Monday, 30 March 2015

Together with Egg and Sausage Tart!!

A good glass of wine, a hearty lunch to prep for and lots of catching up; that’s what a good weekend defines for a simpleton like me. My hubby is a busy man, more often than not he brings his work home and spends all his Saturday sorting out these mails. But still my persuasion to get him off the computer and in the kitchen with a knife is strong, and at times he does give in. It is then, that I open the choicest bottle of wine, put a nice jazzy track on the music player; and we start chopping and stirring in the kitchen; #Together.

The persuasion doesn't come easy. He does like to eat, but obviously he doesn't want to slug it off in the kitchen on a precious weekend. That is when I have to be rather creative, giving him enough reasons to not miss his laptop. I remember one such lazy weekend in Mumbai, when we woke up late to a breakfast of a big fruit platter, and wandered in the kitchen to make a hearty brunch of sausage and egg tart. For a quintessentially Indian kitchen like ours, a tart is not a common sight. In fact as a recipe developer too, I remember making it just once or twice. That’s why Mr. Hubby got extremely excited to try this savoury tart, helping me greatly to put it all together. For me, it was the best weekend ever. By the time we sat for our brunch, both of us were in high spirits and minds together. We over-ate heartily, licking everything off the tart stand.  

I am a rather rustic baker, who absolutely loves baking just breads and cookies. The intricate work like icing and sugar craft is not my forte nor anything that interests me much. In fact, icing is one of the things that I hate to eat as well. Tart excites me, and I hope to achieve required finesse soon. My dough was completely made the old fashioned style without involving any high-end machinery. I followed the simple recipe from Chef John’s I faced many problems in the dough, especially while it was blind baking. I feel the amount of butter is a bit too much, and it stuck even to the butter paper. But anyways, I am yet to establish an expertise on the crust, but the filling is what I want to talk about today.

The sausage in question was Goan Chorizo. It’s a spicy, tangy sausage with a very strong structure and lots of fat. It cooks down beautifully and compliments hearty vegetables like corn and mushrooms. The baby tomatoes and caramelized onions added the much needed zing to the filing. I paired the pie with fresh green apples, a mustard honey dip and a simple cocktail of gin and tonic, with a slice of orange and lots of ice. And with that, a beautiful memory was made, where we dined together; laughed at silly jokes together and licked off the last morsel of this rustic pie together.

All things Gone Wrong - Egg and Sausage Tart

I am glad to announce that I would be writing for another E-Magazine, pretty regularly now. The recipe has been published up there for everyone to read, bookmark and try this coming weekend. For any queries, shoot in a comment down below or in the link mentioned below. 

This is my #together story. 

Friday, 27 March 2015

My Personal Corner!!

Seldom do I feel like putting across a slice of my life for the virtual world to read. But a wise man once told me that you are food writer later but a blogger first. I may have started this corner as an ode to what I do to earn the butter for the household; but a blog is personal, with a nice big touch of your private life in each post. And sometimes putting across a nice story is a good way to unwind as a writer. This is not much of a foodie post, but still a post that culminates all that ANTARA ROY has ever aspired to be. 

My Journey of story telling started with this simple picture-less piece about the most beautiful meal I had. It was liked by many and till date I get a stray mail from admirers saying how beautifully the words poured out in the article, where the climax was so unexpected. 

"Mumbai is finally raining! Ahh… Such relief from the hot and humid. It’s cool now, and I have a view of green covered mountains from my window ledge. I just want to sit on it with a steaming transparent cup of white leaf tea, the perfect brew- which shines golden in the cloudy sun outside; and remember that beautiful time when we were together! The perfect candlelight dinner I made for u to surprise you. You craved for that cheesy lasagne for long. I delivered it with just the perfect amount of naughtiness in the form of 2 well rounded cheeses- cheddar and...."
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Then the new mommy in me got rebellious and penned out another classic article that busted many myths for mothers like me. I was appalled to see even educated teachers of schools were a part in suggesting me these myths to follow. Hence I felt this article was a need for the hour. 

