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Cooking ideas & techniques, occasion-based recipes, everyday kitchen experiments, food nostalgia and more! 

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The CDH Khichdi (Risotto) - a hearty khichdi inspired by Italian cuisine.

Navigating the food streets of Delhi, Comfort Food: 80 Easy-to-Make Recipes travels through cuisines of Morocco, Asia and Italy for easy, lip-smacking dishes that bring you home.

In his latest book, Le Cordon Bleu Chef Michael Swamy pairs up with Food Stylist & Researcher Mugdha Savkar mixing the traditional with the modern bringing you global food influences “guaranteed to soothe the evolving Indian palate”.

In this email interview Swamy talks about the evolving idea of Indian Comfort food and how cooking it can add some pretty impressive culinary skills to your repertoire.

 

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By Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal

Chicken salad is a perfect crowd pleaser. One of those great meals that everyone loves! It’s healthy, simple, requires limited ingredients and is extremely versatile. Perfect for the multi- tasking women who have to juggle between work, home, family and end up neglecting themselves. So ladies, here are some salads you can put together in a jiffy and toss it in the refrigerator for later!

 

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Oh no, it's Valentine's Day and your partner expected something special but you didn't plan anything? Well, if you're moderately good in the kitchen, here's three recipes that if mastered, will help you win over the coldest of hearts. We've gotta warn you though - they're pretty high on difficulty levels so plan a day in advance. 

All three recipes have been given to us by Chef Ranveer Brar, TV personality, currently Senior Executive Chef at Novotel and we've gotta say quite a bit of eye candy himself!

 

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When we approached JW Marriott for a shoot with the Chef de Cuisine at Arola, a niche Spanish lounge, there’s no way we’d have known they’d volunteer to give away 2 of their signature dishes – Patatas Bravas, and Crema Catalana that Chef Manuel Olveira creates in this video at Arola.

 

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Chef Suriya at Spices, JW Marriott, Mumbai

JW Marriott Mumbai’s weeklong Thai Street Food Festival I wrote about earlier was a riot of Thai flavours put together by Chef Suriya Phusirimongkhonchai at Spices. Of the extensive menu at the fest, I chose two dishes and a dessert that must be tried, and Chef Suriya has graciously shared these time-tested recipes with our readers. 

 

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Tips: Uses of Vinegar

Vinegar does different things to different foods. Broadly, it balances flavors by adding a slightly sweet and mostly sour tang, reduces bitterness in a recipe, and enhances the flavor of ingredients in sauces or dishes. It also has specific sweet little uses I bet you'd like to know about. 

 

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We caught up with Chocolatier and Owner of Fantasie Chocolates, Zeba Kohli, at a wine-chocolate pairing workshop at the Pune Farmer’s Market in Mumbai. And we asked for a few tips on cooking with chocolate.

 

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Technique: How to Make Non-Alcoholic Substitute for White Wine

I’d wanted to make my best risotto for a dear friend who was visiting Mumbai and said would come by. But she had one request -- could I make it without white wine because she was off alcohol in any form?

 

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Video Recipe: Ingredients for Veg Mediterranean Sandwich

Nothing beats Monday blues surer than light, comforting food slipped between two slices of bread. This week, I’ve put together a beautiful veg Mediterranean sandwich you don’t need to pull out the works for. Just olives, sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese over a layer of pesto. Watch the recipe video here. 

 

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Recipe: How to Work with Gelatin and 10-Minute Mousse Recipe
This is the easiest dessert recipe I have ever posted. Just 10 minutes and it’s ready. The only effort involved is setting the ingredients on your counter. This recipe is a perfect example of creating something on the back of a technique learnt well. If I hadn’t understood how to work with gelatin, this dessert would not have come about at all.  I had some strawberry crush and vanilla ice cream in my refrigerator. So I thought why not try making a quick mousse out of it. In my first few attempts the mousses came out very rubbery and the...

