What's Best in the World of Food

India's first premium video magazine for recipes, reviews, and news & updates from the world of food

Manisha Sharma

Manisha Sharma

I’m a trained yoga teacher and nutritionist, but I am a food lover first. I love experimenting with dishes and creating Indian versions that are easy to make. Balance is a key ingredient in my life and cooking - it allows me to enjoy food but sends me exercising every day; it lets me share more and more but never tires me.


This is my first time on a public platform where I am sharing my love for food. Until now, cooking has been a very intimate thing for me – it’s been a way to say ‘I love you’, to uncross a crossed sibling, to share myself with my friends and others, to simply say without saying.


But to be here and share my recipes and thoughts on food is going to be an exciting journey that I can’t wait to begin. I’m a greedy sort and the more people I can share my love with, the better it is!


If you haven’t guessed it yet, I truly believe that if there is one ingredient you can’t do without in the kitchen, it’s LOVE. So you’ll see it mentioned often in my recipes. This love doesn’t necessarily have to be love for a particular person. It could be reliving an old fond memory. It could even be just a longing for love which, when expressed through food, touches the hearts of those who eat it. It’s the best feeling in the world. Trust me on this!


Perhaps as an extension of this personal philosophy, I’ve always had a special fondness for desserts from all parts of the world. But as I got around to making them, I would always get stuck because I couldn’t find many of the ingredients in India. Over the years, I’ve managed to find great substitutes that are easily available in India and which retain the original taste and texture of the dish. So get set to learn how to make Mediterranean kanafe, traditional English scones, patesis de nata from Portugal, Italian tiramisu and all your favourite types of cheesecake.


You will also learn how to bake breads, yeast cakes, cookies and pies. Don’t be scared. I’ll show you how easy it is! Just one warning though – be prepared to have your house bursting with friends every day who’ll refuse to leave until you feed them something!


One last thing – to cook good food, you have to feel good about yourself. So settle down to read my posts when you have some time to spare. By the window as the rain pours down, with a cup of coffee in your hand and a smile on your face. And remember to take that same energy with you into the kitchen when you try out my recipes. And please let me know how well you did and all the praise you got!

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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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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Restaurant Review: YumCha Vie Restro-Lounge at Phoenix Market City, Kurla

YumCha Vie from the house of Vie (owners of Vie Lounge) is located right at the entrance of Phoenix Market City, Kurla. Glance over the bamboo fence separating the foyer from the restaurant, and you see a big al fresco seating area that makes up only half of this huge (by Mumbai mall standards) 100-seater standalone.

 

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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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Video Review: Kuhn Rikon Egg Separator

I've been using this egg separator manufactured by the Swiss brand Kuhn Rikon for over a year now. My husband bought it in Hong Kong for $32 (roughly Rs. 2000). I feel the thoughtful design makes it a must-have and complete value for money for prolific bakers or anyone fond of egg white omelets.

 

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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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Di Nigris White Wine Vinegar has a moderately tangy and a complex but mellow flavour

Years ago, I stocked only one kind of vinegar – the cheap variety that’s better suited for cleaning than cooking! Besides, I hardly ever cooked with vinegar. But when I got into sophisticated cooking, creating recipes from all parts of the world, I learnt there are many varieties of vinegar that act differently on different foods. Today, you’ll find at least 5 kinds in my kitchen.

 

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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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Even by a Thai gourmet chef’s admission, the best Thai food is found on the city streets. Perhaps to replicate the experience, Spices at JW Marriott has turned its expansive restaurant floor into a Thai street food joint, replete with a Thai barbeque station, Pad Thai station, pork belly station, Thai curry station and rice station. All this executed under the supervision of Suriya Phusirimongkhonchai, a shy but able Thai dessert chef who has only recently come to 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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Chef Vikas Khanna was in Mumbai to launch Young Chefs, a recipe book for children, on 14th November or Children's Day, which also happened to be his birthday.

Published by DK India and promoted by Penguin India, the illustration-heavy book, said Khanna, is specifically designed so that children can learn to get inventive with ingredients they find at home.

 

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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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KhaanaWaana Review: SKKY Lounge at Ramada Mumbai

SKKY is Ramada, Powai’s new open-air rooftop lounge bar, removed from the city buzz, if that’s the sort of thing you like.

Since it only opens post 5 pm, you have no choice but to wade through evening rush hours to get there. Leaving the homebound traffic behind, we take a narrow road through the Mhada-Aarey Milk Colony area to get to SKKY.

 

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KhaanaWaana Nargis, Shaami Kebab and Kheema Pattice Recipes

When I say kebabs, you will probably think of your favourite restaurant or neighbourhood street joint that you believe serves the best kebabs in the city. We all have a place like that and tend to land up there every time a strong meat craving strikes. But what if I told you the best kebabs you'll ever taste are the ones you can very easily make at home?

 

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Break away from predictable Indian flavours and revisit the humble potato

Unless you're a veritable kitchen savant who could whip up a gourmet meal while stranded on a desert island, unannounced guests whom you have to feed is probably your worst nightmare – especially when they show up just a day before your trip to the grocery store and you have an empty pantry staring at you blankly!

 

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