Back to Blogging – The comeback post

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“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.

PS- Coming up some interesting recipes!

 

 

 

 

Mango Pot de Creme

This recipe has been lying in my drafts from last, so you know how lazy I have been. The summer vacations are over and we are settling down in our everyday routines.The monsoons are also here,so are the mangoes! What better time than this to make this easy dessert at home. It requires just 3 ingredients!

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Mango Pot de Creme
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
 
Super easy mango dessert!
Ingredients
  • Mango puree - 2 cups
  • Fresh cream - 1 cup - I used Amul low fat cream
  • Condensed milk - 4 tbsp
  • Gelatin - 1 tsp
  • Rose petals/ Mint leaves - to garnish
Instructions
  1. First bloom the gelatin.
  2. In a bowl soak the gelatin in cold water for 10 mins. Microwave for 5 sec at high. Keep aside.
  3. Mix together the mango puree, condensed milk and cream till creamy.
  4. Add the gelatin and mix gently.
  5. Fill up cups/bowls with this mixture and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  6. Serve, garnished with rose petals / mint leaves and some chopped mangoes on top.
 

Methi Thepla

This time of the year is perfect to savour the varied winter greens available in the market. My absolutely favourite being fresh Methi saag( fenugreek leaves) and Sarson Saag ( mustard greens). I dont leave an opportunity to use fresh methi leaves as often as I can. While i would always make Aloo methi or simple methi parathas , Theplas , essentially a Gujrati flatbread is something I made for the first time. Perfect as a breakfast dish, I absolutely loved eating them.

methi theplaThe addition of a variety of spices and some gram flour to the dough gives the parathas if we may call them, even thogh they are to be rolled thinner than a paratha, a lovely soft texture. My boys are not much into parathas and would stick to their usual English breakfast, I love my desi breakfast and more so on weekends. Served with some homemade green chili pickle and yogurt, it made for a delicious treat.

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Methi Thepla
Author: 
Recipe type: Breads
Cuisine: Gujrati - Indian
 
A soft spiced flatbread that is perfect as a breakfast dish served with pickle and yogurt.
Ingredients
  • Whole wheat flour? Aata - 1½ cups
  • Gram flour / Besan- ½ cup
  • Chopped onion - 1 tbsp
  • Chopped green chili - 1 tsp
  • Chopped fresh fenugreek leaves/methi leaves - 1 cup
  • Caraway/Ajwain seeds - 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds/jeera seeds - 1 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Chopped coriander leaves - 1 tbsp
  • Red chili powder - 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1tsp
  • Ghee - 1 tsp + spme more to cook the theplas
  • Warm water - a cup approx to knead the dough
Instructions
  1. In a bowl mix all the ingredients listed aboved and knead into a soft using some warm water.
  2. Let the dough rest for 15 mins.
  3. Make small balls, dust in some flour and roll out very thin into round discs.
  4. They should be rolled thinner than a paratha.
  5. On a flat gridle, cook the theplas by applying ghee on both sides.
  6. Serve warm with pickle and fresh yogurt.
 

Festive Christmas Fruit Cake – My easy version

This dear blog of mine has been royally ignored in the past few months as I was busy setting up another baby – The Goody Box – a venture very close to my heart that my friend A and myself have started. Its an endeavor on our part to take this love for food that we have to the next level and share it with the world. You can know all about it The Goody Box here!

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But My Food My Life is my first love and theres always coming back to it. I remembered to soak some fruits in rum few weeks back and last evening was just perfect to bake a boozy  Christmas cake to mark the beginning of the festive season. Everyone has their own version and mine turned out to be easy and fun to make. Here’s hoping that the coming year brings in loads of positivity and good cheer for my loved ones and yes many many more recipes and food stories! You go note the recipe.

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christmas-cake

Festive Christmas Fruit Cake - My easy version
Author: 
Recipe type: Festive Dessert
Cuisine: Cakes
 
A rich boozy fruit cake
Ingredients
  • Flour - 1 cup
  • Butter - 100 gms
  • Castor sugar - 1 cup
  • Eggs - 3 nos
  • Soaked fruits - 1 cup - Mix together chopped candied peel, tutti fruti, dates, raisins , almonds in some dark rum along with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg. Put the mixture in a glass jar and refrigerate for a week atleast.
  • Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
  • Baking powder - 1 tsp
Instructions
  1. Sift together flour and baking powder.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Add the vanilla essence.
  5. Fold in the flour gently into a smooth mixture.
  6. Add the soaked fruit along with the liquid.
  7. Give it a mix.
  8. Bake in a pre heated oven for 35-40 mins at 175 deg C
  9. Dust with some icing sugar before serving.
 

