National Bee Day with Under the Mango Tree

On the 24th of February, UTMT celebrated National Bee Day at Maharashtra Nature Park, Dharavi. There were lots of exciting activities interesting stalls, children getting their faces painted and running around in bee costumes, bee walks, film screenings, panel discussions with farmers and lots of other activities. All in all, a whole bunch of learning and entertainment! There was also a Cooking with Honey demonstration in which APB Cook Studio was cooking alongside Chef Surendra Khambra from Zodiac Grill at the Taj Mahal Palace. Chef demonstrated a Ginger Honey Soother, a delicious salad and an absolutely fascinating Honeycomb. Then came my turn, I demonstrated two of my signature dishes; Caramelized Cauliflower with Kumquats in Honey Chilli sauce and Apple, walnut & cottage cheese salad with a honey lemon dressing. The audience was packed with a varied mix of people – a lot of families brought their children to sit in for the demo. It was a bright, beautiful Sunday; a great time to be outdoors and we all had a great time!
UTMT is a local company that works towards a reduction of poverty through improvement of the bee keeping and honey producing industry. They have introduced a whole range of high-end organic honeys to the urban markets in India. These are sourced from farmer co-operatives, ensuring fair trade practices. UTMT also empowers small holding farmers through training; equipping them to increase their incomes through sale of their own honey.


They source honey from different parts of the country like Dessert Bloom honey that comes from the desserts of Rajasthan or Himalayan Flora honey that comes from the foothills of the Himalayas. Each varies in flavour, depending on the source. The Litchi honey for instance, has a distinct fruity flavour and creamy texture. Their honeys are a great addition to any kitchen shelves!

I have a long standing association with Under the Mango Tree, one that goes way beyond me just being a huge fan of their products. Way back when the brand, like myself, was in its early stages of growth I had met Vijaya Pastala through a mutual food loving friend. I did one of my first cooking classes for them that year at the Kala Ghoda Fair using their honey. Over the years this relationship
has stayed strong (and sweet J ) through the growth of UTMT into a viable force in their sphere and my journey to where I am. UTMT honey has been on our table at home for as long as I can remember. I have always supported their vision, so I just had to feature their products in the Lust Pantry at APB Cook Studio.And we are proud to have their beautiful bottles of molten gold sitting pretty on our shelves along with our house made hand crafted goodies and products from otherlocal companies.

Here’s one of the recipes I demonstrated on the day:

Caramelized Cauliflower with Kumquats in Honey Chilli sauce

Cooking the cauliflower in a smoking-hot pan until well browned elicits a natural sweetness. This
dark, caramel-like flavour is enhanced by the honey-based glaze and punched up with smoky
paprika, spicy chilli flakes and tart fresh lemon juice.


3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 large cauliflower, about 3 lb., cut into 1-inch florets
200 gms kumquats/ orange segments
Sea salt, to taste
1 onion, minced
1 tbsp Citrus Tsar mix
1/2 tsp smoked sweet paprika
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp water
Juice of 1 lime
Green onion and toasted sesame to garnish


1. In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil and melt the butter.
2. Add the cauliflower florets, sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and toss gently to coat the
3. Spread the florets into 1 layer and cook, without stirring, until the undersides are lightly
browned, 3 to 4 minutes.
4. Flip each piece over and continue cooking, undisturbed, until evenly browned, 3 to 4
5. Repeat until all sides are evenly browned, 3 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to a bowl and
6. Add the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil, onion, the Citrus Tsar Spice mix to the pan. Cook stirring
occasionally, until the onion is softened or 2-3 minutes.
7. Add the honey and water and sauté until the liquid reduces to a glaze, 2 to 3 minutes.
8. Add the Kumquats and lime juice, stir to combine and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from the
heat. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
9. Sprinkle with green onion and sesame and serve.