Healthy, No Cook Breakfast Ideas. Banana-Peanut Butter-Granola. 

Imagine the saltiness of generously slathered creamy peanut butter against the sweetness of banana and the crunchy texture of homemade granola packed with Almonds, Walnuts & Cranberries !

That was my breakfast today 😍 

You don’t need to slave in the kitchen for hours, neither skip breakfast bcoz you don’t have time to cook.

I just slit a banana lengthwise,  slathered some creamy peanut butter on it, & genrously sprinkled my favourite homemade granola packed full of the goodness of Oats, Almonds, Walnuts, & Cranberries. 

There you have it, a complete breakfast full of all the essential nutrients to start your day, ready in under 5 minutes, without any cooking at all ! 

Can anything be easier than that ? 

 Just use a little imagination ! Experiment a little. 

Stock up your groceries smartly. 😎

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.)

Ritz Classic. Panjim, Goa 

​There’s hardly anyone who hasn’t heard of the famous Ritz Classic restaurant in Panjim, Goa. 

I never ever miss a chance to eat here, when in Goa. 

Along with a la carte dishes, which include a huge variety of typical Goan seafood and other meat dishes, the one thing which is an absolute must have for any seafood lover is their Fish Thali. 

A huge slice of perfectly cooked flaky Surmai fry, a big bowl of mild creamy prawn curry (1 big prawn) with drumstick, a spicy-tangy mackerel curry, tisrya (clam) masala, Rice, Eggplant sabji, Solkadhi, and THE most amazing sukka sungta cha kismoor (dry shrimp-onion-fresh coconut salad) This massive thali for 160/- is sheer happiness. 

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. 

PK Biryani House – Karve Nagar, Pune

I just realized that inspite of visiting PK Biryani House SO many times, and loving almost everything on their menu, I still haven’t written anything about this place :-/
Its funny how I always think of this place when I want to have a nice, hot meat stock/clear soup when I’m down with cold and sore throat. So last week when I had a terrible cold and the usual symptoms of fever and sore throat, which are so typical in this rainy season,
I was craving some steaming hot meat broth. And the 1st place that came to mind was PK.
I just LOVE the Pandhra Rassa they serve !
Its the most comforting and nourishing ‘soup’ one can have on a cold rainy day. For those who are not familiar with the dish, Pandhra Rassa literally means ‘White gravy’. But its more like a thin, watery meat stock.
Spiced with aromatics like clove, cinnamon, peppercorns, and thickened slightly with a paste of cashewnut and coconut extract, this mutton stock can be had like a soup.
The spices lend a subtle frangrance to the delicate flavours of coconut and cashew, and the meat stock makes it so much more delicious and healthy.
There is a spicier version called ‘Tambda Rassa’ which literally means ‘Red gravy’
This one uses meat stock as the base too, but is more robust in terms of flavours, with more spices, chilli powder, onion paste which gives it the signature fiery red tinge.

PK Biryani House, as the name suggests, is well known for its Biryani. You can order half / full plate of Biryani, or even order a few kilos or more, if you have guests at home.

The rice is cooked right, not mushy, neither undercooked. The masala from the meat seeps well into the rice making it aromatic and flavourful.
Other than Biryani, they serve Mutton/Chicken Sukkha, Kheema,
Mutton/Chicken curries, Egg curry, Tandoori Chicken and various other Kebabs.
My favourite however is their Special Mutton Thali, which includes a small bowl of Kheema, Mutton Masala, Egg Curry, Tambda Rassa, Pandhra Rassa, Rice and a choice of Chapati/Bhakri.
Dunking some hot bhakri into the fiery mutton curry, and washing it down with the subtle and soothing Pandhra Rassa is a bliss that needs to be experienced.
The food is a bit on the spicier side (for me) which leaves me wiping my nose and eyes at times 😛 (very good for getting rid of the cold though.. Hahah )
Also another thing I wish they improve upon is the quantity of ‘meat’.
Though the portions of rice, bhakri, rassa etc served in a la carte or thali are quite generous, the pieces of meat most of the times are not quite ‘meaty’ (mostly just bony pieces) which leave you slightly disappointed and wanting more.
Overall this place is a typical no frills, no fuss kind of eatery. The service is quick and efficient. Its not a fancy place by any means, but its neat and tidy.
Do give it a try if you are craving a hot, spicy, hearty meal.

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Pasta House – Bibvewadi, Pune.

PASTA HOUSE,  Bibvewadi. Pune

A chance meeting with Ekta, the owner of Pasta House, and an invitation to drop in at her place to sample some of her creations, led me to Bibvewadi, on a cold rainy evening.
The drive from my place to her’s was anything but pleasant. Stuck in traffic, with power cuts and massive rain, was how I spent 2 hours, before I reached her place.
But as soon as I stepped into her home, I forgot about that ordeal in a second. Her warm smile, and the delicious aroma of pasta wafting through her kitchen was so welcoming ! Just what you need on a cold, rainy evening.

I was famished after the long ‘journey’ and tucked into the yummy pasta right away.
Ekta makes a variety of Pastas, Sandwiches and a few desserts as well. My personal favourite was the Pesto.
Wonderfully flavoured and cooked just right.
Now I cant say these are absolutely ‘authentic’ recipes, and nor does she claim they are.
She has given her recipes some twists and tweaks just the way we all do, as per our preferences. And it works !
The best part about the whole experience was the freshness of ingredients. Nothing is made in advance and stored for long.
As of now, Pasta House accepts orders for Take Aways only. So you need to order few hours in advance. Once you place an order, Ekta starts making everything from scratch, the pasta sauces, sandwich fillings everything is made fresh.
Loved the way she serves and coaxes you to have more, with a warm smile.
Ekta also conducts workshops, if you wish to learn the tips and tricks of making great pasta.
Do call her, and place your orders, or book a cooking workshop with her soon.
Wishing this budding entrepreneur great success in all her ventures!

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