This Durga Puja is sweeter with Mother Dairy Nolen Gur Icecream

For as long as I can remember, Durga Puja meant visiting our ancestral home in Silchar, getting together with the entire family and celebrating Pujo at home. That was when my grandparents were around, the tradition however continues in my parents ‘ house and we continue to celebrate Durga puja with age old traditions. Getting up early morning, dressed up in new clothes helping in the ‘Thakur ghor’ (puja room)

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Another very important aspect of Durga Puja for us Bengalis is food! Planning menu for each day and community dining is what pujo is all about. Pandal hopping is incomplete unless we gorge into the unlimited delicacies on offer. And then there is icecream gorging too. It’s the same for kids and adults alike, there’s no stopping anyone.  Who cares about calories, these 4 days of pujo!

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Mother Dairy – an age old institution has been treating us with delicious goodness for years and this year they take it up a notch higher with the introduction of Nolen Gurer icecream. Nolen Gur or Date Palm jaggery is a seasonal delicacy that is a quintessential part of Bengalis food scene. While we would otherwise wait for the winters to savour it but not anymore.

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The luscious icecream is now on offer year long, a big thank you to Mother Dairy. It is available in a take home tub or as single serve packs. This year pujo is a whole lot sweeter for me.

Nolen Gurer icecream is easily available in the market in 750ml & 90ml and priced at Rs 150/- & Rs 20/- respectively. 
This post is a part of a campaign for Mother Dairy

 

Lemon Blast Popsicles

This terrible terrible summer. I cant even begin to explain the pain.Especially little kids who have to get back from school in this scorching heat. My worries as a mother that they will fall sick. I am eagerly eagerly waiting for the summer holidays to begin so it provides some respite to everyone.

Everyday when I go to pick up my 8 yr old from school, his only request is to buy him a popsicle from the school icecream vendor. My answer is always in the negative as I feel that would sure shot trigger a cold or a cough. Poor thing, he listens to his mama. But mama has to make sure that he gets a treat once in a while, maybe later in the afternoon when the sun has beaten down. So I made these easy popsicles at home, which my kid can enjoy to his hearts content.

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There is no recipe to this as such, use any flavour you wish too. The only thing you need to get are some popsicle moulds that are easily available online. You could even use a mix of quash – orange or even pineapple to make these.

Lemon Blast Popsicles
Author: 
Recipe type: Icecream
 
Easy peasy lemony popsicles made at home
Ingredients
  • Water - 4 cups
  • Sugar - 4 tbsp.
  • Salt - 1 tsp
  • Lemon/lime - 2 whole - squeeze out the juice
  • Some lemon or grapefruit slices
Instructions
  1. In a bowl first make a lemonade with water, sugar, salt and the lemon juice.
  2. Fill the popsicle moulds with slices of lemon or any other fruit.
  3. Pour the lemon water into the moulds.
  4. Close the lid and stick it in the freezer overnight.
  5. Enjoy with your little ones!
 

Paneer Pasanda

How much can you do with Paneer?! Well , you never know. Personally I find it very difficult to infuse flavours into paneer. Somehow my bhurjis always remain bland and tasteless. For gravies, most of the times I resort to a tomato based gravy so as to salvage the dish. This dish too, is a tomato – cashew infused gravy, with stuffed pan fried paneer triangles. It turned out nice , so I had to share it with you all.

paneer pasanda mainEveryday cooking can sometime get on to your nerves. Even for someone like me, who enjoys her time in the kitchen, it gets a tad overwhelming. With the onset of the dreaded summer, even more. What I like to do is make easy recipes , that doesn’t compromise on taste. This gravy can easily be frozen for few days, and used as and when required.

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Paneer Pasanda
Author: 
Recipe type: Main course
Cuisine: Indian
 
A rich gravy dish that goes well with rice/naan/roti
Ingredients
  • Paneer - 200 gms - cut into triangles and then halved
  • Tomato paste - 1 large - blanch tomatoes and make into a paste
  • Tomato puree - 2 tbsp.
  • Cashew paste - 2 tbsp. + 1 tbsp.
  • Raisin paste - 1 tsp - blend raisins into a paste
  • Garam masala - 1 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Sugar - a pinch
  • Ginger paste - 1 tsp
  • Kashmiri red chili powder - 1 tsp
  • Warm water - 1 cup
  • Ghee - 1 tbsp.
  • Refined oil - 1 tbsp.
  • Fresh cream- for garnish
  • Fresh green/red chilies - for garnish
  • Fresh coriander - chopped for garnish
Instructions
  1. Cut the paneer into triangles and slit them into half lengthwise.
  2. Make a paste of 1 tbsp. cashew paste, raisin paste and a little salt.
  3. Stuff the mixture inside two slices of paneer.
  4. In a non stick pan , heat 1 tbsp. refined all.
  5. Shallow fry the paneer triangles, till gilden in colour.
  6. Drain and keep aside.
  7. In another pan, heat the ghee.
  8. Add the garam masala powder.
  9. Next add the tomato paste and fry till fragrant,
  10. Once the tomato paste has cooked through, add the tomato puree, cashew paste, red chili powder, salt and sugar.
  11. Give a good mix, cook the masalas for 3-5 mins. Add a cup of warm water and let the gravy simmer.
  12. Once it thickens up, turn off the heat.
  13. In a serving dish, lay the fried paneer traingles.
  14. Pour the hot gravy on top.
  15. Garnish with fresh cream, chilies and coriander.
  16. Your dish is ready to be served.
 

