When all else fails, CHEESE.

​When all else fails, Cheese ! 


It’s been raining non stop, & the weather’s so nice & cool. Perfect for a day long Baking session. I made grand plans for the day! 

First up, kneading the bread dough, as it would take the longest to ferment. That done, I left the sourdough to ferment. Then got on with marinating some chicken, which I later planned to bake along with thin slices of potato, onion, cream & cheese. Marination done, I turned to the fermented dough, shaped & scored  a lovely french baguette, & put it in the oven to bake. 

Within 20 minutes the aroma of freshly baked bread was wafting through the kitchen. So now it was the Chicken that had to go in, to bake. Layers of thinly sliced potatoes, onion, chicken, herbs, cream & cheese were all set to bake & turn into a magical dish, which would later be devoured while listening to the pitter patter, sitting by the french window. 

I poured myself a glass of wine, & settled for a bit, waiting for the chicken to be ready in another 20 mins….

And then….BAM ! 😑 *power cut * 

How could I be SO naive & optimistic about this ‘Baking on a Rainy Day Plan’ ?! 

This is #pune ! Even 10 mins of rain, results into hours of powercut ! Hmmph… 

But I wasn’t gonna let my plans be ruined, just bcoz this brilliant ‘Smart City’ decided to cut off power suply! 😏 

So out came the next best thing – the Cheese Board ! 

Now how can you go wrong with a Cheese Board & Wine ?! 

* That’s why I always say – Stock up your groceries smartly * 

I had all the essentials of a Cheese platter ready, & all it took was a little assembling. 

So within minutes we had – Olives, Parmesan, Gruyere Crisps, Mild Cheddar, some Fruit Preserves, Spanish Chorizo, & the lovely fresh warm baguette ready, for a candlelight evening by the window, listening to the pitter patter of the rain, sipping wine & having an awesome evening. 

Well played ‘Smart City’….But I’m smarter than you 😏😎😂

World Tapas Day ! 3rd Thursday of June. 


Its World Tapas Day today !

Which reminded me of this amazing meal I had in Madrid on my birthday last year. 

I went bar hopping ALL DAY….every day 🙈😂 & totally fell in love with the tapas bars in Spain. 

The word “tapas” is derived from the Spanish/Portuguese verb tapar, “to cover”. Before the 19th century, European roads were in bad condition. Travelling was slow and exhausting. Most people could not read or write, and Spain was no exception. 

Inns, called posadas, or bodegas, grew along the roads, offering meals and rooms, for travellers. Since few innkeepers could write and few travellers read, inns offered their guests a sample of the dishes available, on a “tapa” (the word for pot cover in Spanish). 

In fact, a “tapa” was (and still is) a small portion of any kind of Spanish cuisine. What we commonly refer to as ‘small plates’ in restaurant. 

A tapa in Spanish cuisine, is an appetizer, or snack. It may be cold such as mixed olives and cheese or hot such as chopitos, which are batter fried squid. In Spain, patrons of tapas can order many different tapas and combine them to make a full meal. 

There are literally thousands of types of tapas, and they very from region to region, depending on the produce and climate. 

Fried Halwa (Black Pomfret)

​Lunch today, was a quick & easy fried Black Pomfret/Halwa. 

I love shallow fried fish, and when I make it, I can literally have just that, for a meal. 

No rice, no curry… just some slices of spicy, tangy, shallow fried fish with a generous squeeze of lemon, & maybe a salad on the side.

 ■  I made a thick paste using – 

Red Chilli Powder, Turmeric Powder, Cumin & Corriander Powder, Rice Flour, Kokum Extract, & Salt to taste.

■  Marinate the fish slices in this paste for an hour. 

■  In a pan, heated some oil, and shallow fried the marinated fish, 3-4  minutes on one side, flip and then cook for another couple of minutes. (Cook completely on one side, & only then turn over) 

■  Since the marinade already had a bit of rice flour for binding, I fried the fish directly. But if you want a crispier texture on the outside, you can coat the marinated fish with Semolina/Rice Flour just before frying. 

