My deli bread

Savoury bread and butter pudding with fig and chilli jam

I have a soft corner for day-old breads. Especially if they are organic and made with whole wheat flour. With time, day-old loaves develop a beautiful crustiness on the outside. These work perfectly when turned into puddings and that’s why I let my bread sit in the fridge for days when a  pudding is on my mind.

For me, bread pudding is comfort food. Be it rich with chocolate or plain pudding infused with Tahitian vanilla extract – if it is cooked well, it never fails to warm you up.

Though dessert puddings are my weakness, this time I gave the conventional  recipe a miss and went for something more daring. The result was a savoury bread pudding. Buttery, with a brown glow, filled with finely chopped veggies, topped with a spicy fresh fruit jam. Continue reading

Cracker pot

Charcoal crackers topped with sumac spiced chickpeas and Turkish cacik

Gourmet food stores make my heart melt. The reaction at spotting one is similar to what shopaholics experience at the sight of the word ‘sale’. I rush inside and grab a whole lot of things I know nothing about.

At a recent trip, I bagged a box of charcoal crackers. The way dill crackers are laced with dill and chive with chives, these are flavoured with a small percentage of charcoal powder.

The salty, slim sheets are stark black in colour and have a carbony bite.  Their texture is similar to a pie shell – brittle and crumbly.

Though the crackers went miraculously well with blobs of brie, I couldn’t resist this little adventure. 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

Meet my roll model

Basil oil sprayed zucchini rolls stuffed with mint and pepper Greek yogurt


I have two rules when it comes to working with herbs. One is that I like to tear them roughly instead of chopping them up finely. I feel that this helps the flavours shine more brightly.

 And second, I avoid mixing more than two herbs unless my recipe absolutely demands it. What would a Thai green curry be if I had to choose between lemon grass and kafir lime leaves?

 Since most herbs have a strong flavour of their own, it would be unfair to cut it down with something equally strong. Today, while making a cold appetizer, I let go my rule number two and mixed together mint and basil. Since the recipe uses just one herb at a time and does not muddle them together, the sweetness of the basil and the coolness from mint came out just right. Continue reading

Hotness quotient

Cajun spiced cottage cheese with mint mayo

I like food that is well-spiced but not spicy. Whether I’m having Thai green curry or salad leaves drenched in chilli and lime dressing – I like the heat to be evenly distributed. It should hit me all together or not at all.

Recently, after having some warm bread sparingly sprinkled with Cajun spice, I was so impressed by this sharp spice, I decided to find the recipe.

Working with Cajun spice is a tricky job. If you use too much of it, the dish turns out salty and if you use too little, it turns out all bland. I tried various pairings (Cajun and potatoes, Cajun and tofu) before I hit it with Cajun and cottage cheese.

Since I completely trust Greek yogurt with fiery marinades, I indulged in the colour and flavour of this spice. The creamy-textured yogurt immediately cut down the overuse of my masala and worked overtime to calm down my panting taste buds.

To intensify the coolness, I served the Cajun spiced cottage cheese with a minty mayonnaise dip. Have a look Continue reading