From my kitchen to yours

From my kitchen to yours

Sunday, December 14, 2014


So this recipe is a very very special one , it's the type of bake I have seen my mom do since I was just a little girl peeking over the table ..
My mum was like speedy Gonzalez in the kitchen ..
She would churn out the most amazing stuff in a jiffy...
And was always trying out new things.
Our home was a favorite haunt with my friends..
She always had a stock of muffins at home ..
And in the summer, her mango ice cream was most loved and wanted amongst my friends..

It's funny that we spend all our growing years arguing and opposing everything our parents said to us or made us do..
To find out later in life..
That we are actually them ..
Sometimes when I'm talking to my Zeke and Zene , I literally stop mid sentence..
Because I was about to say the same exact words my mum said ..
And if they were so wrong when we were young , then how come we become them,when we have kids...
It's so weird, that we become a version of our parents, who we may or may not agree with..
And so life goes on..

I read somewhere, that if you want your family traditions to continue, you should involve your daughter, because she is the one who will keep your family traditions alive and will pass it down..
The boys ..
Well there is a lot I can say about boys, I think we spoil them..
But the one thing I would like to say is that, most are more complicated than us girls, but are better at looking cool and unaffected..ha ha ha

So this recipe I'm sharing with you is not just a recipe..
It's part of my childhood memories and a growing up I did when I studied at Tante Marie.


Christmas is a very beautiful part of the year..
During Christmas time , you automatically take stock of your life..
And it just all happens so organically ..

I guess it's the end of the year assessment of your own life and relationships..
So how many are still as close to you ,as they were in the beginning of the year..
How many strangers do you now call friends....
And how many close friends are now strangers....
Well that's quite a lot of introspection, happening, if you are really delving into it and not speed skiing on the surface..

So during Christmas you write cards, or send SMS's , or what's app friends..
Some special ones you will call and face time..
And that's how it is today so connected by the world of technology, and yet I feel there is a coldness about , connecting via a machine.
I miss receiving hand written cards.
But I don't send them either, so frankly I should not expect any..

I remember, along with the sweets that we would be busy making, we would also be either making or then buying special cards, to write and send to family and friends.
And just before Christmas, a big ribbon was hung and all the cards we received would be hung from wall to wall.
My kids don't ever see that...
I don't make cards anymore...
I don't send or receiveany either, except from a lovely old uncle and Aunt..

I feel like a little part of my life has just disappeared ..
Like a missing soul ...
But I'm thinking, maybe next year , this is what I should do..
Gather all the paper and start from scratch, and hand write cards to my family and friends..

I don't go around giving sweets anymore either..
I still remember, after mid-night mass , and that was truly held at mid-night..
We would first run home, to find our toys under the tree but Santa, would always be missed by just a bell..
Damn damn damn...
And then we would all run to one another's houses and wish everyone..
Hug and kiss everyone actually..
Till I grew up , and then it was just a hand-shake and an awkward kiss on the cheek ha ha ha ..
I think that was the only night we were allowed to stay up late..
And then in the morning, my mum would get bustling in the kitchen..

She would have Vindaloo, and Duck Moile , a potato and Mayo salad, fugiyaas , a baked chicken and then dessert would be all the Christmas sweets and a trifle pudding..
We would then have an inch of red wine (Made by my daddy)..ha ha ha
It was actually literally poured an inch..
But it was such a thrill to say cheers ..
And then sip on it and have all the food on the table, after which , we were so full of eating and exhausted with the late night, and the early morning that we slept..

And thereafter the week would be, just going visiting family and friends and having people over..
And eating left overs..
I loved that..

I'm just realising that in the age of no technology, we made it a point to stay in touch with all who mattered..
Today in spite of all the tech-equipment, we don't..
Or then we think that by sending a smiley to someone..
You are keeping in touch..
Is this not a sad state of relationships..

I think I want to go back to my childhood , and continue life from how I lived it ..
But I can't..
So I have to start with right now..

I'm going to start with me and my kids..
They need to know how to stay in touch with people that matter for real..
Writing a letter to someone and posting it is not old fashioned, but really sweet..
Need to teach them simple stuff.
Like return a call, you may not think that person is important enough, but that person thought so , that's why they called you .
Reply to messages, it's really not so difficult..
I'm not saying that people who do are wonderful people..
But the ones who don't, just tell you , that you don't matter..
Need us all to understand that by saying 'Please, Thank-you and Sorry' and really meaning it ..
Can actually change our own life..
Writing a letter to Santa, even though we know he is not "a" single person, (but a hoard of loving souls , who keep him alive , for the next generation...)
Is the best gift you could give yourself..

I write to Santa, every year ..
Sometimes it's a happy letter..
And sometimes I realise that there is a part of me that wants stuff that I'm never going to get...
But "Hope" is beautiful..
It's what keeps us all alive and smiling..

And so this year too...
I have made my grown-up Christmas list..
Knowing fully well, that if you do want something from the bottom of your heart, the universe gives it to you eventually ..
Whether you are still interested or not..
ha ha ha

This year, I just want that each and every woman in my country can breathe safely..
That the kids are kept safe in mind , body, heart and soul..
And that when we SMS, email, what's app or call one another..
We really mean what we are writing or saying..
If not for yours sake, then for the person at the other end..
They may just believe you ..

So yup this Christmas..
I just want to say, this recipe is something that just does not have ingredients, but is filled with moments and collections of memories in my life..
It's years of different Christmases, writing cards, posting cards, opening envelopes, hanging cards on ribbons..
To calling friends and family..
To sending messages ,  SMS 's , whatsapping, FB greetings to Twitter messages..
I hate don't do that..
To making calls after more than the childhood quota , of an inch of red wine ha ha ha ..
It's all encompassing ..

So with lotsa love ..
Merry Christmas..

P.S. If you are going to make this baked chicken, at least try it out once before Christmas..
It's easy, but I never got it right the first time..
But then maybe , you will..
All the best and stay happy ..

And so was feeling a bit brave and decided to wish you in song..
But after hearing it, was thankful that I dont cook like I sing ...ha ha ha 
My kids thought I sounded like a chipmunk, and my cousin Penny felt it was more a chipmunk with a sore throat..
What ever it sounds like ..
The intention was to wish you Merry Christmas..
So ignore the voice and just go with the thought behind it ..PLEASE

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


I love DECEMBER and all that comes with it ..
It's the month of Christmas and  my birthday month..Yeeeeeah...

I love birthdays..
Mine and everyone else's..

And every year on my birthday I just thank God for keeping me blessed and for giving me such amazing people in my life..

