Recipe: No bake orange cheesecake

The other day, I had this sudden craving for cheesecake. Now, my absolute favorite cheesecake is the one made by pizza chain San Marzano. It’s a baked, fluffy, out-of-this-world cheesecake. But sadly, the restaurant has shut shop, and though I’ve heard that they opened somewhere else, I haven’t been able to locate it. I’ve tried cheesecakes at a lot of places, but nothing – and I mean absolutely nothing – comes close to that fluffy divineness.

So, I did the next best thing – I made a cheesecake at home! No, sadly, not a baked cheesecake, ‘cause I don’t know how, and I don’t have one of those fancy cheesecake tins either. I made one that sets in the fridge, and it is absolutely delightful!


Ingredients for no bake orange cheesecake

2 boxes of Kiri cream cheese
1 litre orange juice
1 packet Marie biscuits
¼ cup sugar
40 gm butter
1 orange for garnishing
Chocolate shavings for garnishing


Put the biscuits into a ziplock baggie and smash with a rolling pin, until the biscuit is reduced to an almost powder-like form.

no bake orange cheesecake step by step recipe

In a bowl, mix the biscuits and butter until you get a nice, buttery-biscuity mixture. Go ahead, taste a spoonful – it’s divine!

Now, grease a loose bottom tin with butter and compact this mixture in the tin. Put in the fridge for 15 minutes.

In the meanwhile, smooth the cream cheese in a bowl.

Then add in the sugar and mix it up. Now, here comes the fun part! Start pouring in the orange juice in small measures, mix it up and taste. Repeat until you like the taste – creamy, orangey goodness!

Then, pour the mixture (which might be pretty darn thin, if you’re anything like me!) on top of the biscuit layer.

no bake orange cheesecake steps

Put it into the fridge and leave overnight. This is what your set cheesecake will look like:

With a knife, poke around the edges to determine the consistency. Its possible that your cheesecake is set, but it hasn’t set enough to cut it up into slices. But that’s perfectly OK.

Get out your serving bowl and a big spoon.

Push the spoon all the way to the bottom, until you feel the crunchy biscuit layer. Continue on until you hit the base of the tin. Scoop out. Repeat.

Pile up the yummy cheesecake goodness into your serving bowl. Try to get a scoop of only the cheesecake minus the biscuit as your top layer.

For the garnishing:

Peel an orange, then pull apart the skin and de-seed, so you have only the orange pulp. Set aside in a plate.

Shave off some chocolate curls from your bitter chocolate. As much or as little as you want.

First place the orange all around the cheesecake. Finish with the chocolate.

no bake orange cheesecake recipe

Bon Appétit!

Pasta in tomato sauce

A friend recently gave me some pork ravioli that she bought on her trip to Europe. Since the hubby doesn’t eat pork (something about not liking the thought of eating a pig), I decided to make it on Friday as the hubs was travelling, and it turned out SO good!



1 bowl uncooked pasta
4 tomatoes, diced
1 medium-sized onion, cut in thin long slices
4-5 cloves garlic, chopped fine
100 gm cottage cheese, cut in thin long strips.
2 tbsp olive oil
Herbs – thyme, parsley, oregano and basil
Salt to taste


First, fill a big pot with about ½ a litre of water, a pinch of salt and some oil. Bring it to a boil and put in the pasta. Cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.

In a non-stick cooking pot, pour in the oil. Once it’s hot, throw in the garlic and sauté until light brown. Then add the onions and cook until translucent.


Add in the tomatoes and salt. Mix well.

Now add in the herbs. I generally sprinkle them in without measuring (one of the very few recipes where I don’t actually hyperventilate if I don’t have the exact measure), but I’d say about 1 tsp of each should be just right.


Turn the gas to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes, while you read a book or watch some TV, though you might want to check on it in about 10 minutes. In case the water has evaporated, add in some more, mix and cover.

After 20 minutes, the sauce should be ready. Tip in the pasta and the cottage cheese (keep the gas on low flame), mix well and cook until the pasta is heated through.




Bon Appétit!

