai featured me on their list of 6 Foodies to follow in Mumbai, along with some pretty amazing Foodies! Here is the link to the article!

Well, that gave me the much needed push and off I went to the Kitchen!

Egg Masala
Serves 2
Recipe : Rashmi Desai Mehta

1 Large Onion, Chopped
2 Medium Tomatoes, Chopped
1/2 Cup Mint Leaves, Chopped
1 Cup Corriander Leaves, Chopped
4 Eggs, Boiled
2 Bay leaves
4 Cloves
An inch of Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Carom Seeds (Ajwain)
1/2 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
4-5 Curry Leaves
1 teaspoon Red Chili Powder
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
2 teaspoons Coriander Powder
1 teaspoon Meat Masala (I used Garam Masala instead)
1 Cup (1/2+1/2) Water
Salt, to taste
3 tbsp Oil/Ghee


Heat Oil/Ghee on medium heat in a pan. Add Bay leaves, Cinnamon, Carom Seeds, Cloves and sauté for a minute.

Next, add in the Cumin seeds, Curry Leaves and the chopped Onion. Sauté until Onions are soft.

Add in the Tomatoes and Mint Leaves and add half cup water. Cook till water evaporates, while stirring occasionally. Do mash the Tomatoes as you go along while stirring.

Add in the Chili Powder, Turmeric Powder, Coriander Powder, Meat Masala/Garam Masala and fry till fragrant (About 90 seconds), then add in the remaining half cup of water and half of the Coriander Leaves. Cook till the gravy reduces to desired consistency, you could add more water if you like.

Finally, add in the boiled Eggs and Salt to taste, (I sprinkled some Garam Masala here too) and Garnish with the remaining Coriander. Serve with Roti/Rice.

I personally felt that it tasted best when it was not piping hot. Have it when its warm and you would be able to savour it better. The aftertaste of the Carom and the Minty feeling is something quite different and you would definitely go out for seconds! Thanks again Rashmi I will be cooking this fairly often now!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Food Review: Coastal Delights at ITC Grand Central, Mumbai.

For all of you who think Coastal Cuisine is all about Seafood, the ITC Coastal Spice is an eye opener. There is much more to Coastal Cuisine and you would be surprised to know that they love their veggies as much as they love their meats, if not more. The ITC Coastal Spice is on till the 15th of July, 2012.

I feel so honored to have been invited for the Coastal Food Festival at the ITC Grand Central, Mumbai, for not only did it feature lip smacking and mouth watering food, but also made us feel very welcomed.

Me and the best friend traveled a rather tiresome journey from Andheri to Parel (I should get used to train travel) and had to almost walk down from the train station till we managed to find a cab barely 500 meters (or so) away from our destination. Nonetheless, all that tiredness was gone in a jiffy when we entered the Hornby's Pavilion and Chef Harish and his crew were at the entrance with the most beautiful and handsome smiles. ITC does know how to make their guests feel special.

Chef Harish has been specially flown in from the infamous Dakshin all the way from The Sheraton Park Hotel and Towers, Chennai, and for someone who is in my honest opinion a master at pairing flavours and adding his special personal twist to the classic dishes without going overboard, he is so humble and easy to talk to. All reservations lie aside when people talk over one topic - Food. Chef Harish and Chef Sumit were happy and patient with my never ending questions (only till I started eating, coz then I was quiet) and willingly shared and exchanged ideas about coastal cooking. 

We were seated down in a comfortable corner and we chose to have some drinks to start off with. I had the Pink Fantasy (Rum + Cranberry Juice) whereas my friend had the ever so amazing Cucumber and Mint Mocktail. We could not stop raving about how refreshingly pleasant this combination is and every single sip was a fresh new experience. Must try making this at home (This applies to most of the things that will follow through the post, you may choose to call it an overdose of yumminess).

I must commend the ITC group for having such an extensive spread for their buffet. Although the damage is 1800 INR + Taxes per person, you get to sample food as well as alcohol with it.

