Thursday, February 20, 2014

There is something about lemon

There are summer desserts (the ones with berries) and there are winter desserts (lots of chocolate and alcohol mixed in with spices). Also in between are the fall desserts (everything pumpkin). In India, fruits and vegetables aren't as seasonal in nature as in the West. But still, I understand the lure of the sweet tartness provided by berries in summer and the warmth of spices in winter.

If there is one type of dessert I refuse to sort is anything made of Lemon. It provides the required freshness and tartness desired in summers and also to me provides the comfort of tang in the winters. I see myself tucked into a quilt digging into a warm lemon pudding. It reminds of the summer to come.

Which is why I think I baked this lemon pudding cake twice, once in April for the boy who was moving to start a new job in a different city, and once again in Feb, just because.

Look at that above picture. Don't you want to grab a spoon, gather around the cake tin and just dig your way through it? Which is exactly what the boy did (single-handedly) in April, and what my roommates and I did recently.

This is kind of cake you would bond over, fall in love over.

This is also the kind of cake that will stand out in a fancy dinner party, just bake it in individual ramekins.

Go on, head over here for the recipe.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Pinch of This, A Handful of That - A Book Review

There is something about a recipe book, isn't there? The joy of leafing through the pictures, checking to see if you have all the ingredients, the frustration of not having some, the anticipation before the final product. The whole whirl of emotion that one book can make you feel.

When the people at India Book Store asked me to host a book review, I was more than willing to oblige. Go on, read the review and also pop over to their blog, it is quite awesome.

This post is part of a guest post exchange with IndiaBookStore. IndiaBookStore is a Book Search

Engine which helps you find the best deals on books. We are book lovers ourselves; we define

ourselves as 'Of the Bookish, By the Bookish, For the Bookish.' Check out our book blog here: and start finding the cheapest books here: http:// Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter @IndiaBookStore. Happy Reading!

This is a book that lives up to its name. A Pinch of This, A Handful of That has recipes from here, there

and everywhere; some everyday, some exotic; some easy, some extremely complicated.

I don’t rightly know whether this book should be classified as a cookbook. That definition is both

restrictive and untrue. Because this book is much more than that. Rushina Munshaw-Ghildiyal is a food

blogger who is passionately interested in cooking, and this passion spills out in her stories. Every section

in the book begins with a food story. Moti Mummy ordering all the women of the household to make

a year’s worth of tomato ketchup because tomatoes are at their cheapest, Maharaj, her family’s cook

who makes the best Mohanthal, Rushina the enthusiastic new bride stocking her kitchen to feed twenty

instead of two, and later, as a young mother, taking a leaf out of Calvin’s (of Hobbes fame) mom’s book

by giving gory names to simple homemade fare – those are the stories that stay with you, long after

you’ve glanced through the recipes.

Taken strictly as a cookbook, I have mixed feelings about the book. The book contains such varied

recipes; Gujarati, Sindhi, Italian; vegetarian, non-vegetarian; desserts, snacks, main courses; that unless

you plan to randomly dip into the book and cook whatever turns up on the page (which may not be

very easy to do, considering that some of the dishes feature exotic ingredients that may not be readily

available in your neighbourhood supermarket) the book may leave you feeling a bit clueless. Neither

does it have a detailed table of contents. How am I to know, for instance, that the book contains a

recipe for Rainbow Chard Saute?

That being said, dipping into the book is a bit like putting your hand into Santa’s bag of goodies and

waiting with bated breath to see what you’ve landed. If, like me, you think you’ve exhausted your stock

of recipes and want to surprise your family or friends with something unexpected, this book is the cure.

The individual recipes are explained in a simple manner, and I tried a couple of things for myself, to

check them out (the Chhole and Nairobi Butter Tawa Prawns) and both tasted great. I feel inspired to try

some of the more exotic recipes; the Undhiyu, for example, and the above-mentioned Rainbow Chard


I suspect the book is aimed at people who read Rushina’s blog. I think it could have been organized

better; into sections based on the type of cuisine, for example. On the other hand, as I said before, the

book might be the perfect antidote to kitchen boredom. Pick a page at random and try something new!

- written by Mugdha Wagle

Friday, January 10, 2014

Flaming Chocolate Whiskey Cake with a Meringue Icing

I have been living by myself for about eight months now (not including my stay on campus during my PG), I have never really felt lonely or missed my family all that much. Except when festivals come around.

