LIGHTER DHAL MAKHANI

‘Lighter’ for a few reasons: for starters this dhal makhani contains no cream, and only a quarter the amount of butter that’d typically go into it. Traditionally, the dhal is cooked separately with water and added to a base of onions, tomatoes, and spices. Simmered over a low heat, it’s then finished with (copious amounts… Read more »

FRIED OYSTER MUSHROOMS

What’s not to love about a big heap of fried mushrooms? Oyster mushrooms are perfect here as they’re meaty and substantial. Very fried chicken-y. Aside from their meaty texture, they also have a significant umami flavour. It’s no wonder they feature so heavily on vegetarian menus. I say substantial since button mushrooms—as versatile as they… Read more »

PUMPKIN & CAULIFLOWER SALAD WITH PECANS & FETA

Even when I’m in the mood to just potter about the kitchen, I don’t (and I can safely say this) ever cook food that’s demanding. And by demanding I mean both skill-wise and time-wise. If something has to cook for a long time, it has to be minimal prep. And then it needs to cook… Read more »

GARLIC EGG FRIED RICE

Soft scrambled eggs and crispy garlic bits are my favourite additions to fried rice. If you buy and stock garlic granules by the pound like this alliomaniac writing the recipe, use that by all means. (A word! For the garlic obsessed!) Don’t  worry if you don’t though – I’ve put instructions below for how you… Read more »

BEEF & THAI BASIL STIR-FRY

My Thai basil plant has gone rogue. It won’t stop sprouting new leaves every day and—as was to be expected—regular pruning has only made it more hardy and prolific. It sounds like I’m whingeing about it, and I kinda am, but that’s only because I can’t think up enough ways to cook with it; it’s… Read more »

MAPLE-ROASTED FIGS + CINNAMON YOGURT + CANDIED WALNUTS

I’ve had great luck with figs this year. Every single fruit that I’ve bought has been plump, pink, and yielding to the bite. Of course I’m one to open up pre-packaged boxes and switch up those mottled specimens for perfectly squishy ones, but still. We eat them as is for the most part, but considering… Read more »

SPINACH, RICOTTA AND FETA QUICHE

Just learned that the phrase ‘easy as pie’ refers to how easy it is to eat pie, and not how easy it is to make one. Thank god for that minor clarification, the world makes sense again. Not that making a pie (quiche in this case) is hard, but it’s admittedly not as easy as… Read more »

WATERMELON, PINEAPPLE & CORN SALAD WITH FRIED ONIONS

What this is, is a savoury fruit salad with charred corn. The dressing is simple yet punchy. I drew inspiration from the flavours of Tajín–the chilli and lime salt from Mexico that’s most popularly served sprinkled over juicy wedges of watermelon. I haven’t tried the actual thing, but from the sounds of it it’s very… Read more »

CARAMELIZED ONION, TOMATO & MOZZARELLA SANDWICH

Caramelized onions are made to sound way harder to make than they actually are. Sure, they take a bit of time to cook down and become jammy, but other than the occasional stirring, there’s really not much effort that goes into it. A few key things to remember and you’re good to go – start… Read more »

MUSHROOMS WITH SHERRY VINEGAR

My cooking has been (unsurprisingly) hurried these past few months. Quick effortless meals are what I’m after: paneer kofte, flatbreads and mezze style dips for lunch with family, a quiche loaded with spinach, ricotta and feta, pressure-cooked curries and dhals, and of course, oven-roasted everything. Quick meals and sides without compromising on flavour. This is… Read more »

Latest
  • COLCANNON FRITTERS + BURST CHERRY TOMATOES

    Colcannon—a St.Patrick’s day staple—is a traditional Irish dish of mashed potatoes cooked with cabbage or kale. I usually make fritters or potato pancakes if I have leftover mash knocking about the fridge. (Not that boiling potatoes is hard work; please just cook some if you don’t have leftovers.) And in my quest to jam vegetables… Read more »

  • SPINACH OATMEAL

    I’m all about savoury oats these days. The inclination to savourize (?) crept in with mushroom congee a few months ago and we’ve been eating it every fortnight since. It might also possibly be one of the nicest things I’ve made this year (along with a mushroom orzo which will make an appearance here shortly)…. Read more »

  • RATATOUILLE WITH PESTO CHEESE

    I want to focus on this pesto cheese for a minute before I go any further. You know how you end up buying a big bunch of basil, use a tiny amount in your dish and the rest just rots in your fridge? My solution to this recurring problem: pesto cheese. Having pesto in your… Read more »

