kitchen tools

“It is the food which you furnish to your mind that determines the whole character of your life.”
Emmet Fox

Kadhi  indian yogurt curryKadhi {Indian vegetarian yogurt curry}. Ask me to pick my favourite Indian curry, and chances are that kadhi will be the first thing that comes to my mind. It is the best comfort food ever, leaves me deeply satiated, fills me with nostalgia right from the aromas that rise from the first tempering. As the flavours of aesofoetida and curry leaves dance wildly in the summer air, I am transported to the air cooled house of Sheela Aunty, my mothers friend from Delhi University.

tadka spicesShe passed away several years ago, but a large part of our growing up unfolded under her wings. It is rare for even a few days to go by when we don’t exclaim like her, and then dissolve into giggles. Large-hearted, earnest, easily shocked, far too loving, the best collection of crisp summer sarees, jewellery to make the heart sing {after all she was born into one of Delhi’s leading jewelers families}, too humble, a great Indian vegetarian cook, she left a deep impact on us.

Kadhi  Indian yogurt curryI wasn’t foodily aware or obsessed at the time she was around and still rue the fact that I didn’t get a chance to chase her with paper and pencil to record recipes …I did that a lot {A LOT} after I got married in the mid 1990’s. Pages and pages were filled and I am glad I managed some. Aesofoetida was introduced into our rather differently spiced house thanks to her.

Spice Market, Khari Baoli, Old Delhi Spices became a fascination, hing or aesofoetida ‘the spice’ I fell in love with. I have grown to love the spice, not very well known in the West, very popular with Indian vegetarian food, and extremely popular down in South India too. Surprisingly enough, you see influences of the spice in non-vegetarian cuisine in Kashmir too! {One of my favourite haunts is Khari Baoli, Old Delhi to visit the spice market seen above. That was at the Lumia shoot 2 days ago}

Kadhi  indian yogurt curry tadkaNo tadka or tempering is complete without this magical ingredient, the nostalgia lingers on. So that morning when I looked at the Hamilton Beach MultiBlend Blender and Chopper on my kitchen counter, I didn’t have to think of what to make for lunch. With buttermilk and homemade yogurt in the fridge, I knew it was time for my favourite summer curry.

Kadhi  Indian yogurt curry Sometimes it seems like a bit of work, the pakoras or dumplings actually but in time I have cut the work out for me. Blenders the way to go for curry always, and the Hamilton Beach Multiblender did the job to perfection. In seconds. It also cut the work out when it came to making pakoras, or the dumplings. A friend whatsapped me the other day to say she was waiting for my review as she wanted to know how the onions got cut in the bender. A 100% good I have to say! Finer than I could ever manage, and within seconds. I love that there are two separate jars, complete with blades etc which allow you to multitask!

Hamilton Beach Multiblender chopped onionsI’ve been doing a lot more with the multiblender. Grinding oats as I develop recipes for Fit Foodie.

oatmealWhisking up delicious smoothies inspired by Aditya on Instagram. #CreateFearlessly is a great hashtag to carry. Goes in line with the ‘Good Thinking’ that spells out the Hamilton Beach line of products! ‘Really Good Thinking’. I’m loving it.

Papaya Yogurt SmoothieDid I tell you we’re not the only ones who are in love with papaya and smoothies this summer? There’s a little someone who shares every papaya that is cut in the kitchen. She makes a meal of quarter at least before it gets to the blender!

Coco & PapayaThen there is someone else smitten with the blender. The lad wakes up every morning in a somnambulent state and glides into the kitchen to make himself a frozen strawberry almond smoothie. Goes on to slurp his way through, enjoying it to the last drop, then even washes up the blender! On Mother’s Day, he  burst into my room with a tall {and really really good} glass of Guava+Strawberry+Lychee Smoothie that he conjured up for me.Guava, Strawberry, Lychee SmoothieHonestly, this is one kitchen companion I am enjoying fearlessly! There have been glasses of cold coffee, mango shakes, papaya flax seed smoothies, 3 batches of kadhi, buttermilk lassi, pineapple apricot coolers, watermelon strawberry delights, aam panna … and plenty more this last month.

Cold coffee

Smoothies etc

aam pannaThe upside is having one kid enjoying it even more. The downside? Yes there is one! The daughter has now threatened to take the Hamilton Beach MultiBlender back with her when she goes back to uni after the vacations. #CreateFearlessly might well reach the battleground between the two kids!