Right from my parents to my puppy Taz...
I'm happy for every single person who has walked into my life..
And stayed..
Or walked out, because I'm just too much to handle ha ha ha

I know that nothing in this life of ours happens by chance..
It's all, is a long drawn plan..
By God , who has just the naughtiest sense of humour and has such finesse with timing sometimes, that he can really test your patience..
Well he does mine..

So whether certain people or situations in life are fantastic or terrible..
Or whether it makes no difference at all..
Just remember that it all moves ions and neutrons from the deepest corners of your soul, even if you don't believe in jargon like this ..
And yes, you will never be the same ..

Am I the same girl I was a year ago ..
Yes mostly..
A little kg here and there..
One more wrinkle as I smile..
A strand of grey in my hair that I love..
But this is just the outside..
That may or may not be visible..

But my insides..
Are the same..
I don't know..

But I feel a peace inside my soul that I may have never felt before..
I am able to forgive ,eventually, because I know I'm not perfect either..
I try to forget,between buckets of tears and pillow cases..
I try and keep life as real as possible..
I try and keep my mouh shut, most times, unless I really have to just say what I want to say..
I never give up easily..
I'm still irritatingly impulsive..
I sit quietly sometimes..
I sing loudly in the shower..
I fight for the people I want in my life, until I feel they do not anymore want me in theirs..
I apologise..
I explode..
I dance..
I throw tantrums, if I know it will work..
I drink wine..
I sleep ..
I run..
I love..

I feel that in life...
If we can be a little accepting of what life throws at us..
It brings us , just a little closer to who we actually are..

You don't just find gold..
You have to dig deep for it ..
And then it has to go through fire to bring out it's purity..

I guess we are all like gold...
How we deal with life ..
When you are riding a high or a low..
Really shows us who we are..

Some are honest
Some are brave
Some are accepting
Some are fighters
Some are meek
Some are rigid
Some are malleable
Some just laugh through it 
Some become somber 
Some throw in the towel too soon...

What ever we do , there is no, one perfect way, to live life..
We have to just make the most of what each day throws at us , without losing our true essence..
The thing about our true essence, is that, its like 24 carat gold..
When you put gold through fire, it comes out Gold and shiny, it does not change into some other metal..
Unless it is some other metal, with a rinse of gold..

And so today ,I'm sharing with you a recipe, that I use to make a whole lot of things with..
It's a simple dough , but every time I make it , I do something different to it..
(Why? ...because its fun)
And that changes how it looks and feels, and with the right additions also how it tastes when you bite into it..

We need to be like this simple dough, that is a accepting to change and also absorb new things in life..

So today that I'm a year older, I don't want to preach to you ..
Because I know very little about life myself..
I think I have just about tasted the tip of the iceberg of life..
And have a long way to go ..

But I know one thing..
No matter what you may go through good or bad..
Say thank you to the universe or if you believe in a God..
Then thank him...

Because I know that no matter what road you walk on or through,and no matter who you meet and talk to for a while or a life time..
At turns and detours most unexpectedly, you will feel a beautiful corner in your soul just opening up..

So if someone makes you smile..
Please go ahead and pass that smile forward to some one else..
If someone makes you cry..
There is something that the universe is trying to teach you ..
So learn that lesson ..
Don't harden your heart..
Hearts were meant for love..

It's just that ..
We all live in a crazy maze..
Sometimes there is so much electricity that you can light a whole city with it ..
And sometimes, the wires just fuse..
The point is sometimes, it can be repaired and sometimes, it has burnt itself out..
You always know YOUR reality deep inside you ..You have all the answers you are searching for..
So look inside not out..
(I'm feeling very intelligent right now, just wish I followed my own words all the time ha ha ha )

Whichever way your life travels..
Always remember..
This is how it IS supposed to be , whether you like it or not..
Share the happiness and swim through sadness to the other side..

So go with it..
And be like the dough that converts into crisp pizzas, bready calzone or then the softest dough balls..
Without losing its essence..
Which is not its taste
But its ability to go with the flow...
Like in the words of the Penguins of Madagascar, "Looks don't matter, it's what you do that counts"

So while I bite into the softest morsel of bread loaded with this cream cheese dip..
I'm thinking...

Please add 2 tbsp more of Nutella and 1 table spoon more of the  condensed milk..
Don't laugh I'm serious...
It will taste better..

No you are not going to put on weight with one extra bite..

So I just want to say thank-you, to each and everyone who sent me Birthday wishes yesterday..
A big Thaaaank you , with much love from me to you, only from "Maria's Kitchen "..

So does getting a year older make me any wiser..
Ha ha ha I don't think so..
But yes it does tell me, time maybe running out ..
So grab your moments of joy....
And stay happy ...

Saturday, November 15, 2014


And so everytime I look at my kids I just thank God for them, thank him for giving me a new lease of life.
For giving me a chance to relive my childhood again ofcourse with a lot more responsibilities..
I love kids..
Though not all though..
I'm not mother Theresa after all.

But what I love most about them , is that they will always tell you like it is, until you teach them otherwise.
If you want to know the truth about anything ask a child.
Only if you really want the truth.

And how many of us really are ready to hear the truth about ourselves.
Well I'm putting up my hand first...
Of course we all want to be liked ,  loved and appreciated.
But do we do the same.
Are we able to put our biases and judgemental beings aside and appreciate someone for exactly who she is..
No it's really difficult...

And so I think ...
(And I think a lot sometimes) ha ha ha
That if we can tap into our inner child , and ask her how she is feeling , she will tell you the truth..
She will tell you that , you may probably be doing it all right , but are actually all wrong.

Children to me are our greatest teachers.
They eat when they are hungry, sleep when they are tired , protest when their toys are being taken over , and throw huge tantrums when they want their way and can't have it ..
Not very different from us adults !
But we as adults have learnt how to mask what we feel, say what we don't mean , and our actions mostly do not match our words!
And we call that "Social etiquette " ..
How messed up are we ..ha ha ha

So if we can try and keep it simple, I think our lives would be less complicated.
Please do say no , when you don't want to be part of something!
Say yes , when you want to .
And don't let your ego get in the way of  love.
Give the tightest hugs..
Say I love you , when you mean it..
Say I miss if , because you really do !
Smile a lot, it could make someone's day .
And sing in the bathroom ,if you do not have a voice like "Pink"..

But live ..
As fully and joyously as you did when you were little..
When the most you had to worry about, is whether , Santa is going to get you what you wrote to him about..

