28 December 2011

Top 10 Recipes of 2011!

2011...what a year it's been! For me personally, it was filled with busy times and political turmoil at work as well as lots of travel (within France, this included two trips to Reims, Burgundy and Nice...outside it was Barcelona, New York, Lisbon twice, Prague, Atlanta, Minneapolis/St Paul, Cameroun and Gabon, London, Marrakesh and Essaouira and Brussels). We celebrated our first wedding anniversary and saw two couples who met at our wedding get married themselves. And of course the biggest news of the year...our upcoming move to Thailand, for which we are now busily preparing (less than a month to go!).

It goes without saying of course that throughout it all, I've been busy cooking and eating some yummy, spicy food! One of the biggest joys of the year has been sharing some of this food via this blog and learning from and exchanging with my fellow bloggers, many of whom have become friends. What a wonderful, talented and supportive community it is! I hope that you've all had a wonderful year as well and are enjoying the holiday season. Here's a few images from ours here in Paris...

As we celebrate the year's end, please enjoy my top 10 recipes. And here's to an even more delicious and spicy 2012!

(The 10 most viewed and/or commented recipes)

10. Indian-Style Seven-Layer Dip
This recipe comes from my uber-creative mother, who first inspired me to start cooking and who is the undoubtedly the biggest supporter of this blog! The Tex-Mex classic gets an Indian twist here with a spicy chickpea paste (replacing refried beans), a coriander and cashew chutney (guacamole), tomato chutney (salsa), Greek yogurt (sour cream), grated paneer (grated cheddar)...you get the idea. Try this ASAP!
I made this soup at a dinner party and it was a huge hit! No wonder, as the combination of peas and mint is always a winner. If you need further proof, try my Pea and Mint Risotto or my Pea and Mint Pesto too!

This recipe by Suvir Saran, the chef at NYC's amazing Devi restaurant is, like everything created by Chef Saran, marvelous! Crispy fried okra slices seasoned with chaat masala, chili powder, salt and lemon juice and tossed with tomato, red onion and coriander is off the hook! Recipe adapted from Chef Saran's American Masala: 125 New Classics from My Home Kitchen.

This was a surprising favorite, making it into the FoodBuzz Top 9. Spinach and mint from the market with a bit of chili, potato, crème fraîche...and finished off with some additional heat from red chili flakes. Yummy and great for these cold winter nights!
6. Corn Pomegranate Chaat
I absolutely love pomegranates and I absolutely love chaat, which refers to a vast category of Indian snacks, often sold at roadside and beachside stalls. This particular one - spicy, sweet and tangy - was a definite winner! My fellow FoodBuzzers thought so too, voting it into the Top 9.

5. Tom Kha Phak (Thai Coconut Vegetable Soup)
I fell in love with tom kha at a wonderful little restaurant in Koh Phi Phi, off the coast of Phuket in Thailand, and was surprised and delighted that this version tasted exactly the same! Thus began a year-long obsession with cooking Thai food. Maybe it was a premonition of things to come!
Another Thai delight, this one a snap to make with leftover cooked rice. The flavors of red curry paste and kaffir lime leaves are delicious here, while the scrambled eggs add protetin. This one also made the FoodBuzz Top 9.

I love corn and I loved this soup, which made the FoodBuzz Top 9 as well. Perfect as a starter for a Mexican, Southwestern or any other meal!

One of my favorite Indian dishes of all time! This version by Sanjeev Kapoor is made of balls of paneer (fresh Indian cheese) stuffed with cashews, almonds and raisins and cooked in a creamy cashew gravy. Very decadent and perfect for a special occasion or dinner!

The classic Bacardi rum cake gets converted into cupcakes, topped with a cream cheese frosting flavored with a little rum, lime juice and lime zest...like a burst of the tropics for your mouth!


  1. Love all the recipes you have selected! Wish you a spicy 2012! Look forward to all kinds of interesting recipes from you from beautiful Bangkok in the coming year! Good luck!!!

  2. Wow- that is quite the year! We're moving this upcoming year too and I think I'm equally terrified and excited. Lovely collection of recipes. Happy New Year!

  3. What a great year! Great recipes. Looking forward to your new ideas in 2012.

  4. what a gorgeous and colorful roundup! I hope 2012 brings you lots of cheer!

  5. #7 is DEF my fav!!! :D Happy New Year!

  6. still want to tr that 7 layer dip!!! Happy New Year!

  7. Ramiya-I am so blessed to have known you all this time, even though I did not meet you in person. I am in awe of your constant travel around the globe, and now you will be moving to Thailand?...Wow, and wow! That's a huge change from Paris!

    I have enjoyed each and every healthy and beautiful vegetarian dishes, you've made. Love the 7 layer dip, and will be saving the recipe to make for us, the the yummy rum cake cupcakes, I just bookmarked to make. What a fabulous recipe!
    Happy New Year, my dear friend, and wishing you the best for this New Year, in health, wealth, and prosperity!

  8. All looking great. if any one interested in Indian cooking check out this recipe website