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Sunday, June 24, 2012

How To Make Eggless (Besan) Mayonnaise At Home From Scratch

This mayonnaise is made with cooked gram flour or besan in place of egg. This is a great recipe substitute for regular mayonnaise, for all those people who don’t eat egg.

To make Besan Mayo, You will need:

Oil (vegetable, olive or even cooked mustard oil) ¼ cup

Salt to taste

White Pepper powder to taste

Lemon Juice of 1 lemon

Mustard Sauce 1 teaspoon

Gram Flour or besan 1 tablespoon

Water 2 tablespoons

To Make Mayonnaise:

In a small pan, take 1 tablespoon besan, and add in 2 tablespoons of water and mix well.

Cook this mixture over medium heat, and mix thoroughly until the besan is fully cooked. Turn of the heat and mix again.

Once the mixture has thickened, pop it into a bowl.

Now add in, salt, white pepper, juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon mustard sauce and whisk the mixture vigorously. Continue mixing for a few minutes to make it lump free. (You can also use an electric beater)

To make the mixture smooth, you can also pass it through a sieve.

Pop this smooth, lump free mixture back into a bowl. Now, start adding in 1 tablespoon of oil at time and continue mixing vigorously. Don’t add excess oil to the mixture, if you feel that the oil is not getting absorbed, you can stop adding in any more oil. The mixing should be vigorous so that the besan and oil mix together properly.

1 tablespoon of besan mixture will easily incorporate about ¼ cup of oil.

You can store this fresh eggless mayonnaise in the refrigerator for a week upto 10 days.

Find Video Below on Recipe for Besan (Eggless) Mayonnaise made at Home from scratch.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

4 Steps to Making Tiramisu with Homemade Cheese!

This is my version of the classic Italian dessert, made with ingredients that are easily available in the Indian supermarket.

Don’t you feel disappointed when the Chef on TV shows us how to make those amazing desserts, cause you can’t actually make them? Take Tiramisu for example, in India, mascarpone cheese or Lady fingers (Savioardini Biscuits) are not easily available. Even if you do manage to find mascarpone cheese in one corner of the city, it is expensive. This is simple version of Tiramisu made with homemade cheese and other readily available ingredients.


Serves 6

Amul Cream 300 ml (approximately 1 ½ Amul Cream 200ml Tetrapack)

Eggs 3, separated

Sugar 1 ½ + ½ tablespoon

Cheese Spread 2 tablespoons

Whipping Cream ¾ cup (Use heavy cream with a tablespoon of powdered sugar and vanilla essence, if whipping cream in unavailable)

Chocolate Muffins 6nos. (Use 200g chocolate slices)

Coffee 1 ½ tablespoons

Brandy 2 tablespoons (Optional)

Cocoa powder 1 tablespoon


Step 1

Making the Cheese

You need:

Amul Cream 300ml

Lemon Juice 1 tablespoon

Muslin Cloth (MalMal)

Heat 300ml Amul cream in a pan and add one tablespoon lemon juice to it. Stir, cook the cream for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and put the cream onto a muslin cloth. Hang the curdled cream in the muslin cloth and let it stand for 30 minutes. This cheese will be used to make the Tiramisu.

Step 2

Making the Sabayon

You Need:

Egg yolks 3

Sugar 1 ½ tablespoons

Wide Bowl full of warm water

In an empty steel bowl add in the egg yolks and the sugar. Keep the steel bowl over the bowl full of warm water and whisk the mixture till is thick, dropping consistency. The mixture should coat a wooden spoon.

Step 3

Incorporating, cheese, Egg whites and Cream

You need:

Homemade Cheese

Cheese Spread 2 tablespoons

Egg White 3

Whipping Cream ¾ cup

Add in the homemade cheese and the cheese spread into the sabayon (egg mixture) and whisk for 2 minutes. Once the mixture is smooth, shiny and lump free, keep it aside.

Note: Cheese spread helps you get that smooth, shiny texture and the right consistency for tiramisu. In small quantities, it does not disturb the taste of the dessert.

Add in the egg whites into an empty steel bowl and whisk while holding over warm water until it starts forming soft peaks.

