Saturday, January 27, 2007

my bombay blog is now live!

dear friends

just to let you know that my bombay blog is now live at:

lulu loves bombay

hope to see you there soon!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

bye bye london, hello bombay!

today is my last saturday in london. it all happened really fast. both h and i are relocating to bombay for our respective jobs. we're flying back next thursday. we're taking a few weeks off to settle down and then it's back to work in january.

i'm sad to leave london after just a year in this fantastic city but i'm really looking forward to going back home after six years in america and england. can't complain much though as we've really lived it up for four years in san francisco, a year and a half in new york and a year in london. our friends tease us that we are steadily making our way eastwards every few years! by that count, hong kong is probably next in our destiny :)

bombay has changed by leaps and bounds in the time that i've been away. the food scene is especially eclectic these days and i can't wait to discover bombay's food secrets and share them with you. bombay has a tough act to follow after san francisco, new york and london but at the rate it's changing i have no doubt that i'll love it even more than i always have.

i look forward to seeing you back in january at my new blog. no prizes for guessing the URL!!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

spaghetti aglio e olio

h loves his pasta as simple as can be. and the sure way to get him oohing and aahing about my cooking is to make his favourite kind of pasta - spaghetti lightly tossed in garlic, chili pepper flakes, fresh or dried herbs and olive oil.

i start by heating 3 or 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet. this is just about enough for 2 portions of cooked spaghetti. depending on how much pasta you plan to cook and how oily you like your pasta, you have to use your judgement on how much olive oil you'll need.

when the oil is nicely heated, i add 2 cloves of chopped garlic and let it sizzle before turning down the heat so that the garlic does not get burnt. i then add half a fistful of chilli pepper flakes (h likes his pasta really spicy!) and another half a fistful of dried italian herbs. you can also add fresh herbs like oregano and parsley, if on hand, but make sure you add it just after tossing the spaghetti and not at this stage. finally, i add sea salt and freshly ground pepper and allow the sauce to simmer on very low heat.

meanwhile, i start boiling a big pot of salted water, cook the spaghetti as desired and then drain. i usually save just a bit of water in case i messed up on the proportions of aglio e olio and the spagetthi ends up being a bit dry. add the cooked spaghetti to the sauce and toss well. you can add freshly grated parmesan if you like cheese with your pasta.

toasted baguette slices with a paprika garlic spread go really well with spaghetti aglio e olio.

thinly slice half a baguette. mix together garlic paste, paprika, salt and pepper. spread on the bread and toast lightly.

enjoy with a nice glass of red wine!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

fajita burrito

there's nothing quite like a quick and easy mexican meal to satisfy a weeknight carb craving.

slice a medium-sized onion into inch-long strips. do the same for a green pepper and a red pepper. put all the slice veggies into a bowl. add half a tablespoon of olive oil and mix well. use your hands to make sure the oil gets well rubbed on the veggies. heat a heavy bottomed saute pan or stove-top grill until very hot. add the veggies and wait until they are nicely browned. remove and keep aside.

in a separate sautee pan, add a small chopped onion and sautee in half a tablespoon of olive oil until translucent. add a crushed garlic clove and mix well for a minute. then add four medium tomatoes, chopped. allow to cook on medium heat for another 10 minutes or so. add a can of red kidney beans or black beans. then add a tablespoon of fajita spice mix, if on hand. otherwise, just add some cayenne and dried oregano to give a quasi mexican feel!

warm a tortilla. spread a big ladle of beans. top with sizzling onions and peppers. fold the tortilla burrito-style and dig in!

Saturday, November 18, 2006


i've been real lazy of late. i just haven't been in the mood to cook at all. and i've been watching way too much of b4u music channel.

but i got a burst of energy which i quickly channeled into making a big batch of ratatouille which lasted me all week long to eat with crepes, pasta and even as an acompaniment to toast.

here's georgeanne brennan's recipe (stolen from one of my earlier blog posts!) which you can adjust depending on the fresh herbs and vegetables you have on hand. i'm not a huge zucchini fan so i tend to use a lot more of the other vegetables like peppers, tomatoes and eggplant.

1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic
2 medium-sized yellow onions, chopped
2 medium-sized eggplants, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 medium-sized zucchini, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 large green, red, or yellow sweet peppers, seeded, deribbed, and cut into 1-inch squares
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
3 1/2 to 4 pounds ripe tomatoes (10 to 12 medium sized), peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh basil

in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or soup pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil. just as it begins to smoke, reduce the hear to medium-low and add the garlic and onions. saute until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. add the eggplants, stir well, and saute, stirring and turning until well coated with oil and slightly softened, another 4 or 5 minutes.

add the thyme, bay leaf, tomatoes, salt, and black pepper. stir and turn another 2 or 3 minutes, then cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and have blended together, about 40 minutes.

stir in the basil and remove from the heat. transfer to a serving dish and serve hot, at room temperature, or cold.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

nobu london


the observer calls nobu "the sexiest restaurant in the world" and vogue magazine considers it "the hippest restaurant chain". i love nobu because they serve lychee martinis to die for and the sushi is as fresh as it possibly can be.

h and i frequented nobu in new york. though it is incredibly hard to get reservations, we always lucked out on walk-in seating though we had to wait for over an hour sometimes. the main attraction was chef nobu matsuhisa's take on japanese cuisine. i was particularly thrilled with the choice i had as a vegetarain - from tender tofu simmered in various soy sauces to the most succulent kappa rolls.

nobu london, however, is all about the "scene". especially at the lounge baron the ground floor where all the action is at. the minimalist decor keeps the focus on the beautiful people and the absolutely delicious cocktails like the lychee martinis ensure that the buzz continues all night long. while nobu london is quite the magnet for a-list celebrity types, there is a healthy mix of young professionals as well. most people dress to kill at nobu but you won't feel left out in designer jeans and a smart shirt. just don't show up in sneakers. oh, and even though this is such an upscale restaurant, the ambience is not uptight at all and the service is very good. just be prepared to spend quite a bit. a dinner for two with drinks can easily set you back a hundred quid.

with the festive season just around the corner, gather a group of friends and head to nobu for a fun night out. for the more romantically inclined, nobu london is also the perfect spot to rekindle an old flame or flirt outrageously with a stranger across the bar!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

cherry tomato and basil pasta salad

the temperature has suddenly dipped in london and it's hovering in the single digits these days. i long for the sultr summer days, which just a few months ago seemed liked they were here to stay. instead of making hot soups and other comfort foods, i'm stubbornly resisting the notion that winter is upon us. at least for now.

as a symbol of my defiance, i made a cold pasta salad bursting with the summer flavours of tomato and basil. i had some left over paparadelle which i cooked in lots of salted water and allowed to cool for about ten minutes. then i added some chopped sweet cherry tomatoes to the pasta. this was followed by a couple of cloves of crushed garlic followed by handful of loosely torn basil leaves. finally, i drizzled some extra virgin olive oil and seasoned with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

as i bit into the summer freshness of my salad, i closed my eyes and dreamt about the beaches of sardinia, the weekend getaways to paris and barcelona, the long summer evenings spent at outdoor cafes in west london, the walks in kensington park at eight pm when it was still light, rollerblading in notting hill and everything else that made the summer of '06 so memorable and the winter feel terribly depressing now.