Pear tarte tatin, anyone? 

Whenever I remove the cap of my bottle of nuoc mam in our Harrow flat, Southeast Asia is back to me, honking in my nostrils. 

Quite a while ago now, my first encounter with the stinky amber coloured fish sauce in Ho Chi Minh City wasn’t exactly love at the first sniff, but I grew used to it pretty quickly and even developed a strange liking. Over three years and several bottles of fish sauce later, my obsession prevails.:)

This colourful and feather light poha (Indian-style spiced rice flakes with peanuts) should say it all what I’d like for the new year: liveliness, courage, flavours, sharing, simplicity and harmony spiced with a little boldness.

Happy 2014!

  1. Camera: Canon EOS 1000D
  2. Aperture: f/11
  3. Exposure: 1/160th
  4. Focal Length: 61mm

Though I’m still kicking myself for the imperfect crust, I have to admit, I still loved the looks of my tarte paysanne (recipe courtesy of fantastic Chefparade). Just like one of its sweet predecessors, a tarte tatin I’d made earlier, this beauty also prided itself on braving London underground to attend a wine tasting party! Thanks again for the fun afternoon, Zsuzsika and Gareth and enjoy South East Asia! 

  1. Camera: Canon EOS 1000D
  2. Aperture: f/11
  3. Exposure: 1/200th
  4. Focal Length: 51mm

Indian food again. Now it’s to the point when I know the Hindi names of various vegetables and it’s not uncommon for Amit, our flatmate from Jaipur to say things like “as an Indian, you’ll appreciate this” or to simply play any Bollywood hit assuming it will be just as close to my heart as to his. 

Well, at least I really don’t mind all the great curries we get to eat at home and it’s certainly flattering to get praised for my Indian cooking - by another native Indian:)

  1. Camera: Canon EOS 1000D
  2. Aperture: f/11
  3. Exposure: 1/80th
  4. Focal Length: 61mm

If you don’t like it, don’t do it. Yesterday I woke up to peaceful, sweet unemployment again and celebrated my regained freedom with some nice Indian comfort food - a dry paneer and peas curry with basmati rice.

Very contented and ready to explore pastures new!

According to a tv ad that attempts to console its viewers about the UK’s miserable weather, we should actually not lament the damp greyness outside because at least it’s great for growing apples! Well, true, you can really get some nice apples here. Take the crunchy and slightly sourish Cox variety for example, which are perfect for baked treats such as Tarte Tatin as they keep their shape better and refuse to become mushy even after prolonged cooking times. Mmm they are lovely cooked in sweet caramel!

P.S.: But I still want the Indian Summer back!!

The abundance of sausages in this country is making me want to use them for all kinds of (usually otherwise sausage-free) dishes. So I went along and created this wonderfully easy pasta dish with fresh tagliatelle generously topped with a velvety, earthy flavoured sauce made with lightly sauteed chopped sausages, mushrooms, garlic, white wine and double cream (another recent addiction).

When almost done, I realised the coriander bunch on the window sill was throwing envious looks at me for being left out of the whole business, so to pacify it I sprinkled a few leaves over the pasta – I know, I know I should have used flat leaf parsley, but who cares? It was so goood.

  1. Camera: Canon EOS 1000D
  2. Aperture: f/11
  3. Exposure: 1/6th
  4. Focal Length: 77mm

One of the last dishes I made before packing our stuff and moving to wonderful Curry Land for David`s studies was these springy heaps of Vietnamese rice noodles topped with lovely, fragrant greens and pork stripes marinated in Asian spices. Yum.

Can`t wait to move into our new place where I can get back to cooking! New photos to come soon!

  1. Camera: Canon EOS 1000D
  2. Aperture: f/7.1
  3. Exposure: 1/50th
  4. Focal Length: 50mm

Over three action-packed and stressful weeks have passed since my last blog entry.. currently in the midst of relocating to London: exciting!! 

This beautiful kebab made of tender lamb, crisp lettuce and fresh herbs wrapped in pita was one of my favourite quick eats during the summer and a nice memory of a fun trip to Berlin. Thank you, Berlin for the great food, we’ll be back!

  1. Camera: Canon EOS 1000D
  2. Aperture: f/5.6
  3. Exposure: 1/15th
  4. Focal Length: 86mm

Figs are fantastic creatures with their mild flavour and fibrous yet juicy texture. And who could resist this creme brulee topped with with caramelised pistachios and fresh figs? Not me. Thanks Paul, for saving a portion for me!

  1. Camera: Canon EOS 1000D
  2. Aperture: f/6.3
  3. Exposure: 1/640th
  4. Focal Length: 78mm

Though a bit later than most people, I have eventually taken a liking to certain summer fruits, such as apricots and plums. However, I can confirm they taste even better embedded in the surface of a bread pudding with loads of hot apricot jam, freshly taken out of the oven. 

  1. Camera: Canon EOS 1000D
  2. Aperture: f/6.3
  3. Exposure: 1/60th
  4. Focal Length: 45mm

I am officially obsessed with Vietnamese food - I have always liked all things green and in Vietnamese cooking the contrast of flavours, textures and temperatures are simply brilliant and full of imagination.

It was the second time I attended our Vietnamese cooking class by Lien, a tiny, very funny lady who has been living in Hungary for over 30 years and the effect of the dishes she made us cook was the same as the first time: I ate till I dropped.

I am not creative only absent-minded. Last night’s innovation at Juhi & Balázs’s place was Thai chicken with almonds (the little pale bitches pretended to be cashews). And we made some good old Tom Yum soup, too.  

  1. Camera: Samsung GT-I9300
  2. Aperture: f/2.6
  3. Exposure: 1/17th
  4. Focal Length: 3mm

Having to switch to “test mode” at home as part of preparing for the classes that I am starting to take on at Chefparade always fills me with excitement and anticipation. It is so wonderful to experience the sense of flow when becoming fully absorbed in cooking - especially when the by-products are as yummy as this Sichuan-style beef with celery!

  1. Camera: Canon EOS 1000D
  2. Aperture: f/6.3
  3. Exposure: 1/10th
  4. Focal Length: 86mm