 

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 Recipe Video: A spicy twist on traditional pomegranate sauce

Pomegranate sauce is a staple in Mediterranean cooking, but kicks ass even outside its traditional domain. You’d find it in supermarkets labelled as pomegranate molasses, and is easily made at home. Whenever you're looking for a beautiful balance of sweetness and mild sourness, you should give this sauce a try. 

 

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Recipe Video: Crisp Fried Eggplant Dredged with Peanuts

We met Chef Nilesh Limaye at a restaurant where he is currently the consultant chef. Among all the Pan Asian fare that arrived from his kitchen, what we particularly loved was the fried eggplant platter. We remarked how close the flavours of the dish were to the Indian palate, and indeed, it was because the appetizer was inspired by the Mumbai Bhel. This one was an eggplant and peanut snack made the Pan-Asian way.

 

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KhaanaWaana Events: Chef Michael Swamy at Nine Hills Cooking with Wine

We met Cordon Bleu Chef Michael Swamy on the first leg of Nine Hills’ ‘Wine in Food’ -- a 7-day road show that aimed at popularising cooking with wine (watch the event video here). At the event, held at the Westin Garden City Hotel, Mumbai, Chef Swamy made two salad dressings – a Chenin Blanc Vinaigrette, a warm mulled red wine dressing, a chicken main course dish and a dessert. Read on for the salad dressing recipes and Chef Swamy’s tips on choosing the right wine and cooking with it.

 

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KhaanaWaana caught up with food connoisseur Karen Anand and Adrian Pinto, Senior Manager, Wines, Pernod Ricard India at the Pune Farmer’s market at the Westin Garden City Hotel, Goregaon, recently. In this freewheeling conversation, Pinto talks about where wine fits into the market’s concept of natural produce.

 

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Is dinnertime at home a potential nightmare every single day? Every mum knows kids can be picky eaters and no matter how hard you try (and we try!), you just can't get them to eat something they don't like the look of. 

Here's a one-dish meal that combines the look and taste of everything children love - think pizza and cheese - with all the things mothers obsess over stuffing their kids with - think broccoli, spinach, peas, green beans... you get the idea!

 

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KhaanaWaana Videos: Weekly Wrap

In case our videos passed you buy unnoticed through the busy work-week, here's a selection of our best 5 put together. Learn how to make perfectly creamy scrambled eggs; the classic, laborious Hollandaise sauce made easy; watch celebrity chef Vikas Khanna at a launch of his picture recipe book for children and get a lowdown on the ongoing Thai street food festival at the JW Marriott, Mumbai.  

 

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Here in India, we are so accustomed to the regular squeeze-between-the-stainless steel pods variety of lemon juicers that we automatically reach out for them at the store. But there really are many other kinds that are more efficient to use. I found one recently during my visit to Home Stop, Shoppers Stop’s home and kitchen accessories store. It's called the GRIP-EZ Citrus Reamer from the brand Norpro.

I picked it up because, honestly, I just liked the way it looked – the head made of white porcelain with a black silicon handle. When I got home, I set out to make green tea with lemon to quickly put my new find to use.

 

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Video recipe of 3-minute Hollandaise Sauce in a Blender

After watching MasterChef Australia judge Gary Meighan effortlessly make Hollandaise sauce in a recent Master Class, I thought to myself - 'Wow, that looks simple!' I was so excited that the minute the show finished, I went into the kitchen to try out Gary's recipe for Hollandaise, a rich tangy sauce often paired with steamed vegetables, which has pride of place as one of the five 'mother sauces' in classical French cuisine.

 

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Love comes to those who cook

Dear men, expecting the woman in your life to shoulder the responsibility for every single meal you consume is not very attractive. Today's Times of India article quotes the results of an online poll by a matrimonial website that has found an overwhelming percentage of Indian women want men who know their way around the kitchen. Of course, we've been telling you that forever now.

 

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It's amazing what just a little bit of patience and technique can do in the kitchen.

No English breakfast is complete without eggs and scrambled is a pretty popular choice. In India, we tend to cook everything over direct flame and that's one of the main reasons our scrambled eggs turn out dry.

 

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