Easy Cherry Galette 


Its stone fruit season ! Looking at all those fresh plump juicy peaches, apricots, plums & cherries in the market, makes my mind work overtime, thinking of all the delicious things I can make with these fruits. 

So you’ll be seeing a lot of Jams, pies, tarts & galettes on my blog now. 

Honestly, nothing is simpler than a galette though. 

Served with a scoop of icecream or whipped cream, this handcrafted pie/galette makes for a comforting dessert on a gloomy rainy day. 

Here’s my Cherry Galette recipe for you – 

■ With your fingertips, rub together 100 gms of Flour with 50 gms of chilled butter (i prefer salted – @amulindia butter ), a pinch of Baking powder and 1 teaspoon of icing sugar. 

■ Rub this mixture lightly with just the fingertips, till it starts looking like coarse breadcrumbs. 

■ Add a couple of teaspoons of chilled water/milk to the mixture, & start bringing it together in a ball shape. Do Not knead the flour mixture like a bread dough. Just press it lightly between your palms, to bring it together in a dough ball. 

■ Wrap this pastry dough in a cling film & refrigerate for 15-20 mins. 

■ Take about half cup of fresh cherries (you can also use Peaches/Apricots cut into bite size pcs) Mix in few teaspoons of Demerrara (brown) Sugar, & a drop of Vanilla essence. 

■ Roll out the chilled pastry dough between sheets of Plastic, (roughly the diameter of a Quarter plate.) & roll about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. 

■ Place the rolled dough onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Pile the fruit mixture in the middle, leaving a sufficient border (atleast an inch) along the circle. 

■ Fold the border onto the fruit filling, so that the fruit does not slide off while baking. 

■ Bake the Cherry Galette in a preheated oven at 160° C for 20-25 mins, until the fruits are caramelized &  the pastry is golden-brown. 

■ Serve warm with a dollop of icecream or whipped cream. 

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One of the healthiest ways to Gamble is with a Spade and a pack of Garden Seeds ! 🌾 

I like growing my own vegetables & herbs. 🌾 I like being able to tell people that the food I’m serving started out as a seed in my yard. 😊

And you know what guys, it really doesn’t require a lot of space. You can grow these beautiful plants in pots, on your terrace, balcony, or a windowsill even ! 

I’ve been growing Lemon grass, curry leaves, chillies, basil, lemon, mulberries, coriander, tomato, capsicum, garlic chives, mint, etc besides a lot of flowering plants & climbers on my small terrace (and 1 pot is dedicated to the small wild birds that love to feast on the fresh Millet that I plant for them 😊)

I haven’t used a single drop of chemical fertilizer or pesticides till date. Just a good mix of soil, coco-peat, vermicompost, & kitchen waste like crushed egg shells, vegetable trimmings, tea leaves, etc. Its such a joy to be able to just go to the balcony & pluck a handful of mint & coriander leaves to make green chutney or for a garnish. Some fresh fragrant Curry Leaves & spicy chillies for a nice Tadka to a simple dal. The evening tea or a nice piping hot bowl of Pho on a rainy evening is made with the freshest most fragrant lemon grass ! Salad made with freshly plucked tomatoes & capsicum. Simple pleasures !

Iberico Salchichon (Sausage) – Delightful memories of Spain. 

Are you a fan of Cured Meats ? 

I surely am !  I absolutely love the intense flavour of cured meats like Chorizo and Jamon ( -salt cured Ham- pronounced as ‘Hah-mon’)

Just a tiny bit goes a long way in jazzing up your meal instantly. 

For those who are new to the technique and art of Curing meats, here’s a little info about the process of curing – 

To put it very simply, ‘Curing’ is a technique of flavouring & preserving foods, such as meats, fish, vegetables & fruits. 

The aim of curing is to draw out moisture from the food by adding Salt, Sugar, Seasoning and such other natural preservatives, to increase the shelf life of the food, and store it year round, for consumption when certain fish/fresh produce or not available or in season. 

Dehydration is the earliest form of food curing, which also includes processes like spicing, pickling, cooking, or smoking. 

Curing decreases / completely draws out the water content from foods, thus making it inhospitable for the growth of microbes that cause food spoilage. 

On my recent visit to Spain, I got a chance to sample various types of cured meats, be it in their original form as a quick nibble between meals, or in Sandwiches, Rice dishes, as a flavour enhancer in Salads, and very prominently as Tapas and on Cheese platters, served with Drinks. 

There are literally thousands of types of cured meats, all over the world. 

Some are made using a single meat such as Pork, some with a combination of 2-3 different meats (eg- pork, beef, deer, wild boar etc) or even offal. 

Some sausages also use a combination of spices like Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Pepper, Coriander etc, if the meat is to ‘Gamey’.

The one that I particularly liked, & bought in huge quantities to take back home, was the ‘Iberico Salchichon’. 

(Iberian/) Iberico Salchichon/Sausages are made from the famed Black Hoofed Iberico (Iberian) Pigs, native to Spain.

