home chefs

Whats Hot Tasting Session in Chennai

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Joy of joys!  My latest “Whats Hot tasting session” not only served up delicious surprises but  an amazing range too. Home enterprises run by passionate foodies and look what they are upto. From anti-bacterial, anti-aging healthy fare to traditional, home made Muslim sweets.




Age old flowers, forgotten recipes, organic fruits and vegetables…you name it. Sonya Srinivasan grows them in her own organic farm (be it Avarampu flowers or modakathan) and makes the most delicious Anti -inflamatory anti bacterial, anti-aging chutneys, decoctions et al. We do a tasting of the tasty and wholesome Aragarkovil dosa of Black urad dal. Delightfully vibrant and flavorful chutneys and more. Plenty more. Dual grained atta with a little twist,  wheat and oats spiced with dry ginger powder and a hint of fennel powder, wheat sprouted ragi powder with Jeera powder,  azhagar kovil dosa batter made of whole Urad with skin  and spiced and atta with powdered curry powder and corn flour too.

Sindhi food lovers delight: sweets and savories such as Singhar ki mithai ( made from non – salty sev of besan or gramflour), Tosho ( sweet flour rolls) , Seero Malpuro ( Malpua served with sooji halwa) and Sindhi khicha ( Tapioca). Loved the healthy yummy Peanuts and rock.ginger sweet too.

And all that wasn’t enough, Sonya grows and sells Indian pittu apple  to Dragon fruit  and avocado too.  Ph. 944444-2662

Can home deliver too.



I cant stop eating it. The purest and sweetest taste of the finest almonds in this “badam ke bhukath”.And to think that its  made of only almond and sugar. Making these traditional Muslim sweets are Azra Zafar and her daughter in law Sobia Habibunissa. These traditional Muslim sweets  are made during marriages. Making these sweets is a time consuming exercise and needs lot of hard work such as  Ande ki piyousi (eggs ,khoya ,saffron and ghee ), badam ke loaz ( pure badam and khoya and saffron). And they also make the humble pumpkin into a delight in their kaddu ke loaz ( pumpkin khoya and saffron ) and  dum ke puri ( puri stuffed with badam halwa and baked). When I request for the recipes I am told these are “fiercely guarded recipes, handed down over generations and cannot be shared with outsiders.” Atleast we can eat them, and that’s fabulous!

Call 98405-38889 or mail sobihabibunissa@gmail.com



I have to place on record my thanks to the ever helpful, knowledgable Foodies who helped me taste my way through this tasting session. Brilliant Executive chef Jaffar Ali who has honed his skills over the years, showcases them brilliantly be it in the Connemara’s  Oriental or the Chettinadu cuisine restaurants. Afzal Khan’s amazing knowledge and skills in food and beverage are well known.  Infact it’s thanks to the everhelpful Ahmar Siddiqui, that we hold this whats hot tasting session at the  Connemara hotel. Rakesh

Raghunathan, food entrepreneur, blogger and TV show host peppers the evening with his lively food comments and Anjali Sharma coordinates and puts it together. Thanks to all the participants and foodies our  Tasting session turns out to be a truly “Whats hot”  one!


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Whats Hot Session
WHATS HOT TASTING SESSION: Faarah Mehta flanked by Kavita Srinivasan and Saagar Shewakramani (standing Danielle Sallam and Sridip Ganguli)

Is it possible? Can just one evening tasting session deliver the best of a city’s food-scene?  The very best of cupcakes Gourmet shewaramas, salads et al? yup! possible, but only when the knowledgable foodie hostess and publishing consultant and whiz, the lovely Faarah Mehta generously sources and then equally generously opens up her stylish villa (private beach et al) for my Whats hot tasting session. As does her  foodie husband, retailing tycoon, the dashing  Saagar Shewakramani. High voltage, brilliant editor  of a leading lifestyle magazine Kavita Srinivasan, Sridip Ganguly, software expert are foodies extraordinaires too.

