3 Indian Restaurants In US Get Michelin One-Star

The 3 restaurants are run by Chefs Vijay Kumar, Chetan Shetty, and Sujan Sarkar

Three Indian eateries received one-star ratings at the first-ever Michelin Guide Ceremony, which was held in New York City and brought together attendees from Chicago, Washington, and New York.

Semma in New York City, Rania in Washington, DC, and Indienne in Chicago were given a one-star rating, which means “high quality cooking, worth a stop,” according to the Michelin guide.

3 Indian Restaurants In US Get Michelin One Star (The Indian Express)Chef Vijay Kumar, renowned for his innovative spin on regional South Indian cuisine, moved from Rasa in San Francisco to run “Semma” in New York. Noting that the restaurant’s “authentic Indian cooking does not pander to American expectations,” the guide advises guests who are not familiar with the flavors and specific dishes to “lean on the staff who know their stuff and are eager to share.”

“Rania” in Washington, DC’s Penn Quarter, is home to Chef Chetan Shetty, who “delivers something entirely enticing here with his inventive menu,” according to the Michelin Guide. “Rania” translates to “queen” in both Sanskrit and Hindi.

According to the guide, Rania’s menu features “plenty of contemporary touches along with a few surprises,” like the braised pig belly vindaloo. Other dishes, like ghee-roasted lamb with a delicate lentil cheela and a buttermilk mousse, have a spicy kick that is balanced with a buttermilk mousse. And finally, there is shiso leaf chaat, which has a playful spirit but elegant overtones.

The guide states that “Indienne” in Chicago is where Chef Sujan Sarkar first gained recognition. For first-timers, it recommends the tasting menu, where Sarkar presents a fresh and contemporary take on Indian cuisine, although there is also an à la carte option.

” Although Sarkar’s cuisine “may seem like works of art, it tastes like well-known favorites from throughout his colorful homeland.” The meal is occasionally infused with a touch of French sensibility, as the guide describes it as “deftly spiced and elegantly presented.”

FDA Approves Zepbound, a Potent Weight Loss Drug – A Game-Changer in the Fight Against Obesity

The recent decision by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to greenlight the weight loss drug tirzepatide has introduced a robust addition to the rapidly expanding array of obesity medications. The drug, set to be marketed under the name Zepbound, shares its active compound with the diabetes medication Mounjaro, which has been utilized off-label for weight loss since its initial approval in May 2022. This FDA approval may pave the way for broader insurance coverage and increased prescriptions.

Zepbound represents the second drug in a novel class of obesity medications sanctioned for weight loss, following Wegovy. According to Dr. Scott Hagan, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Washington, Zepbound is likely the most effective treatment for obesity, rivaling bariatric surgery. However, the availability of Mounjaro, which shares the same compound, has been limited since its market introduction in the previous year.

Dr. Andrew Kraftson, a clinical associate professor at Michigan Medicine, likened the situation to the demand surge witnessed with another medication, Ozempic. He anticipates a similar clamor for Zepbound among patients due to the heightened interest in weight loss medications.

The FDA has specified that Zepbound is approved for individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, categorizing them as having obesity. Alternatively, individuals with a BMI of 27 or more, coupled with certain weight-related conditions like high blood pressure, are also eligible. Regulators recommend using the drug in conjunction with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity.

Manufactured by Eli Lilly, Zepbound is the brand name for tirzepatide when employed for weight loss. When prescribed for diabetes, it goes by the name Mounjaro. Similar to semaglutide, the compound found in Ozempic and Wegovy, tirzepatide works by slowing down stomach emptying, leading to a quicker and prolonged feeling of fullness. Additionally, these drugs target the brain area that regulates appetite, reducing cravings. Tirzepatide, mimicking two hormones compared to semaglutide’s one, is believed to be more effective in inducing weight loss. In a 72-week clinical trial funded by Eli Lilly, participants with obesity taking the highest dose of tirzepatide experienced an average weight loss of around 18 percent.

For individuals already using Ozempic or Wegovy, the efficacy of these medications can vary from person to person. Dr. Janice Jin Hwang from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine emphasizes that factors like other health outcomes should be considered, especially for those at risk of heart failure or liver disease. The risks and benefits of switching medications need careful evaluation, as some individuals may experience excessive weight loss, particularly older people prone to muscle mass reduction.

The issue of insurance coverage and out-of-pocket costs remains a variable, with different plans potentially covering Zepbound for those meeting the FDA’s criteria. Eli Lilly expects Zepbound to be available in the U.S. by the year-end, with a list price of $1,059.87.

As with any medication, tirzepatide is associated with side effects, primarily gastrointestinal issues according to an Eli Lilly-funded study. The highest dose of tirzepatide resulted in approximately one-third of participants experiencing nausea and one-fifth reporting diarrhea. Other reported side effects included abdominal pain, vomiting, constipation, headache, dizziness, burping, hair loss, and gastroesophageal reflux disease, as outlined in the FDA approval. However, due to the novelty of tirzepatide, its long-term effects are not yet fully understood, and individuals using such drugs for weight loss are generally advised to continue them indefinitely.

FDA Proposes Banning Brominated Vegetable Oil from US Food Products

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has put forward a proposal to discontinue the use of brominated vegetable oil (BVO) as an additive in food products across the nation. This move is in response to concerns about its safety and follows California’s recent ban on BVO, making it the first state in the US to do so. It’s worth noting that BVO is already prohibited in Europe and Japan.

James Jones, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for human foods, stated, “The agency concluded that the intended use of BVO in food is no longer considered safe after the results of studies conducted in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health … found the potential for adverse health effects in humans.”

Brominated vegetable oil is a substance created by modifying vegetable oil with bromine, a pungent, deep red chemical. It is typically used as an emulsifier in citrus-flavored beverages to prevent the separation of flavoring. Bromine is also commonly found in flame retardants.

While BVO is still used in some products, especially in sodas, the number of items containing this additive has decreased over the years due to previous restrictions by the FDA. In the 1970s, the FDA reevaluated BVO and determined that it was no longer “Generally Recognized as Safe,” leading to increased regulation of its use.

Furthermore, market pressure and consumer awareness played a significant role in companies voluntarily removing BVO from their products. A petition in 2012 with over 200,000 signatures highlighted the health concerns associated with this ingredient.

Health Risks Associated with Brominated Vegetable Oil

The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit organization focused on consumer health and environmental issues, has identified several health risks linked to BVO. These include damage to the nervous system, headaches, irritation of the skin and mucous membranes, fatigue, loss of muscle coordination, and memory problems. BVO can also accumulate in the body over time.

While the studies that prompted the FDA’s decision were conducted on animals, they revealed negative health effects at levels that closely approximate real-world human exposure. One of the observed harms includes toxic effects on the thyroid gland, which is responsible for producing hormones critical for regulating blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, and metabolism.

The proposal by the FDA to ban BVO is currently open for public comment until January 17, 2024, and it will undergo a review process before a final decision is made. In the meantime, consumers who wish to avoid BVO in their food products are advised to carefully check ingredient lists before making purchases.

