11 December, 2005

Boss ka birthday cake

It was boss ka birthday at office. And anyone who knows boss, knows how much he hates chocolate cake. So on his birthday, chocolate cake was a complete NO NO. Actually he celebrates his birthday with one more colleague at office, so it was double celebration in one single cake. Birdy's is the regular outlet where we get all our celebratory cakes from. This time it was a Blueberry+Kiwi cake. Yummy. Very soft, creamy and delicious.

It's easy to know when a cake has been a good choice or no. Where there is a fight among all for a second helping, you know the cake has been a "hit" and everyone has liked it. Birthday's are so much fun at office.

22 November, 2005

Baked a cake

This is getting dangerous. Every time I have some free time and I am not too tired, I end up in the kitchen cooking up something or the other. Ash was having pot dinner at his house and I decided to use that Saturday's holiday for some better use. So it was time to get baking.

I have no skills to make a cake, but when you have the ready-to-eat why worry. The instructions on the cake made it look like a real simple thing, so it wasn't that big a challenge. All was going well, until it was 20 minutes into the oven, when the cake started to burst it's stomach. And instead of shaping like a nice flat plateau it shaped up like a swollen volcano waiting to burst out it's lava.

But I believe, in food presentation is very important. So to cover up that big burst I whipped some fresh cream and covered it carefully to make it a very natural shape. I think it was a pretty messy finish, but I am glad Mom & sister appreciated the same and give me the thumbs-up to take it to Ash's party. Well, at the party nobody even realized it was a packet cake- I can't wait to tell them or have them read the true story here.

03 November, 2005

Free Style Salad

Three days of holiday and I had not stepped into the kitchen for even a moment. Diwali means restrictions on food - No onion, No garlic. Which basically limits my choice of food which I can experiment with. Thursday evening out of sheer boredom and a pang of hunger I finally stepped in. One look at the stuffed up refrigerator and I decided that it's going to be a nice cold salad before the dinner is served tonight.

I was in no mood to dig out any recipes or see any books for help. So it was a free-style salad that I mopped up. Lots of vegetables like cucumber, tomatoes, cabbage and olives - sliced, pieced or grated as you feel. (That's the best part of free-style).

Some tips from the not-so expert chef on ways to make the salad interesting.

  • Use olive oil, gives salads a very distinct taste
  • Salad Dressing - I hate dry stuff (This is one of the only reasons I hate salads, at times)
  • Make sure the vegetables are cut fine - large pieces can be a little irritating

So that's it for now. Saturday night could be pot-dinner at Ash's place. If I get free time, I am going to cook up something too.

24 October, 2005

It's thai time!

So it's Sunday again, and what happens on Sunday? Well, the master chef ;-) enters the kitchen and takes over. This time the challenge was even tougher but I was rest assured because I knew dear mother was there for supervision and guidance, if any. So I decided to dig up a recipe for Thai Green Curry and so it was. Let me admit again, this was indeed a challenge over the other dishes I have made earlier.

To begin with, I had no knowledge of some of the ingredients and some I didn't know were called with such peculiar names in English. You tend to grow up calling certain things in a way you have been taught. Like I knew what is "coriander" but what is "ground coriander"? And when mom showed me the same, I was like "Oh this."

The cooking was not so difficult except the determination of boiling points, which was manageable thanks to Mom. The dish finally landed at the table only to realize that the "Master Chef" had actually forgotten to add Salt to the dish. Don't blame me - The recipe didn't say so!

15 October, 2005

12 October, 2005

Chocolate Pudding with Marie Biscuits

I had a good argument with my girl-friend about my cooking. She said when would you cook for me. To which I replied I would not serve a good lady cook specifically for two reasons:

  • They would try and compare my cooking to their certain standard taste which they would have developed over the years.
  • I would like to cook not to match an already established taste but rather innovate and if not improve, at least help develop a new taste for those eating my dishes.

