Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hi! I've moved.

Dear readers,

More than 10,000 views! I'm shocked, and thrilled to bits. Thank you all for liking what you see here. This blog is in the process of shifting to a new address -

The move is to showcase pictures and recipes in an easier format, and minimize time spent on formatting and unnecessary pages. The page will take some time to develop, but hopefully its the solution to the primitive editing skills I had here. 

Thank you all for reading!



Friday, October 4, 2013

Pizza at Home

I love the Masterchef Australia series. I've finished watching all 65 episodes of Season 5, but I happened to catch a rerun of Episode 17 on television, which is the Masterchef Pizzeria challenge of Italian Week! Watching Emma pounding away at the pizza dough made me want to get my hands dirty too. Here's a sneak peak of what my pizza dough looked like at one point:

The post with details of the dough and how therapeutic I find the process, coming soon.

For now, here are pictures of the pizza I made for dinner. Instead of using tomato sauce, I spread the base with some home-made hummus (recipe here), and loaded chopped tomatoes, slices of eggplant and chunks of cheese on it. It was delicious - even more so eaten the next morning with dollops more hummus on it ;-)

How many of you make your own pizza dough?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sesame Bread - No Yeast!

As you can probably tell, I went on a crazy bread-making spree.

Problem: No fresh yeast, and the instant dry yeast was out of date. I really NEEDED to bake - call it a compulsion - and it HAD to be bread. So I googled "Soda Bread" and "Easy Bread No Yeast" and stumbled upon this wonderful recipe for the easiest bread ever, with room to add flavour and herbs and nuts of choice. Yay. :)

Recipe borrowed from

I tweaked around the recipe a bit, using what we had in the kitchen (because I was too lazy to go out and buy more)

1 1/2 cups refined flour (maida)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (atta)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp black sesame seeds
3 tbsp white sesame seeds
2 cups club soda

Combine all the dry ingredients well, making sure the baking powder is well dispersed. Add the club soda - careful while measuring it out, don't let the fizz fool you into using less. Combine well, the dough will be sort of wet. Fold everything into a greased baking pan. Sprinkle extra sesame seeds on top. Bake at 200 Celsius until done (or toothpick inserted into center comes out clean).

My mother thought it had too much sesame.. But I loved it this way, with the flavour and nuttiness of the seeds being the primary hit of the bread. The recipe for the basic bread is quite standard - other flavours such as herbs and other seeds and nuts (flaxseed?) can be added too.

I did love this. Will make more and experiment with different flavours. Next time, I'll add salt. This bread is wonderful, toasted and slathered with butter. :D

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Oatmeal Chocolate Muffins

The best way to eat oatmeal is to put it in a chocolate muffin.


1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (best kind possible)
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Combine first 6 dry ingredients and mix well. Beat eggs + milk + oil together to blend. Add to flour mixture and stir. BATTER WILL BE VERY WET! Do not be alarmed.

Spoon into greased muffin pan. Bake at 200 Celsius for 15-20 minutes or till done.

Light sprinkling of oats on top of the batter before baking makes a pretty finish :)

Gorgeous Apple Cake

Recipe adapted from

Donna Hay's Fast, Fresh, Simple

This is a beautiful yellow cake topped with sliced apples and demerara sugar, with a gorgeous gorgeous end result that made me super happy :) :)

1 1/2 cups flour (I used maida)
3/4 cups caster sugar
125 g bitter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 apple, cored and thinly sliced
demerara sugar to sprinkle over the top

Preheat oven to 160 Celsius. Beat flour + sugar + butter + vanilla + eggs + milk in a bowl with an electric mixer until just combined. Spoon the mixture into a greased cake tin.

Top the mixture with the thinly sliced apples and sprinkle demerara sugar. Bake for 45 minutes or until just cooked.

Serve with fresh cream or vanilla ice cream :)

Oatmeal Bread

I really miss having a breadmaker at home. Its such a wonderful little machine - does all the kneading and proving and baking while we just enjoy the heavenly smell wafting through the house. However, ours stopped working a long time ago. I was browsing around for an easy bread recipe online, and stumbled upon this. Its perfect - stuffed with oats and super healthy.

Borrowed from

Like she says, its not a very exciting bread to look at.. But there isn't any commercially available bread that would taste half as good.

Recipe copied and pasted from the original site.

