CHOCOLATE BANANA CHIA SEED SWIRL

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I’m more than a little obsessed with Chia Seeds right now. I love the pudding texture they give you when you soak them for a little bit. The recipe here called for almond milk but I felt that coconut milk makes the pudding even thicker and creamier.

This is a breakfast for serious dessert aficionados. The combination of the honey smashed bananas with the deep, dark chocolate chia swirls is intense. If you’d like to layer the 2 components more clearly then stick your cup in the fridge after pouring in the chia mixture and let it set for another 15 minutes. Then add the banana on top. I prefer just glopping all of it together.

Recipe adapted from A Beautiful Mess

Serves 2

What you’ll need:

1 ripe banana
2 teaspoons honey (or whichever sweetener you prefer)
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 cup almond milk
1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

 

How to:

 

1. Mix together cocoa, chia seeds, almond milk and cinnamon in a small bowl. Refrigerate for 45 minutes, stirring the porridge once in the middle.

2. Blend the honey and banana together.

3. Pour chia pudding into a mug and spoon the smashed banana on top.

 

RESTAURANT REVIEW: MIZO DINER

Photo courtesy GQ India
Photo courtesy GQ India

For authentic Mizo food and some swag

Delhi’s contrarian cultures are an endless source of conflict and delight. Every day, students from JNU rub shoulders with the disciples of Honey Singh over beer in Khan Market, expats jostle rickshaw pullers at Chandni Chowk and pop princesses queue up for gelato with hipsters in HKV. It’s amazing there aren’t more fights breaking out. So, mostly peacefully, the city of Butter Chicken can also serve up a mean Kerala style Buff Fry or authentic Calcutta Fish Curry depending on the colony market you happen to be at.

My quest for more than parathas and rajma led me, this time, to Mizo Diner in Humayunpur, Safdarjung Enclave. A teensy, cheery space where local artists conflate to create and display their work while scratching their itch for honest Mizo food. Expect anything from documentary screenings to impromptu art exhibitions, bamboo shoots prepared with traditionally preserved pork fat to French fries. If the references to roast pig head and buff intestines get too overwhelming you’ll be safe with the Chicken Curry and Fried Rice, though at their prices you really should experiment.
Finding the place can be a little tough because it is truly well off the beaten path but if you’re in the neighborhood drop by for the laid back charm and friendly faces. Get yourself some lemonade and reflect on the many, many faces of this ridiculous city. Now if only Delhi-ites would demonstrate compassion as broad based as their tastes.

PRODUCT REVIEW: JUGMUG THELA – ARTISANAL TEAS AND COFFEE

There’s more than one chaiwala gaining social currency in the capital these days. Jiten Suchede decided to put his talents as a designer to unexpected use by cobbling pallets into a makeshift thela that serves exceptional tea and coffee across the city.

 Disgruntled by the step motherly treatment being meted out to tea shops in a city increasingly invested in café culture, Jiten decided to make the chai ki dukaan relevant again. Metamorphosing that run down, unglamorous fixture of our youth into a charming mobile dispensary of teas, {surprisingly} coffees, and homemade snacks, so Delhiites can reconsider rushing into impersonal coffee chains and reconvene at their favourite artisanal chaiwala.

 Stop by for a cup of tea, a refreshing Vietnamese Iced Coffee, or the fiery Mattha. Unfortunately, till Jiten sets up his café, we have no option but to chase him down at the various exhibitions that’ll sprout up across the capital this winter. If you’re too lazy to bother, Foodcloud and Jaypore will home deliver you some Jugmug!

Making the conventional chai ki dukaan, relevant again, Jugmug Thela serves up teas, coffees and homemade snacks. Till they set up shop, catch them at exhibitions around the capital, or order online.

PRODUCT REVIEW: COCOATEASE – CHOCOLATES AND CAKES

 I don’t know how to recommend these guys – I realize their website is desperately amateur and their facebook page is largely neglected but the chocolates they make are divine. This is not like every other plug for home made chocolates that proliferate lifestyle magazines and blogs these days. My favorites are the Dark English Chocolate, two layers of milk chocolate with a crispy, praline filling, studded all over with chunks of almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts and the equally perfect White English Chocolate and I’m not even a fan of white chocolate.These guys do a lot of corporate gifting and I first came across their confections last Diwali when I ate through half a box. They’re a little tough to get a hold of but if you’re overwhelmed by the crazy number of advertisements for chocolatiers these days, try Cocoa Tease. They are, in fact, incredible.

Try their website here (http://www.cocoatease.com/chocolates.php) or facebook page here (https://www.facebook.com/cocoatease).

RESTAURANT RIP OFF: BIG CHILL’S PEAR, WALNUT, BLUE CHEESE AND SUN DRIED TOMATO SALAD

“If you’re afraid of butter use cream.” – Julia Child

So far I’ve banged on and on about the value of having an outlet and the joy that having a hobby adds to our stressed, hyper extended lives. You can read about it along with a recipe for Moroccan Cauliflower and Almond Soup here. I stand by what I’ve said but I suppose nothing’s ever that simple. Over the last two years, a lot of people have come up to me and said kind things about this silly little blog and each little pat on the back is exciting and motivates me to keep cooking, writing and posting. There’s also been a lot of sarcasm and judgment that I still don’t completely understand.

I’ve been accused of being anti-feminist for choosing to write about food. I’ve been congratulated on coming up with such a clever way of appearing eligible. Some snidely decide for me that this is a foundation an alternate career despite the fact that I’ve put 5 years of my sweat and tears into being a corporate lawyer. Not much sweat (we have very effective central air-conditioning in my office) but there have been instances where of sobbing into a set of board resolutions but that’s another post.

I was initially surprised that an amateur blog with a recipe a week (at best) can generate so much negativity. There are two kinds of snarks – the first who need to believe that every effort has an elaborate concealed agenda behind it. And that the agenda is to somehow belittle them. And the other who is frightened into a reflexive state of defensive contempt at the tiniest expression of individualism.

I have a job and I have hobbies too. Sometimes I work very hard to get it all together. Sometimes (like this week) I get absolutely nothing done and sleep at 7:30 pm. Let’s all cut each other some slack.

I’m celebrating my first angry post with a recipe for this simple but AMAZING salad I always order when I go to Big Chill. When I realized I had blue cheese at home, I realized it was really easy to recreate at home!
 

 

Serves 2
Adapted from Big Chill Cafe
What you’ll need:

Handful of Lettuce leaves (torn into shreds)
2 pears (chopped into bite size pieces)
2 -3 tbsp of blue cheese (or as much as you can handle – I put way more into my salad)
2 -3 tbsp of sundried tomatoes (sliced into slivers)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp vinegar (I used white but you can use whatever you have on hand. The darker the vinegar, the tangier and more pungent it is so if youre using apple cider vinegar or something like that you may want to try a smaller quantity first)
Salt to taste
Handful of walnuts (chopped roughly)
1 lemon (juiced)

How to:

1. Combine the lettuce, pears, blue cheese, tomatoes and walnuts in a salad bowl.

2. In a small bowl add the vinegar, lime juice, olive oil and salt. Mix well.
3. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad, check the seasoning, adjust it if you need to and serve immediately.