Saturday, 31 August 2013

First impression matters

So, this recipe is from some time ago. It was the first time I was calling my 'then new' colleagues to my place and I was frantic. While the main course was easy to decide, I couldn't decide on the canopies. Time was a constraint and I had pledged to cook everything myself. Besides, I had an impression to make.

That's when I thought up this recipe. Deviled eggs can be done in oh-so-many ways, but this is how I like them. A quick and easy recipe.A Caesar-ish dressing and the eggs with a tangy and sweet twist added by the cherries and the flavour of fresh parsley.

P-style Deviled Eggs

Boiled eggs (cut into halves, length wise): 10 
Parsley: a few sprigs
Cherries: 75 g (pitted and sliced) 

For the dressing
Mayonnaise: 4tbsp 
Dijon Mustard: 2 tbsp
Olive oil - 2-3 tbsp
Garlic paste - 1 tsp 
Anchovy paste (optional) 
Fresh crushed pepper 
Salt to taste
A squeeze of lemon
Scoop out the yolk from the eggs without damaging the white. Keep the whites aside. 
In a blender put mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt, anchovy paste, lemon juice and blend well. Then stream in the oil and the add the crushed pepper and mix. 
Now with a fork mash the egg yolks and add the dressing to it. Mix well together and keep. (It's not necessary to use the entire dressing, you might put it according to your taste.)
Now take scoops of this mixture and top the egg whites, right where the yolks were. 
Arrange it on a plate and garnish it with chopped cherries and parsley. 
Looks great and tastes awesome. 

They look pretty happy after having it, don't they? In fact, this rather innocuous dish turned out to be the star of the evening.

PS. You can also add some grated Parmesan to the dressing. Also you could use cilantro instead of parsley, I prefer parsley though.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Whim victory : Stir Fried chicken with grilled vegetables and cashew nuts

Cooking is all about instincts, I say; instincts... and raw passion. Just feel the love, I say. 

Mostly I stomp into the kitchen, ransack the refrigerator and the shelves and toss up something impromptu. I make the recipe up on the go, adding a pinch of this and a dash of that. Sometimes the experiments end in edible (read inedible) disasters, but mostly the love speaks.

This is one recipe that’s the outcome of crazy whims and those who had it keep asking me for a repeat. It's a simple stir fry really, but with tiny twists and tweaks. 

It was one of those evening a couple of days after I had left my last job (also on a whim) and cooking was my only arm to resist the speedy onset of frustrated boredom. The fridge was stocked with some fresh vegetables brought from the market that very morning and I simply wanted to make a salad. I suddenly fancied a smoky flavour and out came the grill. And before I knew, what was meant to be a healthy snack turned out to be a sinful chicken treat.

Stir Fried chicken with grilled vegetables and cashew nuts 

(Serves 2)
Chicken (boneless) cut into cubes – 500 g
Tomatoes – 2 large
Onions – 2 large (diced)
Bell pepper- 1 large (diced) (You could also used half each of two different colours)
Garlic (whole cloves) – a fistful (depending on your taste really)
Red wine vinegar- 2 tbsp
Thyme (dried if you can’t manage fresh)- 1 tsp
Chili flakes – To taste
Finely chopped Parsley- a few sprigs
Cashew nuts- 100 g (fried in butter)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Olive oil – Be generous but if you really care for calories you can make it in as less a table spoon and a half.

Brush the vegetables (
including garlic ) with olive oil and grill them on a charcoal grill (an electric grill would do just fine if you cannot access a charcoal grill), to give it a smoky flavour.
Marinate the chicken pieces with red wine vinegar, thyme, pepper and salt for 40 minutes.
Heat the pan and add olive oil. Caramelize the sugar. Add the marinated chicken and stir fry on high flame until chicken is tender and most of the juices dry out.
Add the vegetables and stir fry. Now add the parsley and nuts. Sprinkle chili flakes and fry some more until oil separates. 
Serving: Serve piping hot on a bed of steamed jasmine rice garnished

 with chopped parsley (optional).

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Sunday expedition: Sausage Frittata

During weekdays I cannot, to save my life, wake up before the clock strikes 11. I have a job but I only have to reach office at 12:30 in the afternoon, so.... Rather lucky that way.

On Sundays, however, I wake up before everyone else. It's not like I plan to, but my eyes simply pop open at an 'unearthly' hour like say 6 'o' clock. I spend the next hour or so in bed debating whether I should turn the day into a productive one, pack in activities (fun activities) or enjoy a lazy Sunday. And I can do lazy like nobody else.Before I can decide my stomach does and impossible somersault and I postpone the decision making till after breakfast.

Till sometime ago my mother was in charge of planning Sunday's breakfast, I have taken charge now. My dad couldn't be happier since his customary Sunday morning trips to Flurys have become few and far between.

