Celeriac Mash with Wild Mushrooms

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You know what mushrooms go well with? Other mushrooms! If you have fresh wild mushrooms on your hands, throw them on a skillet and they compete with each other to see who can outshine the rest! Luckily for us, British Columbia has lots of forests and rain, ideal for wild mushrooms. BC is famous for wild mushroom foraging and a lot of that loot shows up at the farmer's markets. Mushroom is a versatile ingredient! You can serve mushrooms with meat or fish, sprinkle them on a pizza as it pairs well with spicy meats like salami or sausage, or use them to enhance flavors of a risotto. I personally think of mushrooms as a vegetarian's meat because of its earthy flavor and meaty texture. … [Read more...]

Chocolate Soufflé

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Soufflé, when executed perfectly, is a thing of beauty. A soufflé should rise like a warrior who has conquered the world. A soufflé should have a crusty exterior and a soft and moist interior, like a tough cowboy who cries while watching chick flicks. Serving a soufflé is like having sex - it's all about right timing! The culinary school I attended ran their own restaurant in Vancouver as a part of the practical training for all students. During the last month of our training, we were in charge of the restaurant - prep work, cooking, service - all of it. Soufflé was on the dinner menu and invariably was the ultimate test of any team's cohesiveness. When the expeditor … [Read more...]

Whole Roasted Snapper with Cherry Tomatoes and Guacamole

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I was on the eating-out-is-cheaper-and-more-fun-so-why-cook-at-home diet for a few years. I thought cooking was tedious, time consuming, and often times more expensive than eating out. Once I discovered some simple cooking techniques, I was amazed at how convenient cooking at home can be. Slow roasting fish or meat is one of these simple techniques I often turn to in my daily cooking. A whole fish generally costs about 20% cheaper than fillets or steaks.The bones in a whole fish make the dish more flavorful. Most stores will gut and scale the fish for free, which can be a messy process in a home kitchen! The rule of thumb in roasting a whole fish is to cook it slowly on a low … [Read more...]

Lentil and Eggplant Vegetarian Meatballs

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Anup and I love change, and it reflects in our past addresses. We have lived in three different countries, and seven different states over the last ten years, and I think we are just getting started. It has been a little over two years since we moved to Vancouver, and we are already itching to go somewhere new. For a while, we questioned whether something was wrong with us, as we saw many of our friends buy houses and settling down. But now, we have made our peace with it. We are wanderers! All this moving around and traveling has influenced the the way I cook. I love cooking with Indian spices, but being a classically trained chef shows up in some of the french cooking techniques I use. … [Read more...]

Chickpea Flour Crepes with Summer Berry Marmalade

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Some foods, you associate them with feelings. May be it reminds you of a special occasion, a certain period of your life, or a special memory you created with someone. I have many such foods and memories associated with my Grandma. One such dish - Puda, a simple savory chickpea crepe - makes me nostalgic. My grandma was my hero in the kitchen. She gave me some of my first cooking lessons - from making a cup of chai tea to baking a perfectly round roti bread. While I learned a lot of traditional Indian recipes from her, the most important lesson I learned was to cook with love and patience. For her, the journey of cooking was as important as the final destination of a meal served on the … [Read more...]

Orange, Avocado & Arugula Salad

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It has been a busy summer - I invited my parents over from India, Anup has been quite occupied with one of his business ventures, and I started blogging! I didn't realize how much work goes into creating a blog, especially if you are full of self doubt, like I am! I try out a recipe, cook it once, take a bunch of pictures and invariably decide to cook it again differently. Once a post is ready, there is the social media. Oh how it has turned me into a social zombie. Social media is a stream of activities that seem to never end or lead to anything in particular. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest - how these tools have taken over my life. There is so much noise around us that it is easy to get … [Read more...]