Valentine’s Day is around the corner and I am certainly not struck by a cupid 😛 Thankfully! I am simply looking for a reason to bake and try out something new. This Blueberry Cream Cheese Pound Cake has been on my mind for such a long time. The original recipe was with strawberries but I had frozen blueberries in stock so when we got the new pumpkin silicon bundt mould on board in our online store The Gourmet Shop, I had  to bake first before we even sold it 😉

 The inside layer of blueberry compote is to die for and comes out perfect in this mould. You get a balanced taste of extremely rich pound cake with a layer of blueberries. Oh you have to try this. Words cant express how decadent was this cake. If you cant find blueberries you can try this with fresh strawberries. Let me know if you fall in love with this cake once you bake this. True love is in the cake, rest of the things in the world are temporary and immaterial 😛 Therefore, fall in love but with cake, it will never break your heart. 🙂


1. For the sauce, in a non stick pan add blueberries, I had frozen one in my freezer so I used them. You can use the fresh ones as well. Add sugar and turn the flame on medium.

2. Add juice of a lemon and cornflour.

3. Keep cooking till the blueberry has released water and become thick like a thick sauce. Turn the flame off and let the sauce come to room temperature.

4. For the cake, preheat your oven at 170 degree Celsius (Learn more about Oven temperature and Conversion) and grease a bundt pan with butter and set aside. I have used the silicon pumpkin bundt pan which is available on my online store ‘The Gourmet Shop’. You can make it yours too just click on the link and place order.

5.In a bowl add All Purpose Flour and baking powder and whisk it well and set aside.

6. In another bowl add butter, at room temperature. Add cream cheese and whisk till it becomes creamy.

7. Add castor sugar and whisk further till sugar is mixed well and everything is creamy.

8. Add eggs and continue to whisk till the batter is airy. Add Vanilla essence and Cream and combine.

9. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients little by little and whisk till everything is moistened. Do not over beat.

10. In the prepared bundt pan add a layer of batter, about half of it.

11. On top of the batter add the blueberry sauce. Ensure that the sauce doesn’t touch the mould and stays inside only. Because on baking the sauce might leak out.

12. Pour rest of the batter on top of the sauce and cover everything. 

13. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes. If at any time the cake starts looking golden from top and still raw from centre just tent it with aluminum foil and continue to bake. Bake till the tooth pick inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let it be in the mould for next ten minutes. Demould the cake and let it come to room temperature on wire rack. Slice and serve with your favourite cup of coffee. 

Other cakes you can enjoy on the secret Ingredient are : Persimmon Buckwheat Gluten Free CakeCitrusy Sweet Lime CakeHoney Dates SquarePeach Upside Down CakeFresh Apricot and Almond CakeMango Vanilla Cake,  Festive Orange Blueberry Pound Cake, Vanilla & Pomegranate Cake,Lemon Cake with Lemon GlazePersimmon Rum Cake and Honey Cake

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I woke up one morning to find a mail in my mailbox saying that my blog has been listed under top 100 Indian Food Blogs by Feedspot. First I dint take it seriously because the link said I shared the space with Masterchefs like Sanjeev Kapoor and knwon faces like Nishamadhulika and Manjula’s Kitchen. But then by evening the word spread to Facebook and my friends started tagging me that my blog name is actually in top 100 Indian Blog list. I was numb for a moment but then I was jumping with joy. I want to thank you my readers , my family and my friends who have encouraged me and supported me in this food journey. What would I do without your love! 

My family wanted a cake to celebrate the occasion and I though of baking this Peach upside down cake. This cake was baked in a cast iron skillet and uses no refined flour or sugar! It was moist and held the peaches so well. The flavour of jaggery gave it that earthy feel. What a healthy way to celebrate the occasion. 