Scott Faber, the senior vice president for government affairs at the EWG, expressed his support for the FDA’s move, stating, “Today’s announcement will ensure everyone has access to products that don’t contain BVO.” James Jones of the FDA emphasized that this proposed ban is a result of the agency’s commitment to monitoring emerging evidence and taking regulatory action when safety concerns arise.

India Bans Rice Shipments to Curb Price Rises

India has banned the product of non-basmati white rice trying to avert approaching homegrown cost spikes. Rice prices have increased by more than 11% over the past year as a result of the country’s crops being damaged by heavy rains.

Non-basmati white grain presently represents about a fourth of India’s rice trades, the Service of Shopper Undertakings said as it declared the strategy change. Specialists cautioned the move could push up worldwide food costs.

Emma Wall, head of investment analysis and research at Hargreaves Lansdown, stated, “It’s fair to say this will have quite an impact on global food prices.”

Following Russia’s withdrawal this week from a deal guaranteeing the safe passage of Ukrainian grain, including wheat, food supplies are already under pressure.

India is the largest rice exporter in the world, shipping more than 40% of all rice shipped worldwide. Non-basmati rice is chiefly traded to nations in Asia and Africa.

Last year, the Indian government forced a 20% commodity duty to attempt to beat unfamiliar deals down. It has additionally restricted wheat and sugar shipments. Be that as it may, trading can be more worthwhile for Indian ranchers than selling locally.

The public authority said that ranchers would in any case have the option to send out different sorts of rice, including long-grain basmati, guaranteeing they “get the advantage of gainful costs in the global market”.

The state will likewise consider solicitations to permit shipments to different nations in view of food security needs, the Directorate General of Unfamiliar Exchange said. The invasion of Ukraine the previous year led to an increase in global food prices.

While those tensions have since facilitated at a global level, in India, terrible weather conditions has harmed crops in numerous northern states, provoking the expense of numerous things – including tomatoes and onions – to pointedly rise.

Vegetable costs hopped 12% from May to June, adding to the increasing cost for many everyday items. Expansion rose to 4.8% last month, which was surprisingly high because of the climbing food costs.

The increasing cost for most everyday items has placed political tension on the public authority in India, in front of public races one year from now. The nation will likewise see state-level races before long.

Expert in Indian agriculture policy Devinder Sharma stated that the government was attempting to foresee a production shortfall, with rice-growing regions in the south also vulnerable to dry rain when the El Nino weather pattern arrives later this year. “The government is taking a very, very precautionary kind of approach,” he said.

Coffee Is More Than Just Caffeine

For some individuals, the day doesn’t begin until their espresso cup is vacant. People drink coffee to wake themselves up and get more done because it is thought to make you feel more alert. Portuguese researchers concentrated on espresso consumers to comprehend whether that attentiveness impact is subject to the properties of caffeine, or whether it’s about the experience of drinking espresso.

“There is a typical assumption that espresso increments readiness and psychomotor working,” said Prof Nuno Sousa of the College of Minho, comparing writer of the concentrate in Wildernesses in Conduct Neuroscience and Field Boss Proofreader of the diary. ” It is possible to investigate the factors that may influence a biological phenomenon and even the potential benefits of that mechanism when you gain a deeper comprehension of the mechanisms that underlie it.

A kickstart with caffeine The researchers sought out individuals who consumed at least one cup of coffee per day and instructed them to avoid caffeine-containing foods and beverages for at least three hours prior to the study. They talked with the members to gather sociodemographic information, and afterward did two brief practical X-ray checks: one preceding and one 30 minutes after either taking caffeine or drinking a normalized mug of espresso. During the useful X-ray checks, the members were approached to unwind and allow their brains to meander.

In light of the realized neurochemical impacts of drinking espresso, the researchers expected that the utilitarian X-ray sweeps would show that individuals who drank espresso had higher joining of organizations that are connected to the prefrontal cortex, related with chief memory, and the default mode organization, associated with thoughtfulness and self-reflection processes. They found that the availability of the default mode network was diminished both subsequent to drinking espresso and in the wake of taking caffeine, which demonstrates that polishing off one or the other caffeine or espresso made individuals more ready to move from laying to chipping away at assignments.

However, coffee consumption also increased connectivity in the right executive control network and the higher visual network, which are brain regions involved in working memory, cognitive control, and goal-directed behavior. Waking up on the right side of the bed This didn’t occur when members just took caffeine. At the end of the day, if you need to feel ready as well as all set, caffeine alone will not do – you really want to encounter some espresso.

“Intense espresso utilization diminished the utilitarian availability between cerebrum locales of the default mode organization, an organization that is related with self-referential cycles when members are very still,” said Dr. Maria Picó-Pérez of Jaume I College, first creator. ” After drinking coffee, functional connectivity between the somatosensory/motor networks and the prefrontal cortex also decreased, whereas connectivity between regions of the higher visual and the right executive control network increased. Simply put, after drinking coffee, the subjects were more alert to external stimuli and ready to act.

“Considering that a portion of the impacts that we found were replicated by caffeine, we could expect other jazzed beverages to share a portion of the impacts,” added Picó-Pérez. ” Notwithstanding, others were explicit for espresso drinking, driven by variables like the specific smell and taste of the beverage, or the mental assumption related with polishing off that beverage.”

The creators brought up that it is conceivable that the experience of drinking espresso without caffeine could cause these advantages: this study couldn’t separate the impacts of the experience alone from the experience joined with the caffeine. This study did not test the hypothesis that the benefits claimed by coffee drinkers could be due to the alleviation of withdrawal symptoms.

“The progressions in network were contemplated during a resting-state grouping. The common function assigned to the regions and networks found is used to interpret any association with psychological and cognitive processes, but it was not directly tested,” Sousa warned. Additionally, it would be interesting to investigate individual differences in caffeine metabolism among participants in the future.

Immigrant Chefs Transform America’s Dining Scene Beyond Major Cities

Chef Nok Chutatip Suntaranon’s culinary journey began in her childhood, growing up in Trang, southern Thailand. She recalls, “I grew up helping my mom making curry paste to sell in her little shop in the market.” Little did she know that her authentic southern Thai cuisine would later make a splash in Philadelphia when she opened Kalaya four years ago.

Despite its bold flavors and spiciness, Kalaya has flourished, expanding from a 35-seat establishment to a spacious, sunlit venue that accommodates up to 300 guests. Suntaranon has also been nominated for the prestigious James Beard Foundation award three times. She believes that the key to her success is staying true to her culinary roots: “Once we present it with authenticity — just like being true to yourself and the flavors, I think people would feel the honesty about it.”

Immigrants have always been central to restaurant kitchens, but now they are gaining recognition at the top tier of the industry. The upcoming James Beard Foundation awards in Chicago feature around 75 finalists competing for chef and baker awards, with more than half being immigrants or children of immigrants.

The awards themselves have evolved to address diversity concerns, reflecting a wider shift in chefs’ culinary choices and diners’ preferences. One example of Suntaranon’s innovative dishes is her bird-shaped dumplings with a flavorful filling made from steamed cod, palm sugar, garlic, shallot, radish, and cilantro.

