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2013 in review

31 Dec

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,800 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 47 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.



25 Aug

Hello world! 

Sorry  haven’t been updating for a while. Looks like its going to be another week before I can get back to the blog (working on my final submission for the MA). Sorry, but see you soon!


Mango Season

25 Jun

Hi everyone! So good to be back after the long hiatus (it doesn’t help if you have submissions on top of everything else).

To re-boot, I thought I’d go straight for the bang with the ‘king of fruits’, Mango! Where I come from, Mango season is a huge deal. We wait anxiously all year for it to arrive. Then when it first comes into the market, we turn away from vendors pretending we don’t want it (lest they try to sell it to us at anything more than a bargain price) and then when we can’t stop ourselves, we go in for the plunge. After that, its alphonso, payri, langdo, badam and the rest. The next few months are spent in consuming mango milkshakes, mango pulp, cut mango, mango juice, mango this, mango that and the other.

I had the *miraculous* fortune not to miss the mango season this year (despite being in England), because my dear aunt and cousin made a trip down here, and yes, that right, carted a whole dozen of alphonso mangoes with them for me! Of course I savoured them one by one and made all possible things with them including the mango pulp and yoghurt recipe that I shared with you guys at this time last year.

To add to this, she also brought me some mango burfi from Chitale’s in Pune, an Indian sweet made from mango pulp, loads of sugar and a form of solid condensed milk, called mawa. To my surprise I also discovered a seasonal tea by Twinnings called Mango Green Tea, which is lovely, both hot and cold.

As I post this, I realise I am in great danger of my friends raiding my stash soon, so I better run off  now for another mango.

Hope you’re making as much of the mango season as I am!

Lots of summer love 🙂

Warm Banana Pie

21 Aug

Banana Pie – During and After!

Fonds Blanc de Volialle: the best chicken stock in the world

21 Jul

This is from ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’, with a few of my editions depending on what is available here:

Fonds Blanc de Volialle (White Poultry Stock)

What you need:

Chicken left overs, scraps, bones (it is also suggested that whole pieces such as Legs be added to the stock for thickness and flavour)
Cold water
2 tsp salt
2 medium sized scraped carrots
2 medium sized peeled onions

In a washed cheesecloth (malmal will do):
1/4 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
2 unpeeled garlic cloves
2 whole cloves
6 parsley sprigs
(these spices might be difficult to find whole, so just used the dried, powdered form)

What to do:

Place the chicken in a large vessel and add cold water to it cover the pieces by 2 inches. Set over moderate heat. As the liquid comes slowly to a simmer, the scum will start to rise. Remove it with a spoon/ladle for about 5 mins till it stops coming up.

Add the other ingredients to the vessel and more water if the liquid doesn’t cover the ingredients by at least an inch. Cover and let simmer, leaving a 1 inch space for steam to escape.

Once the chicken is tender, remove it and let the stock simmer for atleast another 4-5 hours.

If you find that a lot of water has evaporated, you can add more boiling water to loosen the stock.

Stock can be refrigerated and used as when required. Remember to boil the stock every 3 to 4 days to keep it from spoiling.

Something I whipped up in Kullu. I think I might have accidentally made chicken stock here for the first time 🙂

Spinach fritters

30 Jun

Have you ever tried Spinach fritters? They’re really easy to make. Take some spinach. Cut off the ends so that you only have the leaves. Wash them and keep aside to dry.

Next, make some batter (like the batter we made for the batata vada, described in a earlier post), dip the leaves in the batter and fry!

Serve while its hot and crisp.

Culinary Journey – Pune, Kolhapur, Goa

29 May

Alright guys (whoever is reading me), I’m off to Pune tomorrow, followed by Kolhapur and then Goa. That means, 3 completely different types of cuisine!
Pune – Maharashtrian brahmin food
Kolhapur – Spicy, really spicy food, exciting non-veg options
Goa – Coconut based, coastal food

I don’t know how far I’ll be able to update in the next few days, but do expect a LOT of stuff when I come back. I promise to get lots of pictures!
See ya 🙂 have a nice weekend!

Orange Macaroon Cake

26 May

Here’s a delicious and simple recipe for an Orange Macaroon cake I got from The Guardian website. Yumm!

How to bake
Orange macaroon cake

If you’re making an orange cake, make it taste resoundingly of oranges, as I’ve done here, with the zest and an orange liqueur in the cake, and fresh juice and zest in the icing. Ditto lemon cake and others: if you can find the same flavour in two or more ingredients, then combine them for a dazzling effect. Most oranges are sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, so use organic if you want chemical-free zest.

3 large oranges

175g unsalted butter, softened

175g caster sugar

3 large eggs

50g desiccated coconut

150g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

75ml Cointreau or Grand Marnier

125g icing sugar

Line the base of two 18cm sponge cake tins with a disc of baking parchment and preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Finely grate the zest of two of the oranges into a bowl with the butter and sugar, then beat until light and creamy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in the coconut. Sift the flour and baking powder together, beat half into the butter mixture, followed by the Cointreau, then fold through the remaining flour.

Divide between the tins and bake for 25-30 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin, then remove and peel the parchment off the bottom. Finely grate the zest of the remaining orange into a bowl, add the icing sugar and beat with a few tablespoons of orange juice until spreadable. Top each cake with the icing, stack one on top of the other and serve.