MK Livin & Lovin

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Eatin: Easiest Nachos Ever!

I love movies....and I would like to pride myself to be a Cinephile...but my list of movies to watch remains endless and no where near complete. Now going to watch a movie usually means three things- movie (of course), trailers (the most important part) and snacks!! Who does not love the buttery, cheesy pop corn or the gooey nachos with a side of candy floss and soda!

Well, coming home famished one evening, I recalled a quick and easy snack a flat mate of mine used to make. These are the easiest and probably ( a bit more healthy) than the nachos you get the cinema. I would highly recommend making these when you have people over for a movie night and they are to die for.

Its quite simple....get a pack a Doritos Tortilla Chips in Nacho Cheese Flavor or even plain Tortilla chips will do.

Create a "pico de gallo" by chopping up an tomato, red onion, black beans and jalapenos (fresh or the ones from jar). Add in salt to taste and some lime juice ( I would skip this step if I were using the jarred jalapenos.

Top the tortilla chips with the pico de gallo. You can top this with spoons of salsa. After that top this off with a mix of mozzarella and sharp cheddar cheese. Go ahead be quite generous with this step.

Pop this into microwave/ oven and bake till the cheese melts.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Eatin: My Favorite Smoothie Recipe Ever - AB&J

You know you have had a good break/vacation when you are back rested and filled with good memories, positive energy and looking forward to making positive tweaks possible. Bliss!

During the trip, the hotel I was staying in had a juice bar and like clock work for the four days I stayed there, I would order this smoothie. Let me tell you by far the most refreshing and yummy smoothie ever!

I loved it so much that the day after I landed in Dubai, I went and got all the ingredients to make the smoothie. Now my version tastes yum but I cant seem to be able to recreate the taste like the Juice Farm at the Palazzo in Las Vegas. I think this has to do with the fresh almond butter they used in the smoothie.

If you want try to make the smoothie, here is the recipe

1 banana
1 cup strawberries
1/2 cup fresh frozen grapes
Meat of 1/2 coconut ( this is the yummy interior of a fresh coconut)
Coconut water
2-3tbsp of fresh almond butter ( best of luck finding this in Dubai. I used atore bought instead)

Blend all of these ingredients till it is nice and smooth! And enjoy!

Note: its a good meal replacement, mostly breakfast or lunch. Do not have this for dinner!
Coconut meat, in some parts of Dubai cafeterias sell fresh tender coconuts. Ask them to separate the water and meat and give it to you.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Eatin: Tresind - Very India

Have any of you ever seen the movie "100 foot journey" or perhaps read the book? An amazing food journey (sorry The Chef did not make my cut).  In the movie the protagonist- an Indian cook curious of French cuisine and flavors takes on his "journey" to learn how to cook French cuisine from the lady who runs the Michelin Star restaurant across the street from his family run restaurant. Eventually, he become a skilled chef where he uses various techniques such as "molecular gastronomy" to create fusion "Indo-French" meals. (I highly recommend checking out the movie- Helen Mirren is brilliant.) While watching the movie, I kept thinking is there anything such as Indian molecular gastronomy ?!?

Fast forward few months later, the name "Tresind" starts popping up on my Twitter and Instagram feeds with the words such as unique,different and molecular gastronomy being used to describe not just the food but the overall "experience". 

Curiosity piqued, I made my way this week to try the restaurant. This was one meal that was truly an experience. I would have never thought that you could marry flavors such as truffles into Indian cuisine - can you just imagine how heavenly that would taste!  I ordered the "vegetarian" tasting menu which was six course meal starting from chaat to soup to salad to kebabs to mains and finally dessert. A bit ambitious but as the sous chef later advised me you need to be a "bit smart" with tasting menus- basically pace yourself.

Let me share the highlights of the meal

The "deconstructed" pani puri- a spoonful of pani gel sprinkled with boondi that you have to throw back like a shot.

Zaatar buns with pindi channa hummus

A minestrone pav bhaji soup

The modernist chaat trolley - this is something you should order even while going a la carte - the way they make it is sheer amusement.

Guloti kebabs with morel mushrooms - truffle infused heaven

For the mains there were three gravies, a dal, a bread basket and kulchas. One of them a papad canoli with kadhi and kachori. The dal is amazing with a smoky aftertaste. The stuffed kulchas with mushrooms that have a hint of truffle.

