Pancakes Surprise

……… I DO THIS, MY WAY! …..

Pancakes Surprise
(Pancakes filled with –tinned- Tuna fish and a variety of vegetables)

We all had this situation at one time – you are in need to relax after a hard day at work and now ready to sit down and watch a nice film. No cooking that evening for once. And then the doorbell goes and friends from out-of-town ‘pop in’ to say ‘Hello’. Here go all the beautiful plans for that evening, but soon the joy of seeing these good friends takes over.

Of course they stayed for supper, which was very nice. But what to do? A look into my (nearly barren) fridge – big shopping day was ‘tomorrow’ – and into my larder (store cupboard) and I came up with the idea of serving my faithful standby ‘pancakes surprise’.

These are savoury pancakes filled with all sorts of delicious items like here with Tuna and various vegetables and another one with very spicy Quark.

My friend and I quickly went to work in the kitchen while the men caught up with the latest news. But soon we were able to join them for a drink of our delicious Sula wine from the Nashik region of western India, 180 km northeast of Mumbai.

For 2 people you will need:

For the pancakes
125 g flour
¼ l milk
2 eggs
Salt (to taste)
Some butter to fry the pancakes

For one of the fillings:

Some Butter
1 Tbsp flour
¼ l milk
Salt and pepper (to taste)
1 tin of Tuna fish (in water)
2 Tbsp Capers
1 Tbsp lemon juice
250 g assorted vegetables (here I used finely grated carrots, peas, cauliflower)

Here is how I do this “… my way”

Make medium sized thin pancakes and keep warm.

Now heat butter, add flour and whilst stirring all the time, cook this until smooth. Add the cold milk bit by bit – keep stirring – ; bring to boil and add spices.

Add the vegetables (I only blanched the cauliflower florets) to the Béchamel sauce and slowly cook for a few minutes.

Add drained Tuna and Capers, salt, pepper and lemon juice – bring once again to the boil for a couple of minutes.

Take an ovenproof dish and using a small piece of soft butter smear this all over the inside of this dish.

Take some of the Tuna/Vegetable filling and spoon all over the pancake – continue until all the pancakes are filled. Roll each one up tightly and add to the ovenproof dish.

Bake in the pre-heated oven by 180 C for 20-30 minutes or until the pancakes are really golden brown.

N.B. Most vegetables can be used here, depending on your imagination and what you have in your larder.

Here is how I do this “… my way” (Part 2)

Before our friends arrived I had already made our own Supper ready to be enjoyed later on. I thought I will share this one with you as well – it’s so easy, quick, delicious but very filling.

I made:
3 large thin ‘dosas’ (Pancakes) using whole wheat (Atta) flour, egg and milk

When they were done I used up my home-made Quark by adding to this salt and pepper (to taste), Lots of Spring onions, finely chopped, 2 tsp Kashmiri Chilli powder, a generous helping of our beloved Lingham’s Chilli Sauce (it all depends how much heat you can take), mixed all this well and spread this mixture evenly over all 3 pancakes. Added one on top of the other and then rolled all this tightly together. With a serrated knife I cut our portions.
No need to keep in oven. Any left overs keep well in the fridge for the next day when I heat this up until just warm.

That’s it – enjoy.



Fashion for comfort & love!

This is Bianca’s second guest post here, introducing one of her favourite fashion designers from Spain. So come and let her show you around this amazing store in Madrid.

Hii everybody and welcome back!

I know it’s been really long since any of you have heard from me and I’m truely sorry about my disappearing act. So here I am with a new article yet again. This one is about one of Spain’s most famous designers ‘Adolfo Dominguez’. So here’s a small brief about Mr. Adolfo Dominguez.

Adolfo Domínguez, born Adolfo Domínguez Fernández, is a Spanish fashion designer. He took over his father’s fashion boutique in Ourense in the early 1970s. Afterwards which he spent the following years developing his own designs, and finally made the big jump with a presentation of his work in Madrid in 1981. He also became the first Spanish designer to open his own brand-name store in Madrid, which soon mushroomed into a chain with outlets across Spain and abroad, including New Delhi here in India and in Bangkok/Thailand. The company went public in 1997.


Store at Central World Plaza, Bangkok, Thailand

The people at the store were most welcoming to say the least. Here we met the manager of the store Kristian Nesic, a wonderful and charming man who was absolutely helpful and informative. And if I even start to talk about the store, it was amazing, to say the least. Absolutely brilliant architecture and interior! It was set up to look like the interior of a house, each floor like different rooms with wood panelling, brick walls and nice lighting.


That is the coffee shop on the topmost floor of the store. With a wide variety of choices it was quite a perfect place to sit after an exhausting shopping session and enjoy your coffee or choose from a small but most delicious selection of wonderful salads, for example. It was here that we met with Mr. Kristian. He told us all about the company, their different lines, their history and how they are planning to expand the company etc. He also told us about their latest butterfly themed and eco friendly collections mainly designed by Adolfo’s daughter Tiziana Dominguez who is the creative director of the company.


And that’s him handing me his card.

Looking at the work table set up they have in their store. It looks cosy, homely and like your own personal studio with small sewing machines, ironing table, places to hold threads and all.


Now to talk more about the brand, they have their own women swear, menswear, accessories, wedding gowns and even dog wear! Yes! You heard me right, they have specialised clothing for dogs!! And I have to tell you, it’s pretty amazing and really cute!! Here are some pictures clicked at the store, maybe this will give you an idea. These are some of the garments on display at the store.


I thought that was brilliant use of tie and dye on the shirt



Looking through some of the t-shirts on display.


Checking out this really pretty dress at the store. It was a really pretty flouncy and summery party dress in white with paint splatter kind of print on it.


