Are you baking with the right flour?

When I conduct workshops on baking, I get a lot of questions about the use of ingredients. Every ingredient used in a recipe has a definite role to play. It has certain behavioural characteristics that one needs to understand. Hence, I thought why not write a blog about introduction of the commonly used ingredients in baking? As the topic is so vast, obviously it will be a series of blogs. This one is all about the flour!

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Trdelnik – From the streets of Prague

Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.” said James Beard, the father of American gastronomy. And he is absolutely right! I have been always been fascinated by bread ever since I was little. Bread loaf was probably one of the first things that I fetched for my mother from a little shop close by when I first started transacting using money. As a reward, I would get toasted bread with butter. My fascination with bread continues till date and every place I travel to, I taste the local bread available there.

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Goan food = Fish! Oh really?

How does one picture Goa? Lush greenery everywhere with coconut and beetle nut palm groves, barges sailing on the backwaters with bridges over them, colourful Portuguese style houses, blue waters with beautiful beaches, colourful shacks on the beaches with fun-loving people drinking and enjoying the sea food! Goa is an absolute paradise for the sea food lovers!  A vegetarian person like me has to do with vegetarian takes on Portuguese inspired dishes like Xacuti or Vindaloo or else Punjabi cuisine which is universally available. Authentic Goan vegetarian food cooked in the households, is very rarely available in the restaurants even in Goa, let alone else where.  Continue reading “Goan food = Fish! Oh really?”

Bring out the chef in you!

My tryst with cooking began sheerly by accident when I was a teen. My mom was unwell and being the eldest one, I had to manage the kitchen one day. Till then, I had assisted my mom occasionally but had never cooked anything independently. So for the first time, I cooked a typical Maharashtrian meal and irrespective of the taste, it was appreciated by everyone just out of their love. When I went to meet my mom in the hospital, she looked at her young apprentice with such pride! That day is etched in my memory forever! It taught me three important lessons: Continue reading “Bring out the chef in you!”