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Am a contradiction of sorts. i love going out and having a good time with friends, and i can also stay home chill out over a book or a movie.. Am very passionate about writing, so give me a topic and watch me float away into wonderland... I Am crazy about music,books,friends and my doggie... :)

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

[Baking- Recipe] Apple cake

One of the vows I made to myself was that I would bake more often in 2017, atleast once a week. But then nearly a month has gone by and finally I got around to baking. 

I spotted a lone apple in the fridge and since it is one of my favourite fruits, I jumped at the chance to make something with it. I had bookmarked a recipe online for a simple apple cake and got down to making it today. 

Apple & cinnamon combination has been one of my favourites for as long as I can remember. I love a good hot apple pie, alas there are very few places that make it well.  Luckily, this recipe had ingredients [I did tweak it a bit] that I knew could be found in my kitchen which gave me the motivation I needed to get on with it. 

I usually pick out all the necessary ingredients, place them on the counter top, clean out the bowls, spoons and measuring equipment before I start. I did the same today, only thing I hadn't done was peel and slice the apples. I did not forget, but deliberately put it off for the last minute- apples tend to go brown when sliced, remember?!

Ingredients for this cake

[Adapted from this recipe from]

dry ingredients:
  • 1 medium sized apple - peeled, cored and sliced thin [keep this separately till the batter is ready to be poured into the baking tin]
  • cups whole wheat flour (atta)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • ¾ cup plain sugar [did not have demerera sugar]
  • a pinch of salt

wet ingredients:
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla essence 
The method..  [preheat the oven at 180 degrees for about 10mins]
  1. In a big bowl, mix all the dry ingredients
  2. In another bowl,mix the wet ingredients  
  3. Now combine the wet and dry ingredients, making sure there are no lumps.  
  4. Pour half into a greased cake tin.
  5. Place half the sliced apples  on top of the batter
  6. Pour the remaining batter and repeat the apple slices on top 
  7. I sprinkled some cinnamon powder and sugar on top as well. Place the tin into the oven and bake for about 25mins . 
  8. Make sure to test with a fork or knife, if it comes out clean the cake is done, else leave it in for few minutes more... 
  9. Allow to cool and serve with coffee/tea.  

Not a great shot, but it tastes delicious.. Happy Baking~!! 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Coffee time- Sipping Kopi Luwak Coffee

During my recent trip to Bangalore, uncle brought out this bright coloured packet and announced we were going to try it. I was curious and picked up the packet. You have no idea how surprised I was. It was a packet of Kopi Luwak coffee. Oh yes, you read it right.

The very first time I heard of this was in the movie Bucket List, starring  Jack Nicholson & Morgan Freeman- watch this scene, it is howlarious..

So, the story goes that the coffee is made in a very different manner, not by machines or man but by a creature of the forest.  The ripest coffee beans are digested by a certain Indonesian cat-like animal called then palm civet or also civet cat and well, Kopi luwuk is what the civet cat chucks out, err is the feces/poop... ya ya you read it right as well..hehe 

I don't know what made this coffee so popular or if it actually is popular. Infact I had a debate/discussion with my uncle about this very thing. I thought maybe it had become a tourist driven thing and so was overhyped. 

Anyways, we decided to brew this coffee and give it a go. Talk about living dangerously, right?! We brewed it in the coffee maker, except for this uncle said we need to add more water than usual. After a few minutes, the coffee decoction was ready . Uncle and I decided to try it black, and must say it had a peculiar taste. Surprisingly, I wasn't disgusted or repulsed while sipping it.. uncle went on to give a sample to his bro, who said we had ruined his mouth with this yuck coffee.. he added some milk to it and well, I actually thought it tasted better black.

One thing for sure is that this is not a coffee you can have more than a sip. Quite rancid. Nothing can compare to our regular coffee brew. 

