A short but eventful trip to India

by Claudia on February 15, 2015, no comments

mumbai cow street

I have really neglected my blog since November. But so much happened since then. In December my friend Parikshit got married in India. We have met at university in the UK. I so wanted to go but I could only take a few days off work as we had already planned a holiday right after Christmas. So in the end we only had four but four intensive and exciting days in India. It was our first time to India and it was kind of a cultural shock. I have never seen so many people! It was crowded, noisy, chaotic but beautiful at the same time.

india traffic mumbai

india market mumbai

market mumbai spices

mumbai food street

The wedding was in Surat, which is about 3-4 hours by train north of Mumbai. So we flew to Mumbai and spent a full day there. We explored Mumbai by foot, starting off at the Gateway of India, a famous monument overlooking the Aarabian see. It is probably the most touristic place in Mumbai. But I was surprised that we didn’t really see a lot of foreign tourists. There were mostly Indians who wanted to take photos together with us. We felt like superstars.

We spent most of the day walking through Mumbai’s market districts, visiting various markets, temples and just drifting along. There was so much to see and everyone was super friendly. We also bought traditional Indian clothes for the wedding. Philipp got a Kurta and I got a red and gold Sari. A Sari is so cool: you look like a princess and it’s as comfortable as pyjamas.

For lunch we had Thali. It is a selection of various dishes served on a round metal tray: small curry-like dishes, vegetables, pickles and Chapati (a typical flatbread). It is cheap and super delicious. We had a mint lassi with the food, a yogurt-based drink. Most of the Indian cuisine is vegetarian. It is so versatile and full of flavor and most of the time quite spicy – especially for a European stomach. Philipp got me an Indian cookbook for Christmas and I will definitely try some new things soon. Maybe I will also share something on the blog. The funny things is that Indian food doesn’t really look good most of the time but it tastes so good!

thali mumbai food

mumbai small thali

mumbai woman street colours

mumbai women street

mumbai shrine

So the next day we left for Surat, which is in the state of Gujarat. We met one of Parikshit’s friends, who lives in Mumbai, at the train station. Two of his friends from Singapore came as well. I love taking the train as you get the chance to see a lot. It was very interesting. Surat is also quite a huge city and we were surprised that I was so much more modern than Mumbai.

The first night there was a reception and a party at a farmhouse. Parikshit and Mithila, his wife, looked stunning! There was a lot of food, music and dancing. At a certain point, everybody – young and old – danced! Bollywood-Style! It was amazing. Next to the Indian wedding crowd we looked like stiff Germans…

parikshit mithila wedding

The next day it all started in the afternoon with a Baraat, a traditional Gujarati wedding procession. The groom sits on a horse and rides with music and a dancing crowd to the bride’s house or in that case the hotel, where both families meet. It was loud, colorful and such an experience! The wedding was quite big and – looking from a German perspective – very glamorous. I was fascinated by the beautiful dresses. Mithila was looking very pretty. Her hands and arms were full of detailed Henna art and with all the jewelry she looked like from a fairy tale. Parikshit did as well. He wore a festive turban and a neat outfit.

There was also so much food at the wedding! All vegetarian and super delicious. There were so many different dishes that we couldn’t even try them all. Altogether it was a I was a wonderful wedding and I was very happy to be there for Parikshit’s and Mithila’s special day and experience this beautiful event together with Philipp. The next day we left for Mumbai to catch the plane back home. It was a short but eventful first trip to India!

parikshit horse

parikshit claudia

philipp aarti lalit

wedding ceremony surat


wedding couple

Classic Homemade Granola

by Claudia on November 22, 2014, no comments

homemade granola

You know I am a breakfast person. Without a decent breakfast I cannot function. During the week we usually have muesli, granola or porridge for breakfast with fresh fruit, a cup of tea and a fresh juice or smoothie.

A decent granola with lots of nuts is a good thing to get you started in the morning. Why not make granola yourself for a change? It’s not that difficult at all and you can put in all the stuff you like. This is a recipe for a classic granola mixture with almonds, walnuts, coconut and cranberries. It tastes super good with greek yoghurt and fresh figs.

Homemade granola can also be a nice gift (Christmas!). Personalize the granola mixture according to what friends and family like and put it in a pretty glass jar with a ribbon. They will love it.

