• Homestyle cooking of Indian vegetarian food
    Chennai,  Food Inspiration

    It’s time to reflect upon what we’ve been eating in our Chennai home

    Delicious snapshots of our home cooked meals after settling down in our Chennai home... beyond Rasam! There seem to be more than fifty shades of rice, lentils and Poriyal. The fresh curry leaves plucked from our garden for using in the thalippu or tempering, and of course as garnish along with other subtle and not so subtle culinary nuances - I am totally overwhelmed by my new culinary knowledge.

  • Sakkarai Pongal recipe
    Chennai,  Recipes

    Celebrating Pongal with Sakkarai Pongal and other dishes

    Wishing you abundance and joy as new harvest is celebrated all across India. They may have different names… Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Maghi Bihu, Uttarayan, Lohri and others, but the intentions are the same. It’s a celebration of nature’s bounty and to her show gratitude. It also marks the sun’s transit to Capricorn, hence marking the end of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Needless to say, it’s the perfect time to release everything from the past and welcome a new decade by setting new intentions! I’m immersing myself into every new experience that I can get in my new adopted home, Chennai. Nothing can be better than a festive season or a celebration to…

  • Chettinad Chicken cooked in a claypot
    Chennai,  Recipes

    Chettinad Chicken cooked in a claypot

    One of the most exciting ways of exploring and learning more about a region is through its regional cuisine. I cooked Chettinad Chicken in a claypot, an affair that I have been longing for a long time. It turned out to be delicious and I'm currently obsessing over everything about it... the aroma, the texture and the excitement of cooking in a claypot.

  • Homemade Chicken 56
    Chennai,  Recipes

    Homemade spicy Chicken 65 for today’s lunch

    Getting into the Chennai groove with a homemade spicy Chicken 65 for today’s lunch. I made two variations of it – with and without gravy. This is probably the closest any of my blogposts have gotten real-time! My last blogpost was kind of very long as I belted my heart out into how we have settled down in Chennai. The behind-the-scenes activities started in April 2020 and we moved into our home in Diwali. We finally felt at home by New Year’s eve… all of these culminating in a long emotional blogpost. The header image showed a meal that I had cooked a few days earlier, in the manner of…

  • Grilled eggplant in tempered spices

    Grilled Eggplant in tempered spices | Big Z turned sixteen

    This Grilled eggplant in tempered spices or Tadka Baigan was, as if a modern preparation with a desi soul, just like Big Z. Big Z turned sixteen… she was merely eight-year-old when my blog started! Today’s recipe is much like her, at least in temperament. Grilled Eggplant in tempered spices… baby eggplants in a spunky tadka of Indian spices. I used a mishmash of cooking techniques… grilling as well as a traditional chaunk or the tempering with whole spices roasted in pungent mustard oil and then poured onto the grilled eggplants. It was a burst of colours as well as flavours. I also tried out a variation of Doi Begun, the…

  • Homemade Awadhi Biryani

    Perfecting the legendary Kolkata Biryani at home

    The potato in Kolkata Biryani is my favourite part of the dish. In this Awadhi style of cooking, the dum pukht technique allows the the aromatic juices from the mutton to ooze into the fine grains of rice. They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. It’s certainly true in my case, but if I were to be specific about the kind of food, it would be Biryani and Mughlai food. Not any Biryani, but the Awadhi/Lucknowy style Mutton Biryani that we grew up eating in Kolkata. The Bearded Biker’s love for Awadhi Biryani made us hop into Lucknow for an evening, only to eat. His…

  • Binangkals are deep-fried dough ball coated with sesame seeds and originates from the Philippines.
    Food Inspiration,  Published Work,  Recipes

    Celebrating Eid with Binangkal – the Filipino version of Middle Eastern Leqaimat

    Binangkals are deep-fried dough ball coated with sesame seeds and originates from the Philippines. They are quite similar to the regional favourite Leqaimats which are traditionally consumed during Iftar in the holy month of Ramadan, but less sweet. Eid Mubarak! I am sharing Lady M’s recipe of binangkal that I recently shared with Khaleej Times. Binangkals, according to me, are the Filipino version of Middle Eastern Leqaimats. In the Philippines, binangkals are popular munchies with tea and coffee and sold at roadside stalls and regular bakeries. Lady M has been living with us for for more than 12 years now. Over the years she has learnt to cook Bengali and…