■  Serve with lemon wedges and salad on the side. 

Chickpea, Spring Onion & Cheese Salad 

​Some days you eat salad & go to the gym. Some days you eat cupcakes & refuse to move an inch. It’s called Balance 😁 

I made this green chickpea salad (soaked green chickpeas overnight, drained out water & let them sprout for a day. You can eat them raw or boil them for couple of minutes if you like) tossed in fresh spring onion from my kitchengarden, some grated cheese (you can use #paneer  *cottage cheese* /Feta as well) A generous splash of lemon juice, a sprinkle of Salt & Pepper. Quite good actually. 

Ok …but tomorrow is going to be cupcake day ! 😂

Smoothie in minutes 

​Morning rush, no time to cook, but don’t wanna skip breakfast ?
This quick, healthy & delish smoothie is good enough to keep you satiated till lunchtime. 

Just blend together  –

 ● half cup Granola 

 ● 10-15 black grapes 

 ● 1 banana 

 ● half cup yogurt 

Done ! 

You’ll never have to skip breakfast again 😃 

Didn’t know Over-Ripe Bananas would make such wonderful Parathas ☺👏(flatbreads) 

​Few days ago I made a  banana walnut loaf using over-ripe bananas, that I somehow wanted to finish off. Thats when a friend gave me a recipe for this sweet paratha. Now honestly, I had never thought of using bananas to make parathas, so I was quite curious about the taste. 

And guess what…. I never thought overripe bananas would make such wonderful easy recipes ! I loved it ! 

I modified the recipe slightly, as I didn’t want to use sugar, or make the paratha too sweet. 

So this is my version of the banana paratha – • 2 over-ripe bananas • big pinch of Cardamom powder

• big pinch of Salt

• 1 tsp Jaggery (I just wanted a hint of sweetness, but you can add more if you want your paratha Sweeter) • 1 tsp Ghee • Wheat Flour (as much as the banana paste can hold, and make a soft yet firm ‘chapati’ like dough) ● Blend cardamom powder , jaggery and bananas to a fine paste.

● Knead a soft yet firm dough by adding little wheat flour at a time, to the banana mixture. Add Salt and Ghee while kneading. ● Roll out Parathas, and cook on a griddle till golden and crisp on the edges. Use few drops of ghee on the sides while cooking. Serve hot

Party Platters 

​Nothing brings people together like good food ! 

I always follow the golden rule –

*Keep things Simple* 

Party Platters are my favourite. I always create  generous platters of nibbles, ahead of time – A stressed host is never fun ! 

These platters are easy to assemble. Easy to serve. Require little cooking time. And there’s always something for everyone. 

You can have a mix of different cheeses, crackers, olives, fresh/dry fruits, chorizo, cold cuts, vegetable crudites, variety of dips, finger sandwiches, sliders…the options are endless! 

Except for frying up some chicken nuggets, making some dips and sandwiches, all other snacks are pretty much just assembly/arrangement work, that takes a few minutes. 

Simple Cucumber Sandwiches, Chicken and Cole Slaw Sandwiches, are great for warm summer evenings. Ham sandwiches, cut in bite sized pieces, or mini pulled pork sliders are a great snack with your drinks. 

 Have an assortment of cheeses, some soft enough to spread on crackers, some hard, some mild and some sharp. 

Plenty of Fruits like Strawberries,  Grapes, Pears or Apple, to cut through the saltiness and richness of the Cheese. 

Cold Cuts are always a good idea. Some spicy Chorizo works well too, and Olives ofcourse. 

Add few munchies like assorted Nuts , Chips, and Vegetable Crudites with a variety of Dips. You could either make these dips, if you have the time, or you could even buy a couple of good store bought dips. 

The main aim is to have a variety of food, so that there’s something interesting for every guest. 

Just a little planning, a proper shopping list, and 1 trip to the grocery store is all it takes to make a perfect, stress free party platter which you can enjoy with your friends, without spending hours in the kitchen !