Mushrooms in Volcanic black pepper sauce

What a great presentation these mushrooms make . i like to serve them as an appetizer with the sauce on the side . The mushrooms ( of your choice , I like baby bellas ) are grilled and just as they are done , brushed with some of the sauce and served . Careful not to brush on the sauce too early as the peppercorns burn very easily.

Adapted from Sanjeev Kapoor

serves 8

1/4 cup black peppercorns , try to use Tillicherry they are most flavorful

3/4 cup vegetable oil

3 medium onions , sliced

30 cloves garlic , sliced

4 one inch pieces ginger , sliced

3/4 cup vegetarian oyster sauce

1 1/2 cups tomato ketchup

1/2 cup plus 2 tbs Rice wine vinegar

5 tsp sugar

3 tbs dark soy sauce

3 1/2 tsp salt

16 medium button mushrooms

1 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice

Crush the black peppercorns in a spice grinder . Heat oil in a pan , add onions and saute for a minute . Add ginger and garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Add crushed peppercorns and continue to saute for 2 minutes . Add vegetarian oyster sauce and ketchup and mix. Add vinegar , sugar , dark soy sauce and salt and stir. Stir over low flame till sauce is thick enough to lightly coat mushrooms .  Blend in blender till smooth . Set aside.

String the mushrooms on to toothpicks and place them on a preheated grill pan . Sprinkle on lemon juice then salt and continue grilling . Sprinkle some water on the mushrooms and grill until almost done . Lightly brush on some sauce onto the mushrooms , cook for a minute more . Serve hot with the extra sauce on the side .





Eggless Pineapple Upside Down cake

This cake evokes great childhood memories . I was a very fussy eater who loved fruit , especially tropical fruits like pineapples and mangoes . Once baked and cooled serve with a dollop of whipped cream or warm with a scoop of your choice of icecream.

Adapted from Tarla Dalal


5 oz all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 oz melted butter

1/2 cup superfine sugar

1/2 can condensed milk ( 200 grams )

3 tbs whole milk ( do not use lowfat )


1 fresh pineapple , peeled , cored and cut into rings

2 tbs golden syrup  or 2 tbs dark brown sugar mixed with 1 tbs unsalted butter.


Sift the flour , baking powder , baking soda .  Stir in melted butter , sugar and condensed milk  and beat well till smooth .

Add in enough milk to give the batter a dropping consistency . ( holding a spoon up , to allow the batter to drop at the count of 3 )

Assembly  Preheat oven to 350*F

Grease an 8 inch cake tin with butter or a non stick baking spray

Spread the golden syrup evenly on the base of the greased cake pan .  Arrange pineapple slices decoratively on top of the golden syrup .

Pour the cake batter carefully into the cake pan and smooth using an offset spatula.

Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes to an hour until the cake is golden brown .

Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack . Allow to cool completely .

Run a knife around the sides and invert on to a serving platter .


No bake eggless brownies

This very interesting Brownie recipe comes from Tarla Dalal ,ome of India’s most published chefs . Originally this was titled frozen brownies , but , in reality , they are never frozen . These rich , dense , chocolate confections are  so quick and easy to make , they are perfect for making with the kids .

Adapted from Tarla Dalal

Serves 6

3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate , roughly chopped

1/2 cup unsalted butter

3/4 cup Digestive cookies , crushed

1/4 cup Condensed milk

1/2 cup  chopped , unsalted nuts of your choice ( almonds , Walnuts , Cashews )

Butter , for greasing the dish


Slivered nuts

Whipped cream

Grease  and line with  foil a 6 by 6 inch square pan

Combine chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and melt over a pot of hot water , until the butter and chocolate melt.

Remove from flame and stir in the remaining ingredients . Mix well .

Pour into prepared pan . Cover and refridgerate until set .

Unmold , cut into wedges and garnish with nots and whipped cream .

Keep refridgerated.

New york times magazine Falafel

Falafel are a treasure exported from North Africa , and sold  as street fare all over New York city . These fried,  crisp , crunchy morsels take some planning ahead , but , honestly are worth all the time and effort .

