Creamy Cold Coffee

What’s so different about this, you ask. Well, it’s creamier. Yep, the cream. It’s that one secret ingredient which adds density and character to your otherwise regular coffee.
Whoever I’ve served it to, I’ve always got an “ummmmm, it’s awesssomeee”… There can’t be a better welcome drink than this 🙂


Ingredients: (This will make one glass)
200 ml cold milk
40 ml fresh cream
3 tsp sugar
1 tsp instant coffee powder. Add more if you like it strong.

Method:
1. In a coffee shaker bottle, add all the above ingredients and give a good shake till dissolved.
2. Take a glass and pop in 4-5 ice cubes.
3. Now pour the above mixture over the cubes for a super-chilled frothy delight.

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Peach Melba

Is there anything as pretty as a Peach this season? I don’t think so. Sitting proudly in all the fruit stalls, this gorgeous, sunset-stained fruit looks as if it’s blushing whenever you pass by.
Coming to nutrition, this good-looking tangy fruit is packed with Vitamin C – a strong antioxidant, Iron and Zinc. Its Beta-carotene is important for healthy eyes and high dietary fiber aids digestion.
When applied tropically, it can reduce wrinkles, improve overall skin texture and help fighting skin damage caused by the sun and pollution.
Peach Melba is mandatory in my kitchen, whenever the fruit arrives in the markets.
Time to do a happy dance, because, making Peach Melba is a shamelessly simple.

Ingredients: 
8 peaches, halved and destoned
1 cinnamon stick
4 cloves
3 cardamoms (whack gently, just so the pods open up a little)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups sugar
3 cups water
2 tbsps lemon juice
Pinch of salt

Method:
1. Put all the ingredients (except peaches) into a wide sauce pan and heat on medium, stirring occasionally, till the sugar dissolves.
2. Bring the pan to boil and let it bubble away for about five minutes. Reduce the flame and let it simmer for another 3-4 minutes.
3. Now, gently slide the peaches into the pan, cut-side down and poach for 4-5 minutes each side on medium heat.
4. Test the cut side with a knife. It should be soft.
5. Poach in batches if all the halves do not fit at one go.
6. Take out the poached fruits with a slotted spoon and leave them on a plate.
7. Peel off their skins and let them cool.
8. Serve with Vanilla / Strawberry ice cream or Raspberry Sauce

P.S.:  Refrigerate the syrup in an air-tight jar for poaching later.

So, hurry up and get this beauty home before it makes its final appearance.

Pasta Verduras – Pasta in Veggies, Wine And Tomato Sauce

Every dish has a story to tell. Like my Pasta Verduras. The idea was to rustle up a quick stew for Sunday lunch. Pasta just came waddling around for a stroll. But, glancing at this inviting, aromatic stew bursting with colors, the pasta decided to take a dip. So, that’s that 🙂
It’s a one-pot recipe that’ll make for a quick, hearty lunch and also a comforting dinner.
All you need to do is get chopping 🙂

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
2 red peppers, deseeded and diced
2 yellow peppers, deseeded and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 medium size red onions, finely chopped
1 medium aubergine, cut into big chunks
1 medium broccoli, roughly chopped
1 large courgettes, diced
1/2 cup green peas
2 tbsp, garlic, grated. I use lots of it. I’m a huge garlic fan 🙂
1 ripe tomato, roughly chopped
3 ripe tomatoes, pureed
3 tbsp, tomato ketchup or sauce
1/2 cup any red wine. I used Port Wine
400 gm macaroni, penne or spaghetti pasta
A cup of grated parmesan cheese. Save a little for garnishing.
Chopped coriander for garnishing
2 tsp lemon juice
Olive oil for frying
Salt and pepper for seasoning

Method:
1. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes, or until they are soft and translucent.
2. Toss in all the chopped peppers. Put the lid on and cook on medium, till soft.
3. Now add carrots and courgettes and cook.
4. Once the carrots are soft, add peas, aubergine, tomatoes, broccoli and cook with lid on.
5. Add the tomato puree, sause and the seasoning and cook on medium for another 3-4 of minutes.
6. Lastly add the slosh of wine and lemon juice and stir. Let it simmer on low for 5 minutes. Do the taste test and add more seasoning if needed.
7. Add the grated parmesan, stir and let it cook on low for a minute. Save some of it for plating.
8. Meanwhile, put a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the packet instructions. When cooked, drain in a colander, reserving some of the cooking water.
9. Now pop the pasta and cooking water into the stew, add the chopped coriander and give a good toss.
10. Serve hot with a garnish of coriander, gorgeous long ribbons of grated parmesan and a poached egg mounted on the top, its sun-kissed yolk streaming down.
I like it medium-poached.

