Everyday
Monsoon Chermoula

Monsoon Chermoula

If you read any of my food stories, you will know I look at well used ingredients in different ways. I change the preparation and remain open to the interpretation. In case of staples like garlic, chillies, turmeric, cilantro are used frequently, if not daily, in my kitchen. What I love is when I transform them in new and exciting ways.

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Everyday
Finger Lickin’ Fried Chicken

Finger Lickin’ Fried Chicken

From the grease on your fingers to the crumbs on your lips, fried chicken can evoke childhood memories from almost anyone. Even me. Sometimes I have a fried chicken craving from my youth. Unfortunately, my family were not, by nature, fried chicken eaters. At the Lehail house, KFC was the be-all end-all of special occasions. Buckets of chicken — with its famous blend of 11 herbs and spices — along with coleslaw, macaroni salad, fries, and biscuits, made appearances on occasions like New Year’s Eve/Day. Relatives and family friends were prerequisites.

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Everyday
Mouthwatering Pickled Cherries

Mouthwatering Pickled Cherries

Pickling, home canning, or “putting up” is something I covertly delight in. Pickling of any kind, channels my inner Martha Stewart. As an old school technique born out of pre-refrigeration necessity, pickling conjures up happy thoughts about simplicity and home. There was an entire summer where I focused on learning the art of pickling and canning. I learned the basics, made many mistakes, but my takeaway was a revival of nostalgic interests.

I find it delightful that with pickling, I can literally bottle up summer and store it in a jar. I get to enjoy the pickings of summer throughout the year. Acting as a postcard from summertime, “putting up” offers the ability to make and share idiosyncratic, pretty things. It offers hope and optimism, during dark, grey wintery days. Something, I think we all kind of need.

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Everyday
Watermelon and Peanut Chaat Salad

Watermelon and Peanut Chaat Salad

Deep inside, I know that fall has officially arrived. The weather is chilly and pumpkins and apples are everywhere. But my mind — my heart, and stomach — aren’t quite ready to let go of summer. They never really are.

The upside of these warmish October days is that my parents’ garden still has tomatoes. Yes, delicious roma plums. They don’t taste as juicy and delicious as say in August, but they help to console my longing for summer produce. During the hot days of August, the tomatoes are deep red, juicy and intense in flavor. There are Beefsteaks, Roma Plums, Grape, Cherry, and so many Heirloom varieties. Each has their own flavour and personality. They are a tomato lover’s proverbial heaven.

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Everyday
Fiery Bengali Mustard

Fiery Bengali Mustard

Just wrap your head around the title of this recipe for a moment. Homemade mustard with fiery Bengali spices. Oh-em-gee.

For me it’s important to make new variations of condiments, dips, and spreads. Over the years, I have noticed specialty mustards, packaged beautifully and available for purchase at foodie stores. The price is usually staggering and the ingredients have words I can’t pronounce.

Dabbling in homemade mustard making has the benefits of controlling sodium levels, avoiding additives, getting a healthy dose of spice (I like my heat), and the surprising ease of doing it yourself.

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