Even Suntaranon’s mother was amazed at how American diners embraced her daughter’s cooking. “‘Can farang eat spicy?’ And I said, ‘you will be surprised!'”

In response to criticisms over diversity, the James Beard Foundation has reevaluated the purpose of its awards. Dawn Padmore, Vice President of Awards at the foundation, explains that the focus is now on rewarding excellence in various forms. The awards have incorporated an emphasis on racial and gender equity as well as sustainability. Additionally, the voting process has been adjusted to include a more diverse range of voices.

Padmore also attributes the success of immigrant chefs to the growing appetite for diverse cuisine among consumers. Younger chefs, in particular, are more inclined to express their culture and background directly through their culinary creations.

One such chef is Serigne Mbaye, a 29-year-old finalist for Best Emerging Chef at his restaurant Dakar NOLA in New Orleans. Born in Harlem but raised in Senegal, Mbaye has honed his skills in multiple fine dining kitchens before opening his own restaurant, which explores the culinary connections between West Africa and the southern U.S.

He is pleased to see increased recognition for immigrant chefs, especially those from Africa, stating, “People cannot deny our existence, you know? It’s great that it’s happening now. But I think that it should have been happening for years.”

Chef Nok Chutatip Suntaranon’s culinary journey began in her childhood, growing up in Trang, southern Thailand. She recalls, “I grew up helping my mom making curry paste to sell in her little shop in the market.” Little did she know that her authentic southern Thai cuisine would later make a splash in Philadelphia when she opened Kalaya four years ago.

Despite its bold flavors and spiciness, Kalaya has flourished, expanding from a 35-seat establishment to a spacious, sunlit venue that accommodates up to 300 guests. Suntaranon has also been nominated for the prestigious James Beard Foundation award three times. She believes that the key to her success is staying true to her culinary roots: “Once we present it with authenticity — just like being true to yourself and the flavors, I think people would feel the honesty about it.”

Immigrants have always been central to restaurant kitchens, but now they are gaining recognition at the top tier of the industry. The upcoming James Beard Foundation awards in Chicago feature around 75 finalists competing for chef and baker awards, with more than half being immigrants or children of immigrants.

The awards themselves have evolved to address diversity concerns, reflecting a wider shift in chefs’ culinary choices and diners’ preferences. One example of Suntaranon’s innovative dishes is her bird-shaped dumplings with a flavorful filling made from steamed cod, palm sugar, garlic, shallot, radish, and cilantro.

Even Suntaranon’s mother was amazed at how American diners embraced her daughter’s cooking. “‘Can farang eat spicy?’ And I said, ‘you will be surprised!'”

In response to criticisms over diversity, the James Beard Foundation has reevaluated the purpose of its awards. Dawn Padmore, Vice President of Awards at the foundation, explains that the focus is now on rewarding excellence in various forms. The awards have incorporated an emphasis on racial and gender equity as well as sustainability. Additionally, the voting process has been adjusted to include a more diverse range of voices.

Padmore also attributes the success of immigrant chefs to the growing appetite for diverse cuisine among consumers. Younger chefs, in particular, are more inclined to express their culture and background directly through their culinary creations.

One such chef is Serigne Mbaye, a 29-year-old finalist for Best Emerging Chef at his restaurant Dakar NOLA in New Orleans. Born in Harlem but raised in Senegal, Mbaye has honed his skills in multiple fine dining kitchens before opening his own restaurant, which explores the culinary connections between West Africa and the southern U.S. He is pleased to see increased recognition for immigrant chefs, especially those from Africa, stating, “People cannot deny our existence, you know? It’s great that it’s happening now. But I think that it should have been happening for years.”

Indian Cuisine Flavors At Cannes

Indian Chef Prateek Sadhu presented “The Journey of India” at the inaugural dinner of the 76th Cannes Film Festival on May 16, 2023. The dinner which served cuisine blending Indian and French flavors was hosted by India’s Ministry of Information and Technology.

Manushi Chhillar, Academy Award winner Guneet Monga, actress Urvashi Rautela, and Indian director Madhur Bhandarkar attended the dinner hosted by India’s Ministry of Information and Technology.

Sadhu created a menu that emphasized regional nuances of Indian ingredients and flavours. He presented a dialogue of India’s diversity with the menu by incorporating Tungrymbai from the Northeast region to the Millet Thoran, to promote the International Year of Millets. Tungrymbai cuisine hailing from Meghalaya is prepared by smoking and fermenting soybeans. The menu also included Bengali Sandesh, Maharastra’s Chikki, Mysore Pak, Malvani-style Sole Fish, and Potato Koshimbir.

“As a Chef, I believe in the power of food to bring people together and create meaningful connections. This dinner is an opportunity to showcase the best of Indian food and culture to a global audience and to highlight the vibrant culinary traditions of our country,” he said. The event was attended by Miss World 2017 winner Manushi Chhillar, Academy Award winner EducationGuneet Monga, actress Urvashi Rautela, and Indian director Madhur Bhandarkar.

Chef Sadhu, executive and co-owner of Masque restaurant in Mumbai, India, was born in Kashmir in 1986. He enrolled at a hotel management school in India and graduated from The Culinary Institute of America with two gold medals. In 2016, the 37-year-old was awarded “Most Innovative Chef of the Year” by the Western Culinary Association of India. He then bagged the “Chef of the Year” at the Conde Nast Traveller (CNT) Top Restaurant Awards in December 2017.

Indian Food, Tea And Turmeric Lowered Covid Severity, Deaths

Indian diet rich in iron, zinc, and fibre, regular consumption of tea, and use of turmeric in meals lowered severity and death due to Covid in the country, according to a study published in the April edition of the Indian Journal of Medical Research by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the death rate was reportedly 5-8 fold lower in India which is densely populated as compared to lesser-populated western countries.

The study, conducted by an international team of scientists including from India, Brazil, Jordan, Switzerland, and Saudi Arabia, aimed to investigate whether dietary habits were associated with the variations in Covid-19 severity and deaths between Western and Indian population.

“Our results suggest that Indian food components suppress cytokine storm and various other severity-related pathways of Covid-19 and may have a role in lowering severity and death rates from Covid-19 in India as compared to western populations,” said the researchers including from Centre for Genomics and Applied Gene Technology at Institute of Integrative Omics & Applied Biotechnology, in West Bengal, and Policy Center for Biomedical Research at Translational Health Science & Technology Institute in Haryana.

“However, large multi-centered case-control studies are required to support our current findings,” they added. The findings showed that the components of Indian diets, which maintain high iron and zinc concentrations in blood and rich fibre in foods, played a role in preventing carbon dioxide (CO2) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-mediated Covid-19 severity.

LPS is a common inflammatory mediator to induce inflammatory processes in the brain.

Further, regular consumption of tea by Indians helped maintain high HDL (high-density lipoprotein), also called “good” cholesterol. The catechins in tea also acted as a natural atorvastatin (a statin medication used to prevent cardiovascular diseases) in lowering triglyceride in blood.

