Winters and oranges are synonymous. Unfortunately I live in a winter starved city and making the most of what ever little I get is the only way out. Childhood memories are filled with afternoons spent by the sunny window of our Haflong residence relishing the sweetest and most juicy home grown oranges. Our annual visits to the Orange orchards in Jatinga is still vivid in my mind. The rule was you could sit and eat as many oranges you wanted but you couldnt pick them and get home! Sometimes me and my sister would make the most amazing Komla Makha – essentially a mash of fresh oranges with salt and chilies with a dash of mustard oil while Ma would be taking her afternoon siesta. Can those days come back please.Or only if I could let Aadish live those days too. This recipe that I am sharing today is just an impromptu attempt at using up some oranges but since it turned out so good I decided to share a post. Its a basic pound cake flavoured with fresh orange juice and zest , however what makes it gourmet is the Honey Butter orange sauce!
Winter holidays are just about to start and for me that means a lot of extra effort to keep my 11 yr old busy. This year since we are not travelling anywhere, i intend to experience this city like i did as a child. So that would essentially include visit to the planetarium, Victoria Memorial, the Birla Musuem and of course a lot of eating out! We are chalking out an itenerary so that we can make the most of these holidays and create some wonderful memories. What is life afterall, just a beautiful collage of memories. Todays recipe also has a dose of memory in it. Its my take on my grandmothers soul satisfying Chicken Soup. A very simple recipe that used to be our staple evening snack while growing up. She simply used to boil a whole country chicken with some salt and pepper. Then drain the stock, Saute some chopped onion and garlic and ginger in butter, add the stock, season and serve with a slice of toast. While I do make that soup a lot too, this experiment also turned out great. Mushrooms are abundant now all year round so that adds a lovely texture to the dish. Since it was made for lunch, served it with some spring onion herbed rice.
In my quest to make easy but delicious everyday meals I have been making a lot of Indo Chinese dishes. Today on the menu was some Chili Fish, that i served with some steamed long grain rice and pickled vegetables. The markets are filled with fresh green vegetables and this is the best time to indulge in the goodness of these greens.
My choice of fish was basa but any boneless fish fillet would work fine I reckon. Feel free to add some peppers to the gravy if u wish to, it enhances the taste.
For pickled vegetables, cut carrots and cucumber in thin strips. Make a mixture of vinegar, salt, sugar and tabasco. You can add some chopped red chilies for heat. Soak the cucumber and carrot strips in this mixture for an hour and serve with the fish. Can easily be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
If there is one thing I really miss here in Kolkata, that would be availability of a variety of Cheese. You know the kind of Cheese shops you find when u travel abroad, where you go bonkers looking at the range, you dont even know what half of them are, those kinds! However things are getting a little better and you do find a decent variety nowadays at the supermarkets. I was pleasantly surprised with the range of cheese available at Big Basket, was a bit unsure of the taste and quality but nevertheless ordered a box of Boconcini. And I was not disappointed.
My first thought was to make a fresh Caprese Salad and I went with that.
The weather here in Kolkata calls for hearty meals. Am getting my zeal back to spend a considerable amount of time in my kitchen and trying out a lot a recipes that had been earmarked for a while now. Chicken being the preffered choice of protien, I am always looking out to do something different with it. One pan or one pot meals works best when you are pressed for time but still want something delicious. However there are times when you crave something indulgent, something that makes you go yum,yum,yum like a lasagna! My first memory of tasting a lasagna goes back to my LSR days when Big Chill( my mostest favourite eatery of all times) had opened up in the neighbourhood. Digging into that gooey goodness of cheesy meaty lasagna. Never missed a chance to grab atleast one meal there whenever I am in Delhi which is rare now. So to revive all those delicious memories I took it upon me to recreate the dish in my kitchen. It takes some amount of effort but at the end it was totally worth it. A little amount of prep the day before goes a long way. Like i prepeared the meat sauce a day in advance, it kind of enhanced the flavours too. So the next day it was quite a breeze to put it all together.
Ok now one important point here. I was always confused whether to pre cook the pasta sheets before layering or just let it the way it is for it to cook in the oven. I scoured around for some info on this but failed to get a clear picture so i decided to pre cook it anyways. Just dunked them in boiling water for 10 seconds and then layer them up. Worked beautifully I must say! You guys go note the recipe and give it a shot, promise you wont be disappointed.
Its that time of the year again when you are just reminiscing about the months that went by and start looking forward to a brand new year and wish for everything to get better. You pull yourself together one more time and hope to make the best of the time you have. I am doing that too! Really looking forward to the coming year and making the most of it. Workwise i have been extremely lazy and i wish to change that for good. Like I keep going back to my favourite quote by the very wise his Holiness The Dalai Lama ” Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions” So on this note, I decided to make a Roast Chicken as its almost Christmas and I wanted to test the recipe one more time before I put it up on the blog. And I also put up the tree and decorated it pretty with all the little things that I have collected over the years. It felt good I must say.
