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ROASTED PLUM AND PANEER SALAD

    There’s no real stone-fruit season in Chennai. Sure, you have those few weeks around this time every year that you get plums, peaches and if you’re lucky, cherries and nectarines. But other than plums and the odd batch of rock-hard peaches that come from nearby hill stations, stores rely solely on produce from… Read more »

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PUMPKIN SPICE OATMEAL

While I may never attempt to deconstruct tarts, masquerade zucchini for noodles or do a rainbow sprinkled-anything, pumpkin spice is definitely a clichéd food trend I can get behind. Agreed that their cult status is a bit of an overkill, but there’s no denying that some flavour combinations just work. And in my opinion, as… Read more »

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ROASTED ZUCCHINI WITH CHILLI-FETA

  I’d like to think of myself as an organised cook. Relatively speaking of course (I use the term very loosely and my husband thinks even that’s a stretch). I meal-plan and cook using locally sourced and seasonal ingredients for the most part and also try to minimize waste as much as possible. And those… Read more »

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SPICY SWEET POTATO HASH WITH BAKED EGGS

You’re probably on a first-name basis with potato hash but have you tried a sweet potato version? I try and substitute these sweet spuds in most recipes that call for potatoes not just because of their better nutritional profile, but also because I love their subtle sweetness especially when paired with something deeply savoury like… Read more »

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VERSATILE RED PEPPER & TOMATO CASHEW SAUCE

This is (an inadvertently vegan) roasted red pepper and tomato sauce that uses cashews for creaminess in lieu of cheese, cream, or other forms of dairy. It’s very versatile and can be used as a pasta sauce, pizza sauce, chip dip, spread, or even as the base in baked dishes (eggplant involtini coming next). Basically… Read more »

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CARAMELIZED PEAR AND FETA SALAD

Pears are surprisingly hard to come by in Chennai. Sure, you find the locally grown green ones—the ‘hill station’ pears—but those still run a certain seasonal cycle and you see them around for maybe one or two months of the year. These local varieties are usually not very flavourful however, and the texture is often… Read more »

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KALE BUBBLE AND SQUEAK

I know ‘bubble and squeak’ sounds like a made-up name to sneak veggies into your toddler’s lunch. Unfortunately though—at least for those of us that enjoy quirky food names: oat-thappams, anyone?—it’s pretty straightforward. Bubble and squeak originated in the UK and was a dish of cabbage and fried meat. And the name came about because… Read more »

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ROASTED BEETS & PUMPKIN WITH CASHEW SOUR CREAM

I always need to have beets in stock. I don’t know if this mindset came about after the lockdown or what, but I feel reassured knowing that I have a few kilos of them in the fridge. This sentiment doesn’t apply to carrots and potatoes which, realistically speaking are more versatile ‘basic’ vegetables. It’s reserved… Read more »

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BAKED FIGS WITH PISTACHIOS AND DATES

I admit this is not the prettiest dish. But aesthetics go completely out the window when you’re stuffing a squidgy brown paste into something. Trust me, I tried. But one bite of this and you’ll realize that its visual appearance completely belies its taste. I’m not a big fan of nuts. I don’t hate them… Read more »

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ROASTED AUBERGINE WITH HARISSA + WHIPPED PANEER

At first glance this dish may look and sound intimidating. And that’s exactly why I did the poll asking if you guys wanted it on here. A whopping 97% of you said yes so here we are! This recipe is loosely adapted from Ottolenghi who makes his version with griddled aubergines and feta. As soon… Read more »

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MANGO GINGER RAITHA

Mango ginger is one of my favourite seasonal ingredients. Around this time of the year, just before summer sets in, you’ll find them aplenty at grocery stores and in heaped mounds at outdoor markets. At a glance, mango ginger looks a lot like ginger. But once you peel away their soft skins, you’ll find that… Read more »

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10-MINUTE THAI CHICKEN WITH HOLY BASIL

I realize I sound like a broken record every time I say “use thigh meat instead of breast”. That doesn’t stop me from saying it however, so here goes: it’s not because chicken breasts on a good day taste like cardboard, but mainly because chicken thighs are a lot more forgiving for meal-prep and bulk… Read more »

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OVEN-ROASTED PLANTAINS

More oven-roasted veg! Plantains this time but I also have an oven-roasted taro on here, and have already tackled the elephant in the room. Basically covering all my bases—and tubers—with this fool-proof method of cooking them. Taro is my personal favourite in this category of starchy veg but they are admittedly fiddly. They need to… Read more »

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MUSKMELON AND FETA SALAD

This muskmelon and feta salad might be my favourite salad of all time (a tall claim considering how I feel about a Thai mango salad). As much as I like the more popular watermelon version, there’s just something about muskmelon here that gives it that substantial heft that you don’t seem to get from the… Read more »

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STOVETOP RATATOUILLE WITH PUMPKIN

Here’s how I decide what to cook: I shop for things that are fresh in the store/market, and then rack my brain to find different ways to use them up. More prosaic than you might have thought, but that’s the truth of it (or at least most of the time). Sure, I meal plan and… Read more »