DESI PASTA/ PASTA WITH INDIAN TWIST

3We like spices in our dishes. That is why most of the dishes we tend to customize it to bring up the spice quotient. Today’s recipe is a desi style pasta. It was huge hit in my office. Kids will love it too.

Do try out this simple pasta with Indian twist.

4INGREDIENTS:

Pasta – 1 cup ( I used penne)

Tomatoes – 2 big blanched

Onion – 1 medium

Ginger- garlic paste – 1 tblspn

Coriander Powder – 1 and half tblspn

Chilly Powder – 1 tblspn

Tomato Ketchup – 1 tblspn

Sugar – 1/2 tblspn

Oil – 1 tblspn (I used olive)

Coriander Leaves – 3 tblspn

Salt – to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a big pan, get lots of salted water to boil.
  2. Add the pasta and cook according to packet instructions.
  3. In a kadai, add oil.
  4. Once hot toss in chopped onions and saute till translucent.
  5. Add ginger-garlic paste and saute till raw smell leaves.
  6. Add blanched tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes are mushy and start leaving the sides of the kadai.
  7. Add sugar, chilly and coriander powder and toss well for 30 seconds.
  8. Add ketchup and mix well.
  9. Add the cooked and drained pasta and mix well.
  10. Add the pasta water if you want a little sauce.
  11. Garnish with chopped coriander.

Serve hot. The taste and flavor you are looking for in this pasta dish is little sweet, spicy and tangy flavor. That means total yummmmm….

TIPS:

Blanching is the process of boiling the vegetable in boiling water to cook and then placing it in cold water to stop the cooking process. Once slightly cooled the skin of the vegetable is removed and chopped to be used in sauces. For this dish you can add chopped tomatoes directly too.

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GOBHI-PANEER CURRY/ CAULIFLOWER-COTTAGE CHEESE CURRY

This is a quick weekday curry. Ideal for rotis/phulkas. When we hear creamy we always relate to the involvement of cream in a dish. But it not necessarily be so.

Cauliflower when blended is creamy in nature. That is why cauliflower soup is creamy and need not require additional cream. I have made use of this property of cauliflower to create this healthy and quick curry.

IMG_8601INGREDIENTS:

Cauliflower Florets – 10-12

Paneer  Cubes – 6-8

Ghee – 1 tblspn

Onion – 1 medium

Tomato – 2 small

Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tblspn

Chilly Powder – 1 tsp

Coriander Powder – 2 tsp

Garam Masala – 1/2 tsp

Fennel Powder – 1/4 tsp

Kasuri Methi – 1/4 tsp

Oil – 1 tblspn

Salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat ghee in a pan and fry the paneer cubes till golden brown. Keep aside.
  2. In a blend together onion and tomato to make a paste.
  3. In a kadai, heat oil.
  4. Once oil is hot saute the onion-tomato paste.
  5. Add ginger-garlic paste and saute.
  6. Saute till the onion-tomato paste is cooked well and starts leaving the sides of the kadai.
  7. Add the chilli, coriander, garam masala and fennel powder and mix well.
  8. Add 1/2 cup water and add the cauliflower florets. Add salt, increase the flame and bring it to a boil.
  9. Lower the flame and close and cook till cauliflower is tender.
  10. Now take a few cooked cauliflower florets in a blender and blend till you get a smooth paste.
  11. Transfer it back to the kadai and mix well.
  12. Add the paneer cubes and coat well with the gravy.
  13. Lastly add kasuri methi and serve hot.

Till next time take care.

 

CORN PANEER (COTTAGE CHEESE) FRITTERS

2I make lots of fritters (pakoda/ bhajiya). Non-deep fried is my way. I feel fritters gives the cook the freedom to use any type of ingredient and give it a new role. We don’t regularly use paneer at home. So when I buy paneer the only option used to be some curry. But then I got this recipe and tweaked it based on my son’s taste. It has got the natural sweetness of the corn and the softness from the paneer. I used simple ingredients for spice.