Read the rest of this entry »


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As the Times Food Guide 2015 goes to press, here’s what I find …


Looking for oven fresh healthy and yummy weight watchers  goodies? brownies, Raggi and oat cookies, assorted muffins  and more by talented Pallavi Dayal.
(9619483431. 02223865852)


Superb Gourmet & Classic Salads, Dips, Dressings, appetizers & Desserts are brilliantly prepared by

the two sisters Janaki Grover  and Devaki Trivedi.  Fashion  and home accessory designer Rakhee Grover Jain swears by their“Saladicious” fare ( 98202 22342
98200 24842).

H.A.S. It All Foods

Call H.A.S it all.  husband, wife and son (Haresh, Anju and Siddhanth) for healthy low-calorie fare to tiffin services and multi-cuisine corporate party orders. Superb roast cashew peanut chaat, swell n simple
Indian and western desserts.( Ph 23517086, 9870408072, 9870008081)


 Sharmeen Indorewala’s rich, creamy, frozen, preservative free , gluten free dessert in 10 fun flavours.

Place your orders for delivery/pick up at (9920029229)


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One of my greatest joys is flying down from Mumbai to Chennai to spot talent that hums in home kitchens and cooks and bakes up delights. At these fabulous fun and exciting “Whats Hot tasting sessions” anyone and everyone who wants to take part emails (rashmiudaysingh2015@gmail.com) and we invite them to bring their culinary creations and join us. And each time I get amazed and delighted with the amount of talent and the diversity. Its also such a joy to meet the dedicated and passionate home talent. It is at the very latest such session that I meet Jayashree Manohar.


Grandmaster in Reiki, Jayashree Manohar turned her attention to making chocolates eight years ago. Ofcourse, she continues to give Reiki (to those who need it) and does not charge for it too. Her chocolates are in multi-generational demand. Other than her clients, her parents as well her children love them. Ask for her chocolate roses ( created on sticks, like lollipops and priced at Rs 25 each) they make for great party giveaways. She also makes a Boule’D’ Amande,spice Almond chocollates,Truffle Balls,Swirled Marble Chocolates and Crunchy Peanut coins too. The creative Jayashree also makes “Model Of Taj Mahal” chocolates with imported brand of chocolate combination of Dark, milk and White chocolate. Rates differ according to the varieties of the chocolates. She offers special discounts for bulk orders. Jayashree makes chocolates for the Rotary club of Chennai. Do you believe in the healing power of chocolate? I ask her. No prizes for guessing that she responded with a big resounding “yes”

JAYASHREE MANOHAR, 482,Pantheon Road ,Egmore,Chennai-600008.Mobile No 9841974601/ 9176069367 /42146706




I admit, I am a chocoholic. But what follows is not the delirious outpouring of an addicted chocoholic. This is the result of the most recent research and it “was not supported by any cocoa or chocolate companies,” I follow not just the culinary advances but also the medical and health research that is being done on my favorite subject. Till now we are all aware of the beneficial effects of dark chocolate on blood pressure, but here comes a research which presents another beneficial aspect. This was conducted in May, at the University of Reading in England. They measured the visual awareness and motion detection skills of 30 healthy young adults two hours after they ate either dark or white chocolate. It might interest you to know that dark chocolate contains antioxidants from cacao beans called cocoa flavanols or CFs, whereas white chocolate contains only trace amounts. 30 people were divided into two groups One group ate dark chocolate (containing 720 mg CF), and the other was given white chocolate. Then they were given a series of tests two hours later, when the CFs would be producing their physiological effects. The effects on vision were measured by various complex tests. The researchers recorded the results and then, a week later, they actually repeated the same experiment with the same 30 subjects, only this time they swapped sides. The 15 white chocolate subjects now ate darkchocolate instead, and vice versa.What they found, both weeks, was an improvement in visual andcognitive performances of the subjects who ate the dark chocolate. Quite clearly, CFs increase blood flow to the eyes and brain and that this is what leads to enhanced functioning of those structures. Chocoholics are rejoicing.

#WhatsHotTastingSession Part II, Mumbai

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Mumbai’s second WHATSHOTTASTINGSESSION with talented home caterers and bakers.

