Paloma at home: Between the black and white challenge and plenty of cook-alongs, this week was full of flavour and fun

Zoodles, cooking sprees and gut health...
Paloma getting on board the black & white challenge
Paloma getting on board the black & white challenge

Black and white pictures flood our Instagram feeds as women around the world heap praises and love on each other, with hashtags like ‘Women empowering women’ and ‘Lift each other up’. The men, of course, are left wondering what on earth is going on, and as usual ask if there is some memo they didn’t get. When it was my turn, my enthusiastic, albeit late, arrival to the black and white challenge party, was met with comments like “Oh no, not you too!” As is the case with most things in the virtual world, I replied with a funny emoji and moved on. If it makes women happy to post a pic, not to mention momentarily be distracted from the madness going on around us, then why not.

‘Challenges’ aside, the rest of my week was all about food with a capital ‘F’. Eating it, cooking it, watching it. Not always in that order but I’ll elaborate on each. The eating part I owe in part to all of the talented home bakers and chefs who seem to have popped up everywhere during this pandemic. It’s ridiculous the amount of talent out there and what people can pull off, from their home kitchens. I’ve had everything from Sandwiches to Vietnamese rolls to every possible dessert you can think of. My ultimate favourite has to be the ‘Burnt Basque cheesecake’ which appears to be the ‘it’ dessert of the moment.

<em>Makeup blogger Bindya Talluri</em>
Makeup blogger Bindya Talluri

On the cooking front I managed to achieve a small goal, I may have mentioned it earlier, cooking an entire dish from watching an Insta Live. ‘Sticky Peanut Chicken with Zoodles’ was the dish in question and (to my relief) it turned out pretty tasty. On the watching front I had the pleasure of tuning into a FICCI FLO Chennai session with Michelin star chef Alfred Prasad. It was a really interesting conversation that included everything from the journey of food to various food philosophies. I also learnt about the 5Ts ‘Time, temperature, technique, texture and taste’. Chef Prasad did a quick demo, whipping up a Sea Bream Ceviche, which in his own words is “fresh, light and zingy but also easy to prepare”. Questions from the audience spanned a multitude of topics, from gut health and feeding children, to the rise of veganism post COVID-19. I liked when the chef was asked — what is the next Indian dish that can go global. His answer? You’ll never guess. The humble khichdi.

<em>Michelin star Chef Alfred Prasad</em>
Michelin star Chef Alfred Prasad
<em>Ayurveda health coach Dimple Jangda</em>
Ayurveda health coach Dimple Jangda

The phrase ‘gut health’ certainly seemed to be following me around all week. It also featured heavily in an Insta live session between beauty and makeup blogger Bindya Devi Talluri (@bindya.talluri) and Ayurveda health coach Dimple Jangda (@dimplejangda). Another interesting discussion on Ayurveda in the modern age, with a lot of myth-busting and everyone’s favourite ‘tips and tricks’. Questions came flying in from everywhere and Dimple did a great job of covering ground as well as explaining things in a way that everyone could understand. I certainly learnt more than a thing or two.

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