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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Pear & Vanilla Preserve Cake

I adore fruit cake and tea cake. I adore cake that doesn’t get lost or doused in layers of cream and sugar. But sometimes I like that too.

Ok fine.

I love cake.

ALL cake.

And this Pear & Vanilla Preserve Cake is no exception.

The standout ingredient is (most obviously) the pear and vanilla preserve, which honestly I don’t know if I would ever again waste on toast. Like ever. again. The entire bottleful went into this cake, and worked so wonderfully well with the crunchy walnuts and the spicy cinnamon and nutmeg. Almost like carrot cake meets orange marmalade cake!

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Cuisine Quickies

It’s always wonderful to have meals made from scratch, with freshly bought ingredients, a meticulously curated menu, execution with much care and deliberation. But most of the times, we just need quick, safe and recipes that take no more than 30 minutes. So to help you all out there (especially the ones that keep slyly suggesting that I train their cooks or counterparts), here are 10 seriously simple recipes that even the most clumsy, non-fussy and lazy cook can make, to kick off your week on an inspiring note. And still, taste seriously amazing. I call them, Cuisine Quickies.

I’ve curated 7 fantastic savoury quickies, that rely on simple pantry basics and bread, nothing that takes you out of the ordinary. And 3 amazingly simple yet scrumptious desert quickies, one centred on chocolate, and the others on fruit, bearing the summer in mind! Here we go: Read more…

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…

Brown Butter Apple Crisp

I can never imagine having reached where I have in my culinary journey without having simple and effective recipes like this one, in my arsenal. My Brown Butter Apple Crisp has been labelled an apple crumble, has been made with peaches, with almond & strawberries, and with mixed fruit. It’s gone through a bevy of avatars, adding some cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, brown butter, almonds, hazelnut, walnut, raisins. You get the gist.

The reason I love this particular version is not only because it is simple (it is, really simple!) but also because I adore crumbles/crisps that use oats in the topping, and not only flour. The texture and wholesomeness of flavour that the oats adds, is rather lovely, and needless to say, it is a whole lot healthier than flour. For the gluten intolerants out there,  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…

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