The holy grail of cake….Cheesecake!


Cheesecake is a popular dessert all around the world. While many assume that it has its origins in New York, it actually dates back much further. Let’s go back over 4,000 years to ancient Greece!

Greeks are said to have served cheesecake to the athletes at the first Olympic games. The Romans soon caught on and spread the divine taste of cheesecake throughout Europe. From there it was only a matter of time before European immigrants brought their cherished cheesecake recipes to America.


It seems that every region of the globe has embraced cheesecake in one form or another, adapting the recipe to local tastes and adding local flavors. In America, cheesecakes are typically made with a cream cheese base, but even here we vary the recipe by region. New York cheesecake is famous for its ultra-smooth texture and decadently rich flavor– achieved by adding extra egg yolks and a hint of lemon – and you’ll find other regional variations from Chicago-style to Pennsylvania Dutch. Many American bakers add sour cream for a creamy cheesecake that can be frozen without compromising taste or texture.

Italian cheesecakes generally use ricotta cheese, which makes them drier than their American cousins. The French prefer Neufchatel cheese and often add gelatin for a light and airy consistency. The Greeks might use ricotta, mizithra,farmers, feta, Swiss, or a combination of cheeses, while the Germans typically rely on cottage cheese or quark. The Japanese incorporate cornstarch and whipped egg whites into their cheesecakes for a more custard-like effect, and I’ve even heard you can find cheesecake in vending machines in Japan.

I’ve tried about 7 cheesecake recipes and it has taken a long long time to perfect it.

Let’s tackle this step by step.

Step 1 : DO NOT get intimidated. Baking a cheesecake is not as difficult as you think! The list of ingredients is long, however, you have to keep your cool.

Step 2 : Read the recipe several times before you go on to try this great feat.

Step 3 : Make the crust – What you need :

Any cookie of your choice, and just about enough butter.

Crush about 10-12 cookies [ enough to line the base of  9inch cheesecake pan – A springfoam tin – A tin which comes with a detachable bottom] in a food processor and add melted butter to it, just so that it forms a nice buttery paste.

Line the base of your tin with this paste. If you want you can add cocoa powder and sugar to it to make it a chocolate crust.

Step 4 : The filling. Before making this, preheat your oven to 175 Degree C. Below are all the ingredients you need :

2 pounds cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch, or 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (optional)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons lemon juice (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk

Combine the cream cheese, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld mixer). Mix on medium-low speed until the mixture is creamy, like thick frosting, and no lumps of cream cheese remain. Scrape down the beater and the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

Add the sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla to the bowl and beat on medium-low speed until combined and creamy. Scrape down the beater and sides of the bowl with a spatula.

With the mixer on medium-low speed, beat in the eggs and the yolk one at a time. Wait until the previous egg is just barely mixed into the batter before adding the next one. At first, the mixture will look clumpy and broken, but it will come together as the eggs are worked in.

Srape down the beater and sides of the bowl with a spatula. Stir the whole batter a few times by hand, being sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl, to make sure everything is incorporated. The finished batter should be thick, creamy, and silky. Don’t worry if you see a few specks of un-mixed cream cheese here and there; they will melt into the batter during baking and won’t affect the finished cheesecake.

Pour the batter over the crust and spread it into an even layer against the sides of the pan.

Step 4 : Wrap the baking tin in foil and fill a baking TRAY half way with water. Place the tin on the tray. This is called a water bath. Cooking a cheesecake in water bath helps to give it that smooth velvety to die for texture.

Step 5 : Bake for 60 minutes.

Step 6 : Let it cool and then refrigerate for an hour before taking it out of the tin.


Step 7 : Serve it plain or top with topping of your choice! My favorite are fresh strawberries and a blueberry compote!




Lose weight by drinking water!

YEP, you read it right!

There is a way to lose weight by JUST drinking water.

How? How can it be so simple?

Well, I present to you the marvel that I discovered thanks to Pinterest and it’s called DETOX WATER!

What does detox mean?

Doing a Detox means removing harmful or potentially damaging substances from our bodies, our environment and our diet.There are many harmful substances that we are exposed to and that we are directly or indirectly affected by. These can be harmful to one’s health and can possibly reduce one’s vitality and spark. Through a process of detoxification, one can get rid of accumulated harmful substances that stress our systems.

Studies have shown that drinking water naturally boosts your metabolism, and drinking fruit infused water for weight loss can be an easy way to increase your water intake. Also called detox water, fruit flavored water, or fruit infused water; infused water can generally be any combination of fruits, vegetables, and herbs immersed in cold water. While infused water has the benefit of being full of flavor, it also has no calories, making it a very powerful tool in your efforts to lose weight and gain better health.