This really classy dress on display at the store. This one also happened to be a favourite of mine.

Now for the OMG! Oh so cute section, the dog section, I don’t think I have ever come across anything as cute as this!


They had personalised dog outfits of different varieties, toys for them, accessories etc. It was one of the cutest things I had ever come across.



Now isn’t that a cute outfit?!

Now for my favourite section…the ‘bridal wear’ one!! It happens to be my favourite section among everything. And the dresses out here were absolutely mind blowing!! Each one of those dresses was soo pretty in itself and done up with such beautiful detailing. I guarantee you that you would definitely feel like a princess in them on your special day.



Haha! Crowning Glory!!

16aKristian showing me more of their lovely garments on display at the store.



Isn’t that such a fun dress?!

Believe me! If I had the money I would have been having a wardrobe hanging with more than one Adolfo piece in it!


So that’s all for now all you lovely people, until I come up with yet another catchy topic to interest you all, this is me Bianca signing off over here. Ciao!! Baci Baci!


My thanks goes to Kristian and his colleagues for their kind help and before I really sign off for today – HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Kristian from all of us –  have a wonderful Sunday

(Photographs: Bianca and Carina/Manningtree Archive)


This is the first “Guest Blog” by our eldest daughter Bianca Celine Diane

Hello everyone!! I guess most of you have already had a briefing about me but for all those who have missed out on it, I am Bianca Celine a.k.a. B.C. 3rd year fashion design student at National Institute of Fashion Technology = NIFT (one of the most reputed design colleges in India). Designing is my passion, other than styling and writing.

‘THE CAMEL’ was the theme for this year’s Dastkar -Nature Bazaar. Why the Camel you might ask? I did too; apparently the camel is interpreted as something which can survive under any circumstances. It lives in the most desolate corners of the planet with its unique techniques of survival and self sufficiency. It feeds on just about anything including thorns and stores water for its survival.

For all those of you who haven’t heard about Dastkar, it’s a society that aims at improving the economic status of Indian craftspeople. The main aim of Dastkar is to help craftspeople; especially women use their traditional craft skills as a means of employment and income generation. For the record ‘Dastakar’ means artisan or craftsman in ‘Hindi’. The exhibition consists of crafts from all around India and let me tell you, that is quite a lot!!

The first thing I would tell about Dastkar is that it was huge!! We were sure we couldn’t finish looking around the whole exhibition but surprisingly enough we did, in about 5 long enjoyable hours.

So let me take you around some of the interesting stalls I came across. The first one that caught my attention was this one called ‘Jugaad’. I am not sure how many of you actually have heard about them but from what I know ‘Jugaad’  is one of the popular brands among the ones who are known to work with recycled materials. A Delhi based brand, they had some really pretty wallets and bags I have to tell you. The wallet flaps were covered with ‘lays’ (yes, I am talking about the potato chips here), ‘kurkure’ covers and even ones made with ‘Tropicana’ (as in ‘juice’) packages. Hand bags made with patch worked fabrics and pretty tassels were all part of their stall. Like almost everything Indian, the stall was very colourful and very arty.  Sadly I don’t have any images of the lovely wallets I was talking about.

My personal favourite would be the ‘Haathi Chaap’. Look at the picture below with the funny elephant; can you guess what it’s made of?

It’s made of (hold your breath) elephant poo! I know you are surprised; I had the same reaction too, believe me! ‘Haathi Chaap’ means elephant poo in Hindi. My favourite stall, not only because of their innovativeness but also because of the wonderful products they make. From books to paper bags to wall hangings and even photo frames they had a wonderful variety of products. 

Looks wonderful doesn’t it? I agree too, and would have happily walked away with it, had I had the money. So instead I stood and admired it for quite some time, wondering when I would actually be able to buy one like that (to wear, of course!). After admiring the rest of the wonderful traditional silver-, brass- and copper- jewellery laid out for display mainly from the states of Karnataka and Orissa, I decided I have to move on or I wouldn’t see the rest of the expo. But here are some visual treats for you to enjoy!  

The Pipli craft of Orissa was another one that looked really interesting. What actually caught our attention were the huge umbrellas kept for display near the stall with the pipli technique done all over.

Now how can I miss the famous Kerala murals being from my home state of Kerala? Combining the age old techniques of mural (wall) paintings practiced all around Kerala these people had made products which were very viable these days. From paper weights to pen stands and wall hangings the products were a beauty. 

A T-shirt which really conveyed the message: – ‘GO GREEN’ and ‘CONSERVE WATER’ all in one.

Aah! Lamp shades! I am sure you have seen a whole lot of it everywhere but I am absolutely certain that you haven’t seen one made out of gourd shell. And yes I haven’t gotten my information wrong; these were indeed made out of gourd shells. 

 ‘Paruthi’ or India’s local organic brand as they would like to call themselves from Auroville, Pondicherry was another interesting brand I came across, to tell the truth their ‘Smart Bags’   caught my attention. These were cloth bags made in accordance to their motto “Smart Bags for a Smart Planet” and contrary to the plastic bags people generally still use.

Since I’m sure most of you haven’t heard about Kantha, it’s a type of embroidery practiced in the state of West Bengal, India, embroidery done only using running stitches very much similar to the decorative running stitch of Japanese sashiko quilting. 

Rajasthani badhnis (tie and dye) are quite popular all over India. And this particular lady heading the stall was especially friendly, chatting with me and answering willingly all my queries. She even demonstrated how a bandhini was being tied, as shown in the picture below.

By the end of this long day I was way too exhausted and tired to go on any longer, but somehow I left filled with a sense of satisfaction I can’t describe.

It is time for me to say good bye for now – Namaskaram.

(Photos: Bianca Celine Diane/Manningtree Archive)