I’m Riz. I’m the voice, recipe developer, and photographer behind Chocolates & Chai. I relate to people who love, think, and speak from the stomach. And I’d love for us to be friends. Good friends. Best friends, even! Okay, bestie?
I live in Toronto, Canada though I’ve grown up all over the world – I was born in the Middle East (though my background is actually Indian-Bengali), I studied in England and France, worked in the Middle East again, and then immigrated to Canada in 2013. Yeah, I’m a little confused about where I’m from…but let’s not let that get between us!
You’ll relate to me if you value a good homecooked meal, enjoy a bit of witty repartee, and can appreciate an eggcellent pun.
I’m the type of person that wonders, if it could, would food write about itself? Would it be vain, talking about how delicious and in demand it is? Or would it be introspective, reflecting on its short lifespan in the space between plates and mouths? Perhaps we’d advise food to find a creative outlet, maybe talk to a professional about its thoughts?
Maybe that’s a little what this blog is like too.
Tell me about the blog already!
Okay, okay! Chocolates & Chai is a food blog for lovers of comfort food, dessert, and brunch. Inspired by international cuisine, the blog is all about finding the love and the story behind every meal.
I started Chocolates & Chai in 2015 as a way of sharing recipes with my friends and family around the world. And I feel very lucky to now be able to share it with you too!
Oh, and see the owl up top? …Right up in my logo…that’s Hootie. He’s always sleepy, and occasionally a tad bit grumpy (like me! Just kidding, I’m like a ray of sunshine. You’ll love me!). His proper name is Hoot Daddy because…well, because I make bad decisions sometimes. So, we’ll just call him Hootie. Cool? Cool.
My food philosophy:
Delicious. Simple. Easy on the eyes.
That is, I will only ever give you delicious recipes that I’ve tested over and over again. If I can make them healthy at the same time, that’ll be a bonus. But my focus is on good ol’ fashioned wholesome flavours. I like cooking the type of meal that people keep talking about for years to come (you know, in a good way!). And I love sharing my recipes so you can too!
I think there’s a beauty to simplicity. That’s why I opt for a simple approach to the kitchen whenever possible. My recipes are easy, and avoid using difficult to obtain ingredients and equipment. I want you to be able to cook with as little fuss as possible.
Easy on the eyes – Let’s cook that showstopper of a meal together! I believe in authentic representations of food and recipes. Everything you see here is natural, honest-to-goodness, homecooked deliciousness. No crazy food styling tricks, none of those gross sprays that make things look better (while rendering them completely inedible). Food is beautiful, naturally.
Heck, the vast majority of my photos are shot in natural light. And if I can make beautiful food in my teeny tiny condo kitchen, you can too bestie. (After all, it’s one thing for me to tell you how delicious something is, it’s another thing entirely for you to be able to see it!)
What you will find on my blog:
- Crazy, delicious recipes.
- A whole lot of comfort food, dessert, and brunch recipes. (And occasionally a little something else. Variety is the spice of life and all that…!)
- Tried and tested recipes. I spend a lot of time testing and revising my recipes to make sure they work when cooked properly. To this end, I include tips, tricks, and any other bits of helpful information in every post!
What you won’t find on my blog:
- I don’t follow food trends. If you are also hiding from that low-calorie charcoal-flavoured ice cream that tastes like washing liquid, this is a safe place. I promise.
- Apples are poisonous. (No, seriously… I’m allergic to apples. I’m like Snow White, except I’m not as white as snow. And I’m a guy. And well basically nothing like her, except for the apple part.)
- Eggplants are my mortal enemy.
- Coriander and I usually aren’t great friends. It doesn’t taste like soap, I just can’t stand the smell (though I tend to fare better when it’s used in a curry…so you might find it used sparingly).
Looking for where to go next? I can help! If you’re new to reading recipes, I highly recommend you start by going through How to Read a Recipe Post. If you’re just in the mood to browse, my homepage is a great place to start (you can get there from any page on my blog by clicking HOME in the top menu, or by clicking on Hootie, at the very top of the page) – it’s where you’ll find what I’ve published most recently!
If you happen to be looking for something specific – hop on over to the RECIPES section, and have a browse through the relevant category page. Or just type it into the search bar above.
And if you’re not sure where you want to go next, that’s okay too. Here are a few of my favourite posts to help you get started:
- Fluffy, Fluffy Pancakes
- Hong Kong Style French Toast
- Japanese Souffle Pancakes
- Nutella & Dark Chocolate French Toast
- Chaliapin Steak
- 5-minute Chocolate Mug Cake
Keep In Touch!
Hey, hey…bestie, wait! Before you go! Don’t forget to follow me on my different social channels – each one demonstrates a different side of who I am, and what I do.
Facebook – my Facebook page is about sharing my videos and recipes, while getting to know you through jokes and fun polls. Occasionally, I’ll receive photos of things that have been cooked by readers using my recipes here, and that’s lovely!
Instagram – this is where most people chat to me. I post photos of all the delicious food I’ve been eating here in Toronto. It’s typically photos from restaurants and events I’ve been attending, but it also includes my homecooked meals (and a few recipes!). If you make one of my recipes be sure to share it with my by tagging me and using the #chocolatesandchai hashtag.
Twitter – you’ll see a whole other side to me on Twitter. I tweet about my life, things that make me happy (or umm, not-so-happy!), and yummy, delicious food too (no surprise there, right?). If you want to see what life is like behind the scenes for a blogger, this would be the place for you.
YouTube – if you’re not a big fan of reading, you’ll probably want to subscribe and get things in video format. (Also, congratulations on making it this far! I’ve been waffling on for 1,450 words.)
And if you want to be a part of The Besties Club, be sure to sign up for my email mailing list below. I’ll drop you a quick email to let you know about newly published recipes, and occasionally an update email so we can catch up on life, the weather, and whatever else you’re in the mood to talk about.
And of course, you can always reach out to me through my Contact page or by leaving a comment on a blog post. I do my best to always respond in a timely(-ish) fashion.
Talk to you soon, bestie!
Where else can you find me?
Good question! In case you’re interested in learning about my other passions, you can find me at:
Bad Cyclist – this is my “baby” blog about cycling. It’s a passion project that I’ve been very slowly working on.
Rizwan Asad – this is my Author website. If you’re interested in reading any of my stories or books, this is the place to go!