Vantika Singh shares how her love for cooking, food photography and family time – and the quarantine period – helped her start ‘Lona’s Loving Ladle’, her food blog on Instagram.
Because, “Food is our common ground, a universal experience.”
To me, food is a representation of myself and what makes me happy. Cooking over the years has been therapeutic. The transition from India to Zurich a decade ago was not easy. The constant feeling of being away from home in a new country and a totally different cultural set up became quite overwhelming. As a result my kitchen became my safe haven or rather an experiment lab where I would play with the ingredients to dish up new creations. A liberating thing for me!
Lona’s Loving Ladle
Presentation of food to my loved ones reflects my care that goes into the preparation of the dishes. Attention to detail – plating, table set up, ambience etc. is what makes the whole effort worth the experience.
The lockdown has resulted in more family time for all of us and with more time, we decided on cooking as a couple. We feel productive by channelling our boredom and anxieties to exploring new cooking ideas and sharing our cooking duties in the kitchen. While weekdays are for home office; on weekends, my husband has been quite forthcoming on being able to cook some very time-consuming dishes with ease and perfection. The constant encouragement from my husband, family and friends and the indefinite quarantine period helped me start my food blog, ‘Lona’s Loving Ladle’, a week ago. The response has been great so far.
My blog is on Instagram and all the posts are accompanied by micro-recipes which makes it a no-fuss, one-stop page for all the food lovers to try out my recipes – some are inspired by the great cooks in the family, in my friends’ circle and other renowned chefs around the world; but most of them are my own.
I have shared two of my recipes here and I hope they serve as a visual treat to all and motivate people to dish out some new, exotic and quick creations.
This homemade drink is made from fresh mango pulp, lemon juice, maple syrup and sparkling water. Super easy and a pitcher can last for the entire day when you need a lot of Vitamin C!
Makes a pitcher (4 glasses)
- 1 cup mango pulp (half of the mango’s pulp)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1.5 cup natural water (without fizz)
- 1.5 cup sparkling water (optional but it makes the drink more refreshing)
- 1 tsp maple syrup (agave syrup or raw sugar)
- ice cubes
- mint sprig to garnish
- lemon wedges to garnish
- In a blender, add mango pulp, lemon juice, natural water, sparkling water and maple syrup – and blend. The lemonade should be on the thinner side and without any solid bits.
- If you find that it is still thick and has pulpy bits, then add more water. Transfer the lemonade to a pitcher or jug. Slide-in ice cubes, lemon wedges and peppermint leaves. The refreshing drink is ready to be served!
Kanda Papeta Per Eeda
This is a delicious Parsi egg dish which has a jammy onion and tomato gravy with fried eggs on top. It is seasoned with cumin, cilantro and chillies. It just hits the spot and is perfect for a weekend breakfast or brunch! Serve it with soft bread rolls or flaky parathas.
Makes 2 servings
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tbsp ghee or olive oil
- 1-2 green chillies, finely chopped
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 medium tomato, finely chopped
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed into bite sizes
- ½ tsp cumin seeds, coarsely crushed (+ extra for garnish)
- ¼ tsp black pepper powder (+ extra for garnish)
- 1 tsp raw sugar
- 1 tsp tomato ketchup
- a pinch of paprika powder
- sea salt flakes to taste
- chopped coriander for garnish
- Heat ghee in a medium-sized frying pan on medium heat.
- Add onion and sauté for a few minutes until they start to soften and caramelize (approximately 10 minutes). Next, add tomato, green chilli, salt, sugar, ketchup, crushed cumin, paprika powder and black pepper powder. Combine well and cook until tomatoes soften, and the mixture starts to look jammy. Spread mixture evenly around the frying pan.
- Reduce heat to medium-low. Add the cubed potatoes, mix well and cover the lid. Let the potatoes simmer for 10-12 minutes. Make sure that the potatoes are tender and cooked through. Now, carefully crack the three eggs on top of the tomato mixture, letting the whites slide everywhere to cover as much of the tomato mixture as possible. Cover the pan with a vented lid or if you do not have one then leave the lid a little askew for some steam to pass. (This is important to make sure that one does not end up having watery eggs.) Cook until the yolks are just set. Make sure not to overcook the eggs. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with some more black pepper powder and crushed cumin. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve it with soft bread rolls or flaky parathas or just have them with a smoothie and a fruit bowl.
Check out https://instagram.com/lonaslovingladle – you’re just a click away!
Disclaimer: Opinions and methods expressed are solely of the writer. Namaste Switzerland does not undertake any obligation or liability which may arise from the content.