The Salad Fraud……

I was never a salad person, always made fun of the salad eaters and the ghaas phoos gang. It was always so annoying to spend ages chewing like a goat or cow, my jaws always hurt and there was never a sense of fulfilment that one usually encounters when you actually eat meat 🙂

One day, however, something happened , no idea how, where and why ( psssttt….a little bird called aditi probably 😉 , but I found myself in the midst of a salad workshop, organising and thinking and soon little ideas took shape and my fantasies of butter chicken ,  lamb rogan josh and chilly pork divine were replaced by the colourful medley of a mixed vegetable salad, resplendent with pearl barley and quinoa!!!

The salad workshop was a super hit. Below are the salad recipes, all of them divine and easy to make.

Hope these come in handy and you enjoy making them just like I did 🙂

 My Grape fruit and orange salad with ginger and red chilly dressing


This is a special favourite of mine. I always believe in the saying that you first feast with your eyes and eat with your mouth later!!! Theses one of those moments…..Make this and you will have your guests eating out of your hands forever!!!!

And I mean it :)))

Layer slices of grapefruit, large sized orange, kiwi fruit and small oranges. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds and sliced red onions.
Dressing: 3 portions olive oil, 1 portion balsalmic vinegar, half a lemon, 1 tbsp honey, salt, pepper, fine chopped ginger, red chillies
Shake well

Niyati bowled us over with her selection of salads, simple but very impressive. The beauty is in experiencing each and every flavour rather than combining lots of flavours together. Loved them all ,especially the courgette salad!!!

Niyati’s Beetroot, baby spinach and goat’s cheese salad


Niyati’s Beetroot, baby spinach and goat’s cheese salad

Marinate sliced beetroot in walnut oil honey lemon salt and pepper dressing

Serve on spinach/rocket/mixed leaves , add crumbled goats cheese and toasted walnut or mixed seeds.

Drizzle the dressing

Niyati’s Caprese salad

Insalata Caprese ( salad of Capri) is usually served as an antipasti ( starter) and is meant to resemble the Italian Flag.

Love the simplicity and flavours.

Whole Ripe Tomatoes, Sliced Thick
Mozzarella Cheese, Sliced Thick
Fresh Basil Leaves
Olive Oil and balsamic vinegar For Drizzling
Sea Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Arrange tomato with mozzarella slices on top in a platter. Arrange basil leaves on top.

Drizzle olive oil balsamic dressing with salt and pepper over the top of the salad, getting a little bit on each slice.

Alternate halve plum/cherry tomatoes and mozarrela pearls arrange on spinach/salad leaves as individual servings.

Drizzle same dressing

Niyati’s stuffed peppers with cheese


Stuffed pepper with ricotta – top with basil drizzle olive oil with salt pepper

Niyati’s Courgette salad with mint, garlic, red chilli, lemon & extra virgin olive oil


4 courgettes
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 red chilli
½ clove garlic (optional)
1 handful of fresh mint
extra virgin olive oil
1 squeeze lemon juice

1. Prepare the courgettes using the vegetable peeler and place into the serving bowl.

2. To make the dressing, squeeze the lemon juice, and mix with 3 parts more of olive oil. Grate the garlic finely, and add the chilli and mint. Season to taste.

3. Dress the courgettes and combine together well.

Sraboni’s Vietnamese Salad recipe: 

OK, now this salad deserves special mention because it was the first time I was experiencing such flavours and ingredients too. Just loved it. Will be a permanent feature in my culinary journey now.


Dressing – light soy sauce generous proportion 
1 spoon sugar

1/2 sp mushroom powder
Lemon juice 

Chinese cabbage, Leek fried, Basil chinese, coriander, mint, Peanuts

Mix well

Krishna’s Mixed Beans Salad

Loved the fresh flavours of this salad and more importantly the flamboyance and style with which it was presented. Totally won us over. Just realised that even a small flower here or there, or a simple crust of bread makes all the difference.



1 can mixed beans , 1 red pepper, chopped, 1 bunch green onions, chopped1 stalk celery, finely chopped, 1 small red onion finely chopped, ¼ Beetroot finely sliced.

Mix all ingredients a big salad bowl and keep in the refrigerator

Dressing:1/4 cup olive oil 2 T. wine vinegar (I used white-wine vinegar) Juice from half a lime (or 2-3 T.) 1/4 tsp. salt 1-2 tbs RedHot wings Buffalo sauce,1 tsp – Red chili flakes.