Now the dessert- my favorite was the "Daulat ki Chaat" - a creamy milk foam with soan papdi and 24K gold. Breaking the notion that Indian desserts need to be heavy and overwhelming.  

And the after meal digestive- mukwaas (mouth refresher)? saunf (fennel seeds)? Nope! Bring in the "Paan" flavored candy floss!

The sous chef Angad stated that they regularly come out with new dishes for patrons to try and if the feedback on the flavors are positive they introduce it in the menu. So, every visit can be different. I really look forward to going back and trying few of the other dishes on the menu. 

I would really recommend this restaurant if you are up for trying something different and unique (there I said it twice over) ;) 

I leave you with this picture of a brilliant execution of flavor and texture? Can anyone guess the flavor? ;) (Hint: Not a fruit)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Eatin: Basil Macadamia Pesto

There is nothing more satisfying than a simple sauce stirred into a pasta with a drizzle of truffle oil or silvers of almonds or chill flakes (some heat!).

Pesto is one of my most favorite sauces ever! I can have pesto dotted on a pizza, added to a salad dressing or spread on a sandwich. The nutty flavor from the pine nuts and aroma of freshly chopped basil just makes it divine all rounded with olive oil.

The last time I made pesto, I decided to add a some macadamia nuts to the pesto which gives the pesto more body and a bit of a chewy after taste. It was yummy!!


2 big bunches of fresh basil
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup of pine nuts
3/4 cup of parmesan cheese; grated (fresher the better)
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Handful of macadamia nuts
Salt and Black Pepper to taste

- Coarsely chop all the ingredients in a food processor other than the oil, salt and pepper. 
-Slowly add the olive oil to chopped ingredients and mix till well blended (the oil should not separate but emulsify)
-Add salt and pepper to taste.

Tip 1: You can freeze left over pesto into cubes. Freeze them in ice trays then keep them in Ziploc bags in the freezer. The olive oil acts as a preservative. Yes, it will not taste as good as the fresh kind but better than having store bought fare.

Tip 2: When you want to use the pesto just leave two or three cubes to thaw at room temperature. Under no circumstances microwave the pesto or heat it. Pesto is usually best added to the sauce right at the end so as to not destroy the flavor.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Livin: The Year That Was & 2015

Another 365 days gone and what a year it has been. Not the worst of time but certainly a challenging one in certain aspects.

2014 was a year to realise that support and friendship are rare and when you find them- cherish it!

2014 was the year to realise that what a selfish world we live in and despite it all you might be lucky enough to find people who care.

2014 was the year to realise life will always remain full of surprises. Morality and kindness can be of convenience and utterly subjective.

2014 was the year to accept in all of the chaos; "just keep swimming" is not all that bad and sometimes all we ever need.

2015, I hope will be a year to be a bit crazier, happier, healthier and maybe along the way end up wiser! 

I am horrid at resolutions but for me 2015 will be about gratitude, relationships and experiences :) 

Happy New Year!!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Eatin : Yummiest Guacamole Ever!

I have posted this a recipe for guacamole previously, but this has a little twist. My favorite place to have chips and guacamole is at Loca in Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa. This recipe comes pretty close to tasting as yummy as the one they make at Loca.

In addition to using a nice avocado, bell pepper, roasted corn, onion, a green chili, one lime, you will need a 1 tsp of cumin powder, 1/2 tsp of garlic powder or even 1 tsp if you like and salt to taste. 

All chopped and diced!

Add the roasted corn. You can roast the corn on a grill on even on a lightly oil pan, which makes it more toasted I guess. 

Add the spices and chopped up avocado and mix it up.

Serve up with some plain or lime flavored tortilla chips. Makes a good dinner as well ;)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lovin : ideer, Camera Accessories Galore

There is nothing more exciting than someone pursing their passion. ideer, is exactly that a passion for photography and style personified. My friend Navin Khianey, who is an avid photographer himself, realized that there was a market in ever so fashionable UAE for vintage camera accessories. Originally from Hong Kong, ideer is now available in the Middle East.

ideer is a range of vintage camera accessories and cases, I especially love the canvas bag. The bags are ideal for the avid photographers and bloggers alike. 

The best part of ideer is you can buy their collection online so do check out their site and like their page on Facebook .