For those who have been following my recipes & work for a while, or have attended any of my dining experiences, know that I love to create. Using everyday Indian ingredients and traditional home style cooking, I explore new dishes that are healthy, out of the ordinary and fun!Read More
This all-natural indian-style chutney made with fresh beets, raisins, tamarind and spices is a deliciously balanced sweet & spicy condiment on crackers, breads, dosas, idlis or even eggs!
For a recent event, I served this chutney with kale paniyarams (pan fried semolina cakes - pics below) and the guests licked off every last bit. Truly versatile, and fast becoming a must-have condiment in my kitchen.Read More
"I want muffins, and I want them now,
Sweet, savory or spicy, i'll devour them any how!
A cold winter storm, and baked so fresh
Melted cheese and butter, and soft soft flesh
A bite or two, and boy I was hooked
Never did I ever, for spicy muffins look!
Now breakfast is served, and lunch & dinner
I think my friends, we have a baked winner!"Read More
I hate change. As I reluctantly accept that we're in the midst of winter, I needed something to look forward to as we inch towards spring. For me, food is the answer. In fact, food is the answer to most questions. So as we move from one season to the next, I adapt by immersing in new discoveries, relentless failures and as a result, highly acclimatised taste buds. For few can match the warmth & comfort of a pretty plate of food.Read More
I applaud extraordinary. I smile at eccentric. And I adore weird concoctions.
Chana Masala or Chole is one of the most common and loved dishes of Northern India. It consists of a semi-dry curry made with chickpeas, and seasoned with spicy and tangy spices, simmered for hours. Probably the most common way to devour this delicious dish would be as Chola Bhatura or Chickpea Curry eaten with leavened Deep Fried Bread. Mmmm, it’s hard not to salivate just writing about it. This dish also happens to be really versatile. How you ask? Read on.Read More
"Born in India, plated in Thailand
This dish of vision, is anything but bland,
With spices few, but herbs fresh in season
The look itself will make you lose all reason!
Healthy like hell, with a natural crisp
Chili & spices, do that tingle on your lips,
Roll em up, and sink your teeth
This guilt-free dinner can stand up to meat!"Read More
"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
"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
"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
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
Soup - people love it or hate it. But given the ease and practically no-recipe for coming up with these concoctions (not to mention the health factor!), I had to put this recipe up.
I was waiting for a cousin to come home for dinner. She had been on a vacation, and I wanted to give her something healthy to eat after all the junk on the road. At the same time, I wanted to empty my refrigerator before I left for holiday [chuckle!]. That combination, my friends, turned out to be pretty magical. I pulled out everything from my vegetable tray and created this recipe as I went along. The music definitely helped ;). With bold Indian flavors, a hint of spice & all the 'green' from the veggies, this bowl of deliciousness was too tempting to pass on while I worked on the photos. Honestly, I didn't expect it turn out as good! Slurp.Read More
"The fault was mine, I'd held it wrong
Made an incision, while humming that song,
And it bled and bled, all over the counter it bled
Luscious, sweet, a river of red,
There was no turning back, the damage had been done
It was now in two, once a wholesome one,
I sighed, someone had to pay for this pain
So I tossed it all up, and created a salad insane!"Read More
"Grapes are a favorite, and not only as wine,
I love them as a snack, natural & fine
Sweet as Fall, they create a soup swell
Raw, vegan, glutenfree, and sugar-free as well!
Just blend it all up, with spices favorite few
Leave it to chill, and there's a recipe new
Not complicated, doesn't take all your time free
Delicious & easy, as easy as cooking can be!"
1 pound seedless green grapes
1 inch piece of fresh ginger
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
6-8 fresh mint leaves
1/4 teaspoon paprika/chili powder (adjust to taste)
1/4 teaspoon black salt/rock salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
Pinch of salt
Wash the grapes and remove from stem. Put in a blender along with ginger, lemon juice & mint. Blend till smooth. Stir in all the dry spices (adjust seasoning to taste) and refrigerate for 2-4 hours. Serve chilled.
Yes, that's it!
A refreshing, raw and uber healthy soup to accompany your fall table.
“I love biting into a ripe peach
That smells of summer, and the beach,
With juices that trickle down the chin
As I bend over the kitchen sink.
