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Down foodpath

Sunny side up

One of my fondest memories while growing up is when my cousin and I set up a stall outside our house and invited our parents to buy food from us. Lemon rice and omelette were our specialities. We fondly called it ‘Athithi Hotel’. 

I also recall making my dad try the varieties of omelette I used to make once I returned from school. My parents were always very encouraging, even when the dish wouldn’t come out so well. 

That’s truly how my love for cooking started. When I later moved to the city for job opportunities, I had to live in a flat where food was not provided. We had to cook on our own and with many failed attempts, I learned the art of cooking. Most of my inspiration came from Gordon Ramsay, thanks to ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ on television. It was much later that I got hooked to watching ‘MasterChef Australia’ and tried to experiment with more recipes. 

Even though all the ingredients they use on cooking shows aren’t available, I try to improvise with whatever I have available in the kitchen. 

Now, I’m happy to say that my cooking experiences have become much better. It gives me great joy when I see my friends and family appreciate the food I make. My husband and in-laws are also very supportive of the food that I prepare.  I’ve recently started a Facebook page called ‘Bake Berries & Bacon’ to showcase my love for cooking. I’ve been taking a few orders and that gives me a chance to get better in the kitchen. At the time of need, my whole family comes together in the kitchen and helps me out — a lovely memory for us to look back upon and laugh about one day.

My venture has also given me the courage to try my hand at baking and experiment with more recipes. 

However, I’ve made my fair share of mistakes. Once, the batter for my mini cupcakes was too runny. Even though it sunk once baked, I was able to fix it with frosting. But it’s all a part of the learning process. Since I am getting myself enrolled in baking classes soon, I hope to learn a lot more about the world of cooking and baking and maybe even start a cafe of my own one day.

When I enter the kitchen to prepare something, I enter a world of my own. It’s my happy place. The recipe that I’m sharing today is for those who want to have gourmet food at home. It doesn’t take too long to prepare and makes for a special dinner right at your dining table.

Bhandavya Gowda
(As told to Anila Kurian)


Pan seared basa with sauteed vegetables
Recipe
Ingredients
* Basa fillets, 4
* Broccoli florets, 1/2 cup
* Carrots, 1/2 cup 
* Zucchini, 1/2 cup 
* Baby corn, ½ cup
* Bread crumbs, 1 cup 
* Potatoes, 2  
* Salt to taste
* Pepper powder to taste
* Cream, 1 cup
* Milk, ½ cup (in case the mash is too tight)
* Egg, 1
* Oil, 4 tbsp
* Plain butter, 4 tbsp
* Garlic butter, 3 tbsp

Method
* Beat the egg with salt and pepper as per your taste and marinate the basa fillets in it. 
* Skin and boil the potatoes.
* Mash the potatoes with cream, salt, butter and pepper.
* Add milk if needed.
* Boil water with salt.
* Put the vegetables in the boiling water one after the other and cook for a few minutes till they change colour a little. Keep them aside.
* Coat the marinated fish fillets in bread crumbs.
* In a pan, heat 3 tbsp oil and 3 tbsp plain butter.
* Place the fish fillets in the oil and fry for 3 minutes on each side.
* Once the fish cooks, add the remaining butter, garlic butter and oil to the same pan.
* Add some Italian seasoning.
* Add the boiled vegetables and pepper powder. Saute for a minute.
* Add salt if required.

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