Friday, 15 May 2015

Anti-oxidant Hibiscus Juice shot

I am a teenie weenie bit vain so when a drink promises radiant skin and anti-ageing benefits it must feature in my day!

Well , jokes apart Hibiscus flower has been used for centuries in Asia and in the Caribbean in teas and other drinks. Also used as a medicinal aid the hibiscus flower is known to have several health benefits like lowering blood pressure etc.

Vendors selling a deep red sweet iced tea called  Agua Fresca (hibiscus teain opean air markets in Mexico is a common sight.

Hibiscus flowers contain high levels of anti-oxidants including flavanoids ....the same stuff found in red wine :))

Hibiscus flowers contain 17% more anthocyanins ( anti-oxidants) ....simply put the good stuff that makes your skin glow and helps fight ageing :)))  .....than other juices!

Tastes so refreshing ........a berry like taste with slight flowery undertones ... I dont know about the health benefits but I know every time I have this I feel a spike in my energy levels ....:))))

So here it is ......

For 1 Glass you need

Petals of 2 hibiscus flowers - washed 
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1.5 - 2 tsp honey

In the smallest attachment of your mixer add washed flower petals along with lemon juice. Leave in the fridge for 1-2 hours.

Grind with a little water till you get a beautiful concentrate all ruby red and pretty ...should look like this......

Add a glass of water .

Stir in some honey and drink to good health :))

Thank -you for taking the time to visit :)

Do leave a comment will make me really happy :)))

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Labneh korat

Its no secret that I adore Middle Eastern food , I love the generous use of fresh produce , olive oil and simple clean flavours .

I specially enjoy mezze ....which is a term to describe little plates of food that are brought in before the actual meal . I love my hummus , muhmarra , pickled beetroots , baba gnaoush and tabouleh salad . But most of all I love my Labneh .

Labneh is just full fat yogurt thats strained to let all the whey (liquid) drain out for a few hours so that you end up with a creamy , tangy yogurt cheese .

labneh korat recipe

Labneh Korat are simply savory little balls of yogurt cheese that are coated in dried herbs and drowned in olive oil . They taste FANTASTIC on toast , by themselves and as part of a mezze platter with hummus , pita and kebabs.

I often joke that my death row meal would look something like this !

labneh korat recipe


Start with 400g of full fat yogurt . Add 2 crushed cloves of garlic and 1/4 tsp salt and mix well into the yogurt .

labneh korat recipe

Place a  piece of doubled cheesecloth or soft cotton fabric (preferably undyed and  clean)  over a deep bowl.

Spoon the yogurt in the center of a piece of the cheesecloth. You can also pull the corners  of the cheese cloth up and tie them tightly and then suspend from a stationary object over a bowl (to collect the whey) .

labneh korat recipe

Leave to drain for 24  hours in the refrigerator .

Remove from the cloth and roll into balls using your palms. Roll into dried herbs I used red chilli flakes and dried Italian herbs .

Now place the yogurt balls in a sterile, air tight jar, cover with olive oil.

labneh korat recipe

Store in the refrigerator preferably use after 6-7 hours so that flavor get a chance to infuse . Stays well in the refrigerator for 5-7 days as long as the yogurt balls are always covered with olive oil and no water enters the jar .

Serving suggestions :

As a spread on toast , by itself , with kebabs , with pita bread and hummus!

labneh korat recipe

Friday, 10 April 2015

Baisakhi Menu - Kangan , Westin

Baisahki - Punjabi New Year and the harvest festival celebrated in the land of 5 rivers is on April 14th, 2015 and the celebrations have already begun.

All over Punjab there are Melas (fairs) to bring in this joyous occasion .

No celebration in Punjab or in a Punjabi household where ever it may be on the globe is complete without food , drink and the generous spirit of sharing joy and love.

Kangan - the restaurant at Westin , Pune that serves delectable cuisine from the legendary North West Frontier province and Hyderabad , has put together a wonderful selection of authentic Punjabi favorites to celebrate Baisakhi.

I was absolutely delighted with the spread and here are a few pictures of what we enjoyed.

The Baisahki menu has wonderful Punjabi staples like Langar Walli Daal , Aloo Wadi , Dhabewalli Kukkad , pindi chole , slow cooked sarso ka saag , Fish Amritsari with a wonderful flavor of Ajwain that will take you back to little bylanes of Amritsar where this snack originated and other wonderful dishes

 Wonderful beverages to accompany your meal , we enjoyed some Lassi and Jal Jeera !

Ofcourse the desserts are wonderfully executed , we had crisp jalebi with rabri was just right not overpoweringly sweet and the signature dessert at Kangan - Gulab ke patte ki kheer is something you should not miss!

Do checkout the Baisakhi special menu.


Monday, 6 April 2015

Easter Sunday!