There seems to be a huge lacuna between what we want to do in life and what we do!
And that mostly because , no life does not follow our plans..
But plans are constantly running around in mixed up circles , by the life we lead.

Can we step back just for a little while..
Like today ...
And look at the moon, while you are travelling back home, and believe he is following you , because you are special, just like you used to , when you were little..
And believed in all things good and magical..
There is no magic , unless you believe...

And so today I would like to share with you a recipe , that I conjured up in my kitchen..
Pizza dough , chocolate and marshmallows..
Nothing fancy or gourmet about it ..

But the combination "Magical"..
Try it..
And write back to me only after you watch the moon following you home..
Speak to that little child who lives deep inside you ..
Ask her how she is doing..
Look after her..
Tell her that it will all be fine..
Tell her that she needs to always walk ahead with a smile and the world will smile back ..
Tell her that it's ok to love someone to bits..
And that her heart will also smash to smithereens..
But it's only like what Rumi said..
It's from here that the light enters through..
Tell her it's ok to laugh like a cackling witch and it's also ok to cry buckets..
It's ok to believe that not everyone is as bad or as good as the next ..
And it's ok to just walk alone..
To sit under a tree, and fall asleep without an intelligent book in her hand..
It's all right to not know all the right answers..

But it's not ok to
Not dream
To stop loving
To stop trusting
To give up ...

We have just this one life ..
And so many choices..

So let's live like little kids..
Open Pandora's box..
Make mistakes..
Get bruised and run again...

Ok I need to stop ..
I need to just bite into the gooey, melting slice of goodness in my hand..
And share this with all of you ..

This is for you, for me , for us , for all the kids , and to the child in each and everyone of us..that sometimes just needs to chase butterflies..
With tons of hugs from "Maria's Kitchen "

Wednesday, November 12, 2014



I feel in life it's very easy for us to ignore the ordinary and run after all , what we deem special, that's just human nature.
But it is only through the most simple things in life that greatness is achieved.

Like we all started with crawling, before we could walk and run..
We needed to learn the alphabet , before we could write or read..

And the one thing I have learned is that we need to learn how to forgive before we can love..

Love is quite a leveller in life.
One minute you are soaring through the clouds and the other you may just be unable to get up from your bed ..
What we need to be like..
Is like , "whole wheat flour"..
Yeah , common , to say the least , so easy to find in any shop and so easy to use ..
But can change form and shape and be a friend to almost any kind of food..
This does not mean it has no depth, it just means it is well adjusted, and sure of who it is..

It's amazing how much you learn about life from food..
I learnt that , you should not starve, eat everything you like in the right proportion , and indulge yourself when you feel like..

And do not ignore the little stuff..
Drink enough of water everyday.
Eat at least 2 fruits, 2 raw vegetable and eat your Roti and rice..
No the gluten from your roti and the sugar from your rice won't kill you ..

And yes, our parents and grand-parents, never used the word "Diet" ...
They ate everything and worked hard, and that's why , we need to heed their words of wisdom.

Today I'm going to share something with you , that's so basic that every one should learn to make it, so incase you are in a situation , where you need to fend for yourself, you can at least make yourself some wholesome, hot "Roti"

I never knew how to make rotis , till a few years ago, and everytime my mom said we need to learn , we laughed at her, my sister and me.

But, Boss, at the end of the day, do you want to rely on help for something so basic..
I think you should all go try this, it simple fun and a good activity to do with friends and family..
Nothing bonds people like cooking together..
And for those who pray, well praying together..

Something so basic ..
That completely satiates you ..
Can I make a perfectly round roti...
But that's not the end of the world..
Can you make , "Pansette de Gerzat"????

Ha ha ha I'm sure you are wondering what that is ...
Well just want to tell you, whatever it is neither can I , I just googled it , ha ha ha

But we can all try and live life , with our basics in place ..
Pray ( or don't) , love ( or don't) , eat ( or starve)
Frankly to each her own..

So as I take a bite of this beautiful crunchy "Laccha paratha," loaded with ghee also known as clarified butter..
I'm filled with a warmth and happiness about the fact that only simple things actually do permeate your soul..
With much love from "Maria's Kitchen"...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


When I was a kid, Diwali for me meant being in my grandmas home in Vasai, my mum is the fourth of eight sisters, so you can just imagine what a full house that was.
Diwali meant that we would get sparklers from every uncle who came over to my grandmas post collecting their Diwali bonus and always had the biggest box of sweets I had seen.
My grandma cooked a simple meal, of fish curry and dry mutton and there would be much merriment.
We kids would then light our sparklers , fountains, and then get out our boxes of chakkris, and this weird black tablet little thing that when we lit would grow into a snake, so we got into putting these all over the entrance steps of our house , and then of course the final "Laddhi" of noisy crackers..
That frightened the crap out of all of us..

I never did like them , I still don't do .
We kids then just hung out on our really long verandah , that had a swing , that creaked away into the night as we swung on it.
It was just wonderful, and this memory of us lying on that big swing, swinging away, as we peeked at a black sky , studded with stars , and listen to the rustle of the wind through the palm leaves, is something that has just stayed with me.

Then we would all move into the house and mattresses were laid from one end to the other and we would all sleep there in line, while my grandma moved to her room and would continue talking to all her children till late into the night, while my grandpa would say, "Dokri..bas aata, zhop aata "
There was never any noise, no crackers bursting.
Just the sound of Laughter amongst all my aunts, and stories of what happened during the struggle for independence ..

Gosh , just reliving this,  brings tears to my eyes.
My grandma Rose Mary had the heartiest laugh, she smoked bidies, once in a while, my grandparents were farmers..
And going to their place for holidays was my biggest joy.
Running through fields, having a bath at the well, plucking fruit every afternoon (where we would eventually be bitten by red ants) and then the golas...
To me this was Diwali..
Our way of celebrating it ..
There was nothing fancy ..
But everything real and lots of love and laughter..

I love this festival and as a kid growing up in a very Catholic community, I used to wait every year for Diwali sweets from my friends, it was just so special.
My friends Laxmi, Renita and Kiran, was my first introduction to rangoli ,lighting of Diyas , Puja and vegetarian food.
They were the ones who introduced me to the Dandiya and to Ganpati Visarjan.

This is what I love about my India the most, that we are all so diverse and there is so much we can all learn from one another.