When festivals come around, I feel this need to replicate the customs of home. Obviously in my case customs mean food, so I am usually on the phone with my mother jotting down recipes as I try to re-create home. Ganesh Chaturthi had me making modaks (kozhyakottai) and Diwali saw me make coconut and almond barfi. 

Chirstmas isn't celebrated at home, but is a festival I love, because it gives me an excuse to listen to carols and to bake a cake. This time though, I decided to be a bit gimmicky. We threw a big Christmas lunch (16 people is a big deal for 4 girls who are used to cooking for no more than 4-5 people), and went all out with the decorations, so obviously the cake had to be at par. 


I used the New York Times recipe for the cake. I would suggest baking the cake a day earlier than when you need it, resting makes it incredibly moist and beautiful.
Browned tops of the meringue icing

 For the meringue I looked up a bunch of recipes on the net and just whipped up 8 egg whites till they formed soft peaks and added a cup of sugar, and beat it till the peaks were stiff. No cream of tartar, because I don't know where in India would I have gotten it. 
The cake on fire
The cake was set alight by a cup of brandy which I heated on the gas till it became unstable and caught fire by itself. Once it is burning just pour it on the golden meringue. 

It looks really fancy, but it is one of the easiest cakes I have made. Do give it a try!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Baked Eggs: For the lazy Sundays

There are some days when the thought of a breakfast is just too much. You are just out of bed and the thought of standing at the stove scrambling eggs or even whisking the eggs seems like a torture. You wish you were home, where your mother would have had breakfast hot and ready for you when you woke up. You mentally slap yourself for the thought, you are a strong and independent woman (man) who chose to live by yourself. So you trudge into the kitchen trying to wake yourself up enough, so you can think of something easy.

These baked eggs are so easy you can make them half asleep. Seriously, you can. All you need are some chopped veggies and some herbs.

Throw them all in, sprinkle salt and pepper on top, bake in the oven to how jiggly you want the eggs to be and Voila! You can also whisk the mixture a bit, it will look like a mini omelette.

Like them? Make them!

Baked eggs

easy peasy eggs for one lazy bum


  • 1 egg (or how many every u like)
  • chopped bell pepeprs
  • chopped onions
  • mixed herbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • butter to taste


  1. Mix in onions and bell peppers with butter and herbs and microwave (or saute) for a minute or two
  2. Break egg into the bowl and add the veggies
  3. Bake in an oven at 160 C till desired amount of jigglyness of egg
Yield: for 1 person
Prep Time: 00:03
Cook time: 00:05
Tags: eggs, breakfast, quick

Monday, February 25, 2013

Colour Blocked Cupcakes and a fresh start

I know have been kind of MIA on the blog. But post-graduate life does that to you. I have hardly been cooking much even when I go back home and P.S Cupcakes has kind of died out due to lack of time and unavailability of an oven on campus.

My Hakuna Matata tattoo and the neon cupcakes. 
But now in a month I will have my degree in my hand and will be pushed out into the real world, with a real job. And I am terrified! So terrified that when I went home this time, I sought refuge in the kitchen and in an old friend.
These cupcakes are Oscar approved

She wanted to bake multi-colour cupcakes and bake them we did. Being a fashion blogger she called them colour blocked cupcakes. And guess what? We had a bunch of them which had pastel colours and a bunch which had neons, so much for me keeping track of fashion trends huh?
Pretty cool huh?
There is very basic physics required to get these right. Place colours which have similar wavelength together. These colours won't mix together to form other weird browns or blacks. Bunch them according to the order they appear in a rainbow: VIBGYOR. Which is why I had Violet, Green and Blue together and Pink, Orange and Yellow together.

You can make rainbow cupcakes as well, but put very less amount of batter of every colour while filling them in. Also make sure you spread the batter evenly, you don't want random blobs of colour. Or, may be you do. I would.

 These cupcakes are lemon cupcakes which were filled with a lemon curd and had a lemon butter-cream frosting.
Don't be afraid to core cupcakes, just fill them with yumminess and put back the top.  It will get covered with icing. 
There can you make out that the cores were out? 
I used Martha Stewart's Lemon Meringue Cupcake recipe for the cakes. And David Leibovitz's recipe for the lemon curd. Feel free to use use Martha's but it just asked for more eggs. I made the butter-cream icing myself, the recipe for which will follow.

I am always going to paint my nails before I take food photos with my hands. I like how happy painted nails look. 

I am going to be posting pretty regularly now, so stay in touch. 

