Vegetables & Sides

Pomelo Salad [VG] [GF]

Pomelo isn’t the regular, run of the mill kind of fruit you’d just find, lying around your house. But if you do find it, you know, just lying around the house, be sure to make this salad with it! My Pomelo Salad uses humble ingredients like coriander, mint. peanuts, shredded coconut, onion, chilli, sugar, soy sauce and peanuts to give that amazing mouthful of sweet, savoury, nutty, sour, spicy and crunchiness, all in each and every bite!  Pomelo salad is a staple Thai salad, which can also be replaced with grapefruit or even raw papaya. 

I’ve buried my nose in Samin Nosrat’s book, Salt Fat Acid Heat, which explores how to cook, rather than what to cook using a recipe. Of course, the book does have recipes, but the fundamental idea that sets this book apart from a “cookbook” is that the book makes you understand the rules elements of cooking – how to use acid, how to cook with fat, how to season your food with layers of salt, how to apply (or not apply) heat. AND, the one essential unwritten rule that would take you the furthest when you pick up an apron is this: TASTE, TASTE, TASTE.  Read more…

Carrot, Chickpea and Pistachio Salad

As someone who grew up in Bombay (ah, this “Mumbaikar” terminology just doesn’t sit well with me) I am no stranger to the monsoon. This isn’t like any other type of monsoon. Apart from the massive downpours and days of grey gloom, there’s also much to enjoy about it (mostly indoor activities, such as eating and drinking). But my ode to the rain and the link to this particular salad is that in the monsoon, reliability and availability of fresh produce is slim, especially the leafy variants. Of course, living in the buzzing metropolis means we get blueberries in the monsoon and strawberries in the summer heat, but I like the idea of having some seasonally favourable salads in my repertoire.   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…

Im back, with a baby! (and the Perfect Summer Salad)

Hi there,

Its been a while.

Almost shy of a year, but who’s counting?

(I am, its been 10 months).

My last post was in June, while braving the summer heat and the insane humidity that is a forbearer of my beloved monsoon, when I was slaving away making pasta from scratch, figuring out innovative ways to use morel that was freshly brought in from Kashmir (which now, 10 months later, is still lying patiently in a glass jar in the pantry). But all this aside, we’ve been blessed with the most adoring little baby girl, and I’m over the moon. She’s almost 2 months now, which is why I now feel slightly able to hit the kitchen again (I couldn’t stand the strong smells in the kitchen for all my trimesters, and all I wanted to cook was comfort food like manchurian and iced tea which I wasn’t risking to eat out due to the fear of MSG overload).

My pregnancy was a ride, but a really welcome one! Now that baby is out, mama’s feelings towards the smells have alleviated, letting me slowly but surely return to my beloved kitchen. I wondered whether my first post-natal blog post would include any of my pregnancy experiences, like aversions / obsessions / recipes and  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…

Kale Salad with Pecans, Cranberries, Apple and Baby Radish

Is there a thing such as ‘Blogger’s Block’, you know, like writer’s block? Essentially, I too am writing, but just online and on a blog, so does that make me not a writer? I’m not so sure about that hypothesis, but what I am sure about at this hot, humid, sticky moment in the beginning of what threatens to be a horrendous summer, is that I have a case of whatever block you may term it. So now coming to the crux of my irrelevant public analysis of what block I am being plagued by – I am basically looking for an excuse to not continue tapping my fingers feverishly over the keyboard, as if it is a mission which I cannot fail.

But today, I am going to delve right into this beautiful, summary and fresh salad recipe. I know I’m (fashionably) late to join the Kale Revolution – but better late than never! This salad first came together as a beautiful mish-mash of ingredients in the fridge plus a big bunch of kale that was incredibly inviting at the supermarket, I had to get my hands on it. I started with apple, to add a bit of sweetness to the otherwise bitter kale, but this batch of american kale was far from bitter! Adding some thinly sliced baby radish, plump ruby red cranberries, toasted pecans, white & black sesame seeds and a few tablespoons of garlic scented cheese (you can easily substitute cheddar or crumbly cheeses like feta or goats cheese) with a basic and effective honey mustard vinaigrette to tie it all together!

 Read more…

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