Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Korean Pop-up At Wild Asparagus Table

 I will travel anywhere for food and if its Korean Cuisine, it is worth all the effort because the variety of Korean food that was cooked for this pop up by @Indraniwillteach I am not likely to find it in any restaurant in Mumbai.

This month pop up was hosted by @indraniwillteach in the suburbs of Kandivali, and although I have never been to Korea, I can confirm that taste was as authentic as one can get because Indrani had done a good research on this cuisine and walked an extra mile to procure right kind of ingredients that go into creating the correct flavours. @KanchanAhuja, Deepti Chavan and yours truly, we reached on time at 7pm on the 14th floor of Indrani's lovely home overlooking the beautiful view of Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Soon @Salonim2, @Shitalkakad, @chefshilpasethbhambri and @kareena arrived and the party began.

Over the glass of drinks, Indrani briefed us about the food culture of Korean cuisine. During our chat, I learnt that Korean food does not contain much of vinegar and the main taste in just sesame seeds, garlic and soya sauce.

Also learnt some new words in Korean cooking like Kimbab (Korean rice rolls) Mandu,(dumplings) Japche (Korean sweet potato noodles with stir fries) Ttekbokki(rice cakes in sauce) Bibimbab(rice with seasoned vegetables)

It is customary to have 5 to 12 banchan(side dishes) with main dishes served all together. Another unique feature is that Korean food do not have any gravy component. They do serve soups and stew but the stew is normally thick and smooth with very little liquid in them. You are likely to find great variety of fermented food in their cuisine

Korean food is distinct in colour, texture and flavour and requires lot of labour in preparing different dishes that are both harmonising and distinctive.

Everybody loved the food that was paired with @reveilowines #Grillo and #nerodavola

We were small group of 8 members, had sit down dinner with a break in between the meals to learnt the basic way to make Kimbab. Indrani used nori leaves to roll out the rice stuffed with pickled veggies and meat.

The evening ended with mastering the dance few dance steps as instructed by Indrani's sweet daughter, Arunima, who performed a vibrant dance for us too.

It was the most enjoyable evening of fun, laughter and food. A day well spent. 

Thank you #fbai Saloni  Malkani and Ananya Banerjee for this lovely platform of #wildasparagustable where we get to taste the various cuisine of the world 

Do watch the live video presentation of the event to get the flavors of the evening

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Stuffed Karela In Green Masala

Not everybody likes bitter Gourd, mainly because it is bitter. Karela, as we normally call it in India, is good for health. 

By including Karelas in our diet, it can be beneficial in riding off the kidney stones by naturally breaking them down, It also reduces bad cholesterol, thus decreasing the risk of heart attack.

I normally remove the bitterness by salting the karelas overnight and then washing them the next day and squeeze out the bitterness.

They really taste good, if you just chop them into circles, deep fry and have it with just khichdi and curds.

Or you can be creative and stuff them with meat, cheese or potatoes.

This week, I deep fried the karelas, stuffed them with spicy potatoes and cooked in green masala

Happy to share the recipe of stuffed Karela in green masala

1. Wash, squeeze and slit the karelas from one side.
2. Deep fry till they are brown and crispy
3. Make potato filling by grating boiled potato and adding spices like Cumin seeds powder, mango powder, red chilly powder and salt.
4. Stuff the karelas with spicy potatoes
5. Tie it secure with thread
6. Make masala by grinding it into paste the mixture of garlic, coriander leaves, fenugreek leaves, tomato, chillies, coriander powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder and salt
7. Fry this paste in oil for some time
8. Add 1cup water and let it cook
9. Add the stuffed karela 
10. Cover and let it cook till done
11. Serve with hot parathas

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Romance With Potatoes

Everybody loves potatoes. Deep fried or boiled, cooked or baked, it pairs with almost every kind of meals, be it meat or vegetables.

If you go to your local market in India, you might find potatoes in different colors - some red, some brown, or purple or white. For culinary purpose, varieties are often differentiated by their waxiness and their ratio of starch content. There are about 5000 potato varieties worldwide. 3000 of them are found in Andes alone in the regions of Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia.

Potatoes are prepared in many ways, with or without skin, whole or cut up, with seasoning or without. The only requirement is to swell up the starch granules. Boiled potatoes can be used for making salads or snacks, potatoes can be fried to make French fries or chips, grated potatoes can be used for dumplings or pancakes, cubed potatoes are used in stew with meat or vegetables.