Ravisha Sharma
Ravisha Sharma

Company Name: Sweet Bliss by Ravisha Sharma

Phone: 9167155935

Email: ravishangel@gmail.com

Twitter & Instagram handles: @ravishasharma

Specialties: Cupcakes, marshmallows, cake pops,



Tejas from T's Kitchen
Tejas from T’s Kitchen

Company Name: T’s Kitchen by Tejas Navin Master

Phone: 099203 16702

Email: sanjaytejas@gmail.com

Specialties: Chicken Cafreal, Goan Roast Chicken, Mutton Sukha, and Pasta

Company Name: Cocoa Love by Harpriya Kohli

Phone: 9819038623

Email: harpriya_kohli@hotmail.com

Twitter & Instagram handles: @harpriya_kohli

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/cocoaloveandmore

Specialties: Cheesecakes, Tea- time cakes- Vanilla pound cake,

Pineapple upside down, Carrot cake and Marble cake,

Cupcakes, brownies (Plain, Walnut and Flavoured)

Desserts (eggless)- Chocolate mousse, soufflé and

Tiramisu, Chocolates (flavoured)


Nikita from Sweet Escape

Company Name: Sweet Escape by Nikita Bokadia

Phone: 9833041711

Email: nikitabokadia1@gmail.com

Instagram handles: @nikitabox

Facebook :

Specialties:  Brownies, shaped cakes and chocolates


Company Name: Bakery Junction by Lakshmi Nambiar

Phone: 9920211922

Email: lnambiar1@gmail.com

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/BakeryJunction

Specialties: Cakes, Cupcakes, Theme Cakes


Company Name: Tooth Fairy by Rachana Shah

Phone: 9930044960

Email: Rachanashah@aol.com

Instagram handles: @toothfairybakes

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tooth-Fairy/

Specialties: Semi-sweet gooey chocolate

brownies, Oatmeal cookies, banana-chocolate

loaf/muffins and any other tea-time binge snack


Company Name: Cheesecake Republic by Aishwarya Jalan & Shruti Jalan

Phone: 9820302204 / 9820401012

Email: cheesecakerepublic@gmail.com

Instagram handles: #cheesecakerepublic, @shrutijalan14,



Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/cheesecakerepublic

Specialties:  Baked & No bake cheesecakes, tea time

cake loaves, carrot cake, squidgy cake, mud cake with

or without rum, mud cake with or without pecans,

Honey almond cake, lemon bars and many more.


Company Name: The Odd Hour Kitchen by Shivani Savant

Phone: 9820009500

Email: shivani.vakil.savant@gmail.com

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/TheOddHourKitchen/info

Specialties: Muffins, Cookies, Quiches, Breads & Cakes


Dinesh Poddar - Just Cookies
Dinesh Poddar – Just Cookies

Company Name: Just Cookies by Dinesh Poddar

Phone: 9930914574

Email: justcookies4@gmail.com

Instagram: @justcookies_mumbai’

Specialties: Cookies


Company Name: Bhuke Plate by Cherina Gamadia

Phone: 9920028472

Email: bhukeplate@gmail.com

Instagram handles: @bhukeplate

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/BhukePlate



Company Name: The Little Food Co by Bhakti Mehta

Phone: 9819136441

Email: littlefoodco@gmail.com

Twitter & Instagram handles: @littlefoodco

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Little-Food-Co/

Specialties: Thai paani puri, Mexican fish tacos, Mushroom & leeks lasagne, crepe station, falafels, baked fish, soy honey chicken 


Company Name: The Hungry Bunny by Sama Ankolkar

Phone: 9820028092

Email: sama.ankolkar@gmail.com

Twitter & Instagram handles: @thehungrybunnymumbai

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/THBMumbai

Specialties: Muslim and Italian dishes


Company Name: HOT ROCKS BBQ by Srikar Shetty & Neville Patel

Phone: 9833911474

Email: hotrocksbbq@gmail.com

Twitter & Instagram handles: @hotrocksbbq

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hot-Rocks-BBQ

Specialties: Hamburgers


Company Name: Food Biz by Amar Jog

Phone: 98196 95223

Email: amar@foodbiz.co.in

Twitter & Instagram handles: @AmarJog

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/foodbizinc

Specialties: Appetizers, Ethnic Foods, Modern European, Concept Stations

#WhatsHotTastingSession in Mumbai

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I am very khush! Have discovered amazing home baking talent. Here are   some of the results of my latest #whatshottastingsession.


