Dinner, Food Blog, Food Blogger, Lifestyle, Lunch, Restaurant Review, Restaurant Reviews, Reviews, Travel

MasalaBar – Balewadi High Street, PuneΒ 

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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Cheflife, Dinner, Food Blog, Food Blogger, Healthy Meals, Lifestyle, Lunch, Motivation, Party Snacks / Appetizers, Quick Meals, Travel

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 πŸ“πŸŒΏ

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

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Food Blogger, Lifestyle, Reviews, Travel

Netherlands isn’t just about Tulips, Erotica & Smoking Up ! πŸ˜„ Plan a day trip to Domplein, Utrecht – Netherlands.


​The historic Dom District – #utrecht diaries. 

There’s so much to see in and around #netherlands

This place is much more than just Tulips, Redlight streets, sex shops & Smoking up ! πŸ˜€ 

If you travel an hour out of Amsterdam, & visit #utrechtcity , you can easily spend the entire day walking along the canals, taking in the lovely sights and sounds of this beautiful city. Visit some quaint & quirky shops, eateries, & visit old monuments. 

At DOMunder you can descend below Dom Square (Domplein) and see a large collection of archaeological finds. It’s also fun to climb the Dom Tower’s 465 steps since there’s such a fantastic view of the city from the top.


Around Domplein, you’ll find numerous centuries-old monuments, convent gardens and historic shopping streets. Make sure you walk through the Zadelstraat and have a look inside the unique home fashion stores and stylish boutiques. 

And where better to finish off a day in Utrecht than in the city’s beating heart? 

On the Domplein, there are plenty of charming restaurants where the locals themselves like to gather for a bite and a drink. 

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

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Never underestimate the power of #bread a jar of #chutney in the fridge ! πŸ˜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 πŸ˜₯) 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 ! πŸ˜‰ 

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Easy peasy no cook Chocolate FudgeΒ 

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Midnight treats ❀

This easy peasy no cook chocolate fudge is just perfect for those midnight dessert cravings, or for a quick snack any time of the day. Just a few simple ingredients, a quick mix, & set in the fridge, that’s it ! Swipe to see the ingredients. 

Here’s what you’ll need – 


● Condensed Milk 

● Unsweetened Biscuits (I used ‘Marie’) You can also use powdered oats, to make it healthier (but nah, I’m good with just the biscuits πŸ˜‚) 

● Cocoa Powder 

● Walnuts 

● Mixed seeds of your choice (I used Sesame, Flax, Sunflower & Pumpkin seeds ) 

β–  In a mixing bowl, Add cocoa powder, chopped walnuts, coarsely powdered/crushed biscuits, & seeds. (keep some for garnishing) 

β–  Add condensed milk as required, just enough to make a thick dough like mixture of the above ingredients. Mix well. 

β–  Tranfer the mixture to a greased (& preferably lined with butter paper) square tin, & smoothen out the surface. 

β–  Sprinkle seeds & chopped walnuts & pat down gently so they set properly. Refrigerate for 15-20 mins & then cut into squares. 

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Rawa Fried Prawns *warning – Highly Addictive ! *Β 

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* Rawa Fried Prawns * –

These crisp golden fried prawns are so easy to make, & highly addictive ! 

They make an excellent bar snack or even as a side dish with a fish curry- rice meal. 

If you want to serve these at a party, you can marinate the parwns in advance & then just fry them up before serving. 

You will need – 

β–  1/2 Kg Prawns (shelled & deveined) 

β–  Red chilli powder, Turmeric Powder, & Salt – to taste 

β–  Ginger-Garlic Paste – 1/2 tsp

β–  Tamarind Pulp/Kokum Extract/Lemon Juice – 1/2 tsp 

β–  Semolina (Rawa) & Rice flour – as required.

β–  Oil – to shallow fry. 
● Shell, Devein & wash the prawns thoroughly. Drain excess water. 

● In a mixing bowl, make a paste using Red Chilli Powder, Turmeric, Salt, Ginger-Garlic Paste, & Kokum extract. 

● Add the cleaned prawns to the mixing bowl & rub the spice paste into the prawns taking care that each prawn is coated well with the spice mix. Set aside to marinate for 30 mins. 

● In a bowl or plate mix some rice flour & semolina (1 part rice flour : 3 parts semolina) You can add a pinch of Salt, chilli powder & turmeric to this mixture if you wish. Coat the marinated prawns with this semolina mixture & dust off excess. 

● In a non stick pan, heat couple of tablespoons of oil & shallow fry the prawns till golden brown. Do not keep flip or stir them frequently. Cook on one side for 2 mins & then flip once to cook on the other side for another minute or 2. 

Overcooking will make them tough & chewy. 

~ Taste best with a generous squeeze of lemon, some salad on the side & chilled beer ofcourse ! πŸ˜‰πŸ»

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That Susegad Sunday Lunch. Goan Thali Experience -Authenticook, Pune.Β 

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My phone has been buzzing non stop since Sunday afternoon, after I posted #instastories of this goan  lunch…Everyone’s asking the same question ! 😁 So let me tell you more about this epic Goan thali we had 2 days ago. This meal was hosted by home cook Soniya (Instagram – @sonan23) at her residence at Wanowrie, Pune. 

For those of you who already know about @authenticook , you can book this particular meal online & check other upcoming events as well…and for those who don’t , I suggest you check the #authenticook page for more details, & thank me for it ! 😁

So, back to this stellar seafood Thali. Lunch started with a glass of lovely chilled Solkadi; Which was then followed by this massive meal comprising of tival, friedfish, chickenxacuti , crabcurry, neerdosa, prawnssukka, prawncurry, clamsukkha, kismoor, rice & serradura.. Phew ! πŸ˜… I think the picture says it all, but if I must describe it, I can only think of 1 word right now, BRILLIANT ! 

Low on oil & spice but so full of flavour, each dish had its own unique texture & flavour & it was evident that a lot of effort & careful planning had gone into preparing this meal. 

I’ve had a LOT of goan food, as I’ve lived in Goa for quite some time, & this meal is as authentic as it can get. Highly highly recommended ! 

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