From my kitchen to yours

From my kitchen to yours

Monday, June 24, 2013


And so my kitchen is kinda ready , but not yet..
There are workers walking in and out of my home..
Wherever I look ,I see a man working on some part of my home...
There are masons, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, painters, polishers, iron smiths..
Well there are just toooo many people..
And frankly now they have become part of my household...
So when I bake muffins...
Or make churros enough for an army..
They get it with their Chai..
Maybe that's why they are not leaving...
Ha ha ha ...

I think when the work all gets done..
And they do not come back no more..
I'm think I'm going to miss them..
Ha ha ha ...
I have made peace with the fact that they are not leaving in a hurry...
And that's that..

I think as humans..
Making peace with what you cannot change or improve is a good way to live ..
Not everything goes according to plan, but plan you must and know fully well that there will be changes..
I don't know..
But that's what I feel now ..
At this stage in my life..
But my feelings change a lot.. Mercurial is what my friend Jaya says I am..

I'm still volatile..
I still hurt..
I still bleed..
I still cry..
I do not like to give up..

But I have learnt to give in..
To let be..
I'm not always right..
Even though I may think I am ..
And it's not that I don't put up a fight ..

When I'm about to lose something or someone I dearly and deeply love or want..
But I also know, that if I'm fighting for something and someone..
Then they should also be wanting the same..
It's like that scene from "my best friends wedding" ..
Where Julia Roberts character is running after her best friend who is getting married to someone else..
And her friend Rupert Everetts character asks her, " and who is running after you"...
Such a deep pertinent question..

Well such is life..
Sometimes we need someone on the outside to give us perspective to the obvious..
And at that time..
We have a choice..
To actually see the truth..
And come to terms with it ..
Or live in fools paradise..

So Upender my contractor has told me, that it's going to take him maximum a week to finish up and leave ..
But I'm thinking 10-12 days at least..
That's because I can see it for what it is..
And so have made peace with the fact that ..
They are not leaving in a hurry..

Meanwhile, the pet project I'm working on has come to a standstill..
Also because I'm at a loss for words..
Am feeling a bit stuck..
So I do not know what to write..

Also I think when I broke my kitchen, a part of my soul broke with it too..
It's there that I found  my love for cooking..
That my ZZ's have had their first meals..
Where I have cooked many a meals for my friends..
Where my Christmas madness has happened..
Memories of sitting on the windows with my friends drinking wine..
Drunk dialling..ha ha ha
Gosh now that I'm reminiscing ..

There is just so much ..
Memories, moments  and some more...
Memories can be such a bitch sometimes..
Ha ha ha did I just say that ..
Yup that was me..!

But I'm enjoying my new kitchen..
But it's still not home broken..
I need to call my friends and cook for everyone..
I need to drink champagne in there ..
And not remember anything ..ha ha ha the usual..

This kitchen has all my old wood-work, but its very different.
Its calm..
Maybe I have finally grown up , or Zen'd out a bit..
Its white..
So I need to add my brand of colour.. still deciding , am so confused..
And I need to write stuff on my walls..
But it has a wooden island, that houses all my recipe books..
My Le Creuset dishes that my wonderful friend Tosh carried back from London for me, are hanging on my wall..
My new kitchen overlooks my terrace..
And the big blue sky that has the rising sun..
When it rains..
I just love sitting at the window of my kitchen ..and stare out..
I loooooove the rains..
There is something extremely romantic about this season ..
And there is something completely magical about looking up into the rain ,as it pours down on you ..

And so today inspite of my home being full of Upenders elves..
The soft drizzle and the fresh light green leaves swaying on my terrace..
Just did something to me..
And so I started frantically searching for something that I could whip up..
Something that I don't normally make..

So I found cod..
I had pasta that I had boiled and kept..
Then got into my pantry and took out sesame oil, chili flakes, Xo sauce, oyster sauce, 5 spice powder , fish sauce and I was in business..
What business I still had to figure ..
But I was going the oriental way..


Cod fillets-1 kg

Sesame oil
Soya sauce
Oyster sauce
Xoxo sauce - 1 Tbsp
5 spice powder-2tbsp
Fish sauce- 1tbsp
Pepper freshly grounded

Chili flakes
Vegetable oil-5 tbsp

Red pepper -1 diced

Yellow pepper-1 diced


I'm sorry but I did not really measure all of the ingredients I used..

I was just cooking with abandon..
So please bear with me...


Wash and pat dry the cod..
Then sprinkle it with the 5spice powder..
Add a nice healthy and happy glug of the sesame oil..
The fish sauce.
The freshly ground pepper..

And about 2 tbsp of good quality Soya sauce..
And just let it marinate for about half an hour..


In another pan
Add a tsp of butter
And 2 tsp of groundnut oil
And just add the peppers and stir fry them..
Add 2 tbsp of oyster sauce and a tsp of a soya sauce..
Let it sauté for about 3 minutes , then add 1/2 a cup of water and cook for about 3-5 minutes more, or till the water is reduced and you get a nice sauce..

