There’s something so marvellously magical about the monsoons. Life takes on a wistful hint of nostalgia, peppered with petrichor – that fresh smell of the earth after it rains.
Truth be told, I could spend hours ensconced by the window, gazing out as the clouds pour down to the point where one can’t tell the sea from the sky. It’s the simple pleasures which rain supreme this season, from consoling cups of kadak chai – paired with piping-hot pakoras, of course – to midnight cocoa, soundtracked by rumbling thunder and wind.
In fact there are silver linings a-plenty from a foodie’s humble perspective. Gathered here are my favourite rainy-day recipes to prove it!
Dan Dan Noodles
An ode to the soul-stirring comfort of noodles, Chef Kelvin Cheung’s Dan Dan Noodles are searingly spicy. blanketed by a rich broth brimming with chillies and ground Sichuan peppers… Get the recipe, here | You can also discover more of Chef Kel’s signature Asian recipes from The Foodhall Cookbook, here.
There’s nothing quite as cathartic as slurping through a bowl of ramen either. And for the record, Japanese table etiquette demands that you slurp your noodles as you eat them. It’s even considered polite to do so, with the sound echoing your enjoyment of the meal!
Home chef Karishma Mehta – a.k.a. BowledOverByKari – guides us through her simple six-step guide for building your perfect version of a ramen bowl, with a recipe for a Creamy Peanut Ramen to get you started! Get the recipe, here.
Crispy Corn Curd
Recreate this signature Indo-Chinese dish with Foodhall Cookery Studio’s unapologetically-indulgent rendition of Crispy Corn Curd. Golden-edged devilishly-deep fried corn squares which break apart to reveal the creamiest innards. Get the recipe, here.
Nourishing and full of warmth, this cosy soup stars tender roasted pumpkins, spiced with paprika for a dash of heat! Get the recipe, here.
Pasta e Fagioli
Translating to “Pasta and Beans”, this wonderfully-rustic dish is typical of the Italian countryside from Tuscany to Veneto and South of Italy. Its simplicity lies in the underlying combination of humble, inexpensive ingredients, manifesting in an intensely-rich soup which is full of warmth. Get Danilo Cortellini’s recipe, here.
A warm tray full of roasted, caramelised golden-brown veggies, sticky around the edges and nudged with flavoursome grains topped with fresh herbs and crunchy seeds… There’s much comfort be found in a roast tray-bake! Not to mention that the thoughtful process of assembling this dish is a lovely way to spend the best part of a rainy day, sequestered indoors in the time of Corona. Copper + Clove’s full guide to tray-bakes, here.
Coffee & Chocolate Tea Cake
As for rainy day bakes, I’m rather partial to this elegant loaf cake which shapes up to be the perfect tea-time treat. Dewy, deliciously-moist and speckled with hazelnuts, with a splash of coffee adding a kick of caffeine to go with your afternoon cuppa. Get the recipe, here.
On the subject of tea cakes, this golden-brown glazed ginger cake is the essence of a rainy afternoon. Spiced with ginger and sweetened with jaggery – this glazed ginger cake is soft, marvellously-moist and crowned with a sticky treacle glaze for a naughty dash of decadence! Get the recipe here.
Tender fruits singing with caramelised flavours and crowned by a streusel-like topping with a crisp and buttery crumb. Is there anything cosier than a crumble, starring seasonal fruits from juicy peaches to tart blueberries? Learn how to bake the perfect crumbles, here.
Gluten-Free, Vegan-Friendly Chocolate Mug Cake
If the weather has you feeling lazy though, there are always mug cakes for instant gratification. Simply mix all your ingredients in one bowl, transfer to a mug, pop it in a microwave and a minute later, voilà! You have a satisfyingly-sweet and cakey dessert, perfectly proportioned for one! Get Parfait’s perfect Chocolate Mug Cake recipe, here.
Of course, when it comes down to it, nothing beats a classic cuppa cocoa. Or rather cacao.
I’ve finally perfected the ultimate hot chocolate recipe and it’s every bit as decadent as you could wish it to be. Feel free to adjust the recipe below – adding a bit more milk if it’s too thick, a pinch more sugar (or omit entirely if you prefer) and so on!
But do be sure to use pure cacao (I love @Masonandco_Chocolate) rather than cocoa powder if you can, it adds a much more nuanced complexity and bittersweet richness that makes all the difference!
- 1 tbsp cacao
- 55-60g chocolate (I use @masonandco_chocolate here too)
- 1¼ cups milk
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tsp Demerara sugar (optional; adjust to taste)
- Start by bringing the water to a simmer on medium heat.
- Whisk in the cacao powder (no lumps should remain).
- Next, add in the milk and once it’s simmering, whisk in the chopped chocolate & sugar.
- Let the hot chocolate mix simmer for another five minutes or so, whisking often until the chocolate melts completely and thickens the mixture. You want an intensely-rich , creamy texture!
- Once it comes to boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer some more and come to boil again if you like your hot chocolate super thick! Pour out into two mugs and enjoy!
I’d love to hear from you! Do let me know if you try this recipe – leave a comment below; and tag me in your delicious creations on Instagram @the_foodiediaries.
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