But I actually started celebrating Diwali in full gusto with my friend Mini.
She does the whole hog.
It's just so nice.
And then one year , she said what kind of Diwali is this no one gambles here, and she laid down these mattresses on her terrace , so I was introduced to "teen Patti" and other various card games that I don't quiet remember.
So Mini would light Diyas all over the house, make her full Mathur "Khana" and then drape herself in a beautiful sari, (you know for me she is the sari icon of India ) and then she would saunter around, seeing that everyone is well fed, well drunk and gamble, till some would be dropping off to sleep (me ha ha ha )
This year she is in the mountains , so it's a very quiet Diwali without her.

With Jaya, we would do the full Puja and sing "Om Jai Jagdish" , with her kids ringing bells, and us all singing with much gusto, and then her mum would put Tikkas for all of us and then treat us to an amazing Vegetarian fare, and all the kids just had a blast.

To me this is Diwali
Family, friends,giving thanks and lighting up Diyas..

What I dislike about Diwali,are the loud crackers , and my poor dog Taz sitting curled up petrified in a corner, and the horrible smog the next morning..

Do I gamble..
Nope I don't..
I'm not a gambler , but a risk taker I am ..ha ha ha

Today I took all my diyas and after lighting up my home,and I drove over to my new home, with Zene, Taz and my house help..
Both the boys of the house are out working and camping..
So Zene and me went and light Diyas all around our new home..
It now feels like home, even though it's still filled with cement, paint and not yet complete..

So before I say bye, I just want to share with all of you this lovely Chicken recipe that my vegetarian friend Jaya gave me..ha ha ha ..yup..

It's something that is so yummy and full of flavour, it's not spicy so great for kids too..

And if you want to spice it up , just slit a green chili and have it with every bite, it's totally yummy.

So "Happy Diwali" my dear readers, thank you for all the warmth and the love ..
Stay blessed and shine ..
And have a sparkler of a Diwali..
And try and celebrate by lighting up each other's lives with love , patience, understanding and hugs...
Happppppppeeeeeeee Diwaaaaaaaaaliiiiiiii ,with much love from me to you , only from "Maria's Kitchen "

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

DAY 106 - JALEBI...

And so I was just pondering about the fact that we meet so many people everyday..
Some of us are just not comfortable meeting new people..
Some we are vary of ..,
Most of them we envy..
A few we respect ..
A few we are jealous off...
A few we feel more superior too..
And a few ,then we count as equals ..
Those are the ones we make friends with ..

And then if someone tips our balance ..
Then our equilibrium goes for a toss and all hell breaks loose. ..
Ha ha ha
Do you know under our calm, peaceful, frantic , energetic or OCD exteriors ..

We are twisted
That is a human speciality ..
Each and everyone of us..
So don't berate yourself ..
And don't think you are special either..
We all come with our own set of confused notions to the table, with a somber face..

That's what we learn in life..
Act cool..
Act like you know what you are doing..
Stay in control..

But behind that smile, or that somber face ..
We are all alike ..
We just look like we have answers ..
But I can tell you this for a fact .
The more peaceful a person looks
The more confused he is ..

I may be completely wrong ..
After all I'm not Freud ..

But I have my own twisted theories of life ..

Like any of you ..
I think I'm mostly right , when I may be wrong 99 times outa hundred ..
And so today I'm gonna share something with you that I'm so happy with ..
That it really does not matter how many twists and turns it has ..
Let's just say it's curvy , like me .. AaaH ha ha ha ...

So I'm hoping you do get the drift ..
It's easy to be complicated ..
But it's really complicated ,to just be easy ..
But this one piece of this Jalebi ..
Will give you peace of mind , for a bit ..
The crispness that holds that beautiful gold syrup..
Is indulgence from a happy goddess ..
So sit back and bite into a piece of twisted bliss, filled with many hugs , only from "Maria's Kitchen "

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Day 106 - Baked Potato

So how many of you have potato friends..
Don't get me wrong I don't mean to offend anyone in any way ..

But I'm sure all of us have that one friend if not more , that truly gets you ..
That one friend you will go to when nothing seems right ..
Though not all may be quite wrong..
That one friend who will open the door to your not so happy face , and offer you green tea or chocolate or just make you laugh and not ask you any questions till you are willing to spill the beans..
Do you have anyone like that in your life ..
Well I hope you do ..

Because that is your Potato friend..

I do not know many in this world who do not like eating "Potatoes"..

And so that's why you must go ahead, and try this out ...

This is a hassle back potato, which is basically a potato that is finely sliced till the bottom but is still attached at the base, The proper noun "Hasselback" refers to the fancy Hasselback hotel and restaurant in Stockholm where this dish was made , or then you can be all "Einsteiny"  and call it a baked "Solanum Tuberosum, but I THINK IT WILL BE EASIER AND LESS DEMANDING A RELATIONSHIP for all of us involved, if we can all just call it a "Baked Potato"...
The taste will still stay intact ha ha ha ..
It won't get upset, don't worry..
But that is not something I can vouch for about the chef..ha ha Ha

C'mon lets face it..
The reason you are reading this is because probably
1. You love eating Potatoes ..
2. You love cooking..
3. You love me ..ha ha ha ...

Well if No.3 is why you are reading this..
Gosh gee....thank you so much , it's nice to be loved..

But I'm also hoping that you love eating potatoes as much as me and love cooking already or will soon start enjoying it ..

And so I really want you guys to reply back to me with a 1,2 or 3 !
A girl always likes to know..

So getting back to the simple Potato, the vegetable filled with high carbohydrate content , is not as bad for your health as you imagine,and because a small but significant part of it is not easily digestible by our enzymes, it also acts like fibre.
So before all you health buffs out there "dis" this humble vegetable, hold your abs in a bit ....

All you guys out there who look at a potato in disdain , I feel bad for you , it's like saying who needs a friend, I'm good on my own..
Well , it's really nice to be self sufficient and to not depend on anyone..

But is it not nice to be home..
Well that's what potatoes are they give you that feeling of home ..

Or then have you thought of this the other way around..
You may be some one's potato ..
And someone in your life looks at you like their comfort zone..
A person who will never judge them , but will always welcome them with that warm smile and a tight hug..

Life is too short to have complexes or problems..
We need to walk through the forest not around it ..
And sometimes walking with some one who has your back just makes you feel safer, even if the other person is as clueless as you ..
Just to know that someone , at least one person in the world will always welcome you with a smile , is just the most comforting feeling in the world ..

So here's presenting , just out of the oven,a simple but completely deliciously addictive baked potato..that looks like it wants you to devour it now...

And that's exactly what I'm going to do with a dollop of hung Yoghurt...
Yup, it's a "Hug of Food"...with much love from "Maria's Kitchen "

Monday, October 6, 2014

DAY 105 - PESTO ...

There is more to life than just living ..
There is loving have you ever tried it ..