Recipe: Kadhi {Indian vegetarian yogurt curry} 
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Summary: A quintessential Indian vegetarian yogurt based curry, which can be found adapted to regional taste. This is my version and it is fragrant, addictive and finger licking good. The Hamilton Beach Multiblender makes it the quickest curry I have made in ages! Serve this gluten free dish with boiled rice or even parathas.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

  • For the curry
  • 300g yogurt, home made or store bought
  • 250ml buttermilk
  • 1 heaped tbsp besan {chickpea flour}
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/8 -1/4 tsp hing {aesofoetida}
  • 1 tsp salt
  • First tempering
  • 1 1/2 tsp ghee {clarified butter}, or oil
  • Pinch hing {aesofoetida}
  • 2-3 whole red chillies
  • Few sprigs fresh currypatta
  • 1/2 tsp whole zeera {cumin seeds}
  • 1tsp sarson {whole mustard seeds}
  • 1/4 tsp whole methi seeds {fenugreek seeds}
  • Second tempering
  • 1 tsp ghee {clarified butter}
  • pinch hing
  • 2-3 whole red chillies, broken
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh curry patta
  • 1/2 tsp sarson {whole mustard seeds}
  • Pakoras {dumplings}
  • 3/4 cup besan
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pinch baking soda
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 green chilies, broken into 2-3
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander/curry patta, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup oil for frying {else shallow fry }


  1. For the curry
  2. Place all ingredients in the blender, and process for 30 seconds until well blended. Reserve.
  3. First tempering
  4. Keep all the ingredients ready as listed. They need to go in rapidly, one after the other, to avoid them getting burnt. The fenugreek is the last and tends to get a little bitter on over browning, so take care.
  5. Heat 1 1/2 tsp ghee in a deep heavy bottom pan, and add the ingredients as listed, ending with the methi seeds/fenugreek.
  6. Immediately pour in the blended yogurt mixture. Keep over high flame until it comes to a boil, stirring often, else it will overflow {and make you weep}.
  7. Once it comes to a boil, simmer for about 30 minutes until fragrant and cooked, stirring once in a while. Keep an eye on it on and off and it tends to come up to the rim of the pan.
  8. Pakoras
  9. Put the onions, green chilies and fresh coriander in the small blender. Chop for 30 seconds, stir, chop again to desired size.
  10. Place ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Stir in enough water to make a thickish batter of dropping consistency. Whisk well with hand to aerate the batter.
  11. Heat oil and gently drop in spoonfuls. If the batter is very thick, the pakoras will be hard. Experiment with one pakora first to check.
  12. Fry over medium heat until they turn golden on one side, then gently turn and fry the other side. Don’t overcrowd the pan.
  13. Drain from oil, blot over kitchen towels, and slide into hot kadhi/curry. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes so that the pakoras get nice and soft.
  14. Final tempering {Optional. I sometimes skip this as the first tempering flavours the kadhi well}
  15. Heat ghee in a small tadka pan {frying pan}. Throw in all the ingredients. Once they sizzle and splutter, get aromatic, take off heat and pour over kadhi.
  16. Serve with boiled rice {with a side of papads if you like}


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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

“I put the kitch into kitchen.”
Nigella Lawson

Kitchen appliancesI have a confession to make: I love baking. Bit of an understatement? I love doing things from scratch and pushing my own boundaries to get creative in the kitchen. A recent post I did for the Home Bakers Guild got me thinking. There I talked about my passion for baking and the ingredients I enjoy using. Today my mind went a step further … What’s the one kitchen appliance you couldn’t live without?

Baking ingredientsThose who know me know that I don’t have a sweet tooth. My joy lies more in the making than in the devouring. Without my kitchen and my favourite kitchen utensils, would I be able to create the same great food? Would I find baking therapeutic? The answer’s probably no. AmulPerhaps I’ve grown so used to working with them I take my beloved kitchen appliances for granted, and a  tribute to my favourite and much-loved cooking tools is never too late! Do you have favourites? Other than my heavy duty machines, these are 2 things I often turn to on a daily basis. Irish Creme Chocolate Cakes with an Irish Creme Caramel Sauce


One of the most popular kitchen appliances, some people only use a sieve when they need to strain vegetables, rice or pasta. However, for a baker like me, a sieve can make all the difference between a bad cake and a good cake. Actually I think it holds the key to macarons too. Think sieve, think airy, light and dreamy!

