Updated – 18 Nov:

The only seats that still remain are a couple each for Savoury Bakes and Sweet Bakes. If you can’t make it this time, put down your name and email address on the classes page to be notified about future events.

Hi Everyone!

I am so  happy to announce that I will be conducting a string of baking classes in Bombay this November! I’ve drawn up a list of exciting recipes to share with you that I’ve culled from my experience working in Paris, running Friday Lunches and stolen from pastry chef friends. I’ve also included some of your requests on Facebook on breads and even eggless baking!

At the class we’ll bake, talk cake, share tips and tricks and have a good time in the company of like-minded folks. My goal is for you to be able to understand and execute recipes beautifully every single time you turn the oven on. Have a look at a bit of TV coverage of a previous class as well as some student feedback.

Come November 21st, I’m going to set myself up at the Eighth* studio in a quaint bylane just off Carter Road in Bandra. If you are interested in attending, then please sign up by emailing me on classes@purplefoodie.com and I’ll help you with the registration.

*About Eighth: Eighth is a baking studio by Le Cordon Bleu graduate, Anurita Ghosal. Everything here is baked fresh to order. Here’s a look at their menu. Place your order the day before, and pick it up between 4PM and 8:30PM. You can pop-by pick your order, have a coffee with them and enjoy some music while they continue baking. You can also buy their goodies at Yoga House in Bandra. Eighth also offers an array of baking classes – the latest ones inspired from Anurita’s time as a pastry intern in Spain and travels in New Zealand.

photo credit: sheena dabholkar

I will be covering the following recipes and sharing tips and tricks as we go along. All the classes are demo-based and seat approximately 9-10 students each. You will be provided printed recipes before the start of each class.

These are a mix of my recent favourites, including chocolate and fruity, nutty and creamy.

  • Chocolate almond cake
  • Passionfruit cheesecake
  • Walnut sponge cake with yoghurt mascarpone cream
  • Cinnamon shortbread
  • Chocolate and hazelnut roll cake

SWEET BAKES (all eggless)
I am not one for substituting eggs with other ingredients just to make things eggless. Instead, I’d rather make recipes that don’t depend on eggs, celebrating all the other ingredients. You’ll realise that you are not missing out on anything when you eat the baked goodies, for the proof is in the pudding.

  • Double chocolate sea-salt cookies
  • Apple pie bars with salted caramel
  • Chocolate, seed and nut granola
  • Pear, walnut and cinnamon tart
  • Pistachio and vanilla cake

Few things are better than cold, salted butter smeared on freshly baked bread. I’ve put together a good mix of breads that you can easily replicate at home.

  • Buttery brioche (chocolate and pistachio variation)
  • Garlic and cheese pull-apart bread
  • Seeded whole-wheat olive loaf
  • Chocolate cinnamon babka
  • Olive oil crackers

Learn a bit about breads, savoury pastry doughs, and my favourite cheese puffs that are positively addictive.

  • Almond Pesto Rolls
  • Melt-y cheese biscuits
  • Leek and mushroom quiche
  • Gougères (choux pastry with cheese)
  • Tomato and rosemary focaccia

WHEN Friday, 21st November, 2014
4PM – 7PM: SAVOURY BAKES One Seat Remaining

Saturday, 22nd November, 2014

Sunday, 23rd November 2014

Monday, 24th November 2014

Thursday, 27th November 2014
4PM – 7PM: SAVOURY BAKES One Seat Remaining

Friday, 28th November 2014

Saturday, 29th November 2014
11AM – 2PM: SWEET BAKES (ALL EGGLESS)  One Seat Remaining

Sunday, 30th November 2014

Flat no 4, 1st Floor, Mudheshwari Building, YMCA Road (off Carter road) Bandra.

Rs. 4,000 per class to learn all the five recipes and bring the bakes back with you.

There is limited seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Popular classes tend to sell out within a few hours, so register soon to confirm your place. To do so, please send an email to classes@purplefoodie.com with the following information:

Subject: Classes  NOV 2014
Class(es) interested in:
Name(s) of people attending:

Please make your deposits via online bank transfer. [No cash deposits please!]

