Revealing 29.1 ... and Pandan Kaya Pound Cake

"Toast & tea, with friends of the soul

Many a heartbreak, and damage control,

Rainy days, and nights at end

Rules that were always available to bend,

Party nights, indecisive future to seek

Graduations, new jobs, love so meek

And even though life moves along,

Oh Singapore, you will always be home!"

I apologise it took me so long to post this recipe. It has been due for a while. But there is good reason behind it. I promise. 

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Street Treat : Bun Omelette

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.

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Asparagus Poha

“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..”

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Goodbye 2014 : A Food Photo Essay

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?)

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3 Simple DIY Ideas To Make Your Holiday Table Pop!

'Tis the season to drink wine. Red wine. And while we're at it, we may as well get creative (read cheap) and soak in DIY ideas that shout festive. Here are 3 of my favorite ideas created in the 29. Kitchen this holiday season. All they need is 1 part skill, and 2 parts love.

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Watermelon & Cucumber Chaat (Salad)

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"I know I know, summer is over, but can't we celebrate anyway?

Slurp, crunch, savor, the red we love all May...

Spiced like the streets, on a scorching Indian afternoon

It's like those childhood treats, during holidays in June

July has come & gone, and Autumn is taking over the sun

So we'll hold on to the warmth, in this little glass of yum.."

Ingredients

1/2 watermelon, cut into cubes or rounds (using a melon baller)

2 large cucumbers, de-seeded, peeled and cut into 1inch pieces

Juice from 1 lemon

Handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped (the more the better!)

12-15 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

1 teaspoon black/rock salt

1/4 teaspoon paprika or chili powder

1/4 teaspoon dry mango powder

1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin powder

Salt to taste

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Mix the watermelon, cucumber, coriander & mint and chill for 30 mins. When ready to serve, toss with lemon juice and spices.  Eat fresh. A quick, simple, super healthy spiced fruit salad that will change the way you see watermelon!

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Fresh Peach Rasam

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“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!”

 

Ingredients

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

 

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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.

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Maple Yogurt w/ Cinnamon Ginger Plum Compote

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"Red fiery red, swirled with white

Like ribbons of energy, in a dark lifeless night..

A burst of flavor, tart, sweet & spice

Your go to snack, when dessert doesn't suffice.

Quick to whip up, pleases the mid day munch

A luscious splash,  and a recipe emerging from a hunch!"

 

Ingredients

2 ripe plums, pitted and chopped into pieces

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 cup thick yogurt (greek or otherwise)

2 teaspoons dark maple syrup

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Heat a non stick pan. Add sugar, along with 3 tablespoons water and allow the sugar to melt. Once melted, add the ginger and cook for a few minutes. Stir in the plums, cinnamon & vanilla essence. Cover and cook on medium flame till plums are tender.

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Turn heat to high, and mash the pulp with a spoon. Continue cooking till most of the liquid is absorbed and you get a jam like consistency - but don't let it get too thick. Remove from heat and cool.

Mix the yogurt & maple syrup till smooth & creamy. Add a dollop of the compote in a tall glass, followed by the yogurt. Refrigerate for 2 hours & serve cold.

A creamy, low fat dessert with hints of summer fruit & spice!

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