Start your culinary journey by trying out these delicious recipes.
By Nafisa Singhsachathet
After work around 7.30pm, Rajeev Kapadia is always finding himself rushing into the kitchen to make dough for the next day, “It’s a process that provides me with a sense of relaxation and comfort,” he explains. A talented home chef and the owner of jewelry company NatashaCreations. Rajeev’s passion for cooking is rooted in a love of food he has fostered over the course of his life, a love that was catalysed 15 years ago during a trip to India, where he stumbled upon a book of desserts in a local store. As someone who loved sweet things, this book was what inspired him to start crafting his own. From that point onwards, Rajeev continued experimenting and reading about other chefs and culinary techniques.
After his children advised him to, he also started his own Instagram page @veggiebynature that he was able to dedicate even more time to during the COVID-19 lockdown period. Since his foray into the culinary world over a decade ago, food has become central to his life. He explains how he and his wife now plan their trips around the meals they want to have, making sure to research exactly what restaurants they want to eat at beforehand. Although clearly a well-travelled gastronome, Rajeev does not claim to be an expert chef, but merely someone who wants to share his passion for hearty home meals with the rest of the world: “If I can be a chef at 58 years old, then anyone can!” he enthuses.
STRAWBERRY MASCARPONE ICE CREAM INFUSED WITH BALSAMIC VINEGAR & LEMON RIND
PREP TIME: 60 MIN PLUS TIME IN THE ICE CREAM MACHINE
SERVING SIZE: YIELDS 1 LITRE / 10 SERVINGS
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• 450g fresh strawberries
• 1/2 cup sugar for strawberries
• 250g mascarpone cheese
• Juice of one lemon plus the rind • 1 cup milk
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 2/3 cup sugar for cream
• 2 tbsp corn syrup
• 1 tbsp cornstarch
• 1/8 tsp sea salt
• 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Add 1/2 cup of sugar to the hulled strawberries and put in the refrigerator for 30 min to an hour.
- Purée the chilled strawberries in a food processor with the lemon juice (not the rind) and keep aside.
- Take two spoons of milk and combine with cornstarch in a small bowl. Mix to make a smooth slurry.
- Mix the mascarpone cheese with the salt in a medium bowl.
- Combine remaining milk with heavy cream, 2/3 cup sugar, and corn syrup in a saucepan pan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Remove from heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry.
- Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium to high heat until slightly thickened (approximately 1 min) and set aside.
- Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture with the mascarpone cheese until smooth. Add the puréed strawberry mixture and whisk again.
- Add the balsamic vinegar and the lemon rind to the mixture.
- Put it in the fridge to chill overnight, preferably for at least 3 hours.
- Remove mixture from fridge and run it through a sieve.
- Pour mixture into an ice cream machine canister and run according to instructions.
- Pack ice cream in a container and put in the freezer for at least 4 hours before consumption.
PREP TIME: 10 HOURS
COOK TIME: 20 TO 25 MINS
SERVING SIZE: 6 SERVINGS
• 500g bread flour
• 400g room temperature water (1 and 3/4 cups)
• 1/4 tsp rapid rise yeast or 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2 tsp sea salt
• Additional olive oil for the pan and garnish.
• Toppings of choice
- To autolyse: in a large bowl, stir together the flour and water until well combined. Be aware mixture will be sticky, so use a Danish whisk or wooden spoon.
- Cover and let sit for 1 to 2 hours. This helps the our to hydrate and start the gluten forming process.
- Add in yeast and olive oil, and mix the dough for a minute before adding salt.
- Mix again for 2 minutes until everything is well combined.
- Grease a 9×13 inch baking tray with one tablespoon of olive oil and transfer dough to tray and turn to coat in oil. Start stretching the dough to t the pan. You may find it pulls back and doesn’t stretch completely. Leave it covered with a plastic wrap or thin moist cloth for 20 to 25 mins.
- After the dough has relaxed, you will be able to stretch it more easily to cover the tray. Cover the tray with plastic wrap and leave to ferment outside for 6 to 8 hours or put in the fridge for 24 to 48 hours.
- When you are ready, preheat the oven at 220 degrees for 40 to 45 mins.
- If your dough was in the fridge, remove and leave outside for 40 mins to an hour while the oven is heating.
- When the dough is ready, top it with whatever toppings you want (suggested options include rosemary, sun dried tomatoes, cheese, roasted bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, parmesan cheese, and flaky sea salt.
- Add a spoonful of olive oil and create dimples on the surface by taking your fingers and pressing all over the top of the bread.
- Bake for 20 mins or until golden brown.
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