1. Thoroughly wash ripe peaches and slice them into wedges and discard the stones.

2. Place a 8-9 inches cast iron skillet* on stove and add butter. You can buy a 6 inches Cast iron skillet from our online store The Gourmet Shop . Let the butter melt and spread crumbled jaggery all over the surface. Instead of jaggery you can also add brown sugar. Let the jaggery melt and form a caramel like syrup. Turn the flame off.

3. Place peach wedges all over the skillet. Set aside. In the meanwhile preheat the oven for 10 minutes on 180 degree Celsius (Learn more about Oven temperatures and conversions)

4.  In a vessel add milk and Apple Cider Vinegar**.

5. Stir to mix and also add oil. Heat the milk oil mix in a microwave for 2 minutes.

6. Add brown sugar or jaggery powder, salt and vanilla extract.

7. Also add cinnamon powder and nutmeg powder to the wet ingredients.

8. Give everything a good mix and set aside. 

9. In another bowl add whole wheat flour and All purpose flour.

7. Also add baking powder and baking soda. Combine all the dry ingredients.

11. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix everything till everything is moistened. Do not over mix for you do not want a tough cake.

12. Pour this batter over the peaches in the skillet. Level up with a spatula and pop it in the oven for 30 minutes or till the tooth pick inserted comes out clean.  

13. Bring the skillet outside the oven and let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes and only after that invert it on a serving plate carefully. If you do it before ten minutes the cake will spread everywhere and if you wait too long the caramelized peaches will stick to the skillet and will refuse to move. Therefore, invert the plate right after 10 minutes. Slice and enjoy!

Other recipes with fresh peach you can try are: Peach Lemonade and Eggless Fresh Peach Cobbler.

If you are looking for other Cakes and desserts with fresh fruits you can try: Fresh Apricot and Almond CakeApple CrispMango Vanilla CakeFestive Orange Blueberry Pound CakeSorghum and Wheat Flour Persimmon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese FrostingVanilla & Pomegranate CakeVegan Chocolate Banana CakeMascarpone Cherry Compote Cheesecake GlassesEggless Orange Cake with Candied Orange Peel FillingPersimmon Rum Cake,  Mango Tart with Vanilla Pastry Cream


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Last week I had posted my Watermelon and Feta Cheese Summer Salad Recipe which was appreciated by a lot of you. Many had requested me to share more such fresh salad recipes to beat the heat. It’s practically impossible for me to eat anything greasy and rich during summers. I can simply live on fresh salads. They not only soothe my soul but are a great detox. I can have one meal of just salads. This apple celery salad is very simple and requires no spadework and can be made in a jiffy. The dressing of Mustard Vinaigrette pairs so well with the sweetness and crunch of apples and the zing of celery.

Every salad needs that nutty flavour which balances the acidity and the crispness of vegetables. The toasted walnuts and pomegranate actually perform this role and trust me they are good. I will be posting more such salad recipes so keep watching the space and subscribe to my social media handles on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.


1. Core and chop some fresh apples and place them in a salad bowl. Also add celery leaves and its tender stems.

2. Add chopped and toasted walnuts to the bowl along with pomegranate arils.

3. For the dressing add honey in a separate bowl and to this add dijon mustard sauce.

3. Squeeze in a juice of lemon and also add olive oil. Whisk everything together.

4. When you are ready to serve pour this dressing over the apple celery mix and toss everything well. 

5. Serve as it is.

Other Salad recipes you can try are:Watermelon and Feta Cheese SaladThai Green Papaya Salad RecipeCharred Peppers Salad with Anchovy White BeansCouscous Salad with Chickpeas in Lemon Olive Oil VinaigretteFresh Mexican Black Bean & Mango SaladSautéed Red Bell Pepper and Olive Pasta SaladSundried Tomatoes Pasta SaladGrilled Chicken SaladIndonesian Style Patni Red Rice Salad With Boiled Eggs in Pomegranate Molasses Sauce , Apple Spinach & Cranberry Salad.


