Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Cookies for Papa Santa?

This year, choose a healthy bite for our Papa Santa. And I have you guys covered already with 2 amazing recipes. These cookies are a killer, a great snack for your family, as well as the adorable Santa who is about to step into your house to give you your deserved share of happiness.. 



Enjoy these all through the holidays! Merry Christmas!! :) :D

Ho Ho Ho Christmas!!!

Christmas is around the corner, and you must go out to celebrate the 25th in style. Many options are opening up throughout the city, but if I was in Mumbai this time, I would have preferred to head to my favourite Marine drive, after a sumptuous lunch at the classic Gaylords. They have a wonderful Christmas inspired menu, including some Indian delicacies and western. And don’t forget to pack some of that sugary yummy plum cake back to savour through the holidays! Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all you lovelies out there!! Cheers!!

I leave you with some pictures to savour through the festive season! 
Chicken Yakhni

Coq Au Vin

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Mediterranean Salad

Plum Pudding with Brandy Sauce

Strawberry Romanoff

Monday, 22 December 2014

Being Me!

Being a mother has changed my life in many ways that I had not thought about. It’s different, full of untold- unfathomed adventures. I am never alone. I always have a little companion by my side, who quite unselfishly smiles and laughs at my coo, chooses to eat a cookie made by me over the lavish breakfast spread provided by a 5 star resort and gets extremely happy to see my friends pouring in to chat over cookies and tea. He is a fine gentleman, a happy kid; but at times I do miss being left alone. To being and meet me, as Antara Roy, not as a mom, a wife, a daughter-in-law, or a boss; but simply as Antara Roy, a food writer! It is not easy to write with a toddler moving about the room, and hence I thought that I deserve to meet myself, just for a couple of hours, away from home yet close. And just like that, I packed my lappy and landed in StarBucks to sit by the window, sipping tea, watching the crowd and madly typing away.  

The hassle free WiFi and the quick service of the outlet really adds on great points. I was sitting there on the comfy couch with an easy charger point and a hot steaming cup of tea; the perfect setting for a writer like me. I met myself up there, in that crowd; and somehow everything seemed perfect! 

This is my story of #HowWeMet. If you have one for yourself, let Starbucks know about it by posting it up on


Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Savouring the festivities- Fish in Orange Reduction!!

Everyone this season seems to be baking some delectably rich cakes, pies and pastries! Ah the cinnamon-y coffee smell that permeates through the house while we bake in our delicious treats is so welcoming. I love it and I am sure every one of you reading me right now, do as well. And hence I don’t feel like writing about it at all. A baking marathon later, you actually are left with very little patience to sit and write about the same sugar cakes and cookies. But my oven is standing sturdy this season. It is allowing the tired baker in me to entertain my guests with a flashy dinner in seconds.

Yup, you guessed it. In this festive season of buttery baking, I am going to write about healthy savoury baking. It’s such an easy recipe, and takes absolutely no time to pull off this meal for a last minute visitor at your house. All you need to do is to keep a stacked up freezer with fresh fishes from the farmer’s market or haat, some fresh/frozen peas and oranges.

The premise of this meal lies on the freshness of the produce you buy. While peas frozen will not affect you, but a frozen fish definitely will. I added a bit of leafy freshness to the plate too in form of a 2 second recipe of wilted spinach and pea pureed with a hint of mint. The orange reduction just brings all of these flavours together, and how beautifully so. Its restaurant worthy dish, and friends of yours will remember it long after the plates are cleared.


Roasted Pomfret
2 Cleaned and fresh Pomfret fish
2 tart limes/lemons
Salt and pepper to taste
1 inch piece of peeled ginger
Olive oil

Pea Puree
1 cup Boiled pea
1 clove of garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Green chilly to taste
A handful of mint leaves
Olive oil

Wilted Spinach
A big handful of cleaned spinach leaves, roughly chopped
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil

Orange Reduction
2 oranges zested and juiced
Salt and pepper
A teaspoon worth of Extra Virgin Olive Oil


We will start with the fish as it will take the most time to cook, but while that happens, we can get all the rest of the components ready.

Preheat you oven to 180 degree C.

Salt and pepper the fishes thoroughly and set it aside for 5 minutes to marinade.

Slice the lime and ginger in thin rounds. Put these rounds in the pocket of the fish with some olive oil massaged on the meat. Now transfer the fish onto an oiled baking sheet and oil the top generously.  

