Sketch by Tanishka D'lyma - And I am free

Sketch by Tanishka D’lyma – And I am free

Hey there! You guys are going the wrong way! Turn back, turn back now…!!!

That was the warning we ignored. We let our “culture” get the better of us, didn’t we?

“The girl should just let it (rape) happen.” “Our culture is the best in the world. There is no place for women.” – These are two of many shocking, shake-you-out-of-your-comfort-zone statements made during the documentary ‘India’s Daughter’.

I know it’s banned, why I will never understand. I know some people have said it’s not strong enough, then make a documentary on the subject yourself. But everyone do yourself a favour and look at the bigger picture; forget about your self-righteous BS of how it could have been made better. Forget all that and show some respect for Joyti and her family, they have done more for this country than any politician or the like could or would do for our country . Watch the documentary and cry, get angry, feel helpless but don’t, please don’t disregard what it so clearly says i.e. the mindset in this country has got to change. This ‘culture’ where girls are less than second citizens (another concept which should not exist) needs to change.

Why am I writing this post on a food blog? Because I didn’t take part in the protests. Because I didn’t make a documentary. Because it is the least I can do. Because I owe it to India’s Daughter to do the least I can.

MasterClass with Arola’s Chef Manuel Olveira

Can't wait to dig in

Can’t wait to dig in

Standing behind the counter, sunlight pouring in from the beautiful window behind him, Chef Manuel sets-up for a special masterclass for The Treat Truck readers. What a beautiful place to cook, I think to myself knowing all to well The Treat Truck’s photographer is checking out the natural and artificial lights and placing her camera in the best possible position to take out her photographs thinking little about wanting to cook here.

Chef Manuel, Chef de Cuisine at Arola is responsible for setting up the menu. The charming chef immediately makes us feel welcomed and at home, gracefully stopping and moving around to adjust to the light for Tanishka’s photographs and humbly answering my endless volley of questions… What ingredient is that, Chef? Why are you treating the cheese in that manner, Chef? I wanted to know everything!

I love stepping out of my kitchen and into professional ones. I enjoy interacting with chefs because I often wonder if they feel the same passion for food as a non-professional; does their passion fade? Do they eventually want out? But watching Chef Manuel I remembered, this isn’t a profession you choose unless you’re really passionate and passion for food does not easily fade, it grows as it has for me.

Perfecting the taste

Perfecting the taste

Here is the recipe for the ‘Mushroom Forest’ right out of the Arola menu created by Chef Manuel himself.



  • Roasted Bell Peppers, red and green  200 gms
  • Simeji Mushrooms                               100 gms
  • Chives                                                  20 gms
  • Manchego Cheese Flakes                   30 gms
  • Mushroom Emulsion                           50 gms
  • Sweet Potato Puree                            50 gms
  • Microherbs
  • Balsamic Reduction

Simeji Marination

  • Soya                  5 gms
  • Sherry Vinegar  2 gms
  • Sesame Oil      2 gms

Bell Pepper Marination

  • Olive Oil
  • Soya
  • Cumin Seeds
  • Oregano
  • Salt
  • Black Peppercorn
  • Balsamic Vinegar


  • Cut the roasted bell peppers in slices and marinate them
  • Cut Simeji Mushrooms and marinate them
  • Set the peppers on a plate
  • Add Salt and Pepper
  • Add the Mushroom emulsion, Sweet potato puree and Chives
  • Add the Marinated Simeji
  • Add the cheese flakes and microherbs
  • Touch the dish in the salamander
The Mushroom Forest!

The Mushroom Forest!

Special thanks to everyone at JW Mariott, Juhu who helped set-up this MasterClass. We at The Treat Truck thank you for your hospitality. And special thanks to Chef Manuel Olveira for sharing his recipe with us, thank you and God Bless.

***This is not a sponsored post***

Vivanta by Taj, Madikeri Coorg: An Experience best Experienced



Hey, you got a minute?

I’m in a meeting. Can I call you back, Kay?

No, no it’s super urgent! Please step out of your meeting for a minute.

Oh ok, one second…. What’s wrong? Is everything okay?

