Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Recipe: Kaffir Lime Aioli

Kaffir Lime Aioli 

1.5 tsp – kaffir lime leaves
Step 1: Assemble Ingredients
1 tsp garlic
1 no – egg yolk
1/4th – tsp Dijon mustard paste
1 no – lemon juice
To taste – salt
1 tsp – pepper pwd
130 ml – oil


  •          Chop the kaffir lime leaves and garlic fine and keep aside.
  •          In a bowl combine the egg yolk , mustard paste , salt and pepper and mix to combine.
Step 2: Combine Ingredients & Mix
  •          Start adding the oil bit by bit while whisking lightly till a quarter is well blended and your mixture begins to form into a thick paste.
  •      Add the rest of the oil and mix well to combine.
  •      Add the kaffir lime leaves and garlic and stir in well. 
Step 3: Serve with a platter of delicious seafood!

Recipe by Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal

Recipe: Chilli Chocolate Fondue

Assemble Ingredients

  • 200ml Cream
  • 250gms Chocolate,chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger powder
  • 1tbsp Red chili powder
  • 2tsp Coriander powder


Step 1: Gently heat the cream.
Step 2: Pour over chopped chocolate and mix till melted.
Step 3: Add the spices and mix well until thick.
Step 4: Serve with fruit, cake, turkish apricots, greek delights from our shelves.
Making Chilli Chocolate Sauce
Arrange on a fondue platter with assorted fruits and cakes!

Store in air-tight containers in the fridge for up to 2 weeks!

Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal

Recipe: Chatpatta Kumquat Salsa to dress up your Kebab Platter

Go beyond the usual pyaaz nimbu and green chutney with this colorful tangy sweet spicy blend of fruit with a kiss of green chilli. Grill up ready to eat kebabs from Nature's Basket, arrange on a platter and add a bowl of this wonderful salsa!                           


Assemble Ingredients
2 cups mixed fruit, diced fine (mix of Kiwi,  melons, green apples, pears)                                                              
3/4th cup kumquats/oranges sliced fine    
2-3 tbsp green chilli, sliced
2 tbsp honey   
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp chaat masala                                     
Combine ingredients in a bowl, add dressing and mix well!
Combine all the prepared ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Serve chilled with hot fresh grilled kebabs.

Serve with delicious Kebabs!
Note: Kumquats are miniature Oranges with a sweet skin and can be eaten whole. They add a burst of freshness to cut through heavy kebabs.

Recipe by Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal

Recipe: Sweet Canapes

Throwing a Diwali party but not sure what to serve? Try this quick recipe for sweet canapes that look so impressive, your guests will never know how easy they are to make.


6-12 Tart shells 

For filling:

150 ml – whip topping (already whipped)

1 pkt – blueberries

1 pkt – red currents

1 box – cream cheese 

1⁄2 tsp vanilla bean paste

Ingredients Assembled
Piping in the filling

Topping with Fresh Berries


- Whip up the whip topping. 

- In a bowl make combine the vanilla paste and cream cheese. Fold in the whip topping.

- Put the cream in a piping bag with a star nozzle and make a rose swirl into the tart/canapĂ© shell. 

- Pipe the cream cheese mixture in the tart and garnish with whole berries.

- Alternatively drizzle a little fruit puree over cream cheese mix before garnishing with the berries.

And, ready to serve!

Recipe by Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Dried Fruit

Every year, without fail the arrival of large and small boxes wrapped in shiny paper and colourful ribbons, full of crunchy nuts and rich dry fruits signals the start of the festive season. From ancient times when Mesopotamian cultures sun dried dates and dry figs to the dried apricots, prunes, sultanas, cranberries and nuts of today, humans across the world have been preserving and savouring fruit and nuts for eons.

Dried fruit have always signified the best one can offer a guest or a loved one. Dry fruits and nuts have always been a household mainstay during diwali time. But that doesn’t always have to be badam, kaju, and pista. This festive season create and set out an assortment of dried fruit in a variety of textures and flavours. Go beyond the usual and try something new.

Set out a lovely dry fruit platter adorned with colourful gems of dried blueberries, cranberries, Turkish dates stuffed with chocolate and hazelnuts, and a range of chocolate-coated nuts is a new and modern twist on traditional favorite. It is sure to impress friends and family if presented as a festive guest and will keep your household guests munching.Try mixing nuts and dry fruit up and serving in unusual ways, pair roasted almonds with sour cranberries, salted pistachios with Turkish apricots, candied walnuts and raisins, add chocolate covered raisins, slivers of dried apricots and dates stuffed with nuts together on a platter to serve up to loved ones.

