Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Happy Diwali !

May the light of love and devotion shine brightly in your heart. May the light of understanding shine in your mind. May the light of harmony glow in your home. May the light of peace emanate from your being. May your presence light  lamps of love and peace wherever you go. May your smile, your words and your actions be as sweet as the sweets of this festive season. May  Laxmi Mata shower you with the true wealth of health, happiness, peace and spiritual upliftment.

This festive season lets light our hearts brighter than our homes .Lets vow to give more than we receive .

Happy Diwali 

I leave you with some images of my table setting from last years Diwali.........

Monday, 21 October 2013

Sirke Wale Pyaaz - Indian restaurant style pickled onions

Sirke Wale Pyaaz - Indian restaurant style pickled onions

Ruby red , crunchy , sweet and sour all at once these pickled onions were a standard accompaniment to all Indian /Punjabi  meals that you ate in  restaurants in the 90s .

red vinegar onions restaurant style

For some reason I dont see them so much these days but I love them so I decided to make them . A little bit of trial and error this recipe worked the best just like the sirke walle pyaaz at Kumar Sweets in Dehradoon.

The first time I tried making these I just put onions in vinegar but that resulted in only a very slight pink color and not such a great taste! I guess thats how American pickled onions are made ......since thats all I could find on the internet .

 But this recipe is perfect....the secret to getting a nice full bodied color is the beetroot! :)

restaurant style sirka pyaaz

Onions (the tiny kind ) : 200 grams cleaned 
Regular White Vinegar : 1 cup
Peppercorn : 7
Bay leaf : 2
Sugar : 4 teaspoons
Salt: to taste
Beetroot : 1 small beetroot chopped


Boil vinegar along with peppercorns , bay leaf , sugar and salt for around 5 minutes .

Add thinly sliced beetroot.

As soon as you add the beetroot vinegar will change color to a ruby red .

Boil for another 2-3 minutes.

Put clean dry onions in a clean dry clean glass bottle .

Strain the red vinegar solution into the glass bottle .

Add a few pieces of the beetroot that you strained out into the bottle as well.

Keep in the fridge .

Eat after 24 hours , gets better with time as onions loose their sharpness 

.Keeps well for 2-3 weeks as long as it dosent come in contact with water!

Friday, 18 October 2013


I love experimenting with my food....and what city in the world is better than London......its a true melting pot with a bustling food scene......

 So I have been eating , shopping and wandering around this beautiful city....going to
 food markets with an astounding variety of global foods....sampling cheese and brilliant olive oil....
  truffles and lovely fresh baked breads.....I leave you with a few pictures at the moment of where Iv been and what Iv the
meanwhile ill get used to the cold and working in my tiny London apartment kitchen......


Parmigiano Reggiano ...aka Parmesan Cheese

Cured/smoked Pork Sausages

Selection of Breads



Flavoured Sea Salt from France

Flavoured Sea Salt from France

Garlic Chive Butter

Fresh Produce

A Million flavors of Mustard

Flavoured Oils

Fresh Buffalo Mozzarella

Chutneys & Relishes

Window Display at Percy Ingle- Traditional English Family Bakers 

Carribean Farmers Market 

Julia Child

I love Julia Child and I love Meryl Streep .....So I obviously liked the movie Julie & Julia (2009).

I think every foodie, food blogger should watch it! Of course I wish it had more about the life of Julia Child but it was a great watch none the less. In fact this movie has inspired so many people to start writing their own food blogs.

Add captioJulie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen n
Meryl Streep as Julia Child
For the uninitiated Julia Child  was an American chef , author and television show host. She taught Americans to love food and take pride in making it in the 60s with her debut book Mastering the art of French cooking. 
Julia Child

So going back to the movie it talks about how Julia Child a bored house wife started cooking at the age of 32 by enrolling at the Le Cordon Bleu in Paris in 1950 and in parallel talks of Julie Powells life in 2002 a bored secretary who takes on the challenge of cooking 524 of Julia Childs recipes in 365 days in her tiny apartment kitchen and then blogs about all her cooking experiences .

So two great women whose lives take on entirely new meaning when they discover that with the right combination of  passion , fearlessness , butter and cream anything is possible.

Julia Child was a one- of - a -kind woman absolutely fearless and not afraid of massaging poultry and dropping food and utensils when cooking . She also left us with some great quotes some of my favorites:

“Cooking is like love; it should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” 

“I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate” 

"Tears mess up your make-up" :))

“Maybe the cat has fallen into the stew, or the lettuce has frozen, or the cake has collapsed. Eh bien, tant pis. Usually one's cooking is better than one thinks it is. And if the food is truly vile, then the cook must simply grit her teeth and bear it with a smile, and learn from her mistakes.” 
― Julia ChildMy Life in France

Pune's best Khaman Dhokla

Pune's best Khaman Dhokla

Tucked away in a narrow lane off MG road is this  little gem of a place ....its been around since 1977 .....I have been eating dhokla at this place for the last 20 years or so......earlier they used to have a hand pushed cart in the same narrow lane but 10 years ago they moved to this little shop.