Fold the eggs gently into the cheese mixture, mixing by ling the sides and folding in, so that you don’t lose the volume.

Whip up the cream to medium peak and fold it into the mixture. Mix by ling the spatula along the sides and then folding it in.

Note: Whipping cream (non dairy) available in supermarkets has a long shelf life. You can use a small account and freeze it for several months upto 1 year.

Step 4

Assembling the Tiramisu

You Need:

Chocolate Cake cut into Thick slices (to present in glasses) or fingers (to present in a bowl)

Coffee mixed with ½ tablespoon sugar and brandy (or few drops of water)

Tiramisu Mixture

Cocoa Powder with a pinch of coffee

Line the glass with a thick slice of chocolate cake.

Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of the coffee mixture on it. Add in one big round spoonful of tiramisu mixture.

Make 3 layers like that. The top layer should be a spoonful of tiramisu mixture. Even it on top with wet fingers.

Put some cocoa powder with a pinch of coffee in a sieve, sprinkle lightly on the top layer.

Serve Cold.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cheating Eating; 6 Ways to Cheating Your Tongue Into Delicious, Lean Food

Can’t stop eating and always craving for something yummy? Then you and me are just the same. I came up with ‘Trick’ Eating, so I can have something yummy without having to land a double chin soon. Ad commercials, newspapers and food posters on my way to work, make me really hungry. Loud growling stomach, embarrassing me in front of other shoppers at the supermarket! ‘Look at your own chubby face, Lady!’ Isn’t it always the story, hungry at the supermarket, when work gets boring or on Sunday seated in front of the television? I realised that it is the great flavours that I crave. I came up with a few tricks of my own to conquer my craving.

  1. Soup Dinner. Liquid food, can be full of flavour and without having to compromise on meal portions or starving yourself, you can have some great meals, with minimum carbohydrates in the evening. (We all know that evening carbs are not good for us!) You can try out my Tom Yam Kai recipe. It is the flavour or ginger, lemongrass, chilli in a flavourful stock with mushrooms and chicken or tofu if you are vegetarian. It is just like drinking water, yet so flavourful, lean with pieces of chicken and veggies for the nutrition bit. You can also have dal or vegetable curry as soup without the rice or roti in the evening.
  2. Cheat Creamy Textures. You and I are both big fans of mayonnaise and sour cream. Dips or sandwich spread or for a salad dressing, you can’t do without that creaminess. Whip up some fresh hung curd, but drink the whey don’t throw it away! Use this thick, creamy yogurt by flavouring it with herbs and spices.  It can be used as spreads, dips and salad dressing.
  3. Curry Wise. Indian food uses a whole lot of fried onion and cashew paste and other rich ingredients for curries. Use minimum oil and cook the meats or vegetables on low heat so that they cook in their own juices. High heat dries the meats or vegetables to which you end up adding more oil. Go for thin flavoured curries, with spices without using fried onion or cashew to thicken. You can try out my Gawti Chicken recipe, which is a flavourful curry without fried onion or cashew paste.  
  4. Red Instead of White. When eating pasta or other European dishes, go for the options with tomato sauce over white sauce. Tomato sauce flavoured with fresh basil, is a winner. Most lean sauces are beautifully flavoured with herbs and leave out the excess cream and flour involved in making white sauce based pastas. Spaghetti in tomato sauce is my favourite. Here is the recipe, try it out!
  5. Grill, Bake and Roast. Don’t Fry. Vegetables or meat, while cooking, use the least oily option. Chicken skin can be made crispy in its own skin if you pop it in the oven instead of frying. Marinated pieces of chicken can be roasted or grilled instead of frying before you add it into the curry. In Ayurvedic cooking I learnt, oil enhances the flavour of the spices but heat is the medium in which actually cooks it. Did you know, you could add in rai and curry patta to sambhar without adding oil too? A teaspoon of oil is enough for flavour, on low heat the veggies won’t burn or you can steam veggies before adding the tadka, so they are already cooked without the oil.
  6. Choose your bread wisely. Opt for Phulkas and chapattis over parathas and puris. I am a big fan of tandoori rotis and kulchas too, they are delicious with minimum oil or butter!  Also, go for gobi, palak stuffing in breads over potato and paneer.

