Browse Tag by recipes
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?

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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.

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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.

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Snack

Monsoon vadas filled with nostalgia

Even though the internet is flooded with urad vada recipes, I am compelled to document my quest to make the perfect vadas that are filled with spicy nostalgia. My attachment to food is most evident by the many food memories I hold dear. One such memory, takes me back to being a shy 10 year old at my tuition teacher’s place who was also my neighbor. Ever so often her mallu mom would make these yummy vadas and generously set aside some for me. Oh I can still recall biting into those piping hot vadas and tasting chilli in it with a hint of ginger (I suspect). And there was an occasional bite of dried coconut in it too.

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Baked Goodness

Chocolate Cake with brandy and star-anise flavour

Brandy-infused chocolate cake

It is only fitting that I begin my “foodventure” with the recipe that got me excited about cooking in the first place. I made this chocolate cake for Christmas almost a decade ago and everybody loved it! And since then it has been one kitchen adventure (and many disasters) after another. The beauty of this recipe is that just about anyone can create it with a good success rate – that’s why I call it a fool-proof recipe. If you have struggled to make yummy, crumbly chocolate cake, fear not this recipe will make you an instant hero  (not kidding about that!).

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