Guru Purnima – 3 Lessons I’ve learnt from food

I haven’t had a permanent teacher in my life, someone to constantly look-up to; I believe in taking life lessons from every person that I meet or interact with, the work that I do and all that I experience while traveling, reading or even watching a film. But, in the past few years I’ve realized that I’ve had a constant teacher around me – Food. Whether I was cooking, eating or talking to friends, chefs and fellow food bloggers, there was always a lesson to take away; at times to make me better at what I do and at times to help me realize my own potential. Here’re the lessons that I’ve learnt from food; as an eager eater, enthusiastic cook and a professional food writer.

1. What we eat is what we become
Now, I don’t mean you’ll become a big fat pig if you eat bacon. What I mean is, that the food absorbs the energy of the cook and when we eat that food it gets transferred to us. Around 12 years ago, when I was living alone in Mumbai, I ruined my dinner. That was first for me and I was angry at myself for I had to make do with a bowl of Maggi; I was in a bad mood and an absolute negative space. That was when I realized that the mood you’re in reflects in your cooking. I spoke to my mother the next day and she confirmed my thought; it made me understand why her cooking, which was brilliant on most days, would be below average at times.

Recently, when I was interviewing Chef Thomas Zacharias of The Bombay Canteen, he re-iterated the lesson stressing over the point that happy cooks produce great food. And that’s not it; the principle applies on animals too. Research shows that cows produce better milk when they’re bred in a happy environment. Continue reading

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Cafe Review – Le 15 Cafe, Colaba

Poached Eggs With Tomato Sauce at Le 15 Cafe, Colaba

Poached Eggs With Tomato Sauce at Le 15 Cafe, Colaba

For past few days, we’ve been scrolling through Pooja Dhingra’s (of Le 15 Patisserie fame) Instagram timeline to get the glimpse of her new café in Colaba. Dhingra has brought in her Le Cordon Bleu classmate chef Pablo Naranjo Agular to head the kitchen. Designed by The Bus Ride Design Studio (who’ve also designed the Bombay Canteen and Tilt All Day among others), the Parisian interiors are colourful and flowery with huge windows letting in enough sunlight. The upholstery has been designed by fashion designer Masaba Gupta; we loved the bright pink and blue cushions. Continue reading

7 Easy and Healthy Breakfast Recipes – #1

Last week I started an Instagram project, #NoWhiteBreadBreakfast (follow the hashtag here), where I started posting quick and healthy breakfast recipes. The idea was to put together breakfast ideas that do not involve breads or maida in general. The recent tests done on commercial white breads have made it pretty clear that these breads are way too unhealthy to be included in our daily diet. I have been off white bread and maida since past six months and trust me I haven’t missed anything. I feel lighter after my meals, have better digestion and have lost considerable amount of weight.

This post is a collection of recipes that I have been posting on Instagram. There will be more posts as I create more healthy breakfast.

Jowar Pancakes

Jowar Pancakes

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High tea with Chef Anees Khan of Star Anise Patisserie, Bandra

So far the most gratifying part of my work as a food blogger and writer – apart from all the amazing food of course – has been meeting interesting people and having lengthy conversations with them about food. The idea of such meetings has always been more inviting than restaurant reviews. One such invitation recently took me to Bandra’s Star Anise Patisserie which opened last year. The bakery and dessert shop is helmed by Chef Anees Khan who, apart from being an excellent chef, is extremely passionate about food.

Chef Anees hails from Orissa and has worked at The Leela Kempenski, The Leela Goa, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in Canada, Hyatt Regency, JW Marriott Cairo and many other hotels around the world as a pastry chef. In 2001 he joined hands with Chef Moshe Shek to create a dessert menu for his café Moshe’s.

Carrot Cake with Jamun Frosting at Star Anise Patisserie, Bandra West

Carrot Cake with Jamun Frosting at Star Anise Patisserie, Bandra West

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A real Koli meal in Versova’s Koli Village with Authenticook

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon a bunch of enthusiastic people who run a food-based start-up that promotes regional Indian cuisine. Authenticook – launched sometime in late 2015 by bankers Ameya Deshpande and Priyanka Deshpande, advertising professional Sai Ghatpande and consultant Aneesh Dhairyawan – focuses on the cuisines of various communities through home dining experiences. The meals are hosted at the homes of people from various communities like the Koli, Pathare Prabhu, Bohri Muslim or Tulu Nadu Mangaloreans, so the food that you get to taste is 100 per cent true to that community or region.

I attended the Koli pop-up hosted by home chef Rajini who stays deep inside the Versoval Koli village. We met the Authenticook crew at the entrance of the village and walked through the tiny by lanes, colourful houses and wedding preparations (yep, there were two happening simultaneously) to our host’s house. The aroma of fried fish and hot bhakris filled our nostrils even before we entered the house which had a kitchen as big as my living room.

Fish thali at Koli lunch with Authenticook

Fish thali at Koli lunch with Authenticook

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