Hello world!

I am a media strategist by profession, but my first and only love has always been food.

Food to me means more than just eating what’s on your plate, It’s an amalgamation of all your senses. Nothing can evoke that sense of comfort, warmth and delight better than food. Just imagine devouring the colors of fresh peppers, or following the tantalizing aromas of freshly baked cookies, hearing the sound of crunchy lettuce or nutty peanuts, biting into a juicy pear, or the feeling the warmth of hot chocolate.

Food brings together cultures & people. Food has the ability to break boundaries and embrace love and make new friends.

This blog is about my passion for food and everything to do with it , so expect to find on it easy & mouth watering recipes, trivia on food, views on kitchen equipment and a lot more.

I would love to hear from you, so join me on this journey of culinary delight by posting your comments, recipes, suggestions and anything you would like to share about the world of feasting. You can email me too on ladlenspoon@gmail.com

Happy Eating!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

I love baking. For me the best way to unwind and destress is to bake. This recipe is the outcome of one such stressed out afternoon….and of course lots of excess peanut butter 😊!

Ingredients

3 large eggs
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup semi-detached chocolate chips
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 1/4 cup soft brown sugar or granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup powdered sugar or castor sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp vanilla
12 tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup roughly chopped pecans

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8 inch baking tin with parchment paper and lightly grease it with butter.
2. In a saucepan over low heat melt the chocolate and butter to a smooth consistency. Mix in the coco powder and blend till smooth.
3. In another bowl mix well together the butter, peanut butter, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla. Keep aside.
4. In a bowl whisk together granulated sugar and eggs till soft peaks form.
5. In a large bowl sift the baking powder with the all purpose flour.
6. Add the child chocolate into the egg mixture. Gently fold in the flour. Add the pecans. Do not over mix. Now pour the batter into the prepared baking tin.
7. Drop spoonfuls of peanut butter mix on top of the brown batter. Use a knife to create swirls in the batter.
8. Bake for 45 mins to an hour, checking once with a toothpick close to end of baking time. The toothpick should come out with small crumbs on it.
9. Let it cool in the tin, cut into squares and enjoy!

Meethi Khajali / Khaja

I was told about this flaky pastry biscuit by a friend from whom this brought back childhood memories. I thought it must indeed be very special and I started to hunt for the recipe  online.

Some of these recipes have been handed down generation to generation in families without it being documented. It took a really wild goose chase to find a recipe that was authentic enough to try. I finally found something, that I think is close to the real thing. 

This amazing snack can be made both sweet and savory. Today I’m sharing the sweet version of it. 

I hope you enjoy making and eating this simple snack. I can now see why this melt in the mouth biscuit holds a special place for some in their heart. 

Ingredients 

3 cups of plain flour (maida)

1/2 cup of clarified butter (ghee)

Pinch of salt

3 pinches of baking powder 

Half cup water to kneed dough

A little flour for dusting 

20 pistachios, blanched, skin removed and chopped up coarsely 

Vegetable oil for deep frying 

For the flaky layers

2 tablespoons of cornflour / custard powder

1 tablespoon ghee 

Mix the above two to form a slurry 

For the syrup

1 & 1/2 cup refined white sugar

3/4th cup water 

1 green cardamom pod, deseeded 

5-6 threads of saffron 

Method

In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Then make a small well in the center and add the clarified butter (ghee). Gently mix these ingredients together with your hands rubbing the butter into the flour till it has a breadcrumb like consistency. Do not overwork the flour in doing so. 

Next add water little by little and kneed gently bringing it all together to form a ball of flaky but solid dough. Set this dough aside for 20-30 minutes, covering it with a damp kitchen towel. 

Now to make the sugar syrup. Bring the sugar and water to a boil on a slow flame. When the sugar dissolves completely and forms a two thread consistency add the cardamom seeds and the saffron threads to it. Set it aside to cool a little. If it starts to set, reheat it with a couple of teaspoons of water. 

After 20 minutes to half an hour take the dough and gently kneed it. Divide the dough into equal golf ball sized pieces. 

Dust a smooth flat surface with a little plain flour and start rolling the dough balls with a rolling pin into thin tortillas (chappatis). 

When you have 5 such tortillas, pile them one on top of the other after coating the layers in between with the cornstarch slurry made earlier. It’s a bit like making puff pastry as home. The thinner the layers the flakier the biscuits will be. 

