Gardening

Four reasons to use cocopeat for your window ‘garden’

Thanks to cocopeat, a nature lover like me could realise her gardening dreams in a city like Mumbai

Living in a space-starved and perennially busy city like Mumbai means holding off on some dreams and aspirations. For me it meant putting a cap on my plans to have a kitchen garden where I could grow fresh veggies, fruits and herbs. And it didn’t help that in this concrete jungle of a city, green cover is so far in between – the nature baby in me is forever in want.

Continue Reading

Gardening

Growing Basil in Mumbai (+Basil Pesto recipe)

growing basil in mumbai inallitsfoodness.com
Simple guide to growing basil in tropical Mumbai, with an easy recipe to preserve fresh basil

Now I am no gardening expert – although my aptitude test did point out agriculture science as top three career choice, this post is about my experience growing basil in Mumbai. Apparently the warm and humid Mumbai climate is well suited for growing basil. It is such a treat to grow basil, even in a small window grill garden like mine. Not only do you get to enjoy cooking with fresh basil, it also fills your garden with an aromatic scent, which is known to repel pests and mosquitoes.

Continue Reading

Family Food

How to make the perfect green chutney? Ask Aunt Fiola

perfect green chutney for an easy appetiser inallitsfoodness.con FB image
Family food is a collection of treasured recipes –  from family members, neighbours, friends and even acquaintances – that have improved my cooking skills, but more importantly taught me life lessons like generosity and the joys of sharing.

The humble chutney sandwich is such a staple snack for most Indians – so much that few maybe fed up eating it. Most church gatherings, in particular, will have some form of this green sandwich for the hungry souls – a comforting snack that I have never shy away from. But not all chutney sandwiches are created equal, getting the green chutney right is so important! For me, it is (another precious ‘Grandma’ neighbour) Aunt Fiola’s  sweet and sour green coconut chutney that ticks all the essential checkboxes for creating the perfect chutney sandwich.

Continue Reading

Commentary

How reality cooking shows are affecting the way we eat

Image source

What’s not to love about a good cooking show – especially, reality cooking shows that give talented home cooks the opportunity to pursue their food dreams? Besides being my favourite pastimes, I have learnt a great deal from them. While the upside of these popular cooking shows is that it has led many of us interested in cooking, I have come to realise that they have also adversely affected the way we perceive food – mainly, everyday home cooked meals.

Continue Reading

Family Food

Irene Aunty’s Prawn Cutlets

This is one of those treasured recipes whose source is not an inanimate book. In fact, aunty Irene is anything but inanimate. She is one of those liveliest, full of energy, really loud grandmothers who has no time for political correctness. She speaks her mind and she speaks it loud and clear. Hidden in this robust personality is a nurturing woman who is generous and welcoming. We were neighbours for decade or so until my family moved to another area. It has been seven years or so since we moved, but I still remember with much fondness all the beautiful memories with her – most of which dealt with food. Aunty Irene loved to cook and more so she loved to share – and when it was prawn cutlets that she had to offer, I was a happy, happy neighbour.

Continue Reading

Baked Goodness

Caramel Fennel Crumb Cake

Fennel seeds are an Indian favourite, right? As kids, we would shamelessly pack fennel mouth fresheners, that were handed out at restaurants, into tissue papers and enjoy them for the rest of the day. Ah good old days…  Fennel, or saunf as we know it, has this sweet savoury taste that is hard not to love.  This readily available Indian spice can be so much more than a free loot at a local restaurant you know. And one fine day, out of nowhere it came to me – how about fennel in a cake?? How would that turn out to be?

Pretty darn good apparently 😉

Continue Reading

Traveller's Lunch

Peppered Cauliflower in Coconut Milk

(Traveller’s lunch is a collection of recipes inspired by my visits to different cities
and restaurants around the country)

Couple of months back I visited the Dudhsagar Spice plantation in Goa and the nature baby in me was at home (in fact, I began dreaming of my own farm!) Growing organically in the Mollem National Park, this beautiful farmstead and plantation is a couple of hours (scenic) drive from Margao. So it was decided that  their afternoon spice tour was a must during a recent vacation in Goa with the familia. The tour takes an hour or so, followed by a homely, rural-style lunch. Since we were coming from far, we wanted to spend some time post-lunch too and the owner, Mr Ajit, obliged graciously.

Continue Reading

Family Food, Meals

Vijay’s Beef Bafat

Family food is a collection of recipes that are perpetually etched in my mind as treasured food memories. These recipes – collected from family members, neighbours, friends and even acquaintances – have improved my cooking skills, but more importantly  taught me life lessons like generosity and the joys of sharing.

Is it just me or does certain food tend to leave a lasting impression? Whether it’s festive dinners cooked by mum or a family member or that “little something” that your neighbour shares oh-so-generously as she fixes a quick snack on a weekday but chooses not to eat it alone – food seems to rises above its utilitarian purposes in such instances. For me, it’s a window to a soul, an extension of love, an opportunity to gather (maybe even make amends?). Is it any surprise that a meal plays such a crucial role in most social, cultural and religious gatherings?

Continue Reading

Meals

Fusilli in Tomato Basil Sauce

When it comes to cuisines I love eating and cooking, Indian food will definitely rank first but Italian food comes a close second. And it may seem odd that I hold both cuisines dear cause they are so diverse in flavours and even cooking methods. But for me there are so many similarities amidst the obvious differences. Both countries have a strong agricultural identity and that shows in its food and popular recipes. The dishes are unpretentious, wholesome and – despite what the diet fads want us to believe – very healthy.

Continue Reading

Baked Goodness

Palak paneer quiche with roasted tomatoes

Thursday’s in my kitchen mostly involve fun cooking sessions with my 10-year-old niece. It’s her weekly off from school and we like to make the most of this holiday. One of the reasons I use food as an activity is because as a child Thursday’s were always extra special for me. My mom who is a teacher would also get her weekly off along with me and because she had more time than usual she would whip up something extra delicious. For me this gesture communicated love and thoughtfulness, and I wanted my niece (whom we babysit) to have similar joyful memories. And now that she is older I let her use the knife and chop things (with my overprotective supervision, of course). She is super thrilled about chopping – you should see the excitement! Kids.

Continue Reading