I eat one, then two, then three
And wish I had a peach tree,
I’d then dip them in syrup, bake a pie
Blend into a smoothie, or try in chai
Make chutney, perhaps pickle a few
Brew up this rasam, and serve to you!”
4 ripe peaches - peeled, de-seeded and quartered
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes or paprika
½ teaspoon roasted cumin powder
½ teaspoon dry mango powder
¼ teaspoon black/rock salt
Pinch of salt
Sugar to taste (only if the peaches are not sweet enough)
2-3 mint leaves, roughly torn
Blend the peaches with ½ cup water.
Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds and cook till they begin to splutter. Stir in all the dry spices, mint leaves and peach puree. Bring to a slight simmer & remove from heat immediately. Adjust sugar/seasoning and refrigerate overnight. Serve chilled.
"It's September! see what a season brings, a cooling breeze, and your heart does sing
Changes to the plate, and that sullen mood, it's time to reconnect with your food
Take a gamble, give a new cuisine a try, perhaps a spiced fritter in lieu of that french fry?
Whatever you dare, it'll be oh-so neat, for there will be new storytellers you'll meet
There is magic on a table that shares, moments of unparalleled freedom from worldly cares
So eat, smile, give a compliment or two...nothing like happiness from a taste new!
When you're done, take a look around, count the new friends you just found
Wasn't this as simple as just being you? and that my friends, is a dining experience true!"
You know those weeks when you wake up everyday and something seems to go wrong? This, is definitely NOT it. This week I feel elated, accomplished and pretty exhausted. Go on, ask me why.
On Wednesday, in a collaboration with Komeeda NYC, I hosted a popup picnic dinner under the Brooklyn & Manhattan Bridges. The setting was perfect, the wind was on our side, the sunset gleaned brighter than usual and along with my wonderful co-host, the guests were just the kind of bunch you want to spend a random NYC Wednesday evening with. In short, it was magical. And I was so glad to be a part of creating it all.
In a true 29. style, the meal consisted of a 5-course indian inspired menu. The guests were welcomed with mini spicy rice frittata bites smothered in mint yogurt and curried eggplant toasties. Not a bad way to begin eh? While they said their hellos, got to know each other, and prepared for the surprise that awaited, we lit some candles, spread out the cushions and worked our way to the highlight of the day - the dinner.
As the sun set over the Brooklyn & Manhattan bridges, our popup came to life. The courses, seasonal, balanced and apparently scrumptious (duh!), started with a raw Chilled Green Grape Soup with with mint, ginger & spices. A roasted Chickpea Chaat in a tangy tamarind vinaigrette colored the plates next. Then came the Fishcake Sliders - my personal favorite - and complementing it was a little game to keep our guests in the spirit (and occupied while I plated the next course!). The fourth and final savory course was a trio of Turmeric Pilaf, Masala Chicken & Spiced Lentil Broth. I had to respect the carrot season so the dessert was one of my regulars, Carrot Halwa drizzled with gooey homemade burnt sugar caramel & coconut dust. (Mmm, I might have some leftovers as I type..)
Needless to say I had fun. And as I leave with you with a more visuals of an event that we would've loved to meet you at, a BIG shout out to all those who came! Especially my collaborator-in-crime and the brain behind Komeeda, Jabber, and our shutter-eye for the evening, Felix, who's photos reflect the very essence of the event! (Check out his photography at Cooperfield Weddings)
Oh, and there is much more where this came from. 'Nuff said. Watch this space!
“Chicken so tender
It melts right through,
With flavor & spices
Oh-so fool proof.
Baked or pan-fried
That’s your call,
But the taste takes you back
To that late-night tikka stall!
Munch away, no guilt
It has not much oil,
But superior in every way
From that [yawn] soup on the boil…”
6 chicken drumlets (skin on)
2 tablespoons full cream yogurt
6 cloves of garlic, finely crushed
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 green chili, finely diced
½ teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon red chili powder or paprika
1 heaped teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon garam masala
¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
Juice from one lemon
Handful of fresh coriander , roughly chopped (leaves & stalk)
Salt to taste
Olive oil to cook
Wash the chicken pieces and pat try on a kitchen towel.