Easy Little Bread Recipe

1 1/4 cups / 300 ml warm water (105-115F)
2 teaspoons active dry yeast (one packet)
1 tablespoon runny honey
1 cup / 4.5 oz / 125 g unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup / 5 oz / 140 g whole wheat flour
1 cup / 3.5 oz / 100 g rolled oats (not instant oats)
1 1/2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted, for brushing
In a medium bowl, sprinkle the yeast onto the warm water and stir until the yeast dissolves. Stir in the honey and set aside for a few minutes, until the yeast blooms and swells a bit - 5 - 10 minutes.
In the meantime, mix the flours, oats, and salt in a large bowl. Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir very well.
Brush a 8-cup loaf pan generously with some of the melted butter. Turn the dough into the tin, cover with a clean, slightly damp cloth, and set in a warm place for 30 minutes, to rise.
Preheat the oven to 350F / 180C, with a rack in the middle. When ready, bake the bread for 35-40 minutes, until golden and pulling away from the sides of the pan. I finish things up by leaving the bread under the broiler for just a heartbeat - to give the top a bit deeper color. Remove from oven, and turn the bread out of the pan quickly. Let it cool on a rack so it doesn't steam in the pan. Serve warm, slathered with butter.
Makes 1 loaf.

Easiest No-Bake Cheesecake Ever

Cheesecake fanatics may refuse to classify this creation as technically a "cheesecake" but it IS :D

It is also sinfully easy and sinfully delicious :)

1 package Philadelphia cream cheese
1 can Nestle sweetened condensed milk
Juice and rind of half a lemon
1/2 tsp grated ginger
Digestive biscuits, crushed

Mix crushed digestive biscuits with just enough butter to enable packing into the base of a regular tart tin. Make sure sides and edges are adequately thick, and there are no holes or thin patches. Refrigerate.

Whip cream cheese + condensed milk + lemon juice and rind + ginger until well combined. Pour into the tart tin and refrigerate until set.

This cheesecake starts melting every time it is taken out of the refrigerator. So store in the fridge, remove only to serve.

Can garnish with more lemon zest. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

GM Diet: Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

Okay, so this is one of the most amazing soups I have ever made. Not that I've made a lot of 'em. :P

But STILL. Seriously.

I should start with an apology, because we were so excited that I didn't have time to take a picture of the soup. I only have one picture - the red peppers and tomatoes in the tin before roasting. I wish I had gotten a picture after I pulled them out of the oven - the slightly charred skins of the peppers were beautiful!

2 Red Peppers, de-seeded and roughly cut up
1 large Tomato, roughly chopped
1 tsp Olive Oil

Toss everything into the baking dish, work the olive oil, salt and pepper into it, try and arrange as flat as possible. Pop into a 200 degrees C oven for around 20-25 minutes, constantly checking and turning so that every bit gets slightly charred.

Pop into a processor and blend away. I also threw in a chicken stock cube with some hot water, for some extra flavour. I think vegetable stock is more commonly used.

So simple, so delicious.

GM Diet: Cabbage Wraps with Mushrooms

This has to be the best diet-friendly discovery we have made. Cabbage wraps! Just like momos! And mushrooms.. YUM. Meaty and savoury, fulfils all our cravings, and cooked so simply!

1/2 Chinese Cabbage
250 g finely chopped Button Mushrooms
2 chopped Onions
1 chopped Tomato
1 tsp Olive Oil

In a baking dish, mix the veggies with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake at around 200 degrees C for around 20 minutes, or till all the water is gone. Keep mixing it once in a while.

Boil the chinese cabbage till it turns bright green. Lay out each leaf on a plate, place one spoonful of the mushroom mixture in the center, and fold up the four sides like a burrito.

Top with a dash of soy sauce and a dash of balsamic vinegar. YUM.

GM Diet - Green Pea and Spring Onion Soup

Pea soup is somewhat of a favourite at my parents' house. To suit our diet, we tweaked it a little bit, subtracted the butter and cream and cheese.

Green Peas
Spring Onions - white and light green parts only

Boil the peas in water with a few stalks of the spring onion. When soft and tender, blitz in a processor with roughly chopped spring onions and water, salt and pepper as required.


Paired the soup with simple oven-roasted vegetables - broccoli, cauliflower, onions - dressed with lemon juice, a little salt and pepper.

GM Diet - Raw Papaya and Cucumber Soup

So we've been trying to do the GM Diet - Its a seven-day regimen which allegedly makes you lose weight, inches, and detoxifies and cleanses your system. We're on Day 4 already, and its frustrating but we seem to be making it work. Updates and specifics can be found on my online journal here - 

While I'm documenting our GM journey on the journal, I'm posting some recipes here, of the food we've been eating and modifying to suit our diet. The first day of the diet was fruits-only, and by dinnertime we were CRAVING something savoury. Here's a really easy, really quick soup that we whipped up in an effort to satisfy our cravings.