Good and nutritious food isn’t always the outcome of lengthy, rigorous cooking. It can also be like that story, short and simple; yet it leaves an indelible effect on you that lasts forever…

Cloud Eggs – The Latest Instagram Obsession

Philadelphia White Chocolate Cheesecake

Cheesecakes have always blown me away by their silky texture, super delectable flavors and the variety of eyeball grabbing, mouthwatering toppings the vendors use. My personal favorite is the blueberrytopping.

Easter was just around the corner and house party was on the cards.
Being my first time making a Cheesecake at home, I wanted to start off with a really simple recipe that would be a sure-shot success and loved by all. So, I went pillaging the net and bumped into this mind-blowing recipe by Lorraine Pascale. This was just the one I was looking out for…a no-bake cheesecake.
It’s undaunting, super easy and guaranteed to steal the show. And the best part is, you can have tonnes of fun with the decoration and toppings.


Serves: 15

Ingredients:
Base:

300 gm pack of chocolate digestive biscuits, blitzed to crumb texture
60 gm butter, melted and cooled

Filling:
4 x 180 gm packs of Philadelphia full-fat cream cheese
500 gm white chocolate
100 gm icing sugar

To decorate:
100 gm dark chocolate

Method:
1. Line the bottom and sides of a 23cm spring-form tin with baking parchment.
2. Put the blitzed biscuits in a bowl, add the butter and mix well. Tip into the tin and press it well with a wooden spoon. Using hands is the best. Pop into the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
3. Put the cream cheese and icing sugar in a bowl and mix gently.
4. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl, set over a pan of simmering water. Add the cream cheese mixture into the melted chocolate, one dollop at a time, stirring well until the mixture begins to look uniform, smooth and silky. Tip it over the biscuit base and smooth the top.
5. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes,
6. Chop the chocolate into shavings or use a peeler to make chocolate curls.
7. Remove the cheesecake from the tin and peel away the parchment.
8. Place it on a plate and decorate with the chocolate shavings or toppings of your choice.

P.S.: If you feel Philadelphia Cream Cheese is going to burn a big round hole in your pocket, D’lecta Creme Cheese or any good quality cream cheese should serve the purpose.

If you are in a pursuit of happiness, this is happiness… a smooth, creamy, yummy mouthful of happiness 🙂

Bangda Recheado Fry – Crisp Fried Stuffed Mackerel

Mackerel or Bangda in Marathi hits the perfect spot when it comes to nutrition. This gorgeous steely-blue fish is loaded with proteins, B vitamins and is a top notch source of Omega-3 fatty acids.

I usually fry this fish by applying the marinade only on the outside. This time I went all Goan by doing the recheado.
Now, recheado is frequently mistaken as the spice paste used for marinating the fish. But, it actually is the Portuguese word for Stuffing 🙂

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Marination time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
4 medium size Mackerels
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
6 tbsp red chili powder / kashmiri chili powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 cumin powder
4-5 black pepper corns
1 inch cinnamon stick
5 cloves
4-5 fenugreek (methi) seeds
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp Sugar
3 – 4 tbsp vinegar
Chickpea flour or Besan for coating
Salt as per taste
Oil for frying

Method:
1. Slit the fish lengthwise on the narrower side, but don’t cut it into two.
2. Marinate with salt and turmeric powder and leave it aside for 10 minutes.
3. Grind all the other ingredients together into a smooth paste – chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, ginger-garlic paste, pepper corns, cinnamon, fenugreek seeds, cloves, mustard seeds, vinegar, sugar and salt.
4. Rub this spice paste equally on to the surface and then stuff it within the slit.
5. Again, leave it aside for 15 minutes, so the fish absorbs all the flavors.
6. Heat some oil in a fry pan.
7. Sprinkle the chickpea flour equally on both the sides of the fish.
8. Fry the fish on medium flame, about 2 minutes each side, till brown and crisp.
9. Drain the excess oil on an absorbent paper.
10. Serve hot with rice and curry.

P.S.:
1. You can use lemon juice or tamarind paste as an alternative to vinegar.
2. Vinegar has a very strong tangy flavor. So don’t go overboard, else it will dominate all the wonderful flavors other spices impart.
3. Fish can also be coated in semolina or rice flour.
4. Sprinkling the flour prevents wastage of the flour and the spices while frying.
5. Being patient with marination goes a long way in making the fish more flavorful.
6. It’s best to fry the fish when you are ready to serve.
7. If you’ve fried it before hand, instead of warming it up in a microwave, heat a skillet/ fry pan/ grill pan and warm it up on medium flame for few seconds each side. You don’t have to add oil here. This will not just warm up the fish but also retain its crispness.