"So finally, he arrived!! After the 9 months long drill, I couldn’t wait to take him in my arms… It was different, he was red like a tomato, eyes tightly shut by the heavy eyelids; felt like a little mountain baby in my very eastern bong hands. I was a first-time mom, and it was the first time I held such a tiny creature. I was beyond elated and blissfully unaware of the days and nights ahead!! But that story of how I embraced motherhood is for my journals to...."
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But I want this post to end in a good note. A good feeling is ever so important, and what better way than to involve you in the journey of my growing toddler. Its a wonderful story of looking up! 


"I like to think I am a simple person. All who know me, would agree that it’s not such a difficult task to make me smile! A glass of wine, a smile on my toddler, a nice song on my lips to hum and a tasty plate of warm food. All this in no particular order, is good enough to lighten my mood and bring out a broad smile on my face. I am in the middle of a huge change. It’s a new beginning in a new city right now. The business hotel that is my temporary abode......"
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Thursday, 26 March 2015

Dear Diary, Look Up!!

I like to think I am a simple person. All who know me, would agree that it’s not such a difficult task to make me smile! A glass of wine, a smile on my toddler, a nice song on my lips to hum and a tasty plate of warm food. All this in no particular order, is good enough to lighten my mood and bring out a broad smile on my face. I am in the middle of a huge change. It’s a new beginning in a new city right now. The business hotel that is my temporary abode for some time, is comfortable by all means for an adult. But my 2 year old toddler is yet to feel at home here. The big building has everything but a green play area which his body misses like anything. The swing where he would fly on, the see-saw where he shared a laugh or two with his friends back there. Well, I am sure his little heart misses those smiles and chuckles quite a lot. And it is that sound that my mommy ears truly ache to hear.

These days all I think of are these little play dates, calling up friends and family with toddlers and setting up meet ups. In one such wonderful day, an incident gave us chuckles for life. The little 22 month old was paired with another fellow, exactly 6 months elder to him. They had a merry time playing with lions and cars, after which came a refreshment break. The messy floors left both us mommies busy, while the tots got an opportunity to travel around the house unsupervised. Suddenly I hear my little guy calling out loudly- BATHROOM NO ENTRY. Upon rushing to the spot, I get the delight of all times. Standing firmly outside the door, 22 month old was busy arguing with the 2.5 year old, how bathroom is not for us to enter alone. Whenever this scene plays on my mind, I feel how soon did my little guy grow up? This is probably the tiniest incident of his life to talk about his growth of understanding, but this is the first and is quite unforgettable for the first time mommy- me.

The future would hold many more of such episodes. And this thought gives me strength and patience to go by. I love you my child, and I leave you with a promise to encourage and fill you with optimism for your life. I will notice the littlest to the biggest of your achievements and keep it framed in my memory to help you sail through your life.


This is my #lookup story!! What's Yours??

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Breakfast in its Glory!!

I love to be a part of a breakfast story each day. Waking up to a nice aroma of fresh hot breakfast being cooked for me is a dream I am yet to live. But the thought really perks me up… Sigh!! If only Mr. Hubby understood.
But I am not complaining. I have a hearty rich breakfast every day. Long stayers at a hotel, get that perk almost without fault. I have many many choices to order from and everything on the plate looks delish. But living in a hotel without self-control can actually cause a bigger havoc for health, than not. And that’s why, I love it when family and friends call me over for simple home fare. When I got Gupta Ji’s invite for the loveliest “Nashta” prepared by his darling wife; how could I have said no to it?

The whole idea of a healthy breakfast to me is to fill my tummy with whole grains; as a preparation of my day up ahead. Let me take you through my breakfast journey, to give you an idea of what has been playing in my mind all this while, since the revered invitation came to me.

