Beetroot, Carrot and Fresh Paneer Salad with Pistachio Basil Pesto

Beetroot, Carrot and Fresh Paneer Salad with Pistachio Basil Pesto

Beetroot, Carrot and Fresh Paneer Salad with Pistachio Basil Pesto


For 6 1/2 cup portions

2 beets boiled peeled and finely diced into 1/5 inch pieces

2 carrots scraped, washed and diced raw into 1/2 inch pieces

1 cup fresh paneer or soft Goat's Milk Cheese

For the pesto

1/2 cup of fresh Italian Basil plus 6 leaves for garnishing

1/4 cup of salted roasted shelled pistachios, skins removed to expose green nut plus 8-10 nuts for garnishing

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 tablespoon of butter

4 cloves of peeled garlic

For the Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons lime juice

4 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon honey

salt to taste


Vinaigrette: Stir together the ingredients for the vinaigrette. Add salt to taste. Pour half the vinaigrette over the carrots and the rest over the beets. Let them soak for 10 minutes.

Pesto: In a mortar and pestle smash the garlic cloves. Add 1/4 cup pistachios and continue to grind using your pestle to breakdown the nuts. Add olive oil and softened butter and incorporate. Add the basil leaves and continue to grind the Pesto until you have a nutty and slightly chunky paste. Add salt to taste. Reserve

To Assemble

Brush all the cups lightly with olive oil.

Place a teaspoon of crumbled paneer at the bottom of each Chai glass, small ramekin or timbale.

Push down with your spoon. Top with half a teaspoon of pesto. I like to leave the pesto in the center so when you take a bite the wonderful green color of pesto comes is a surprise.

Top this with a spoonful of beets and press down. Repeat with another layer of Paneer, followed by pesto. Your final layer should be carrots.

You can garnish this salad in a glass and serve as is. You can also unmould it on a plate. To do this let the salad sit in the containers for an hour. Plastic wrap and keep refrigerated in hot weather.

Using a sharp knife, slide it carefully into the glass and move it around in a circular motion to loosen the salad. Turn it over on a plate. Garnish with pistachios and fresh basil. Drizzle with olive oil if desired.

Orange Cinnamon Creme Caramels

Orange Cinnamon Creme Caramels

Orange Cinnamon Creme Caramels


For 8, 1/2 cup portions

For the custard

2 cups heavy cream

1.75 cups whole milk

8 egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 teaspoon zest of orange

1 stick cinnamon

For the caramel

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup water


Preheat oven to 325°F. Prepare a water bath. Or prepare your pressure cooker.

For the caramel:

Heat the water and sugar in a saucepan on high heat. Do not stir, you can swirl the pan about a bit but don't use a spoon to stir the sugar-it will crystallize.

continue to cook until it gets golden brown. Remove and pour into the bottom of your 8 containers.

Allow containers to cool for an hour.

For the custard:

Bring 1/2 cup sugar, cream, cinnamon stick, orange zest and milk to a boil in a saucepan on medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Strain through a sieve. Discard zest and cinnamon stick.

Whisk eggs and vanilla in a bowl. Whisk 1/3 hot cream into yolk mixture slowly. Whisk vigorously. Add remaining custard mixture and strain again through a sieve.

Pour into each of the 8 containers almost till the brim. .

Place cups in a bain marie of water bath- a large, flat, roasting or baking pan with at least 2 inches of hot water. Our place in your pressure cooker in a water tight container, so water doesn't leak into the custards.

Bake until custards are set, about 22 -28 minutes and in a pressure cooker about 25 minutes on a slow flame.

To test shake the cup gently. The center should jiggle. Do not over bake custards. Let the custards sit in hot water outside the oven about 25 minutes. Remove cups from water- this applies to the pressure cooked and the oven baked custards. Wipe and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Chill overnight.

To unmould use a sharp thin blade to loosen the custard from the sides. Turn over in a dessert plate. Serve chilled.

Quick Baileys and Chocolate Kulfi

Quick Baileys and Chocolate Kulfi

Quick Baileys and Chocolate Kulfi


This dish is very easy to make and a crowd pleaser especially in the summer. You can make it for children without the Baileys. I sometimes add a fruit puree like raspberries to the chocolate. Rabadi is thickened milk you can buy at almost any good Halwai or sweets shop in India. It is also available frozen, in which case you would need to thaw it before you fill and set the dessert again.

For 8 1/2 cup portions

1/2 kg good quality fresh cold, Rabdi

4 oz dark chocolate broken into small pieces

1 tablespoon fragrance free cooking oil like Rice Bran

4 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream

To garnish- edible flowers, chocolate sprinkles, chocolate chips, praline or toffee bits, fruit compote or fresh berries.


Pass the Rabdi through a fine mesh sieve to remove any lumps. Stir in the Baileys and mix thoroughly. Do not do this in a blender or mixer it ruins the texture.

Pour the Rabdi into the 8 bowls, ramekins or chai glasses in equal portions. Plastic wrap tightly and freeze.

Melt the chocolate and oil on a low flame preferably in a double boiler or a milk boiler until you get a smooth paste. Remove from heat immediately. Reserve.

Remove frozen Rabdi from the freezer and remove plastic wrap. Pour the warm, chocolate sauce over the tops in equal portions. Wrap again in plastic and return to freezer.

To serve.

Heat one inch of water in a pan on high heat. Assemble your serving plates and spoons. Also your garnishes if you are planning on using some.

Place the kulfi containers in the warm water for 30 seconds or so to loosen the Kulfi. Using a sharp knife slice it into the container to loosen the chocolate tops. Turn over on your serving plate, garnish and serve immediately.

Apricot Almond Semolina Cake

Apricot Almond Semolina Cake

Apricot Almond Semolina Cake


For the Cake:

1/2 cup fine rava, sooji or semolina (you can also use fine yellow cornmeal)

1/2 cup ground almonds

1.5 cups maida or all purpose flour

8 Turkish apricots washed and dried

4 Turkish apricots washed, dried and finely chopped

1 teaspoon baking powder

125 grams unsalted butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup fine granulated sugar, plus more for dusting

1 teaspoon lemon zest

4 large egg yolks, lightly beaten

2 large eggs lightly beaten

1/2 cup fresh, plain unsweetened yogurt or Dahi

For glazing -1/2 cup apricot jam warmed in a small pan

Wondering what to do with the extra egg whites? Read my food story- How Use Leftover Egg Whites


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Set the baking tray in the middle of the oven.

Butter and flour an 9-inch round cake pan.

Stir together the ground almonds, semolina or cornmeal, flour and baking powder.

Beat the butter, lemon zest and vanilla together by hand or use an electric whisk. Add the sugar and continue to beat.

Then add all the eggs and beat until thoroughly mixed. Stir in yogurt or dahi and chopped apricots.

Cup by cup add the dry ingredients until incorporated. Do not over beat.

Pour the batter into the greased and lined cake pan. Bang the cake pan against the countertop so the batter settles evenly. Dot the top of the cake with the whole apricots. Press down gently but do not submerge the fruit in batter.

Bake about 35 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake to make sure cake has cooked all the way through.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool. Transfer the cake from the pan to a serving plate, glaze over the jam and serve.