Tag

vegetarian

Mango Smoothie Bowl #Foodventures #AxisBank #DiningDelights
“Fussing over food was important. It gave a shape to the day: breakfast, lunch, dinner; beginning, middle, end.”

Robert Hellenga

Summer Mango Smoothie Bowl, another thing off my bucket list, the most beautiful way to begin the morning. Colourful beginnings!! They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I say bring it on! This one was fun to make, thinking ingredients, plating {or rather bowling} it, adding bits and bobs to the top. So much went into it, near raw other than the yogurt, very in season, a  mélange of flavours and textures.For me, an edible pot potpourri, inspired and exciting. With the first one down, my call was, “This was fun, now can someone set me a bowl everyone morning please!!Summer Mango Smoothie Bowl The inspiration came from Ruchiras smoothie bowls each more delightful and colourful that the other. Inspiration really gets me going, food shared the best thing ever. Talk about breakfast and it’s amazing to see how different cultures wake up to the most important meal of the day. Granola, crepes, vadas, puris, kachoris, omelette, fruit bowls, smoothies, waffles, pancakes, overnight oats, avocado and egg on toast are some of the simpler everyday options.Overnight Thandai Oats with peaches and plumsMy recent overnight oats were a great experiment and now find a spot in the fridge every night. It’s a really convenient way to wake up to healthy ready made breakfast. Grab a spoon, dig in. I change the flavours with fruit in season and experiment as I go on. The main characters in the story remain the same – oats, milk/yogurt/coconut milk, honey, basil seeds, watermelon seeds. Peaches, cherries, stone fruitFruit in season breaks the monotony. Mango, peaches, apple, banana, strawberries rotate. Pie spice, cinnamon, thandai mix, pepper, nutmeg, saffron. You get the drift! It’s always fun to explore something new and different apart from the regular old breakfast choices we usually have.Thandai 1000Step out of home, travel a bit, within the city, country or overseas and new frontiers open up. Food and flavours begin to get magical, new and interesting. For someone who constantly cooks at home, hands that cook in other kitchens are fascinating. They offer exciting experiences, food adventures! Here are some breakfast stories, delicious bites mainly in pictures and in no particular order. Actually just as they tumbled out of my head when I read about #Foodventures by Axis Bank Dining Delights!

Vishwanath ki gali, Banaras 2016We sleepily got off the train in Benaras early one winter morning, a hungry foursome, and hit breakfast street quite soon. The city has a reputation and we knew where to head. Can there be anything better than fresh garam kachoris, sabzi and jalebis straight out of the pan? Perhaps not. Kachori with Sabzi, Banaras 2016

Jalebis being made, Banaras 2016Perhaps yes if you add some famous Pehelwaan ki lassi to wash down breakfast. Nirvana. Life accomplished. Pahalwaan Lassi Wala, Banaras 2016

Pahalwaan Lassi, Banaras 2016Ticked off list, but ‘will be back soon‘ recorded.

Switzerland, SwissMade GrandTours

Mandarin Oriental Geneva, Switzerland, SwissMade GrandTourFly across the globe. Switzerland, where I was last year at this time, a European breakfast will spoil you for choice. Every city we traveled to had a different layout, a regional offering, local produce shining through, breakfast an elaborate ceremony, fit for a king, something to sit and enjoy.SwissMade GrandTour PAB MeiringenTuck in. Cheese, yogurt, fresh baked breads, fruit, coffee, tea, eggs galore, cold cuts, fresh milk, best way to breakfast. Did you hear me say “Serve me breakfast and I shall be happy!” ?Tea, Pillaiyarpatti, Karaikudi, Chettinad, South India Swing back to India, a trip into the heart of the South, Karakudi held us mesmerised earlier this year. It was a trip of a lifetime. Same feeling – breakfast is a celebration. Breakfast, Chidambaram Vilas, Karaikudi, Chettinad, South IndiaSimple, flavourful, delicious and so much variety. Almost always ‘from the frying pan onto the plate‘, whether it was the elaborate ‘eat till you drop luxury at Chidambaram Vilas‘ or the street food at the temple at Pillaiyarpatti with the most refreshing filter coffee and finger licking good vadas. Memorable, satisfying and an absolute joy.

Street Breakfast, Chettinad, South IndiaAnd then there was the absolutely amazing breakfast with peacocks and neelgai as company at Lakshman Sagar in Rajasthan? Sunrise, Lakshman Sagar, RaipurBreakfast was an eye opener there. Breakfast at Lakshman SagarElaborate, each morsel served with love, truely regional and so much variety. Breakfast day 1 was something like this – fresh orange juice, maize dalia, googri {overnight soaked and cooked wheat kernels and horsegram}, sapota/cheeku jam, gum berry jam, fresh fruit, gur/jaggery, boora, honey, achaar, masala omelet, fire roasted tomato. Nothing refined or processed. Experiencing it was pure joy.Field breakfast, Lakshman SagarIf that wasn’t enough, one morning we trudged across the countryside for a breakfast in the fields! Field Breakfast, Lakshman Sagar 2Get closer home, one trip into Old Delhi and you’ll be cured of any breakfast woes. Nagori halwa puri, nimbu ka paraatha, sweet lassi, hot jalebis, garam chai, then begin again! Breakfast in Old Delhi, Delhi 6If you are stuck with the same old routine of toast and cheese, wake up and smell the coffee! Rustle up something fun and interesting {or bribe some willing soul to do it}. Better still, get out and explore. Make the mornings matter!