Move past roasted and salted nuts and experiment with flavouring hazelnuts, cashewnuts, macademias with your signature flavours. Some popular options include black pepper-honey, rosemary-parmesan, cinnamon-brown sugar to name a few. Simply coat the nuts in the mix and bake till crisp.

Add colour to our gift baskets with dry fruit in colours of the rainbow… tropical fruits like mango, pineapple, papaya and kiwi are available dried and candied. The sheer range in colour, texture and flavour is mind boggling. Great to eat by themselves add to a muesli for breakfast or as a surprise burst of flavour in salads. Play around with the flavours of delicious dried fruit by pairing them with ingredients like meat or vegetables in savoury dishes. Lamb and apricots is a good combination as are dried cherries and chicken. Or add rich flavor to desserts. The sweetness and texture of dried fruits like apricots, dates, cranberries, raisins work wonderfully in chutneys, compotes and preserves which pair wonderfully with ice cream, cake, as filling for pies and tarts.

Apart from being served as a delicious snack, exotic dried berries like cranberries, blueberries and apricots can be incorporated very well into modern and creative diwali sweets. Phirni is a dessert that is a lot more versatile than it may seem, and it lends itself very well to Indian trifles. For elegant and colourful plated desserts at diwali dinner parties make trifles with layers of phirni, cranberries, blueberries and apricots, in shot glasses, and top them off with a few chopped nuts.

For the gourmands among your loved ones, a selection of roasted nuts by Planters, Tong Garden or our very own Le Exclusif range would be a thoughtful and cherished gift. We also have gift hampers created around dried fruit for gifting friends that are far away this season. Have more dried fruits than you know what to do with? Combine it with oats for a homemade muesli or soak in rum or brandy for a boozy fruitcake or Christmas pudding. After all Christmas is just around the corner isn’t it?

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Hosting An Italian Themed Party

The festive season has kicked off and will be around for the next few months. The twinkle of the fairy lights and the warm feeling of celebration are in the air. Its an apt time to indulge the family in an evening of Italian food and wine. The great thing about Italian cuisine is its ability to scale up into an elegant, sit down affair or to cater for a more relaxed, easy going gathering for friends and family.     

While the food is key to the success to any party, an ideal ambience certainly helps. For an elegant sit down meal, use white pasta plates and bowls against a brown table with off white-golden napkins. Complete the look with a small flower arrangements to brighten things up. Candles burning in empty Chianti bottles are ideal to create  atmosphere. Set Andrea Bocelli or Luciano Pavarotti to play softly in the background for a great setting to an Italian themed party.

A distinctive feature of a true Italian meal is the number of courses that causes one to linger over the table for hours together, savouring the food, company and conversation. Therefore when planning such a meal, prepare moderate quantities of food to satisfy a diner over the span of 3-4 courses. An authentic Italian meal begins with the Antipasti; a platter of crusty bread, some cheese, shavings of prosciutto, briny capers, spiced olives, roasted peppers or maybe a light Carpaccio, fried zucchini flowers, an assortment of Bruschetta or salads like Panzanella, Insalata Caprese to name a few.

This is followed up by the Primo; the first course of the actual meal which is typically a small serving of pasta, gnocchi, rice or polenta. Wow your guests by serving up a gnocchi or polenta dish instead of pasta. Or impress them with an impeccable risotto. Elevate the entire experience by serving up a matching wine.
Once this course is relished, present the secondo; which is a small serving of fish, chicken or meat that is often grilled and served without a sauce. Some excellent options would be a tender, fragrant Osso bucco, a chicken, pancetta and bean stew, Porchetta or Cacciatore.

Lay out simply cooked, seasonal vegetables to accompany the secondo. This vegetarian course is called the contorno and can be stuffed artichokes or peppers, eggplant caponata or even wilted greens with garlic.

Once this course is polished off and your guests are reclining in their seats, bring out the dolci or desserts. Typically a bowl of fresh, seasonal fruit, chocolate or nut biscotti or Savoiardi biscuits is served with amaretto or another dessert wine. Yet on occasion the Italians also make a variety of plated desserts like tiramisu, panna cotta. Another great ending to a fabulous meal is the affogato; a bowl of vanilla ice cream doused in freshly brewed espresso.