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!





























CashewMuhammara

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


Procedure

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



Sunday, 21 September 2014

Lakeland Pune

What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than admiring the lovely wares at the Lakeland Store?

The Tiny Taster (Roxanne) with Shahzad Variava (aka Dessert King of Master Chef fame) put together a lovely afternoon of baking and fun for food /baking enthusiasts in Pune.


I loved the afternoons I spent in the Lakeland store in Stratford Mall , London ....so you can imagine how pleased I was to find out that Pune has a Lakeland Store too!




Its the perfect place to find gifts for friends & family that enjoy entertaining/baking/cooking! Its also just the place if you are looking to make your time in the kitchen a little more convenient and enjoyable....

They stock everything from beautiful Tagines, lots of baking pans , canning & preserving essentials....

Lots of lovely retro swing top bottles ...ideal for infusing olive oil and vinegar with herbs.....


 Silicon baking mats , pots and pans , an excellent specialty knife section , party supplies , cake pop machines and well I could go on..........but you will have to visit the store to find out how wonderful it is!

Most of my enamel pie dishes are from Lakeland and they have stood the test of time ....no chips and no cracks despite having put them to plenty of use!



Lakeland is a one of UKs home shopping pioneers that offers an unrivaled collection of creative kitchenware that is sure to make your time in the kitchen lots of fun!

I had a lovely time learning how to frost cupcakes and cake pops from Dessert King Shahzad Variava!



And ofcourse was completely thrilled to meet and pose with Tiny :))



Do check the store out for lots of cooking/baking inspiration!

Lakeland Pune
Ground Floor ( Near Mad Over Donuts)
Phoenix Market City



Saturday, 20 September 2014

WTF Seaons Mall Pune


I had heard so much about WTF from friends in Bombay and friends in Pune who attended the launch and pre-launch tasting sessions that I was mighty excited about spending Friday night there with PuneFoodiez.....



The place has a very cool , youthful and relaxed vibe about it! I totally loved the way the space has been designed and put together ...

The indoor area has a lovely well stocked bar and cool graffiti is everywhere on the walls ...on the menu cards...

Mojito & Apple Martini
The drinks were all pretty neat I had a few sips of the cocktails friends at my table ordered....Each one was well executed .

The food menu is pretty limited , mostly bar/finger food ....nothing like a main course really....

So this is some of what we tried ...

Hummus with Pita

WTF French Fries

I was a little disappointed with the food ....because on a night out FOOD is the hero!

Bombil Thecha Roll

Chicken Naan Pizza
Chicken Kemma Pav
I did however enjoy a few things like the chicken keema pav , Hummus and the chilli chicken! A lot of the dishes that my friends really enjoyed I could not really taste because I dont eat red meat!

Overall its a nice place to catch up with friends over a few drinks .
I will defiantly go back for the lovely drinks and ambiance   :))) ...... I will also go try WTF at Phoenix Mall sometime soon and let you know how that was...




Sunday, 13 July 2014

Gur Ki kheer

There is something so comforting about a rice pudding ....no wonder then that every country has its own version.


In India "Kheer" or rice pudding is such a versatile and popular dessert. Its fast , easy , creamy and comforting . Best of all it uses ingredients that are present in even the most humble kitchen pantry.


There are as many versions of this creamy cardamom scented dessert as there are families in India. This is my version , based on an age old family recipe !

I hope you try it and enjoy it. It uses gur (jaggery) and coconut. Incase you cannot find jaggery you may use brown /regular sugar.


Gur Coconut Kheer (Indian Rice Pudding)

1/3 cup basmati rice
1 Tablespoon Ghee
 2 green cardamoms (slightly bruised and opened)
1 Litre full fat milk
1/2 fresh grated coconut
80-100g Jaggery (gur) depending on how sweet you want it
A handful of raisins
Dry fruits to garnish


Start by soaking the basmati rice in warm water for 10-15 minutes. Then rub the rice grains gently between the palm of your hands to slightly break up the grains of rice.
Drain water from soaked rice and set aside.

Heat ghee in a thick bottomed pan , then add the rice and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the milk and let the rice cook in the milk on a low flame for about 25 minutes.

By this time the rice will be cooked and the kheer will appear thick , use the back of a spoon to gently mash some rice into the milk , this gives it a nice thick texture.

Next add the fresh grated coconut. Also add the raisins and green cardamom pods.

In the end add the jaggery , stir till the jaggery melts and is well incorporated into the rice kheer. Adjust the amount of jaggery according to how sweet you like your desserts!

Serve chilled . Garnish with dry fruits of choice.



