Tender bean and corn salad

This super simple recipe has been too long in the making! Am sure it was almost a year ago that Ayesha told me about a friend having made this. Been meaning to try it out ever since. It is a simple, clean, and quick one.

You need:

  • Slender, tender green beans, washed, and chopped at an angle, into 1 inch long pieces. About 250 grams.
  • A cup of fresh corn.
  • A little butter /olive oil.
  • Some salt and pepper to sprinkle.

To make it:

  • Parboil the green beans over a stove or in the microwave in a little water. Let them cook a little, but retain the crunch. About 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the water and leave the beans out to cool a little.
  • Saute the fresh corn in a little olive oil or butter. Cool.
  • Toss the beans and corn together in a bowl, shake some salt and pepper over it. Ready!

It makes a crunchy side salad with any kinda meal.

beans and corn salad

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Cup cake play!

Scouring stores for cake decorations may seem a bit crazy, but hey, when you find them, they are SO worth the hunt! But I am yet to find really nice ones here in Bangalore. So if you know any stores, please do tell! In the meantime I ask friends traveling to India to bring some, or pick up when am traveling myself.

Small decorations like sprinkles look best on cup cakes, methinks. Some amateur attempts here, playing with cup cakes with the boys and they love it (amateur or not).

cup cake pink

cup cake chocolate icing

strawberry cup cake

The recipes are from www.joyofbaking.com. Simply tons of recipes out there that really work!

You think these will be good to take to a bazaar? Yes, to sell :)? Of course, I better be brushing up on the squeezing-an-icing-tube skills.

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Fruit from down under

I am a sucker for luscious looking fruits flaunting their colours in the aisles – whether they are sprawled out in a posh supermarket or jostling for space in the local mandi. And I tend to pick out fruit in lovely colour combinations, red apples and yellow bananas. Or oranges and strawberries. Oh they look so good whole or chopped up together!

While we’ve been drooling, some firang fruits have snuck in to the market… and have stuck around. While red globe grapes from Oz have been on the stands consistently (though at a prohibitive price!), its pal the kiwi has made an entrance.

And my kids love it! We hadn’t sampled any until the Oz trip recently – and over there they would like, eat 4 a day. So yippee for having these lil green fellas for traveling all the way here home! The cute thing is they came with a little kiwi spoon – green, small teeth, perfect for scooping out the juicy insides. And the kids faithfully brought the spoons back with them and love it!

kiwiIf you have interesting recipe that has kiwis in it, do share!

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Strawberries and chocolate!

Without any preamble, let us get to the basics of this very basic dessert / snack / sweet tooth fix…

Melt chocolate buttons or choclate cut into small pieces, over a double boiler. (Microwaving is OK, but the chocolate dries up). I love the double boiler because you can turn off the heat and leave the chocolate in the hot water and it will stay gooey until you have finished all of your strawberry dipping!

melt chocolate buttonsDip the washed and trimmed strawberries in the melted chcolate.

Place on cupcake paper cups gently. The chocolate will harden in a few minutes.

Let them cool and gently pick them off the paper cups to serve.

I love the way parts of the choclate follow the zig zag of the paper cups… Luscious, are they not?

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Cranberry bread-cake

What do you do when you are completely at a loose end, not  knowing where to pick up after a break… you bake. That seemed to be the only thing that would lift the inertia a little bit. And Saturday morning seemed ideal to start! And I did not figure if this was a cranberry bread or a cranberry cake, hence the identity-crisis name.

Having picked up some ingredients missed sorely in Bangalore like dried berries and stuff, this Cranberry Bread recipe from Joy of Baking jumped out at me.

Here are the ingredients it suggests:

  • 4 cups (460 grams) sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (200 grams) white granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of one orange or lemon (optional) – I did not use this
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract – I used vanilla essence
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) milk
  • 1 cup (120 grams) fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped – I used dried berries and it tastes just great!
  • 1/2 cup (90 grams) candied and chopped mixed peel – For this, there are tonsa recipes on how to make your own, I picked up mine in a store. 
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) toasted almonds, coarsely chopped (can use walnuts, hazelnuts or pecans) – I used flaked almonds, toasted.

cranberry cake 1

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl, then whisk the wet ones in another bowl. Add the wet to the dry ingredients. Whisk well. Add the berries, mixed peel and nuts. Good mix… Pour into a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and bake at 200 degree C. I baked it for 60 minutes, instead of 70.

The serving suggestion says thick slices with a thin spread of butter…and golly! That is JUST the way to polish this off at tea time! Or at a mid morning snack break… or .. er… any time, really :).

cranberry cake 2

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Food for Soul Week, 2nd – 8th October, 2011


If you’re planning to eat out between 2nd and 8th October, eat at one of the Food for Soul participaing outlets and help a cause!

‘Food for Soul Week’ is initiated by Lovedale Foundation in association with restaurants and hotels across Bangalore during the Joy of Giving Week (JGW) being held from 2nd – 8th of October, 2011.