Selective eating, doesn’t sound so hard, does it?  I’ve always been told that early, low carb dinners are good. I am working on it. As long as the food fills me up, I good with a beautifully flavoured grilled chicken with a side of vegetables with a just a spoonful of great sauce!

Cheating Eating #1 Soup Dinners;Lean and Clear Chicken Soup (Tom Yam Chicken)

Can’t stop eating and always craving for something yummy? Then you and me are just the same. I came up with ‘Trick’ Eating, so I can have something yummy without having to land a double chin soon. Soup Dinners or Liquid food, can be full of flavour and without having to compromise on meal portions or starving yourself, you can have some great meals, with minimum carbohydrates in the evening. (We all know that evening carbs are not good for us!) You can try out my Tom Yam Kai recipe. It has the flavour of ginger, lemongrass, chilli in a flavourful stock with mushrooms and chicken or tofu if you are vegetarian. It is just like drinking water, yet so flavourful, lean with pieces of chicken and veggies for the nutrition bit. You can also have dal or vegetable curry as soup without the rice or roti in the evening.

Lean and Clear Chicken Soup (My Version of Tom Yam Kai)

A lean and clear soup made of chicken and mushrooms, flavored with ginger and lemongrass.

Serves 2


Chicken Wings 2 pieces
Chicken bones 4-5 pieces (leftover carcass or neck pieces)
Ginger1 ½ inch piece, peeled and finely chopped
Lemongrass, stalks only 4-5, chopped
Mushrooms, button 8-9, halved
Dried Red Chili 2-3, chopped
Soya Sauce 2 tablespoons
Salt to taste
Blackpepper, crushed a pinch


Clean and wash the chicken wings and bones under cold running water.

In a heavy bottom saucepan, add in the bones and fill the pan with cold water, an inch above the chicken pieces. Cook on high heat and bring the water to a boil and then strain out the impurities on top of the cooking liquid through a muslin cloth.

Add in the chicken pieces back into the strained stock in a saucepan. Return the saucepan to low heat.

Add in mushrooms, ginger, lemon grass and salt. Allow the soup cooking liquid to simmer for 30 minutes.

Add red chili, soya sauce and black pepper to the soup. Check for seasoning and simmer for 10 more minutes.

Remove the chicken pieces. De-skin the wings and shred the chicken to be used as garnish.

Serve Hot and Garnish with shredded chicken.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

With Whom Will You Dine Before You Die? 3rd May, Out of The Blue and Burrp Bloggers’ Meet

Name three people alive or dead, who you would like to have dinner with? I will actually choose 8, lively and the most interesting people in Mumbai city. Thanks to a little foodie meet organized by Burrp Mumbai and Out of The Blue I had the perfect evening earlier this month. A table full of delicious food, surrounded by 8 bright, food encyclopedias, that evening just kept getting better and better with each course. There were talks of the food, the lovely Desi Fondue, which someone commented, tasted a tad like Dal Makhani with all the spices. And there were talks of great chefs, their recipes and achievements alternated with handing out the delicious pieces of ham, chicken and grilled vegetables between the two exquisite fondues.

Everyone had their take on Reality Food Shows, from Masterchef India, UK, Australia and TopChef to Gordon Ramsay and his cocky ways. Each one was strongly opinionated, eloquent and knowledgeable. From Food Books to Travel talk, that evening was the greatest, most exciting Food Class that I’ve ever had. It was amazing to learn about different opinions, what excites people about food and the way it is presented on television. Even better to share those little instances of ‘I thought I was the only one who thought Gordon Ramsay’s brash behavior was over-played on American TV shows!’.

Let me tell you about each one of our Twitter Foodie present from the Mumbai Brigade that evening. To make this simpler, I am going to refer to all of us as elements of a salad.

Let’s start with our host, @Kunalailani7 from Out of The Blue. Like the Lettuce, Kunal was playing the composed host who was bringing the whole party together in many ways.  He was sitting on one side just listening, smiling and absorbing all the excitement of us foodies that evening. He ordered stuffed, fried mushrooms. I am not a big fan of this dish and honestly, trying a cold piece out in the end after all the great food, did not help its cause.