Here are some ideas for variations:
– cocoa nibs
– brazil nuts
– cashews
– pumpkin or sunflower seeds
– dried apricots
– dried mango
– raisins
– sweetened with maple syrup or honey
– spiced up with cinnamon or cardamom

Always toss in the dried fruit after the granola has been baked in the oven.

homemade granola bowl

homemade granola bowl figs

What you need for one batch:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flakes
  • 1/2 cup rice flakes
  • 1 cup almonds, chopped
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried, shredded coconut
  • 1/2 – 1 cup agave syrup
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

  • Preheat oven to 180°C. Place the rolled oats, buckwheat and rice flakes, nuts and dried coconut in a large bowl. If you can’t find buckwheat or rice flakes, use a larger amount of classic rolled oats. Add the agave syrup until evenly incorporated. Place everything on a baking tray and bake for about twenty minutes. About every five minutes toss and turn everything around. Then allow the mixture to cool down and add the cranberries. Mix well.

    Huevos Rancheros – a hearty weekend breakfast

    by Claudia on November 9, 2014, no comments

    Huevos Rancheros

    I have seen pictures of this breakfast dish so many times on blogs or in food magazines and it always made my mouth water. This breakfast combines two of my favorite things: eggs and avocados! Today I finally made it for the first time and it was super yummy. It is perfect for a late weekend breakfast of brunch. I used 2 large chili peppers for it, which made it quite spicy and actually made us sweat. I love to eat spicy. Leave out the chili peppers or remove the seeds if you don’t.

    Huevos Rancheros is a traditional Mexican breakfast dish which exists in different variations with black beans, rice, guacamole and sour cream. This is my version of it with a spicy tomato sauce, avocado and feta cheese. I hope you like it – let me know!

    Happy weekend!

    Huevos Rancheros Breakfast

    Serves two:

  • 2 corn or wheat tortillas
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1-2 chili peppers, finely chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 – 1 cup feta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • A handful of chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper

  • In a small pan, sweat onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat. Add the chili peppers. If you don’t like it too spicy, then remove the seeds from the chili peppers first. Stir-fry for about five minutes, then add the tomatoes. Let everything simmer over medium heat for about ten minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile cut the avocado lengthwise, remove the pit and the skin and the cut the avocado into strips and set aside. Roast the tortillas one by one with a little bit of olive oil in a pan over high heat on both sides until they become a little brown. Place the tortillas on a plate. Arrange avocado and the tomato sauce on top. Crumble some feta cheese over it and then place a fried egg on top. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

    Spaghetti with Crayfish

    by Claudia on November 2, 2014, no comments

    spaghetti with crayfish

    I was so in the mood for seafood when I drove home from work Friday night. So I stopped at my favorite fish dealer in town not knowing what to buy. I let the guy in shop explain every single fish to me (I might not be the easiest customer) and then left with a bag of crayfish.

    So we had spaghetti with crayfish for lunch yesterday. A very quick and simple pasta dish. It’s ready in no time. With a good amount of crème fraîche it is not the lightest meal ever but so creamy and delicious. With a good glass of white wine, it is a perfect weekend lunch. The rich and creamy sauce also goes well with shrimps. You should try it.

    Happy weekend!

    Serves two:

  • Spaghetti for two
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • Approx. 200g crayfish meat
  • 150 g crème fraîche
  • Small handful of fresh marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • A pinch of chili flakes
  • 1-2 generous tablespoons of white whine
  • A dash of fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper

  • Cook spaghetti in slightly salted water until al dente. In a small pan, sweat onion and garlic over medium heat in olive oil until translucent. Add the rest of the ingredients apart from the crayfish and stir well. Bring to a short boil and then turn of the heat. Add crayfish and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Strain pasta and top with crayfish sauce. Serve with fresh marjoram.

    Restaurant De Kas Amsterdam – Dinner with Sarah Britton from My New Roots

    by Claudia on October 21, 2014, no comments

    Restaurant De Kas

    Restaurant De Kas 2

    When I read on Facebook that Sarah Britton will compose a dinner together with Restaurant De Kas in Amsterdam, I was instantly hooked! I always wanted to have dinner at De Kas plus one of my favorite food bloggers! How fantastic is that?!

    The restaurant is an old greenhouse and probably one of the best locations for a restaurant I have ever been to. At De Kas they believe that food tastes best when it is prepared with the freshest, local ingredients. They grow their own vegetables, herbs and edible flowers in the greenhouse and surrounding gardens and on a farm outside Amsterdam. Everything else is supplied from other farms in the vicinity of the city. The menu changes daily according to the daily harvest and additional ingredients from the local suppliers.