Oh, and did you know you can go beyond just egg and toast for breakfast? Here take a look at these #Foodventures by Axis Bank Dining Delights !


Mango Smoothie Bowl
Print Recipe
Colourful beginnings!! They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I say bring it on! This Mango Smoothie Bowl was fun to make, very in season, a mélange of flavours and textures. For me, an edible pot potpourri, inspired and exciting.
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Mango Smoothie Bowl
Print Recipe
Colourful beginnings!! They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I say bring it on! This Mango Smoothie Bowl was fun to make, very in season, a mélange of flavours and textures. For me, an edible pot potpourri, inspired and exciting.
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Stir the mango puree through the yogurt until uniformly mixed. Adjust sweetness if required.
  2. Ladle the mango yogurt into 2 breakfast bowls.
  3. Top with the remaining ingredients.
  4. You could always just mix everything through too, yet it makes the first meal of the day attractive this way, garnished with love!
  5. Use any seasonal fruit, berries, nuts etc.
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Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip“As while other passions in your life may, at some point, begin to bank their fires, the shared happiness of good homemade food can last as long as we do.”
Jenni Ferrari-Adler

Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip is perhaps the yummiest dip I have made in a while. From an out and out eggplant hater, to one who got sold over a smokey roasted eggplant {or brinjal or ‘baingan’ as referred to here locally} one fine day, the journey was uneventful. There are some things I just will not touch with a barge-pole. Eggplant was one of those. For a long time. Until 3 years ago.

Persian Roasted Eggplant  Walnut DipThen one day I tasted a Baingan ka Bharta made by a lady who used to cook at my mothers. The flavours had me captivated, and her style of cooking this quintessential Indian vegetarian dish had me smitten. Garlicky, smokey, earthy, firey was what she presented on the table that memorable day. One bite down, and I chased her for the recipe. Simple as ever, it was a game changer for me. Then came a dip I tasted at Ruchira’s place more recently. Sold again!Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut DipThis Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip is inspired by both the recipes. The twice used garlic from the bharta, and the creaminess from the dip. Can there ever be too much garlic? For me, no. I love it with a vengeance, and here the roasted garlic pods with eggplant bit gives the dip subtle undertones. The caramelised sweet onions and garlic add more depth to the flavour. I love adding walnuts to dip so in they went, while the Greek yogurt adds the right creaminess that the dip demands. All in all it has a lot to offer. Go ahead and add some roasted paprika to it if you like, maybe some pomegranate pearls to give it a juicy pop of flavour and colour. Persian Roasted Eggplant & Walnut DipIn the blender and smooth, this barely takes time and is a great make ahead party option. It also doubles up as a useful ‘sauce‘ for wraps, or a sandwich spread if you like. I served the Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip with these equally earthy Rosemary Garlic Sesame Millet Crackers I made recently. The more garlicky, the better! And of course, since the dip was ready and sitting there, I decided to experiment with it for a few pictures.Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut DipJust different backgrounds, angles, light, what have you! Some work, some don’t, but the important thing is to keep experimenting. Darter & yours truly have announced our next Food Styling & Photography Workshop  in Delhi this September, our 5th one here, so it’s always fun to experiment and share ideas. Food Styling and Photography Workshop Sep 2016I tell the participants to try and shoot everyday, to constantly experiment with different backgrounds, angles, light and moods. I do just the same.

Food props, Food styling, Food Photography

Food props, Food styling, Food Photography, Flatlay, World Photography DayEveryday. With whatever I have on hand. If I haven’t baked or cooked something ‘image worthy’, then I just grab raw produce, knick-knacks or props from an earlier shoot, things lying on my desk, stuff I like, then shoot them in frame. It’s a huge learning process, and therapeutic too. The important thing is to experiment, to keep your mind open. I can never say that enough!

And that’s how I got to this delicious Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip too, with an open mind!

Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip ... earthy, smokey, moorish, delicious!
Print Recipe
This Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip has a lot to offer. The twice used garlic, the walnuts, then the creaminess from Greek yogurt make it endearing. The caramelised sweet onions and garlic add more depth to the flavour. Play around with ingredients to suit your palette. That's the beauty of dips.
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip ... earthy, smokey, moorish, delicious!
Print Recipe
This Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip has a lot to offer. The twice used garlic, the walnuts, then the creaminess from Greek yogurt make it endearing. The caramelised sweet onions and garlic add more depth to the flavour. Play around with ingredients to suit your palette. That's the beauty of dips.
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Roasted eggplant walnut dip
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Cut 1/2" slits into sides of eggplant and push in 4 cloves of unpeeled garlic. Roast over low flame {or under broiler} until charred {like for baingan ka bharta.} Leave covered in a bowl to cool.
  2. Remove garlic and press out roasted pods. Discard skin. peel off charred skin of eggplant. Chop roughly. {Can be done a day or so in advance}
  3. While the eggplant is cooling, heat ghee in heavy bottom pan and caramelise onions and garlic.
  4. Place in cooled eggplant with with caramelised onions & garlic and remaining ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Stir in chopped chives. Taste and adjust seasoning. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and keep for a couple of hours/overnight for flavours to mature. Top with chopped walnuts and chives.
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Eggless Cheesecake with Mango Lime Sauce

“The only way cheese is dessert is when it’s followed by the word cake.”
Michele Gorman

Eggless Cheesecake with Mango Lime Sauce must be the easiest dessert to make. Minimum fuss, barely four ingredients, one bowl dump and quick hand whisk, can’t ask for much more in a dessert for summer. I make this often, and am constantly amazed at how versatile I can get with it. Even if summer has slipped by, please make the basic cheesecake and dress it up with anything you like – a salted butter caramel sauce, a berry reduction, a dark chocolate ganache, a homemade preserve, maybe grated chocolate and toasted nuts.

Mango Dessert Collage I made a series of mango based desserts this summer. Have been busy with work, some travel, loads of house work etc. Did I mention the guinea pig? Now there are TWO just because they are social animals so a pair seemed right. Then there is Coco who now eats ALL vegetables with renewed interest trying to beat the guinea pigs at their game!

Coco with Guinea PigIn any case, that I procrastinate is quite obvious else this would have been on the blog a while ago. I made this a short while ago, and recently shared the image on Facebook and Instagram. With so many requests for the recipe, I thought I had better share it before summer sneaks by us, while a few of you can still make it.

Eggless Cheesecake with Mango Lime Sauce So here you are. A quick, eggless delicious cheesecake that is a western take on an old Indian classic, ‘bhapa doi’. Make the Eggless Cheesecake with Mango Lime Sauce a day ahead, chill well, and then enjoy the compliments that come your way. Looks like a lot of work, but all this actually needs is half an hour in total. The mango sauce compliments it beautifully, and makes it look pretty too if you ‘dress it up’ a little. I had fun cutting out shapes with a sharp cookie cutter!Eggless cheesecake I’ve baked this several times before. With summer stone fruit, a Mishti Doi Cheesecake for  a festive feel, a Salted Butter Caramel Cheesecake, and a Dark Chocolate Orange Cheesecake too.

Eggless cheesecake with summer stone fruit

Mishti Doi Eggless Baked CheesecakeSo grab your bowl and whisk and get baking!

Eggless Cheesecake with Mango Lime Sauce
Print Recipe
Quick, eggless delicious, the Eggless Cheesecake with Mango Lime Sauce is the Western take on an old Indian classic, 'bhapa doi'. Make it a day ahead, chill well, and then enjoy the compliments that come your way. Looks like a lot of work, but all this actually needs is half an hour in total. The Mango sauce compliments it beautifully, and makes it look pretty too.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 2-4 hours
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 2-4 hours
Eggless Cheesecake with Mango Lime Sauce
Print Recipe
Quick, eggless delicious, the Eggless Cheesecake with Mango Lime Sauce is the Western take on an old Indian classic, 'bhapa doi'. Make it a day ahead, chill well, and then enjoy the compliments that come your way. Looks like a lot of work, but all this actually needs is half an hour in total. The Mango sauce compliments it beautifully, and makes it look pretty too.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 2-4 hours
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 2-4 hours
Instructions
Eggless Lime Cheesecake
  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 6" dessert ring with a double layer of foil to come up around the edges so the mixture doesn't leak. You can also use a loose bottomed tin but make sure you wrap it with foil too.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together all ingredients for cheesecake until smooth.
  3. Turn into prepared tin and bake for 15 minutes. Leave to cool in tin, then cover and place to chill in fridge overnight.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce for topping.
Mango Lime Sauce
  1. Place the mango juice a in a heavy bottom pan with lime zest and sugar, and cook over medium high heat until halved in quantity. {If you like a slight hint of chili, you can add half a slit deseeded green chili for 2-3 minutes, and then discard it}
  2. Once the juice has reduced, add the lime juice and corn flour stirring until it thickens to desired consistency. The sauce will thicken a bit more on cooling.
  3. Cool sauce, and then chill overnight with the cheesecake. {The sauce can be made in advance}
  4. Top with cutouts from mango slices, fresh basil leaves, flowers if in bloom. Chill until ready to serve!
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