Other interesting reads related to this coffee

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Flying Elephant at Park Hyatt Chennai rolls out new Menu

Out with the old, in with the New seems to be norm across restaurants now. I see quite a few of them going in for a revamp of their menu, or including a few new dishes into their existing menu. Joining this line is The Flying Elephant at Park Hyatt Chennai

Here is a sneak peek of what lies in store for your next visit here.  There is a Vegetarian Wanton soup that is light and simple, followed by the one dish that stood out for me- The Spinach Phyllo [ spinach and cheese tucked into phyllo pastry that was just wow]. Oh, the Mezze platter with the dip- Muhammara was yumm- it is made with roasted red peppers as the base.. I loved the crunchy texture and the spice factor in this one.

Apart from these, there was the Paneer starter followed by three delicious curries served with a wide range of rotis/naans. The side with the greens as the base was the best of the lot. What Chef has done is bring in the best of various cuisines to shake things up a bit. There are dishes from the Japanese, Indian, Turkish and few other cuisines as well.

The grand finale was this interesting dessert, take on Snicker bars, called the Snicker mess- there were pieces of chocolate, a peanut ice-cream sitting on a bed of crushed peanuts and little dollops of dark chocolate. I felt there was a bit of overdose of peanuts in this one and needed a coffee to clear my palate ... 

Park Hyatt
#39, Velachery Main Rd, 

Velachery, Chennai - 600032
Phone:044 7177 1234

Disclaimer: The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also remember these were just my views!! Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon Appétit :-)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Vegetarian Fine Dining at Royal Vega, ITC Grand Chola Chennai

As the name goes, Royal Vega is a Fine Dining Vegetarian restaurant in ITC Grand Chola  From the minute you walk into the restaurant, you are transported to the Royal palace where you are the King/Queen.What sets this restaurant apart is that it features a collection of signature vegetarian dishes from across the country, all of which are based on "seasons" with ingredients sourced from specific regions.... Infact their menu is divided into sections based on the ingredients.. 

The only word that comes to my mind when I hear the name "Royal Vega" is Opulence, grandeur... The furniture, the cutlery, the cloches, even the napkin holders - each of them are exquisite. Heck, there are pieces that you will find difficult to carry - that is how heavy they are. :) 

For someone who is so used to going to restaurants where veg food is given the least attention, being in an all vegetarian place felt nice.. I had the company of friends who were all hard core non vegetarians :D Ironic, right? 

The dishes served here came with stories, right from where the ingredients originated to the relevance of the dish to the season it belonged to. We had Chef Varun Mohan giving us the insight into each of the dishes, the kitchen and the team that belonged to Royal Vega. What is common thread between them all- they are all vegetarians. How cool is that? A separate kitchen, separate set of utensils and this went all the way down to the spices and masalas used. There was no talk of borrowing a spoonful of this or that from another restaurant. 

The evening meal was planned based on the "seasons" and we had dishes made with the finest ingredients brought down from Delhi, Kashmir, Spain and various other corners of the globe. The evening began with the healthy Triphala Churna Powder [made with three different , a green chutney and along came the delicious Beetroot cutlet [I shamelessly asked for a 2nd one, that is how yummilcious it was]. I chose the mocktail made with watermelon and ginger, having about 3 through the meal. 

And that is food journey went on that evening. We were stumped with how rich and unique each of the dishes were. The way the big plate with the dishes was carried into the restaurant by the staff [holding it over his head as a sign of respect for the Food], making sure to explain each dish as it was served into the cups lined within our plates. There was a roti that had 101 pinches and they have a person in the kitchen who is an expert in making those. The Ker sangria kofta, peas curry, daal, the Kachori like dish, each one was a play on our taste buds. Many of the flavours were new and I knew each dish had a different flavour profile, they each had a distinct taste and texture. At the end of the meal, I had a smile on my face, did not feel stuffed or heavy... 

As you go along this food journey, you will no doubt be left wondering how these dishes were so different from the ones you have had in other places or even compared to the ones you cook at home. It is all to do with the ingredients I guess. Sometimes it is best not to question but to just enjoy. This is one such restaurant...

"Dining at this restaurant is more about the experience than the food".. Many will find the place expensive, especially since it is a pure vegetarian place, but I sure feel it is worth it just for the way you are treated & the effort that goes into it all... 

Address: No., 63, Anna Salai, Guindy, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600032
Phone:044 2220 0000
Website :

Disclaimer: The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also remember these were just my views!! Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon Appétit :-)