Roast the fishes at 180 degrees for 15-20 minutes. The time of cooking would depend on the size of the fish. So on the 15 minute mark, check the meaty part of one of the fishes. If the meat is all white, it’s done. Any streak of red means it needs another couple of minutes to be cooked.

Once the fish hits the oven, get a pan on medium heat with some olive oil and finely chopped garlic. Let these both come up to the temperature together. Once hot, cluster on the cleaned, chopped spinach, and let it wilt uncovered. Salt and pepper to taste. I keep it a bit crunchy, that’s why I never chop the spinach too small, but I wait for the water in the spinach to dry up. It takes me about 2 to 3 minutes to reach the kind of crunchiness I like.

Now put all pea puree ingredients in a blender and blend up till it reaches the puree texture you like. I microwave my fresh peas, adding most minimum water as possible. I puree it without eliminating the water. As my blender is really old, I blend the puree in parts. First goes in the garlic and green chilli, then mint; and finally the peas. I don’t blend the olive oil in the machine. Instead I like to topple out the puree in a serving bowl, and mix salt, pepper and oil by folding with a spatula.  

Juicing fresh oranges can be a bit time consuming, so I normally get one of my guests to come in the kitchen with me to help with juicing. Fresh orange juice hits the pan on a medium heat, and let it bubble to reduce to half its quantity. Once there, take it off the heat and season to your taste with salt, pepper and Extra virgin olive oil. Whisk it well to emulsify. In case your reduction turns bitter, balance it out with some sugar a fresh lemon juice. Mine didn’t and it was perfect as it was.  

And just like that, an epic dinner is made- Simple, elegant and delicious! I really hope you give it a try, following all my tips and tricks. Cheers!!

Friday, 5 December 2014

Bhopal - Thoughts & Beyond!!!

Holding a pen to paper comes with a great responsibility. Maybe in this day and age, we are holding on to a laptop, furiously typing away; but that as well comes with a far greater responsibility. 6000+ hits every month means someone, somewhere is definitely reading what I write here. And that adds on a larger role, much larger than just creating recipes or reviewing restaurants. It is important to sometimes sit and try to create awareness on pertinent issues of life. I have always read and seen the arguments of ‘for’ and ‘against’ using organic food. But a movie was what I needed to come to a conclusion of sorts.

This week, Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain opens up in a theatre near you. As you can guess very well, it’s a movie based on the infamous Bhopal gas tragedy, which took over 10,000 lives instantly, while many more victims are dying each day in the heart of India. Sevin, the fertilizer that was made cheaply in a plant situated in the middle of the town, has been banned all over the world now. Maybe, just maybe if it was done before, we might have saved so many lives!

The story is set in 1984, where an unskilled worker (Rajpal Yadav) faces a crunch of work, and struggles to make ends meet. Warren Anderson, comes as a god to him, to establish the factory- UNION CARBIDE; keeping everyone in dark about the negative impact it might have on health and wellbeing of the sleepy town of Bhopal. The Government connives, and health officers don’t have the time to research on the chemicals processing in the plant.  The callous management doesn’t care about the safety, and instead employs unskilled labour from the street to run important posts of the factory. 1 death sparks an interest in the local journalist, but no one has the time to read or react to his stories. And then the inevitable happens. Joyous occasion of a wedding is turned into a saddened storm of death and destruction, thanks to the gas leak.

The story is written quite thoughtfully, and each character delivers in the movie. The choppy camera movements could have been avoided in the first half, but the 2nd half made perfect sense in every way. It’s surely a movie not to be missed, and surely a movie that would spark off quite some arguments about eating organic or not. But then again, I ended up asking myself, even if I choose to buy organic labelled fruits, veggies and groceries, am I 100 % sure it is fertilizer/pesticide/other chemicals free? The movie has chronicled how the Carbide’s foreign as well as Indian management spread lies and misinformation about chemicals inside the plant. How they chose to not take any measures of precautions, just to cut down on the cost of production. That scene obviously keeps a doubt in my head whether today as well, we have grown enough to deliver on our promise, or are immature enough to cheat for greedy gains. The arguments are endless and long. We are what we are, even if we are a nation of cribbing Indians. Greed does take the good out from all.  And hence, I have come to the conclusion of actually taking that much of time to peel my in/organic fruits, to cook my in/organic veggies till soft and to soak my in/organic grains to minimise the attack of chemicals in our everyday life!

Movie Cast- Rajpal Yadav,Tannishtha Chatterjee, Mischa Barton, Martin Sheen, Kal Penn, Fagun Thakrar


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