A new vegetarian cook book! – Diva Green by Ritu Dalmia

Bookcover

I have always loved Delhi-based Chef Ritu Dalmia for her ceaseless energy, cool ideas, cooking style and everything else in between. She is the owner and head of a restaurant called Diva in the capital, a book writer, a television anchor and one of the top-most chefs in this country. So when I heard that she had come up with a new cookbook, I couldn’t wait to get myself a copy. What made wanting the book even more desirable was the that fact that it was an ALL-VEGETARIAN COOKBOOK!

For those of you who don’t know, apart from writing for Alice on this website, I also have my own space called www.whenharrymetcelery.wordpress.com, where I yap about my vegetarian culinary experiments. This book is something that is totally up my street, giving me endless ideas to dabble with.

Unlike most cookbooks that are divided into cuisines or courses, Diva Green is categorised on the basis of ingredients. Chef Dalmia coolly separates various sections in her book into compartments such as potatoes, pumpkin, greens, fruits, dairies, tomato, etc and lists down recipes that use that particular ingredient in central space.

Though the recipes cut across many Indian and international cuisine, they are easy to make, require minimal planning and fit right into the schedule of a busy cook.

To give you a sneak peek, here is an excerpt from this book….

Sweet pumpkin fritters

Sweet Pumpkin Fritters

My friend John Jackson runs the Royal Malewane, the most amazing lodge in the Kruger National Park in South Africa. John is an accomplished chef and a very creative man and runs the place like a dream. When I was there a few years ago, I was putting on an average of a kilo per day, with two breakfasts – one before the safari and one on our return – lazy lunches and delicious, elaborate dinners. I must admit the main courses did not do for me what the side dishes or the accompaniments did. One of these, which I ordered extras of all the time, was the local pumpkin fritters, a bit savoury and a bit sweet. They were served as a side dish with the entrées, but I drizzled them with maple syrup and ate them as dessert. They are very easy to make and can be done with very few ingredients. Another example of the versatility of the amazing pumpkin in salty or sweet preparations! Waka Waka!

INGREDIENTS

750g ripe pumpkin, peeled, seeds removed and cubed

100g refined flour

1tsp baking powder

A pinch of salt

A pinch of cinnamon powder

1 tbsp sugar

2 eggs

Vegetable oil for frying

A splash of maple syrup (optional)

Icing sugar (optional)

METHOD

Boil the pumpkin for 25 to 30 minutes, drain it and process it in a blender till it is a smooth purée.

In a clean bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and sugar.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs well and combine with the pumpkin purée. Add the dry ingredients to this and mix well.

Heat a non-stick pan with enough oil to shallow fry. Once the oil is smoking, drop spoonfuls of batter into the hot oil and fry in batches till brown on both sides.

Remove with a slotted spoon and drain the excess oil on paper towels.

Serve with a dusting of icing sugar and, if you want, a drizzle of maple syrup.

Introducing Celery

Alice wanders with Celery

Alice wanders with Celery

You know you’re doing something right when a friend reads your blog, comments, encourages and even guest posts for you. You already know Celery but a formal introduction is in order as she partners with me on Alice Wandering… and we take this blog to the moon and you with us. :D

Sonal Ved

Sonal Ved

Sonal Ved is a camera-shy writer, food critic, vegetarian baker and a blogger at When Harry Met Celery.  After a stint at a popular Mumbai-based tabloid, she is now consulting for bakeries. Buying exotic cheeses in the name of research, taming her kitchen garden, collecting cookie cutters and lunching during ‘work’ hours are her hobbies.

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Alice & Celery wander to Häagen Dazs for a tasting | Fun fun fun

There couldn’t be a better way to beat the heat than to head to the Häagen Dazs lounge at Phoenix Mills on a weekday. Of course, it can only get better if Alice (of Alice Wandering…) is meeting Celery (of When Harry met Celery) there.

Fondue at Haagen Dazs

Fondue at Haagen Dazs

After tasting literally every flavour (almost 20) at the counter, we settled on “summer berries and cream”, “Belgian chocolate” and “dulce de leche” as our favourites. We were in for a treat as the “fondue”, “summer blossom” and “paradise” creations landed on the table. Split among 6 of us, the fondue was finished in about 3 minutes and summer blossom and paradise in even lesser time.

The Häagen Dazs fondue is one of their signature creations. A pot of melting dark chocolate sauce is surrounded by mini ice cream scoops, fruits and patisserie. Priced at Rs 1300, every fondue comes with four mini scoops of Belgian Chocolate, Strawberry, Cookies & Cream and Vanilla each, eight cubes of sponge cake, three pieces of hard cookies, picola sticks, seasonal fruits and chocolate chip cookies. Sounds yum, doesn’t it? My mouth is watering at the sight and I want to go back for more.

Flower Blossom at Haagen Dazs

Flower Blossom at Haagen Dazs

Flower Blossom and Paradise are pretty much variations of the same concoction. While one is a crunchy waffle basket of vanilla, strawberry, coffee and chocolate ice-cream, raspberry and mango sorbet dressed with hot fudge and raspberry sauce, the other is a mountain of flat waffles dripping with chocolate sauce.

Paradise at Haagen Dazs

Paradise at Haagen Dazs

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Spa lunch at Koh | Girly day out

As promised to each other and you lovely readers, Sonal (of whenharrymetcelery) and I have been catching up for lunches and snacks, gossiping, laughing and reviewing the newest menus in town. Koh by Ian Kittichai at the Intercontinental, Marine Drive has introduced set lunches and we had to honour our long standing invitation to try them out. So we did and we’re filling you in.

Spa Lunch at Koh by Ian Kittichai

Spa Lunch at Koh by Ian Kittichai

The chef is a dear friend of Sonal’s and we relied completely on his recommendations. He suggested we taste the appetizers he sends for us and then choose from one of the set lunches. I opted for the spa lunch while Sonal opted for the classic. Of course, we didn’t forget desserts. :P

Food tasting : Koh by Ian Kittichai

Sonal rates the experience 3/5. Here’s what she has to say:

Lemon Grass Cooler

Lemon Grass Cooler

Lemon grass cooler
There is no better way to take revenge from this scorching heat than with a glass of this lemon grass cooler. Hinted with ample lemon grass, this mildly-frizzy nectar is served as a pre-meal drink to stir the appetite for courses to come. Continue reading