Mix all the ingredients for the marinade. Rub the mix all over the chicken pieces, making sure you rub under the skin as well. Refrigerate overnight or for 6-8 hours.
To cook, you can follow either of the below.
Pre heat the oven to 400 F. Grease a cookie sheet/ baking tray and line the drumlets, skin side down. Drizzle some olive oil over the pieces. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove cover, turn the drumlets skin side up, and bake for another 30 minutes, till the skin begins to brown. Give it a quick 5-6 minute broil in the end to crisp the skin. Remove from the oven and let it rest covered for a few minutes.
Stove top method
Heat 2-3 teaspoons olive oil in a non stick pan. Once hot, line the drumlets skin side down (they should sizzle immediately!). Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes on medium flame. Turn the pieces around and cook for another 8-10 minutes or till full cooked. Remove cover, turn up heat to crisp up the skin. Remove from heat and let it rest covered for a few minutes
Serve hot with a dash of yogurt or sour cream and your favorite salad.
Leftover tip: Remove the meat from the bones and refrigerate for a second treat the next day! Can be turned into a delicious lettuce salad, chicken sandwiches, nacho cups or a topping on your favorite pilaf or biryani.
“I walked streets
Of vendors full,
Frying & tossing
Aromas that pull..
A quick squeeze
For a perfected snack,
Spice, masalas & lemon
No flavors lack!
Chaat for family
Or when you’re lone,
A delicious memory
Re-created at home..”
2 cups frozen corn kernels
½ red pepper, finely chopped
½ green pepper, finely chopped
1 green chili, finely chopped (remove seeds if you don’t want it too fiery!)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
Bunch of fresh mint, roughly chopped
Bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped (leaves & stalks)
2 tablespoons white vinegar
Juice of half a lemon
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon chat masala (or dry mango powder)
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tablespoon light olive oil
Heat oil in a non-stick skillet. Add corn, salt & paprika and roast on high flame for 10-12 minutes, till the corn is tender and all the moisture has been absorbed. Continue to sauté till the corn kernels start turning brown. Remove from heat & cool completely. Once cooled, stir in the green chili, peppers & tomatoes. (make sure you don’t mix the vegetables when the corn is hot, or they’ll wilt & become mushy).
Put the mint, coriander, vinegar, lemon juice in a mortar and pound to make a chunky wet paste.
Once ready to serve, toss the corn in the vinegar mixture. Season with chat masala, cumin and pepper. Adjust salt & serve fresh.
Try this, and other delicious creations, at one of my upcoming dining experiences!
“I said it before, but I say it again,
Rolling up some Gnocchi, will never go in vain.
Freeze for later, or finish it right away,
A weeknight dinner, that’ll make you stay.
Little pillows of comfort, that flavor take well,
A mild warm curry, or hot sauce from hell!
Floating to the top, I awe at the sight,
A meal you didn’t need, till you had the first bite..”
[Adapted slightly from this recipe]
1 cup wholewheat gnocchi
2 tablespoons desiccated coconut (fresh or dried)
1 dry red chili, broken in half
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
1 bay leaf
2 cloves of garlic, minced
½ teaspoon fresh ginger, crushed
1 small green chili, finely chopped
1 plum tomato, diced
1 tablespoon dry coriander powder
3/4 teaspoon cumin powder
¼ cup whole milk
2 tablespoons heavy cream (you can substitute the milk+cream with ¼ cup thick coconut milk)
4-5 tablespoons light olive oil
5-6 fresh mint leaves, roughly torn
Salt to taste
Cook the gnocchi, drain and keep aside.
Heat oil in a non-stick skillet and add the mustard seeds & bay leaf. Once the seeds begin to splutter, add the garlic, ginger, dry red chili, green chili and coconut. Cook for a minute or two and then stir in the tomato, along with all the dry spices. Mix well, cover and cook on medium flame till the tomatoes are tender and the oil begins to separate. Slowly add the milk and cream and mix well. Finally add the gnocchi and cover for a few minutes. Turn heat to high and braise for another quick minute. Sprinkle with chopped mint and serve hot.
A warm comfort meal inspired by South Indian flavors.