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
  • BALSAMIC FIG JAM

    We make sure to get a good rotation of fruits and vegetables into our diet and not eat the same thing every week. So in this pursuit, I bought a whole load of figs when I chanced upon them. And then broke my head over what to make before they rotted on me. Typical. Nothing… Read more »

  • PASTA ROMESCO WITH KALE

    What makes something a pasta sauce and not a dip? Or a soup, even? You roast and blend vegetables to make soups and dips, but can you not use the same emulsion to coat pasta? I don’t see why not. As an extension to that thought, I present to you my pasta romesco. Traditionally eaten… Read more »

  • 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 »

  • LEEK, MUSHROOM & CORN STRATA

    There’s not much cooking one can do with a newborn around. OR SO THEY SAY. (There’s not much of anything else that one can do with a newborn around but I digress.) It’s hard no doubt, and unless you prefer pottering about the kitchen to taking a nap when you get a few minutes to… Read more »

  • 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 »

  • 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 »

  • CINNAMON SUGAR FRENCH TOAST + MACERATED PLUM COMPOTE

    I’m not even going to try and justify the fact that I’m back with another French toast recipe. It means something when I push it five times, and then there’s this – this weekly occurrence. Not one bit sorry though, in fact so far from it that I’m seriously contemplating listing ‘French toast’ as a… Read more »

  • 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 »

  • PASTA EGGPLANT INVOLTINI

    This paneer and spinach filling is a staple in our house. Which I’m sure is apparent by now. I’d like to think of myself as someone that can make one component work in multiple ways and in multiple dishes. On the flip side, isn’t that the very definition of being a one-trick pony though?! (My… Read more »

  • 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 »

  • CHIPOTLE BLACK BEAN SLOPPY JOES

    Sloppy joes and burgers. Although both use meat, vegetables, beans or a combination as their base and both are served on buns, their similarities end there. Sloppy joes are cooked in a sauce—the consistency is that of a thick bolognese—while burgers are formed into patties. Burger patties usually rely on binding agents like eggs and… Read more »

  • UPSIDE DOWN CRANBERRY-ORANGE FRENCH TOAST

    The title is a mouthful, I know. For someone that’s most comfortable cooking intuitively and without any measurements, writing recipes with precise instructions is hard enough. But over the years I’ve managed to maneuver my cooking style to fit that in. What I find harder, is writing recipe titles: I want it to be descriptive… Read more »

  • CHICKPEA AND SPINACH CHEESE TOASTS

    There’s a lot you can do with chickpeas which is why my pantry is rarely without it: added to curries like your typical chana masala, stirred into stews or tossed through salads, it’s a great way to bulk up a dish and make it substantial especially in lieu of meat. What I’ve also found is… Read more »

  • 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 »

  • 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 »