Arjun or I will get back to you within 24 hours, usually between midnight and 5am IST. Once your deposit comes through and your spot is confirmed, we will email you again with some more practical information about the event.

I’m so looking forward to meeting all you crazy passionate bakers and talk cake. Prepare your questions! I hope you’ll join me.



PS: If you can’t make it this time, put down your name and email address on the classes page to be notified about future events!


Moules en Papillote

July 11, 2014

Moules en papillote

Many months ago, I was a stagiaire at a fantastic little restaurant in Paris. The food was classical,  and the kitchen packed with copper ware. I helped on the line with the appetizers and desserts  for lunch. Before service , I did the mise-en-place  which entailed cleaning squids, battling live scallops and chopping things into perfectly tiny bruinoise among many other things. I also ended up doing everyone’s least favourite task: plucking the beard off the mussels. But that also meant, I got to make lots and lots of moules en papillote. On some days after service, when the kitchen staff took off for their break, I’d hang in the kitchen with the chef making kouign amann with Bordier butter. Good times.

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Brioche Parisienne

June 6, 2014

Brioche Parisienne
I’ve been fascinated by brioche even before I really knew what it was. I think it was the unusual shape of a brioche à tête that charmed me at first. It wasn’t until I moved to France more than 2 years ago that I got a taste of the real brioche Parisienne.

My first brioche was from Boulangerie Au 140 on Rue de Belleville. It was soft, smelled faintly sweet and milky. Quite like a baby. Every other evening, I’d walk downhill to the boulangerie and wait in line for my loaf. If the wait was too long, I’d use it as an excuse to pop into Fromagerie Beillevaire next door for two tiny wheels of Rocamadour. If I was monstrously hungry, I’d ask the vendors at the boulangerie to slice the loaf of brioche  (which I’d otherwise take as a whole to keep fresh longer) because I knew I’d quite easily finish half the loaf in no time. My favourite way to eat the brioche was to make peanut butter and raspberry jam sandwiches. I then moved on to smearing it with mountain honey from G. Detou.

[read more…]


Lavender Milk Cake

May 31, 2014

I bring to you this cake as a good reminder of how lovely and versatile the milk cake can be. It’s soft as a pillow and moist and buttery. When it’s baking, the house is filled with the fragrance of summery lavender that’s just coming into bloom. To make the lavender milk cake, I rubbed the lavender buds into the sugar and went on with the recipe as usual (skipping the bay leaves). Slice up, and serve with a dribble of honey.


Breakfast Scones

May 22, 2014

I like Thursday mornings because that’s the day I get to have breakfast with Arjun after a week  of rushing out of the house at 7AM. I take the time to make a lovely little breakfast for us as we sit at the table and slather whatever we’re eating with butter and watch the boats on the river go by.

This time, I made scones because they’re just so easy to put together- rub the cold butter into the flour. Add a spoonful of sugar and baking powder and then bring it all together with an egg and some milk until it’s a wee bit sticky, cut into pieces and bake. Fresh, hot scones from the oven ready in 20 minutes. We ate the scones  with clotted cream and a lovely apricot jam that our friend’s aunt in Orléans, France makes over summer and shares with friends and family. It is delightful – jam that tastes like fruit, not a jar of sugar.

I like the scones plain, but you can play around with flavours – some vanilla, lavender or lemon zest. Maybe even some nuts (always toasted) and dried fruits chopped up and stirred into the flour.

Breakfast Scones


  • 220g plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 80g cold butter
  • 1 egg
  • 50-60ml milk (I approximated this, until I got a dough that came together and was a wee bit sticky)


  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Rub in the butter until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Work quickly with your fingertips, you don't want the butter to melt.
  3. Next, add the eggs and milk and work the dough until it comes together. It's okay if it isn't a very cohesive - just as long as it holds together.
  4. Roll out to a thickness of 2.5-3 cms. Using a pastry cutter, cut into rounds. Or if you'd like you can even cut it as though you're cutting a pizza.
  5. Brush with egg wash (1 egg beaten with a dash of milk)
  6. Bake in a preheated oven at 175C until golden brown.
  7. Serve with clotted cream and jam.


Macaron Recipe

I met my culinary hero. Live, in the flesh. I took a photo with him and he signed my book!