Its a little hard to find ....its opposite wonderland  in the lane that goes between Meghdoot and Petsworld

poona best dhokla

Its the best Khaman dhokla ever .........spongy soft ...served with spicy green chutney and a sweet tomato chutney that tastes like gujrati tomato saar .......garnished with fried green chillies, sev and fresh grated coconut and hara dhaniya. So its more like a chatpata chaat than just bland dhokla must try it to know what I mean :)))


A fresh batch of dhokla comes in every evening at 5pm or so and gets over very very quickly lots of people who live on and around MG road come to eat and take away from this place frequently.


mg road dhokla best

mg road good eats pune

7 days a week

5pm- 9pm

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Black Magic Cake - Eggless

Black Magic Cake - Eggless

Dark eggless chocolate cake

Black Magic Cake is a fairly old recipe...several versions, this is an eggless one! It dates back to the 1960s when it came printed at the back of  Hersheys Cocoa Powder tins ......

Its still popular because its amazing! I baked this cake for a friends birthday and it was over before I could even blink.

Rich , dark,moist and with an intense chocolate flavour....its everything a chocolate cake should be.
My go to chocolate recipe for the future....

The frosting is so quick and so fuss comes together so easily all using ingredients that are right at home!

This recipe results in a small 6 inch cake, doubling recipe is highly recommended :D :))

curd chocolate cake

  • Plain Flour – 1 cup
  • Baking Powder – ½ tsp
  • Baking Soda – 1 tsp
  • Cocoa Powder – 6 tbsp
  • Granulated Sugar – ¾ cup
  • Vegetable oil – ½ cup ( I used sunflower oil)
  • Hot Coffee – ¼ cup (1 tsp of coffee in ¼cup hot water)
  • Milk – ¼ cup, room temp
  • Yogurt – ¼ cup, room temp
  • Vanilla essence – 1 tsp
Chocolate Frosting
  • Unsalted Butter – 100 gms, room temp
  • Cocoa powder – ⅓ cup
  • Sugar – 3/4th cup ( Gring regular sugar to a powder and then measure 3/4th cup)
  • Vanilla essence – 1 tsp
  • Hot water - if required
  • Walnuts crushed to decorate 
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C, 10 mins before baking. Lightly grease the cake tin and line with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl sift together  all the dry ingredients . Make a well.
  3. Add all the wet ingredients one by one.
  4. With an electric mixer, beat the mixture on low speed for 2-3 minutes until the dry and wet ingredients are well combined. 
  5. Pour the batter in the prepared pan. 
  6. Bake for about 30 min. Check the cake with tooth pick. 
  7. Once out of the oven,  cool. After about an hour remove the cake from the pan and let the cake cool completely before icing.
  8. For icing – combine the softened butter and cocoa powder with a hand whisk or a wooden spoon. Add icing sugar and vanilla essence. Mix well.  Do a taste test and add more sugar if required. If you need to thin it down to bring to the right consistency you may add a little hot water. I dint need to add any water at all ! :))

This cake keeps well at room temperature for a couple of hours. If you do need to refrigerate make sure you keep it outside , to bring it to room temperature for around 20-30 minutes before serving!

Dal Bati Churma in Pune

Dal Bati Churma is very popular in Rajasthan , Gujrat and Madhya Pradesh .....

 Being a desert  state the people of Rajasthan learnt to cook food that could be preserved for long periods of time ....bati is a sort of unleavened bread in which ghee is used as a preservative. 

Back in the day people had to cover long distances so it was essential to make and carry a mean that was both high in nutritional content and sustaining at the same time .

Dal Bati Churma Pune

The best bet for authentic Dal Bati Churma in Pune is The Baba Ramdev Dhaba in Nigdi

I have tried various versions that are served as part of the "Special Thali" in some popular chains like Mayur Thali , Rajdhani etc but nothing comes close to whats served here!

The Dal is fantastic ....bati is perfectly cooked on a slow coal flame ....with an endless supply of desi ghee and Chaas few meals can be as satisfying

Dal Bati in Poona

Before we ordered our Dal Bati we had some Kheechiya ...Rajasthani for papad! Very tasty

Main course was ofcourse Dal Bati ( Rs 50) and Churma Desi Ghee ( Rs 75 for a full plate)

Dal Bati comes with a side of onions , lemon wedge and a very spicy awesome red chilly chutney

This place also served punjabi food and the works but I suggest you try the Dal Bati Churma because thats what really draws the crowds to this place

Get there early on weekends this place gets very very crowded ...they have an AC hall to dine in upstairs ...seating downstairs is in the open its a basic sort of place with awesome sort of food!

The only place for good authentic Dal Bati Churma in Pune....

Desi Ghee Churma die for!!!!! I can eat platefuls

A Big Thank you to our good friends Saurabh Singh & his beautiful wife Anu for taking us here ...I would have never discovered this jewel if it wasnt for you guys!

Nigdi Dhaba

Sec 23, Transport Nagar
Nigdi Pune-411035
Tel: 020 - 27655551
Mobile No: 9325070143 

Pimpri Restaurant 

6/41 Vallabh Nagar Bus Depo
Pimpri Pune-411018
Tel: 020 - 27655551
Mobile No: 9325070143

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Beauty Food : Green Glow Smoothie

Beauty for me is an inside job

 Everything you put in your mouth shows up on your skin in a few days!

So every now and again I detox , I flood my body with nutrients and what better way to do that than starting your day with a green smoothie!

I like smoothies over juices because smoothies retain fiber ..............this smoothie will make you glow from the inside out!

Here is what you need:

1 small pineapple (sliced with tough core removed)

1 small bunch of organic baby spinach

Coconut water from 1 coconut

Blend everything in your Vitamix/ Magic bullet

Drink on empty stomach