2016 has been a delightful year for Archana's Kitchen where we created wonderful recipes from 100's of contributors, home chefs to bloggers. It has been a great year filled with absolutely amazing recipes that flew in day after day. Our community has only gotten bigger and better this year. We thought it would be good to take a walk down the memory lane and do a flashback of this year with some of our favourite recipes. We have loved each and every recipe that we received, and were in absolute dilemma to select just 40 from such fabulous recipes.

Rain or shine, afternoon tea is a delightful affair for one and all! And it is a known fact that no one does afternoon tea better than the British. Elegantly dressed men and women enjoying conversations over hot brimming tea, freshly baked sweets and savouries is a common tradition amongst the British.

Yay! Christmas is coming, it’s time for you to take out your Christmas decorations and start planning for a Cheerful Christmas Party. This is the season to be merry and have a get together with your loved ones and spend a joyful time with a comforting Christmas meal. And the main part of each festival is Food, delicious and mouth watering food.

"It was a cloudy morning which made me sleep a little longer than planned. To please myself, I covered up my blanket and rolled over. When I finally woke up, I realized that I need to cook before I rush to office". This probably is the scene with many of us who want to have a healthy homemade breakfast before we leave home and that breakfast must be ready in only 20 minutes. With only less time in hand, you want to wanted to fix up a decent breakfast not for just yourself, but may be your family or partner.

Ever since I started my experiments in making bread, I realised each time, that there is something missing in texture. I had kept making whole wheat multigrain breads which made them denser in texture. And I used ready bakers yeast. The fermentation was quick and I was happy about it fermenting well. But they did not taste like the artisan breads I had in Europe. This is when I decided I will work on the starter myself and make wild yeast. This post is about my first ever candid experiment and inspired from the book Tartine Bread.

Bottle gourd is a cucurbitaceous veggie that falls along with other gourds and melons. Dearly called as lauki, doodhi, giya, sorakkai in various parts of India, bottle gourd is blessed with an accountable number of health benefits. If we could maintain health by making recipes from one of the most popular veggies in India, why not use it often? Of all the major cuisines across India, people have found artful ways of whipping up various course of meals from the same vegetable.

They say 'A Sunday well spent, brings a week of content' which we believe is absolutely true, and what better way to start your sunday than with hearty conversations with your loved ones over a super satiating breakfast.

A leisurely breakfast will set the right pace for a great day ahead.

As holidays and festive season descends, we start thinking of entertaining friends and family at home. Planning and putting things together for holiday parties can be quite a task. I have hosted countless parties over many years and in almost all of them there is always a talk about food and drinks. The one thing that I love is when people gather around the table or kitchen, move around with their glasses, picking up good food and having good conversations. It makes it completely worth the effort you have put in when you and your guests are having a good time.

There's no better way to up the festive spirit at your Christmas party than to say "thank you for coming" with a bag of handmade gifts. Edible, homemade gifts, put together with love will only fetch you extra brownie points! So this Christmas, plan ahead and make some of these edible homemade party favours for your guests. 

When someone says creamy and crunchy, the first thing comes to our mind is Peanut Butter. Peanut butter is a healthy replacement to add into an everyday diet to supply the source of good protein, fats and micro nutrients. Peanut butter can be used in various ways, as a dip, as a salad dressing, as a sandwich spread and as a base for curries and pastas too. In addition, peanut butter can be used in making chocolates, cupcakes, cakes, tarts and also the cupcake frosting.

It's Friday so that's kind of a party in itself. But to make your Friday ever more fabulous, cook up some delicious food for the family and watch them savour the labour of your love.

East Asian cuisine is food native to countries like China, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Korea, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei etc. These regions have a splendid set of cuisines that are packed with flavours, spice and taste. Rice, noodles, beans, seafood, mutton, bok choy et al make up for the staple food in these regions. Galangal, lemongrass and fish sauce are the flavours that are prominent in South East Asia, whereas soy sauce takes over in the West.

The best way to slim down, without missing out on the right nutrients, is by focusing on your diet. A great addition to it are fresh homemade smoothies. These blends of fresh fruits and vegetables are the perfect vehicle for a low-calorie yet nutrient-rich ingredients that keep you satiated for long, without compromising on the nutrition required for the body. A good mix of protein, complex carbohydrates and good fats along with vitamins and nutrients should be used to create a well-balanced smoothie.