In UK, potatoes form part of traditional staple Fish and chips. French fries and Hash brown are commonly found in a typical American fast-food cafes, Potato pancakes are popular all over Central Europe, A traditional Canary Island snacks are Papas Arrugada (wrinkled potatoes), Papa Bravas(spicy potatoes in spicy tomato sauce) and Tortilla de Papas (potato omelette)

Other than eating, potatoes are also used for other purposes: Using as fodder for livestock,  Potato starch in food industry as thickeners and binders for soups and sauces, in textile industry as adhesives, in manufacture of boards and papers. It is also used to brew alcoholic beverages such as Vodka.

Back home, we love aloo chat, alu dum, alu parathas. Vada pav is the popular dish in Maharastra. Aloo Posto is immensely popular in East India specially Bengal. Then there is Aloo Tikki, Samosas and Aloo Pakoras. In south India, Masala Dosa has potato bhaji as filling.

Potato bhaji is prepared differently in different part of India and can be enjoyed with dosa, or Puri and can make even sandwiches from left over potato bhaji. 

Happy to share my Potato Bhaji Recipe, which is simple and yet so very tasty.

1. Take 2tbsp Mustard oil

2. Add 2tbsp mustard seeds, 1tsp cumin seeds, small pinch of hing, 1inch chopped ginger, 2 chopped green chillies, few curry leaves.

3. Add 1 sliced onion

4. Stir and let it cook till onion change color to light brown

5. Add 1 chopped tomatoes, 1tsp turmeric powder, 1tsp red chilli powder, 2tbsp Podi masala( or garam masala)

6. Cook for a minute

7. Add 1 large boiled potato

8. Mix and let it cook on low flame for 10 minutes

9. Garnish with coriander leaves

Watch the video on my utube channel

Subscribe my channel here  >> PapadChai for more recipes

Monday, July 25, 2022

Pure Veg Asian Potluck with Foodie Friends

Vegetarians have very little choice when they are travelling abroad. While everybody is enjoying the great variety of food ranging from meat, to seafood, vegetarian might just have few exotic vegetables, cottage cheese or mock food. It is healthy, no doubt, but not much effort is used in creating innovative dishes.

This month few of my friends decided to meet for a potluck and we decided on Asian cuisine, but with a difference. The dishes had to be pure veg, (not even eggs,) and it should be something that we had never tried it before. We could lift the recipe from you-tube channel, give a twist and create something new.

It was challenging because normally most of the Asian food are non-veg, and veg is normally stir-fry veggies. We met at Kanchan Ahuja’s beautiful home during lunchtime.

I cooked veg version of Pad Krapoa, I used chopped Mushroom instead of minced chicken.

Here is the recipe of Mushroom and long Beans in Basil leaves.

Grind 5red chilies and 8pods of garlic and keep it aside

Make a sauce by mixing 2tbsp soya sauce, 2tbsp Oyster-Mushroom sauce, 1tbsp lime-juice, 1tbsp 1cup sugar and water.

In a wok, fry garlic chilly paste, add chopped 2pks of mushrooms and 100gms long beans, add sauce, mix and cook, 

add spring onions and basil leaves. 

Serve with white rice

I think, I should have used small pieces of mock-duck too, to give it a proper texture and long beans take very little time to cook, I think it was over-cooked.

However, all the dishes were delicious, it was one complete feast that we enjoyed while sharing notes on the cooking methods used, and what challenges we had faced while making the dish. It didn’t have to be perfect, it was all about experimenting with new ingredients

Do watch our video on uTube to learn about the challenges faced by different participants

Sumitra Chowdhury share her recipe on WRAPPED STICKY RICE CAKES (YE’ER BA) 

This recipe is adapted from Red House Spice. Com.. 

This recipe is from Sichuan Province. Normally this dish is made with pork mince, tangerine leaves are used for wrapping, she used lemon leaves  and the main ingredients is glutinous rice flour… 

As she didn’t have glutinous rice flour at home she had to do the recipe with normal rice flour.. she had used mushroom minced as the dish was made for a vegetarian pot luck.. she added five spice powder which was not mentioned in the recipe.. the recipe mentioned mustard greens.. she changed the mustard greens and used pickled spinach leaves..

For the Stuffing 

2 Packets of Mushrooms minced

2 tsp of Ginger minced

1 tsp of Garlic minced

1 Green Chilli minced

3 tbsp pickled Spinach Leaves 

Salt to taste

1/2 tsp of Pepper powder 

1/2 tsp of Five spice powder 

Pinch of Sugar

1/2 tsp Rice Wine 

1/2 tsp Dark Soy Sauce 

1/2 tsp Light Soy Sauce

1/2 tbsp Oil

Lemon leaves for wrapping 


Take a oil in a wok, add the minced ginger - garlic and chilli, sauté it for few seconds, add the minced mushrooms, stir and cook until the water from the mushrooms dry up. Add the chopped pickled spinach and cook for a minute.  Add the sugar, salt, pepper powder, five spice powder, rice wine, dark soy sauce and light soy sauce, cook for another minute. Switch off the flame and let the stuffing cool.

