Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Top 10 Flavors for the Year 2011

It's amazing how time flies, it was this week last year when I decided to finally start blogging seriously, we moved our subjects from under the light bulbs into sunlight, I started taking photography & writing seriously. And almost a year down the line & so many posts, this part of me is one of the best things in my life. Quoting G.B.Shaw "There's no sincerer love, than the love of food", my explanation would include - Creating+Photographing+Feeding :) the Food. It's this love of food & the love I get back from you all that keeps me going. With My.Creative.Flavors I have tried new cuisines, made new friends & learned a whole lot from new friends. I hope this journey continues in 2012 as we make new Friendships & cook-up some new Flavors on

I didn't want to follow the cliche' and bake myself a My.Creative.Flavors 1st B'day cake, but I'm gonna look back and pick my favorite posts from 2011 & remember the good times. Food & Photography experts have their opinions, I personally feel that if you have a vision for your own recipe and it has to show through your recipe+ingredients+styling+photography. What I learned was that various subjects like dim lights or lengthy shadows & some may like bright exposure, perhaps even a cross+process. My interpretation of my food has been driven a lot by the moods my recipes evoke. It is important the your photography reflects your vision and not get constrained by "The Picture Perfect Shot". Most of the times incidental ideas make the best recipes, incidental props make the best pictures & inadvertent angles make the best shots. Enough talk, back to our agenda.
So here are my Fvt creations in no particular order...

Unbelievable, how 1 year can change the way you think about food. It's safe to say as a Food Blogger all you do is dream about food. Hope you like this quick recap and yes ...

"Have great 2012, May you and your family have a best of everything & all your wishes come true".

Hugs, Sonia

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Vegetable Pakoras, Sweet Peppers & Fritters: Guest Post for Rasa Malysia

This time of the year is all about fun - fall - family and festivities. In these chilling winters, I just  want to curl up in a cozy blanket and watch my all time favorite movies and enjoy my hot cuppah chai with mixed vegetable pakoras. U bet its a great feeling - difficult to beat. What better than do what you like to do & get a chance to do a feature on Bee's fabulous site "Rasa Malaysia"I have always been very found of her easy to make and authentic recipes and look forward to her collection for all special occasions. I am really happy to do this feature & hope I will do justice to the high standards Bee sets for Rasa Malaysia.

So today we are going to do some Mixed Vegetable Pakoras - one of the most popular Indian snacks. Pakoras always make a special place on the table as appetizers  loved by family and in formal buffets too, across the globe. It's an interesting way to add some spice and zing to the veggies once in a while and the hot combo is simply irresistible.

Have you ever tried Stuffed peppers with spiced potato stuffing and coat in chickpea flour batter and fried as pakoras. Must do !!!

Enjoy it piping hot from the pan to the platter with sweet tomato, coriander and tamarind chutney and of course hot cup Five spice chai or Belgian Hot Chocolate.

So lets head to Rasa Malaysia to see the recipe,
Hope you will enjoy this experience...

Love all, Sonia !

Monday, December 19, 2011

Rockstar Bhatura with Channa Masala with - A Breakfast Surprise

Why weekends are so special, why we all always look forward to weekends, why we plan so much to finish on these weekends, and try so much to catch up with ourselves, family n friends ??? Well, a gud weekend makes your rest of the week  and then you are at your best at work. At least this holds so TRUE for me and a hearty brunch on a weekend wintery morning can put life back on the track... ! Last weekend  my MIL made a surprise breakfast for us all and we had loads and loads of fun + food, right first thing in the morning...few days have passed but still every morning I wake up and look at the table to be laid full of some surprise food...

Here's our Rock Star.. Channa Masala + Bhatura = Magic !!!

Any how here is a quick and easy recipe for making delicious platter of Channa masala (Chickpea curry) enjoyed with Bhaturas (Deep fried APF bread) & served with tangy pickles and Salad.