    For this special dinner, Sarah Britton, a Copenhagen based Canadian Holistic Nutritionist whose blog I have been following for quite a few years now, composed a dinner together with the restaurant.

    De Kas Tomatoes

    Restaurant De Kas Outside

    Restaurant De Kas Dining Room

    Restaurant De Kas Sarah Britton

    The menu was fantastic! A true celebration of plant-based food. Creative, inspiring and absolutely delicious. There were two starters to share, one soup, a stunning main course and a dessert:

  • Salad of red beetroot and choggia beet, natural soda of beetroot, rocket lettuce, sea buckthorn berry
  • Lacto fermentated purple carrot and roasted carrot with a salsa of nasturium leaves and young spinach
  • Soup of roasted pumpkin and pimento with pumpkin seeds, Chinese chives and young mizuna
  • Socca with eggplant caviar, dried kale, roasted Jerusalem artichoke, young leek, green beans, marinated wild mushrooms, lentils and a herb salad
  • Poached pear, crumble of fennel, caramelized pear, honey comb, wild fennel leaves and pear sorbet

  • My favorite was the socca, a chickpea crepe, topped with an abundance of different veggies and mushrooms. The flavors were absolutely amazing. I also loved the beetroot Kombucha, which was served with the starter.

    We had a wonderful evening and I was very happy to meet Sarah, who is a true inspiration, making healthy eating even more attractive.

    Restaurant De Kas Beetroot

    Restaurant De Kas Carrots

    Restaurant De Kas Socca with Greens

    Restaurant De Kas Dessert

    Restaurant De Kas Philipp Claudia

    Restauramt De Kas Kerstin Stefan

    Restaurant De Kas Night

    Make sure to check out Sarah’s blog My New Roots and Restaurant De Kas.

    Simple Raw Buckwheat Porridge

    by Claudia on August 16, 2014, no comments

    Raw Buckwheat Porridge

    My latest addiction: raw buckwheat porridge! THE cold summer porridge. Porridge? Cold? Believe me – it is absolutely delicious. On cold days I love a hot oat porridge for breakfast but in the summer this one is just perfect. Get yourself a big pack of buckwheat groats! Raw buckwheat porridge its healthy, filling and easy to make.

    It has been very quiet here lately as the weather has been so good and also because I started to become crazy about triathlon. I finished my first triathlon beginning of July and it was so much fun. I was so proud passing that finish line. I already signed up for the next one in Cologne in September. Training all three disciplines is never boring, it keeps me fit and strong and one of the most important things: I can eat a lot!

    Serves two:

  • 2 cups buckwheat groats, soaked in water overnight
  • 1 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1/4 cup (5 tablespoons) maple syrup

  • In a bowl, pour two cups of buckwheat groats with about double the amount of water. Soak for at least there hours – better: overnight. After soaking, rinse well in a strainer. Place buckwheat groats in a blender. Add milk and maple syrup and blend for a couple of minutes until smooth. I love to refine my raw buckwheat porridge with a tablespoon of nut butter (almond butter or peanut butter) and a little bit of vanilla extract. Ideas for toppings: Fresh or dried fruit, nuts, shredded coconut, chia seeds, hemp seeds…

    Strawberry Buckwheat Cake

    by Claudia on June 29, 2014, 2 comments

    Strawberry Buckwheat Cake

    It has been ages since our last home-baked sunday cake. So today I made a strawberry cake. Strawberry season is on and so I bought 1 kg of strawberries at the farmers’ market yesterday. We made a strawberry banana smoothie and this cake.The cake is made with buckwheat flour.

    Buckwheat is often referred to as a pseudo grain as it is technically not a grain. Buckwheat is derived from the seeds of a flowering plant which is related to rhubarb and sorrel. The seeds have a triangular shape and are known as buckwheat groats. The groats are frequently made into flour to make pancakes or crêpes, noodles (in the Japanese cuisine buckwheat is used to make soba noodles) or other gluten-free products. The whole groats can be used as an alternative to rice or are used to make porridge (very delicious!). Buckwheat is more frequently used in Eastern Europa but especially in Russia. I use buckwheat quite a lot in the kitchen as I like its nutty, earthy taste.

    We were so hungry when we came back from a run that we just ate half of the cake. Only one week to go until my first triathlon. The past weeks have been quite intense with swimming, biking and running. It is so much fun and I am very much looking forward to next week!