For the dough - 


2 cups of Glutinous Rice flour

1/2 cup of Rice flour 

1 tbsp Sesame seed Oil

1/2 Salt 


Mix all the above ingredients, add water lukewarm water little at a time, and knead it into a soft dough.. 

Steaming - 





Add the water into the steamer, let the water steam. Meanwhile take a lemon size portion of the dough. Flatten the dough and add one tsp of the stuffing in the centre of the flattened dough, close the edges of the dough properly. Repeat the process with the remaining dough and the stuffing.  Grease the steamer plate. Take a lemon leave and place the stuffed dough on the lemon leave into the steamer plate, repeat the process. Steam it for 10 - 15 minutes or until cooked. Serve steaming hot.

She also made Whipped Lemonade and  here is her recipe

For the Ginger Sugar Concoction 


2 tbsp Ginger minced 

1 tsp Lemon Zest 

2 1/2 cups of Water 

1/2 cup Lemon juice 

1/4 tsp Salt

1 cup or more of Sugar 


Take a pan, add water into the pan, add sugar, salt, ginger and lemon zest. Simmer until the concoction has reduced to half. Switch off the flame and cool it down completely. Strain the liquid and discard the  Add the lemon juice and mix it. This can stay in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. 

To make the Whipped Lemonade 

1/3 cup of the Syrup Concoction 

3/4 cup of Coconut milk

Lots of Ice 


Add all the above ingredients into the blender and blend well. Serve it cold.

Here are some of the pictures of the food on the table

It was the time well spent.

Friday, July 15, 2022

Food Awards Nite 2022

 Nine dine is the group of restaurants lined-up in a row that offers variety of cuisines under one roof. It is placed on the east wing of Jio Mall Drive. It makes a great chilling place after shopping at the mall

This was the venue selected for FBAI awards 2022. This was the sixth edition of FBAI awards that honors the celebrities in the food world and recognizes the food connoisseurs of food and beverage industry. It was hosted by @foodbloggerai along with @vikhrolicucina @godrejjersey in partnership with @jioworlddrive, Raymond Made to measure, Aspri spirits, Baskin Robbins creamery, @godrejveg oils, 


Attending such events is always fun. I entered at sharp 6:30pm on the 2nd floor of the mall, and was warmly greeted by reps of Godrej who asked me to enter the quiz of guessing the oils by the look and description of  the oil. They asked me to just guess one of them so I guessed Mustard oil for it’s dark Orange color and it’s description that it has strong flavors and it’s used in every Indian home.


Next was Raymond station and Baskin-Robbins station 

Baskin-Robbins had spin wheel for testing our lucky spin and I was lucky to win coupons of Rs600 yay!


Such events are the opportunities of meeting new people and your own foodie friends over the finger foods and drinks that do their rounds.

There were some interesting starters like Chicken Peri Peri Poporn, Jhal Muri, Safhia Baalbeco, Jalapeno, Cheese Bombas, Rock Shrimp tempuras, Parmesan Churros, whole wheat toasties, to name the few, accompanied by drinks and spirits


 The award felicitation began at 8pm with much excitement. There were about 200 nominees, and each one wished that they could win because these awards recognizes, honors and celebrates celebrity chefs, content creators, platforms and brands in food industry. But of course only the best one wins with trophies and selfies




 The ceremony was made interesting by few distractions of emoji games, cooking in minutes by Godrej, and the book launch of a new book by Vikki Ratlani

And finally dinner and chit chat


A great fun filled evening with food, friendship and Selfies


The first ever food blogging award took place in October 2013 at JW Mariott in Mumbai. You may read about that on my blog at https://papadchai.blogspot.com/2013/10/food-bloggers-award-nite.html



Many thanks to Saloni and Sam Malkani for organizing such a lovely event


Thank you so much!!

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Surinamese Beans And Potatoes

 I have lived in Surinam for four years of my life and it has been the most wonderful experience.

