My Favourite Chocolate Cake

The first thing I ever baked was chocolate cake. I must have been around 4-5 years old. Both my grandmoms used to bake for us during vacations. We used to help with whisking the eggs (no electric whisks back then), folding the batter and of course tasting a large part of the batter before it went into the oven 🙂 Over the years I have baked many a chocolate cake (box mix and from scratch) and eaten more than many times my weight in cake too. A nice, moist, midly sweet chocolate cake is such a delight! Such a mood uplifter too! This cake recipe is something I have been baking for a few years now and is my absolute go-to. For general cake feelings, for birthdays, for mood improvement, for showing love – you name it, this cake does it!

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Pressure Cooker Chicken Curry

For any non vegetarian in India, chicken curry is probably the most commonly eaten dish. It is the easiest protein available, is not as expensive as red meat, is super versatile and cooks quickly. What more do you need?

This curry is my go-to primarily because it has all the familiar flavours of a simple home-style chicken curry and comes together without fuss thanks to the pressure cooker. Easy peasy!

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Sprout Salad

I love food. All sorts of food. Even salads 🙂 I think salads can be a meal by themselves. They are healthy (for the most part), textural, delicious and sometimes surprising. And they don’t always have just leaves and veggies.

Growing up, ‘salad’ was cucumber, tomatoes, onions sliced and put on a plate. To be had along with the meal. Health+crunch. Just like every other house. Then we started including sprouts as a salad. We used to sprout the beans at home and then mix them with salt and lemon juice. Basic but tasty. This recipe is a more jazzed up version of that initial salad, something that I have made so many times for so many people over the years.

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Veggie Fried Rice (with brown rice)

Growing up, I loved eating Chinese food. The family would try chinese restaurants often, we would eat chowmein in school and we would make a few chindian (chinese+indian) dishes at home as well. The home favourites were chowmein and fried rice. Those days were special ones indeed! We would come home from school and realize it was chowmein or fried rice day and be thrilled to be bits to be having something different from the standard Indian fare 🙂

This fried rice recipe is a slightly more jazzed up version of what we used to eat at home. It’s a wee bit healthier as well since it uses brown rice inside of white, but feel free to use white if you prefer. It will still be as yum!

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Dry Kala Channa (Dark Chickpeas)

Growing up in Delhi, the Navratras were a big deal. Nine days where people ate vegetarian food or fasted, prayed (more) and abstained from alcohol. Our family doesn’t really follow this ritual, but we did enjoy the special food our friends ate during this time. It’s a time for buckwheat instead of flour, lots of potatoes, rock salt instead of regular salt, among other things – making for some pretty tasty food.

The best food though is on the 8th day, Ashtami, where there was a puja (prayer) for girls and everyone then got to eat puris, halwa and kala channa. Since we didn’t do the puja, we used to wait for our friends to share the food with us 🙂 Priorities are clear, food above rituals 🙂

This kala channa recipe is a modification of the ashtami once, with the addition of some tomatoes and ginger – garlic plus tweaking of the spices a little. But whenever I make it, it takes me straight back to those ashtami days!

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