Plum Jam – With a hint of ginger

In continuing with my plum love saga , I made some plum jam and spiked it up by adding a bit if ginger. It gingery zing goes well with the sweetness of the plums. My mom came visiting last week and got along a stash of Plums again. And the best bet seemed like making a jam out of them . I tried it with some toast and it tasted great. A little drizzle on some vanilla muffins would be great too. You go note the recipe.

 

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Plum Jam - With a hint of ginger
Author: 
Recipe type: Jam and Pickles
Cuisine: Continental
 
A super easy jam recipe.
Ingredients
  • Plums - 10-15 - sliced
  • Ginger - half an inch root -finely grated
  • Brown Sugar - 2 cups
  • Vinegar - 1 tsp
Instructions
  1. In a non stick pan add the sliced plums and the brown sugar and let it simmer till thick and gooey. Add the grated ginger and vinegar , mix well and simmer for another 5 mins.
  2. Pass the mixture through a sieve and discard the skin and the seeds.
  3. Let it cool.
  4. Store in a glass jar.
 

An evening of celebrating Italian Food @ Swissotel

Last Saturday saw me attending an evening celebrating Italian Food at the Swissotel, Kolkata. Despite many odds ( last min guests and some other commitments) I found myself engulfed in Swiss hospitality yet again. It was a special evening celebrating the spirit of Italian cuisine – a menu specially curated by Chef Gianluca Cazzin from Fairmont, Abu Dhabi. Originally from Venice , Italy and having trained with many a Michellin starred chefs , Chef Gianlunca has been whipping up quite a gastrnomic storm in Abu Dhabi food scene from past year and a half. I hade the privilege of a candid chat with the very down to earth Chef Gianluca who very sweetly told me that Butter Chicken was his favourite Indian dish! When asked wat his favourite ingredients were , he shot off , tomatoes , olive oil and cheese!

It was a formal evening with beautiful set up that quite set the mood. The guest list comprised of city’s food conneissuers and expats who have made Kolkata their home now. And there I was on behalf of KFB waiting to soak up the experience. It was also the first time KFB was doing a #liveblogging of the event through Facebook and Twitter.

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We took our respective seats and were good to go. It was to be a 5 course dinner – with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. The menu comprised dishes from varied territories of Italy, namely Tuscany , Piedmont and of course Venice.We started with Insalata ( salad) . For the non vegetarians it was Insalata Veneziana – Onion, bell pepper ,raisins and pine nuts with marinated prawns. Raisins and Italian – well that was a first for me. We moved on to the soup – I opted for the veg version – Minestrone di Verdure alla Genovese – homemade pesto ,garden vegetables with toasted ciabatta bread. Earthy and absolutely homestyle. Chef Cazzin was kind enough to introduce each course with a little anecdote attached to it. I was, well, kind of full by now and the wine was working too!

The Primi Piatti arrived – Tagliolini all’Astice – Fresh lobster, chili,tomatoes ,evoo,garlic and zucchini. Fresh and delicious is what I can recollect at this moment. It was a 5 course meal but I had to unfortunately leave due to some other prior commitments. The Tiramisu I heard was mind blowing!

The evening also saw the launch of “Swissotel Cook book” – definitely the first of its kind in the city. Swissotel , Kolkata is at the top of their game when it comes to hospitality and guest relations. The cookbook is a compilation of varied recipes that are a favourite of their regular guests. The hard work of Chef Pranay and Chef Sanjay surely reflects in the same. Ashish , Enakshi and Debiroopa as usual at their sweetest best, taking good care of me.

Well, what else can I write! It was an evening I shall remember for long.

Keema Bruschetta – A DIY Party Snack

So you have a party coming up and you want to rustle up some easy snack/ starter. Worry not, this DIY (do-it-yourself silly!) Keema Bruschetta is the perfect party item. The keema can be made a day in advance( or few days in advance and frozen ), all that needs to be done after that is assembling. I had some leftover keema and this is the outcome! You can use your usual keema recipe or use this one here.

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brushchetta

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