I made this in my paniyaram pan with minimal oil. Do try it out and let me know how it turned out. By the way this makes a great starter dish for your guests.1

INGREDIENTS:

Frozen Corn – 1/2 cup

Grated Paneer – 1/4 cup

Potato – 1 small

Pepper Powder – 1/2 tsp

Dry basil leaves – a pinch (optional)

Salt as per taste

3INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cook the corn by steaming it in a steamer for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Take the corn in a blender and blend it.
  3. Boil and mash potato.
  4. Take the blended corn in a bowl and add grated paneer and potato. (If you paneer is crumbly you can blend it in blender too)
  5. Add pepper, basil and salt and mix well.
  6. Make small balls of this mixture.
  7. Heat a paniyaram pan with 1-2 drops of oil in each well.
  8. Drop the balls in the wells.
  9. Cook on each side till crispy.

It will be soft balls that you can serve it with green chutney. Try it with different combinations like adding chopped coriander leaves or other mashed veggies.Or it makes a good snack for your kiddo’s lunch box.4

CORN PEAS BIRYANI

1A school friend of mine requested a veg biryani. And I am glad I made it. If you are regular visitor of my blog you may know that I love to prepare quick and healthy dishes. Quick does not mean you should compromise on taste or the health quotient.

This is one such dish.It can be prepared on a weekday. It can be packed in tiffin. It does not take more than half an hour to prepare. You can add more veggies if you like. I wanted to add paneer but I was out of stock.

Do try this corn peas biryani for its simplicity and deliciousness.

2INGREDIENTS:

Corn – 1/4 cup

Frozen Peas – 1/4 cup

Basmati Rice – 1 cup

Milk – 1/2 cup (I used Skim milk)

Cloves – 3-4

Cinnamon – 1 inch piece

Star anise – 1/2 piece

Coriander leaves – 1/4 cup

Mint leaves – 1/2 cup

Green chilly – 2-3 small

Onion – 1 medium

Tomato – 1 medium

Ghee – 2 tblspn

Water – 1 cup

Salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Wash and soak basmati rice.
  2. Chop onions and tomatoes finely.
  3. In a blender take mint, coriander, cinnamon, star anise, cloves and green chilly and blend. Mix little water and make a smooth paste.
  4. In a thick bottom pan, heat ghee.
  5. Add chopped onions and saute till translucent.
  6. Add tomatoes and cook till they are mushy.
  7. Add the corn and peas and saute well.
  8. Add the blended mixture and rice and mix properly.
  9. Add milk and water and bring it to a boil.
  10. Add salt and lower the flame.
  11. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes till the water has evaporated.
  12. Fluff up the rice with a fork.

Do add slightly toasted paneer cubes for extra flavor element of the dish. Enjoy.3

KAPPALANDI MUTTAI/CHIKKI/ PEANUT PRALINE

IMG_8845Belated happy friendship day everyone. Although I believe we don’t need special days to celebrate friendships but still no harm in celebration right?

I chose this recipe for friendship day post because it is mark of everything that friends do. Like this recipe friends share a sweet bond. The nutty nature of the peanut resembles the different personality of each friend. The jaggery syrup acts like the cohesive bond that is known as friendship.

Kappalandi muttai as is famously known in Kerala is a common snack found in many shops. It is also known as ‘chikki’ and is very famous in Lonavala – a lovely hill station near Pune. It is very simple to be made at home. Do try it for yourself.

INGREDIENTS:

Peanuts/ Ground nuts – 1 cup

Powdered Jaggery – 1/2 cup

Water – 1/4 cup

Cardamom Powder – 1/4 tsp (Optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Dry roast peanuts and keep aside.
  2. In a heavy bottom pan, take clean powdered jaggery with water. Keep stirring at intervals
  3. Bring it to a boil and keep boiling till nice and thick.
  4. Take a bowl with room temperature water.
  5.  Drop a little syrup into the water.
  6. With your fingers try to make a ball of the dropped syrup.
  7. If the figure stays then your syrup is ready.
  8. Now add the peanuts and mix properly.
  9. Place a baking paper in a plate. Grease a baking paper with oil or butter.
  10. Spoon the peanut mixture and spread evenly.
  11. Let it cool down completely.

