Monday, June 14, 2010

Guest Post - 15 : Today's Guest - Nayna

Nayna from "Simply.Food" is with us today. She is from UK. She works as Contact Lens Professional. She loves yoga, working out at the gym and swimming. Now, let us hear from her...

Nithu's Kitchen : Tell us about you Nayna
Nayna : Originally from East Africa, I have been residing in the UK since childhood, I am a working professional (contact lens optician). I work part time and the rest of my time is taken up with husband and two daughters.

Nithu's Kitchen : How do you relax yourself?
Nayna : I enjoy yoga, going to the gym and occasionally swimming. Of course this helps me to shred the extra calories I would otherwise pile on from the food I prepare and sample.

Nithu's Kitchen : What made you to start a blog and when did you start it?
Nayna : I have a passion for cooking, trying out new recipes and ingredients. I strongly believe in healthy eating and home cooking. I encourage my family to cook with me also. For this I started a food blog in October 20008 so that they could refer to my recipes on line , where once I used to guess the ingredients and quantities I started to measure and make note of ingredients and penned them down to blog about later.

Nithu's Kitchen : How do you enjoy blogging and which part of blogging you would like to improve.
Nayna : My blog has grown from strength to strength and I love updating it with new tried and tested recipes. At the moment I am a total novice at photography but am learning to take good photos to accompany my recipes. Hopefully these should improve as time goes on. I enjoy fusion dishes where I try continental dishes with an Indianised touch .I also try and learn from my mother in law; her desi tried and tested recipes. Taking care not to loose the authenticity of the dish, I sometimes tweak the recipes and often the cooking techniques for healthier options to try and incorporate them in today’s lifestyle. I am no culinary expect, I also have my fair share of disasters too but I do enjoy cooking for my family and friends and hosting dinner parties.
Since blogging I have developed an obsession of scouring house ware stores for pretty dishes, plates, bowls and kitchen gadgets. This has made a huge impact on storage in my kitchen and of course my pocket as I cant resist the urge to purchase some new crockery or gadget that I may see when ever I go shopping.

Nithu's Kitchen : Share us one unforgettable disaster happened in your kitchen.
Nayna : I tried to make a chocolate and fruit roulade, for a dinner party. I followed the recipe exact but somehow when I tried to roll it up into the Swiss roll shape with all the cream and fruit in it. It totally fell apart and disintegrated with cracks all over it. I was left with a cake, fruit and cream mess and no time to make a replacement dessert.
So you are going to ask me what did I do??....I scooped up the cake, cream and fruit mixture and placed spoonfuls into little cake cases and piped fresh cream over it and sprinkled with chocolate sprinkles and nuts and served the dessert as if that was what it was meant to be like that. No one knew any better and I even got compliments on creating a new bite sized mini trifle dessert!!! My disastrous secret was safe (that is until now!!!)

Nithu's Kitchen : Wow! wonderful idea. Thanks for sharing this secret with us :-) We heard that you are writing for an Indian Magazine. Tell us about that.
Nayna : I have recently started writing a monthly recipe for an Indian magazine called Homeobuzz. I was very much excited when they approached me as being a NRI and getting recognition in India is very pleasing. Each month I supply a recipe for publication for their magazine.

Nithu's Kitchen : Great to hear this. Our hearty wishes Nayna. What is your family's favourite food?
Nayna : I cook a varied menu, some days totally Indian food and other days fusion food. But a firm family favourite is Gujarati thali consisting of kadhi, rice, potato curry, cauliflower curry, sprouted moong bean curry and rotis. Of course not forgetting the salad, papad and chas (salted lassi) that completes the feast. Both my daughters love shrikand( a creamy yoghurt dessert) also.

Nithu's Kitchen : What do you have today to Share with us?
Nayna : I will share with you one of my families favourite bhajiya recipe.

Nithu's Kitchen : Why did you select this?
Nayna : I chose this because it is a good way to get your kids to eat vegetables, I know its fried but fried food is ok if eaten in moderation. It can be made with any selection of vegetables and it is a very adaptable and versatile recipe.

Mixed vegetable bhajiyas- Crunchy and crispy bhajiyas, these are tasty and delicious. They are perfect for lunch boxes, picnics, or that afternoon teatime snack.