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Its been a while I have really exercised. I am out of regime, out of practice. These past two months were full of indulgence, hogging and merriment. Not that I complain but now since I am back in my hills I have observed I am up by a few kilos and my body has started revolting. So here is what I am gonna do, start eating healthy, exercise more frequently and blog more often 🙂 The first tiny step was making this yummilicious Kiwi Chia Pudding. 

I picked these kiwis from Jageshwar which has some good number of kiwi trees and is an organic belt. I used Soy milk which is vegan and added maple syrup which has an interesting flavour and sweetness. The Chia seeds are a super food and need no introduction. The overall pudding was topped with sum desiccated coconut which gave the serving glass that oomph factor. I loved this enriching pudding which I devoured greedily because there was nothing to be feel guilty about.


1. Add soy milk or any other milk of your choice.

2. Add vanilla Extract. Also add maple syrup or honey for sweetness. You can add regular sugar if you like. Just combine and cover the jar with Cling wrap and keep it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. This will make chia seeds swell. 

3. When you are ready to serve, peel some kiwis and make a smooth puree with it. Add it to the chia milk and combine.

4. Pour in individual serving glasses and garnish it with desiccated coconut and berries. I have added pomegranate arils. Serve and enjoy the guilt free pudding.

Other Smoothie and drinks you can try are:  Plum Smoothie Raw Mango Drink with Mint and Roasted CuminGinger Papaya Mint Smoothie Central Himalayan Wild Bayberry SyrupLitchi LemonadeMango Chamomile-Mint Tea LemonadeMusk Melon & Cucumber Smoothie with MintPeach LemonadeSpiced Mango Lassi


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I have been doing a food consult for an Organic Village Resort in Mukteshwar, Uttrakhand by the name DyoIt’s a gorgeous property in the middle of an Apple orchard spread over 25 acres. It’s a divine lap of nature with organic fruits and vegetables. They offer ‘farm to table’ experience to their guests. Everything you eat there is all grown organically in the property. If you are travelling to this part of the country you must ensure you spend a few days with them for a ravishing experience into the wild. 


When I went for my food consult last month I picked up two boxes of Apples for myself and my family. Apart from making other amazing dishes with Apples I utilized them in making this huge batch of delicious Apple Butter. It came out creamy, spicy and lip smacking. I smeared on my toast and for a second I was in heaven. You can use this to make Pan cakes, Cakes, Brownies and many other things.  This is usually made in a slow crockpot overnight. However I made it in a normal saucepan and it was still delicious and super quick! So if you have apples in abundance put them to right use by making this tempting Apple Butter.


1. Take some fresh apples and wash them thoroughly under running water.



2. Cut them into four pieces and core them discarding the seeds.Do not remove the peels.



3. Further cut them in cubes and set aside.

4. In a large pan add the cubed apples and add ground cinnamon and cloves.



4. Squeeze in some lemon juice and add salt and maple syrup. 




5. Combine everything together and cover the pot with the lid and let it cook on low flame for 30 minutes to 45 minutes or until everything is squishy squashy. Do not forget to stir it from time to time. Caution! at this point of time your house will start smelling like a cinnamon Bomb! Ummm aaha!



6. I also added additional brown sugar to make it a lot more sweeter. You can skip it if your apples are very sweet and your maple syrup gives you the desired sweetness. You will now notice your apples are bubbly and syrupy. Continue to cook till the syrup is reduced.



7. Once that syrup has reduced you know your apples are ready to be pureed. Put them in a blender and make a smooth butter like puree. 




8. Let it come to room temperature before you transfer it to glass mason jars. Keep them refrigerated and it stays good for months. Just remember to use a clean, dry spoon before taking it out of the jar. Enjoy the deliciousness. 

Other recipes using apples you can try are: Apple CrispApple Raisins Streusel BreadApple Bulgar PuddingApple & Cinnamon Pancakes.