Anyone  who bakes professionally out of home can take part. For the past 20 years, I have been regularly  conducting these  sessions (in Mumbai and Chennai) in order to discover and encourage home talent and to include the talented ones  in The Times Food Guide.

I was flooded with Instagrams, tweets and mail requests. I invited 21 dessert makers (and 6 gourmet tasters)  to the centrally located, evergreen Gaylord with Noel  and Robert being ever helpful.


Passion powers these talented women, some have switched careers, others moonlight. From strategic global account manager, engineer, fashion stylist, product manager to CA, doctor, recruitment firm director and architect. Many  are professionally trained too. From popcorn cupcakes to gluten free treats…they do it all. Please excuse my sketchy writing…to get full details you’ll have to wait for the Times Food Guide 2015


Sugarfree , gluten free and healthy desserts from Charvi Bubna’s “cheat clean” (Try her brown rice flour and honey brownies. 9820934080)

Eggless expert Shailee  anklesaria’s  “Sugar fairy”  makes cakes et al, super oatmeal cookies (9820246367)

Egg and gelatin-free “Choco kisses”  from  Kairvi mehta and jayshri Mehta (9820029065)

Tara kapur’s  “bombay bizarre baker”   (9820006440) caters to all those with food allergies. Go for gluten free almond cake,




“Charlene and the chocolate factory” (9833258908)

Charlene Vaz specializes in truffles and chocolates with an indian twist.

Yummy Japanese chocolates by

Varsha kalani’s “okashi” 9833505747



Call “the dessert table” (9867385908) Delafruz tangri and Jalpa timbadia  for super customized desserts with matching crockery and cutlery. Must try Chocolate cake with marshmallow frosting.

Shillpa Bhambri is the only exception, she’s been featured since my first book (1997), her latest fusion cupcake  was a hot seller (Cakeline 9619559433

Hand painted cakes and more by Jahan bloch ‘s “chic confections” (9930704646).

Dimple sanghvi’s   “the mad batter” . candy castle cupcakes , glitterati cookie tower (961911760)

Egg and gelatin free desserts in jars by Innovative Nishita Kamdar ‘s “JAR designs” ( try paan velvet 9819365658)

Internationally trained Shikha Murarka’s  “MishMash” s (9819766027)  sugar and fondant work ( popcorn cupcakes, a handbag cake) were delicious.



Mango yoghurt cheesecake, red velvet cookies were Shanaz Barodawalla’s signature  “sweet flavours” ( 9890453087)”Knead with love” s Richa Lulla’s (9833480814)

biscuit base brownie with cheesecake was a hit. Good old fashioned american cakes, spiked eggnog  were some of the signatures of  Roshni Vatnani s”the vanilla bean bakery ”  (9833325822)Go for Ruchika Vyas and Kirti Vyas “house of cookies” (9167366770) especially brown butter cookie filled with caramel .  Etee poddar’s “all my sins” (9820651129) unique signature was The black forest in a chocolate cup.Anurita malik ghoshal  (from LCB Paris) baked a yum chocolate chip loaf and the LCB lemon tart. 9820267003)

Umehani rangwala’s “lovecrumbs” caters to all your cake needs (8108429266)Try Witty meha Agarwal’s “the big apple baking co”’s orange cream. 9833015376″My butter half” by yeshi chaudhary ‘s red velvet was yum. 9769299795



Thanks foodies extraordinaire for tasting, eating, tweeting… Urvika kanoi ( professional chef who helped coordinate this tasting session.) Vasudha kejriwal ( marketing manager) Dinesh bahrani ( Head chef at Boveda)

Kritika dayal  ( at a leading magazine firm)

Ronak Rajani (  social media marketer)

Rishab verma- (LCB trained pastry chef )




A million thanks for all your Eating-out advice  in Dubai (on instagram and twitter.) Will be conducting more #whatshottastingsessions as soon as I return. If interested please contact, twitter, instagram @rashmiudaysingh  rashmiudaysingh2015@gmail.com