Double Play® Big Bang – Spirea: A kaleidoscope of joy

I am a huge fan of Japanese Spireas and this one is no exception. The foliage is as stunning as the gentle pink blooms. It flowers from spring through summer. Deadhead the spent blooms and you’ll have a second and a third splash of pink blooms. I had been admiring these for years and finally…

Express Cooking: Easy Kadhai Paneer

Recipe:Take 3 ripe tomatoes, 2 large red onions, 12 garlic cloves. Boil or pressure cook till mushy. Puree in a food processor. Keep aside.Heat 1 tbsp oil. Add a quarter tsp of cumin with a generous amount of kasuri methi. Now pour the puree. Add 1 tsp red chillie powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and…

Irish Heather: The Pink & Purple Mountain Carpet

It was magical to walk through the deer paths with heather growing all around. Some experiences are so precious and distinct that they stay with you for a lifetime. A trek through the boggy mountains in Wicklow amidst these stunning blooms will be etched in my memory forever. The heather plant is a native of…

Prawns in Thai Red Curry in a hurry

Recipe: Marinate prawns in salt, garlic paste and some turmeric. Keep aside. Prep the veggies. I didn’t have much time so roughly chopped anything that I found in the fridge. I used broccoli, zucchini, red-yellow-green peppers and onions.(You can add other vegetables like carrot, celery etc.) I had made the Thai red curry paste at…

Preserving and promoting natural habitats

My most enjoyable lockdown project was planting a wildflower meadow in a flower bed. This was a baby step towards biodiversity and I hope to scale it up in years to come. Growing something so attractive from seeds is a joy unparalleled by any other. I urge all gardeners to promote natural habitats for the…

Prawns and butter: A match made in heaven

Garlic lemon pepper chilli prawnsIngredients: 250 gm cleaned and deveined prawns 1 cube butter 1 tbsp olive oil (optional) 1 red onion finely chopped 5 garlic cloves minced 3 birds eye chili chopped 2 leaves of Chinese cabbage/regular cabbage chopped (optional) A fistful of chopped coriander A few pinches of sea salt Some crushed black…

God’s interpretation of dreams and tears

Fuchsia: Native to Central and South America, these stunning plants go on to become shrubs and stand out in gardens as gorgeous flowering small trees. These make ethereal hedges when planted close to each other like most shrubs. Since there are almost 110 species of Fuchsia; they have distinct personalities too. Some even grow as…

Keep it simple with spuds

Potatoes- understated but so wholesome. Those of you who grow their own vegetables will know how it feels to see the first harvest and what a huge sense of accomplishment it is to cook with them. I’ve tried some complex potato recipes and they have been rewarding to say the least but what my heart…

DON’T listen to them!

“It’s invasive! It’ll take over your garden! Just pull it all out”…yaaada yaaada yaaada… These are the many things you’ll hear about this stunning morning glory also commonly referred to as bindweed. Yes, it clings onto anything and everything it comes in contact with. Yes, it can choke the plants and take up all the…

Melt in the mouth Seekh Kebabs

These melt in the mouth Kebabs are a family favorite and have a legacy of their own. A ‘must have’ on every wedding menu and family feast. I learnt this recipe from our Bawarchi (family chef) Late Ustad Sami. His son, Naseem continues to be a torch bearer to his father. Here is the recipe…