4 tablespoons besan (chick pea flour)
1 tablespoon rice flour
1 teaspoon fresh ginger paste
1 teaspoon green chilli paste (omit for kids)
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon ajwain seeds
½ teaspoon eno salts
3 tablespoons water
Sun flower oil for deep frying
1 small red onion finely chopped (or 3 spring onions instead)
1 cup mixed green /red/ yellow peppers (either sliced or diced)
1.5 cups freshly chopped green fenugreek


1. Mix Rice flour and besan and add the turmeric salt, chilli powder, ajwain, ginger and chilli paste.
2. Add the water and make a paste.
3. Add the peppers, onions, and chopped fenugreek and mix to make a dropping consistency batter, add a little more water if needed.
4. Add the eno salts and mix thoroughly.
5. Heat the oil, once oil is hot drop spoonfuls of batter into the hot oil. Deep fry on medium heat till bhajiyas are golden brown and crispy.
6. Remove from oil and drain on kitchen paper.
7. Repeat procedure for rest of batter.
Serve hot with coriander green chutney. (tomato ketchup for kids)

NB-You can add any vegetables of your choice and replace fenugreek with chopped spinach if desired.

Nithu's Kitchen : Thank you so much Nayna.

Dear Friends, Hope you all enjoy Nayna's guest post. If you are interested to be featured as Nithu's Kitchen's Guest, please do mail to ""


Rachana said...

It was nice knowing about you Nayna! Bhajiyas look yummy and would be a delicious tea-time Snack!

Padmajha said...

Nice to know more about you Nayna and thanks to Nithu for this effort :)

Suji said...

Nice knowing more about you Nayna and great work indeed Nithu..

Bajjjiya looks delicious, best tea time snack specially on rainy days!!!

Kairali sisters

Niloufer Riyaz said...

Its nice to know about Nayna. n the Bajhiya looks delicious

Sayantani Mahapatra Mudi said...

nice to know about you Nayna. loved the way you managed with a broken swiss roll. the bhajiyas look tempting too. perfect for the monsoon

~ Lopa said...

Lovely recipe n pic...i m going to try this one !

Nitha said...

Good to know more about you Nayna... The bajiyas looks delicious...

Shabitha Karthikeyan said...

Nice to know about Nayna..Bhajya looks great !!!

Priya Suresh said...

I love Nayna's blog, its a real pleasure to know more about her through this guest post...delicious bhajiyas...

Unknown said...

Nithu, love you for bringing new guests every week. That was really nice to know about Nayna. Love the bhajiya recipe as well. What a new creation from disaster. I wish we all could use the same presence of mind?

Simplyfood said...

Thankyou Nithu for inviting me to be your guest,I am honoured that you gave me this platform to share details about me and by blog

divya said...

Nice to know about Nayna..Bhajya looks great !!!

Unknown said...

It was really nice knowing about Nayna..Love her crispy and yummy bhajiyas..Great post, Nithu..

Krishnaveni said...

Nice to know about Nayna...that dish looks great

Akanksha said...

wow...these colorful and tasty bhajiyas, I have never seen before..will surely try it out.
Good to know more about you Nayna..

BeenaShylesh said...

nice to know about nayan..she is realy talented...

Saraswathi Iyer said...

Lovely post Nithu. Good to know more about Nayna. Nice bhajiya too.

Kiran said...

Nice to know about you Nayna,the bhajis look perfect and delicious.
Thank you for introducing us to one more guest Nithu.

Jaleela Kamal said...

nice post , Nayna'S bhajis also looks very yummy

GayathriRaj said...

It was so nice to know abt u Nayna...i like her blog a lot and now in personal to knw abt her thru Nithu's post is very nice....Congrts for the offer to write in the magazine....thats really an achievement for u...This bhajiya's look awesome....

Nithu thats a gr8 job dear...really good one....

Prajusha said...

first time here..bhajiya looks yummy.nice to know abt nayana.

SathyaSridhar said...

Bajiyas looks perfect dear,,very healthy n yummy snack..

Guna's kitchen said...

bhajjiyas luk beautifull...

Vrinda said...

Nice post n gr8 bhajiya