Category: Starter

Mince/ Corn Stuffed Vol au Vent

Corn and cheese filled puff pastry
Corn and cheese filled puff pastry

2016 has brought with it a whole lot of guests and entertainment. I’ve literally thrown a party every other day of the year so far! But it’s been a fun fortnight with my refrigerator always full of desserts and pastries and quick bites and materials to put together a quick snack.

Yes, it is a good idea to keep some pastry dough handy at all times. Now I come from a family that doesn’t use a microwave so yes it does get difficult to defrost the dough before it can be rolled into these french delicacies, but it’s all part of the game. But if you aren’t as crazy as I am, you can buy these and regular ready to use tart bases at any grocery store, In Mumbai ‘Camy’ or ‘Nature’s Basket’ is a good place to shop for them.

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Oil Free Instant Oats and Green Peas Healthy Dhokla

The fluffy and delicious instant oats, semolina and green peas dhokla
The fluffy and delicious instant oats, semolina and green peas dhokla

It’s not often that i read a veggie recipe and get inspired to try it out immediately. But last evening a friend posted a recipe of oats and semolina dhokla–(steamed cake), and that kind of tickled my senses. Plus I have been accused of step-motherly treatment towards Indian food by a very dear doctor friend! I love to cook healthy and i find it really tough to make oil free Indian food, but yes I will try get back into R&D and split the oil away from the masalas and work on it Ash.

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Nachos with 7 Toppings

Sour Cream adds to the pleasure of digging into this 7 layered nachos
Sour cream adds to the pleasure of digging into this 7 layered nachos

I’ve always loved the Nachos that are served at Hard Rock Cafe. It’s a meal in itself with close to 7 to 8 different toppings. This recipe comes very close to it and is perfect entree for a party of 10 to 12 hungry friends, where snacks and spirits take precedence over the main course.

I’ve experimented a whole lot with the textures of the corn chips and the cheese to be used. Nothing comes close to pepper jack cheese but when you can’t get your hand on it try Gruyère cheese or even cheddar and if even those are impossible then go with just mozzarella. Nothing better than the stringy texture.

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Steamed Bottle Gourd Dumplings

Serve it with fresh chopped coriander and grated coconut
Serve it with fresh chopped coriander and grated coconut

This is a breakfast dish you will find in every Gujarati home. It’s simple, easy to make, can be churned out in 30 minutes and what’s more can be created out of as many different kinds of veggies as you wish. What’s more since it is traditionally steamed before it is sautéed, it can be made in advance and sautéed just before you are ready to serve it with a dollop of green chutney.

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Roasted Pumpkin and Walnut Soup

Pumpkin Soup: perfect for a cold monsoon evening or chilly winter night
Pumpkin Soup: perfect for a cold monsoon evening or chilly winter night

This recipe takes me back to a rainy day in Goa. We were sitting by the river, watching the pouring rain create zig zag patterns all over the surface. We sipped on our chilled beer as we waited for the service to start. The kitchen was all pumped up, getting ready for the rush that would soon hit us. The menu of the day included my very favourite Roasted Pumpkin Walnut Soup.

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Cobb Salad with a Coriander and Parsley Dressing

Cobb Salad with a parsley and coriander dressing
Cobb Salad with a parsley and coriander dressing

This is one the simplest salads to put together, if you have good knife skills. The first time I ate a Cobb salad was at Hard Rock Cafe. When the plate came to our table it was the amazing array of colours that threw me off guard, each ingredient forming a perfect line as it lay against each other, beckoning me to throw in the dressings and mix it all up. Food can’t be linear, at least not for me!

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Baked Mushrooms

Crispy Baked Mushrooms
Crispy baked mushrooms

I am not a mushroom fan, and yet due to its nutritional qualities, especially the Vitamin D content, I try and incorporate the fungus into my meals at least once a week. Most often it’s just thrown into a gravy or stir fried with some onions and bell peppers, this is the first time I’ve made it a hero and am I glad!

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Dyed Devilled Eggs Stuffed with Sausage

Drama queen: Dyed devilled eggs stuffed with sausage, cheese and capers
Dyed devilled eggs stuffed with sausage, cheese and capers

I love drama on a plate which is probably why I love Masterchef with Gordon Ramsay. And when I manage to create a plate that doles of oodles of love and gets the camera snapping, I am beside myself with pride. Cooking at home is so easy, if you just let your imagination run wild. Boiled eggs can never be boring, but they are just ingredients, convert them into a stunner by using this simple process. Boil. Crack. Dip. Boil. Peel! Viola! You have a stunner.

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Crispy Potato Bake with Cheese

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