We were too tempted to try the Salads and the Cheese Station, and we did give in to the awesome Sushi and of course the wide array of desserts (which were strictly okay except the Chocolate Mousse), but alas, we had to save space for all those Coastal Delights as they were the best thing on the menu.

We started off with Appams with Chutney, if you guys remember my Bettering Breakfast post on this you would know how amazing they are. The only difference was that Chef Harish used a rice flour batter instead of what I use (Semolina+Curd) and the results were absolutely delicious.

There was also Kodi Vepudu, a Chicken Appetizer preparation, mildly spiced and with a definite hit of Curry Leaves and Onions. The Chicken was a bit dry, though.

There was a Dosa Station, and the Dosa Chef was happy enough to send a couple of Egg Dosas our way. One was spiced with crushed pepper while the other with Onions and Coriander Leaves. For someone who makes/eats Dosas every Sunday (me), this is going to be featured pretty often from now on.

We then moved on to Melagu Sadam, or Pepper Rice, which was so simple yet too high on flavour. That is completely my kind of a palate. I am not a big fan of anything overloaded with so many ingredients that you don't even know what you are tasting. But this was clean, no nonsense, super tasty, Curry Leafy Rice with a compelling aftertaste of Pepper in the throat, and that would make anyone just go for the next bite by default.

There was a very simple Cauliflower and Potato Sabzi, Urralai Pookoos Peratal, and we make this at home so it was just like having Mom made food :)

Then there was the Kai Korma, a creamy, rich and delicious preparation with mixed vegetables in a coconut based gravy. I had 2 servings of this just by itself. It was that good.

I personally feel that Chef Harish outdid himself with The Red Spinach Gravy and it was beautifully earthy, cooked in lentils and I would totally have a bowl of that on a rainy day sitting by my window.

I loved the play of flavours in the Tomato Based Ananas Mensakai, which is Pineapple cooked till it's juicy tenderness and although I was not big on the sweet Pineapple in a tangy curry which is an acquired taste, I managed to polish off a good amount of the gravy.

Moving on to the Non Vegetarian section (my favorite, I was seen hovering around in this area mostly) there were carefully spiced Crabs, Njandu Masala, which we ate in the true desi style, going all slurp and bite on the shells and all the works with bare hands. That IS the way to eat an Indian style crab preparation, if you ask me! The Crab Meat was plump, juicy, tender and fresh, and the gravy had nicely flavoured the mild crabby juices perfectly.

The Chemeen Ularthiyathi, Prawns cooked with Onions and Tomatoes, which are a popular fare at my place on weekdays were a pleasant surprise since at home we eat it overloaded with spices and the mild flavouring on this one on the other hand brought out the the freshness and maintained the integrity and the original flavour of the Prawns. In MasterChef Australia lingo, Prawns were the star of this dish. Job well done!

Classic Meen Moilee did not cease to impress. Fresh Pomfret slices simmered to perfection in a light Coconut based gravy, and usually is ideal with plain rice, but as you guys can guess, we had no room for Rice!

But we always have room for Biryani! This Mutton Bori Biryani was bursting with awesomeness, the meat was fall-off-the-bone-tender and it did not taste heavy at all, as compared to most of the soda added Biryanis I have had before.

Another pleasant surprise was the Dried Shrimp Papads, which are rare to find in the local stores, Mom used to make them when we were little kids and I was instantly nostalgic.

Let me introduce the last dish from the Coastal Fiesta this way. Lamb Chops cooked in a gravy, simmered and reduced till dry, battered in Egg and then Deep Fried. This is the stuff for champions. This is the kind of dish that cannot be identified as a main or an appetizer. If I had a choice I would snack on it Nigella style in the middle of the night. Kaipidi Chops were the dish of the night for me!

Congratulations to Chef Harish and the ITC group for pulling off a different menu each night with this amazing Coastal Festival. Cheers to you guys and a big thanks to Arundhati from ITC for having us over!

And last but not the least Thank You so much for one of the most memorable meals we have ever had.
Older Posts Home