Express Prawn Paella

The hubs is out for the week, which means I have some “me” time. This is also my favorite time to cook, strangely. For one, I can eat the food that I like and the hubs hates. I can also experiment with new recipes and dishes without the hubs turning up his nose at the result and saying it the look of a particular dish doesn’t match his “mental image” of what it would like! I mean, honestly, have you heard of a stranger excuse for not trying new dishes?

One of the dishes I made was a dish I love – and the hubs, of course, doesn’t – an express prawn paella.

This recipe uses a non-traditional method – the pressure cooker – to come up with a meal in a jiffy. It may not be as elaborate as other, more traditional paella recipes, but the result is yummy! So, without further ado, here’s how you make…

Express Prawn Paella
Serves: 2
Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins


2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1 large tomato, skinned and diced
1 cup rice
250 gm shrimp, peeled and devenined – I use the frozen variety
3 cups chicken broth
¼ tsp saffron
¼ tsp ground cumin
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1-2 lemons


1) Thaw prawns; squeeze some lime juice on them, mix, set aside

2) In a pressure cooker, sauté the onion and bell pepper until the onion is tender.

3) Add the tomato and cook for 5 mins.

4) Add the rice and sauté until translucent.

5) Pour in the broth, shrimp, saffron, cumin, pepper and salt. Squeeze juice of half a lemon. Stir.

6) Close the pressure cooker, bring to high pressure on medium heat, and cook for another 3 mins.

7) Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with lemon wedges and serve!


Tip: Make sure you actually squeeze some lemon over the rice – it really brings out the flavor and tastes.

Bon Appétit!

Also see:
Soul food: Prawn rice

Linking up with Foodie Wednesday at Daily Organized Chaos.

Looking back 2010: food and drink

Fez Dining, New Delhi

One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating. ~Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, Pavarotti, My Own Story

This simple pleasure has become such a huge minefield in recent years, with the media telling you that almost everything that tastes good is actually bad for you. If you were to believe all that’s thrown at you, you would have to eliminate from your life red meat, bread, chocolates, pastries…everything that tastes so divine that it gives you a little glimpse of heaven each time  you bite into it. (You might want to read why I think the Twinkie diet is a breakthrough for dieters.)

Large, naked raw carrots are acceptable as food only to those who lie in hutches eagerly awaiting Easter. ~Fran Lebowitz

I think that’s enough of a pre-amble to establish the fact that I am a foodie! I love, love, love food! I constantly try out new restaurants and different cuisines, experiment with new dishes at my favorite hangouts, and enjoy collecting and keeping recipes – it’s a different matter that I’m an extremely reluctant cook, but, oh well!