In Surinam, all kinds of cuisine was available because of variety of immigrants that live in Parimaribo. The food scene was excellent. It is a melting pot of races, culture, languages, religion. 28%of the population are East Indians called Hindoestanis and they make up the largest ethnic group in Surinam. The ancestors of this group came as workers in plantation. They brought from India their language, culture, religion and cuisine. Popular Indian cuisine included Bara, Phuluri, Roti and it was always on menu during family weddings. Although many years have gone by but the food memories are still fresh on my mind. I still have some families living on that part of the globe, who do bring for me the spices to keep my food memories alive. Sometime ago my cousin sent me Surinam masala.

Surinam masala is the happy medley of spices that gives distinct taste to the food. This masala is used in most of the gravies (I am drooling while I write this)

I used to love Roti Kip which is simply dal stuffed roti with chicken, potatoes and long beans. Recently I invited my friends for a special Surinam meal. My friends are vegetarian, so I just cooked french beans with potatoes in Surinam masala and served it on dal-stuffed flat bread along with the spicy surinamese chutney.

My friends loved it and as for me..It brought back the memories of Surinam Do visit my Utube channel to see the full recipe

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Spanish Pop –Up at The Wild Asparagus Table

This month, our regular monthly Wild Asparagus Table was  transported to Spain for music, song, dance, poetry and of course food. 

It was extra special because it was organised by Reetha Balsawar and Shivani Vakil Savant along with their friend Dilshad Edibam Khuran who actually run 'MoonlightCafe' where people from the theatre and other fields celebrate their talents through workshops, performances, selling their creations etc.

Five years ago, a motley group of actors, producers, drama teachers got together to collaborate on their other shared passion - food. Each had their own brands and moonlit as home chefs and bakers. All of them had worked on plays, been associated with the same theatre groups or just enjoyed time together off stage over the past 15 years. So it was very natural that working together in the kitchen would be easy! Besides they had a great time hanging out and doing what they loved to do. And so, Moonlight Café was born! 

So Moonlight Cafè it was, all set behind the kitchen for an elaborate Spanish meal. 

The venue was an artistic bungalow with a spacious living room separated from dining room by five wooden steps. 

While we waited for people to arrive,  we familiarised with other guests over a cup of Sangria. 

The room was filled with food lovers and performers that included Avantika Ganguly @gangulytikka (the singer,) Diggie Savant @diggie.savant  @di999ie (the actor, director visual story teller,) Arya Lalka @aryanlalka, (the musician ) and Shubha Pachigar @shubhapachigar, (the dancer.) 

The party started with a warm welcome by the three hostesses Dilshad Edibam Khurana @dilshade.k @doughremi.homebakery, Reetha Balsavar @reethabalsavar  @tossed_and_dressed Shivani Vakil Savant @shivani_vakilsavant   @theoddhourkitchen followed by  introduction of Wine of Mia brand by Ms Saloni Malkani @sallonim2 

Two tables (6seater and 8 seater) were set in the dining area with beautifully arranged cutlery and tapas. On the tables were Pimiento padrones, stuffed dates, marinated olives, mojo picante and sour bread

But first, we must get hungry to eat. 

So, everybody turned towards Shubha Pachigar to learn the basic steps of 'La Cucaracha dance' (a typical Mexican ballroom and nightclub dance) dance video The dancing sessions went on for next 20 minutes, during which everybody learnt the basic dance steps and then danced to rhythmic Spanish music. Everybody was having fun, moving freely and gracefully across the room, enjoying the music and the rhythm of their free style movements. With sweaty body, everybody climbed 5 wooden steps to seat at the tables in the dining area, ready to nibble on tapas. 

One by One, the food appeared at our tables from the large kitchen behind the large collapsible glass doors. 

And the feast began Empañadas, Garlic Prawns, Mushrooms, Eggplant rolls with feta cheese, clams with white beans, Spinach &Chickpeas, Spanish Meatballs, Vegetable stew, Patatas bravas, Paella, Cider glazed Chorizo, sweet pepper &Ricotta. 

The servings were evenly spaced out, with enough time to relish each dish. During the meals, poetry on food of different poets was recited by Dilshad Edibam Khurana. I too was inspired to share my own poem on food during the session. 

The food was very satisfying and was actually transported to Spanish café. It is difficult to find such food in any restaurant in Mumbai. It was so meticulously cooked by our friends. 

My sincere compliments to the whole team. 

After dinner, we moved back to living room to enjoy the rest of evening of music and song over dessert of Tres Leches with Mango and Churro with hot Chocolate.

 It was very relaxing to listen to melodious lyrics by Avantika Ganguly and Arya Lalka. 

Thank you so much for the lovely evening.. I enjoyed it a lot. 

My sincere thanks to FBAI and Wild Asparagus Table team for creating this opportunity of enjoying different cuisines from around the world.

Do watch the video for the visual moments of the evening….

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