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

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) Puris 

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. 

■ 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.

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

■ 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. 

Croque Monsieur et Croque Madame 


* Croque Monsieur et Croque Madame *🗼 

During summer last year, I became slightly addicted to French comfort food, the Croque Monsieur. 💖

When prepared right, this delicious French sandwich can give even the best of American grilled cheese sandwiches a run for their money. 

The story behind the Croque Monsieur (which literally means crispy/crunchy mister 😉) is that, some French labourers accidentally left their lunch boxes filled with Ham & Gruyere Sandwiches near a hot radiator, & by lunchtime, those sandwiches turned into gooey, grilled ham & gruyere sandwiches…which then became a very popular snack among the labourers. 

I’m not sure, if this story is true, but by the 1900s the Croque Monsieur was a standard on every French cafe menu, & the rest, as they say, is history. 

So what’s a ‘Croque Madame’ then ? 

Its basically a Croque Monsieur with an egg on top ! (a fried egg, most of the times)

And just in case all that Ham, Gruyere, & Egg isn’t decadent enough for you, we have additions/substitutes like Bechamel Sauce, or Blue Cheese, Smoked Salmon instead of Ham, thinly sliced Tomatoes/fried Potatoes etc. 

And a definite must have with this snack, is a glass of white wine ! 

So now you know why I got ‘slightly addicted’ to this French comfort food, while I was in Paris, right…? 😜

 (PS- My favourite out of the 2, is ….ahem …the Crispy Mister/Monsieur 😉…..and None of the sandwiches available here in town, can even dream of coming close to the ‘Real’ French ones….Seriously.)

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 ! 😂

Junk Food can be made Healthier in just a few simple steps – My version of MAGGI 

​I know this might sound stupid… but honestly… I DO NOT LIKE MAGGI (Or ANY other 2 minute noodles) 😑

But sometimes you need something quick, & easy to make after a long tiring day… or you’re back home late, & there’s not much of an option really. 

 MY version of #maggi is what I make then…. lots of crunchy vegetables, & crispy noodles, spread over regular (instant) cooked noodles. 

This method is not really the quickest, but it’s definitely tastier & much healthier than the regular instant version. 

So here’s what I do – 

● Chop vegetables into small bite sized pieces. You can use any/as many vegetables as you like from this list – Cauliflower, Broccoli, Carrot, French Beans, Peas, Cabbage, Spring Onion. (Spring onion should be added at the end of cooking/as a garnish to retain freshness & crunch) 

● Heat a pan and add some oil (couple of teaspoons) 

● Add some crushed MAGGI noodles and stir fry on low heat till golden & crisp. (Always add noodles 1st, let them crisp up, before adding vegetbles) 

● Add chopped vegetables, salt to taste, and Tastemaker /any other spice mix of your choice and stir well. 

● Stir fry the vegetables on medium heat for a few minutes, taking care to retain their crunchy texture. 

● Simultaneously in another utensil, cook the instant noodles as you normally do (boil water, add tastemaker, add noodles & let cook) 

● Add the stir fried crunchy noodles- veggie mix onto the boiled noodles and serve immediately. 

I like the taste & crunchy texture of the stir fried noodles & vegetables along with the softness of the regular cooked noodles…it’s a nice balance of flavours & textures. 

Plus it’s a good way of eating veggies. Makes you feel less guilty about eating junk food (as if I care too much about that 😂😂….No I just like my version much more than the regular boring packet noodles.)

Quick & Easy Paneer- Capsicum Curry 

​The fastest & simplest way to make a Paneer-Capsicum-Onion dish, that tastes fabulous with steamed rice/laccha parathas/hot phulka. 

I used my favourite ‘Feel Good’ brand of #paneer that I bought from Dorabjee’s 

Here’s what you need to do – 

■ In a pan take a spoonful of Ghee, and add Kalonji (nigella seeds/onion seeds) to it. 

■ Once the seeds start to sizzle a bit, add diced onion, and capsicum, pinch of turmeric, salt, ‘Kitchen King’ masala & red chilli powder to taste, and toss on high flame for just a minute (the vegetables should remain crunchy) 

■ Add a little whisked yogurt, and stir in till combined well. Lower the heat at this point. 

■ Add cubes of Paneer, and stir gently till combined. Do not overcook Paneer, as it becomes chewy. Add water/milk/cream, as per your choice, to adjust the consistency. 
Serve the dish with fresh steamed rice/paratha/phulka. 

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 😃