Ok moving onto this afternoon's experiment. Everyone loves Chocolate Pudding. Specially those on a diet plan would die for this little serving. To make it interesting I put some pudding on the regular Marie Biscuits available in the market. Let me admit, it wasn't something lip-smacking, but kind of makes the pudding offering a little more enjoyable.

09 October, 2005

Oreo Cookied bashed up

Till I become an expert at cooking I will have to share recipes borrowed from others. This very simple, easy and quick dessert makes it interesting to write about it.

What do you need?
Lots of vanilla ice-cream, super powdered oreo cookies (without the cream) and chocolate syrup. And of course, a diet-free mindset.

How do you do it?
Just scoop out the vanilla ice-cream and attack it with rest of the ingredients.

Gobble down - lots & lots of it.

Mr. Chef once more

KhanaPeena was started so that I could blog about food I eat, but it seems it's slowly becoming a place to blog more about food "I MAKE". Sunday just got a lot more busier. Last time was "Project Pizza" - Didn't blog that one! This time it's Spaghetti with Mushroom and Spinach.

I thank "Miss N" for digging out the recipe from Tarla Dalal. It was very interesting when she sent me the recipe, she added a note "This should be not that difficult to make, try your hands with it". Yeah sure, if cooking was that easy I am sure everyone would jump into the kitchen. But yes, I admit - if done in the right spirit cooking can be a great experience. And I am glad to be a part of it.

Chopping for Spaghetti with Spinach and Mushrooms
Preparation was not much difficult. I didn't bother to wait for the servant and hit the chopping board right away. Although let me admit, I did screw up on the measurement and boiled spaghetti just a bit more than required. But I guess the estimation comes with experience. To make dinner more interesting I prepared some Garlic Toast, which has always been my personal favourite.

It wasn't such a bad preparation after all - Dad and sis appreciated the efforts and left the table pretty much stuffed.

28 September, 2005

Easy to make pasta

Although the weekend had been tough, I tried to do something interesting on Sunday evening. I managed to pick-up a pack of easy to make pasta from the local shop and came home all very excited to try another attempt in the kitchen. Ya ya, it was a ready-made pasta pack - So what's the big deal. But hey it's the thrill of doing something fun in the kitchen, which gets me in there. So here it is.

It's pretty simple you see. Just open up the pack and follow the instructions carefully. You gotta keep a good watch so that the pasta does not get over-cooked making a mash out of the whole thingie. So be around when it's happening, although it does take a while for them to boil.

I think the accompanying paste is kind of bland so here is my recommendation to make it more interesting. Add some good amount of red pepper, oregano, a few jalapenos if you would like and garnish it with grated cheese. If you really want to make it look exciting sprinkle some parsley.

Next on my ToDo list: Mozzarella Fritters.

17 September, 2005

Spicy Vermicilli

Cooking has always been a subject of great interest for me. Not much, but whatever little free time I get, I like to once in a while try to experiment in the kitchen. Of course this is yet under the expert guidance of my Super "COOK" Mom.

Action time in the kitchen

Today was one such occasion where I decided to step in and cook up some interesting snack earlier this evening. We made spicy vermicilli (read: Indian noodles). It was pretty simple and although I am no expert to give a recipe I'll give you a small guide.

spicy vermicilli

Spicy Vermicilli

Some Verimiciili (Depends how much you want to eat. Remember they get blown when boiled)
little cooking oil
Mustard Seed
Finely chopped Carrots, Tomatoes, Potatoes, Chilies.
Salt & lime to taste.

Hit it
First you gotta boil the vermicilli with the carrots & potatoes. Then strain out all the water and keep aside. Meanwhile on a slow gas get some oil, mustard seeds, chilies and asofotedia to cook mildly. When the seeds start making the cringing noise, add the strained vermicilli mix and cook for a while. Shake lightly as to not mash up the dish. Add salt & lime and you should have something tasty ready.

Let me know if you experiment. Would love to have your comments.

15 September, 2005

Happy Birthday Mom

happy birthday mom
Originally uploaded by kapsi.

