Thai Red Curry with Shrimp: 30 Minute Meal


My blog seems to be forming a pattern ,or so I think.

I tend to write-up a post that takes you on a food journey of sorts,perhaps a culinary trail,a visit to an exotic land coupled with a food demo and a recipe.These posts are then followed by a tried and tested recipe that I  have experimented with in my kitchen.Well I quite like this format as it gives the reader a variety and my aim of course is to take you down some parts unknown with a guide to some unique culinary attractions.

Now there is a section that I had been meaning to start off for sometime now and well here it is.I want to add-on some fuss free,easy to cook up,ready in 30 minute meals that have less prep time and aim at making weeknight less stressful for all of us.So here we go with the first of the recipes.This is my to go Curry in a hurry for times where the family is craving a good quick fix Asian delight.It is a meal by itself as I serve this up with some sticky Jasmine rice and if time permits a quick raw papaya salad to go along with it.

I’ve chosen to use a ready Red Thai Curry paste for this recipe.There are various brands available,all though I do make up a mean curry paste from scratch,which stays well once refrigerated. This curry has an assortment of fresh vegetables and do feel free to add some of your own choice.The baby aubergines are optional,all though they do add a great texture and bite to this Thai curry.The use of fresh Thai basil is quite important here as it highlights the flavour very well.Another key ingredient that balance’s out this dish really well is the Thai Fish sauce.Take care to measure the sauce out before adding it into the curry as it is quite strong. Last but not the least is a squeeze of lemon juice that adds some zing to the curry.You may even use chicken for this recipe. Continue reading

Chicken Meat Loaf: Masterchef Approved



Traditionally a Meatloaf calls for either ground beef or even mutton mince which works great too.I have been trying to cut back on using red meat and was looking for a leaner option for a meat loaf.Chicken mince is a great low-fat option for most pies and have experimented with it in a Shepherd’s pie as well.I was contemplating using it while experimenting with a meat loaf recipe.Now those of you have been following my journey,probably know that I’ve been involved with content creation for  Masterchef Sanjeev Kapoor’s  Khazana Youtube.It’s been an exhilarating experience indeed.

I choose to make up this chicken meat loaf as a recipe for a demo a few weeks ago.I had made this up a couple of times in my kitchen,hence was pretty confident of the outcome.The family too loved it,especially since it comes out really quite moist.I went on with the rest of the demo’s for the day and was pretty much done by lunchtime.Now Alyona Kapoor (Chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s wife) who is a dear friend of mine wanted to sample some of this when it was ready so I decided to take some over to her office for lunch.It was just then the Masterchef walked in and decided to have a bite of this himself.“Moist as ever and very good” is what Chef Sanjeev Kapoor commented on having a bite of this meatloaf. Continue reading

Sticky Date Cake & Toffee Sauce-For Sanjeev Kapoor Khazana

Hello Friends!

This is my first post in the New year and I promise an exciting one too.

The New year has begun well and my kitchen is buzzing with activity.But before I get into my culinary adventures I’d love to share the highlight of this year.

Well imagine my excitement when I was asked to do a cooking demo for Sanjeev Kapoor  Khazana on their You tube channel.It was right in the beginning of Jan this year when Alyona Kapoor (Sanjeev’s wife) also a dear friend of mine asked me to send in two of my favorite recipes that I’d like to demonstrate.


Now Sanjeev Kapoor needs no introduction.An Indian Master chef with the ever popular cooking show Khana Khazana and now Food Food an Indian food and lifestyle channel owned by him.Do check him out on:

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Yes of course I said,I’d be absolutely delighted to do so.

The two recipes that I thought I  could show were a Quinoa Salad and the Sticky date Cake with toffee sauce.Well then very excitedly I sent off both the recipes.


D-day arrives-was I nervous? Well a tad bit I have to say.Now while I do run cooking workshops for Adults & kids,it’s quite different being in front of the camera…and to keep looking straight  into it and talking all the time.

Anyways I was shown around the kitchen.I quickly made some mental notes as to where everything was.The ingredients were all lined up in front of me…

Lights,Camera and action….and I started of…Welcome to Sanjeev Kapoor Khazana…I’m Shailaja Desai and I ‘d love to share a wonderful recipe for a Sticky date cake and toffee sauce with you today.

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The show went on smoothly I thought.Ofcourse when I look at the video I keep hearing Alyona in the background reminding me to modulate my tone and talk slowly and my husband who kept drawing a smiley face on his I-pad,hoping I’d smile more.Well points noted for the next time that I have to face the camera.

I certainly had a lovely time shooting this video in Sanjeev Kapoor’s kitchen and certainly hope I have many more opportunities.

Enjoy the video folks and do give this super easy recipe a try.I will upload the other video soon.Untill then cheers to another year of wonderful cooking.






  • 225 grams dates
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 85 grams Butter (softened)
  • 170 grams sugar
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 170 grams Self raising flour
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 2 tablespoons Ovaltine
  • 2 tablespoons Plain Yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger


  1. Pre heat the oven to 180 C.
  2. Put the dates in a bowl with the soda and cover with 200 ml boiling water.
  3. Let this rest for about 5-9 minutes so as to soften the dates.
  4. Drain off the water and puree the dates in a food processor.
  5. Cream the butter and sugar till pale.
  6. Add in one egg at a time and mix well.
  7. Sieve the flour and cinnamon powder together and add to the above mixture.
  8. Stir in the ovaltine and mix well and add the grated ginger.
  9. Lastly fold in the yogurt and pureed dates.
  10. Pour the mixture into a well-greased Bundt pan and bake for about 30-35 minutes.


  • 115 grams unsalted butter
  • 115 grams brown sugar
  • 140 grams double cream
  1. Mix the butter, sugar and double cream in a sauce pan.
  2. Heat over low heat till the sugar dissolves and the sauce thickens slightly.