Seema Bhatia’s Kitchen: A mouth-watering memory

By on November 11, 2012

On October 20th, the HKYantoYan team was invited to a contributor, Seema Bhatia’s house for a feast. It was enchantingly delectable, to say the least. With a variety of cuisines ranging from African to Indian to Thai, not only was it an experience like never before, it was also one that makes mouths water when thinking about it. Seema Bhatia was also kind enough to prepare a selection of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes to try out.

Apart from giving private cooking classes, Seema also runs a Private Kitchen and whips up fabulous dishes for parties and events.   Her food shows the influence of Africa as she was born in Nairobi, Kenya. Her life took her to many other counties like India, the UK and now, Hong Kong. And what a beautiful thing that is, travel, for someone to loves to cook and to eat. With her food, she took me on a journey across two continents.


We started off with Vietnamese spring rolls accompanied with sweet and sour sauce. The rolls were soft and chewy, complimented well with the sauce which gave it that extra oomph. The pleasant surprise however, was the Zanzibar pumpkin and coconut soup, which included the subtle tastes of peppers, tomato and potato as well.

A visually stunning dish of Mozambique peri peri prawns was up next. Served on canapé spoons, the prawns were juicy to the finish and the bell pepper wedge as the base absorbed all the jus from the prawns and peri peri, making the dish delectable till the finish. Also served, a plate full of Goan chilli fish served on the traditional banana leaf, tender and succulent; a perfect ending to the appetizers.

For the main course, spread out on the table were the vegetarian Thai curry, Kenyan Gujarati-style baingan aloo (eggplant and potatoes), palak paneer (spinach with cottage cheese), lobhia sarson curry (black-eyed beans with mustard seeds), garlic pilaf, plain Thai rice and to top it all off, a pear salsa. With each dish outdoing the former, the meal was nothing less than delicious. Personal favourites were the lobhia sarson curry, which reminded me far too much of my mother’s own recipe, and the palak paneer, from which the paneer was made from scratch, presenting a fresh and succulent taste that just melts in your mouth.
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The non-vegetarian main dish of the day was the Ayam (chicken) sambal oelek. An Asian staple enjoyed around the world and known for being a fiery dish feared by the uninitiated. However, Seema doesn’t believe that food should be overly spicy as it “overpowers the taste of the main ingredients“. The sambal definitely stirred up the taste buds a little, but did not obliterate them. A theme which was omnipresent in all the dishes: the flavours of each ingredient stood out.

Swahili pineapple cake with custard

Finally, for dessert (always my favourite of any meal), we were each served an eggless Swahili pineapple cake with custard and a cup of freshly blended Kenyan coffee. The cake was soft which the sweet custard complimented extensively on top.

All in all, a great experience. Inspired by her mother’s cooking, Seema not only knows the perfect fusion of ingredients, but also what works best with different palates. It is important to mention here that Seema grounds her own spices to make masalas and even grows some herbs such as curry leaves at her own house. Even the memory of that meal while writing this has made my mouth water. Thank you, Seema!

For a soul stirring private dining experience get in touch with Seema Bhatia. For enquiries call +852 95485280 or click here

All pictures courtesy of Aanchal Wadhwani and Chandni Chotrani. Sections contributed by Rahul Prakash.

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Dimple Motwani

Dimple was born and raised in her favourite city, Hong Kong and thus, knows the culture and the people here well. Being a die-hard fan of Bollywood, music and the Indian culture, she aims to enlighten you about all things desi as the features writer for HKYantoYan. In a nutshell, she’s a film, music and literature junkie who would go to despicable lengths for chocolate.

Follow her on Instagram: dmotwani

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