New york Times Magazine

Makes 32

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

3 cups chickpeas      1/2 cup plus 1 tbs bulgar

3 medium yellow onions , roughly chopped

15 cloves garlic , peeled

3 tbs whole cumin seed

3 tbs whole coriander seed

1 tbs whole black peppercorns

1 tbs kosher salt , plus more to taste

3 tbs finely chopped mint

3 tbs finely chopped cilantro

3 tbs finely chopped parsley

3 tbs white sesame seeds

3 tbs baking soda

1 to 2 quarts canola oil

Place the chickpeas and bulgur each in a bowl and add water to cover by 2 inches . Cover and soak overnight.Drain well and grind through the small dye of a meat grinder into a large bowl set under a fine mesh strainer . Press on the onions to release the excess juice. Discard the juices then add the onions to the chickpea mixture . ( I use a food processor , careful not to OVERPROCESS )

In a small skillet over medium heat , toast the cumin and coriander seeds until fragrant . Transfer to a spice grinder, add the peppercorns and grind to a powder. Transfer the spices to the chickpea mixture , along with the salt , mint , cilantro , parsley and sesame seeds . Stir to combine . Mix in the baking soda and let stand for 30 minutes . season to taste with salt .

Heat a medium pot filled 2 inches with canola oil to 350*F. Using your hands , shape the chickpea mixture into 2 inch balls . Fry in batches for 3 minutes or until dark brown and cooked through.

Serve with Hummus , raita and Pita bread

Avocado Relish

This is a very  versatile relish to have on hand . It is a super accompiniment to Chilis , quesadillas or even on its own with tortilla chips . It ie elegant and nutritious and completely vegan.

Bobby Flay

1 cup

1 ripe Haas avocado , coarsely chopped

1 tbs finely diced red onion

1 tbs minced jalapeno

2 tbs fresh lime juice

1 tbs coarsely chopped cilantro

salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine the avocado , onion , jalapeno , lime juice , and cilantro . Season to taste with salt and pepper . Cover and refridgerate for up to 1 day . Bring to room temperature before serving.

Lamb and black bean chili

Without a doubt this is  one of the most requested dishes in our home . It is  delicious and filling especially in the winter when I serve it on top of baked potatoes with cheese and a spicy salsa and in the summer simply topped by a fresh avocado relish .

Bobby Flay

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

Serves 8

2 1/2 lbs lamb from the leg , boned and cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 cup olive oil

1  1/2   large onions , finely diced

1  1/2  tbs chopped garlic

3/4  cup dark beer

one 16 – ounce can whole tomatoes , drained and pureed

1  1/2  pureed canned chipotles

3/4  cup ancho chile powder

1/2  cup pasilla chile powder

1 tbs  ground cumin

2 cups Chicken stock

3 cups cooked or canned black beans , drained

6 tbs fresh lime juice

salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large frying over high heat , heat the oil until it begins to smoke . Add the cubed lamb and saute until seared and brown on all sides . Add the onions and garlic and cook for 3 Minutes, taking care not to let them burn. Add the beer and reduce until it has completely evaporated. Add the tomatoes, chipotles, chilli powder and cumin. Stir well and cook for 10 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the stock, and simmer for 45 minutes. Add the beans and simmer for 15 minutes more.  Degrease. Add the lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish and serve hot. Maybe made upto 2 days ahead and refrigerated, covered, reheat, stirring, just before serving.

Eggless orange fruit cake

This recipes comes from Good Housekeeping  . I have amended it to suit my taste  . This is one of my favorite food gifts to give in the holidays , but it is super to have with a hot cup of cocoa on those cold winter days and great lightly toasted for breakfast , just because.

Adapted from Good Housekeeping

Makes an 8 inch cake


8 oz ( 225 g )  unsalted butter or white vegetable fat , such as Crisco

1 lb  ( 450 g ) all purpose flour

1  1/2 tsp  ( 7.5 ml ) ground pumpkin spices

6  oz  ( 175 g )  superfine sugar

8 oz ( 225 g ) mixed dried fruit

2 oz ( 50 g ) candied orange peel , chopped

2 level tsp  ( 10 ml ) baking soda

1/2 pt ( 300 ml ) milk

2 tbs ( 30 ml )  vinegar

zest of 1 orange


4 oz ( 100 g ) powdered sugar , sifted

1  1/2 (25 ml   )  tbs orange juice

Chopped candied orange peel , to decorate


Grease a deep 8 inch (20 .5 cm ) round cake tin and line the base with parchment paper .

Rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs . Stir in the spice , sugar , fruit and orange peel .

Dissolve the baking soda in the milk  , add the vinegar and orange rind then mix quickly into the dry ingredients .

Turn into pan and make a slight hollow in the centre . Bake in the oven at 375*F ( 190*C ) for about 1 hour 35 minutes or until risen and firm to the touch . Turn out and cool on a wire rack .


To make the icing , mix the icing sugar and the orange juice together and drizzle over the cake . Sprinkle with the orange peel.