Cheflife, Diet, Dinner, Food Blog, Healthy Meals, Home Cooking, Lifestyle, Lunch, Motivation, Quick Meals, Travel, Work

Rainy Day Comfort Meal-Wok Tossed Ginger-Soy-Honey Mushrooms.

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This recipe is perfect for a rainy day, when you’re craving for a good warm homemade meal, that can be made in minutes. Ginger, with its numerous health benefits, is an excellent ingredient to include in your diet, especially during monsoons when you need to boost your immunity. 

This easy recipe uses just a few ingredients, & can be rustled up within minutes. Enjoy these mushrooms with noodles, or a bowl of warm steamed rice, or simply toss the rice in the wok & make a quick fried rice. 

*Wok Tossed Ginger-Soy-Honey Mushrooms, on a bed of flat rice noodles*

 ~ In a wok, heat a little sesame oil, add minced/julienne ginger, soy sauce, black pepper (you can add red chilli flakes/minced green chillies too if you want it spicy), a pinch of salt (soy sauce is very salty, so be careful). 

Add chopped mushrooms to the wok & stir fry on high heat for a minute. 

Add honey & cook further  for a minute, till the sauce thickens & coats the mushrooms with a sticky glaze. 

In the meanwhile boil & drain noodles, to serve on the side. Garnish with spring onion/coriander. Serve hot. 

If you want to use up leftover cooked rice, then you can toss it into the wok & mix with the mushrooms to make a fried rice, & skip those noodles. ๐Ÿฝ

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Quick n Healthy Wok Tossed Chicken for a busy day.ย 

โ€‹Next up in the series of #healthymeals is this quick wok tossed chicken & bell pepper, with flat rice noodles. 

If I have a busy day, & I know I’ll be too tired to cook dinner, this one dish meal is my go to. 

Before leaving for work I marinate boneless chunks of chicken in a mix of soy sauce, chilli sauce, black pepper, salt, ketchup & honey. 

Pack it in an airtight container & store it in the fridge. 

In another box I store chopped bell peppers (broccoli, carrot, beans, baby corn….basically whatever is available.)

 In the evening, all you have to do is toss the marinated chicken in a work, with a teaspoon of oil, on high heat. 

Once the chicken is half cooked, add in the veggies & stir till the marinade coats the veggies too. 

You can boil noodles simultaneously, while the chicken is still cooking, & then serve on the side (or you can have just the wok tossed chicken & veggies as a full meal, without any noodles/rice too) 

Just a few mins of basic prep in the morning, and then just 10 mins of cooking time in the evening, that’s all it takes to make this delicious healthy meal. 

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MasalaBar – Balewadi High Street, Puneย 

As you must’ve heard already, Masala Bar is now open in Pune, a fairly new addition to the food scene at Balewadi High Street, this is a typical modern gastropub that offers an eclectic mix of food & drinks.

I was recently invited to a tasting, & here’s my take on this place.

This review is actually a mixed bag of sorts.

While there are some things I really liked a lot, there were few others that were totally disappointing.
The decor and overall vibe of the place is trendy, modern & lively; but completely misses the point when it comes to using that word ‘Masala’ in their name, which is supposedly their USP.

I would’ve liked to see a bit of that Masala element in their decor, more like an Indo Western look, instead of a run of the mill swanky eatery.

They have however taken the whole Masala concept a bit too far in their cocktails, by adding copious amounts of Indian Spices to all of their signature drinks.

From their list of signature cocktails that we tried, the Chai Whiskey Pe Charcha, Whiskey Business, Bombay Velvet , Imli ka boota , & Jaadu Tona were all very heavy on spices like Cinnamon, Star Anise, Kewra , etc. The spices were overpowering all other flavours including those of the alcohol in the cocktail.

I mean yeah, all the theatrics of adding dry ice and using fancy and unusual glasses and paraphernalia adds to the novelty factor. But unfortunately that’s a one time thing. Would it make me go a 2nd time and order that drink again ? I don’t think so.

What worked for me though was their Classic Cocktail, a Whiskey Sour, which had a brilliantly mixed egg white which was frothy, & yet so smooth without any trace of that eggy smell.

I don’t think I’ve ever walked up to the bar & complimented the mixologist on his skills of earating egg whites so well, but this time I did !

Speaking of the food they serve, Masala Bar does serve some interesting bar bites, some of which are like pretty addictive, especially those Pyaaz ke Challe, which are basically crisp fried onion rings generously coated with a spicy south Indian Malaga podi powder. This one is literally unputdownable.

Another favourite was the Guntur Chilli Chicken – spicy, tangy, and heavy flavours of curry leaves and guntur chillies make these tender chicken chunks a great accompaniment with your sundowner.

Murugan baby Idli was another interesting dish as these soft baby Idlis were dunked in the same spicy Malaga podi as the onion rings, and then coated with another tangy chutney.

So far so good I thought,

But then came the biggest let down of the evening.

Khar Danda Jhinga Bhel – An underwhelming mixture of kurmura and all other ingredients of a typical bhel, with Prawns (??!!) on top ..?!!

The bhel on its own had very little flavour of its own, and the grilled prawns were literally just placed on top as if for a garnish. The entire dish felt like a complete mismatch.

Had the bhel been tossed with some fried squid rings, some sauteed dry shrimp or maybe a dash of fish sauce etc, it would’ve atleast had a unique seafood flavour to it, and would’ve made some sense in terms of flavour. But this preparation was a complete No No for me.

Chilli Pork Ribs on the contrary were quite good. I’ve definitely had better ones than these, but the sweet, spicy, tangy sticky glaze on the ribs was quite good. The meat was cooked right, and the serving portion was good too. So overall a satisfactory dish.