Importantly, they said, regular consumption of turmeric in daily food by Indians led to a strong immunity. The curcumin in turmeric may have prevented pathways and mechanisms associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection and Covid-19 severity and lowered the death rate, said the researchers.

On the other hand, increased consumption of red meat, dairy products and processed foods resulted in an increase in the severity and death due to Covid in the western populations.

These foods “activate cytokine storm-related pathways, intussusceptive angiogenesis, hypercapnia and enhance blood glucose levels due to high contents of sphingolipids, palmitic acid and by-products such as CO2 and LPS” they wrote in the study.

Palmitic acid – the most common saturated fatty acid found in the human body – also induces ACE2 expression and increases the infection rate, the team said.

Coffee and alcohol that are highly consumed in western countries also led to an increase in severity and death rates from Covid-19 by deregulating blood iron, zinc and triglyceride levels.

For the study, the team used blood transcriptomes of severe Covid-19 patients from three western countries (showing high fatality) and two datasets from Indian patients.

Gene set enrichment analyses were performed for pathways, metabolites, nutrients, etc., and compared for Western and Indian samples to identify the food- and nutrient-related factors, which may be associated with Covid-19 severity.A

Data on the daily consumption of twelve key food components across four countries were collected and a correlation between nutrigenomics analyses and per capita daily dietary intake was also investigated. (IANS)

Celebrity Chef Vikas Khanna’s Food Secret: ‘I Eat Like A Puppy’

Celebrity chef and restaurateur Vikas Khanna, who’s now a judge on the reality show, ‘MasterChef India’, shared his fitness secret and what all he includes in diet for his physical and mental well-being.

He said: “I am extremely diet conscious. As I live in New York, I do everything on my own, especially cooking. I plan my meals in advance for the whole week. I eat like a puppy. I eat the same food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

Appearing on ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’ along with his fellow judges Ranveer Brar and Garima Arora, he revealed all that he loves to eat the entire day.

“In the morning I eat oats with almond milk and cold coffee. But if I am in Amritsar, then I usually end up eating paranthas as my mother starts emotionally blackmailing me. For lunch, I eat roasted vegetables with less carbs and I often eat dinner early. I try my best to finish it before 9 pm as I believe that we should maintain a gap of three hours between dinner and going to sleep.” The Kapil Sharma Show’ airs on Sony Entertainment Television. (IANS)

Nikita Pathakji Wins Masterchef Professionals 2022

Nikita Pathakji, 25 (24 at the time of filming) has been crowned MasterChef: The Professionals Champion 2022. As the 16th professional chef to earn the esteemed MasterChef: The Professionals title, Nikita takes her place in MasterChef history alongside other outstanding champions: Derek Johnstone; Steve Groves; Claire Lara; Ash Mair, joint winners Keri Moss and Anton Piotrowski; Steven Edwards; Jamie Scott; Mark Stinchcombe; Gary Maclean; Craig Johnston; Laurence Henry; Stu Deeley, Alex Webb and last year’s winner, Dan Lee.

Nikita entered the prestigious competition alongside 31 other professional chefs, all aiming to achieve culinary perfection, cooking her way to the top after six weeks of increasingly demanding challenges. Nikita impressed Michelin-starred Marcus Wareing, acclaimed chef Anna Haugh and seasoned MasterChef judge Gregg Wallace with innovative, memorable dishes inspired from her travels, mainly around Asia. Critics and leading chefs also raved about Nikita and her food, with William Sitwell describing her as “a force to be reckoned with” and Michelin-starred Jun Tanaka said of her octopus starter at Chef’s Table: “You absolutely nailed it. It really took me back to when I was a child in Japan.”

Picture : NY Breaking

Reacting to her win, Nikita said: “This is incredible and I can’t put it into words. It surpasses every achievement of my life. I don’t know how I’m going to top this. This is the peak, I think I’ve reached it!” Marcus Wareing commented: “She’s a chef that has grown right in front of our eyes. Her food has been sublime and she’s always come up with an amazing twist.”

Anna Haugh said: “Nikita is on the road to creating a very unique cuisine. And that is why she’s our champion. As soon as Nikita walked into the kitchen I could see she had class.” Gregg Wallace added: “Nikita is using food that she fell in love with from her own travels around Asia. That chef is completely and utterly in love with the food she’s producing. She opened up the larder of the world and brought us stunning dish after stunning dish.”

In an intense Final Week, Nikita was cooking against exceptional fellow finalists in increasingly tough culinary tasks and had to bring the very best creativity, technique and skill to the table, to outperform them. The challenges this week included the chance of a lifetime to cook for 20 culinary heavyweights at one of the most prestigious and unique cooking events in the country.

Chef’s Table was held this year at the five-star Lanesborough Hotel in London, and the guests, who hold 19 Michelin stars between them, included Matt Abé (3* Restaurant Gordon Ramsay), Nieves Barragan Mohacho (Sabor 1*), Lisa Goodwin-Allen (1* Northcote), Jason Atherton (The Social Company 3*) and the much-loved MasterChef judge and renowned chef patron of Mere, Monica Galetti.

The finalists’ imaginations were also stretched as they were tasked with creating a plate inspired by a food memory, to transport the MasterChef judges to that time or place. Another formidable cooking challenge was to deliver a showstopping dish for a discerning dining room full of some of the UK’s leading food critics – Jay Rayner, William Sitwell, Leyla Kazim, Jimi Famurewa and April Jackson.

With the stakes at an all-time high, tonight’s exhilarating last challenge for the final three professionals was producing the best three courses of their lives, in just three hours. Tasting their way through the final menus, were judges Marcus Wareing, Anna Haugh and Gregg Wallace, who expected nothing less than the finest cookery on show.

Nikita’s winning menu started with Sea Bass cured in a Citrus Dressing, Smoked Aubergine Purée, Spicy Red Pepper Purée with Pomegranate, Preserved Lemon, Parsley Oil and a side of Aubergine Crisps. On tasting the dish, Marcus said: “This sings what you’re all about.”

Inspired by her favourite dish from her time in Thailand – Khao Soi – Nikita’s main course was Crispy Chicken Thighs, Tortellini filled with Chicken, Mushrooms and Coriander and Coriander Oil, topped with handmade Sev, finished with a Coconut Curry Sauce and a side of Crispy Chicken Skin dusted with Chilli Powder, topped with a Mango, Cumin and Onion Purée. Anna told Nikita: “When I’m eating this, I’m excited and delighted. To see you developing a dish like this is remarkable.”

To finish, Nikita served Cardamom and Custard Tart, Apricot poached in Honey Syrup, topped with a Honey Tuile and an Apricot, Honey and Lemon Sorbet, to which Gregg reacted with: “The whole thing is delightful.”

Anna added: “You have changed so much since the beginning of the competition. Now what we see before us is a stronger and incredibly capable chef. I’m incredibly proud of you.”

Derby-born Nikita grew up in a family for whom food was always a focus. She now lives in Clapham, London, with her mum, step-dad, sister and Dexter the dog. Nikita says: “I always cooked with my dad and my mum throws elaborate dinner parties with several courses. She also introduced me to the London food scene, taking me to Michelin-starred restaurants. But I’d never considered it as a career because my family is so academic.”