Just about maybe she can cook a yummy plate of Oats Poha for me; which is till date one of my best recipes ever… 


Or maybe an awesome open faced sandwich like so…


A definite must have for a lavish breakfast spread has to be this awesome looking parfait, which cleverly uses up all the left over cake from dinner last night!

If you too wish to join me while I dine at Kellogg’s wale Gupta Ji’s abode, then do check out the links below- and Like and Subscribe to keep getting all awesome #breakfaststories and health some recipes from Kellogg’s India.


Sunday, 22 March 2015

My Personal Rant & HydroJal Plus...

Uprooting a house which was cosily nestled in west was a huge blow to me that I am still to fully recover from. It wasn’t love at first sight, but it’s an acquired taste which you do acquire in time. And I have spent more than 7 years in the financial capital. I had not only gotten used to the crowd and filth there, but also the awesome pure water and 24 hours of fluctuation free electricity. Today sitting in Gurgaon, these are two of my biggest concerns. 

Gurgaon water in its real terms is lot harder to the clean clear BMC water that my family is used to. In fact the water back in western metropolitan is so clean that it’s perfect for drinking just as is. But here, even washing hair with the supply water is difficult. So I needed a better option for water to aid my growing toddler, who is born in and used to the ‘swachch’ clean BMC supply.

At least for drinking purposes, I have set my heart on Hydrojal Plus. I got sold to the idea of having some good alkaline water to enter our bodies in this concrete jungle. Alkalinity in water is important for its capacity to neutralize acid and to help us rid of the other toxins that infest our bodies. Tap water, bottled water, RO (reverse osmosis) water and distilled water contains acidic pH that causes our body to become more acidic. This has a positive ORP (Oxidation-Reduction Potential) which could lead to a number of health problems like acidity, fatigue, constipation, headaches, cancer, arthritis, immune dysfunction, hangovers and premature aging. This is when alkaline water helps. Alkalinity in water keeps you refreshed and active. Naturally alkaline water is the best source of hydration which can be easily achieved with a cut lemon, soaked in the water and steeped for a few hours in room temperature. But this significantly changes the taste of the water which can be quite difficult for people to drink every day. Hydrojal is a good option to rid you from that responsibility, while giving u results closer to it.

I am one thought lighter now. Electricity is still giving me sleepless nights, though I hope that is taken care of sooner as well.

P.S. This post was written for Hydrojal, highlighting their newest product- Hydrojal Plus. This product is available for a free demo at your home, which would also include testing of acidic level of your drinking water.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Unity of Flavours- Chicken in Wine and Couscous!!

Mayans had predicted that the world is to end by 2012. Well, we are in 2015; and the world is still going strong. But a lot has happened since 2012 where humanity was lost. Natural calamities do happen, but the unnatural ones irk me the most. And it’s not only about my country, it is happening everywhere in this world. Good, bad, ugly, don’t know what I am to make of this situation. But my blood boils when I hear of men entering a school or a coffee house or a newspaper office with machine guns. This jihad is not for me to understand. Can a religion justify violence against unarmed children or journalists?

The most discomforting of the recent updates for me was the Charlie Hebdo Massacre. Yes, I know to some extent the journalists took it a bit far with their right to free press. And even after repeated warnings, they didn’t really stop. They were to some extent to be blamed, but the tensions that followed were so uncalled for. I am in no mood to turn this article into a political drama. But being a journalist, I did condole their untimely deaths. A satire is supposed to be taken with humour. Such blood bath is really uncalled for, and gives out a message of opposite meaning.

A unity is difficult in this scenario, but the fact remains that French and Arabic are 2 of my most favourite cuisines of the world. The foodie in me was quite unhappy to witness all the unrest in the world. But well that’s life! So I decided to make a dish that united both of them on my dinner plate at least. I paired a perfectly simmered chicken in red wine sauce (heavily inspired by Coq-Au-Vin) with steamed easy couscous. It’s a dish which is continents apart, and yet it feels like a match made in heaven. Do try this simple recipe on a lazy weekend; with an additional bottle of wine to drink along while the chicken cooks!!