Please do , there is nothing better in this world , than just deciding to like people for all their good ..
And also if we can ignore a few of their faults , it won't hurt nobody..

I just feel if I know I'm not perfect..
How can I expect anyone else to be ..
Frankly what is perfection..
It's just a perception..
And perception changes with time..
So it's nice if we could be a  percentage nicer than we want to be ..

Sometimes just sometimes, go out of your way to make someone smile..
Do a good deed for a stranger..
Actually ..
Forget a stranger, let's first reach out to someone close to us, give them a fun day..

I'm all for peace..
But sometimes in life , with its ups and downs, I sometimes go to pieces..
And then when that happens..
I do two things..
I either go deep into hibernation or go completely quite..
I have learnt that maturity is nothing but a series of really big mistakes that you have committed, and in time understand that , if you touch fire, you will get burnt..
And age has nothing to do with it ..
Infact I was a cautious young girl..
But I like the fact that I have thrown caution to the wind..
And I run with the wind and sometimes put fires off and sometimes start them...ha ha ha ..

Today I just want to share with you this beautiful "Pesto recipe"

It is one of my favorite sauce's in the world..
And you can use it with Pasta, breads, smear it on grilled fish, eat it with raw tomatoes and basically have fun.

The only thing is you can't heat it..
It loses its freshness and delicate flavour..
And does not stay flavourful pesto anymore..
This sauce is just a beautiful balance of flavours put together and when you bite into it , you can't help but go "ummmmmmm"...
It's like a beautiful loving relationship..
That you want to keep fresh..

If you put it through fire, it may still look green, albeit a darker shade of green..
But it won't taste the same..
Just remember this...

So here it is my favourite"Pesto" ..delicately balanced with the freshness of tender basil leaves, the coarseness of pine-nuts and the smoothness of cheese..
If this does not feel like the one you are in love with ..
Then just have another bite..
With much warmness from , "Maria's Kitchen"...


And so finally after hanging up my working stilettos  in 2003, after many years of a fun filled carrier on tv, I finally succumbed to starting work again.
Ofcourse this time around, it feels different, I have no agenda , no plans , no back up plans.
What is
And what will be will be..
All I want is to be exactly who I am and to be "happy"...
I have no where to reach and nothing to prove.
I just want to share with all of you what I love and I'm happy if you want to walk with me to my corner, that always buzzing with chatter, laughter and songs half sung  (mostly because I do forget the lyrics)
And that is such a wonderful place to be, because there is so much , that's still left to learn in life..
I'm doing what makes me happy and working with a team of really bright young people from "#Fame"  and I'm having a blast ...

My friend Jaya who just won the Best Film award for her documentary "Surfing Yogi's" directs each cooking snippet and we shoot out of my kitchen with my dog Taz running around in the midst of it all or him deciding to sit right in the middle of the chaos..
So yup it's a full house of madness with the purpose of bringing to you something that you should go ahead and definitely try at least once ..

As my friend Mini said, I finally found my "true-love" ....
Ya I'm pretty romantic that way, and never cease to see the romance in life..
I believe that love is something that happens to you while you are not really looking ..
And when it does hit you , it feels like all the songs ever written about love were written just for you ..

We all at some point of time in life have felt like this ..
And it is the most wonderful feeling on earth..

But in my earthly experience( because most of the time I belong to neverland ...)
I have seen that love changes form..
It comes into our life to create, heal, nurture, realise and fullfill our true potential as humans.

It never ever leaves you the same.
It turns you inside out and upside down..
Till it has had its way with you ..
Like you are caught in a tornado...
And yes if you can reach the very centre of it, you can feel the beauty and calm of it all..
And if you are just caught on the surface..
Then yes you will feel just the whirl of it all, which is lovely , but will leave you restless..

So this recipe I'm sharing with you today is a lot like love that runs deep..
Far deeper than just the beautiful surface you see...

So I really do hope you enjoy watching it..

and making it ..
You know everytime I bake something..
I marvel at how ,just simple ingredients put together at the precise temperature and time, convert it into the most delectable yumminess...

Baking is a lot like life ...
Timing is everything...
But unlike having to measure everything when you have to bake, I feel you cannot live life in measured sequences...
You have to just live..
You have to take chances..
Change recipes..
Try out new stuff..
And never ever give up on your dreams and people that you love (unless of course, they don't even know you exist or you are in love with a fictional person ha ha ha )

So I'm hoping you are going to try this recipe, and have a bite of what I call a tiny portion of life..
The beetroot keeps the brownie moist and full of texture , and the chocolate just melts its way deep inside the recesses of the brownie, the cream cheese adding to the softness of each bite..
This to me comes a close second to that beautiful gooey feeling called "love".. 
With much magic , only from "Maria's Kitchen"...

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


So I woke up really late this morning,  really late...
Because the kids and me were watching Harry Potter till really late in the night...
We love Harry Potter..
Well who doesn't..
And while I was wondering what I should eat for breakfast ..
I decided that today I need to go to the fish market ..
So I wore my fish market shoes and put on my bargaining face ..
And with a few plastics in tow , took off for the Versova fish market .
I love that place
And no the smell of the fish does not bother me at all.
The buzz of that place is actually fun..
Many familiar fish-folk and a lot of fish I still have not met.. ..
I wanted Tuna, because I wanted to make a salt baked fish with lemon butter, it's one of the recipes that I have in my book , and I really love it..
But I could not find any, the size I wanted..
So I walked around,  browsing , and in my head I was also trying to figure ingredients I would need , for something else if I did not get what I want..
So yes I completely confused myself , because I had various spices running through my head and various fish ..
And in the middle of all that ..
I spotted lobsters , so that's what I bought  , because my favorite fisher lady was selling it...
And then bought prawns because I think I will make a prawn pickle and also bought Pomfret, because felt I should...
Why do I always go over board with buying fish ..
Gosh ..
But I guess I don't understand when to stop ..
Or then I just like a lot of everything ...
Maybe I'm greedy ..
Or maybe I just am a "much too much " kinda person ..

You know , I'm sure there are there are more people like me ..
Who go a little over with everything in life ..
I guess sometimes, Ok , most times, I do fall in that category ..
You are allowed to love who you want, as much as you want, as long as you 'Love"...

It's like I feel it's OK to love the crap out of the people you love, how can you do things in half measure..
I dont understand that ..
Anyway, we leave that for another blog...

We now attend to the Lobsters..