I do look up to loads of chefs, and even stalk some of them (which may or may not have to do with their good looks), but when it comes to Pierre Hermé, it’s undying reverence. And when I learned that he was going to be at Salon du Chocolat in Paris last November, I had to buy a ticket for the day he was demonstrating a recipe.

I sat through a few demonstrations before his, so by the time he was up, I had perched myself in the perfect spot. Just as he was about to come on, I kept turning to Arjun and telling him in a staccato-toned voice, “Oh my gosh, I’m going to be seeing Pierre Hermé. L-I-V-E. Pierre. Hermé!”

With his demonstration, everything was a class apart. No frantic scribbling of recipes – printed copies were handed out. And when it was time for tasting, perfectly plated baba au rhums were distributed to the entire audience, not itsy-bisy pieces of a big baba au rhum. Shortly after, everyone rushed to line up to get their books signed. Most were getting his new book, Ispahan, signed, but I’d lugged my copy of Macarons along for him to sign.

Shaheen Peerbhai with Pierre Hermé

While I haven’t made his baba au rhum today, I’m sharing another iconic Pierre Hermé creation – the macaron.  [read more…]


Recent Favourites

April 17, 2014


10 Commandments of Pierre Herme (French)

Cooking Family-Style With Chef Greg Marchand

The 15 Year Old Chef

How Iñaki Aizpitarte Does Lunch at Home - his restaurant, Le Chateaubriand, is where I’ve had one of my most memorable meals in Paris. I remember when I walked out of the restaurant, and thanked him for the meal, he came across as someone so friendly, so unassuming quite unlike his badass rockstar looks. “Merci, à bientôt!” he said. I’ll definitely be back soon.

Dinner with Iñaki  Aizpitarte and Delphine Zampetti – yes, I’m an Iñaki stalker.

Photo essay of a Tuscan butcher breaking down a pig.

Tartine Book N°3 (USA | UK | India) Given the success I’ve had with the first Tartine Bread book, I can’t wait to start baking from this one.

French Regional Cooking – This book is out of print, but I was lucky enough to find it online for a mere £0.01! My chef at Cordon Bleu recommended I buy this book when he read about my disdain for the bouillabaisse we made at school. He promised I’d change my opinion on the much spoken about seafood soup from the South of France.

Currently on my Kindle: The Belly of Paris (USA | UK | India), A Pretty Good Number One (USA | UK | India).

Margot Henderson on women in commanding positions in the kitchen.

The prettiest choux video ever.

Christophe Adam (swoon) make Baba au Rhum (thanks, Poppy!)

Iñyaki on video. Last one about him, I promise.


I’d been contemplating getting a few new tools for my knife kit. I just ordered  9 Pallarès Solsona carbon steel knives and am pondering over buying this oroshigane.


Bay Leaf Milk Cake

March 26, 2014

Bay Leaf Milk Cake

I’m pretty good at detecting flavours in recipe. I’m even proud of it. But when it comes to identifying bay leaf, I’m foxed.

I can’t seem to distinguish the subtle aroma that everyone else can. Even at school, when we made a bouquet garni of thyme and bay leaf rolled up in leek leaves and tied up with a twine, I’d never be able to identify the fragrance other than that of thyme and leek wafting from the pan.

I wondered about its importance in food, and I wondered why having too much of this might be toxic. A friend of mine even told me that it was absolutely imperative for us to add bay leaves while cooking Feijoada (Brazilian black beans)  because that’s what sets them apart from the way black beans are cooked in the rest of Latin America. I  smiled and I did as I was told, still wondering what difference they’d actually make.

[read more…]


Thank you everyone for your overwhelming response to the baking classes in Mumbai (as always!) I had so much fun teaching some of my favourite recipes and sharing tips and tricks. I was so happy to see many of you come back year after year, and was delighted to learn from so many of you that attending my class spurred you to start your home baking business. I’m around and happy to help you troubleshoot if you need me!

There has been quite an infux of emails about the classes lately. I don’t have any planned for the foreseeable future, but if you’d like to be updated about them, you can bookmark the page on baking classes, I’ve created just for this or fill out the form below and be the first to know when something comes up!

Happy baking! x Shaheen

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