Chocolate making – a passion and my biggest interest!

I have always been interested in creative pursuits. Recently, I developed an interest in learning how to make chocolates. I started with learning how to make plain chocolates. This was my first attempt.

Plain Chocolates

I tried many different shapes and earned a lot of praise from people after they tried my chocolates. One day, I came across chocolates with fillings. I had eaten them earlier, but now when I saw them I was really keen on learning how they are made. One day, I saw a post on Facebook in one of the groups I am a part of. The lady taught chocolates with fillings. I went to her classes and learnt how to make them and I knew I was hooked for life. I learnt many flavours like Pinacolada filling, Truffle with Liquer, Marzipan, Hazelnut, Peppermint. I made them myself later in different designs and colours.

Hazelnut

My nieces, like all young girls, are big Disney Princesses fans. So I made these chocolates specially for them.

White Chocolates

I made these chocolates for my colleagues and friends in office. These are in Mint Chocolate Ganache flavour.

Mint Chocolate Ganache

This is something I enjoy so much that I would love to make this a profession. It is so much fun. What could be better than making a profession out of something you love doing?

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Tea Center, Mumbai

I am an Indian and I love my tea. My morning starts with tea and sometimes ends with it too. I can have tea at anytime of the day. It is my companion in happiness, sadness, excitement, stress, for cooling off after a fight or after a client has driven me to the edge. My cup of tea is what I can’t do without most.

I have been in Mumbai for many years but had never heard of this place, until one day I was roaming around in Churchgate and saw this sign outside a cafe – the sign said Tea Center.

teacentre

Being a tea lover, I was intrigued. But I was running short of time, so I went on without stopping. So this time, when I went to Kalaghoda festival, I knew I would feel incomplete unless I ended my day with a visit to the Tea Center. So here I was exhausted and dusty after roaming around Kalaghoda in the afternoon heat. It was about 6 p.m, the perfect time for a refreshing cuppa tea. I have two friends who absolutely love this place and come here a lot. It is the only tea shop where you will have to wait to get a table and be served tea, it is that popular. But you will find the wait totally worth it.

I had heard a lot of praises for the Hot Buttered Apple Tea at this place and I decided to try it out. And was it simply the most sinfully delicious tea I have ever tasted. It has a lingering rich buttery taste enveloped by the fruity freshness of apple. I am in love with it.

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I paired it with Lemon Tart and this was the most perfect Tea I have ever had. The tangy sweetness of the Lemon Tarts was the perfect accompaniment to the rich flavour of Hot Buttered Apple Tea, This will have your mouth watering. It is even more delicious than it looks.

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Now, I want to try their Banana Caramel Tea, Glasier Mint Tea, Almond Tea, Irish Tea, Rose Tea -ohh the list is endless. I wish I was staying near it. I would be at the Tea Centre everyday. My dream is to spend an entire day there and try all the Tea flavours I want to. I am sure I’ll spend a day like that soon at the Tea Centre. Ohh, did I mention that it is managed by the Government? There are some things that our Government gets right, The Tea Center is one of them.

© Arti Deshpande

Ghatkopar’s Khau Galli – A Gastronomer’s Delight


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I had heard a lot about Ghatkopar’s Khau Galli(Food Street) from my friends and colleagues. Ghatkopar is a suburb of Mumbai. I had heard that you get atleast 25 different types of Dosas there and they are a must try. i had been longing to go since a long time. On Friday, a friend and I made an impromptu plan to go there.

We reached there at about 9 p.m. We were just roaming around and wondering where to start. The food there is all vegetarian street food and it is amazingly clean there and the taste of street food is retained. The dosa seller was right in front of us. However, we wanted to try something also before that. Here are the things that we tried and would completely recommend to everyone.

Hot Spot

We saw this guy who was selling Tikkas. His business name is Hot Spot and he also has his stall in front of Worli Seaface. We had the most amazing Paneer Tikka there. The masala that he uses for marinating the Paneer is something simply different and the Paneer Tikka tastes out of this world.

Sai Swad Dosa

After this, we were ready to try the dosa now at Sai Swad Dosa. We went through the list and actually saw that there are more than 25 varieties of dosas. Experimental that I am with food, I decided to try the Maggi Cheese Dosa. My friend took the Special Schezwan and Manchurian Cheese Dosa. Though all the dosas there are out of this world, nothing can taste better than the Maggi Cheese Dosa – take my word for it. It is simply delicious. That stall is so popular that they have 8 tawas set up and 8 dosas being made at the same time. Still, the waiting time is atleast 20 mins. But, believe me when I say that every minute of wait is worth it. Take a look at this picture of the magic men at work.

Sai Swad Dosa

Naughty Sips and Slices

While we were waiting for the dosas, I saw a small eatery behind Sai Swad Dosa. They had displayed Chocolate Pizza in the menu. I was completely tempted and decided to try it out after the dosa. My friend and I shared the Chocolate Pizza as we were too full after the dosa. But one taste of the pizza and we were hooked completely. It was extraordinary. Take a look at this picture and get ready to drool.

Chocolate Pizza

Me and Chocolate Pizza

After this, we thought we were completely done and then the owner of the eatery came and told us that they had very good Falooda. He told us about the Fusion Falooda – it is a combination of vanilla icecream. rose syrup, dryfruits and fruits. We accepted his suggestion and decided to try it out. It was mindblowing to to say the least. Take a look at the picture and see for yourself.

Fusion Falooda

In the end there were two totally happy faces after stuffing ourselves so much who were not able to even walk at all. A trip to Khau Galli at Ghatkopar is a must and an experience you will never forget.

© Arti Deshpande