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. 🍽

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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 Blogger, Lifestyle, Lunch, Party Snacks / Appetizers, Restaurant Review, Restaurant Reviews, Reviews, Travel

Good News Dhaba – Ishanya Mall PuneΒ 

There’s good news for all Punekars…yeah… quite literally ‘Good News’, coz that’s the name of this Modern-Desi Dhaba at Ishanya !

Going to keep this review pretty short and simple.

So why is it good news…You ask ?

Coz this :

Great Ambiance – βœ”

Interesting (& Potent!) Cocktails – βœ”

Good Food – βœ”

Friendly & Efficient Service – βœ”

This place just ticks all the right boxes.

A special mention to the OTT decor ! All that kitsch, all that bling, the quirky wall art, massive light fittings made with chai kullad & cutting chai glasses, a full size bathtub to chill beer bottles (yeah, you read that correctly, they have placed a bathtub with overhead showers that work, bang in the middle of the bar !)

And as garish as all this sounds, all these elements come together and totally work somehow, giving this place a very fun and lively vibe !

Over to the food and drinks –

They serve some interesting (read- potent) cocktails with equally interesting names. 

The bar bites are not your usual chips and peanuts, but a rather interesting concept where they serve a basket of Khichiya Papads and along with that a tray full of ingredients to make your own chutney.

So you get small bowls of mint, coriander, yogurt, ginger, garlic, chillies, etc along with a small mortar & pestle. Mix and grind ingredients to your liking and enjoy your chutney with those rather addictive papads.


Though not a big fan of soup or shorba,  the Murgh Galliana Shorba was quite the bomb ! I could literally just have that instead of dinner on a lovely breezy winter evening. 

Paneer de sholay , Jhinga Kalimiri, Highway Mutton Seekh Kabab, were my favoutires from the menu we tasted that evening.

Also, do save some appetite for that simple yet hearty and delicious Langar Dal Amritsari , which we mopped up with some hot fluffy naan. 

If you have a sweet tooth, then there’s Rabdi, matka kulfi, Paan- Choco bon bon that you can end your meal with. 

Good News indeed, right ?! 

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Lifestyle, Motivation, Travel

Work…Travel…Save…Repeat.Β 

Looks like a stillife painting…right ?! 

That was my #airbnb home in #madrid 😍 

I had always opted for a separate #airbnbhome , where the owners just hand over the house keys & then leave for a vacation, while I get to use their apartment. 

But this time in Madrid, I shared the apartment with the home owners, while they were living there, going on about, with their daily routine. 

It was truly a different experience to live with the locals. This beautiful apartment is owned by 2 amazing, hospitable guys who not only helped me out with the directions, local maps, best eateries in town & other info, but we also used to sit & chat here in this corner, share stories & experiences of our own countries, & people back home. We used to cook & exchange recipes. 

I must say, inspite of it being owned by 2 BOYS, there was absolutely no mess or clutter in the house ! πŸ˜… The place was spick n span & immaculately done up. 

Yours Truly, on the other hand, bumped into the glass door & splashed coffee all over the place early in the morning (ok, I blame that #sangria from the previous night) πŸ™ˆπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ 

Thankfully the boys were still asleep, so I quietly cleaned up everything & behaved like nothing ever happened 😎 

I often see people too rigid when it comes to travelling, food, accommodation, or planning their holidays in general. 

But these are some experiences that you miss out on, when you insist on swanky hotels, & the typical ‘touristy’ itineraries. 

If you truly want to get to know a place, you gotta be open to other cultures, cuisines, mingle with the locals. 

Yes, there are all kinds of people in the world; You might not have the best of experiences every time. But that’s the whole point of travelling & exploring new places. Getting out of your comfort zone, trusting people, & yourself, but being street smart at the same time. That’s how you make memories. It’s fun…Try it ! πŸ™‚ 


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Food Blog, Food Blogger, Home Cooking, Lifestyle, Party Snacks / Appetizers, Quick Meals

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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3 Spices – Double Tree by Hilton, Pimpri-Chinchwad.

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Located in the heart of Pune’s Industrial belt, Double Tree by Hilton is an ideal venue for a lunch meeting, corporate event, or even to stay on a business trip.
I was recently invited to their restaurant ‘3 Spices’ for the launch of their new menu.

A warm inviting ambiance with a lively vibe, this place isn’t just for mundane meetings, but also a good venue for an evening out with family and friends.
We started the tasting session with an assortment of wines from Sula Vineyards, and some delectable starters to go with it.

Keeping in mind the preferences of the guests, the newly designed menu is a mix of cuisines, to cater to all palates.

There’s a wide variety to choose from Indian, Oriental, & Continental cuisine.

A special mention has to be made about the Desserts though. Everything on the dessert counter looked so attractive, that we started our meal with a couple of desserts !

We were quite literally alternating between the sweet and savoury courses.
I particularly enjoyed the Continental cuisine and preferred to stick with that, over the Indian mains. And then some more desserts ofcourse !

The place felt a little crowded and noisy later, as the restaurant was almost packed to capacity by late evening…but then again, that’s a good sign…right?
Everything from the food, to the plating, presentation and the service was upto the mark & definitely worth another visit.

* Bloggers table was hosted by 3 Spices *

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Ajwain (Carom seed) PurisΒ 

Ajwain (carom seed) Puris – 

A very simple unleavened Indian flatbread. There are many variations of this flatbread, depending on the region where they are made.

 This is a simple recipe which requires just a few ingredients & can be made in under half an hour. 

β–  In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour, 2 Tablespoons of Semolina, 1/2 Tsp Ajwain (Carom Seeds), 1/4 Tsp Turmeric powder, 1-2 Garlic flakes -minced /grated (optional) , Salt & Chilli powder to Taste.

β–  Knead all the above ingredients into a stiff dough, using water as required (little at a time) Set aside for 15-20 mins. 

β–  In a wok, heat oil. Roll out small (lemon sized) dough balls into flat Puris. (As shown in the pic) Deep fry the puris in hot oil, on medium heat, till they get a golden hue, & are fully puffed up. 

I serve these hot fluffy crisp Puris with a Mint-Coriander-Green Chilli Chutney, and some plain yogurt for Breakfast.

You  can also serve as a hearty meal along with Palak Paneer, Chickpea or Potato Curry. 

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