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A River Flows Through It

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Olive Oil Cake

The other day, Food52 published a story on their most popular genius dessert ever. And it turned out not to be something faffy or chocolate-y or fruity. Instead, it was the plain and humble olive oil cake. I've never baked with olive oil though I have used the more neutral oils in cakes before. This one does let the olive oil shine with all its personality. This is also one of the simplest cakes you will ever bake, so maybe that accounts for the popularity.

The original recipe is for a full cake but I reduced it to a third and baked 6 cupcakes instead. Mine's also a pale vanilla colour whereas the one on food52 is a rich brown so there is a chance I underbaked it. It's quite soft and nice and tasty all the same.

Ingredients
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 tsp baking powder
100 ml extra virgin olive oil
100 ml whole milk
1 egg
1/2 tbsp orange zest
45 ml fresh orange juice

Line 6 muffin tins and set on a tray. Preheat the oven to 180C.

Mix f…

Black Bean Soup

I first saw this black bean soup on David Lebovitz's blog about a month back. I made it almost immediately and loved it. Then I made it again and then I made it a third time. I have been tinkering with the recipe and while I think the soup is now perfect and one of the best I've ever made, it no longer bears any resemblance to what David made. Which is why it seems right to share this recipe here before I forget it.

The key difference is that I use canned ancho chillies and other pantry goodies whereas David uses a lot of fresh vegetables. They are both great so pick the recipe depending on what you have in the pantry or fridge. Here's my version.

Ingredients
1/2 cup dried black beans
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
1 ancho chilli (I have a jar of ancho in oil)
2 tbsp pitted green olives
1 tbsp capers
1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
To garnish
sour cream
dried mint
crushed nachos

Wash and soak the black beans overnigh…

Easy Peasy Chocolate Mousse

Valentine's Day is just a day away which means that right now, you are in one of the two categories. You either planned ahead and have dinner reservations at a trendy restaurant and a box of chocolates tucked away to bring out at the right moment. Or you are looking for excuses on why celebrating love just once a year makes no sense, driven largely by the fact that everything is too cheesy and too crowded and too sold out at the moment.

I personally remain a fan of staying at home not just for Valentine's but also for other crowd attracting festivals and new year's eves etc. This usually translates to ordering in pizza. But one thing I never order in is dessert. This particular year, food52 came up with an idea so genius and so easy just in time, I haven't even had to research cake recipes. For what they have is a super simple, super easy and completely fuss free chocolate mousse.

Now yogurt and orange marmalade aren't the first things to come to mind when you think …

Ten Years of Blogging

It was the evening of 3rd February, 2008. I had just baked my first cookie, and I was mighty proud of myself. This was the time before smartphones so I found my point and shoot camera and took a picture of the chocolate shortbread. Then, not knowing what to do with it and where to save the recipe, I went to blogger and set myself up a blog page. I thought it will be a good way to store recipes as I bake more. I couldn't have thunk that I will sit here, the morning of 3rd February, 2018, celebrating ten years of blogging.

400 recipes and countless friendships later, the blog is now an integral part of my life. As I have tried new foods, met fantastic people and gone on fabulous journeys, Bombay Foodie has witnessed and chronicled it all. My recipes may look more complex now than 2008, my food a bit more nuanced, and I am surely a better cook thanks to all the experiments and all the failures I shared with you.

Thank you, dear readers, all the thousands of you who stop by each month …

Farm to Fork in Chail

Back in 19th century, when Shimla was the summer capital of India, the Maharaja of Patiala got the British rulers riled over his dalliances and got banned from entering the city. Not the one to be put down so easily, he found a tiny little town about an hour from Shimla and made Chail his very own summer capital. Today, Chail still has the impressive Palace that the Maharaja built and the highest cricket ground in the world. There really isn't much more to the city apart from a small local market and a couple of hotels that get spillover crowd from Shimla in the summers. It's a pleasant little diversion but that's not why I went to Chail. I stopped nine kilometers short of the town to make Ekam my home for a weekend.

Sumeet Singal built this house on a cliff as his own weekend home. Today, even when Ekam is open as a luxury boutique resort, the cosy homely feeling remains intact. I asked Sumeet what there was to do during my three day holiday at Ekam. He told me that ther…

Fruits of the Forest

I know there hasn't been a new recipe on these pages for a while. But worry not, I'm back with a real zinger. Earthy, creamy, crunchy - this is an appetizer that ticks all the right boxes. And if you happen to be a mushroom lover like me, this is the best way to eat mushrooms I've found so far. I present to you, for all your year end parties and appetizer cravings - creamy mushroom pate on toast.

Its mushroom pate two way - just on its own and panko-crumbed and fried. Both go on a crisp garlic baguette with watercress and some kewpie mayonnaise. Here's the recipe.

Ingredients
Crunchy garlic butter toasts (I buy them as is, but you can also slice and toast baguettes)
200 grams button mushrooms
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp cream cheese
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
kewpie mayonnaise (or regular mayonnaise)
watercress or micro herbs
salt and black pepper to taste
oil for deep frying

First, make mushroom pate. Y…