After her A-levels, instead of going to university to study Chemistry, Nikita decided to follow her passion and embark on cooking career. She trained with Westminster Kingsway College and at the end of her apprenticeship, travelled for nine months around Asia. This journey further awakened her appreciation for local flavours and styles of the region. She says: “Because I travelled, it opened up a whole different world of cuisine. It was amazing.” Although Nikita is classically trained and has worked in Michelin-starred kitchens across London ever since, her own food is heavily influenced by her experiences in Asia.

Talking about her time in the competition, Nikita said: “MasterChef is always something I’ve thought about, but never felt ready for. My family always wanted me to do it, especially mum. So I entered partly just to get her off my case! I decided this was the year because I’m now in a restaurant environment where I’m very comfortable and confident… but that’s dangerous! It was time to push myself that much further. The Chef’s Table was the most intimidating moment of the competition. Cooking for that room of people was such an immense challenge. I felt like I needed a shot of something strong before going out there to receive their feedback. Equally though, it was an amazing experience, and for it to be hosted in the hotel where I first joined this industry was utterly incredible.

“I didn’t let myself dream of getting to this point when I entered. I’ve given everything to this. Sleepless nights is an understatement!” Working as a Chef de Partie at the time of filming (now Junior Sous Chef) at Michelin-starred restaurant Kitchen W8 in London, Nikita is looking ahead: “Next, I’d love to do pop-ups and festivals to cook for as many people as physically possible. It would be brilliant to work alongside the other MasterChef finalists to do bespoke menus and events. My long-term goal is to be a chef-owner of a successful restaurant where I get to cook my own food every day. I’d want to foster a great working environment, much like my current workplace. Championing women in the industry, as well as creating a good work life balance, is so important to me.” (BBC.Com)

The Best Indian Restaurants in New York City

Nearly three years after COVID forced the city that never sleeps to dim its lights, New York’s restaurant scene feels like it’s back to its old self. Many of the beloved classics on this list, like Italian charmer Via Carota, Michelin-starred Le Bernardin, and pizza destination Lucali, can now say they made it to the other side.

And with the addition of outdoor dining, some now have even more seats to welcome guests. There are also new genres of restaurants—like Contento, which works to be truly accessible to all, and the wildly spicy Dhamaka that opened during the pandemic and persevered—establishing themselves as important contenders among the best restaurants in New York City.

With tourism numbers back up, the best tables in the city have once again become highly coveted commodities. Be sure to book them in advance, swing by early, or try your luck at the end of the evening for an open seat at the bar.

The best tables in the city prove that if you can make it here (as a restaurant), you can make it anywhere.


Restaurateur Roni Mazumdar and chef/partner Chintan Pandya have taken the city’s dining scene by storm in the past few years with a string of openings that, without question, match their company’s name: Unapologetic Indian. Their West Village spot Semma, which recently received a Michelin star, is often rightfully in the spotlight, but Dhamaka is the cool older sibling that has their own thing going on.

Picture : TheUNN

Dhamaka is not a restaurant of restraint, it’s one of abundance and exuberance. Pandya and his team’s cooking looks deep into regional cuisines of India to share dishes we rarely see on menus in the U.S like the restaurant’s acclaimed rabbit dish from Rajasthan, which must be ordered in advance. It’s marinated for 48 hours in spiced yogurt and then slow cooked for hours. There is also doh khleh, a chili-laced pork salad with cilantro and ginger from Meghalaya near Bangladesh and chenna poda, a baked cheese dessert from a state in eastern India below Kolkata. Some dishes like the exceptional goat neck dum biryani, which is served in a pot that’s sealed with a thin flatbread, are larger, so check in with your server about the number of items to order.

MICHELIN Guide’s Point Of View: “This rousing Indian restaurant in Essex Market is refreshingly unapologetic with its complex spices, fierce heat levels and inspired preparations of more unusual items (kidneys, anyone?). Dhamaka, which means “explosion” in Hindi, is a bold love letter to the country’s more rustic dishes, many of which are drawn from the owner’s childhood.

“Where else have you had smoky goat belly flecked with coriander seeds and wrapped in cedar wood? How often does your mutton come in a clay pot filled with a deliciously dark chili oil and an entire bulb of roasted garlic? The kitchen grinds many of its spices daily, and the crowds have been quick to recognize such attention to detail. Tables are comically small but bring friends anyway.

Adda Indian Canteen

New York’s neighborhoods are dotted with Indian takeout spots that serve a rotation of standards like chicken tikka masala and paneer.

Picture : TheUNN

Adda, in Long Island City, Queens is not part of this club. Run by Roni Mazumdar of Rahi and executive chef Chintan Pandya, Adda offers, as they say, “‘unapologetically’ authentic Indian food.” That includes the housemade paneer. There’s also junglee maas, or goat curry, and snacks that come with a fair warning on the menu: “highly addictive.” (Conde Nast Traveller)

Established in 2018.

“Adda, meaning “a place where people hang out,” holds up to its name with its bright, casual atmosphere, collage wall of Indian newspaper covers, and rustic, “unapologetically” authentic Indian food. We at Adda believe that food is a conversation of life and want to recreate that dialogue through our ingredient-focused menu. By evoking hints of their own nostalgia, owner Roni Mazumdar and Chef Chintan have created traditional dishes the way it’s meant to be cooked: with a variety of herbs and spices made in-house while staying true to India. It’s unpretentious and unapologetically Indian. Come with your spice-appreciating friends and join us for a sensational feast!”

Semma, South Indian Cuisine Restaurant In NYC, Earns One Michelin Star

Michelin’s 2022 guide to New York City, has 73-starred restaurants and 17 restaurants were awarded single stars for the first time. South Indian restaurant Semma is one of them.

Semma, a restaurant in New York City’s (NYC) Greenwich Avenue, which has been serving heritage South Indian dishes since October last year has earned its first Michelin Star. It’s the only Indian restaurant in the US with a Michelin star in the year 2022. Michelin’s 2022 guide to NYC, has 73-starred restaurants and 17 restaurants were awarded single stars for the first time. Michelin characterises one star as “High quality cooking, worth a stop!” Unapologetic Foods, the team behind Semma and other popular restaurants such as Dhamaka, Masalawala & Sons and more across NYC, set out on a mission to tell the real story of Indian food. Authentically sharing regions and ingredients with a clear perspective without changing the food for anyone else.

After opening Adda and Dhamaka to immense critical success, the team set out to tell the story of Southern India with Chef Vijay Kumar at the helm. Drawing from Chef Kumar’s rural and ancestral background, they put together a menu that is difficult to find even in India. It reflects the deeply impactful memories of the chef and explores ingredients that break the mould of Indian cuisine across the country — snails just as he used to forage with his grandmother to venison that he used to hunt with his grandfather, tells the story of the forgotten side of India, unapologetically. Chef Vijay Kumar, talks about Semma, the unique experience that it offers, influences in curating the menu, and more.

Picture: Hindustan Times
  1. What is that one experience that the guests at Semma get that makes it so unique?