Yes! Listen… I’ve found this super cool restaurant, we have to go…!!!

Kay, I was in a meeting!!! -_-

Yes, but this place serves Masterchef type food!

As ridiculous as the above conversation sounds my family and friends have come to expect this from me and more importantly, they find it normal.

You have to try this place out, you have to taste this, you have to buy this measuring cup! These are statements that I use all the time. I find something good and all I want, is to share it with the world to the extent of going to the restaurant or shop and buying and delivering the goodies to my family and friends! I’d make a pretty good PR/sales person, I think!

Don't miss the food on the way to Vivanta

Don’t miss the food on the way to Vivanta

Now what excites me the most is finding things when I least expect them and on a family holiday to Coorg; a holiday I was excited about but not really expecting to blog about, the minute we stepped into Vivanta by Taj, Madikeri Coorg I knew this was something to share. It’s an experience best experienced.

Having stayed at Taj properties around India I expected what I’ve always experienced, good food (not outstanding) and staff who did their jobs well. But what I got at Coorg was exceptional food – the breakfast buffet – the best of all the Taj properties and the staff – AMAZING! Each staff member went beyond their ‘job’ to make the guests’ stay unforgettable.

They take the extra step to make your stay comfortable; the food is made with care and interest, even the property is treated like it’s a home. All of this contributes to a beautiful and humble experience. I was watching MasterChef Australia and Shannon Bennett humbly explained this – When the customers come in they are putting down X amount and it’s our duty to ensure we give them value for the money they are spending, hence the high standard. At Vivanta by Taj, Madikeri Coorg I felt like I was given the best experience and I liked the fact that the place did not take their already established name for granted.

I felt like I was in another world, everyone smiling, relaxing and having the time of their lives. And it’s the staff accompanied by the food, the place and the scenic beauty that make it beyond, for lack of a better word, awesome. Words fail to capture the excellence of our experience. I’ve always believed that the person cooking the food makes the food that much better or worse; it’s their love and interest that pours into the dish, which is the tying ingredient. Here at Vivaant by Taj Madekeri Coorg it’s the people, I firmly believe, that make the experience outstanding and whole!

It’s a must visit. If I could, I’d drag you there myself. I loved my stay there so much, I want you guys to experience the beauty of a relaxed holiday and it’s right in our backyard.

We left Coorg – tummies filled, minds relaxed and happy.

Around the Vivanta property

 Around the Vivanta property

Must try at Coorg: The local cuisine at the Taj and at the Coorg Cuisine, Jaivik Greens coffee and the coffee & honey grown and cultivated on the Taj grounds. Spices and Vanilla from Coorg Greens.

Must do: Biking, trekking, zip lining, pottery and other activities offered at the Taj. Tour of the coffee plantations.

Special thanks to the staff: Gautam K Bosha, Nithin Subbaiah, Deepak Pradeep, Chef Ali, Chef Johnson, Ritesh Bhatt, the guys from Muddy Boots – Jilbin and Robin and everyone at Vivanta by Taj, Madikeri Coorg.


Traditional Coorg food at the Coorg main market

Traditional Coorg food at the Coorg main market

***This is not a sponsored post***

Putting on the Chef Whites

I can't believe I'm wearing Chef Whites!!!

I can’t believe I’m wearing Chef Whites!!!

I’ve been waiting, eagerly waiting; to put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard… words and thoughts spilling out of my head… but thanks or no thanks to some unforeseen hindrances I’ve had to wait, wait to tell you about my time in a professional kitchen!!!

“Oh what an interesting Idea! They are letting non-professional cooks into their kitchen. That’s a nice gesture. Should I give it a go? No, no… What do I know about a professional kitchen? OK, I’ll just design the menu. You know, just for fun, I won’t send it in. Ohhhh I like my menu. Should I send it in? Ok let’s show mum and Tan the menu, let’s see what they say… ohh they love the menu. Fine, it’s settled then I’ll send it in.“ – This is the shorter, less painful-to-read version of my train of thought for a few months till I finally decided to throw my apron in the ring to be part of Café Zoe’s One Night Stand Chef.