All the participating restaurants will reserve a table for four. Proceeds from that table will be donated by the restaurant to Lovedale Foundation.

The funds raised through this event will be used to procure a school bus for the children of Lovedale Foundation.

The participating outlets are:

  • Fava (UB City – 22117444)
  • Mocha (Lavelle Road – 42110094/95)
  • Mocha (Koramangala – 41570437)
  • Mast Kalandar (all 25 outlets across Bangalore)
  • The Biere Club (42124383/84/86)
  • Opus (23442580)
  • The Gateway Hotel, Residency Road.

Visit their Facebook event page here.

Leaving you with some warming images of the children at the Lovedale Foundation.


For more information, please contact Shruti Agarwal: +91 9731982032
Lovedale Foundation

All images including lgo, courtesy Lovedale Foundation. Please do not copy without permission.

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The Upper Crust Food Show – Schedule

Hey everyone.. all those of you foodies who can’t wait for the Upper Crust Food show starting Sept 23rd – here’s the schedule of the presentations on cooking, so you can plan to catch just the action you want!

Click on the image to open a larger size.

UCS Blore Schedule

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Stores: The Spice Route

Another long over due post is here! Lots of stuff happening here – including a fun Sunday Soul Sante yesterday (until the rain gods buggered it, of course) and STB kitchen art was there. Thanks all who visited and bought kitchen art to liven up their home or a friend’s :)!

So here I am, trying to put some quality time back in the blog :). And this one promises to be a visual treat for sure – so read on!

I’ve seen stores selling spices and then again, I’ve seen stores selling spices! That’s the feeling I had when I stepped in to The Spice Route – at Mantri Mall, in Bangalore some months ago. The place sure draws you in with it’s complete elegance. And I love beige and ochre and earth colours, and this store just beckoned. Inside, walls of shelves with all kinds of Indian spices you have ever heard of. Glass jars showing off their contents – some of the best varieties of spices that any kitchen could need.

The Spice Route at Mantri Mall, BangaloreThe Spice Route is the result of a questioning thought process, one that asked – if India has such a rich heritage of spices and their contribution to world cuisine, why doesn’t it deserve the best retail experience? And the answer prompted Geeta Kannan, the founder, to set up just that – quite an ‘experience’.

The stores are beautifully maintained, the spices look good enough to eat right there. They source the best from all over India, and the few that I bought did testify that. “We have such a rich heritage and the best spices growing in India and they must be showcased in the best light. Our stores provide this experience to Indians and to those who travel here from other countries – they get to shop in a great ambience, which is really a tribute to what our country offers”.

Spices like cardamom, pepper, star anise, nutmeg, mace, turmeric; herbs like basil, parsely, marjoram and nuts are all proudly on display in the stores.

I leave you with glimpses of some of their other stores across the country.

The Spice Route 2

The Spice Route 3

The Spice Route 4

The Spice Route 5All photographs courtesy The Spice Route (GeethaKannan Spices Private Limited)


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The Upper Crust Food Show is back

Reminiscing about last year’s Upper Crust Food Show, where I got to see so many new and fun products for the kitchen – food, appliances, wines and more! Here are some glimpses from last year’s show – and his year, the show is back in September. Block your calendars for 23rd 24th and 25th, 3 days of shopping and workshops by well known chefs. It promises to be a great deal of fun!

Upper Crust 2010 1

Upper Crust 2010 2

Upper Crust 2010 3

The food show is the brain child of Farzana Behram Contractor, celebrity editor, publisher and photographer. After a long run in Mumbai, the show is now coming to other cities in India, which is quite cool. The Food Show brings under one umbrella a large number of national and international food products, as well as top chefs who give interesting cookery demos in a very personal environment amidst the 3 day food extravaganza.

What I remember taking away from the food show last year were some amazing people and products – wines from Reveilo, Patisserie Nitash, some very useful cooking sprays, frozen products (let’s face it – they are very useful at times :) ), new snacks, and some cool cooking contests to boot. So don’t miss it, and keep watching this space for more details on the event.

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World Kitchen Garden Day – join in!

Namma Bengaluru celebrates World Kitchen Garden Day!


ZED Habitats presents

OOTA from your THOTA (Food from your Garden)

Organised by Garden City Farmers Trust
Media Partner: Citizen Matters, Bangalore’s own interactive news magazine

On World Kitchen Garden day, Bengaluru joins other Indian cities to create awareness and promote ‘grow and eat organic vegetables’ in your own homes – be it terraces, balconies, front or backyards.

  • Display and sale of plants, seeds, saplings, medicinal plants, planters, garden tools & decor, compost, compost bins, organic vegetables foods and eco-friendly cloth bags.
  • Open sessions on organic kitchen gardening, composting and healthy eating!
  • Live-demos and fun activities for kids

Sunday, 28 August 10am – 2pmAICOBOO ground, 16th main, 1st cross, BTM Layout 1st stage, (Beside Advaith Petrol Bunk – Adyar Anand Bhavan, near Udupi Garden junction)


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