Now gently pat down the edges of the layers and start rolling it inwards to form a roll. Much like you would for a pin-wheel sandwich. 

Once you’ve got a tightly rolled log, cut it into 1/2 inch equal pieces. You should get about 10-12 from one log. Now form these into smaller balls holding the loose edges down and light pat them with your hand to form round biscuits. They should be about 5 cm in thickness.  Poke them a little with a fork so that they cook evenly through.

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed vessel. The oil should be on medium heat and the gas should always be on a slow flame. If the oil is too hot the biscuits will remain uncooked in the centre. 

Drop 4-5 biscuits in the oil at a time. They will initially sink to the bottom and then rise to the surface as they cook. The biscuits have to be lightly browned. It should take about 10-12 mins per batch of 5-6 biscuits to be done. You’ll be able to see the layers emerge as concentric circles on the biscuit surface. This a slow and tedious process, but we’ll worth the effort. 

This is what it should look like. 


Let these biscuits cool down completely. Once cooled drop one at a time into the warm sugar syrup and then place it on a wire rack to cool. While the syrup is still sticky on the biscuit garnish with chopped pistachios. You may also add dried rose petals or slivered almonds to the garnish. 

Once dried completely, enjoy this with a cup of piping hot masala chai! 

Easy Peasy Breakfast Eggs


It can get terribly boring to eat eggs for breakfast the same old way every single day, so this recipe is meant to liven up your breakfast. 

Ingredients 

1 large capsicum or any coloured bell pepper

2 whole eggs

1/2 tomato diced into small pieces

1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley or coriander 

Salt & Pepper to taste 

2 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese

2 Strips of bacon chopped (optional) 

Method

Cut off the top and bottom of the capsicum and deseed it. Chop the bases that you just cut up into small pieces. Now cut 2 inch thick rings out of what is left.

Take a non-stick pan and spray it with a little oil. Put the capsicum rings in the pan. Add half of the chopped capsicum, tomato, bacon and parsley in the rings. 

Now break an egg into each ring and let it fill up the corners of the rings. Add the remaining chopped capsicum, tomato, bacon and parsley on top of the eggs. Add salt and pepper to taste and cover with a lid and let it cook for a minute on a mild flame in its own steam. Now top it with the grated cheese and cover and cook for another two mins till the cheese has melted and the egg cooked through. 

Serve hot with wilted spinach and buttered toast for a wholesome and deliciously different breakfast! 


Soya Kebabs

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It’s always difficult to get enough protein if you follow a vegetarian diet. While there are conflicting opinions on whether soya is healthy or not, the truth is anything eaten is moderation can do no harm. Soya is an excellent source of protein, worth close to 24gms of it in a single cup of soya granules. So go ahead and indulge in these kebabs.

Ingredients
1 cup soya granules
2 slices of fresh whole wheat bread crumbs
2 medium-sized potatoes boiled & pealed
1 handful fresh coriander chopped fine
1 handful fresh mint chopped fine
1 large green chilli de-seeded and chopped fine
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Salt to taste
Oil in a deep pan to fry

Method
First run the soya granules through some cold water in a sieve a couple of times. Boil the soya granules in enough water to cover then with a little salt for 5-7 minutes. Left it cool and squeeze out as much water as you can. The drier the better. Now mash and add the potatoes and all the other ingredients. It should form into a firm doughy texture.
Heat the oil well on a high flame, when the surface above the oil feels got enough, your kebabs are ready to be fried. Take a little room temperature oil between your palms just to grease it a bit, now form the mixture into firm long sausage shaped. Make sure to roll it back and forth to pack the gaps well.
Now drop 2 at a time into the hot oil and fry till well browned.
If the mixture happens to break up in the oil it means that it is not firm enough. To fix that you could add a little more of the bread crumbs.
Serve this got with a mint chutney.

Bohra Style Kheema Muttar

Some days we just crave to eat familiar foods or something comforting! For me this recipe is just that. The Bohra Style Kheema Mutter is so versatile. It goes well with chappatti (Indian flatbread), rice, stuffed in a paratha (stuffed flatbread), samosa, philo pastry pockets, stuffed potato chops (cutlets) and so much more!

This is also a small tribute to the bohra community from I have borrowed this recipe. The peaceful and loving community’s love for life and food is infectious.