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American Independence day falls on 4th of July and is a national Holiday. Americans love to celebrate this day with pomp and show. They love to host barbeque parties and often enjoy the day in picnics with friends and family. With 4th of July just in a couple of days I wanted to make something American. And when I got a chance to visit a hotel resort right in the middle of an Apple Orchard I knew what I had to bake with those gorgeous fresh apples hanging on the trees.  I am doing a food consult for them and this was an ideal recipe to be brought on the menu.


Apple Crisp is what they call it in America and Canada and its known as Apple Crumble in Britain. But as they say what’s in a name and the proof of the pudding is in the eating. The cinnamony taste of baked apples along with the crispiness of Oats makes it an incredible dessert specially if you have to feed a crowd. You can make it like a casserole dish and serve the entire battalion with pride. This recipe is ideal for people  with gluten allergies as it is flourless and must more healthier than other recipes around.


1. Preheat your oven to 375 degree Fahrenheit (Learn more about Oven temperatures and Conversions).Wash, peel and core the apples. Cut them into slices. 



2. Put the apples in a bowl and add lemon juice and little vanilla essence and toss them to coat evenly.



3. Place apple slices in a baking tray in one single layer.


4. In a bowl add quick cooking oats, brown sugar and cinnamon powder.




5. Add butter at room temperature but still not melted. Mix this together with your fingers to make a crumbly mixture.



6. Spread this crumbly mixture on top of the Apple layer and pop it in the preheated oven or 45 minutes or until the topping looks crunchy and the apples have turned tender.


7. Take the baking tray out of the oven and let it come down to room temperature. Serve warm with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream or Whipped cream. You can make this in advance and warm it up little before serving.

Other desserts you can make for festivities are: Peach CobblerBasbousaBrigadeirosCoconut MacaroonsCoconut Milk Mango PuddingMascarpone Cherry Compote Cheesecake GlassesTapioca Milk PuddingTapioca Coconut Milk Pudding with Strawberry Preserve, Mango Tart.


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A few weeks back I had posted the recipe of Peach Cobbler and it got tremendous response from you all. I was asked if we could use peaches in any other ways and the best way I knew was to make this refreshing lemonade with these juicy delicious peaches. This lemonade brings out the real taste of peaches and makes it a fabulous quencher for thirst specially in sultry summer weather.


When I made this lemonade last week my friends were here and they insisted I make another batch for it was one of its kind and made from fresh fruits. You must try this for your family I am sure your kids will love it. You can make this drink ahead of time and will be ideal for your barbeque parties.


1. Thoroughly wash fresh peaches cut them into slices. No need to remove its skin. Place these slices in a sauce pan.

2. Add water and sugar and bring it to a boil. 



3. Simmer it for 10 minutes till the peaches have become slightly tender.

4. Let it cool down a bit and put them in a blender along with the water and  blitz it into a smooth puree.



5. Add lemon juice to the puree.

6. Add cold water and Ice cubes and dilute the concoction to your taste. Serve with a slice of Lemon.

Other Summer Drinks you can try : Mango Green Tea LemonadePlum SmoothieAam Ka PannaGinger Papaya Mint SmoothieLitchi LemonadeMusk Melon & Cucumber Smoothie with MintSpiced Mango Lassi, Kafal Ka Sharbat .



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This is a tiny story as to how I ended up making Kafal Ka Sharbat. I was unaware of these beauties until I moved to Almora. I often heard kids shouting and yelling and throwing pebbles at a tree in our yard. When I asked my local caretaker what tree it was, he told me it was “kaafal”. I couldn’t understand what he meant for there are plenty of things here which have different names to things. When the season arrived and the tree was laden with these delicious berries I did my search and found these were actually bay berries or as the locals call it ‘Kafal‘ or ‘Kaaphal‘. These berries are wild in nature and native to Central Himalayan region. They have a phenomenal taste which can be compared to ‘Falsa‘, another summer berry fruit from Northern India. It seems somewhere between Mulberry or Shehtoot and Falsa. 

