Monday, 20 February 2012

Im dreaming of summer - Watermelon Feta Salad

One of the many reasons I love watermelons is because this beautiful, pink fruit is so versatile. It tastes great on its own as a sweet and refreshing snack, but also pairs well with savory flavors to create unique salads. 

 In this recipe the sweet fruit is balanced with tangy feta cheese and the sharpness of rocket leaves. This salad get especially crisp if the melon is slightly chilled.

 All the ingredients compliment each so well and it's so pretty to look at too. Give this a try, it's perfectly yummy!The combination of sweet, spicy and tangy cheese is a party for your mouth.

 I love the colors and textures of this salad. This is a perfect salad for your next dinner party or for just sitting in front of the television watching your favorite movie. 


Handful of fresh greens - Lettuce , baby spinach & a few rocket leaves
1 small water melon
2 one - inch cubes Feta Cheese
10 walnuts crushed
100 grams sugar


Clean and wash greens and place in a bowl of ice cubes . Put bowl in refrigerator.With a melon scoop , scoop put a dozen or so roundels of watermelons . Put in the freezer immediately.

Caramelized walnuts

 Heat sugar over medium heat in a non-stick pan , till it melts to a golden syrup . Be sure to do this over a very low flame .Add crushed walnuts to the syrup . Let them cool .

Assembling the salad

 Take out greens from the refrigerator , drain water and toss with some olive oil . Sprinkle caramelized walnuts over the greens . Add watermelon scoops and with your fingers crush the feta over the salad! Serve!

And this great salad would not have happened if I had not met ace photographer Anoop Negi ...clearly a man with many talents ......this beautiful feta is something he makes with a lot of love ....thank-you again :)) 

Hint: If you happen to get a chance to see the inside of the watermelon (many markets sell halves or quarters), go for the dark-red ones, they are sweeter and more aromatic

Drink Tags

I saw this in a magazine somewhere and thought it seems like a   fun and chic way for guests to keep track of their glass throughout the night so you don't end up with mixed-up glasses or dozens of half-full glasses left around the house......Dont you hate when that happens?

 And by the end of the night there are just a million glasses all around the house and a heap of glasses in the washing apart from that!

So I tried this the last time I had a few people over and it worked so well .....this will take 5-10  minutes to do but no matter how many drinks your guests have had they will always find their way back to their OWN glass! Thats just precious is it not? :))

I used hand made paper that I had lying around at home to do this and a basic wooden skewer ....:)

Konkani Prawn Rice

A couple of weeks ago I scattered some sabut dhaniya seeds in an empty planter and kept it out on a patch of sunlight in my balcony and it just sprouted into the nicest greenest freshest dhaniya ever......

So then I started thinking about how I could use my fresh coriander and this rice pulao is one of my most favorite things to cook and eat its like comfort food!


Serves 2 
For pulao -
1 1/2 cups Basmati rice
1/2 cup green peas
2 large onions, finely chopped
a pinch of turmeric
30 medium size shrimp
salt to taste
lemon juice
For masala -
1 1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
2-3 green chillies
1" piece of cinnamon
1 black cardamom
2-3 cloves
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds 
2-3 peppercorns
1 small bunch of cilantro 
10-12 mint leaves (OPTIONAL)

To garnish -
finely chopped cilantro and fresh grated coconut

Directions :

Wash, peel and devein shrimp. Sprinkle salt and lemon juice over top and keep aside.

 Grind all ingredients for masala into a fine paste using very little water.

Cook rice till 3/4th done  , be careful to not break the grains. Keep aside.

In a vessel  sauce pan heat about 3 tablespoons of oil. Add onion and saute till it turns reddish brown. Add the ground masala and saute till it loses its moisture. Next add shrimp and stir for about 2 minutes.Add peas  and turmeric and season to taste .Make sure everything is cooked and the prawns have turned white and beautiful.

Now add rice , mix well. Then lower heat, cover and cook until the  water that remained in the rice  has evaporated and the rice is fully cooked , this should not take very long about 5-7 minutes , since the rice was almost cooked from before.

 Garnish with chopped fresh dhaniya leaves  and  fresh grated coconut . Serve Hot .

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Shahi Tukray

Heaven on a plate looks like this....... 

Shahi Tukray -  Emperor's Morsels
 "Shahi Tukray" or Emperor's Morsel- a name so opulent sounding that it conjures images  of royalty, decadence and richness. 

It is all of these, only so much easier than it sounds! :))):)) and with such simple ingredients that are always at hand yes even in my  kitchen ;)!

  Let me tell you, its like heaven. what can be better than fried (okay I used my non-stick pan not fried but dint make a difference ) bread slices soaked in a sugar syrup infused with saffron and cardamom and then dunked into a rich and creamy rabri ????

 So, so good.  Usually, I don’t swoon like this for other  desserts but  Shahi Tukray are on a completely other level. 

You take a bite  and you are so consumed in the utter yuminess that you can’t have a conversation or think while you eat this!

Serves - 2  (Doubles well)
Bread4  pieces
Milk1/2 litre (Full Fat)
Sugar1/3 cup
GheeFor  frying
Chopped Almonds & Pistachios2 tblsp
Corn flour1 tsp
Saffron & Elaichi PowderA pinch each
Water (for sugar syrup)1 cup 

Boil milk in a heavy bottomed pan , reduce flame and let it boil away till its reduced to 1/4th of its original quantity . This should take 30-40 minutes and you need to keep stirring every now and again.Add a few saffron strand into the milk ,take out 1 tablespoon milk from you pan and dissolve 1 tsp of cornflour in the milk make sure there are no lumps , add back to your pan of boiling milk.

Once you add the cornflour the milk will thicken very rapidly so turn off the gas ,add elaichi powder and let your rabri cool.

                                                        Bread Triangles 

Cut off edges of bread slices cut each slice of bread into 4 mini triangles.

 Heat about 2-3 tablespoons of ghee in a shallow non-stick pan . Fry bread triangles on a low flame -this will ensure even cooking. Important for bread to be crisp so dont worry about it getting too brown ,its okay!

                                                      Sugar Syrup 

Heat 1 cup of water in a pan add 1/3 rd cup sugar and a few strands of saffron boil till all the sugar dissolves , reduce flame and cook for another 5 minutes .

Dunk bread triangles in sugar syrup for just a minute more than a minute and ull end up with gooeey bread!

 Arrange soaked bread triangles onto a serving dish . Top with rabri ,garnish with saffron strands and finley chopped almonds and pistachios.

 Tastes best when served a lil chilled . Make sure you allow the bread triangles enough time to soak up the rabri - an hour or two before you serve!