It’s the closest they can travel to those regions and memories without us compromising anything. They get a taste of the distinct flavour profiles that are embedded in Southern India. The cuisine is from all around South India and particularly from Tamil Nadu. It reflects my childhood memories of growing up in my home town in Tamil Nadu.

  1. Where do you source the ingredients from for creating authentic South Indian dishes?

We source all the best ingredients possible that are sustainable and all the spices are imported from India via vendors.

  1. A Michelin star. What’s next?

Just continue to tell our story by cooking unapologetically. For me, cooking heritage Southern Indian food brings immense pride and just getting the opportunity to do so is exciting. We want to continue to push ourselves to bring the guests as close to our ancestral homes as possible and share a sacred moment together.

  1. How did you go about creating the menu? Were the recipes tweaked for the palates of the patrons in the US?

Most of the dishes on the menu were created based on my childhood memories that I grew up eating. There is absolutely nothing tweaked! We just want to be who we are unapologetically!

  1. What are some of the most popular items on the menu?

Every dish on the menu is popular and much appreciated from our guests, but particularly Gun Powder Dosa, Aattu Kari Sukka (lamb dish), Nathai Pirattal (snails) are very popular. (MSN.COM)

Cocktails To Enjoy At Home

It’s a perfect time to chill at home with your favourite drinks as the rain drizzles in the background as the monsoon season descends upon us in all its majesty. A simple DIY cocktail in your hand is the ideal way to enjoy a quiet rainy day. Let the flavour of the conversation permeate as you sip on these delectable whisky and gin cocktails as everyone chatters away.

Here are some of the best drinks for the monsoon season:

Rich & Restless


60 ml Grant’s Distinction

Pineapple — Parsley oleo — 30 ml

Lemon Juice — 15 ml

Paprika salt — to rim


Shake all ingredients over ice, strain in a coupe

Pineapple, parsley oleo: 2 Big chopped pineapples, 500gm sugar, 50-gram parsley

Keep overnight in a covered jar.


Paprika salt — 1:1 of sweet paprika and salt

Grant’s Distinction can unquestionably create an upscale ambiance thanks to its raisin cake richness that makes it very mixable. Grant’s Distinction, which maintains the family’s “House style,” has a powerful, malty character with delicate fresh fruit flavours that add a special blend of sweet and spicy overtones. In order to cater to a younger generation of Scotch Whiskey drinkers, it is made from the finest malt and grain whiskies, which were personally chosen by master blender Brian Kingsman. Grant’s Distinction is only sold in India and costs Rs 2,500 for 750 ml in Mumbai and Rs 1,200 for 750 ml in Gurugram.

Tropical Green Apple


60 ml Grant’s Triple Wood

22.5 ml Green Apple Syrup

15 ml Fresh Lemon Juice

2 sprigs of thyme

Soda to top


Pour in a shaker, muddle thyme a little and shake over ice.

Strain into a high ball glass with ice and top up with soda.

Garnish with a thyme twig and dehydrated apple

In order to provide a smoother, richer, mellower flavour, Grant’s Triple Wood is aged in three different types of wood: virgin oak barrel, which adds a peppery strength; american oak, which adds a subtle vanilla smoothness; and the bourbon refill, which adds a brown sugar sweetness. It boasts rich pear and summer fruit aromas, a lengthy, sweet finish, and a little whiff of smoke. It is offered in a few locations around India and costs Rs 1,950 for 750 ml in Mumbai.

Mighty Mizaru (A version of clarified New York Sour)


60ml Monkey Shoulder

Orange Marmalade — 2 bars spoons

20ml Lime juice

Clarified with 30 ml Milk

Shiraz wine float


Combine all the ingredients except wine, then put the mixture of monkey, jam and lime into the milk so that it curdles.

Clarify the mixture using a coffee filter and then batch the mixture.

Pour the mixture in an old-fashioned glass over a block of ice.

Pour red wine over the top to float.

Monkey Shoulder is a versatile, fun-loving, and free-spirited scotch whiskey. It is the ideal 100 per cent malt whiskey for combining due to its richness and vitality, fruity smells, and subtle vanilla undertones. It can be sipped neat, on the rocks, or in various cocktail concoctions. In Mumbai, Monkey Shoulder costs Rs 6,050 for 700 ml and is sold all over the nation.

Hendrick’s Martini

Since its invention sometime in the 19th century, the Martini has slinked across our collective imagination in literature, cinema and song. Here we meet the flavours of gin in a primal pure form. This classic of classic cocktails, this melodious master, is further heightened when it entertains Hendrick’s Gin herself.


50ml Hendrick’s Gin

7ml Dry Vermouth

Cucumber slice


Stir vermouth and Hendrick’s Gin over ice cubes in a mixing glass

Strain into a martini glass

Garnish with a cucumber slice

Hendrick’s Gin is a delightful, ultra-premium gin that is created with a variety of unique twists. Hendrick’s mixes a unique blend of eleven botanicals with the signature infusions of cucumber and rose petals to give a flavour that is both strange and pleasantly distinctive. The result is a beautifully refreshing gin with a delightfully distinctive scent. Hendrick’s is the only gin that uses a marriage of spirits from both a Carter head and Bennett Copper Pot Still, a combination that results in a divinely smooth gin that has both the necessary character and balance of subtle flavours. Hendrick’s is handcrafted in Scotland in tiny batches by William Grant & Sons. In Mumbai, Hendrick’s Gin costs Rs 5,000, while in Delhi, it costs Rs 3,995. (IANS)

Samosas Dipped In Chocolate And Strawberry Go Viral

Fusion food and culinary experiments continue to trend on social media. However, some experiments tend to baffle people, who are confused as to how the dish ever came into existence. In one such example, social media users were left bewildered after a video of ‘chocolate and strawberry samosas’ surfaced on the Internet. The 18-second video clip, which shows the savory snack being dipped in chocolate and strawberry, has divided people, with many saying that fusion food combinations had been taken too far now.

Industrialist Harsh Goenka shared the video on his Twitter account, captioning it as “Seeing the lollipop idli circulating in social media was ok, but this one,” ending his post with emojis of horrified faces. The idli popsicles that went viral recently did have several takers, but that can’t be said for the latest fusion food fad to hit the internet. Social media users across the spectrum were left befuddled after watching a viral video that shows samosas dipped in sugary chocolate and strawberry and netizens have reacted to the odd fusion with a mix of cringe and confusion.

Putting his shock into words, industrialist Harsh Goenka tweeted the video with the caption, “Seeing the lollipop idli circulating in social media was ok, but this one.” The video has garnered over 24k views so far. The last one shown is a desi samosa with tandoori paneer stuffing. Clearly not pleased by these attempts at fusion, many took to social media to air their opinions. One user even wrote, “What no cheese? Is this even a legit street food.” The video has garnered over 25,000 views till date. Many social media users were left horrified by the food item, saying that such fusion food items should be banned by law.

Many also said that their hunger vanished on seeing his monstrous combination. However, some people were pleased by the image, calling it “payback” for the viral image of popsicle idlis that was circulating on the Internet a few days ago. Some users also wrote that chocolate samosas were a common feature in the Delhi-NCR region, as several restaurants dedicated to just samosas have sprung up in the area, which also serve varieties such as the ones shown in the video.

