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Fries with Chunky Bacon Sauce

Last night we felt like eating something decadent and indulgent and this dish happened. Going by how good it tasted and the few ingredients within, I’m sure it exists already.


  • French fries or wedges, 3 frozen handfuls, fried crisp
  • Spinach, 3 handfuls, washed, drained and chopped
  • Bacon, 10 thin rashers, chopped coarsely
  • Carrots, 2 medium, sliced thin
  • Onions, 6 small, 3 sliced fine and 3 chopped coarsely
  • Garlic, 20 medium cloves, chopped fine
  • Salt, pepper and chili of choice to taste
  • Water, 1 cup
  • Oil for the sauce and deep frying
  • Cheese of your choice for topping


  1. Heat oil, fry the sliced onions with a pinch of salt on medium heat until golden brown and caramelised, perhaps crisp, but definitely not dark brown or burnt.
  2. Add garlic, remaining onions and carrots. Saute for a bit.
  3. Add bacon, saute until cooked.
  4. Add water, bring to boil
  5. Add spinach, stir for a bit
  6. Ladle on top of fries, add some cheese, serve.


  1. If you time it right, the fries and the sauce can be finished together, ensuring you serve hot and crisp fries with a hot and steaming sauce.
  2. Thicken the sauce a bit if you wish, right after step 5.
  3. If your chopped bacon is clumped together, mix well when cooking so they separate, or they’ll remain clumped together.
  4. I used Tibetan chili paste as well as freshly cracked black pepper. You can use green chilies, red chilies or any other chili hit you feel like.

Orange Sugar and Exfoliating Soap

We’re trying to reduce our kitchen waste and are down to about half a bag a day, and want to reduce it further. Perhaps composting is the way forward; something I’ve never tried. If you’ve tried it, please do share your method in the comments below.

Using some waste orange peel that I peeled the zest from, which was chopped and dried for a bit, then whizzed with some powdered sugar I had lying about, and then sifting the contents, I was left with two very interesting results.

One was an orange-yellow sugar that smelled heavenly of orange and citrus and tasted quite interesting, and the second was the sugar coated orange peel that could be sifted no more.

Sifted the orange-sugar mixture to separate the two

The idea is to use the so-called candied orange peel into an exfoliating soap, using a clear soap base I’ve been experimenting with lately. Yesterday, we made some lemon flavoured soap with lemon oil and lemon rind.

We use two melt and pour soap bases at home. One is supposedly a white goat milk base that I find hard to believe, though it certainly is quite soft otherwise and melts easily. The other is a transparent, glycerine based soap base that too melts easily.

To melt the stuff, you can either construct a double boiler at home, or purchase one. I use a chocolate and cheese melting thingie that has two settings, one for chocolate and one for cheese. The cheese setting (number 2) works quite well for soap.

Then you’ll need moulds, of which I had quite a few left over from when I was experimenting with chocolate making, especially this mould with small square holes that works quite well for little soaps, though I did pick up one new mould with large cavities to try with soap making.

The process at its core is simple:

  1. Melt the soap
  2. Mix in any essential oils (for the lemon, I use lemon and for orange, I used a mixed fruit blend)
  3. Pour
  4. Wait for it to solidify (you can put it into the fridge too)
  5. Extract

There are other considerations, such as gravity for the exfoliation substance you’re using, whether you want it on the surface or not etc. That you’ll need to figure out based on what soap and substance you’re using.

Do share your experiments with waste and how you’re trying to reduce it.

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Apple Cinnamon Cake

We all know that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, so why not have it in a special way .


  • Apples pureed, 1 cup
  • All-purpose flour, 1 cup
  • Wheat flour, 1 cup
  • Baking soda, 1/2 tsp
  • Baking powder, 2 tsp
  • Cinnamon powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Powdered sugar, 1 cup
  • Melted butter, 150 gm 
  • Oil, 1 tbsp.


  1. Sieve flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder. Keep it aside.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk together the butter, milk, and apple.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet batter.
  4. Fold in well .
  5. Add the oil .
  6. Transfer the prepared batter to the baking tin.   
  7. Bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes at 1800 Celsius.


  • All the ingredients should be at room temperature.
  • The baking tin should be big enough to accommodate the batter until half.
  • Puree the apples as soon as you cut them or else they will turn black.
  • When you are mixing the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, make sure to use a wooden spatula and fold it in the same direction to avoid any lumps.
  • Grease and line the baking tin with a parchment sheet before transferring the batter.
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Sweet Potato, Spring Onions and Garlic

I discovered sweet potatoes very late in life, and began cooking with it even later. This is one of my favourite dishes, and it’s a lovely blend of textures and flavours. There’s crisp and crunch and smooth and soft, plus sweet and savoury and garlic all at once in every bite.

This recipe was created for The Right Side of Life, a Safal community on Facebook. If you’re interested in eating healthier and involving food in different aspects of wellness, this is a group for you. We’re planning lots of activities and content for this group that I’m sure you’ll love!

The delightful blend of flavours and textures in this dish makes it quite an addictive snack.


  • Sweet potatoes, washed boiled and thickly sliced
  • Spring onion greens (the green portion), sliced
  • Garlic, sliced or chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lemon wedges or juice
  • Ghee or butter for frying


  1. Heat ghee, butter or oil in a pan, enough for shallow frying
  2. Fry the sliced sweet potato until golden brown and crisp on each side. Take off the flame and keep warm.
  3. Add more ghee, butter or oil in a pan, enough to saute the amount of spring onions you have in mind.
  4. Fry some garlic in there until it begins to turn brown. Add the spring onions and a few seconds later, a sprinkle of salt. Cook until it’s as tender as you like.
  5. Serve as a snack, appetiser or side dish with a few wedges of lemon.


