"The feeling of holiday, slow ripples in a boat
That warm summer day, fishermen at work,
Lunch beckons, just as the catch comes in
So fresh, the fish almost seem to smirk!
Spiced & roasted, ready in minutes ten
Flaky goodness, the devours the best of you,
Ah, if only day we ate this well everyday
A fish, a boat & a wide ocean blue!" Read More
Oops, we did it again.
For the second time round, Komeeda and 29. teamed up to create a unique Brooklyn picnic flanked with a stupendous skyline, a mystical sunset, fabulous company and a seasonal, picnic & Indian-inspired tasting menu. Read More
"I went far out, in search of vegetables fresh
And came across this farm, where I could've gone insane!
Beets & lettuce, fresh cauliflowers off the ground
Oh my! My excitement remained no bounds.
I set out to chop, sizzle and prepare
A meal that said seasonal, flavorful and rare...
Out came this wonderful soup, chilled to the core
Grapes and Gobi? Yes sir, I present you no bore!" Read More
"Bakes brown & moist, this loaf for morning tea,
With coconut & a crunch, no sampling, gotta have a whole piece.
Atta takes over that dreaded flour, healthier, but tastes just as good,
Experiments in the kitchen, oh! aren't they fun with food!"
Go ahead, get that apron on, and put on your baking shoes,
If you're feeling down today, this will drive away those weekday woes.." Read More
"Breakfast of champions, this gotta be
Flavourful, and packed with nutrients you cannot see..
A warm comforting bowlful, or some quick spooned bites
Putting the muffin aside? Yes, you just might!
Inspired by home, and the bright summer sun
Perfect for meatless monday, or after that morning run,
It's vegan, but fancy a dollop of yogurt? Feel free
Specially if you're a spice wimp, like me! Read More
KYC [Kay. Vai. See] - Know.Your.Client. A common phrase in the Investment Banking world that refers to knowing detailed information about who you do business with. In our world, it is simply knowing who stirred the curry.
Last week, we launched the 29. KYC Dinner Series. A series of dinners focussed on learning, interacting, collaborating, sharing and of course...eating. Our first dinner was held with our favorites - the ever creative team at West Elm Market in Dumbo, Brooklyn - a spot that all food, condiments or table/dining ware fanatics like myself must must check out! Warning : it's hard to leave the store empty handed. Read More
Here's the truth. I have no idea how I came up with this recipe.
A lazy Saturday lead to me cook up a quick, yet comforting, dinner where I could use up all that was in my fridge (as I was going on holiday soon). I found tomatoes, onions, red pepper, zucchini, some frozen leftover chicken meatballs and a packet of chinese noodles. I love creating recipes with what's on hand, so I decided to use the noodles as a 'spaghetti' base, and create an Indian-inspired spicy sauce with he remaining ingredients to go along. And what could be better than the much loved Butter Chicken?!With a few twists, out came a perfectly balanced and super satisfying Indo-Italian-Chinese fusion that worked in every way, and came together in under 30 minutes. Read More
It's been a while since I wrote about an event. I must be busy.
Someone asked me today whether my events are getting easier [and better] as I host more and more of them. It got me thinking about my first popup just a year ago. And boy (if I may say so myself), have I improved. From struggling to fill 10 seats, to 20 spots going off in a flash within 48 hours, I am inclined to think I must be doing something right. And learning. Still learning. Read More
Bun Omelette, true to it's name, is a soft bread roll smothered in butter and stuffed with the most delicious, spicy, omelette ever. It's a common street food in Northern India (although not the most hygienic!) and was a sporadic late night treat for us when my brother & I were home for the holidays from boarding school. Read More
"Herbs" Dal meant nothing to me till a few months ago, when I made a simple spinach lentil curry and my husband says "Oh, this reminds me of our Herbs Dal". Being of South African Indian origin, my husband's foodie language is sometimes just as confusing as their mixed culture, so I decided to dig deeper. I discovered that Indians households in SA make a version of spinach lentils with a bunch of mixed greens & sour leaves. I couldn't exactly find all the 'herbs' they used, so decided to make my version with a few favourite seasonal greens. Read More
When I served this at one of my events, I really didn't expect for people to ask me the recipe. Had the plain ol' cucumber salad cut un-laboriously for every childhood meal, suddenly become mainstream? Or was it that in an effort to appreciate complicated food, one had forgotten how simplicity tastes? Either way, I couldn't help but remember those summer days when mum used to serve this alongside a Rajma (kidney bean curry) Chawal night, and we always tried not to look at it (as though it would magically disappear!) - not that we didn't like it, but as kids, who wanted to have anything green! Read More
Did you know beetroot leaves are edible? Yes sir! The young ones can be eaten raw, and as they get older it is advisable to cook/sauté them as you would do with spinach. Packed with vitamins and other nutrients, 1 medium beetroot – leaf, stalk & root et all helps boost immunity, fight infections, lower blood pressure and increase red blood cells. Aren’t those enough reasons to add it to your next meal?