And my Sunday mornings are just the way I like the kitchen, surrounded with food, my father's enthusiasm (he asks if I am done every 3-4 minutes...most of the times the poor man is screamed at and threatened with the possibility of Maggi for breakfast) and the sounds and shouts that make my home. So, this Sunday I tossed up a neat Sausage Frittata.

And before I share the recipe with you, let me share a bit about the sausages I used.

If you are on Free School street, keep your eyes open for a tiny hole-in-the-wall called Kalman's Cold Storage, (right after Kathleen, if you are coming from the New-Market end of the road). Some of you might know the place, but I hadn't a clue until sometime ago. I was introduced to Kalman's a few months ago by a friend cum colleague, also a culinary expert, and I was bowled over by what they had in store. The charcuterie is easy to miss but once you have spotted it, you'll keep going back.

The place has an interesting history, apparently founded by a Hungarian trapeze artist, but that's another story. But the point is that Kalmans definitely serves the juiciest sausages in the city, or may be in this part of the country. Besides, there's salami, meat loaves, frankfurters, hotdogs, roasts(on order) and and a crazy assortment of other meaty delights. So the sausages for my frittata came from there.

Now for the frittata. Quick, easy and something to play around with.

Sausage Frittata
(Serves 4-6)

10-15 sausages cut into thick roundels
A binch of spring onions
4-5 Baby tomatoes cut in halves
1 tbsp Ginger julienne (optional) 
Chili flakes (to taste)
Salt to taste
1/2 cup Milk
6 Eggs
Parmesan cheese

1: Whisk milk and eggs. Stir in salt and chili flakes and keep.
2: Warm butter in a pan. Add the spring onions and toss it for a minute or two. Add the sausages and fry for a while.
3. Now throw in the tomatoes and toss for a while. Add the ginger juliennes at this point.
4.Add the egg and milk mix. Cover and keep it on low heat for 10 minutes. Mid way through add grated Parmesan. Serve ones done.


PS. Binch (a word I chanced upon only recently) means a bunch and a little
Use parsley instead of spring onions only add it just before adding the eggs instead of right at the beginning. 


Monday, 26 August 2013

First shot with some chocolate, chili and rum

 I choose to turn a deaf ear to all the hullabaloo about healthy eating. The only determining factor when it comes to what I put in my mouth is TASTE, superlative taste or at least the promise of it.

My relationship with food is a dangerous one. I am obese. No, let's be honest. I am morbidly obese. And one advice I get often is 'Stop eating'. Well,I wont and we'll have to work around it.

For someone like me Good food is like that bad-ass boyfriend amazing in bed and though he can be a little abusive he is too hot to let go. So, yes, my relationship with food is ...well it's complicated and messed up. OK, now I am babbling.

Coming back to food...It's not that I only love to eat, thought it is the part I like the most, I love to cook, feed people, photograph food, write about food and yes, talk about food. I wouldn't mind if every conversation of my life pertains to food. They say there's a DEVILISH flicker in my eyes when I discuss food. I drool too.

Anyway finally I have decided to get blogging...have been contemplating for long though. And I am hoping to take you readers on a epicurean ride aboard a roller-coaster. 

And I thought lets start the journey on a sweet note and hence I decided to share with you the latest sweet goodness I whipped up in my kitchen, only it's not just sweet.

So, Sultry August Sundays are synonymous to boredom. And whenever I am bored I head for the kitchen. Only the heat in the kitchen is unbearable, so now a days I only make desserts in the living room, my mother's incessant ranting notwithstanding. So, yesterday I whipped up a chocolate pudding, a recipe I found on the net (, but the last thing I am is a pedant in the kitchen (Shall post about the book by the same name soonish) so I took the recipe added a couple of things to it , took away a few things and voila I had made my very own Rum and chili chocolate pudding.

 And here's the recipe!

Rum and chili chocolate pudding 

1/2 cup plain sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tbsp corn flour
2 cups of milk 
2 tbsp rum (or more)
1 tsp chili flakes (can vary according to your taste)
2 tsp Vanilla extract


1. Mix sugar, corn flour and cocoa in a bowl.
2. Stir in milk little by little so that you have a smooth mix.
3. Microwave the mix for 3 minutes on high.
4. Bring out and stir the mix, whisk it a little.
5. Now put it back in the micro for 1 minute. Bring it out, stir the mix again with a whisk and put it back in the micro for another minute.
6. Repeat step 5 once more (or twice, depending on the consistency you desire)
 7 Finally stir in the vanilla extract, swirl in the rum and sprinkle the chili flakes. Stir lightly and with utmost care.
8. Cool, chill and serve.


PS. There could be a rum and raisin version too, I am thinking.