Aditi, writes a fashion blog, The Colour Whisperer. Do follow her.

All the pictures in the post have been taken by her.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting


  • 100 gm butter
  • 200 gm icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon/lime juice


  1. Beat butter till light.
  2. Add sugar in batches and keep beating till the volume increases and the sugar is well incorporated.
  3. Add milk and lemon juice.
  4. Add more milk to thin out the icing, if you want it to spread easily.
  5. To firm up the icing, add more icing sugar. You can now pipe it out.
Yield: Enough to lightly frost 24 cupcakes
Prep Time: 00:10
Tags: lemon, icing, butter-cream

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


My college has a compulsory rural research project component in it, which in the words of a MICAn means HOLIDAY! So the destinations mostly are Mcleodganj, Goa, Konkan and Kasol. We do manage to get a few days off to visit an actual village and get some data out by interviewing people or by imagining that we interviewed people.

If you know me, then you would know that any excuse to travel is just an excuse to eat. I very conveniently took off to Delhi 5 days before I was meant to get there, so I could catch up with my best friend and eat my way around the city.

I visited Chandni Chowk, Paranthewale Galli, Karims, Hauz Khas Village and Big Chill.

The dahi chaat at Chandni Chowk was very different from what we get at Bombay. It had papdi and dahi vada in it.

The chaat wala who sold sooji ka pooris
Dahi chaat!
I have wanted to visit Paranthewale Galli since a college senior blogged about it, along with a picture of a brilliant Rabdi Parantha. The paranthas here are fried, rather than being toasted. I strongly recommend the Rabdi Parantha
From top: Mirchi parantha, Rabdi Parantha and Khurchan Parantha
Another place to visit, while in Chandni Chowk is Karim's. Go there for the kebabs and the amazingly soft and buttery naan. The best naan I have ever had. 

 Every one in Delhi will definitely ask you to visit Hauz Khas village. Do go there, there is a great ruin and a lake and a beautiful garden there. There are also a lot of these kitschy shops and boutiques and tiny but expensive cafés all around. Jayesh and I went to one such.

Café Zo, serves Mediterranean food. It also is overtly done up and the owners in a bid to make the place all mediterranean-y have put in textures on everything, so it is an eye sore, at least in daylight.

The food wasn't all that great either.
Lunch at Cafe Zo: Panko encrusted stuffed mushrooms, Greek Salad, Chicken Tajine with Couscous and Pizza with grilled chicken and caramelized onions. 

Another place which people insist you visit is Big Chill. It is full of these old movie posters and is known for its milkshakes. The servings are huge so DO NOT over order like we did. Not that you will regret it, the food is great.
Clockwise from top left: baked potato with cheddar and mushrooms, baked mushroom, cheddar and penne; fusilli with tomatoes, basil and olives; chicken lasagna and chocolate decadence. 
 Delhi has lots of awesome places to eat at. Go with a friend who knows the place and will take you to all the ruins and tell you about the architecture. Delhi is beautiful and full of stories. Your history text come alive.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

P.S Cupcakes

Most Postgraduate colleges in India are situated in far off towns, or if they are close to a town, then auto rates are astronomical. All this leads to one thing: extremely hungry and starved for decent food MICAns. 

Pooja and I, thought of baking and selling cupcakes and cakes on campus. We sourced ingredients locally, bought chocolates from Bombay and brought all our baking goods from home. 

We call ourselves "P.S Cupcakes". From freshers' party gifts to birthday cakes and cakes just for the heck of it, we have covered it all, in a month. 

We baked these boob shaped cakes for a friend's birthday. 

This is the chocolate mud cake covered with ganache for another friend's birthday.

The brownie batter, before it went into the oven.

I leave you with my (our) new favourite recpe for chocolate cake, it is dense moist and a crowd pleaser.

Mississippi Mud Cake


  • 125 gm dark cooking chocolate
  • 100 gm butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup self raising flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 160C.
  2. In a large heatproof bowl, combine chocolate, butter, water and bourbon
  3. Heat over boiling water, until the mixture is smooth
  4. Allow to cool slightly, and add the flour and cocoa mixture
  5. Mix in the eggs
  6. Pour into a greased cake tin and bake for 30-40 minutes or until firm to touch.
  7. Use a chocolate ganache on top.
Yield: 500 gm cake
Prep Time: 00:15
Cook time: 00:40
Tags: chocolate, mud cake, egg