Graceful Transformation!


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“Iced Tea served in mini bathtub”; creative, bizarre, the idea sparked an interest. Last weekend I visited this place in Bombay, “Goregoan Social” with my childhood bestie and I was surprised to see the presentation, the way they served the drink. We all have seen drinks served in Mason jar, drink dispensers but now with these really creative ways to serve food/drink, I must say there has been a drastic rise of standalone restaurants in India; why would anybody go to a five-star hotel and eat overpriced food when they could come to lively places like this and eat as well for half the cost?

Recently I have moved to Pune for work, and life has took a drastic turn, the realest reality check I could ever have. From September 8th this year till date; here’s what I have experienced in the food scene in Hyderabad, Pune & Mumbai in my last 4 months. Every now and then I try and do a round-up of restaurant trends, and not just once but number of times I have come across restaurants which blew me away by their classy ambiance, romantic alfrescos, food quality, range of drinks and music, they have come close to International standards, especially the standalones in Pune.  With or without alcohol, they serve the food/drinks in a charming and elegant way to impress the guests, they have better understanding of their customers. Even talking about Zorawar Kalra’s Farzi Café; Indian Molecular which is very much in.   Every single kind of food you can think of, Pune City probably has it.

The other thing that I loved about this city is the diversity of stories and people. Everyone came here for a reason, everyone came here for a better life, and everyone came here to hustle. Everyone you meet has a story, and there is an inspiration everywhere you go, and in every person that you meet. Being an HR professional or because of my nature I always chat up with people, whoever I encounter; the cab drivers. Infact I’ve had some of my most memorable conversations with them hearing stories about family, success, finding new jobs, moving to a new city, food. My colleagues, my roommates, the cafe guy who makes coffee in the office cafeteria, the house keeping staff, the grocery shop owner, the roadside tapri man, the woman at reception who works even during weekends, the security guard working the door, the waiters, the managers in restaurants, attendant in the night club, the food delivery guy: The more people I’ve met as different as they seemed at first the more I’ve realized that we were all connected by this city and what it stands for. It will always return, it will always keep on no matter who arrived here, who moved away from here, who got married, got divorced, got fired, got hired, made new friends, or learned something about themselves. The city is always busy. There’s this positivity in the air, it is shaping me and making me stronger.

On this note, please accept my sincere apologies for being away from blogging for quite some time now. Things are settled now, I have gracefully adapted myself to new environment, new life, new situation hence I am back to blogging world. Will share innovative recipes soon until then eat healthy, stay healthy.

 

 

Quick Fusion Pasta


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I love fusion cooking; it allows me to play with the ingredients, cooking styles, and recipes, and come up with my own version of a dish. Enjoy the global flavours of the West with this inventive dish. A delicious fusion of spicy Indian flavours with Italian pasta. A perfect super quick meal

Ingredients:

Pasta: 1 ½ bowl, cooked

Cooked Mushroom Soya Masala: 1 bowl (I have used leftover cooked curry, you may use chopped fresh Mushroom 100 gms and soaked minced soya)

Red Chilli Sauce: 2 table spoons

Garlic Powder: 1 tea spoon

Parsley: 1 table spoon

Thyme (optional): 1 tea spoon

Sugar: 1 tea spoon

Salt to taste

Oil

 

Method:

  1. Boil the pasta as per the instruction given in the packet.
  2. Heat oil in a pan; add the cooked Mushroom Soya masala, simmer for 2-3 mins. (Alternatively you may add chopped mushroom and minced soya and cook for 5-6 mins.)
  3. Add pasta, garlic powder, parsley, thyme, chilli sauce, salt and sugar. Toss and cook for 5-6 mins.
  4. Taste and adjust the seasoning if required. Serve hot.

 

 

 

Golden Fried Paneer with Spicy Curd Sauce


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I have been born and brought up in a foodie joint family and childhood was all about food, different people different taste, but somehow I couldn’t develop my taste for Paneer, I never liked it honestly. For me Paneer meant Paneer Butter Masala, which has always been my family’s favourite. It was always part of the menu be it for small birthday party, any festival or feast for guests. I couldn’t help but started experimenting with it once I got a taste for cooking. Hence, I experiment a lot with Paneer to give a new dimension to it as it has a bland taste and does not have any flavour of itself. One such experiment is this Golden Fried Paneer with Spicy Curd Sauce. The saucy fried Paneer when paired with spicy sauce absorbs the flavours of the sauce amazingly and yields a juicy, flavourful and tender dish with a crispy crust.

