Last Saturday saw me pulling out food for 30 people, over two different meals! One was a birthday dinner for a friend’s 45 birthday, that’s where this cake was baked, and the other was just a meal for friends. And believe you me this 1 and a half kg cake wasn’t enough to feed 15 not-so-hungry mouths!
It was a dear friend’s 45 birthday and somehow i always end up baking the cake and bringing along at least 3-4 main course dishes and an equal number of starters This time was no different, not that I am complaining…I think cooking for people you care about only shows your love for them!
The monsoon has already started receding, and has left behind this crazy unbearably hot days! The soups will soon be forgotten and in its place a huge bowl of salad will make dinner light, bright and healthy. Last week whilst driving across our end of town, I came across these delicious grapefruits at the local market, thankfully not as expensive as some food baskets sell it at. The salad was planned right there.
This rich buttery but healthy pound cake has always been on my must do list. I’ve often used oats to bake with but never experimented much with flours and cake, so this was a first for me. So with gingerly steps I actually followed Martha Stewart’s recipe to a point and then well, then my second nature got the better of me. I went experimental What emerged was a delicious, soft, dreamy, pillowy pound cake with all the goodness or barley and the richness of the cream cheese.
I’ve always wanted to have a kitchen shelf lined with homemade pickles…but somehow that vision has never found the right bottles or shelves. Mango pickles are made in plenty–some spicy, some sour, some plain marinated, some made Goan style with vinegar, green chillies and carrot but this time it was these gorgeous madras onions that got me thinking about a good pickle recipe. I mean just plain onion pickled in vinegar was boring and was done to death. When dad handed these gorgeous onion pearls over to me, he had that “put some magic into these” look in his eyes…so that’s what I did! (more…)
Now that the monsoon has set in, the kitchen is a friendlier place to get into and bake! Hats off to the chefs who slog by the heat every single day and turn out delicacies by the dozens. I stuck to the basics all through summer! Yup it tells on the blog too…I mean who wants to sweat it out in the gym and kitchen too!
So the back to the blog recipe is a Chocolate Martini Cake dressed with ganache, hazelnut cream and almonds…I went out all the way, it was my best friend Sreeja’s birthday!
I was supposed to make some energy bars to help me tide through the horrible, horrible summer. Wouldn’t life be easier if all you needed to do was unwrap a home-made bar and chomp on it for breakfast, lunch and dinner…no sweating it out at all! But that was not to be… All my chopped, stirred, melted ingredients found their way into this gorgeous, chunky, chewy, chocolatey, peanut buttery, nutty brownie!
This entire month, I’m going to try to whip up a salad a day! The summer has kind of got to my appetite. And it’s the month of clean eating. No overdoing of spices or standing next to the oven for too long! And it’s time to knock of some weight too Isn’t it always…
So this recipe is a simple watermelon, basil, feta and balsamic vinegar salad that can be made as fancy as you like. You can either toss this up into a bowl or serve it like I did…on watermelon slices. It’s great for a party snack too! (more…)
The first time I saw a roti jala (Malaysian Net Pancakes) was some 8 years ago at Malaka Spice, a really pretty restaurant in Koregaon Park in Pune. The eye-catching pancake soon turned into a Piece de resistance! Since then I have always hoped to make it at home but never got down to it. Last week whilst surfing for some recipes for work I came across this dish again and it was quickly noted down to be made the following weekend. I needed time to design the mould to drop these pancakes too!
This cake was conceptualised purely out of the need to finish the pumpkin and carrots in the fridge. My inspiration was the indian version of this combination, carrot and pumpkin sweet puri’s (fried flat breads) that are made with jaggery and wheat flour. They are deep-fried to a crispy texture and had with chai in the evenings. The cake was just as delightful and made for a classy dessert that was wiped out in 3 sessions: post lunch, post dinner and post breakfast. The cake is a little dense from the gluten-free flour that’s used and is best iced the traditional way: with cream cheese and cream.
The sun’s hard and harsh rays are sadly forcing the strawberries into oblivion. But I must say, this year, I’ve eaten strawberries almost right through the season and I bid adieu to my most favourite fruit with nothing less than a sugar-free pie!
There’s something about this luscious fruit with at least 200 seeds that makes people go crazy about it. It’s believed that in the yesteryears, the royals feasted on this fruit and newlyweds were entitled to strawberries with soured cream as a wedding breakfast, believing them to be an aphrodisiac. I however dig them for their nutritional value: vitamin C and K, a good dose of fibre, folic acid, manganese and potassium and they help regulate blood sugar levels. Could I ask for more?