This is not the only bizarre food combination that has been doing the rounds of the Internet lately. Recently, the image of popsicle idlis that were being served at a restaurant in Bengaluru divided social media users. While some called the dish innovative, others were less pleased.  Even Congress MP Shashi Tharoor waded into the debate, admitting the concept was “absurd but practical”.

Enormous Benefits Of Basil

Basil scientifically called Ocimum basilicum, and also known as great basil, is a culinary herb from the Lamiaceae (mints) family. A common aromatic herb, it is usually used to add flavor to a variety of recipes, but what may astonish one is that there are various health benefits of basil that make it well-known for its immunity-enhancing properties.

Basil seeds or basil essential oil are proven to help prevent a wide range of health conditions, which makes it one of the most essential medical herbs known today. Basil has vitamin A, C, E, K and Omega 3 components including cooling components too. It also contains minerals like Copper, Calcium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Zinc, and Potassium. An ancient Ayurvedic herb, basil has various proven benefits including being anti-inflammatory, ant-oxidant, immune-booster, pain-reducer, and blood vessel-protector.

This herb also contains cooling components thus making it really helpful for summers. It detoxifies the body and maintains one’s body temperature pace. Adding to the benefits Basil contains antioxidant-rich volatile essential oils, which are considered hydrophobic, meaning they don’t dissolve in water and are light and small enough to travel through the air and the pores within our skin. Basil’s volatile essential oil is something that gives the herb its distinct smell and taste, but basil contains some great healing properties.

In the long history of Ayurveda, basil seeds were also called tukmaria seeds. These seeds may support one’s gut health, may complete one’s fibre quota, reduce blood sugar, help in weight loss, and also reduce cholesterol. There are more than 60 varieties of basil, with sweet basil being one of the most widely used. The herb has rounded leaves that are often pointed. It is a bright green plant, although some varieties have hints of purple or red in their leaves, basil makes a colourful and flavorful addition to many different dishes.

It has been observed that many of the cooks use basil to thicken their dessert instead of using any artificial/ unhealthy powder to do so. Sometimes people are not able to differentiate between Chia seeds and basil seeds, to make it clear basil seeds are different in nature they are larger and a bit duller in their colour. These herbs are used in various recipes as a cooling component in desserts, drinks and fruit juices for refreshment, also beating the summer heat.

For better digestion, weight loss and immune system, I suggest this simple recipe which can be easily made at home:

*Take 2 tsp of Basil seeds (sabja) + Add in 1/2 litre of water +10 mint leaves crushed

*1/2 tsp cinnamon powder + A little bit of sendha salt (pink Himalayan salt)

*Or to make a sweeter version one can add organic honey.

*Mix it well and drink it.

This recipe will help to flush out toxins from our body making it feel light and healthy. (IANS)

Four Mushroom Brown Penne W/ Parmesan & Dill

The one highly nutritious ingredient easy to cook with and loved both by vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike,vegans, paleo vegans, keto-people.. almost everyone alike, is mushroom. It’s a delight to not only to cook with mushrooms, but also to taste and learn about a wide range of edible mushrooms.
How I developed this recipe?
Me and everyone else in my family loves mushroom dishes. Dried shiitake and fresh button mushrooms are always stocked up in my kitchen pantry. I love the kinda chewy texture and umami flavour of mushrooms. Mushroom soups, noodles and pastas are a regular thing in the house during vegetarian diet days.
But most of the time it’s always been one or two kinds of mushroom in a dish. Knowing about the amazing varieties of edible mushrooms and their distinct flavours I wanted to try combining quite a few more types of mushrooms in one of my recipes, and went on with the idea that a pasta would be the best thing to try, for a irresistibly creamy bowl of this perfect cooked umami rich pasta dish would never go wrong.
What’s special about this recipe?
Brown penne- Penne is one of the most popularly loved and widely available pasta variety. But brown penne? Although brown pastas are not preferred by many for their chewier texture and nuttier flavour, this recipe is an exception. It tastes just like white penne once it’s cooked al-dente as you follow the below recipe and stir it up in the rich and yummy pasta sauce. So, there’s no excuse on going healthy this time by switching your white pasta with brown.
Different types of mushrooms- Low in calories and rich in micronutrients, mushrooms are always loved and included in the diet for weight loss, antioxidant-anticancerous properties. It’s also one of the most famous umami-rich vegan substitute for meat. Portobellos for burgers, enoki for ramens, shiitake for soups, button/ porcini for pastas, cremini for risottos are all the widely used types of mushrooms loved for their distinct shapes, flavour and texture. This recipe here uses 4 types of mushrooms that I happened to collect in my pantry and is super delicious.
What you’ll need-
. 1 cup of dry brown penne
. Olive oil- as required
. Salt- as required
. 1/4 teaspoon oregano
. 2 pinches of freshly ground black pepper
. 2 pinches (or more, to make it more hot) of red chilli flakes
. 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill leaves
. 1 tablespoon cold butter
. 1 tablespoon heavy cream
. 1-2 cloves of finely chopped garlic
. 1 tablespoon of chopped shallots
. Half cup of vegetable stock
. 2 tablespoons of white wine (optional)
. One small bay leaf
A handful of button, brown shimeji, shiitake and porcini mushrooms.
. Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
How to make-
Start buy cooking the pasta. Bring 3 cups of water to a rolling boil with half a teaspoon of salt . Drizzle a little olive oil and add the dry pasta. Give it a stir, cover with a lid and reduce the flame to med-low. Cook it covered for 5-8 minutes, or *until your pasta has no white ring in between when bitten into (“al-dente”- perfectly cooked), not over cooked.
Drain the pasta and reserve the pasta water. Give your pasta a cold water bath to avoid sticking together and to firm up your carb a bit before cooking further.
For the sauce, start but sautéing the onions, garlic and bay leaves with a pinch of salt in olive oil until the onions are translucent. Add in the mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms have sweat enough to reduce in volume. Spice it up with black pepper and red chilli flakes, add oregano and half of the chopped dill. Sauté again, pour in the broth and wine. Bring this to a boil and reduce it into half. Now pour in the reserved pasta water and bring it to a boil as the sauce thickens. Stir in the cream and pasta. Stir well on low heat until the pasta is uniformly coated and the sauce the sauce has reached the desired creamy consistency-this would take 1-3 mins. Season it with salt again-if required. Turn off the flame and stir in the cold butter until it melts and coats the pasta nice and creamy.
Serve you yummy pasta topped with rest of the chopped dill and Parmesan.
Notes, tips and suggestions-
  • -*follow this (starred in instructions) tip for the perfectly boiled pasta each time you a pasta dish.
  • -Feel free to substitute the mushrooms in the above recipe with your favourite mushrooms varieties -cremini, enoki.etc., to enjoy your comfort food better.

Mini Dark Chocolate Fondant for 2 (Dairy-free)

Wanna start your New Year with a guilt-free sweet treat? This yummy chocolate goodness is perfect to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings and is quite easy to make as well!