10 of my favorite meals and drinks in 2010 would have to be…

  1. Fez Dining, Malcha Marg, New Delhi – This Eastern Mediterrean bar is one of my favorite places to hang out. I love their ambience, and their food is to die for! You can close your eyes, flip through the menu, place your finger on an item and order it, and you wouldn’t go wrong.
    Recommended: To eat: Shish Taouk (succulent pieces of charcoal grilled garlic and saffron flavored chicken served with hummus and a divine gralic dip), Tas Kebap (braised lamb cooked in Turkish spices served with rice – yummy!). To drink: Pasha (orange juice, cherry liqueur topped with champagne), Moroccan martini (saffron infused vodka, vermounth and orange juice)
  2. Brazilian chicken, made by a good friend for a farewell party she hosted for me recently. Surrounded by friends, music, laughter and lots of alcohol, this was one party that turned out to be surprisingly fun!
  3. Basil Leaf, Gurgaon – This small little eatery in a sleepy market is a hidden treasure. It offers Pan Asian and Italian cuisine, as well as delectable deserts. Each item on the menu has a blend of flavors that will explode in your mouth, sending you to orgasmic highs! 😉
    Recommended: Oriental sea food soup, Basil chili stir-fried shrimps, ravioli in tomato sauce, grilled vegetable pizza, blueberry cheesecake
  4. I never realized how much I enjoy hosting parties until we hosted a card party at home this Diwali. First, hosting parties is the best way to clean up the house. Second, it’s fun to have friends over, laughing and enjoying themselves in your house. Most times my friends just invite themselves over home, we never get around to inviting people, but in 2011, I hope to change that!
  5. La Pizzeria, Bund Garden Road, Pune – Excellent Italian (vegetarian) food at really reasonable rates.  My entire family (parents, the husband and the little sis) had a 3-course meal for Rs. 1,500 — in Gurgaon, you’d pay that much for two people, main course only!
    Recommended: Spinaci Salsa (spinach and cream dip with crisp bread), Ravioli in tomato sauce, Gnocco (pasta stuffed with three types of cheese, spinach, Italian herbs and tomato sauce sprinkled with parmesan), Tiramisu
  6. My ultimate soul food, apart from chocolate truffle pastries,m has to be prawn rice. The flavors and the warmth of this dish fill me with joy.
  7. Monk, Galaxy hotel, Gurgaon – Serving up Chinese cuisine with a twist, this is the place to head to if you’re tired of “chinjabi” Chinese food. Their sticky rice bowls and udon noodles are to die for!
    Recommended: Five-spice chicken dimsums, seafood sticky rice bowl in celery sauce, sticky rice bowl with prawns and greens in XO sauce
  8. When I was home ill sometime in the middle of this year, I was overtaken by a sudden, over-whelming craving for chocolate cake. I was not too well to drive out to the market to indulge, so I did the next best thing – made a 5 minute chocolate mug cake! Yummy!!
  9. Swiss Cheese Garden Restaurant, ABC Farms, Koregaon Park, Pune – I went to the restaurant the last time I was home. Done up in wooden logs with dim lighting, the restaurant has an excellent ambiance, whether you’re with family, friends, or someone special. Recommended: Cheese fondue! That’s what they’re most famous for
  10. Some of my best weekends this year have been spent with friends. Be it an impromptu visit or a planned one, I’ve had great times with P at her house, eating, talking, standing out on the terrace capturing pictures of the sky; and with J, experimenting with new restaurants or getting together for drinks and dinner.

Great food is like great sex.  The more you have the more you want.  ~Gael Greene

What were your favorite meals in 2010?

Linking up with Jade:

Wandering Wednesday #9: Christmas treats!

A Danish Christmas tree illuminated with burni...

Danish Christmas tree

With Christmas just round the corner, I’m sure you’ve all got your trees up and your shopping done. Now, it’s time to think about the Christmas feast!

Christmas in India is incomplete without plum cake – I can eat huge quantities of it in a single sitting! This year, how about trying out this divine looking German plum cake – a new twist to an old tradition – or then try baking an Indian plum cake.

You could give your celebrations a French twist this year with this yummy bûche de Noël or Chocolate Yule Log cake.

With the weather outside growing colder, there’s nothing more delightful than a glass of warm mulled wine. I also found  a recipe for a chilled mulled wine – not sure if it’s for me, but you could certainly give it a try if you like!

With drinks and desert out of the way, it’s time to think about the main course!

How about this flavorful mustard and maple syrup glazed ham, or a fiery, Goan Pork Vindaloo served over boiled rice? If you’d rather take the roasted route, try out this Italian rosemary garlic roast turkey, or keep things simple, with this yummy Chicken with New Potatoes.

What are your favorite Christmas traditions and treats?

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Wandering Wednesday #5: What's cooking?


Image via Wikipedia

I don’t know about you, but I enjoy looking for interesting recipes online (it’s another matter that I don’t cook too often, but hey, I can look!) so, I thought I’d share some of my favorite recipes with you.

My all-time favorite soul food is prawn rice, a recipe I learnt from a Madhur Jaffrey cook book (I forget the name now). The husband, though, loves chinese sytle noodles, and I just came across a really simple recipe from The Local Cook for a chicken stir fry with noodles. Gotta try this out on the weekend!

Now, I don’t know about you, but I need to have exact proportions and measurements to get things right. Which is why I love Mom Food Project’s recipe for three different consistencies of white sauce. No more lumpy white sauce in my baked veggies, yay!

When it comes to all things sweet (and sinful) you can be sure that I’ll be at the head of the line! One of my favorite bread spreads is Nutella — it’s absolutely divine! But if you’re bored of just spreading it out on toast, try out this amazingly simple Nutella bread pudding by ovenhaven and get transported to Nutella heaven!  

Hope these recipes entice you to go into your kitchen and cook!

Got any favorite recipes you’d like to share? You know I’d love to see them, so drop me a line in the comments!

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