Lobsters -1 doz
Butter -1 tbsp
Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Bechamel sauce - 4 tbsp
Fish stock -1/2 cup
White wine -1/2 cup
Flat leaf parsley - 4 tbsp finely chopped
Garlic - 8 pearls
Onion -1 finely chopped
Cheese -1 slice
Dry Oregano -2 tsp
French Mustard - 1 tsp
Lime -1/2 squeezed
Egg yolk -2
Cream -1/4 cup


Clean the lobster and separate the tails from the head..
Cut the tiny fins on the under side of the tail , and then cut through the centre of the shell from the underneath , and pull out the lobster flesh delicately.
Wash , de-vein , chop into tiny bite size pieces and keep to one side ..
Wash the shells.
Leave them to dry.

Then in a non-stick pan , on a medium flame add the butter and the olive oil.
Then add the garlic and sauté for 30-40 seconds, add the onions and cook it till it gets translucent, about 3 minutes, then add the wine and the fish stock .
And let it simmer on a low flame , till it has become half.
Then add the bechamel sauce, oregano , parsley the and the cheese( I did not have cheddar cheese at home , so I just used a slice)
Let this all nicely mix together and let the cheese melt, you should have a nice thick slightly bubbling mix, please do this on a low flame.

In another bowl, mix the yolk, cream, mustard and the lime.
Then pour the hot flavoured bechamel mix over the yolk mix, continuously stirring.

Place the cleaned shells on a baking tray.
Then place the raw flesh of the lobster into the cleaned shells.
Spoon the flavoured sauce over the raw flesh and sprinkle it with bread crumbs.
And place it in the top rack of a pre heated oven at 200 degrees, bake it for 15-18 minutes.

Serve hot with a yummy tomato flavoured wheat pasta ..
Why wheat, because it's healthier, than maida..

Whole wheat pasta in a tomato and basil sauce.

So when I went to the market today , and saw so many fish .
The line , "so many fish in the sea" just came to mind, and I was thinking , sometimes in life , we run after something , or pursue something with blinders on , or have such a narrow vision , that we do not even see, all the options available...
And sometimes, because we have such a narrow vision in life ..
We may miss out on the stuff that actually may be right for us ..
But as normal human tendency we always pursue stuff that we can't get or have..
Maybe we are not supposed to live life in pursuit ..
Maybe what is good for us , will come to us organically ..
Maybe all the trouble and strife in life is completely brought on by our own unreasonable greed in life .

Like frankly in this world of 7 billion people (sorry if the count is wrong, i have yet to travel the world), how come in our entire life time we meet only 10000 to 200000 people in our life time, depending on where we live , the kind of job we have and the kind of life style we lead.
And among , all those people , we meet, we may make maybe 10000 friends over time , but the maximum amount of really close relationships would boil down to 3 or 4.
Which leaves the rest of the population to be close friends with one another.
So yes most of us broadly are loners or little islands , that live completely alone inside us , with a few chosen few that we open up to .
And how do those chosen few who come our way, completely by chance?
Beats me ..

I have realised that geographical distance, wealth, social status or colour of our skin has got nothing to do with human relationships.
They really make no difference.
That is why I guess we have soul mates.
It's such a weird concept, but I do believe in it.
I'm not saying that all of us find our soul mate , and our lives are like a fairy tale from then on.
But I do think , many times , we mistake someone for a soul mate , and hence close all doors to everyone else...
But I feel if you do meet a soul mate, both the lives of both the souls will be dramatically enriched in every sphere , and will give you freedom and you will never have to choose ..

But if you are always in a state of confusion with your supposed soul mate , then this is not the one ..
Its very much like when you are looking to buy fish, if it smells of fish, do not buy it ...
The same applies to life, if it does not feel light and smells of heart-break , it is not right..

I think the reason we make friends and are close to a few people , is because something in this universe does bind these particular souls together..
So I feel that soul mates are probably souls that you meet in your life that bring out the best in you, or then pass through your life , because they make you discover something in your self , you never knew existed..
And yes I do believe we all come across our soul mate ,once in our life at least ..
And when you both do , it will be a very deep , beautiful and powerful soul stirring part of your life , that will frighten you to your deepest core and also give you unimaginable happiness.
Where there is potential for a deep love, there there is also potential for the deepest pain ..
This is something that we all need to acknowledge ..

Well if you are one of the lucky few , who is able to spend a life time with your soul mate , then I guess, this life time is where it was supposed to happen ..
And if not , then let me say , that , it will happen when it is supposed to ..
So do not fret..
Maybe there are many more people we need to meet, and many things we still have to learn , before , we have what we are looking for ..
Like in the words of the Dalai Lama , " Remember that not getting what you want , is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck"

And that's exactly what I was thinking as I pulled out the lovely lobster from my oven..
I wanted to buy Tuna, actually , and that's what I went to the market for..
But since , I was not able to find what I was looking for, since , I'm a bit picky about the freshness and the price..
I found these beautiful chubby tailed lobsters , looking at me beckoningly..(if that is a word)
Frankly when I bought them , I had no idea , what I was going to make ..
And did not want to make a curry again..
But felt something or the other will fall into place..
And so went for a lobster Thermidor kinda recipe...

But yes, today with the full family home ,and kiddie friends ,it was a very bad idea to be making a recipe that had to be done in parts and put together..
Because I was being constantly asked if lunch is ready ..
And frankly no one should be baggering the chef with a knife in her hand ha ha ha ..
But all's well that ends well..

The Thermidor turned out beautifully, In fact I should have had more lobster,because it got swiped really fast, because I was told , it was really yummy..
Or they were just very very hungry..
One of the two, I'm hoping it was the former..
(Just remember to taste the mustard, before you add it, because some mustard has salt in it, and some is a bit bitter , so use your mustard discreetly.)
I was told that this is like food in a restaurant , that you pay for ha ha ha ..
I love kids..
And so there will be another round of this dish happening soon..

So here's presenting, "Not Fish..but Fishy.." served with freshly made tomato and basil pasta, made with a lot of hard work, and a lot of conversation with myself, about plenty of fish in the sea and soul mates, served with lotsa love , only from "Maria's Kitchen" ..

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Oh yes most of the time, I end up doing exactly what my heart pleases.
And 4.5% of the time! I let my brains take over! and sometimes, just sometimes!
I act with caution.
But most of the times, caution is thrown to the wind, and I just run the risk of completely going turntables all over the country side.
But that is also fun , because then you get a look at life , from all different angles.

Thanks for this photo Amito and Eefa for teaching me how to do a headstand...

I was not like this in my growing years.
I mostly did what I thought would be the right thing to do, because I never wanted to go wrong, or upset my parents.
I still do not want to upset them ..