 They roam free, and feed on leaves and acorns. Extremely flavourful (& needless to say, quite expensive !) these are quite the delicacy in Spain. 

The pork is dark red and marbled with delicate fat, creating an intense flavour and melt in the mouth texture. 

Unlike Spanish Chorizo, which is infused with a lot of garlic, smoked paprika & other spices, (which btw, is also Truly delicious! ) this Salchichon uses only Salt & Pepper (sometimes Oregano) for curing. With a simple curing solution of Salt & Pepper, these sausages are filled in natural casing (read- beef/pig intestines) & are hung to cure in the cool mountain air for several weeks/months. 

Sliced thinly, this delicious treat can be served with a crisp white wine, some cheese & crusty sourdough bread. 

Makes for a perfect gift for someone who loves cured meats & wines, & even to bring back home, and stash it for the days when you want to sit back and enjoy these, while reminiscing about your beautiful Spanish vacation. 😊

Waffling Around, Aundh. Pune 


The other day I went out for a late night snack/dessert. 

Didn’t want the regular icecreams & shakes, so decided to try ‘Wafflin Around’ at Aundh (opp Croma)

A nice cute little place, which was later invaded by a group of people who had a competition with their unruly kids, over who could be the loudest & most obnoxious of the lot. (Not the restaurant’s fault at all, but all that ruckus, along with the music in the restaurant, kinda ruined my idea of having a nice dessert, on a quiet rainy night before going home & sleeping peacefully) 

Anyway, coming back to the Waffles. This place serves waffle sandwiches, basically half waffle stuffed with filling of your choice, & folded over like a sandwich. 

I tried the Strawberry-Cream waffle which my friend ordered. A mixture of whipped cream & strawberry crush topped with coloured confetti sprinkles. A bit too sweet for my liking. 

My ‘Salted Caramel’ waffle turned out better, with the balance of cream & salted caramel, which didn’t have a tooth ache inducing sweetness. 

However the actual Waffle, needs a bit of change. It was crisp on the outside, as it should be, but sadly it wasn’t at all light n airy inside. The waffle felt too dense and under done inside. 

Will I give it another try ? Yes. 

They have just 2 savoury options, but I’d like to try the Cheese filled waffle sometime. 

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. 

Quick Fried Rice 

​This one dish meal works wonders when you have a cup of leftover cooked rice and want to rustle up a quick meal on a busy work day. 
This literally takes the same amount of time it would need to cook a packet of Instant Noodles. (ok… maybe a minute more, to mince and chop the veggies…. but so much more nutritious than a pack of junk food)
I generally stock up a few bottles of Soy Sauce, Fish Sauce, and Curry Pastes to instantly jazz up boring veggies and meats.

You can use any meat/veggies you have at home, as there are no set rules for this recipe. 

So don’t be lazy, and try this simple recipe next time you have the urge to just pop a ‘ready to eat’ packaged meal in the microwave. 
● In a wok, heat a tsp of Sesame Oil (any other oil would do) Add in minced Ginger & Garlic,  Soy Sauce, (Fish Sauce- optional), Black Pepper/Chilli Flakes. 
● Add lightly whisked Egg (/Sausages/Bacon) and any of the following veggies – Pak Choi/ Bok Choy /Mushrooms /Cabbage/ Spring Onion. Add Salt to taste.

Saute on high heat for couple of minutes.

● Add in the cooked rice (should be cold/room temperature) and toss it just enough, so that all ingredients mix well. Serve hot. 

Culinary Collection Fest at JW Marriott Pune

Food festivals featuring different cuisines and guest chefs from all over the country and abroad is a common thing now.
But what a fabulous concept it is to have a festival showcasing and celebrating works of so many chefs and their specialities all at the same time.
J W Marriott Pune which has a mix od restaurants specializing in different cuisines, is hosting the Culinary Collection fest at all its different restaurants – Spice Kitchen, Paasha, Alto Vino, Shakahari, and PBC.
The bloggers table was hosted by JW Marriott at their swanky 24th floor restaurant Paasha which gives you a brilliant view of the city by night.
‘Paasha’ is serving authentic Arabian cuisine by Chef Nicola of JW Marriott Dubai.

The mezze platter was my pick of the evening.
While ‘Shakahari’ is serving a twist on some classic Indian vegetarian dishes and ‘Spice Kitchen’ is serving Srilankan delicacies.
‘Alto Vino’ has Chef Christian Huber who is joined by his twin, Chef Andreas, to dish out cuisine from their native place in North Italy.
And our very own stellar Pastry Chef Vikas Bagul, whom I very religiously follow (read – ‘stalk’…! ) on Instagram, is heading the ‘Chocolate on Canvas’ collection at PBC.
He has created some beautiful edible art on canvas, using single origin chocolates from all over the world. This one is definitely worth a look.

All the festivals are on till 15th Oct 2016.
So make that dinner plan ASAP and dont miss out on this Culinary Collection.

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