Wednesday, 15 March, 2017

Easy Wok Tossed Noodle Recipe (with step-by-step pictures)


Half a yellow pepper, two mushrooms, quarter of a carrot.. I had a whole lot of vegetables left in my refrigerator, but only bits of them which I needed to finish up before I headed to the supermarket. My solution? Easy wok-tossed noodles with plenty of veggies, to keep both me and the baby happy tonight.

The recipe is super easy. Try it out:

Recipe 

Time Taken- 20 minutes
Meal for 2

Ingredients
Half a carrot (julienned)
2 mushrooms (I used Swiss brown mushrooms, you can try any others, sliced)
Red, yellow and green peppers (half each, julienned) 
Grilled chicken bits (leftovers of any chicken you may have lying in the fridge)
1 small onion
Egg Noodles (one packet)
Oyster sauce - 1 tbsp
Soy sauce - 1/2 tbsp
1 egg 

Method

1) Chop up all the vegetables as mentioned in the ingredients list.



2) Heat 1 liter water in a large container. Add noodles when it comes to a rolling boil. Throw in some chopped beans too, if you have them. And the onion (whole). When done, drain and hold under cold water. 


3) Heat a wok and scramble the egg in it. Remove and keep aside. 

4) Add a tsp of oil in the same wok and heat. Add the mushrooms and toss for a minute. Now add the carrots and peppers and toss for a minute on medium heat. 


5) Add noodles, onion (cut into 4), chicken and the sauces. Gently mix. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Add the egg, toss a couple of times and remove from heat. Voila. 



Tips
- I like to use light soy sauce as I don't like it overpowering my noodles. If you prefer it stronger, use the dark one.
- Instead of oyster sauce, you can also add in black pepper sauce or black bean sauce. 
- The trick about the onion in the water is something I learnt from Kalyan of Finely Chopped fame. Credit where credit is due. 
- I keep oil to a minimal, for health reasons. You can also experiment with other types of noodles (I tried these amazing organic beetroot noodles with this recipe that came out fab too).   

Monday, 13 March, 2017

10 Healthy Eating Tips You Need to Follow to Lose Weight - NDTV Food

As a food critic, I am often asked how I maintain myself. Truth be told, it is not easy. It is a combination of regular exercise and a conscious reprogramming to make healthier food choices for everyday meals. 

Here's me spilling the beans on how you can make healthier food choices too. Looking to lose weight? These tips will do wonders...and they will keep the weight off too. Better than any diet you may have tried. 

Read the article here

Thursday, 9 March, 2017

The Indian girl who suddenly doesn't need to 'watch what she wears'

As a girl who grew up in India, my sense of dressing and idea of appropriateness stems from the environment there. Thus, I have a certain idea of the kind of clothes I should wear inside the colony, what clothes to wear to a mall, what I shouldn't wear when driving alone at night and what I should layer up so that it is not too revealing.

I do not grudge these, as they are the way of the land. However, when you think about it, these categories exist for one reason and one reason alone- to avoid unwanted male attention.

I have done a fair bit of travelling outside the country, but it is really in the ten odd days that I have spent in Singapore right now that show me just how liberating it is to not categorise your clothes such. No one stares, no one could be bothered. In fact, everybody dresses so well that you would only be embarrassed if you dressed shabbily rather than if your hemline is too high.

I find myself readjusting to this alternate reality. I look at my wardrobe every morning and try to decide what to wear basis what will look best on me or how the weather is, and not so much depending on whether I plan to take the MRT (train) or the bus today. It also makes me more conscious of my fitness levels as everyone is so fit and thus fit into such gorgeous clothes.

It is not a shift that comes naturally. There have been times (just this morning infact) when I went back and changed my top before I left the house. But I give myself time to accept my body, and to accept the fact that I have the right to choose what to wear, this right does not belong to some stranger on the road. And for this single sense of empowerment, I am glad.

Sunday, 5 March, 2017

10 Best Meals in Bangalore - My Recommendations on NDTV Food

Image Credit: Toast & Tonic
Bangalore has always been an exciting food market. Restaurants often use it to experiment before moving to Delhi or Mumbai. It is an interesting overlap of the legendary and the new.

My recent trip to Bangalore was full of great food. From the new (and exceptional) Toast & Tonic by Manu Chandra to beer that I actually liked at Windmills Craftswork, there was plenty to write about.

My latest article on NDTV talks about 10 dishes in Bangalore that you must try. Regardless of whether you live there or not, these are must-haves.

Read the article by clicking here.

Saturday, 4 March, 2017

Week 1 Lesson: Do Not Judge


Week 1 in Singapore has been eventful. Settling into the new house, getting it painted, internet enabled, phone numbers changed and all the small jobs that pyramid into one seemingly-unsurmountable mountain. Thankfully, everything is getting sorted slowly and hopefully Week 2 or atleast Week 3 should be easier.

One of my biggest challenges has been to adjust to a life without the five helpers I am used to, back home. Someone to wash the dishes, someone mopping the floor, a cook, a nanny, clothes washer, car washer, gardener, clothes ironing person…phew.. Ok, we’re a spoilt bunch. Thus, when Week 1 involved days filled with cooking, washing, cleaning and babysitting, it is but obvious they were fairly frustrating.

But this post is not about that. It is about food choices. I used to pride myself on my ability to make sound and balanced food choices, which helped me maintain myself and yet keep me nourished and healthy. I can go on to say that subconsciously I may also have judged people who did not make good food choices, and then would lament about how it is tough to stay in shape.

That is till I moved here. And I realised the value of my cook back home. Let me explain.

Since the scandal last year about bread and the preservatives used in it, I almost completely switched from it. Breakfast would either be parathas (with barely any oil but some malai atop) or poha, etc. These, my friend, are VERY labour intensive recipes, and ones that I really am not in the mood to cook early in the morning. So, I find myself at a loss when I cook breakfast these days. It doesn’t stop there. Cheese is something I only indulged in when I ate out, same for butter. I would try to avoid processed meats like salami and sausages after WHO classified them as carcinogenic. Preferred phulka over white rice. No ready to eat foods for their obnoxiously high salt content, no cereals as they were full of added sugars, no ketchup for the same reason and the list goes on. So, my daily food was fairly healthy, well balanced and full of nutrients. Having said that, I never kept away from any type of food and ate everything from chole bhature to deep fried samosas. Just not on a daily basis.

NOW, it is a struggle. Pasta doesn’t taste half as good unless you put in copious amounts of Parmesan. Bread is difficult to avoid, so I try to buy wholemeal and from a small bakery which wouldn’t use preservatives. There is no way on earth that I am gundoing aata so there go all the parathas and chappatis. 


Thus, it would be safe to say that eating healthy is a struggle when you don’t have the luxury of a cook making it for you. I will no longer be so quick to judge. Having said that, it is still possible. You just need to spend more time in the fresh section of the supermarket and give the frozen aisle a miss (as tempting as it is to pop a pizza into the oven for dinner). Let’s see how long my patience lasts. Till then…I’m off to the kitchen to attempt making dal in the rice cooker (but that’s for the next post). Until later….