I tossed up a delish salad in 5 mins ! 😃

​I’m just a girl, standing in front of a #salad , asking it to be a #doughnut 😒

Anyway, this quick 5 min salad I made for #lunch today was quite good ! 

Grilled #mushrooms & #cottagecheese tossed with some #rocketleaves with a generous sprinkling of Keya all purpose seasoning. That’s it ! (all purpose seasoning was a mix of garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, paprika, salt , oregano) 

Mushrooms added a meaty texture to the salad, while the creamy sweetness of #paneer (indian cottage cheese) balanced the peppery flavour of the #arugulasalad ….& it literally took 5 mins to prepare this dish 

(I still want a doughnut though 😂) 

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Peshwa – Aundh, Pune 

One of the best things to have happened in this city, as far as Maharashtrian cuisine is concerned. ‘Peshwa’ originally started in Dubai, opened its 1st outpost in Pune, at Aundh recently… And what a great move this is !

If you’ve been a fan of Maharashtrian cuisine, you’d know that there are 2-3 types of places that serve this type of food.

One is your typical Vegetarian Maharashtrian Thali place where you get simple homestyle meals like Chapati, Sabji, Dal, Rice, Koshimbir, Sweets etc. But strictly vegetarian.

Another type is the Non-vegetarians delight. These places serve mostly Chicken, Mutton & Seafood preparations, which makes it difficult for vegetarian patrons to enjoy along with the non-vegetarians.

Then there are some places that serve a bit of both, veg as well as non veg food, but no alcohol :-/

And then there’s Peshwaa ….that serves it all !!!

That’s right.. a fine dine place that serves authentic Maharashtrian cuisine from all over the State, that also serves alcohol, and gives you the liberty to enjoy a relaxed meal unlike the hustle bustle of the typical no frills eateries serving similar cuisine.

I was recently invited for a tasting at Peshwa.

The 1st impression of this elegant place, true to its name, the gorgeous Paithani curtains, the wall art and decor definitely scores a brownie point.

Rich, elegant , yet subtle interiors are definitely pleasing to the eye, and I’m glad they’ve taken care not to make it too glaring and gaudy in order to make it look royal.

The tasting started off with welcome drinks.

Solkadhi, and Thandai were both pretty good & refreshing.

The starters which consisted of Vegetarian as well as Non veg preparations were all above average.

Except for the Malvani inspired Chicken Kabab that failed to impress. I couldn’t really identify any Malvani element in that dish. The green marination was like a regular Tikka you get at other restaurants, so maybe you could just skip it altogether.

But what I loved was the Chatpapta Prawns. True to its name, lipsmacking good, chatpata, and well cooked.

Sukka Mutton, Kothimbir Wadi, Matter Karanji were all quite satisfactory.

The mains had a mix of cuisines from all over the State, Masale Bhaat, Bharli Waangi, Birdyaachi Usal, Aluu chi Paatal Bhaji, Kombdi- Wade, Amboli, Goan style fish curry, Biryani, all of which were truly tasty and as authentic as possible.

I know this is strange, but a hard-core non vegetarian that I am, I still enjoyed the vegetarian preparations more than non veg…and that’s quite a big compliment to the restaurant 😀

What I loved about this place is that they serve desserts which most other Maharashtrian places don’t !

I was absolutely delighted to see my favourite sweet, Kharvas on the menu, and it was very well made, just like the homemade one.

If you love Maharashtrian cuisine, or if you’re new to it, & want to give it a try, I’d definitely recommend Peshwa 🙂

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 *

Fast, Fresh & Simple 

​I like making quick, easy recipes for dinner most of the times, or atleast on weekdays. 

Recipes like this easy Thai inspired curry with steamed rice feature a lot on my plate. 

It’s a good way to mix protein, fibre & carbs in a meal. 

In a wok, I sauted some boneless chicken (You can use Tofu / Mushroom / Veggies instead of, or along with the chicken.) along with ginger, shallots, lemon grass, kafir lime leaves and fresh home grown basil. 

(Salt & slit red/green chilli to taste)

Added in some diced bell peppers, & topped up with thick coconut extract to make a sort of curry-sauce. 

Served with steamed rice. 

Fast, Fresh & Simple Dinners  🙂  

Wok Tossed Prawns & Rice Stick Noodles 

​Homemade meals + cozy winter afternoons = Bliss 💜

This one dish meal is my favourite. 