A search for the true Awadhi cuisine gives us an insight knowledge about the rich cultural standards that was being followed from generation to generation. The Awadhi cuisine marks the beginning of the modern era of Indian cooking. So far we have believed that the modern cooking techniques were just recently been introduced but it is found that these techniques already existed over the years.

Often ignored and overlooked, seeds are powerhouses of health. Rich in nutrients, essential amino acids, and healthy fats, the benefits of seeds are manifold! Often neglected for their much more glamorous cousins - nuts, seeds need to be a part of everyone’s diet. Dense in nutrients, they provide you with complex carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber, and plenty of energy! That’s not all.

Pickling is a process of fermenting veggies, fruits or meat in brine or vinegar without the presence of ample air around (anaerobic). Apart from extending the lifespan of food, pickling adds tang and valour to the food which can be used as an ingredient in various recipes or as a side dish to the main meal. Perishable foods stay flavourful for a longer time than their natural shelf life, and hence the seasonal foods are made available for months through the process of pickling. Refrigerator pickles are the variety of instant recipes which are unfermented pickles but needs to be refrigerated. Shelf life usually varies from a few days to few weeks.

One of the daily tasks of parents is to ensure that their kids eat well and healthy. But kids have their own preferences and eating habits that are challenging for parents to cope with. Kids are curious about new things and this is where the parents need to concentrate on. When the kids are involved in preparation of meals, the kids find it all the way more interesting to try the recipes that are made by them. Howeverminiscule their help is, their work that goes into the food thus prepared has a satisfaction attached.

Mayonnaise is a yummy emulsion of oil, vinegar, cream, mustard, spices and eggs. This creamy blend can be made egg free and even dairy free vegan mayonnaise are tried and tested to be awesome. Mayonnaise is a condiment that comes in pale colours, and its colour depends upon the ingredients used. Various flavours can be blended in to make it suit the recipe.

Samosas and Kachoris are the popular snack food that enthralls Indian streets during evenings. These samosas and kachoris are not only consumed in their original form, but also are included in various masalas, spices and gravy to make them the celebrity of chaats and masala chaats. With a variety of different samosas and kachoris differing in its ingredients, regionally popular street side vendors steel the “Chaat show” with ease. While most of us are familiar with the similarity of these Indian tea time snacks, are all of us aware of the difference between a samosa and kachori?

Mexican cuisine today is a fusion influence of Central American with Spanish and European cuisines. Mexican foods largely use corn, beans, avocados, meat of domestic animals, tomatoes, cheese and chilli peppers. Tacos and tortilla are famous Mexican food since ages. They came to use because of the ease of picking food without any need of bowls. Mexican cuisine also roots back to Aztec civilization who started the chocolate brews and cocoa-based recipes initially.

Winters are arriving and the best thing about the cold and cozy season is its food. Piping hot food, blanket and TV, what else you need in winters. Right? Well, during winters we are always confused about what to make during week nights that can give us a relief from the chilled weather. We have the answer! When the temperatures drop and the days get shorter, nothing hits the spot like a bowl of warm soup. They are healthy, delicious and also helps you to lose weight easy to make. 

Maintaining Good Health requires healthy food and a wholesome pre workout meal to ensure you get the best out of the efforts you're putting into your workouts. Food is like fuel for the body and ensures that your body does not wear out during and after a good workout session. But it is also vital to keep a tab on what you feed your body. You do not want to feel sluggish, which might be the case if you consume a very heavy meal just before your workout.

Sundal's are an integral part of a South Indian Cuisine. Whether it is ganesh Chaturthi, Navratri or any other festival, or simply as a snack you will always find Sundals as a part of a weekly diet. Sundal's are essentially legumes that are soaked and cooked and tossed in south indian spices like green chilies, curry leaves and coconut. It is most often had as a snack along with a cup of coffee. From Chickpeas, Green Peas to Sweet Corn, these sundals are very healthy to eat too and are a rich source of vegetarian protein. 

One of the biggest challenges of food to most bachelors, beginner cooks, newly married or people who are living single on their own begin with worrying about a decent start to the day. A majority of them opt to eat out, to skip the hassle of complexity in deciding on what to cook and are also overwhelmed with cooking procedures. The void that beginner cooks experience by eating out is not just a case of lack of time, but also a bang on health in long run. To all of us who wonder how most Indian households cook food every day, what if we tell you that there is a decent way out to prepare an easy meal more often than we imagine?

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