Mix dressing in a separate jam jar, and pour over beans salad.Serve salad mix on delicate inner leaves of romaine hearts, sprinkle some fresh lentil sprout mix and freshly clicked dwarf basil leaves.

Voila!Bon Appétit!!

Aditi’s papaya and mango salad

Another quick and amazing salad with an explosive array of flavours that will leave your taste buds tingling for a long time 🙂


Raw papaya grated in thin strips

Raw mango

Raw carrots 
Some red onions 


In a mortel grind 2 pods of garlic with red chillies as per taste , add freshly squeezed lemon juice with palm sugar , keep grinding to maximize the flavours and salt to taste ! 
Add fish sauce , if u are allowed , i omitted it as many vegetarians 

Then mix with the salad , add crushed peanuts and garnish with coriander  

I love this with stir fried prawns coated in corn flour salt and pepper !

Many thanks to Aditi Gupte, Krishna Thakur, Niyati Shah and Srasboni Dasgupta for showing us these recipes.

Mango Raspberry Pannacotta: For the ultimate wow-factor

Presentation is the key to success, my teacher always stated…..and this is the main theme of this dessert. Its beautiful and deceptively easy to create. It needs only 4 ingredients and can be made well in advance . I made it the other day and now i know that I will be making it time and time again.

Pannacotta literally, in italian, means cooked cream and does actually taste so too. The beauty of this dessert is int he simplicity and blend of different tastes.



Mango pulp (good quality )

Cream full fat

Raspberry ( pureed or coulis readymade )



Prepare gelatine by sprinkling gelatine powder ( one satchet) over cold water.

Mix mango pulp to the dissolved gelatine.

Place your glasses tilted onto an empty egg carton or muffin case and pour the mango mix into it.


Allow to set int he fridge for around 2 hours.

Repeat the same procedure with cream and raspberry and add the layers, first cream and then, raspberry.

Allow to set in the fridge.


To serve, place your glass upside down on a plate ad garnish as you please.

Viola, stand back and enjoy!!!!!

Why we named our son Jai…

To amazing people who cross our paths and teach us so much more….

Pathway to Victory


The meaning of Jai is ‘Victorious’ and what a victory it’s been so far. Who would have thought that little Jai would arrive under the toughest of circumstances? On Tue 9th Sept 2014, just two days after turning 33 years of age, and at 6 months pregnant, I was diagnosed with Stage III Invasive Breast Cancer. In that one moment our lives turned upside down. We kept asking how could this happen to us? What does it mean for our unborn child? I needed urgent major surgery and chemotherapy in order to save my life. My cancer had already advanced to my lymph nodes and this was the motorway system around my body for the cancer to spread.

We were given piles of booklets to read but this was impossible to digest under the shock of the news. We turned to our very good friends Sally and Sunny Philips who helped us…

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Resistance is futile…..when it comes to chocolate !


There is what i call the ‘MUMMY PYRAMID’ that all mums dream about.

This is the top mum who is always there for the kids, all their matches, parent teacher meetings (omg), who bakes lovely cakes and has amazing parties for them and who is always discrete so as not to embarrass the kids in font of their friends. However, as much as i have tried to , ( just tried to!! ) take part in this ratrace for the top of the mummy pyramid, I find myself diggging a hole deeper than the deepest one could ever imagine. till I found this recipe ( thanks to the supermoms of Minnesota and their amazing party ideas, thanks revati and jayanti) )

There are amazing desserts to serve up in a jiffy, takes only 5 minutes and will instantly zoom you to the top of the perfect mummy pyramid, way past the 4×4 driving mums, in perfectly matched shoes and bags, and of course make up, at 8am in the morning and who, actually walk to the school with poise and grace rather than charge into the school, dump the kids and rush back to an illegally parked car, nearly getting a sticker and lots of tsk tsk expressions from their alien counterparts!!!

All you need are these glorious beauties : strawberries, milk chocolate, white chocolate.


What do you do:

Simple, just melt the chocolate under LOW/MEDIUM power in a microwave till soft, checking every 20 seconds.

Dip the DRY strawberries in them and leave to dry on a rack.

Drizzle some melted chocolate on the strawberries with a spoon  ( no icing or fancy stuff needed)

Hide it in a fridge ( most important), I made around 15 and there were only 8 when i took them out for the party!!!!

Enjoy you position at the top of the pyramid :))) as long as it lasts!!