  • Sweet potato slices can be as thick or thin as you like
  • Don’t fry the sweet potatoes for too long or they’ll go dry
  • When boiling the sweet potato, you know it’s cooked when a knife or fork poked in, goes in easily and comes out just as easily.
  • You can use any type of oil/fat you prefer
  • The spring onions will reduce in quantity after cooking. Use a little extra.
  • You can use the whites of the spring onions too if you want.
  • Experiment with orange juice instead of lemon for a twist.

A video of how I made it.

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Baingan, Bajra, Dal

I try to get away from normal food combinations, sometimes for variety, but mostly to break my personal food patterns, which in the case of traditional combinations, usually cause overeating, especially of the carb component.

This platter makes for involved eating.

The individual components were prepared as follows:

  • Baingan / Aubergine: 1.5 cm thick slices of baingan are smeared with a paste/solution of haldi (turmeric), namak (salt) / mirch (chili powder) and left aside for a few minutes. Make the paste/solution as strong or diluted as you wish, favouring whichever flavours you like. Heat oil in a pan and slowly cook the baingan, covered for about 5 minutes each, flipping once in between.
  • Urad Dal: Boiled in salted water, sprinkled with sesame oil later.
  • Bajra: Pressure cooked in salted water.
  • Red Blob: A delicious, baby mango pickle Jayanthi Narayan was kind enough to share when she passed through Delhi. My first time with this kind of pickle. Goes great with curd rice.
  • Topping: Onions, curry leaves / kadi patta, garlic, mustard seeds (these go first) and pumpkin seeds fried in desi ghee.

Recipes Travel Trending

Choriz, Anda, Bread

The family and I were in Goa a couple of weeks ago and during this time, I was constantly trolled by a friend, because I wasn’t eating a dish called Choriz Poee, basically spicy Goan sausages / chorizo with a local bread called poee. In my defence, not a single restaurant served the stuff!

Poee have pockets and are dusted with wheat bran. These above were served with chilli fried pork that Cherie ate one afternoon for lunch.

On our way to the airport for the return flight home, I found a shop selling locally made rosary sausages, which are so much nicer than those in packets. Ranging in price from INR 2.50 to INR 25 per link, the fillings in these include pork skin, fat and meat, depending on the price. We also stopped by a small bakery, trying to find some pav, and found these two cats with gorgeous eyes and permanently fluffy tails. We didn’t find any pav though. A storm had caused power issues, and that prevented them from kneading and baking. Woe is me.

Both pals had really fluffy tails and lovely eyes. You can see the leaves and branches among a great deal of destruction elsewhere, due to the storm. We were lucky our flight was only delayed by an hour or so.

Once home, fearing more merciless poking by said friend, an Andhra boy BTW, we quickly cooked them.

We bought three types of these rosary sausages/choriz. What you see is about two hundred rupees worth and was enough for our dinner plus leftovers.
  • Boiled the lot
  • Removed the meat from the casings.
  • Boiled the casings in the residual water to get every bit of fat and spice in there.
  • Reduced the residual water
  • Fried onions separately
  • Added all the sausage filling plus some potatoes to the reduced residual water. Then added the onions fried separately.
The vinegary taste reduced a bit due to boiling, and I was thankful for that. It’s the one thing I don’t like about Goan choriz. The rest of the flavours were retained and so was all the water used for boiling the stuff.

The poee I made wasn’t really poee. More like leavened (yeast), thick, whole wheat phulkas. Made it on the gas and puffed them on the naked flame. All they had in common with poees, were the pockets.

Choriz, Anda, Bread. Poor plating, I know. But we were hungry!

The lot was then put on a plate along with a chopped up omelette, sent photo to abovementioned troll/friend. Phew. :D

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Chicken and Vegetables in Alfredo Sauce

Sometimes, we feel the need to eat rich foods without compromising on flavour in the name of health. I do that too every so often, and dishes like this are the end result – loads of calories packing a bunch of flavours and textures.

You can choose any pasta of your choice to go with this dish. We chose penne and next time, may go with hand-made noodles, which always taste so very good!

chicken and vegetables in alfredo sauce on a bed of penne.


  • Broccoli, 1 medium sized piece, trimmed and finely chopped
  • Bell pepper, red, 1 medium sized piece, trimmed and finely chopped
  • Mushrooms, button, 1 packet, trimmed and finely chopped
  • Chicken breast, optional, 250gm, finely chopped
  • Garlic, fresh, peeled and finely chopped
  • Garlic, powder, 1 tbsp
  • Italian spice, per taste
  • Chili flakes, per taste
  • Salt, per taste
  • Cream, 200 gm pack
  • Butter, 100 gm pack
  • Cheese of your choice, 100gm, grated


  1. Melt butter in pan
  2. Saute the garlic first, then the mushrooms and then the chicken
  3. When the chicken is no longer pink anymore, add the bell pepper and broccoli and mix a bit.
  4. Add the cream, mix in all the spices (garlic powder, Italian spice, salt, chili flakes), lower the flame to a simmer.
  5. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes to soften the bell peppers a little.
  6. Stir in the cheese.
  7. Serve hot on a bed of rice or pasta.


  • We used Domino’s spice sachets. If you don’t have any of the two, basil+oregano works well. Fresh basil, even better.
  • You can also add onions if you like to the initial mixture
  • You can also add other vegetables like peas, finely chopped cauliflower, blanched spinach among others to increase the nutritional density.