  • About 500g (1 pound) of fresh strawberries, ready prepared – cut into halves
  • 2,5 cups of buckwheat flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 cup rice milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1 cup raw cane sugar
  • A pinch of vanilla extract

  • Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 180°C. Grease a springform pan and set aside. In a mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients apart from the strawberries until you have a smooth batter. Pour half of the batter into the springform pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Arrange half of the strawberries on top and then pour over the rest of the batter and spread evenly. Decorate the top of the cake with the rest of the strawberries and then put it into the oven. Bake for about 30 minutes.

    Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

    by Claudia on May 8, 2014, no comments

    Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

    This is so easy to prepare and you will love it: a simple hummus jazzed up with one roasted red pepper. You just have to roast a red pepper in the oven and then all the ingredients can simply be thrown in a food processor. Easy thing. A great dip for a barbecue or to be served before dinner with flatbread and some olives – that’s what we did as you can see in the picture!

  • 1,5 cups cooked chickpeas (you can use tinned chickpeas)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 heaped teaspoon tahini
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 200°C (grill-mode). Divide the pepper in half and remove the core. Place both halves on the top rack of your oven (if your broiler is located at the top of your oven). Grill the pepper about ten minutes on both sides, until the skin is a little charred. Place the roasted pepper halves and the rest of the ingredients in a food processor and process for 1 -2 minutes until smooth. Sprinkle with olive oil and paprika powder before serving.

    Spring Deviled Eggs with Yogurt and Goat Cheese

    by Claudia on April 27, 2014, no comments

    Spring Deviled Eggs

    Deviled eggs are an all time party hit! If you having a little party buffet, deviled eggs are a must and will probably be the first dish to be finished. They are also a perfect for any brunch. I love them.

    I made a new version of deviled eggs swapping the mayonnaise with yogurt and goat cheese. It makes the filling much lighter. Topped with thinly sliced radishes and radish sprouts, this is the ultimate spring version of deviled eggs.

    I was having a cooking spree today as I bought a new food processor yesterday. It was definitely a good investment as it can also be used as a centrifugal juicer and or old juicer is broken. And you know, I love to juice!

    Spring Deviled Eggs 2

    Spring Deviled Eggs close up

    Makes 12 deviled egg halves:

  • 6 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1/4 cup plain full fat yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 50 g crumbled goat cheese
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • A pinch of Cayenne pepper
  • Thinly sliced radishes
  • Radish sprouts

  • Peel the eggs, cut them lengthwise into halves. Remove the egg yolk and transfer it into a mixing bowl. Place the egg halves on a serving plate. Smash the egg yolks with a fork. Add yogurt, olive oil, goat cheese, lemon juice and mustard and mix well until you have a smooth mixture. Season with salt and Cayenne pepper. Fill the mixture into the egg halves. Garnish with sliced radish and radish sprouts. Sprinkle with sea salt.

    Tabbouleh Style Spring Salad

    by Claudia on April 5, 2014, no comments

    Taboulé Style Spring Salad

    I have been gazing at spring food pictures in quite a few food magazines over the past weeks, longing for the fresh produce to finally be available. Every year I eagerly await the asparagus season. Now it’s finally here! And fresh ramps! Time to make a refreshing spring salad!

    This salad is inspired by a classic Lebanese Tabbouleh (or Taboulé) salad. But here it’s Bulgur and spring veggies: perfect match. The almonds give the salad a crunchy twist. The salad is great on its own or served as a side dish. Traditionally Tabbouleh is part of a Mezze.

    Look at the beautiful ramps!

    Ramps leaves

    Green asparagus

    Taboulé Style Spring Salad Bowl

    Make sure to vote at the Saveur Best Food Blog Award 2014. A few of my favorite food blogs are nominated. Every year I discover fantastic new food blogs through this award. This year it’s Vegetarian Ventures.

    Serves two:

  • 1 cup bulgur
  • 1 cup ramps leaves, chopped
  • 10-12 green asparagus stalks, ends removed
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 1 chopped spring onion

  • For the dressing:

  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

  • Bring bulgur with double the amount of slightly salted water to a boil and then let it simmer for about ten minutes over medium heat until the water is absorbed. Set bulgur aside to cool down. Simmer green asparagus in slightly salted water over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Drain asparagus and allow to cool down. After that chop the asparagus into small pieces. Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl, pour the dressing on top and mix everything well.