1 small raw papaya (green)
1 cucumber (or 2 if you prefer)
2 small hot green chillies
5 cloves of garlic
1 lemon

Its super simple. Peel and roughly chop the papaya, make sure the seeds (if any) are removed. Boil (or pressure cook - 2 whistles) for about 15 minutes or until tender. Blitz in a food processor with the cucumber roughly chopped up, the green chillies, garlic and lemon juice and zest. Season with salt and pepper as required.

The papaya is largely tasteless - it basically provides a medium for the other flavours. This succeeded in giving us the lemon-y chilli hit we had been craving all day.

I topped it with 2 teaspoons of dry-toasted dessicated coconut. Okay, so its a little cheat, but ah well.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Den Haag: Sumo Sushi & Grill

Sushi! YUM!

All-you-can-eat Sushi! EVEN BETTER! :D

Sumo Sushi & Grill
Palacestraat 8
2586 HX The Hague, Netherlands

(the one at the beach)

Beautiful lunch with beautiful friends and beautiful food. :) I really miss this place.

Ice cream: Green Tea and Black Sesame.

I want Sushi joints in India! 

Store-bought Tortellini with Easy Sauce

In my last few days at The Hague, I didn't want to buy fresh ingredients that would stay over in the refrigerator after I left. I ended up buying ready made pasta from the supermarket. What I have here is ham & cheese tortellini, all made and ready to go. The instructions on the packet were clear, that I just had to boil the tortellini till they floated to the top, but it was too boring to eat them that way!

While the tortellini was coming to a boil, I heated some olive oil and threw in sliced garlic and chopped chives. As soon as the pasta was done, I drained it and dunked it into the hot garlicky oil, tossed it around, and put in some roughly cut fresh mozzarella. At this stage, I turned off the heat and kept tossing everything together. The cheese melted slightly, and coated the pasta nicely.

Some fresh pepper on top, and done. :) Ready-made tortellini made fancy in minutes.

Den Haag: The Thai Box

One of my favourite Asian restaurants, in the heart of Chinatown in The Hague, the Thai Box is located at:

Rabbijn Maarsenplein 3
Chinatown, The Hague
2512 HJ Den Haag

I went there for a quick lunch between classes with a friend, and we didn't have much time to explore their extensive menu. The people were really friendly, and the food was authentic and delicious. :)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Den Haag: Dudok Café Brasserie

This is probably one of The Hague's most famous cafes. Its located at:

Hofweg 1a  2511 AA The Hague, Netherlands

+31 70 890 0100

I only went there twice, and I was with some people and all we ended up having was coffee and pie.

(above) The very famous Dudok Apple Pie

(above) Carrot Cake

(above) My favourite, the lemon pie. It was incredible, with a light floaty lemon curd, crumbly pastry and a nicely sweet, burnished meringue on top.

Definitely recommend this place to anyone visiting the city. :)

My Favourite Cafe/Lunchroom in Den Haag: Blij

In The Hague, my favourite cafe and lunchroom was this little place called "Blij", on 

Dunne Bierkade 1A  2512 BC 

The Hague, Netherlands

+31 70 889 3330

This was the place I would hit after every crazy party, whenever I needed a change of place to study better, or just to get myself some more of the amazing food there. :)

Its a beautiful little cafe on a beautiful street next to a beautiful canal. I wish I had more photos of everything I ate there. My absolute favourite there was the Chocolate Fudge Pie:

Chicken, Zuchhini, Brinjal and Spinach in Coconut Milk Curry

This recipe was the product of a combination of ideas I came across while browsing other recipes online. I knew spinach could be creamed, but I wanted to try cooking it in coconut milk instead. And I had never really cooked brinjal (aubergine/eggplant) before, so I decided to give it a go.

2 Chicken Breasts
1/2 Zuchhini
1/2 Brinjal (Aubergine/Eggplant - same thing)
Coconut Milk
3 - 4 Cloves of Garlic
Olive Oil
Salt, Pepper

Wash and dry the chicken breasts thoroughly, and slice them into manageable pieces.

Slice the brinjal and zuchhini, and quarter the slices.

In a deep-bottomed pan, heat olive oil and add sliced garlic to it.

Add the pieces of chicken to the hot oil and cook until white through but juicy.

Add the brinjal and zuchhini to the pan while the chicken is cooking, and keep tossing everything around till tender. Add salt at this stage.

Remove the chicken, zuchhini and brinjal from the pan and keep aside on a warm plate. To the same pan, add some more oil if required, and the fresh spinach leaves.

Cook the spinach down until done. Add coconut milk so that the leaves absorb the liquid as they cook.

Add the chicken and vegetables to the cooked spinach in the pan. Add coconut milk as required to bring the components together.

Grind fresh pepper on top and serve with rice.