Ingredients
Whole spices (4 cloves, 3 green cardamom, 1 large black cardamom, 3-4 threads of mace, 1 inch piece of cinnamon, 1 large bay leaf, 5 peppercorns)
2 tablespoons of ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 kilogram lamb mince (preferably not very lean, a little fat helps roast the meat better)
2 finely sliced onions
3 tomatoes chopped fine
One bunch fresh coriander chopped fine
One handful of chopped mint leaves
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
2 teaspoon cumin powder
1 & 1/2 teaspoons coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon dry mango powder
2 teaspoons garlic paste
1 teaspoon ginger – chilli paste (1 inch ginger root + 1 green chilli)
1/2 cup of boiled green peas

Method
Heat a wok or pressure pan. Add the clarified butter. Drop the whole spices in and roast till fragrant.

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Next add the sliced onions and fry till golden brown. Add the garlic paste and the ginger-chilli paste.

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Continue to brown a little more. Add the tomatoes, next add the dry spices except the dry mango powder and fry till the oil separates from the mixture.

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Add the lamb mince and cook on a low flame covered for 40 mins to an hour, stirring now and then.

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Once the meat leaves oil, and some of it may be in excess, which you can drain off later, add in the boiled peas. Cook for 5-7 mins.
Lastly add salt as per taste, the dry mango powder, chopped mint & coriander.

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It is ready to serve. Leftovers goes well in a taco with lettuce & cheese or even in a simple grilled sandwich.

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Home made Bircher Muesli

Whenever I mention to people that I love yogurt with my muesli, I usually get rather strange looks. But I must tell you that there is nothing more delightful than this amazing combination. Incidentally it’s a rather popular European breakfast developed around 1900 by Swiss physicianMaximilian Bircher-Benner for patients in his hospital. Here is the recipe to put this together.

Ingredients
1/2 tub of greek or regular yogurt (200ml) beaten
3 ½ tablespoons organic honey
Half cup of any tart tasting fruit (berries, mangoes, mandarins)
1/2 cup of museli preferably with sultanas and nuts, I use one that has rolled oats, wheat flakes, almond slivers, pecans and raisins in it

Method
Mix 3 tablespoons of honey in the yogurt, keep aside.
Now layer fruit, yogurt and muesli alternately topping up last with muesli.

Drizzle the remaining ½ tablespoon of honey on the top.
Refrigerate for 3-4 hours, enjoy cold.

This is so versatile you could add pretty much anything you like to this e.g. chia seeds, candied peel, leftover cake/cookie crumble, choco-chips, assorted nuts, dry fruit etc.

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Pumpkin Soup For My Munchkin

I have a 5 year old son, who has taken a sudden keen interest in the kitchen. Today he asked for Pumpkin Soup, a bit odd I thought for a child. With a little help from his child recipe book and my own innovation, we ended up with a big bowl or rather healthy and wholesome soup.  Don’t be mislead by the uninteresting picture, I assure you it is delightful. Two cups of soup made up for my dinner and I am so happy. Hope you enjoy this easy recipe.

Ingredients

1/2 kg yellow or orange pumpkin, diced into medium pieces

2 small potatoes quartered

1 leek washed well and quartered

5 cloves of garlic

2 cloves

2-3 threads of mace

Salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste

2 tablespoons cream

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 spoon grated nutmeg powder

1 & 1/2 inch fresh ginger grated fine

5 cups of water

5-6 Almonds, slivered and toasted

 

Method

In a large stew pot or pressure cooker add the leek, potato, pumpkin, cloves of garlic, mace, cloves, salt and pepper. Add 5 cups of water and cook till the vegetables are pulpy and soft.

Cool, drain the stock and mash the vegetables through a sieve. You will be left with the fiber. Don’t throw this, add it back to the soup stock. It adds volume and body to the soup.

Now put it back on the gas to heat. When it comes to a boil turn off the heat, add butter and cream. Stir till well amalgamated. Add the nutmeg powder, check for seasoning and adjust. Lastly add the fresh grated ginger.

Serve in a bowl and garnish with toasted almond slivers.

A fantastic recommendation from my doctor is to add a handful of lentils like yellow pigeon peas to up the protein content of the soup.

Pumpkin Soup
Pumpkin Soup