 

Ingredients:

Paneer: 200 gms, cut into small cubes

Hung Curd: ½ cup

Sweet Corn: ½ cup, boiled

Spring Onion (Green part):  ½ cup

Corn Flour: 2 table spoons

Rice Flour: 1 table spoon

Red Chilli Sauce: 2 table spoons

Green Chilli Sauce: 1 table spoon

Vinegar: 2 tea spoons

Soy Sauce: 1 tea spoon

Sugar: 1 tea spoon

White Pepper Powder: to taste

Salt

Oil

Method:

  1. Heat sufficient oil in a pan to deep fry the Paneer
  2. In a bowl, marinate Paneer with corn flour, rice flour, white pepper powder, salt, 1 table spoon red chilli sauce, 1 tea spoon vinegar and little oil. Mix it well and fry in hot oil until golden brown. Keep it aside.
  3. To prepare the sauce, whisk curd in a bowl, add remaining red chilli sauce, vinegar, green chilli sauce, soy sauce, sugar and white pepper powder. Mix it well
  4. To assemble, in a serving bowl, pour curd sauce, place the fried Paneer, sweet corn and spring onion. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve immediately.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Brown Trifle


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Sometimes a break from your routine is the very thing you need, to relax, to recharge, breathe and take care of your mind, body and spirit. Spending long time with my hobbies, doing things which I love doing; cooking, baking, travelling, watching movies related to food and travel, sleeping, are my biggest source for rejuvenation.

On this note; I’m trying my hand at baking these days. Here’s another recipe I tried today and it came out really well :). Although I have always been nervous about baking, but this looked great and yes, I’m going to bake more, it’s fun and magical. Red Brown Trifle is made with pomegranate soaked in red syrup, topped with layers of brownie and whipped cream. A quick, easy and yummy last minute dessert

Ingredients:

Chocolate Brownie: 8-10 slices (recipe below)

Pomegranate: 1 cup

Rose Syrup/ Strawberry Syrup: 2 table spoons

Whipped Cream/ Fresh Cream whipped with icing sugar: 1 cup

Grated Chocolate and Icing Sugar to garnish

Method:

  1. Soak pomegranate in strawberry syrup or rose syrup for half an hour
  2. Cut brownie slices into two.
  3. To assemble, take a glass,  fill the bottom with soaked pomegranate, top it with slices of brownie and pour cream over the brownie. Set in the refrigerator for half an hour.
  4. Garnish with grated chocolate and icing sugar. Serve chilled

 

Eggless Chocolate Brownie:

Butter: 130 gms

Any Nuts Chocolate: 1 bar (80-100 gms)

Plain Flour: 1 1/3 cup

Castor Sugar: 1 cup

Vanilla Essence: 1 tea spoon

Baking Powder: 1 tea spoon

Milk: 1/2 cup

Method:

  1. In a bowl, place chocolate and butter. Melt it together in a double boiler. Remove from the pan.
  2. Add sugar and vanilla essence. Sift flour and baking powder into the bowl and mix together.
  3. Add milk, mix it well.
  4. Pour the batter in a cake mould and bake in a preheated oven for 45 mins at 180 degree C.

 

 

 

Tofu & Mozzarella Croquettes


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 I love when it rains, thunder, lightning, storms of all sorts with all of my heart. Sleeping in the coziest sheets I can find, and wake up to the falling rain drops. What I love even better is eating delicious croquettes, bhajia with a cup of coffee while watching rain drops hit my window. So here’s a perfect treat for a rainy day, Tofu and Mozzarella Croquettes. I have started liking Tofu and been experimenting a lot with it lately. All you need is a few ingredients, tofu, parsley and mozzarella; if they aren’t there at home I suggest not shopping for these specific ingredients just substitute it as needed.

Ingredients: (for 6 croquettes)

Tofu: 250 gms

Mozzarella Cheese: 1/2 cup, grated

Parsley: a few, chopped

Onion & Garlic Juice: 1 table spoon

White Pepper & Salt to taste

Sugar Powder: 1/2 tea spoon

Panko/ Breadcrumbs: 1 cup

Oil for deep frying

Green Chilli & Garlic Sauce: 1 cup (recipe in Quick Help Section)

Method:

  1. Crumble tofu in a bowl, add mozzarella cheese, parsley, onion & garlic juice. Add salt sugar powder & pepper. Mix well and form in cutlet/ croquette shapes, I have made it into square shape.
  2. Roll over the breadcrumbs/ panko.
  3. Heat oil in a pan, deep fry the croquettes until golden brown.
  4. Pour the sauce over the croquettes and serve immediately.