This year has been special. I cut 5 cakes, Mom cuts 2 this year. Both have been fruit cakes - Mom's favourites. The left one came loaded with kiwi, apples, cherries, some kind of jellybeans. Well decorated and packaged.

The right one is from Gaylord = A little hard but sweet and splashed with pineapple slices. It was interesting to lick of the cream from it's sides and make little windows into the cake.

Happy Birthday MOM!

11 September, 2005

What makes coffee even more interesting?

coffee design
Originally uploaded by kapsi.

How a good cup of coffee can get even more interesting? Make a design from the cream.

This one is from Cafe Coffee Day. I remember seeing a snippet on MTV or some other channel where they showed how this little design was done. Looked so bloody simple with a simple tooth-pick he used to do the whole thing. But I am sure if I got my hands wet it would be a total mess.

Will post my progress if I ever get to doing it. First let's learn to make a good cup of coffee at least.

Holiday is for eating

Oh I love mid-week holidays. They excite me more than a Sunday. It's a great way to do something which is not so SUNDAY like for a change you could just sit home and not bother about catching a movie or dining out. Wednesday was one such "chutti". I didn't do anything much which gave me a lot of time to sit home and enjoy some good stuff.

lassi Mom bought me a packet of the Nestle Lassi. I would have liked it to be a little more chilled, but it was not bad. Could have been a little more sweeter but then I guess my sugar barometer is always higher than the average taste bud. The weather kind of became hot by lunch time, so the cold lassi pack was a good relief.

When at home, how could mom miss the opportunity to cook up an evening snack. "Aloo Chaat" chaatit was for the evening. Very easy and quick (so it seemed). Boiled Potatoes, Butter, Onion, pinch of garlic, some cheese cubes and I guess salt & pepper to taste. If you make a bowl full, beware tends to get heavy on the stomach - you know what too much of potatoes can do to you?

5 cakes in 24 hours

I just celebrated my birthday last weekend. And this birthday was special not only because of the lovely celebrations but also because I ended up cutting almost 5 cakes in less than 24 hours. That was something indeed. But hey no one seemed to complaint or bother about the calories and everyone enjoyed it. A snapshot of what was on my plate.


  • (Starting from LEFT): The chocolate cake was from Le Chocolat -The Chocolate Lounge, Bandra. Creamy nice and yes delicious. Chocolate Lounge had a special menu of desserts, coffees and more specially created for my little party.
  • Then there was a Photo cake from Desserts 'R' Us which was special because it had a photo of me and good friend Pankaj from my 7th Birthday celebrations. I didn't really get to taste this pineapple cake but the cream was yummy because that's the only thing I got to lick of it.
  • The team @ office got another chocolate cake from Birdy's by Taj which was just a little hard but tasted nice.
  • Little Sister also got me a chocolate cake from Theoberma, Colaba to end the birthday celebrations.
Overall I think cakes have only gotten better over the years and there is a lot of variety available these days. But my preference would always remain a Rich Creamy Chocolate Cake.

24 August, 2005

Oriental Express

The weekend was dedicated to an oriental experience. Sat & Sun dinners were authentic oriental delicacies. I am pizza-crazy but oriental cravings are also common. Josh is indeed a good place if you want to break free from the routine manchurian and monchows!

Cottage cheese with seasme in garlic sauce

Rising Rice with Mongolian noodles. Although the noodles were kind of dry we followed it up with some well-cooked Singapore Noodles which made the dinner more tasty.
rice noodle

Desserts are a weakness. Sunday evening ended on the perfect note with some yummy honey soaked flat noodles and vanilla ice-cream. The goey brownie didn't last till I managed to go clicking with the camera. It all got eaten up too soon :-)

19 August, 2005

What is Khana Peena @ Blogspot?

Khana Peena @ Blogspot is going to be a window to some of the food and drinks which I relish in my daily course of life. It can be special, it can be terrible or it can be just plain simple. I start off with a very typical Indian sweet-dish known as the "mawa cake". A simple cake made of just milk and sugar this one had been enriched with a generous dose of sliced pistachios & almonds.