Thursday, 12 June 2014

Stone Water Grill

Stone Water Grill is hands down the city's most loved party/ dining destination and Pune diners have missed the place sorely since it closed for renovation.

Stone Water Grill re-opens this week and with  my lovely friends from Pune Foodiez , I was invited to a Preview Dinner.

Its already at a great advantage  being located in Koregaon Park , the epicenter of all things happening ...add to that a spectacular river view and spruced up interiors ....


Like before there is both an indoor and outdoor dinning area....you can choose to dine outside under a canopy of twinkling stars along side the dramatic lighting effects and water features or inside in the elegant charcoal grey dinning area...


Stone Water Grill has been instrumental in introducing Pune to experiential dining along with excellent service...

Chef Shailendra Kekade- Pune's style chef is all set to take diners on a world class gastronomic journey with a new innovative menu..... The new menu comprises of modern European dishes and every dish is prepared to delight the diner

Miso butter with cumin breadsticks, Infused olive oil with bread, Aracinni di Riso with smoked aubergine soup

Not only does the food taste spectacular with several layers of flavor and great texture it also looks breathtaking! I love when a restaurant puts in so much care and love in plating a dish!

The soups are fantastic I loved the Light Tomato Tea aka the ginseng , ginger and tomato soup....the Mushroom Cappuccino was fabulous ......

Light tea- tomato, ginseng, ginger soup, Chicken & Mushroom Broth ,Chilled Pomegranate Gazpacho with garlic bread

The food is dramatic and fabulous ....there is plenty to choose from Salads like Soy Roast Duck with medicinal herbs and pomegranate , Mushroom Galouti with saffron brioche .........Wood fired pizzas that Stone Water Grill has always been famous for.......even the humble burger has been elevated to dizzying culinary grandeur under the skilled hands of Chef Shailendra Kekade.....


All vegetarian Mushroom Galouti Kebab served over saffron Brioche

All the vegetarian food we tried was remarkably good....right from the fluffy as a cloud Miso butter with cumin flavored bread sticks to the Mushroom Risotto....the Arancini di Riso with smoked eggplant soup....

Grilled wasabi cottage cheese with papaya salsa


Roasted pepper Tortellini with creme fraiche and toasted garlic crumbs

The salads are a work of art so many different flavors at work all at once....





The shots and Mocktails/Cocktails are astounding but thats no surprise because Stone Water Grill has always boasted of an amazing bar!

Eye of the Tiger ;)


I tried a shot called the "Eye of the Tiger" with a Raspberry Raviolli and lets just say it made me a better person if only just for the evening ;))

And dessert was luscious Pannacotta with lemon leaf and pink peppercorns amongst serveal other equally fantastic desserts....

Malai coconut Panacotta with pink pepper corns and Kafir lime gastrique 



Its rare for me to enjoy a place THIS much ....I have never found any reason to complain of my time at Stone Water Grill ....the place looks amazing....plays great music....attracts the right kind of people ....boasts of an excellent service staff and good God even serves spectacular food!!

I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a memorable night .....this is the place to go to for seriously good food or if you just want to unwind over a few drinks along with great appetizers and  great music !

Stone Water Grill
Pyramid Complex
81/82 North Main Road
Koregaon Park

Call (020) 67251000 for Reservations

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Thursday, 5 June 2014

Pune's best Vada Pao

The summer is on its way out and its time for the great Indian Monsoons!
I was away from India for the last two monsoons so I am really looking forward to the rains this year!

punes best vada pao

Its amazing how the change in weather gets me craving for completely different kinds of food.All through the summer months all I wanted was lots of fruit ...Mangoes...lots of juices and cold coffee 

And now just after the first rains of the season all I really want is hot chocolate , onion pakodas ( fritters) and ofcourse Vada Pao!


punes best vada pao

Vada Pao is basically a giant potato filling.... batter coated and deep fried to crispy perfection and served in a pao (melt in your mouth pillow-y bread)...

There are several versions found all around Maharashtra and Vada Pao makes for excellent street food ...think of it as India's version of a burger!

punes best vada pao

Makes for a great , quick , portable lunch/snack...

This post is about MY most favorite Vada Pao in my home city of Pune....I have tried several iconic stalls that serve this addictive snack but this is THE best according to me...

Its always bustling with people , the vadas are crunchy and hot , its served with a delicious sweet-spicy chutney and comes with a side of chopped onions and pickled lemon /green chillies...

Go here when you are in Pune next ...Rs 14 for a Vada Pao dont forget to ask for double chutney and lots of green chillies. :))

JJ Garden Vada Pao
Behind M G Road
Near JJ Agyari (Fire Temple)