How I developed this recipe-

There are definitely a lot of chocolate fondant and molten lava cake recipes out there on google and many different cookbooks. But trust me, most of them haven’t come out perfect for me. It was always either overdone or undone, cakey or too gooey ..etc. This one here is a never-fail recipe and once you see the results by yourself, you’ll definitely make  it again.
And yeah, it’s dairy-free as well- that simply means it won’t trigger any inflammatory reactions in any dairy allergic or intolerant or restricted person. But yeah, this is a versatile recipe and you can refer notes for more details.

What’s special about this recipe-

Dairy-free & refined sugar-free: Sugar & Dairy are known to mess up with the hormones and cause acne triggers for many. Considering this, along with the rise in healthy fancy diets for lactose intolerant people, this recipe is a saver for almost everyone in the family to equally enjoy a chocolate dessert.

Real goodness of dark chocolate: Known to be rich in antioxidants and mood boosting properties dark chocolate has a high reputation in today’s world. But most of the time, it’s adulterated by low quality fats and dairy in most desserts. This recipe here preserves the purity and thus the goodness of dark chocolate, so that your chocolate would literally feel yummy in the tummy.

What you’ll need-

70 g good quality dark chocolate (* I used Van houten)
50g vegetable oil (preferably avocado/coconut or neutral oils like sunflower or canola. * I used avocado oil)
1/6 cups brown sugar (half of 1/3 cup)
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
Half a tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of white flour
Oil & cocoa powder for greasing & dusting pots, respectively

How to make-

Preheat the oven to 200 degree Celsius. Grease and dust 2 ceramic ramekins or mini oven-proof pudding bowls with oil and cocoa powder respectively.

Combine chocolate & oil in a bowl and melt it in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each 30-seconds until fully combined.
Stir in the eggs and beat until even combined & gloppy. Now mix in vanilla and finally the white flour.

Pour this chocolate mixture into the prepared ramekins and bake for 10 to 13 minutes, just until the sides are little puffed up, whereas the centre is still moist and gooey.

Take it out from the oven and flip it onto the serving plate after cooling for not more than 30 seconds.

Notes, Tips and Suggestions-

. You could you either use 70 % dark chocolate chips or your favourite dark chocolate bar leftovers (chopped up) for this recipe.

. It’s best served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and fresh berries. Also dust your mini dessert with snow sugar (powdered/icing sugar) before serving to make it look more appealing.

. If not preferring to go dairy-free, you could make this dessert the traditional way by substituting the same amount of oil with butter in the recipe.

. Baking for longer time could result in a cakier chocolate dessert rather than a molten chocolate centre, which is undesirable.

Certina Romel

Pretty Raspberry & White Chocolate Swirl Log

Hello peeps!

Got some fresh raspberries from your local store and wondering what to do with them?

Ditch your weekday super berry smoothies.

It’s time for a cheat sweet treat for this weekend. I’ve come up with a fancy dessert this time. Enjoy this with your family & friends. I’m sure you’ll be surprised with the compliments you are going to receive for this lovely treat that could satisfy your sweet tooth cravings.

What makes this recipe special?

. A combination of berries and chocolate is the best when you want your dessert to standout.

. This recipe is easy when it comes to how lovely the final dessert roll turns out to be- it’s not your boring Swiss roll guys!

. No store bought sponge rolls with additives like preservatives & emulsifers tastes as good & wholesome as this vanilla sponge sheet in this recipe.

How did I develope this recipe?

This recipe is basically my favourite vanilla sponge sheet recipe + easiest cream less white chocolate  firm ganache recipe + fresh cream raspberry filling.

I developed this recipe out of my husband’s craving for a white chocolate raspberry cake. But I didn’t want to make the usual boring raspberry cake with white chocolate & buttercream filling as that’s what everyone would go for when they are given these 2 key ingredients or could be a cookie / pannacotta to the farthest for us home cooks.

This recipe here, uses less cream, sugar and butter, it’s delicious and best for a dessert that doesn’t go too far with fat & carbs. And so, this is the kind of sweet indulgence  I would offer my family and now, from me to you

What you’ll need-

Basic Vanilla Sponge Cake Roll-

. 100 g sifted cake flour

. 100 g castor sugar

. 4 eggs (yolks & whites seperated

. 1/4 tsp cream of taster or white vinegar

. 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil (any flavourless oil like canola/sunflower)

. 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

White Chocolate Rasberry Cream Filling –

. 100g chopped white chocolate

. 125g fresh raspberries

. 125 ml heavy cream

. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter ,at room temperature

White Chocolate Ganache frosting (firm finish)-

. 100g white chocolate

. 100g butter, at room temperature

. Half tablespoon milk (if needed to loosen up)

How to make-

For frosting

  • Melt white chocolate & butter on a water batch (double boil method), stirring constantly until white chocolate is just melted & well incorporated.
  • Let it cool down & refrigerate after cling wrapping for a minimum of 2 hrs.Make it a day ahead and refrigerate overnight if you choose to.

Cake sheet roll-

  • Preheat oven to 230 degree Celsius . Grease & line a sheet cake pan with parchment paper.
  • Beat egg whites with cream of tartar trill foamy. Add in sugar little by little untill well incorporated and soft peaks are formed.
  • On low speed, stir in egg yolks & vanilla too.
  • Gently fold in sifted cake flour little by little and end by folding in vegetable oil, all with a spatula.
  • Pour the cake batter evenly onto the lined pan & bake for 7-8 minutes until it springs back.
  • When done, cover & flip onto a damp cloth & it up when keeping it moist & to avoid cracking.


  • Mash up the fresh raspberries and cook for 6-10 minutes in a saucepan pan. Then strain out the seeds from this purée.
  • Melt chocolate with the cream in a Microwave for 30-40 seconds & stir well to incorporate the cream every 20 seconds & set aside to cool.
  • Add butter to the above & mix well. Stir in the raspberry purée & whisk well
  • Refrigerate after clingwrapping.

Laying & mounting-

  • Unroll ,Remove parchment paper& cloth, trim-up the sponge sheet & spread a good amount of the prepared filling on it. Roll back tightly.
  • Clinwrap the entire sponge cream roll and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes to firm up.
  • Whisk up the chilled frosting mix using a hand/stand mixer (adding half tablespoons milk- if necessary) until fluffy.
  • Spread it evenly onto the cake roll & run a fork several times on the ganache to create a pattern pf vertical lines
  • Sprinkle chopped pistachios and decorate with raspberries on top.
  • Cut into circle slices& serve after refrigeration.

Notes & tips-

If you don’t have cake flour & all you have at home is All- purpose flour, Mix all – purpose flour to cornstarch in the ratio of 7:1. ie., 14 tablespoons of all- purpose flour + 2 tablespoons cornstarch for 1 cup (16 tablespoons) of cake flour – DIY cake flour !

. You can add in your favourite raspberry / strawberry jam instead of raspberry purée , if you can’t get fresh raspberries.

. You can use butterscotched (praline) nut bits instead of pistachios if you prefer.

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