Now coming back to the roasted chicken it is again a very simple recipe. The marination is the key and the longer the marination the better. Simple flavours work best and a honey mustard glaze just adds to the taste. Add vegetables of your choice, i kept it simple with just onions and potatoes. Serve it with choice of your breads and your Christmas lunch is sorted.
Hello everyone! I baked some Oatmeal Choco chips cookies and they turned out pretty good so sharing it for you all. These i baked primarily for my nearly 11 yo boy who is growing up too fast too soon. I say this because everyday is a new revelation , everyday a new challenge. Many of us end up wondering what is the right way to parenting, is there a right way at all? Honestly, i feel you just go with the flow, with your gut and handle one day at a time. In this process we end up learning ourselves, so does your child. There is no universal rule to bring up a child and thats what a decade of motherhood has taught me. Each child is different, so is our approach to their upbringing. There are some thumb rule ofcourse that i follow. When it comes to respect, discipline,and gratitude there is no bargaining with me. Our kids are born into privileged lives and as parents its imperative that they are made to understand early on that this is not something to be taken for granted. Each day is a miracle , an oppurtunity to start a fresh and chase your dreams. I guess thats enough of a parenting tip for the day!
As keeping with the practice of sharing easiest of recipes, this one is super easy too. Hardly 5 basic ingredients, one bowl mix and you are good to go. Being a mom to a fussy eater these recipes come super handy and there is no doubt in your mind that you are giving your child something healthy, something homemade, filled with love.
A jar of delicious dip is a blessing when you are looking at healthy snacking options and this Muhammara Sauce is just perfect. I am trying my best to follow a healthier diet and stay away from fried and sugary snacks so I am continuosly looking at making dips of all kinds – pesto, yougurt based dips and now this muhammara sauce. It is basically of Turkish origin but also used a lot in Lebanese and Mexican cuisine. The recipe beautifully blends together chargrilled red bell peppers and walnuts with easy seasonings. Here I used a mix of sea salt, chili flakes and dried parsely. Serve it with crackers or corn chips whenever you feel peckish or you can also use it as a marinade for roasting chicken or making some grilled fish.
Buddha Bowls – is one in of the emerging food trends in the world.With more people engaging in a healthier lifestyle, food habits are also changing for the better. For people on the go there is no better way these to pack in the necessary amount of proteins, carbs and vegetables.
I am also trying to adopt a healthy eating regimen and these buddha bowls are my current favourite. While there is no particular recipe , i just try and do new combinatons every now and then. The key is fresh ingredients , alternate grains, loads of green vegetables, sometimes a portion of grilled chicken or boiled eggs with a dressing of olive oil or a dollop of peanut butter, pesto or simple yogurt.
For this particular bowl , I just tossed together some pan fried tofu, some vegetables, sauteed mushrooms, soft boiled egg and just a drizzle of olive oil mixed with a little honey, salt pepper and some chili flakes.A very good option is to add some healthy carb like quinoa or some red or brown rice. Promise to share more combinations as i go until then this should be a good start.
“ITS NEVER TO LATE TO MAKE A COMEBACK’ – Christina Katz
I don’t know how to start or where to start! Why i stopped blogging, stopped doing something that kind of defined my life for the last 5 yrs? I don’t have a definite answer , but there was a lot going on and in the process i simply got complacent not doing enough of what i love to do most!
I am getting all stuck with words, thoughts jumbled up in my head but i will try. I don’t want this to be a crib post coz we all make choices in life , some work, some don’t and as a very dear friend told me the other day , its ok to take a break, try and do things differently and if things dont work out the way u want it to be , theres always a comeback!Its all about how you gather yourself up and move forward. And with a wonderful wonderful bunch of people surrounding me this doesnt seem difficult anymore. The last 2 months was a mix of good and bad. Good as i got to spend some quality time with my precious ones, my parents, my dearest friend P who came all the way to see me, my soundingboard/sis in law A and my little sister with her two little munchkins. Bad because i fell ill and my body and mind just gave up. It was just a flu alright but it just drained me, thousands of negative thoughts took over my mind and i wasnt able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Everything seemed blurry and I felt like i will not be able to overcome it. But i am trying now and I have set myself some deadlines. Deadlines to push me to get back to all those things that make me happy – cooking,creating creative content, fitness, wearing sarees and hoarding somemore lipsticks!! So when after months I logged in to my blog page, I was pleasantly surprised to see 21 comments from people who followed the blog, people who tried a few recipes and had nice things to say and these were all people none of whom I know personally! That was it for me.
Like they say every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn. So be it. Let this be a good comeback.
Leaving you all with a beautiful photograph that my 10 year old clicked of me on a recent break to Phuket.