Welcome to
Shikha la Mode

Dispatches on origins, identity and hip hop from a pastry chef.

Shikha la Mode
Shikha Kaiwar
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A spelt strawberry torte and the start of summer

I know it's summer when the strawberries start tasting sweet.

Shikha Kaiwar
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Travel Guide: Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakech consists of an old and new city which often overlap. The Medina is crowded, interesting, and historical, full of winding alleys, souks to shop and bargain at, and the famous Jamaa El Fna Square and Koutoubia Mosque. Prayer bells sound five times a day, and you can feel the energy of faith.

Shikha Kaiwar
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Gajar halwa is the best Indian dessert and I will fight you on this

Three days before we arrive, I Whatsapp my aunty that I want her to show me how to make gajar halwa. I text her this before every India trip—not because I've forgotten how to make it, but because making it transports me to another world where I feel as luxurious as the royalty from which it came.

Shikha Kaiwar
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India, Part 1: Red carrots, purple rotis, and hoping he likes it all

💡Eating our way through North India and connecting to the past.I'm back! I know I'd promised y'all lots of content during my month-long India trip—sorry. While I had big plans of doing all that, once I got there, I just wanted to be present and take it all

Shikha Kaiwar
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Decoding culture through Harrods, whiskey, and hand creams

💡AKA: How to buy gifts and overcome colonisation.When you live abroad and visit family in India, and when that family is not in society's upper echelon so they can't often travel, you must bring gifts. These aren't gifts borne from a creative brainstorm or a detailed run-through of each

Shikha Kaiwar
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Does acceptance really matter?

💡Prepping for India, 23andMe, and chai.I'm going to India! For a month! And there is so much to DO. It's been three years since I last visited, and like every time, a lot has happened, this time probably more than usual (lookin' at you, Pantene Pro-V). I've visited India

Shikha Kaiwar
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Life lessons from quince...and Kanye

When we moved to London, one of the first things I noticed (besides the fact that mask-wearing outside wasn't a thing, unlike my paranoid home of San Francisco) was fruit—everywhere. Crates and shelves and baskets gleaming with the most colourful fruits I'd ever seen in a not-tropical country. Radiant

Shikha Kaiwar
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One year in London: How it started/how it's going.

We've officially been in London for one year! To keep me from blabbing on forever, I'll cover how it started and how it's going now. How it startedThose close to me knew that I needed to get out of San Francisco. Like anyone else living their twenties, the city gave

Shikha Kaiwar
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Clenching my teeth, cooking to live, and buttermilk biscuits—made cute!

"Have you been feeling stressed lately?" Duh, Madame Dentist. Who hasn't?? We're still in a pandemic, I'm cold 24/7 because I'm a weak Californian living in London, we're planning a wedding happening over 5,000 miles away, and I have at least one mini anxiety attack a day over

Shikha Kaiwar
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In rum we trust: A hidden tiki bar in Portugal and a Malted chocolate ginger rum ganache tart

Happy new year—whatever that means! Like many of you, I'm wary of expecting too much from this year and trying to shield myself from inevitable disappointment. But more on that later. Let's talk about rum. The last two weeks of 2021 filled my heart in ways I desperately craved.

Shikha Kaiwar
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A culinary wrap on 2021—with cake, of course.

This year was just as dumpster fiery as the last. But we all love a good end of year wrap so here are my reflections on food and life in 2021. I'm also giving y'all recommendations for books, podcasts, and recipes that will pique your interest if you're looking for

Shikha Kaiwar
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Which drawer are the forks in?

I've been back from California for a few days now and still in a funk. For the first time since I can remember, I have jet lag. I'm sleeping past 1 a.m. and spending what precious little winter daylight there is in a haze. Yesterday I even took a