Ingredients for making Channa Masala:
Chickpeas: 1 cup
Onion: 2 medium sized
Tomatoes: 4, chopped
Ginger : 1 tsp, juliennes (save some for garnishing)
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Black tea bag: 2 (optional, for making dark brown channas)
Salt: 2 tsp or season to taste
Chili Powder: 1/2 tsp
Chat Masala: 2 tsp
Channa masala: 1 tsp (Roasted + grounded Black cardamom, cloves, cumin, pepper corns and cinnamon)
Coriander : for garnishing

Method: -
Wash and soak the chickpeas in warm water for couple of hours or preferably overnight.
In a pressure cooker add water, chickpeas, teabags, salt  and cook on low heat till they are tender.
In a nonstick pan, saute chopped onions, tomatoes, freshly grated ginger.
Add seasoning of salt, chilli, chaat masala and channa masala to taste. Let it cool for a while.
Puree the mix (Tadka) to make a smooth paste.
This tadka can be made ahead and added to boiled chickpeas.
Add this masala to chickpeas and simmer for another 15-20 minutes.
Serve hot with few ginger julliens and a spring of coriander.
Enjoy sizzling chickpeas with Bhaturas.... !!!!

Ingredients for making Bhaturas :-
All Purpose Flour: 1cup
Semolina: 2 tsp
Salt: a generous pinch
Sugar: 1/2 tsp
Warm oil: 1 tsp
Yogurt: 1/4 cup
Bread slice: 1
Warm water: 2 -3 tsp (just add slowly as required)
Baking Powder: 1/2 tsp
Oil for frying

In a bowl, sift APF and semolina.
Add salt, sugar and baking powder and sift the ingredients again.
Crumble a slice of bread in the mixture and add some warm water and oil.
Mix the yogurt and knead the mixture to make a soft dough.
Cover the dough and let it rest and ferment for some time.
After approximately 2 hours or so, the dough is ready. Give it a knead again.
Take a small ball and roll it in long discs as thin as possible.
Heat the oil and check if its temperature is ready by dropping a small ball of dough.
If it rises rapidly, the oil is hot and ready.
Drop the the thin discs in the hot oil and it fluffs up readily to make a yummy and delicious bhaturas.

Can't wait to take a bite ...

This time my platter was already ready with channa, pickles and salad and was just eagerly waiting for a bhatura to be dropped straight from the stove and enjoyed it thoroughly and later did the shooting....!!!!

Mango pickle & onion/tomato salad , adds to this magic !

Do try this easy and festive recipe in the upcoming holidays with your family....!
I wud love to hear your feedback and sincerely appreciate all your valuable comments at my space.  Wish you ALL  a wonderful time and stay tuned to my blog till I come back with another festive recipe.

Happy Holidays All...Have fun and Stay Warm.....!!!!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Mexican Hot Chocolate

As promised I'm back with a  recipe from my Foodbuzz 24X24 post & today we'll be making some Mexicano style Hot Chocolate. If I remember correctly, I saw Ina Garten make this version on TV & like every other recipe she makes, I fell in love with this one too. It is easy, delicate, sophisticated & hot flavors have gotten me addicted. As you'd see the recipe is simple but the way flavors blend & bring out the bite that this beverage has to offer - It will never cease to amaze you. So lets go ahead & give it a shot...

Ingredients: -
4 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli chocolate chopped)
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
apinch of ground cinnamon
cayenne pepper, a small pinch - My fvt addition :)
Long cinnamon sticks for stirrers

Directions: -
In a pot add milk and brown sugar , place on simmer.
Reduce the heat & stir in the chopped bitter sweet chocolate, vanilla, ground cinnamon.
Keep stirring for 2-3 minutes as chocolate dissolves.
Add a pinch of cayenne pepper, stir again & allow to steep for 2-3 minutes. 
Now reheat the hot chocolate mix over low heat until it simmers again.
:) and yes we're almost done !!!
A good practice is to strain the hot chocolate before you pour into mugs. 

For Stirrers use long cinnamon sticks (and lick some chocolate out of these :P occasionally )

Perfect for a Nippy December afternoon !!!

You would love the flavors & love the bite of this beverage.
This is one hot & refreshing cuppa'...

So go ahead & make your own cup, & let me know if you like it !!!

Hugs, Sonia

Rose Ice Cream for Wedding Anniversary!

A Wedding Anniversary is a day to celebrate the sweet memories and bond of unconditional love. Wish life could go in Slow-Mo on this specia...