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Coping with a spate of houseguests this season? Need to pull together a quick meal that'll win you a compliment or two? Le Cordon Bleu trained Chef Manvendra (ex-Olive Bar and Kitchen, Delhi) has just the menu for you.

Emphasising seasonal foods and using off-the-shelf ingredients, these recipes have been designed to ward off the last days of winter blues.

Designing menus according to what's in season has great benefits, not least being vis-a-vis quality and price. And although Mumbai may not have the most discernible winter, some amount of seasonal tweaking can be done.

For example, Manvendra says the cooking process for vegetables should be minimalistic in summer so that everything is light and crunchy. In winter, you can use long, slow cooking processes that include long braises and slow casseroles.

Winter is also the time for comfort foods... rich, creamy sauces and gravies. And greens like broccoli, lettuce and asparagus are always crunchier and sweeter in winter.

Use as many berries as you can lay your hands on... put them in smoothies, crepes and tarts, or just top them off with a plop of whipping cream. It's also a great time of the year for wine, particularly if you're a fan of rich, spicy, warming reds.