Cuisines

Wok Charred Udon Noodles with Baby Pak Choy + Hakka Eggplant (+ the pitfalls of being a new mom)

Being a mom is hard work. I sometimes look back and think about how my own mum managed us 2 kids (my big brother and me, who are exactly 2 years apart) while I’m learning to juggle my time with one kid and one business and one blog! Also, ever since Doll started to eat solids, initially a lot of my cooking tended to revolve around her food, and the balance time revolved around feeding her that very food! (all you moms of infants and toddler out there would totally understand what I mean!) So now I have made a concerted effort to try something new every few days, and hopefully report back here with some interesting little discoveries and stories and recipes!

Starting that trend is this wok charred udon noodle with baby pak choy and hakka aubergine/ eggplant from Read more…

One Bowl Meal: Khao Suey

This Burmese one bowl meal is the answer to all those woes – what to make for a meal when you are tight on time, but still want a lovely not the run of the mill meal to look forward to! I usually have my pantry stocked with staples such as noodles, coconut milk tins or tetrapacks, and most Indian kitchens would have the array of spices always on hand – turmeric, coriander seeds, poppy seeds, cumin seeds, etc. The curry uses basic vegetables – peas, cauliflower, carrots and green beans. Feel free to replace then per your taste, or omit them completely (which is SS’s suggestions for next time around).

The original recipe I used didn’t include sugar, ginger, chilli or lemongrass, but i found that adding all of these made the curry a lot more balanced and added a great depth of flavour.  Read more…

Spinach & Homemade Ricotta Ravioli with a Morel Mushroom Sauce

I’m a tad confused on the title of this post (yeah, real first world problems). I kind of want it to look and sound like a restuarant menu dish with the hero ingredients followed by the sauce and frills in italics below. You know, something like:

Fresh Ravioli with Spinach & Homemade Ricotta

Morel Mushroom Sauce with Chestnut and Walnut, Almost-Burnt Butter Crispy Sage

Now doesn’t that sound fancy? Well, firstly, this post has been long in the making, and its ingredients have been accumulated even longer – waiting impatiently to be purposed into a meal. For some odd reason, over the last few months I’ve received bottles and tubes of chestnut puree/cream. And to be blatantly honest, I had absolutely no idea how to use it – and then began the incessant googling. The French may have some suave and sophisticated ways to use it, but little old me sure doesn’t! Then comes morels, or guchhi, which SS insisted his parents bring back from Kashmir (not that he as *any* intention of cooking with them ahem ahem). I also bought the pasta attachment to my kitchen aid, which was an extremely considered and thought through decision, but till date I have only been able to successfully use the roller (my last attempt to cut the rolled sheets into fettuccine was a big glubby disaster.

Since that fateful day, I have found a pasta recipe (from Taj’s Favourite Vegetarian recipes book – the ravioli which coincidentally, we have had the privilege of eating –  Read more…

Birthday Tikkis

I made these (birthday) tikkis a last week from the Indian Accent cookbook, which now dominates my kitchen counter (not only because it is gorgeous, but its also HUGE!). Not a day has gone when I haven’t opened the book and perused the recipes, salivated at the pictures, and read chef Manish Mehrotra’s stories that prelude each and every recipe. Some of the recipes are complicated, requiring a team of sous chefs to help you – while the others, like our tikkis here, may look difficult to make, but in fact aren’t as cumbersome as I thought – and taste fantastic. A real Indian Accent dish, from my kitchen and my heart to yours, marking the occasion of Joie De Vivre’s 6th year – this really is a treat worthy of the celebration!

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Scallion & Sprouted Mung Bean Sauté with Peanuts

SS and I just celebrated 5 years of being together, in Hong Kong. I mention this because while exploring Soho one sleepy Sunday, we stumbled upon a store called Pantry Magic, which transported me back to any good European or American kitchenware stores (picture a Williams Sonoma meets Divertimenti) – from where I took home the pictured gorgeous wok, perfect for cooking up Asian fare at home, without taking up too much space in my already congested pantry cupboard! Now, one Sunday after that purchase was made, I decided to use my Clean Foods cookbook (for much needed detox after last night’s revelry and general HK indulgences!) and repeat this Scallion & Sprouted Mung Bean Sauté with Peanuts which I previously made with some pak choi, but this time left it out.

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An Apology, Exciting News + #EatingBhutan

Starting a post with apologies seems to be the topic of the year, so instead of making excuses, I’d much rather share with you, what it was that’s occupied my mind and may heart for the last few months, and I hope that you will love it as much as I do! But before that – I have another beautiful part of my life I’d like to share with you – snippets from my happy trip to the country that measure progress via its GNH index – yes, you guessed it, Bhutan!

This himalayan kingdom is a lot more dependent on India than I expected, especially in relation to access to the outside world. Its raw and vast natural beauty combined with a happy bunch of people combined with rooftops full of chilli just made this short break feel like we had ventured into the unknown, exhilarating our lungs and bodies, and to top it all off, we even got to fly past the mighty Everest in all its supreme glory. Having just watched the namesake movie, I kept trying to peer and see if there were any people at the top
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