Another unusual combination which I quite surprisingly liked was the Thai Curry Risotto.

All the typical flavours of a Thai Curry and the perfectly cooked risotto made from it, the rice had a good bite to it, and the creamy texture from the curry made it quite delicious, along with the crisp banana fritters served with rice.

Now on to the dishes that failed to impress-

Carbon Pav Bhaji. – You read it correctly. The whole activated charcoal trend that has taken the food scene by storm, be it icecreams, smoothies, shakes and now even good ol pav bhaji.

This one was served with an intense black bhaji, and a stack of baby pav, did nothing to impress. Neither the look of the dish, nor the flavour could hold my attention more than a minute. Flavour wise it was too spicy for me, too much masala which hit the throat and had me reaching for a sip of water with every bite. 

Kacchi Dabeli – this was another average dish in terms of flavour and presentation. Honestly, I expected much better (read- innovative) preparations than this one.

I mean why would I go to a place like Masala Bar and order Kacchi Dabeli, when I can have it anywhere else ?! (and tastier than this one, to be frank)


Dessert –

Gulab Air Jamun – this was a couple of gulab jamuns, hidden under a fluffy cloud of Rabdi foam.

This desseet was definitely the better one among the 2 we sampled.

The other one was –

Faces Of Chocolate – Everything you can think of , chocolate soil, chocolate brownie, icecream, chocolate sauce, chocolate shavings, some praline – a huge mish mash of all things chocolate.

We either get tempted to try something, or get totally put off when we 1st look at a dish, well atleast I do. And the look of this chocolate medley felt just too shabby and unappetizing even to a chocolate lover like me.

That said, I think there are some things that work for us, and some just don’t.

Maybe some others might love the dishes that failed to impress me, coz food is after all quite a subjective thing.

What I would like to go for a 2nd time, are those Malaga podi coated Onion Rings, the Chilli Pork Ribs, and that amazing Classic Whiskey Sour ofcourse !

* Bloggers table was hosted by Masala Bar *

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Thai inspired Summer Saladย 

This Thai inspired Summer Salad is my absolute favourite one dish meal on a hot summer afternoon. 

A healthy mix of seafood, veggies, fresh herbs and spices. 

I scored couple of squids, & chargrilled them for 2-3 minutes, till they’re cooked just right. 

Slice the squids, and then add in bite sized chunks of cucumber, tomato, & crushed salted peanuts. 

Now add some torn fresh mint leaves, coriander & spring onion greens. 

For the Dressing – mix some lemon juice, sugar, birds eye chilli (or chilli flakes) & fish sauce (taste the dressing and decide if you need more salt, as the fish sauce is already very salty) Drizzle this dressing on the salad and toss just till all ingredients are mixed well. 

Serve at room temperature or slightly cold. 

* You can add grilled prawns/chicken, if you don’t like squid * 

This is the picture of scored grilled squid for reference – 

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Keep calm & juice it up !

Summer is just round the corner & this delicious refreshing drink is my go to.  Just a few simple ingredients, into the blender & it’s done !

Lots of Fresh Strawberries 

+ Lots of Fresh Mint Leaves 

+ a few drops of lemon juice 

(I do not add any Sugar, but you can add as per your choice) 

Just blend into a smooth juice with some crushed ice, & it’s ready ! 

Very refreshing and very healthy ๐Ÿ“๐ŸŒฟ

You can also add a little Sparkling Water if you like a bit of fizz, and a splash of Gin is more than welcome ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

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Hello 2018ย 

There are all kinds of foodstuffs on my wishlist. I may not like all of them, but I will try them out anyway. 

Good food, good eating, is all about risk. It’s my favourite thing in the whole world. Nothing is more blissful. 

So is Travel. It isn’t always pretty, it isn’t always comfortable. 

Sometimes it hurts, sometimes it breaks your heart. 

The journey changes you, and it should. It leaves marks on your memory, on your heart. You take something back with you, hopefully you leave something good behind.

This year is going to be all about exploring new places, cuisines, learning more about different cooking styles, food habits and culture, meeting new people and making memories. 

Join me in this exciting journey…. stay tuned for all the yummy updates, travel experiences, and much more that I’ll be dishing out with a ‘Ladlefuloflove’ ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

Happy New Year ya’ll โค 

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Never underestimate the power of Bread & a jar of Chutney in the fridge ! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Never underestimate the power of #bread a jar of #chutney in the fridge ! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ 

The other day during a long tiring work discussion at home (yeah I just realised that work from home can be just as tiring as going to office, especially when that work involves loads of costing & planning ๐Ÿ˜ฅ) So anyway, my colleague & I took a break for #chai. 

Feeling a little peckish, we were wondering what to make for our tea time snack, as we had to get back to work real quick. 

Now…Instant noodles is something I’d eat only if that’s the last edible stuff remaining on earth…seriously!  So the other option was Bread. 

Hmm….how about a cheese sandwich ? Looking at my friend’s face, I knew cheese sandwich was out..! 

I usually have a jar of green chutney ready in my fridge, at all times. 

So while I mixed a thick chickpea flour- salt- turmeric- red chilli & ajwain batter, I asked my friend to slather some green chutney & ketchup on alternate slices of bread & stack them up. 

While this was being done simultaneously a wok full of oil was heating up on the burner. 

The chutney & ketchup stacks were then cut into bite sized cubes, dunked in the chickpea batter, fried till it golden & crisp….& voila ! 

We had our impromptu chai-pakoda session within minutes ! ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

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