But as I grew up , I realised that I was a rebel..
And I softly turned my life upside down , and once it was all out of the box , and I had stretched myself from the shell that I was in.
I suddenly wondered , why I  sat in a shell for so long.
I realised , it was because I was not really willing to accept myself, the way I was , but had accepted myself in the perception of others.

The best part I think about finding yourself along the way.
Is that you start seeing everything in a brand new perspective.
I realised that there was not just a black and white, but a beautiful grey..

Oh yes we should all have an opinion, but we need not be judgemental.
We need to know what we want to do, but know that if someone else does the opposite, he need not be wrong.
And I have realised, that the way someone treats me , is more often because how the person is feeling at that point of time in their life, and I happened to cross them at that point.

Do I fret, yes I do..
I fret deeply , if I get hurt.
Or if I have lost a friend, or if I feel, something is amiss.

But I have learned that "what is...IS"
And "what will be, will be"
Sometimes when everything is not alright.
Everything is awry.
Sometimes you fall apart, sometimes you fall together, but fall we must, because there must be something down , that we are supposed to find.
Most of the time, I have realised , I have mostly found a piece I never knew was missing..
It's quite lovely in retrospect actually..

So now that I have digressed from the cooking that I have done..
I think it's time I get back to the "piece de resistance"..
These lovely dough balls..
The first time I tasted them was on a cold London evening with my friend Sanjay, who insisted that if I tasted one, I would not be able to stop..

Well he was right, it was nicest piece of bread I had eaten..
And with one of the sweetest persons i know...
It's just the right size, and so you never can stop eating it easily.


Fresh yeast - 20 gm
Flour- 200 gm
Sugar-1/2 tsp
Luke warm water - 120 ml
Oil - 3 tbsp
Pinch of salt


In a big glass bowl, blend the yeast, with sugar and a tbsp of the water.
And leave it , till it bubbles and gets a bit frothy.
Then add the rest of the water and blend it properly

On a clean table top , or another bowl, sieve the flour , add the salt .
And make a well in the center , add the oil, add the water and slowly mix it to form a dough.
Knead it really well about 6-10 minutes, till the dough is nice and soft and springy.
Bring it all together in a shape of a ball, cover it with a damp muslin, and leave it to prove.
Till it is double in size.

Then add some flour on your work table , and knock the door , and flatten it.
Then roll it into a cylinder and make small even sized balls, I got about 18 pieces.
Leave it to prove about 30 minutes, till it has doubled in size and then brush it with some milk, and bake it in a pre-heated oven , at 180 degrees  for 10 minutes , or till it is a lovely brown .
Then just serve it with some hot, with some homemade garlic butter, or then Nutella straight of the jar ..

That's what the kids and me did ..
We are kinda addicted to Nutella ..

While making them dough balls today I thought of my friend Nikhil .Chinnappa..
I met him at the MTV VJ Hunt.

He was just the most lovely guy ...
He was smart , courteous, good -lookin, confident, quirky, had his head on his muscular shoulders and had a beautiful warm heart, and that bit is what made me want him as my friend .
And that's what we became over that one week at the Vj hunt many many moons ago .
He was just awesome at work and a wonderful person even when the cameras stopped rolling .

And we are still friends, but do not meet that often..bloody hell..
But some people always stay part of your life, whether you meet often or not and he is one of them.
He is the guy who taught me how to host a live event, when I was with MTV..
How to handle huge crowds..
He is by far one of the most amazing guys I have met, he also introduced me to "Everybody's free to wear sunscreen" the song by Baz Luhrman..
"Paris Brest " at Sunny's in Bangalore.
Gun-powder from off M.G Rd in Bangalore.
Allepey fish curry and appam in Chennai..
And filter coffee..
And was an amazing co-host ,friend and knight in shining armour all rolled into one.
He always knew what he wanted , and was also clear how he is going to realise his dreams.
Something that I'm still learning.
He always pushed me to do better, and was a complimentary host to work with.
He has a tattoo of a wizard on his arm, so I remember, looking at it and saying,"Merlin?" and he said, "Gandalf" ..
I did not want to say  "who?" I said , " well he looks like Merlin" ha ha ha ..
He spoke a language I sometimes did not understand..
Was filled with music I never heard, trance, progressive house and the likes..
Were concepts I learned from him..
And I have seen him work a crowd like no other...

He is truly "FANTASTIC"...(Which is also his favorite word, at least it was then...)

Well I do not see him often enough, nor his lovely prettier half Pearl..
There's is a beautiful love story..
And some days , I miss the madness , that we all lived together in..
We have all come such a long way ..
I have kids, he travels the world with his music ( I'm so jealous, about that)
My kids know his name, because he is "Famous"

Why am I telling you about Nikhil..???

And Warsi cooked for us a meal on the trek...

During a trek we did for a show called "Chill-Out"..Cyrus, Me & Nikhil..

Bath after 4 days on the trek..

I don't really know..
But I am ..
Because I guess, every time he walks through my mind, it explodes with memories of happy times, and I always break into a smile ..
He is one of the smile bringers in my life..

Mini & Nikhil bringers....

So in life I hope I'm a smile bringer.
It's not that we need to live life in a way that we need to make an impression.
But if we can live in a space that does not hurt someone ..
It's a good way to live..

Sometimes we touch peoples lives unknowingly..
When we do , what we bring to them , does impact their life in tiny or big ways.

So I try and keep this thought inside me.
Maybe I'm not always successful with doing the right thing.
But more often than not.
I do not say stuff I do not mean.
I realise that's the easiest thing to do .
But at the end of the day how you treat someone is far more important than what you say to them.

A lot of people say a lot of things to me.
That I may or may not take seriously.
But what if I do believe everything you say to me or insinuate..
And if your actions did not match your words ..
Then how would I feel ?

So how you  treat me, how you make me feel , how my insides truly feel , even if my smile does not betray what actually matters..

So today while I served the kids hot dough-balls, from the oven , with home-made garlic butter and a jar of Nutella..
And the kids were chatting about, what they are going to do in the holidays..
I was looking at these soft delicate dough balls, and thinking this is exactly how our hearts are , soft and like putty..
And most of the time, when we open ourselves to the people we love, we let them handle our heart..
So remember this while you handle someone else's ...

And so I bite into a warm bite of this little piece of bread, dipped in delicious garlic butter, made with Amul and a few dunked into a jar of Nutella.

I am thinking ..
Life could not be better...
Soft dough-balls on the table, with butter and Nutella ..
And laughter all around..
Some things and people are meant to be part of your life ..

