Entree

Sushi Rice Bowl with Miso Glazed Vegetables

In the last decade, I’ve made sushi a few times, the bulk being predominantly in college (and once, not so long ago). One Saturday in my third year, the Japanese society was holding a sushi-making workshop in a heavily (food & safety) regulated part of campus, and the fact that there were no open flames (rice cooker for the rice was the shortcut), just knives and raw fish (and some vegetables for the likes of just me), seemed to pass their safety standards agreeably. The afternoon that ensued was great, learning the tricks that have been passed down from generation to generation, not the chef’s secrets, but honest home versions of a world-famous Japanese favourite. The most intriguing part for me was the precision and linear way in which each filling was cut and prepared. One of the most essential tips that have stayed with me till now (even though I didn’t take any pictures or notes there) is the specific urgency in which the rice vinegar is fanned while being added and mixed into the hot sushi rice – it’s what makes all the difference and successfully elevates the sushi rice.
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Cherry Tomato, Purple Asparagus + Mushroom with Gluten Free Pasta

Sometimes genius strikes when you least expect it. Today, was one of those below-expectations situations. My parents just got back from Dubai and brought back with them tons of goodies, including (but by no means limited to) marzipan so beautiful that you don’t want to eat it, fresh sumac, za’atar, pine seeds, melt in your mouth baklava, assorted stuffed dates, chocolate (SS’s favourite Lindt Orange Swiss Thins), oh, and the purple asparagus! They also brought back unbelievably smooth and silky hummus, and some muhammara, which made a beautiful wholesome dinner along with some fresh salad and (baked) felafel. Since I’m on my gluten free syndrome (barring beer, uh duh!), I ate mine over millet (bajra) flatbread while the rest enjoyed it on pita.

Since I had a bundle of voluptuously plump asparagus, I just had to use it, before we embarked on this weekend’s staycation. So there came the conception of this humble yet phenomenally flavour packed pasta. I, of course, used gluten free pasta  Read more…

Quinoa & Black Bean “Enchilada”

I love quinoa. It’s one of those foods, like couscous, that doesn’t bore me, or leave my plate when another superfood gets all the attention. Adding some flavour with Mexican seasonings, enchilada sauce and protein-packed black beans just make it a perfect and balanced meal. The whole idea is to give the dish an “enchilada” feel by using an enchilada sauce, and topping with shredded cheddar, but without packing in gluten via tortilla. The standard enchilada we make at home has some kidney beans, which I find becomes too heavy when its layered with sauce, tortilla, salsa, lettuce and cheese. This version of Quinoa & Black Bean “Enchilada” has just those things – quinoa, black beans, vegetables, all baked in enchilada sauce.

I adapted the recipe, to make it a bit healthier (by cutting down the quantity of cheese) and adding in some amazing Mexican chillies, a variety of which are available from Sprig in India. I seriously am obsessed with a lot of their products (the bourbon vanilla is top notch, as is the beautifully infused demerara sugars they have and the Black Tellicherry whole black pepper mill), and no, this isn’t a paid feature (but I think I should totally get paid by them, the amount of references I give of theirs almost daily!). They have started a range of chillies, which range beyond the common Chipotle, and include Ancho, Guajillo and Pastilla. Read more…

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Spring Onion and Goats Cheese

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Spring Onion and Goats Cheese

Now apart from my last post on the summer fresh and easy umami chickpea sandwiches, the bulk of 2015 has been written up as sweet posts, including Momofuku’s cinnamon brown butter bun pie, amarula spiked chocolate pudding pots and coconut brown butter cookies with the exception of my Valentine’s Day inspired heart shaped champagne and truffle risotto. Time to give you a more balanced approach to cooking! Today I have for you an absolute stunner – Sweet Potato salad with spring onion and goats cheese. This stunner has been adapted from Ottolenghi’s arsenal of glorious recipes. Now as you may recall, I’ve succeeded at emulating Ottolenghi’s sweet potato cakes, which I still fantasise and salivate over.

There’s enough potato in this significant salad to serve as a meal in itself for 4-5 people, or as a part of a larger gathering of food, for 8-10 people. But I would definitely size it down and serve it to myself for a gratifying and fire-crackingly flavourful lunch or dinner – nutritiously comprising of gluten and grain free carbs along with a handful of vegetables and sprinkling of protein. And my most important food group – spice!

The bulk of the work is done by the beautiful marriage of the ingredients – the perfectly golden…

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Truffle Scented Champagne Risotto

Truffle Salt Scented Champagne Risotto

To make up for my shamefully long absence, I tried to make something so distractingly decadent and drool-worthy that my hiatus will hopefully be quickly forgiven! This risotto was conceived as all fantastic recipes – while discussing something completely different! We were sitting at my parents home, and having a chat with my visiting Italian brother-in-law about bhel and sev puri, and somehow reached the conclusion that a champagne risotto with parmesan would be incredible.

That just stuck.

All I did was add some truffle salt and sliced truffles.

One of the many fabulous characteristics of this recipe is that it involves absolutely no fresh ingredients (unless you count one small white onion ‘fresh’). It is just a fabulous way to use up that almost over bottle of champagne (yeah, because that always happens. NOT!). You can always spruce it up with some fresh spears of asparagus, or swap the champagne for merlot and then add some beetroot.
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Potato Dauphinoise

Never underestimate the power of the potato. Not only because it gives us pretty little things like vodka and fries, which are ah-mazing. But also because their humility allows you to really work magic with them. Add eggs and they make an awesome frittata. Bake them and season, resulting and glorious potato wedges. Grate them onto a skillet for a quick and crispy potato roesti. You get the gist.

What I chose to do with (or rather, to) my potatoes was a little more luxurious. My mum was having her gaggle of friends over for a lunch soiree, and in addition to a bunch of salads and desserts, the main course was heralded by this version of potatoes – the Dauphinoise.

Lets rewind. The first time that I tried this spectacularly simple dish was at a restaurant in the city for a buffet lunch. I remember some friends of my parents going ga-ga over the preparation, which prompted them to call the chef out to the table to learn more about this new
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