  • GREEN BEANS WITH OLIVE-ALMOND TAPENADE

    This won’t come as a surprise at all. Even if you’ve only seen a tiny glimpse of my posts these past few years, you’ll know that I’m a bit obsessed with tapenades. Especially the olive kind. A traditional tapenade (Provencal, I believe) is served as a spread to be slathered on bread, or used to… Read more »

  • ROASTED TOMATO & RED PEPPER SOUP

    Let’s be honest. You don’t ever have a dedicated ‘soup season’ when you live in a place like Chennai. Unless they’re of the chilled variety of course. Those we can do anytime of the year. But come October, when the weather turns and the rains set in, it’s the best time as any to get… Read more »

  • LABNEH WITH CARAMELIZED ONIONS + CHILLI BUTTER

    I don’t know what category of foods this dish falls under – is it a dip? A salad of sorts? A side? None and all of the above? Who’s to say, but we ate it piled high on homemade garlic bread, so I’m leaning towards it being a dip. Making labneh at home is nothing… Read more »

  • LEEK, MUSHROOM & EGG QUESADILLAS

    These are my go-to flour tortillas. With a ratio of 2:1 of plain flour to whole wheat, they are straightforward to make and don’t dry out and harden upon cooking. They also don’t feel like there’s even a trace of whole wheat in them. Basically we’re avoiding all the things homemade tortillas are notorious for…. Read more »

  • GREEK SCRAMBLED EGGS

    I like my scrambled eggs just set. Holding its shape and all the watery bits cooked out, but with soft, large, barely-set curds. They cook in under a minute and you need a non-stick pan for the job (kudos if you’ve managed to do this in cast-iron; they come out like rubbery pucks in mine)…. Read more »

  • CHICKEN SALAD WITH TAHINI DRESSING

    Caesar, but not quite Caesar. I’ll elaborate: this salad has all the makings of a typical Caesar salad—lettuce, toasted bread, Dijon, anchovies, garlic, lemon and olive oil—but with one wildcard ingredient..tahini! Sounds strange to be adding this Middle Eastern sesame paste into the mix, but its nutty creaminess really complements the punchy hit of Dijon… Read more »

  • YORKSHIRE PUDDINGS WITH PEAR & GINGER COMPOTE

    I lived in Yorkshire for a year and a half and never learned to make Yorkshire puds there (I did eat my fair share of them though). And here I am in Chennai fiddling about with ratios and proportions. I wish I’d foreseen this obsession a bit sooner. But thankfully these are ridiculously easy to… Read more »

  • OATMEAL CONGEE WITH MUSHROOMS

    At this rate, I may as well make it official, pivot into a ‘breakfast only’ website and not worry about my lack of enthusiasm for anything else. If you’ll stick around, I promise to make it worth your while with (more!) French toast variations and nestling eggs into anything that even closely resembles a sauce…. Read more »

  • OVEN-ROASTED HONEY-CHILLI POTATOES

    I often replace potatoes in recipes with yams, sweet potatoes and plantains. Not just for their better nutritional content, but also to get some variety in the food that we eat at home. Needless to say, I obviously wouldn’t replace them if they didn’t taste good. They do of course taste good. Dare I say,… Read more »

  • SOBA NOODLES WITH TOFU AND MANGO

    Noodle salads have a lot going for them: they’re simple to throw together, versatile in terms of ingredients – vegetables, meats/meat alternatives and dressings, and they also keep really well for make-ahead meals. Any kind of noodle will work here but I’m partial to soba for its distinct nutty flavour. Try and find the Japanese… Read more »

  • BREAKFAST EGG SALAD (NO MAYO)

    Had to add the ‘no mayo’ banner to the title to make it loud and clear that creaminess can be achieved without dousing everything in (my very biased, crude opinion)—goop. From being a downright rejecter of the eggy dressing, I’ve now become somewhat tolerant to it in a few, very specific things. But either way,… Read more »

  • LOADED SWEET POTATO WEDGES

    Think loaded nachos with all the fixins—peppers, corn, onions, tomatoes, cheese—but with sweet potatoes instead of tortilla chips. Keeping with the Tex-mex theme, I also sometimes add olives and pickled jalapenos to the mix. Choose your own adventure and go with what you want/have on hand. The assemblage: I do a double layer here. You… Read more »