All dressed up and waiting to be served

All dressed up and waiting to be served

Concept: – A non-professional cook who is passionate about food is given the opportunity to create a menu and work in the Cafe Zoe kitchen.

Date: 14th April 2014



• Roasted onions & baby spinach salad with goat cheese mousse, walnuts & spicy orange dressing

• Crispy calamari mini sandwiches with spicy mayo, carrot & beet chips


• Grilled aubergine steak with garlic yogurt, spicy tomato relish, pine nuts

• Honey lemon & spicy paprika chicken with creamy polenta, asparagus


• Chocolate Tart with homemade caramel ice-cream

• Friands drizzled with cream and fresh honey

It took me a while to wrap my head around the entire experience. Never in my wildest dream did I expect to wake up one morning and get ready to go prep for dishes that were created by me, in a professional kitchen! Imagine going from cooking and blogging for little over a year to cooking and prepping in a professional kitchen!!!! This one I did not see coming.

Finally I stepped away from the table and moved into the kitchen. A learning experience, a fun experience and an experience that answered a lot of questions I was too nervous to address when I realized how much food was the career I wanted.

So here it is, I’ll answer those question now… Would I have been a chef had I realized my passion for cooking a bit earlier? Yes.

Am I glad I did not realize my passion early on? YES. Why? Simply because had I become a chef I would never have started a blog or gotten to be a part of all these amazing experiences. I would have loved my job as a chef but I doubt I would have appreciated food and cooking as much as I do now. I doubt I would have been as passionate as I am.

So a big Thank you to: Chef Viraf – Thank you for your guidance and help.

The Zoe team – You guys rock! Thank you for all the help, support and encouragement.

Special thanks to Tarini, Jeremie and Viraf, your generous and gracious gesture made this experience possible.

And a big big big THANK YOU to everyone who made it to Café Zoe for dinner on the 14th. I could not ask for a better bunch of people to call my friends.

And to my family, you guys ate these dishes multiple times at home; when I was testing them out and then showed up at Zoe and devoured them all over again. Nothing I say will adequately express how much I love you!

Foodie Days

The Cook-off is about to begin!

The Cook-off is about to begin!

I went half expecting it to be an exhibition. I went because I wanted to buy some cheese and I knew The Cheese Collective was putting up a stall. I went thinking if nothing else, at least I’ll have a Sunday out with my family. I did not go thinking; I’m going to come back with a bag full of goodies, a belly full of food and a fantastic experience! It was a relaxed day filled with food, cooking, a live band, old favourites and new discoveries… A beautiful Sunday!

I’m talking about Mumbai’s Farmers Market by Karen Anand that took place last Sunday. If you’re an obsessed foodie like me you’ll agree that the city’s food experiences are getting better by the day and this farmers market is proof of just that. The next time the market comes to your city take your family & friends and make a fun day out of it!

Here is a list of what I enjoyed –

My New Discoveries:

  • RAW Pressery – I loved the BUILD juice.
  • Bean Therapy-Artisan Chocolates – My favourites are the Himalayan Pink Salt, Mysore Coffee and Cocoa Nibs. They also have a very interesting Blueberry and Panko flavor.
  • Mystic Kitchen Colors – Strawberry Butter, delicate balance of sweet and salty, perfect on toast or brioche or plain ;)
Bean Therapy - Artisan Chocolates

Bean Therapy – Artisan Chocolates

These guys have been on my radar for a long time, it was a happy surprise when I saw them at the market. Finally we meet….

  • Gourmet It Up – Can’t wait to try out a ‘Gourmet It Up ‘experience.
  • Sushi Koi – I’m craving more already… Spicy Tuna and California Rolls here I come!
  • Sassy Spoon – Brownies & Cookies and I got a goody bag from them too! How sweet!
    Sushi Koi!