Blood Orange Macarons with Maple Orange Chocolate Pastry CremeLearning that I had to sieve flour to make cakes that not only looked good, but also had a light and fluffy consistency whilst tasting great was probably one of the first lessons I ever learned in the kitchen. Have you ever had a cake that hasn’t had some of the ingredients sieved? I’ve made the mistake once, and I can safely say it’s not very nice! Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake It’s better to play safe … and bake yummy!! Did I forget to add that a sieve is also handy for a quick dusting of icing sugar or cocoa powder to finish off a cake? That’s why I love my sieve.

Hand Mixer

Swedish Prinsesstårta, princess cupcakes Years ago, I used to mix my cake mixture by hand. In the beginning it was kinda fun, had the promise of stronger and leaner arms, but it was very tiring. The lean arms didn’t happen of course!!

Oven Roasted Plum & Almond Cakes Julia Child 500My first hand mixer arrived as a birthday present from my husband who heard me whine quite a bit about the woes of hand mixing and elbow grease issues! It changed the way I have baked since that day. In my early years of baking, this was one good piece of advice I handed out to new bakers especially in India. It makes mixing ingredients together so much easier, quicker and it’s a lot more fun to do too!

Hyatt Chef Maurizio Masterclass I remember the Italian chef at a Masterclass at the Hyatt whipping up egg whites to stiff peaks in seconds with a HUGE bowl and a balloon whisk. I just gaped. Tried to emulate him, and can safely say I was back to the hand mixer really soon. One press of the button and it’s like magic!

Food photographsYou can see how much these mean to me, two appliances that I couldn’t live without. If I didn’t have them in my kitchen, then I truly believe that baking wouldn’t have been the cake walk it currently is!! So, which kitchen appliances can’t you live without? Do you have favourites?

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

“A successful tool is one that was used to do something undreamt of by its author.”
Stephen C. Johnson

This is not a recipe post. It’s about a thought that comes to my mind often …What would I do if my microplaner broke? It’s enough to haunt the foodie in me, & cause me serious concern, because it’s not available in India. I was introduced to this ‘magical tool’ about 5 years ago by my younger sis in Houston who swore by it. Until I used it, I often wondered what the big deal about this piece of metal was. Once I laid my hands on my very own microplaner, which my sis got for me from the US, I was ecstatic.I think my friend Manggy @ No Special Effects got one recently, & Andrew @ The New Cook talked about it here – Kitchen Tip: Don’t Use a Box Grater to Zest Your Lemon.
Do you own one? If you don’t, then it’s time you gave it a thought, it’s worth each cent! It costs about US$15-20 , & is the handiest tool I own. An absolute dream zester for all citrus fruits & parmesan, you can use it for nutmeg too. On my sis’s recommendation I tried my hand on it once for some urgent minced garlic that I needed one day. WHOA … magic! Now I do my fine mincing for garlic & ginger for salad dressings & marinades etc on the microplane zester, other than zesting limes & oranges for cakes, cupcakes,muffins, cookies etc. Mind the very sharp blades & all will be well. The good thing about it is that it’s made of steel, so is durable, & importantly, doesn’t hang on to any garlicky aromas after a good wash.
I have a special guest writer on my blog, Suzanne T, an expert at, who has written an article for me on Zesters and Graters, with a special focus on the MICROPLANE.
All about Zesters and Graters

Most homes are stocked with a multitude of silverware,

dinnerware, and cookware sets, but certain projects require specific tools. When it comes to baking, no kitchen should be without a citrus zester. Citrus zests can add a unique flavor that is unmistakably delicious. Citrus zests are the fine shreds of fruit skin you are left with after you have used either a citrus zester or Microplane grater. Zesters allow you to harness the flavor from the oily skin of fruit without any of the bitterness that comes from the pith underneath. While you can buy citrus zests at your local grocery store, there is nothing that can compare to zest that comes fresh off the fruit.

Citrus zest can be used to add a tasty fruit flavor to muffins and cakes among many other sauces and dressings. The key is to use a zester or grater designed for extracting the thin layer of skin. Larger graters can leave you with a soggy or coarsely ground zest that is unattractive, but a precise and well designed zester will leave you with either finely hard grated zest or stylish and colorful shreds.

The Microplane Grater is the perfect combination of zester and grater. This tool allows you to extract everything from the finest of lemon zest to soft and curly cheese shreds. The surgical steel grater is tough enough to shred even the hardest of parmesan cheeses, while still offering a delicate touch reserved for fruit. Zesting can be a pain with knives or the wrong grater so if you plan on adding some citrus flavor to your baked goods, a zester/ grater like this would be a worthwhile investment. The Microplane Grater is a great multipurpose kitchen tool that can help add flavorful accent to a number of dishes and is a tool that no baker should be without.

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