On a sour note

Lemon and cream spaghetti with basil and chilli chutney

When I first heard about spaghetti al limone, I couldn’t bring the two flavours together in my head.  Since I usually like my pasta mild and easy, this combination got me cooking.

The role of bringing an edge to a pasta dish is mostly played by an herb or a sharp cheese, but using lemons provided a refreshing change.

To keep the dish from going hideously citrusy, I cut the flavours with a sweet and hot, basil-chilli chutney.

Lazy cooks, the sauce is almost no-cook, so it is perfect to stock in jars. Continue reading

Raising the bar

 Ferrero Rocher bars

First things first. I’m happy (actually euphoric) to share with my readers that I’m now a blogger for Vogue, India. Last week, I got an invitation from their team to join the website’s blogger programmee.  In true Vogue style, the girls sent me a few badges to choose from (in case something didn’t co-ordinate with my website’s background).  I picked the one in brilliant yellow and just like that, I am now a blogger for Vogue.

Because all good things are incomplete without chocolate, I made something to for us to celebrate with.

Ferrero Rocher is something that I’ve been obsessed with ever since I school. When visiting cousins got me a box of this spherical chocolate from abroad, I made frequent trips to the refrigerator under the guise of drinking cold water. And within a day or two, a box of sixteen would magically disappear.

Now, Rochers are easily available in my city, but I still feel that joy when I throw open the golden, crinkled wrapper. The whoosh of hazelnut cream is almost addictive and I always secretly wished that it came with a little more.

Today, I set my own Rochers in bar form and to fulfil that little wish (on a good day like this), I  slathered them generously with smooth hazelnut cream.  Continue reading

Over the top cooking

Steamed and stacked vegetables with leek and saffron sauce

Although I’m not a salad person, crunchy vegetables are my weakness. Whether I’m having pasta or a chunky soup, I’m always fishing for crunchy bits of carrots, artichokes, water chestnuts, French beans, broccoli or whatever it is, that has a noisy bite.

I respect recipes that manage to bring out the perfect balance of smoothness and crunchiness in one simple dish. Considering I spend hours looking for that flawlessly, crisp piece of bell pepper or aubergine, carefully puncturing all sides to ensure firmness, I better get to eat just that.

Today, I combined a few crunchy vegetables with a creamy sauce to make that balanced-out dish. Continue reading