Chicken In wine sauce

1 full chicken cut into big pcs, with bone
3 Slices of Thick Cut Bacon, chopped
1 Large Onion, chopped
1 Carrot cut into large chunks
6 Cloves of Garlic, peeled but not chopped
¼th bottle of Shiraz Red wine (or a bit more, no one is looking or cares really!!)
1 cup of water
¼ cup of dark rum
2 Tbsp of Tomato Puree
2 tsp of Fresh Thyme Leaves
1/2 cup of All Purpose Flour
2 Tbsp of Butter
1 Tbsp of Oil
A handful of Fresh Chopped Parsley or its Indian cousin- cilantro
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large skillet (non-stick) over medium high heat, add the bacon and cook until crisp. While that happens, coat the dry chicken pieces with flour, salt and pepper well, and set it aside.

With a slotted spoon remove the bacon and add the chicken to sauté in bacon drippings. Fry the chicken for a few minutes or until golden brown on pretty much all sides. Set it aside.

If your pan is very dry, add 1 more Tbsp. of olive oil and sauté the onions, garlic and carrots for a few minutes or until they develop some colour. Salt and pepper the veggies to let it hydrate and get the stuck chicken bits away from the pan.

Add the dark rum to the pan and allow it to cook out for about a minute. Stir in the tomato puree and allow that to cook for another minute, while stirring the whole time.

Add in the wine and water, and bring it to a simmer; stirring in at times. Slide in the pan fried chicken and bacon; cover with a lid and let it simmer on low to medium heat for 30 minutes or so, until the chicken is tender.

Couscous with Spices and Preserved Lemon

I paired this amazing dish with Arabic inspired couscous. All I did was flavour the dry couscous with salt, pepper and fresh ground coriander powder. Mixed it well and pour the hot water on the grains till everything got emerged in the water and half an inch of water floated on top. I covered it tightly to let it steam well and double in volume. As an additive, you may chop some sundried tomato and/or preserved lemon to garnish the fork fluffed couscous.


Wednesday, 4 March 2015

My Fit, My Way!!

Evolution is a true concept. Charles Darwin may have faced much criticism initially, but soon the world realised how important and how unchanged this concept remains all lifelong. A man goes through many stages of evolution in his life. The Kaal Chakra of life leads a baby with a mere weight of 3 Kgs to go through an evolution and shed his life at 83 Kgs.

You are athletic in your teenage, really well built by 20s and then end up with a paunch by 30s. Doesn’t that count for evolution? Marriage is a big deciding factor. Your ceremonies have such great food, so tasty, so yum, and so very fattening; and that somehow paves a way to a gluttonous journey of honeymoon and beyond! And add to that the awesome companion, the beer. Light, bubbly and supremely fattening; it just adds the missing zing to a regular plate of dal makhni, with ghee pulao and fried samosa on the side!

Now, there can only be two kinds of people in the world. One who reads this and feels offended, and the other who finds solace in the fact that there are other people like them in this world. If you are the kind who doesn’t like dal makhani with makhan, or the kind who wants it with extra makhan on the side; then you know, your figures are different, and your dressing needs be as much different! For both these kinds, Van Heusen has a dressing solution that will suit you to the fullest! My Fit is a unique combination of tailor meets readymade solution. Just that stich around the tummy area that would make you look slimmer. Or that particular colour with a different collar or a cuff link. Now all this is possible to make you look much smarter. Head to the nearest Van Heusen outlet to know more! Right now it’s just for men, but I hope they open up similar concept for women as well. Because god knows more than the mortals of the world, how much a proper fit of clothes is important for women. Cheers!

PS- This post was written as a tribute to a growing working sedentary man, and how Van Heusen came up to rescue him out of the misery. If you like it, do let me know by following me on Twitter, Instagram and/or Facebook.


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