I ended up spending an afternoon capturing them through my lense. They look so pretty and tastes even amazing. I ate a large bowl and let me tell you they are very addictive. Once you start you cant stop. But my husband is not a fruit person. He specially hates small berries with pits. He says it’s a waste of time to eat such tiny miny berries and that too has pits. Well I can’t agree with him in totality. I still wanted him to taste the berries. So I decided to make the sharbat with it. Its similar to Falsa Sharbat and equally refreshing. If you cant lay your hands on Kafal use Falsa. Rest of the recipe remains same.


1. Wash kafal under running water and make them grit free.

2. In a blender add some sugar and water. Pulse it to get a clear sugar water.



3. Add washed kafal to the blender and churn for a few seconds, so that the outer skin gets out and the pits remain intact.



4. Pass this  through a sieve and using a spoon scoop out as much pulp stuck to the pits. Discard the pits.



5. Add extra water to dilute and Ice cubes. Add little rock salt and combine.



6. Pour it in serving glasses and enjoy the refreshing drink straight from the Himalayas.

Other Summer Drinks you can try :  Plum SmoothieAam Ka PannaGinger Papaya Mint SmoothieLitchi LemonadeMusk Melon & Cucumber Smoothie with MintSpiced Mango Lassi.

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The Joy of Spring is in seeing some delicious fruits like cheery, blueberries, Strawberries and alike. They catch your attention instantly. The beauty of these fruits is that you can enjoy them as it is and at the same time make something fabulous out of them. Last year I got crazy with Cherries and I ended up doing Mascarpone Cherry Compote Cheesecake Glasses and Cherry Rosemary & Sea Salt Focaccia Bread. This season I have laid my hands on the gorgeous looking Strawberries. I just finished doing a batch of Strawberry cookies, I know it sounds weird but they tasted just yum. Will share the recipe soon 🙂 I have plenty on my mind but for now I bring you this heavenly strawberry preserve.


The more I talk about this is less.. The freshness and bite size pieces of strawberry in the preserve was to die for. Smear it on top of a freshly baked bread slice and shut your eyes for a pure food orgasm. The bottled stuff you get in a market is all chemical but jam. I challenge you once you taste this you will never ever buy the market stuff.


Look at that Spoon jeweled with Strawberry Preserve! Can you spot the pulp.. that’s what I call heaven! So when are you trying it? Make a small batch and enjoy the freshness of Strawberries without any preservative or pectin.

1. Wash the Strawberries thoroughly and hull them using a pairing knife. 




2. Cut them into equal size pieces and put them in a bowl.

3. Add sugar and toss the berries. Cover it with a lid and let it sit for 4-5 hours, ensuring you stir them every half an hour.



4. That’s how the strawberries will release all its juice and squeeze up. Now put this in a saucepan over medium high heat.



5. Let it come to a boil. It should take 5-7 minutes. Use a potato masher to mash the strawberries as you cook. Keep stirring. In the meanwhile place a small ceramic or steel plate in the freezer. Don’t ask me why! I will tell you later 😛 Just do as I say 😉



6. Add lemon juice for the glaze and let it cook further till the time it has thickened and reduced.



7. When you think your jam is ready just take that plate out of the freezer and pour a little jam on the plate. Wait for 30 seconds and then draw a line in its centre with your finger. If the partition stays as it is then your preserve is ready and if its runny then you need to cook it for a little time more and do this test again. 



8. Let the preserve cool down completely transfer it to a air tight glass jar and refrigerate. You must always use dry hands and spoon to keep its longevity. It easily stays good for 8-10 months. Enjoy!

Other Jams, Chutneys and Preserves you can try here are: Fresh Plum Spiced ChutneyArgentine Chimichurri SalsaCoconut Chutney Sweet and Sour Raw Mango ChutneySpinach Coriander Salsa| Phalahari ChutneyRaw Mango Chutney with Mint and Coriander and Szechuan Sauce.

StrawberryPreserve_Featured4[whohit]Strawberry Preserve[/whohit]

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