@TheBigBhookad is how I like to see all foodies. Like a tomato, the tanginess of sarcasm with the sweetness of humour and the firm support of great knowledge of food and the city that brings it all together in his head. He talks because he knows, as his eyes twinkle behind those thick-framed glasses. He ordered a large, four meat sizzler, if I remember correctly. I tried it and thought in comparison with other main dishes at the table, this dish was not that great.

@TheBlackSakura is most definitely the olive in our salad. Her intricate observation and clear description of what goes right and wrong with food, along with the concentrated flavor of her information on cuisines and ingredients gives her this defining character, like the olive. Incidentally, she ordered the same dish as I did, pork with sage with mashed potatoes. The meat was delicate, subtly flavored, a gorgeous main dish.

@ScrollnInk , her writing is what defines her in the real sense. She is the Cucumber of the salad, composed and calmly expressing with clarity of thought. Her use of the language in expressing food is very impressive. I missed the soup course because I had arrived a little later!

@BellyFirstTweet is the spicy bell pepper! With spicy tweets and all the great photographs of food she clicked that evening. Short and spicy comments with the gift of food illustration! She ordered the lamb shanks and was generous enough to give me an entire shank, which I loved. It was crispy on the outside, the tender sweetness of meat inside.

@Foodchants, from Burrp Mumbai, the second of our hosts who brought this idea together, mayonnaise dressing of the group, really bringing it all together. The rich flavor of writing, creativity combining food with work that evening, she really doubled well! She ordered a fish main dish, the sauce was too rich and needed some tang to cut the richness, which was missing.

@desh, the crispy herbed crouton of the group, adding the crunchy to our salad! Desh has literally traveled around this desh. His description of every food experience, as he traveled around makes him an amazing conversationalist and an interesting company for a great dinner. He ordered the grilled rawas with lemon butter that evening, and who can go wrong with that dish really!

@Caramelwings, she is really the caramelized chicken wing bits in that salad. She is peppy, crunchy and full of smart punches and one-liners. Her great attitude added the texture and intense flavor to the Mumbai food brigade. She ordered the pork sizzler that evening which has faded in my memory now.

@foodtryingstein, well, I don’t want it to seem like I am blowing my own trumpet, but I would really like to be the fragrant basil in the salad, simply because I was smelling like one since I had just finished cooking a batch of spaghetti arabiatta before that long and bumpy rickshaw ride to powai for my pork and sage. Well, you can’t deny it when the stomach growls! So that says it all, my account of that evening, the question’s answered. I will dine with those that love, savour and know their food. Those that live to eat!

Friday, May 18, 2012

No-Blender Gauti Chicken Curry

This is a No-Blender, spicy chicken curry. Freshly roasted and ground spices flavoured with crushed onion and garlic and cooked in a runny, rassaa style curry.

Serves 4


Chicken, curry cut pieces 700g  8 to 10 pieces
Turmeric 1 tspn
Salt to taste
Red Chilli powder 1 tspn
Garam Masala 2 tspn (Homemade is preferred)
Mustard Oil ½ cup
Ghee 1 tbspn
Cumin 1 tspn
Coriander seeds 1 tbspn
Cloves 4-5
Peppercorn 4-5
BlackStone Flower/ DagadPhool/ Pather Ke Phool 2 tspn
Dried Red Chilli 2-3
Onion 1
Garlic 4-5
Dried Coconut, grated ½ cup


1)      First, heat mustard oil in a heavy bottom pan upto smoking point. Once the oil starts fuming turn off the heat and keep it aside to cool. The cooked oil does not have the off smell of raw mustard oil and gives a distinct flavor to the food.
2)      In a bowl, add 1 tablespoon mustard oil, turmeric, salt, red chili powder, garam masala powder, mix it. Rub this mixture on the pieces of chicken and let it stand for a couple of hours.
3)      Crush the onion with your fist or with a belan (rolling pin) to bring out the flavour. Crush the garlic pods with the broad side of a knife.
4)      Heat one spoon of ghee in a pan, add cumin, coriander, cloves, peppercorns and dagadphool along with dried red chilies. Lightly brown the spices. Then crush them all together with a pestle and mortar or Khallal aur moosal as we know it.