 

 

 

Cheese Fritter with Mayo Sauce


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Posting this recipe has been pending for a long time, please accept my apologies for my lack of presence but I finally have a Cheesy recipe to share with you! Tell me, who doesn’t love Cheese; I love it in any form! Try this fried battered cheese, flavored with a touch of garlic and pepper, a simple recipe for cheese lovers

Ingredients:

Processed Cheese Cubes: 4 cubes, each cube cut into 4 squares

Flour: 1 cup

Baking Powder: 1 tea spoon

Garlic Powder: 2 tea spoons

White Pepper Powder: 1 tea spoon

Salt to taste

Oil

Method:

  1. In a bowl mix flour, baking powder, garlic powder,oil, salt & pepper together. Add water gradually to make a thick batter. Keep it aside
  2. Heat oil in a pan. Dip the cheese in the batter, fry in hot oil until golden brown on both sides. Take it off quickly.
  3. Serve with mayo sauce.

 

Mayo sauce:

Mayonnaise: 1 cup

Fresh Cream: 1/2 cup

Garlic Powder: 1 tea spoon

Salt & Pepper to taste

Sugar: 1 table spoon

Mix all the ingredients together. Serve Chilled

Quick Breakfast Roll


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Looking for fast and easy healthy breakfast recipe? These Quick Breakfast Rolls are an easy meal to prepare, and a perfect breakfast idea that anyone can make. This recipe requires fewer ingredients that are found in every kitchen; the result is this utterly delicious Rolls for you to enjoy. Take the stress out of deciding what’s for breakfast.

Ingredients: ( 4-5 Rolls)

Wheat Flour: 1 1/2 cup

Chhena/ Crumbled Paneer (unripened curd cheese ): 1 cup

Onion: 1 chopped

Tomato: 1 , chopped

Green Chillies: 2, chopped

Garlic Powder: 1 tea spoon

Schezwan Sauce (I have used Ching’s Schezwan Chutney) : 1 table spoon

Tomato Ketchup: 1 table spoon

Salt and Pepper to taste

Sugar: 1/2 tea spoon

Oil

Method:

  1. Combine wheat flour, salt and little oil in a deep bowl and knead into a semi-soft dough using enough water. Keep it aside
  2. Heat oil in a pan, add onion and green chillies. Saute until onions turns Translucent.Add Tomato and fry for a few minutes
  3. Add chhena, garlic powder schezwan chutney, tomato ketchup, salt and pepper and  fry on low flame for 5 mins, stirring in between.
  4. Remove from the pan and keep it aside
  5. To assemble, divide the dough into 8 equal portions. Roll a portion of the dough into a circle of of 100 mm. (4”) diameter circle.
  6. Place a little stuffing in the center of the circle and spread the stuffing. Fold in edges and roll tightly. Seal the edges using a little water/ oil.
  7. Heat a pan, add little oil and shallow fry the rolls. Until well cooked and it turns brown from all sides. Serve hot with sauce/ chutney

 

 

Baked Stuffed Mushrooms with Onion-Garlic Sauce


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My favourite thing to do at home is Cook, it makes life delicious! I made this today for a dear friend and honestly, took a risk for not ever making it before and that too for someone who prefers Indian food but it was a hit! She loved it, good food is all the sweeter when shared with good friends. This is a really easy meal to cook for family & friends. Hope you will enjoy it too!

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

For Stuffed Mushrooms

Fresh Button Mushrooms: 10-12 (Separate stalk from mushrooms)

Spinach: 1 cup chopped

Sweet Corns: 1/2 cup

Onion: 1/2 chopped

Garlic:1-2 cloves minced

Salt and pepper to taste

For Onion-Garlic Sauce

Onions: 2

Garlic: 5-6 cloves

Fresh Cream: 2-3 table spoons

Butter/Olive Oil

Parmesan Cheese: 1/2 cup grated

Salt to taste

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a pan, add chopped onion and  minced garlic. Saute until onion turns soft.
  2. Add spinach and corns, sprinkle salt and pepper. cook on low heat, stirring frequently, until the leaves wilt and release their liquid. Remove from the pan.
  3. Make cavity in mushroom caps with a knife, stuff each mushroom with spinach mixture. Bake in a preheated over for 5 minutes. Alternatively you may cook the stuffed mushrooms on a skillet/tava, covered, on low heat.
  4. Heat oil in the same pan, saute onion, garlic cloves and mushroom stalks. Fry for a minute. Transfer to a mixer jar, add little water and cream, grind to a smooth paste.
  5. Heat the pan again, add the onion-garlic paste. Simmer for a 2-3 minutes. Add salt and remove from pan.
  6. In a baking dish, pour the gravy, place mushrooms, sprinkle cheese and bake in a preheated oven for 5 minutes at 200°C. Serve hot 