Take it off the fire.

Keep aside

In a non stick pan over very high heat.

Sear the fish with a tbsp of butter and 2 tbsps of ground nut oil, on either side about a minute each..

Then lower the heat to medium..
Add chili flakes while frying the fish .
Add 2 tbsp of oyster sauce.. 
Then let it cook on a medium flame for about 5 minutes or till your fillet is cooked..
Add a tbsp of XO sauce and take it off the fire...

I did not have spring onions or basil..

Or tiny red chillies..
But I think if you do add it , it will be awesome..

Serve hot..

The amazing thing about using cod is that it's texture is very soft and fleshy and it takes in the flavouring of the marinade very easily ...

Sometimes in life I think if we are able to adapt to everything changing around us without putting up a fight ,it sometimes help..
I'm not saying give into stuff that is ridiculous and that goes against your grain..
But sometimes you have to let be..

I think all of us have a path..
And if you find people walking the same path with you ..
Great ....
It's always nice to walk with wonderful company..
But it's also nice to discover your own company..
And the best way ...
Is to introduce you to yourself..

Sometimes hanging in your own company..
Fine tunes your soul..

So while I served food and Zeke went into over drive about the aroma of the food..
While Zene was trying to say stuff with her mouth stuffed with fish..
And my parents were wondering why there is no rice or noodles...
(well I then tossed the pasta in some sesame oil, with some chili flakes)
My daddy looked relieved ..
He had that look on his face,that said, " crazy people have no clue what a meal should be like " ha ha ha

I pierced my fork into a steaming fillet..
Soft, succulent and full of the toasty flavour of the sesame.. The subtle spice of the Xo sauce enlightened my taste buds..
This felt good..
This recipe worked..
I really did not know how this was going to taste..
But it was good, it had the right amount of flavouring and consistency

And so you may not always know where you are..
But that does not mean that you are lost..
You need to always go with your heart...
Take a few risks without thinking too much..
But yes do not hurt anyone..

And when in doubt COOK...
At least that's what I do ..
 I love to cook........regardless..

So here's presenting "Zen'd Fish with peppers and xoxo" ...piping hot and so subtly flavoured...
 It's almost like when you look into someone's eyes and then break into a smile that unexplainable..

With lots of love only from "Maria's Kitchen"...


  1. Maria I just love reading your blogs because you write so honestly. I feel like I'm having a conversation with you. Your writing style is beyond stream of consciousness.
    My mom looks at me with the same look even when I am eating pasta. For her no meal is complete without rice or roti!

    1. Parents are really funny sometimes...
      And thank you ..

  2. wow..!! the cod looks u said, itz really very soft & fleshy..i juz loved d fish da way u made it..And i wish, i waz a plumber,electrician,painter[u knoe wot i mean..u still owe me muffins..hahaha]

    P.S.How come der is never a dull momment wid u??


    1. Hey Aryan , if you do take up carpentry..
      Give me a shout ha ha ha ...

  3. Memories are a bitch!! Love d words & u..looking forward to the next post hopefully you are able to write it in your new kitchen...& yes Mumbai monsoons bring the best out of you..dunno why but they do :)

    1. Yup Nev, they do, inspire of the water logging and the conjugated traffic..
      It's still magical ...

  4. Hey maria,
    Love what you wrote above... Yes your food speaks magic and to savor it inthis season is divine.... I miss the rains in this desert.. but hopefully will be able to enjoy it next year!

    Will def try the recipe :)


    1. Every part of nature is beautiful...
      Enjoy the sand ..
      And thanks for visiting ..

  5. Upender's elves.... Ha ha . Make sure they leave before christmas. wayyyyyyyyy before christmas. Hope u r well and mad. Stay that way. For all the serious people in the world we need to balance it out with the whackos. I am doing my bit to stay crazy.

    1. Sneha was wondering where you are..
      I believe Toronto is enjoying some lovely weather...
      How was the Zumbathon...

  6. Maria missing your write ups alot...plzz gather your words n write as soon as you inspire alot of people and i am amongst them...loats of love xoxo

  7. And also if u can put up more veg recipies as i am a vegetarian..thnxx:)

    1. Dear Simran,
      I do vegetarian but they are mostly sides..
      But will post something soon...
      And you will write soon ..

    2. Sorry I mean I will write soon ....

    3. Will luk fwd to the recipies :)
      And loved your love letter,thnxx soo much for sharing it with us♡

  8. Hi maria. i came across your blog while searching for your email id. Shall definitely try out these recipes for my hisband who loves to eat non-veg.

    Being a professioal blogger, i would like to get in touch with you for something not related to cooking. its about how you teach your kids to be moneywise and how you make them understand the importance of money. How can we take this forward?