I always have some chicken/prawns, some flat rice noodles/rice vermicelli at home, for a quick wok tossed meal that I can prepare in minutes. 

I used some fresh plump prawns that I wok tossed in some sweet chili sauce, garlic & crushed peppercorn, in a tsp of sesame oil, over a high flame. 

Added cooked flat rice noodles to the wok, tossed till they were coated evenly with the sauce. 

Garnished with fresh spring onion. Yummmm…

Delish meal ready in minutes ! 

PS- That’s why it’s important to have basic sauces, spices & grocery at home with which you can rustle up a quick meal, so that you don’t end up eating junk food. 😛 

Using up Leftovers – Tandoori Chicken Sandwich. 

Using up leftovers 😋

I had a piece of Tandoori Chicken leftover from last night. We always have a bit of Roast Chicken leftover, don’t we ? & if you don’t, then make a little extra next time, just so that you can try this recipe, for a quick snack the next day. 

I decided to shred the chicken & make a spicy Sandwich with it. 

So on a slice of fresh white sandwich bread, I slathered some Mayonnaise, & piled the shredded chicken on it. 

On another slice I spread some spicy green chutney, & onion slices, with a generous squeeze of lemon.You could also add a cheese slice to make it yummier. 

I grilled the sandwich with a small dollop of butter on top, till golden and crisp. 

The spicy chutney, and tandoori chicken, with the creamy mayonnaise tasted SO good ! 

Next time I’m gonna save a piece or two of chicken, just to make this sandwich the next day 😜 

* You can roll up the same ingredients in a Chapati, instead of using Bread. Cook till golden brown, with a dollop of butter, on a frying pan. *

Khiva – Phoenix, Pune 

‘Khiva’ from Mumbai, is the latest addition to the restaurant scene at Phoenix Market City, Pune. 

Considering that this place serves rich, traditional Bukhara cuisine, the decor is quite modern, simplistic, with just a few touches like, artefacts, paintings, Middle Eastern music, that try to stick to the concept of the restaurant. 

I was invited to a Preview dinner last month, & the tasting menu we were served that evening was pre decided by the management. 

Not the best mix of dishes, honestly. I would’ve loved to sample their Signature dishes, or something unique in terms of flavour, style of preparation, & presentation. 

But frankly, how different can a Palak Paneer, a Methi Mutter Malai, or a Rasmalai be, than any other place serving it ? 

The kebabs we tried – Chandni kebab, & Murg Mozarella kebab, both had a similar marination of cream, yogurt, cheese, green chili, & were pretty average in terms of flavour, presentation, and portions.

The vegetarian starters – Makai Seekh Kabab, & Mutter aur Cheese ka Tikka, were both dry and crumbly, & not really big on flavour (and Defintely Not Worth spending close to 400 bucks on!) 

The 1st (& probably the only) impressive dish of the evening was Mutton Lahori, a smooth thin onion based gravy, with absolutely tender melt in the mouth chunks of mutton that tasted brilliant with hot Naan. 

Murg Peshawari was another simple homestyle chicken curry, which is worth a try, but is it worth the high price ? I doubt. 

The vegetarian mains, as I said, were just like any other place serving this cuisne, would prepare. There was nothing different, nothing unique, in the Palak Paneer, Dal Makhani, Methi Mutter Malai or Meloni Tarkari that we were served that evening. The presentation was also as regular & run of the mill as any other place would serve. Which is exactly why I keep wondering why they’re charging whatever they are. (check the prices on Zomato, you’ll know what I mean 😐) 

Chicken Dum Biryani served with Mirch ka salan did not disappoint. Good ratio of meat to rice. Generous sprinkling of saffron and spices, and balanced flavours. No complaints there. 

It takes a very good dessert to impress me, & compel me to go for a 2nd helping, as I’m not really a big fan of Indian desserts. 

The Anjeer Halwa, Angoori Rasmalai, & Lychee ki Tehree served that evening unfortunately failed to compel me to go even for a 2nd bite, leave alone a 2nd helping. 

With the Supreme Court highway ban on alcohol still in place, you will have to settle for a mocktail with your meal at Phoenix, as of now. 

So taking all these factors into consideration, will Khiva be able to impress guests, and have them come over a 2nd time ? 

Well… it’s barely a month since they’ve opened, maybe I’ll just wait for a few more weeks, give them some more time to settle, then try the food again… I’ll reserve my opinion till then. ☺

In the meanwhile, if you do try it out, do let me know about your experience there. 

* Bloggers table was hosted by Khiva *