Dhaniya Palak Paratha


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Thought of adding some fresh color and flavour to our plain jane “Paratha”. The twist to tale is adding the Spinach along with Dhaniya. To my surprise they complimented the Parathas super well. Its like trapping the healthiest veggies inside the a Paratha

Ingredients:

Wheat Flour: 1 1/2 cup

Spinach: 1 bowl, chopped

Onion: 1 large, chopped

Ginger & Green Chilli paste: 1 table spoon

Coriander Leaves/Dhania: 1

Roasted Cumin & Coriander seeds(coarse paste): 1 1/2 tea spoon

Potatoes: 2-3, boiled and mashed

Garam Masala Powder: 1 tea spoon

Red Chilli Powder: 1 tea spoon

Sugar: 1 tea spoon

Salt to taste

Oil for cooking

 

Method:

  1. Combine wheat flour, salt and little oil in a deep bowl and knead into a semi-soft dough using enough water. Keep it aside
  2. Heat oil in a pan, add onion and saute until its translucent.
  3. Add spinach and salt. Cover and  cook.
  4. Add ginger green chilli paste, cumin & coriander paste, red chili powder, sugar. Cook for a few minutes.
  5. Add coriander leaves, and mashed potatoes. Fry the masala for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from pan and allow it to cool.
  6. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions.
  7. Roll a portion of the dough into a circle of of 100 mm. (4”) diameter circle.
  8. Place a little stuffing in the centre of the circle. Bring together all the sides in the centre and seal tightly.
  9. Roll again each dough into a circle creating a disc shape.
  10. Heat a non-stick pan and cook each paratha on both the sides, using a little ghee, till brown spots appear on both the sides.

 

Beetroot Ghugni Chaat


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Ghugni is a popular snack in Eastern India, dried white peas is cooked with gravy, in the traditional eastern Indian style. It is a common and affordable food in Calcutta (source Wikipedia). Here’s presenting a lip smacking twist to the popular street food;  I prepared these beetroot cutlets and served it with Ghugni which complemented the subtle flavour of Beetroot very well. The chaat is full of flavour, delicious, and easy to cook.

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

Beetroot Cutlet

Beetroot: 2-3

Carrot: 1

Onion: 1

Cauliflower Florets: 4-5

Potato: 2 large

Green Chillies and Garlic: 2 table spoons, minced

Red Chilli Powder:

Cumin Powder: 1 table spoon

Coriander Powder: 1 table spoon

Garam Masala Powder: 2 tea spoons

Bread crumbs: 1 cup

Oil

Salt to taste

 

Method:

  1. Boil all the ingredients together in a pressure cooker. Allow it cool,  mash  all the vegetables together
  2. Heat oil in a pan, add green chillies and garlic, add the mashed vegetables, add all the spices, salt,  and fry on low flame for 8-10 minutes. Remove from pan.
  3. Divide the cooked veggies in 7-8 equal portions, give it the shape of a tikia or cutlet.
  4. Roll over the bread crumbs and deep fry in hot oil until it turns crimson in colour.

 

Ghugni:

White peas/ matar: 1 bowl, soaked in water overnight

Onion: 1 large, sliced

Tomato: 1, chopped

Ginger-Garlic Paste: 2-3 table spoons

Green chillies: 2, chopped

Red Chilli Powder: 1 table spoon

Turmeric Powder: 1 tea spoon

Cumin Powder: 1 table spoon

Coriander Powder: 1 table spoon

Garam Masala Powder: 2 tea spoons

Black Salt/Rock Salt to taste

Bay leaf: 1

Fenugreek seeds/methi : 1 tea spoon

Cumin Seeds: 1 tea spoon

Water: 2 cups

Oil

Mithhi Chutney (recipe quick help section)

Khatti Chutney  (recipe quick help section)

Coriander chutney  (recipe quick help section)

Method:

  1. Boil the white matar/ white peas in a pressure cooker for 10 minutes. Let it whistle for 4-5 times
  2. Heat oil in a pan, add bay leaf, methi, cumin and let it crackle. Add onion and fry until it turns brown. Add ginger galic paste, tomato, spices and fry the masala adding little water in between.
  3. When the masala is cooked add matar, water and salt. Allow it to boil, cook for 2-3 minutes. Switch off the flame.
  4. To assemble, in a serving bowl.dish, place two cutlets, press it firmly, pour the ghugni, add a table spoon of mithi chutney, khatti chutney, coriander chutney, chopped onion, roasted coriander powder, red chilli powder, black salt and sprinkle coriander leaves.