Everyone health related and everyone otherwise cannot emphasize enough on how important it is to keep drinking water, water itself is the solution to about 70 percent of health problems and acts as a magic healer for infections. Trust me, I had a crazy UTI phase and all that the doctor asked me to do was drink 6 L of water everyday and tada, magic! I was cured. Therefore, I can’t really tell you how important it is to keep yourself constantly hydrated and what’s great about this detox water is that, it helps you lose that weight you’ve been trying to lose for a while now, without even lifting a finger. NO, it’s not magic. Don’t expect to lose 5 kilos in 10 days with this, but to expect that feeling of bloatedness to go away and expect to feel healthy and rejuvenated and I promise you that if you keep this habit up, in a span of a month you will see some obvious changes.

What are the other benefits of detox water?

What Are The Benefits of Infused Water?

Besides tasting great and having zero calories, a water detox has many additional health benefits, including:

  • Improves your mood.
  • Flushes toxins from your system.
  • Fills you up so you don’t eat as much junk.
  • Naturally helps your body release fat cells for water weight loss.
  • Keeps food moving through your system.
  • Keeps your organs healthy while you’re sweating.
  • Reduces muscle fatigue while working out.
  • Helps you recuperate faster from a workout.
  • Keeps you from feeling groggy in the afternoon.

Below I’m posting the detox water recipes that are my absolute favorite!

Cucumber, lemon and mint : This is the king of all detox water recipes!

What you need : One cucumber and one lemon [ thinly sliced], some mint leaves, a litre of water and a jug. All you do is add the three ingredients into the jug of water, cover it and let it sit for 5 minutes and after that it’s ready to drink! You can refill this jug about 5 times.

Why it’s so good : Cucumber is low in calories, acts as a diuretic, high in dietary in fiber, and helps keep the body alkaline. Cucumbers are a perfect weight loss food. Lemon is high in pectin fiber, which helps suppress food cravings. It also helps the body eliminate waste products by cleansing and detoxifying it. Lemons are alkaline forming and will aid with weight loss. You may not have thought of mint as an appetite suppressant, but it is. Not only will it give the water a refreshing flavor it will stop food cravings too.


Tip : You can also add ginger ( sliced)  to this and make another variant of it. Ginger, studies have revealed is known to make you feel full and prevent you from over eating.


Strawberry, mint and lemon : Take a handful of strawberries, slice them up, do the same with one lemon, take some mint leaves and add it to a litre of water.

packed so full of Vitamin C, you’ll be giving your metabolism a big boost while burning fat and increasing weight loss.

It also contains anti-inflammatory ingredients and is great for fighting cold and flu viruses.

Strawberries are known to curb appetite, boost your immune system, regulate blood sugar, aid in digestion, and improve cardiovascular health. They’re packed full of Vitamin C to increase your metabolism and help reduce bloat and inflammation in sore muscles.

The lemon is good for weight management, improved digestion, appetite control and also helps fight bloating.

Mint helps boost energy, and best of all it helps you burn fat faster, making this a great drink for weight loss.

Apple and cinnamon :

Apples are extremely rich in important antioxidants and flavanoids, including Vitamins C and B Complex. The phytonutrients and antioxidants in apples may help reduce the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.

Cinnamon has many health benefits, including lowering cholesterol, fighting diabetes, and helps relieve arthritis pain.

Slice an apple  and take 2-3 cinnamon sticks and add them to a jug of water and that’s it!

Some other great detox water combinations :

  1. Add slices of watermelon to water [ after de-seeding those slices]. There are plenty of antioxidants stored within the juicy melons, and its nutrient contents are through the roof. One of its key compounds is the phytonutrient known as lycopene. This generous ingredient is an extraordinarily strong antioxidant, and it also is known to foster anti-inflammatory effects. Amino acids are also provided to aid in blood flow and cardiovascular well-being. This is great for anyone with a rigid fitness routine.
  2. Strawberry and kiwi slim down water :Kiwi detox water belongs to a league of its own. This exotic fruit is blessed with tons of dietary fiber, which helps it remove extra sodium from the system. Girls who consume too much salt may discover a lot of assistance through these tropical treats. Huge vitamin C reserves make this special water a formidable detox agent. Strawberries fight free radicals with antioxidants of their own
  3. Mango and lime water :Detox waters are all about infusing the water with the nutrients from fruits and vegetables. In this case they’re using mango and lime for a delicious flavor, but you’ll also get the antioxidants from the mango, and the Vitamin C from the lime.