So keep on walking, but stop to smell what's in the oven..
Because if you do not reach in time, it may burn..
And keep the ones you love in your life , close to you, if you can ..
And tell them you love them and more importantly show them..

People will walk in and out..
That's their prerogative ...
They may walk in and out sometimes because of their own fears and sometimes, because of you ..
So try and be the reason people walk into your life for..
and not otherwise..

Was not able to shoot the baked dough balls, as they got devoured, before I had a chance to take a photo..

So here's presenting, "Everybody's free to eat Dough-Balls"..
Fresh , simple and just the perfect size to fall in love with..
Just like me ha ha ha ...

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


And so this new year has bull dozed itself,and its already the end of January.
With all expected stuff..
And the usual...
And some surprises..
And then, there were resolutions that were not made...

In all the vastness of this beautiful month of January...
There were journeys that I planned..
And places that I visited..
And various dishes I cooked..
And pages of words that I wrote..
And conversations that I had..
All this in my head ....

I have let this beautiful month of January draw me into it's arms and have allowed it to unfold it's plans to me, day by day ..
While I sat and snuggled in it's cosy warmth...
With the nip of a winter in my Bay ...

And yes, every morning ,I do yoga that I love ..
That's as much as I'm doing ..
Oh and the occasional run ..
Sometimes I feel if Bradley Cooper had to run on the same path what fun it would be ha ha ha ..
But the reality is ,he does not know I exist ..
If he did, he would be wishing, he ran the path I run ..HA HA HA

One thing I know, is that no matter what, we need to see the humour in things..
They may not be funny at that very moment in time..
But in hind sight if it makes you smile's all good..
God has a wicked sense of humour..
So sometimes we need to just take life with a pinch of salt..

I think I grew up a bit ..
I mean I'm still 5.2'' ha ha ..
But I think I may have a little better understanding of life, I'm not sure, I'm just thinking aloud ...
But growing up does not really mean that , ' I have all the answers" ..
It just means , I have had more life experiences..
And everything taught me something..

This new year, my resolution is to not have a resolution..
I'm going to go with the flow..
To be the person I am ..
And try and not get too involved in everyone else's drama..

Yes be there whole heartedly for the ones who would need me, or want me , but to also be there for the ones who say much in silence..

So as this month of January is getting over..
And this beautiful cold wave is bidding us adieu..
I'm thinking damn, this is 2014...
It's just 10 months more for my birthday ha ha ha ..

I have a lot to do this year..
For starters, I have some exciting news to give you , the reason I was not able to write my blog last year,  was because I was writing a Cook-book.
And realised that contradictory to what I believe, " I'm not super-girl"...
DAMN! What a crushing, but true story that is..

So no I could not cook, write recipes for the book...
Look after kids, home, work-out, meet friends, look after sick Taz, run, do yoga, eat right, devour chocolates, search for songs to fall in love with, pander to the whims of my fancies, be upset with life sometimes, wipe my tears and walk on, be mad as hell but still smile, travel and ......
Write my blog...SO I DID NOT..
So yes I wrote a lot , but was not able to cook and write for my blog..
And so I let it be .

My blog is going to be 4 years old in May this year.
So yes she is a baby and is having her own little problems, because she has a temperamental mum who has a mercurial disposition..
But hopefully, this year, I will be able to finish the book I started , and you will be able to get your hands on it soon..
If you would like to..

It's a labour of love ..
And that's all I can tell you right now..
Yeaaaaah , I'm so excited actually, waiting to finish writing it , and send it for its first edit..
I guess it will all happen in good time.
So that's that..

You know I realised with this book, that writing is a lot like love , you cannot force it, it's either there or not..
I guess because I'm neither writer nor Chef..
I operate like this..
I cook when I feel like it , and write only when I really have words jumping outa my heart..
And sometimes, there is nothing ..
Not a word..
I have nothing to say..
There were days , when I sat with my iPad and nothing came ..
0- Zilch - not a freakin word..
I thought , "Oh my God, my publisher is going to be wondering , what on earth he has got himself into"
But OM Books has been fantastic and patient and lots fun to be with.

So when the words ceased to flow,  I let me be ..
I'm not super-girl..
And that's that..

And so I decided that if there was one vegetable I need to be like , I need to be like a beet-root ..
That is always yummy..
Whether it is raw, boiled,'s always good ..
And so today , I'm going to share with you a simple recipe that is absolutely lovely ..
And really easy...
But deliciously complicated..
Ha ha ha like me ..


Beetroot - 1 big bulb , boiled.
Watercress- I handful
Red bell pepper - half sliced
Juice of 1 orange.
Olive oil- a nice glug
Balsamic vinegar - 1 tsp
Mixed seeds - 1 tbsp


So if you need to know how to boil a beetroot.
Wash the beetroot really well.
Put the beetroot in a sauce pan.
Cover it with water, add a dash of vinegar, so it stops it from bleeding.
And cook it for 30-45 minutes , depending on its size till it is soft.

Then after it is cooked , dunk it in ice cold water .
After it is cooled.
Peel it .

And yes then I do a "Maria " to it ..
Which means , I complicate it ha ha ha ha ...

So take a small non-stick baking tray, dice the beetroots into nice voluptuous pieces, and place it inside the tray.
Add a happy glug of olive oil to it
And toss the beetroot around , so it's nicely coated, then add the orange juice to it, not too much but about quarter inch deep ,and in a pre-heated oven at 190 degrees, just bake it for 40 minutes.
After 20 minutes, open the oven, toss it around and let it continue to bake..
Take it out , pick out the pieces, and place it in your serving dish.
Add the remaining orange juice , balsamic vinegar and stir it around the baking dish, so it picks up all the caramelised bits, add the red pepper to this and give it a good stir.
Add all this to the beetroots in the serving dish.
Add the watercress, and the mixed seeds , give it all a god stir and serve immediately.

So I'm thinking .
A beet-root is the way to be..
It always tastes lovely anyway ...
And does not really lose it's essence ...
It still rosy and beautifully coloured and only gets sweeter if it get's into a heated situation...

And so when you do bite into this salad , you will have the sweetness of the beet, infused with the orange , and the balsamic, the juiciness of the raw peppers , and the crunchiness of the  seeds along with the slight bitterness of the water-cress...
It's absolutely confusing and yet , it's yummy..
By the time you try and figure the taste, you definitely want another biteful.

Confusingly Addictive

" Confusingly Addictive" is what I think this salad can be called, fresh and refreshing , my first foray into the new year, with much love , only from "Maria's Kitchen"..