I had a wonderful Easter Sunday....the lovely people at JW Marriott , Senapati Bapat Road,  Pune hosted a wonderful afternoon full of Easter Joy.

With a fun little baking workshop for children (to which I took my niece) , an Easter Bunny and a wonderful magic show!

We made a basketful of Easter goodies -  cupcakes , chocolate Easter eggs and wonderful white chocolate cookies....A lovely time was had by all and it was fantastic being surrounded by budding young , enthusiastic chefs!

Chef Ajmal Salim , Director , F&B, JW Marriott Hotel patiently took the excited bunch of young cooks through an enjoyable afternoon of making Easter goodies.

Hope you all had a wonderful , blessed Easter!

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Poha Masala Powder

Poha or beaten rice is very popular all over Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

Its easy to make , light and still counts as a good hearty breakfast/tea time snack.

 This is not another poha recipe ....I recently went to Bhopal and Indore and was amazed to see how differently poha is garnished and served there....

So this post is about how you can re-invent your poha recipe with just a few small changes .....

But before I tell you about Poha here are some pictures of everything that constitutes a Typical MPwalla Naashta ( breakfast)

There is garam garam doodh ( Scalding hot milk) that has been lovingly heated for a few hours in a kadhai resulting in lots of malai (cream) and thick fudge-y taste.....

There is jalebi crisp and hot to be eaten with poha or alongside your glass of hot milk....

Samosa and Kachori both very well made also constitute a good Bhopali / Indori Naashta

And now moving on to the Poha ....While in the train we were served poha with a garnish of Namkeen , lemon wedges and raw finley chopped tasted selicious even though it wasnt hot and was at room temperature . I was quite surprised because I dont fancy eating raw onions at breakfast but this tasted delicious.

At another breakfast pit-stop in Bhopal we saw a vendor with a huge mountain of Poha garnished with grated carrot and lots of chopped coriander ! Not only does the carrot add  color it also tastes great . There was also sev , fried green chillies and Poha masala ....

Poha Masala Recipe 

Chaat Masala..............70%

Red Chilli Powder..........30%

Salt taste

Simply combine chaat masala and red chilli powder (70:30 ratio) , add a little salt , give it all a good stir and store in a dry jar .

All to be eaten simply over a square piece of news paper.......

And here in Maharashtra we love our Poha garnished with grated fresh coconut and sometimes even coconut chutney!!!

So are you ready to spruce up your old Poha recipe?

Let me know if you enjoyed these suggestions....

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Cashew Muhammara (Middle eastern roasted red pepper dip)

All good parties involve a lot of standing around gossiping and picking on finger food, and this is the kind of food you want table side to be picked from!

                            Muhammara recipe best , Muhammara recipe easy

This is a wonderful dip ....a velvety gunge of charred red pepper , onion and olive oil with mild undercurrents of garlic!

Serve this with Pita bread , lavash , cucumber/carrot batons and any crudites that you want to provide!

Muhammara recipe easy                                             

 I love serving dips & finger food at parties specially when my girlfriends are over! This is my new favorite dip and I hope you try it out!


1/4 cup of lightly toasted cashew nuts

1 red bell pepper (red capsicum)

6 cloves of garlic

1 onions chopped fine and cooked in 2 tsp olive oil

Red pepper flakes (to taste) or 1-2 dry red kashmiri chillies soaked in water

Sweet smoked paprika (optional)

1 bread slice

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

A dash of honey

Salt to taste

Muhammara recipe easy


Cant get any simpler! Just add to a blender and combine till smooth!

Will take about 5 minutes , serve in a bowl and garnish with some more extra virgin olive oil and some smoked paprika on top.

Serve with choice of bread / crudites

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Moroccan Food Festival - Westin Pune

Moroccan cuisine has developed over centuries and is heavily influenced by the interactions the country has had with other nations and cultures.

Being the center of trade in the days gone by , it saw travelers and traders from across the world walk the tiny alley ways and souks . They all brought with them distinct flavors , exotic spices and unique cooking techniques.

With access to great sea food , spices and fresh produce Morocco has some fine food to offer!

Seasonal Tastes at Westin , Pune is hosting a Moroccan Food Festival until the 8th of November ,2014 . Pune foodiez were invited to sample this gorgeous fare last week!

And easily, this is the best Food Festival I have been to . Chef De Cuisine -Prasad Metrani has put together an excellent food experience!

Chef has made every effort to keep the food authentic! Everything is fantastic be it salad , pickled lemons , kebabs and desserts!

I will keep this short because I could go on for forever about how gorgeous everything was!
Here are some more  pictures of everything we enjoyed!
And you MUST go check it out !

At Seasonal Tastes , Westin Pune , Koregaon Park

Moroccan Food Festival till 8th November , 2014 .

6.30 PM onwards

Buffet @ INR 1299 +  Taxes