The Perfect STEAK!

I’m a steak lovin’ girl. Steak has always been my first choice on a menu, and there have been times when the waiter has told me “Sorry ma’am, tenderloin in not available today” and I’ve walked out of the restaurant. Steak is my absolute favorite, and no amount of it can ever make me full. Some of my friends will vouch for that, since they’ve seen me eat one steak after another after another and it wasn’t even a dare.


Steak is something I discovered in Calcutta. During my 18 years in Delhi, I was unaware of what I was missing. Of course, I would salivate everytime I would watch those American food programs on TLC and would crib about the lack of choice in my country, but that was about all the exposure I had to steak. All of that changed when I moved to Calcutta. One of my first proper meals here was a beef steak in one of the most famous places for it, and I was in love. Ever since then, every restaurant I go to, I will hope that there is a steak on the menu.

“Steak, which derives its name for the Old Norse word for roast, “steik,” when served the proper, American way comes with a starch, usually a baked potato, and some vegetables, usually slathered in butter, like a corn-on-the-cob.” [ Source : Internet]


This Republic Day, my family decided to have a massive steak lunch! My grandfather had got raw steak-cut beef meat [ Sorry, I can’t be clearer about the cut of meat because I asked him what the cut was, and he said “I don’t know, I just told the butcher I want to make some steak!”]

I was fascinated and couldn’t believe that we were actually going to be making steak! The idea of steak to me somehow always came with charcoal and a barbeque grill, and my house had neither of those things. I was in awe and little did I know that my life was going to change.

We marinated the meat for about an hour and it was SO easy to cook, it’s almost unbelievable how something that tastes so good is so hassle free! Today, I’m going to share the recipe with you, so you never have to shell out a thousand bucks at a fancy restaurant when you’re craving some steak, you can just make your own.


For the marinade :

We used a lot of soya sauce as the base. I’m unable to give you measurements because we didn’t use any. We just did whatever felt right and prayed and hoped it would be okay.

So yes, the soya sauce. You need a lot of it. We used about half a cup of soya sauce for 15 something pieces of steak. Now to that, you add a pinch of vinegar [ We used white, but if you’re feeling adventurous, you can use apple cider vinegar and even balsamic vinegar!], honey, some herbs like basil, oregeno etc… and crushed pepper corns, and salt to season of course.


Marinaded meat :)

We generously basted each steak piece with this marinade and let it sit for an hour and half at room temperature.

After waiting and waiting, it was finally time to get to grilling! All we needed was a non-stick frying pan, some butter, some herbs and some olive oil [ for that added flavor, and to prevent the butter from burning]

Important to remember : NEVER add butter to a pan, without any oil. Butter burns easy. Add a little oil to the pan before turning the heat on and this will prevent the butter from burning.

I followed Marco Pierre White’s technique for grilling steak and turns out, the man is a fucking genius. He’s been one of my favorite chefs ever since I first watched him on TV and after this, my respect for him grew to infinite amounts.

He says – “When the griddle pan is really hot place the steak in. For a 300g steak, it should take about one to two minutes. Turn the steak to create a crisscross on the meat and leave it for another minute or until the meat has a cooked look half way up its side. Turn the meat and when bubbles of juice start to pierce the cooked crust, take it off the heat. Leave it in a warm place to rest, uncovered.” [ Source : Internet]

And it was done!

My mom had forgotten to make mashed potatoes and there wasn’t enough time, so we made do with french fries instead. I know it’s a little not traditional, but hey who doesn’t love fries?

We sauteed some veggies in butter and garlic [ Par boil them first and then sautee it, always!] and plated it nicely and the dish was amazing. EVEN WITHOUT GRAVY! The steak was sooo juicy and it was cooked to a perfect medium rare [ How do i know? Well, after lots of tv watching I know that when a piece is brown on the edges and pink in the center, it’s medium rare, similarly, medium will be more of pink and less of brown, rare will be all pink, and well done will be all brown] and although I’d always been used to eating steak with a nice southern gravy, I didn’t miss it.







I’ve blogged through most of my school life and it is one thing I’ve enjoyed the most. After college, and ever since H&S started, I’ve barely had the time to blog! I figured it was time to change that, and hence I deliberately included a “blog” section on the H&S website.


I would like to welcome you here!

What you will find here over time : Recipes, reviews of food I’ve eaten, pictures of food – LOTS AND LOTS of food, food experiment stories, kitchen hacks and the likes!

It’s going to be fun starting out from scratch again and I hope I have your support!