5)      Heat the mustard oil in a pan, add in the crushed onion and garlic and allow it to brown a little. Now, add in the grated coconut and let the masala turn golden brown.
6)      Add in the chicken pieces (first the bigger bony pieces followed by the tender ones after two minutes). Allow them to sear and slightly brown on the sides.
7)      Add in the crushed spice mixture and two cups of water. Mix and add salt if necessary. Cover it with a lid and allow the chicken to cook on low heat for 8 to 10 minutes.
8)      Serve the chicken curry hot with steamed rice or warm chapatis.

Phir Bhi Dil Hai Shakahari; Shakahari, Pune Marriott

Name: Shakahari, Marriott, Pune
Location: Marriott, Senapati Bapat Road, Pune
Date of Visit: 15th May, 2012 (Dinner)

My Mom is a vegetarian, so is my mausi, mami, nani and Pinku. Picking a restaurant is not easy all around.  Until five years back, their only options were udipi restaurants and pao bhaji places. Among the few vegetarian fine-dining restaurants that have popped up in the city, Shakahari is one of the most talked about. I will be honest, I am a true carnivore and going to Shakahari wasn’t my first choice. We had to go for Mom’s choice, it being my parents’ 36th ‘Meeting’ Anniversary. Yes, I was born to a very romantic couple. Anyway, getting back to Shakahari, this is a very beautifully designed restaurant. I’d say it is even better than Alto Vino, the Italian restaurant in Marriott.

It is spacious and private, the wooden aesthetics and mood lighting promised a cozy and elegant evening ahead. Our server was courteous, attentive with a good knowledge of the menu but most of all, he seemed interested in what he was doing, a rare find.

What a Delicious cabbage roll!
 I do appreciate a chef who manages to respect the integrity of fresh ingredients by not over-flavoring them, and also one that whips up a light mousse like theirs.
Honestly, apart from their Tava mushroom appetiser which was lightly flavored with fresh ground spices and mustard oil, lightly flavored baby potatoes for main course, the dumplings and few items on the dessert buffet, the food wasn’t extraordinary. Even so, now I realize there were quite a few dishes that I liked.

Tava Mushrooms
 The menu and method of service had some interesting aspects to it. For starters, the menu included vegetarian Sushi, steamed broccoli, a wide range of salads and a wider range of condiments and dressings. In the appetizers as well as the main course selection there were Asian and Indian items with a good mix of regular favorites and some unique dishes to choose from. The Buddhist likes of glass noodles and steamed vegetables as well as Indian, Rajasthani delicacies like Papad aur Mangodi ki sabzi made up for a rare range.
Main Dishes
Shakahari’s is what I call a Smart Service Style.  The soup, salad and dessert are laid on the buffet, while the appetisers and main course are served at the table.  Each group of diners can choose two Asian and three Indian appetisers and two Asian and three Indian main course from the selection specified on the menu card.  There are two advantages in this form of service; the first being that the quality of food is maintained at a la carte standards because the food hasn’t been lying in the trays for hours, and the second being that the wastage of food is minimal because diners don’t tend to over serve. I know that I always fill my plate up in a buffet because I don’t want to get up for a second helping. The irony is that I end up going for the second helping of the dishes that I like anyway.
 The dessert selection was charmingly extravagant with chocolate gateau to passion fruit cheesecake, lamingtons and my personal favourite, baked yogurt. There were ice creams and balu shahi along with moong dal halwa and other Indian sweets. The white chocolate mousse was beautifully done and the best part was that all of the desserts were lightly sweetened. This allowed us to load ourselves heavily with the sweets without wanting to cleanse our palate with karela juice!

I was pleasantly surprised by this extravagant and fine vegetarian meal. It is a treat for the Global vegetarian and certainly did not fail to amuse and entice the palate of a meat worshipper like myself and that’s the Thing About This Place.

Ambience: 8/ 10 Very Good
Value For Money: 7/ 10 Good
Service: 7/ 10 Good
Menu: 7/ 10 Good
Food: 7/ 10 Good
That Thing About This Place: 8/ 10 Very Good

Very Good Ambience + Good Value For Money + Good Service + Good Menu + Good Food + Very Good That Thing About This Place = Good

Rating = 7/ 10