Cuisines

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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#EatingBangkok

My love affair with Thai food is rampant, and I suspect it will continue to be. SS and I did a quick weekend getaway to the Thai capital with the agenda of eating top notch fare, receiving numerous massages and squeeze in a bit of shopping. I would have loved some time in the sun too, but Bangkok, like Bombay, experiences a lot of cloudy skies and wet afternoons. We stayed right in the centre of the action – well, in a lane just off the action. I am getting old, with the 30th around the corner. Wait. I mean 23rd. More on that later.

Our home for the weekend was ultra-chic newly opened Hansar, boasting a winning combination of Thai service with western etiquette, massive suites (fully equipped with a kitchenette, fridge, freezer and washer/dryer) and scrumptious breakfasts at Eve – including these Banana, Walnut + Green apple pancakes and rich 100% arabica Elefin coffee shade-grown in Chiang Rai. They also house one of the most popular new spas in the city, which I felt extremely guilt-free to test out! While the massages were great, one thing which was out of the ordinary was their welcome butterfly pea tea (blue chai) sweetened with stevia leaves. Yes, please!
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AirFried Vegetable Spring Rolls

My love for Thai food is something that can never be satiated, or so I’d like to believe. About a decade ago, my parents and I had a week long vacation there, with a few days at the beach and the rest in the bustling capital. What was clear from this vacation was that my mum and me gluttonously attacked Thai food at every meal (ok fine, barring breakfast, although even at breakfast our plates were filled with mangosteen) so much so that after 4 days, my dad actually ordered a sandwich from room service before we went for another Thai meal, because clearly, he had reached the brink.

Not for me. Every city I visit, always has me looking for at least one Thai pit stop. In Delhi, it’s always Ego Thai, a classic non fussy joint, packed with loads of comfort food. Even when we were in Croatia, we managed to find Pearl of Siam, which coupled with my desire to eat spice and flavour (the vegetarian food in the more touristy parts of Croatia were unimaginative) went so out of control, made us return there two nights in a row! In London,  Read more…

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