    Sushi Koi

    And Old Favourites:

    • The Cheese Collective – The most subtle Blue Cheese, perfect for beginners sold by the most wonderful Cheese Monger – Mansi Jasani.
    • Between Breads – Burgers and Bacon Fries, life is good! This is the place I go to and recommend for that burger fix.
    • BusaGo – Those yummy Chicken Momos…  If I wasn’t so full I would have eaten everything on the menu.
    Mansi Jasani of The Cheese Collective

    Mansi Jasani of The Cheese Collective

    There was a lot more but this is what I managed to fit-in in 3hrs! I’m going back and maybe I’ll bump in to you there! Stay tuned to The Treat Truck FB page for more pictures of the farmers market.

    In other news: The Treat Truck celebrated its 1yr anniversary on the 30th of Jan. A big Thank You to everyone for the love and support! :D

Beginning the year on a savoury note

Dips and all

Dips and all





Parmesan Crusted Prawns with 3 Dips


For 12-15 large prawns you will need:

  • 50gm parmesan, grated
  • 75gms flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Oil, for frying or use a fryer, if you have one







Ok, this should be fun! Create a production line. Heap the flour on one plate, the beaten egg in a bowl and the grated parmesan on another plate. Place a big clean plate at the end of your production line for the end product.

Now you know how this goes… coat the prawn in the flour, then dip in it in the egg and finally coat with the grated parmesan and place on your clean plate. Do this one at a time to avoid making a mess! Once all the prawns are coated deep fry in hot oil till golden brown. Place the cooked prawns on a paper napkin to soak up the excess oil.

For the dips:

Mayo Dip:

  • 2tbsp mayo
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • A squeeze of lime
  • A pinch of freshly cracked pepper
  • Sour Cream and Mustard Dip:
  • 2tbsp sour cream
  • ½ tbsp mustard
  • 2-3 squeezes of lime

Method (same method to be used for both dips):

Place all your ingredients in a bowl and mix well. That’s all there is to it! The dips are ready! Taste as you go along add more of the same ingredients or add your own ingredients to tailor the dips to your taste.

Chilli Oil Dip

  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • A few pinches of finely chopped green onions (spring onions)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil, enough to cover all the ingredients


Place the chillies, garlic, lime zest, green onions and salt in a very small saucepan. Pour over enough oil to cover the ingredients. Heat till the sides start to bubble; then take the dip off the fire. Serve warm.

The Table Is All Set

The Table Is Set

I know we are well into 2014 and it’s a little late to wish you but, Happy New Year!!! :)

I won’t lie I’ve had plenty of time and opportunities to get back into the kitchen and back to blogging but I didn’t. I was being lazy and ended up in the kitchen on two out of the 14 days I set aside for cooking. On one of the days that I pushed aside laziness and went near the cutting board; I sliced off the tip of my finger with a knife that, in my words, ‘Cuts like butter!’… lol! That’s what you get when you chop in laziness. I am happy to report that the food I was cooking survived and so did I, with finger fully healed now… :)

Laziness ultimately took a back seat as passion fought its way through and I started jotting down recipes and ideas every time I came across an ingredient or watched a cooking show or saw something that looked like food! I’m jumping at all and any cooking opportunity I get now… I can’t wait to see if my ideas will be successes or not.

Now let’s talk about the prawns for a bit. I got the idea for these parmesan prawns while watching a show on food trucks. It’s a must try recipe so don’t let the simplicity of it fool you; when you bite into this deep fried wonder the salty-crunchy parmesan crust crackles and gives way to that sweet-luscious prawn… So get into the kitchen and start cooking!

2013 was a superb year for The Treat Truck and that’s thanks to all of you Treat Trucker’s out there. Thank you for your support! Let’s tuck into 2014 together :D

Hitting Pause

It doesn't get better than this...

It doesn’t get better than this…

I’m hitting pause. I’m going on leave. I’m taking a break. For the first time ever I’m not happy about going on leave but, I have to. There are a ton of things happening and I don’t want The Treat Truck to seem neglected.

But, I’ll be back soon. I’ll head straight into the kitchen and I’ll cook up enough to feed a village with exciting new dishes, savoury (I promise) and sweet (how can there not be sweet!). I hope you miss me. I know I’ll miss you :)

Stay tuned to the FB page for updates on my foodie life, I’m only taking a break I can’t possibly stop eating now, can I? ;)



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