And if you cook it like I did, you won’t care how healthy it is. You’ll just want more. Read More
Pearls, glorious pearls
Infused with spices strong,
A creamy mixture stirs
With flavors that don’t go wrong.
Risotto has a re-birth
In an Indian-inspired home,
On a bed of Korma broth
Far far away from home..“ Read More
“A desi breakfast staple, goes mainstream this spring,
With asparagus for an oomph, I create this seasonal fling.
Humble and easy, this flattened cousin of rice,
Is ready in minutes, and bears nearly no vice.
Cook up for a weeknight, oh you’ll do so on repeat,
After you taste the magic, once you sit down to eat..” Read More
The idea was born, the time came, and just as quickly, it was all over. But not for nothing.
Two months of hard work paid off last night, when 29. hosted it's first ever Supperclub dinner inside the West Elm Chelsea home-store in New York! 15 guests were treated to, apart from my non-stop banter, a tasting menu inspired by Indian cuisine. The story behind it all? What is 'home' to me. Oh, and if it's not already hard enough playing host + chef, I was also trying to be the event photographer! Read More
Ever since I can remember, I have disliked persimmons. What a way to start a recipe right? I know.
It's the classic tale of something I used to love as a child, probably overdosed on one season, and swore never to touch it again. It's amazing how memories remain embedded in your brain, enough to not want to taste that fruit/dish again, even though over time you forget why you disliked it in the first place. Such has been my relationship with this bright peach fruit - one of mysterious aversion. Read More
Last month, while soaking up some sun in Cape Town, I set out to explore some recommended local dining options. The Pot Luck Club by award winning Chef Luke-Dale Roberts was definitely the highlight, followed by other great culinary finds in the mother city. Read More
“Farro is nutty, Farro loves spice,
It is my solution, To something other than rice.
Cooks in minutes, And blends in well,
Be it soup or curry, Or a bake so swell.
With a grainy bite, And a fragrance mellow,
I now turn everything, Into a version A-la-farro…” Read More
Today, I decided to cook for myself. Create something selfishly just for our dinner. No guests, no hosting, just us + creativity & presentation. Often when a hobby turns into a career, you forget to indulge in a little of it for yourself. So I sat with my coffee and started pondering over my list of recipes-to-tweak-and-try (yes, I have lists for everything!), and this happened. I doused a moist steamed chicken Siu Mai (a kind of chinese dumpling) with basic Butter Chicken (a popular north indian chicken curry) sauce and served it [to ourselves!] as an appetizer. Read More
It's the 29th! What better a date than this to recap the 29. endeavors in 2014.
2014 was a special year for me. I completed my first full year as a chef. Yay! Swapping careers took a while, and despite the many times when I questioned the decision, I am happy to report that I am indeed exhilarated. This year was about growth, learning, accomplishments, partnerships and tiny milestones that mean a lot, yet keep me humble. The only drawback of being your own boss is that there is no team to throw a holiday party with! But I'd like to believe that I'm in part celebrating with hundreds of new friends I made in 2014. Wherever in the world they might be. (Are you listening folks?) Read More