Break it down and enjoy. Store it in air tight container.

TIPS:

  1. In case you do not have clean jaggery, when the jaggery is all melted and comes to a boil strain it. Again place it on stove to thicken the syrup.
  2. You can also make ladoos instead of the praline. For that, oil your hands and when the mixture is bearably hot make balls and keep aside.

IMG_8847

RICH CREAMY EGG- CASHEW CURRY

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On a lazy day, you open up the fridge and wonder what to cook .That’s when you realize that the grocery is almost finished and what is left is bits and pieces of everything. Suddenly you panic. It is almost breakfast time and when the family is gearing up to start their daily chore you may have to end up feeding them plain toast. Then suddenly you glance on the egg rack. Voila you have 1 or 2 eggs. A quick egg curry is what you need which will go well with rotis, appams, dosa, bread and even rice. You are a genius now. You are happy. Your family is well fed and happy. All the tummies are happy and ready to tackle the day.

Eggs are the most common and regularly found in every kitchen. But we get bored of the same old style of egg preparation. However, eggs are the most versatile

Egg curry is found in every cuisine. There are so many varieties of egg curries that it is difficult to keep count. A rich egg curry is a delight to have with rotis, appams or even bread.

Today’s recipe is a royal egg curry. I say ‘royal’ because it has extensive use of cashews. Cashews provide a creamy and sweet texture to the spicy egg curry.

INGREDIENTS:

Eggs – 2 hard boiled

Onion – 1 large

Tomatoes – 2 medium

Potatoes – 2 medium

Ginger – Garlic paste – 1 tblspn

Cashews – 6-8

Coriander Powder – 2 tsp

Chilli Powder – 1 tsp

Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp

Garam Masala Powder – 1/4 tsp

Fennel Seeds / saunf – 1 tblspn

Curry Leaves – 2 stems

Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp

Chopped Coriander leaves – 2 tblspn

Oil – 1 tblspn

Salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. To prepare Rich Creamy Egg Cashew Curry Recipe, soak cashews in hot water for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Hard boil the eggs, peel and keep aside.
  3. Grind the cashews to a smooth paste in a blender adding a little water. Keep aside.
  4. In a blender, take chopped onions, tomatoes, ginger – garlic, chilly, turmeric, coriander, garam masala, and fennel seeds.
  5. Blend it to a smooth paste.
  6. In a kadai, add oil. Once the oil is hot, splutter mustard seeds.
  7. Add the curry leaves. Let them splutter for a few seconds.
  8. Add the onion-tomato paste and roast till the raw smell leaves.
  9. Once the oil starts separating , add 1 cup water and chopped potatoes and bring it to a boil.
  10. Add salt, close the lid of the kadai, and let the potatoes cook.
  11. Once the potatoes are cooked soft, add the cashew paste and mix well. Make sure that it comes to boil but does not boil. Boiling it may cause the gravy to split.
  12. Take it off heat and add the slit egg pieces.
  13. Garnish Rich Creamy Egg Cashew Curry with chopped coriander leaves. 

    Serve hot with rotis/phulkas/appams/bread.

Note: This recipe is also featured in Archana’s Kitchen.2

 

FRUIT NUTS PARFAIT

1Please don’t judge this recipe as “difficult” or “out of the world ingredients” by the name. I am saying because if you had mentioned this title to me around 3 months back I would have rejected it outright giving any or both the above reasons.

But I assure you this is super simple recipe – read 10 minutes maximum. I assure you this is super healthy recipe – read healthy yogurt bacteria with your favorite nuts and fruits. I assure this is easy recipe – read readily available ingredients. I assure you this is perfect snack to fight quick hunger – read tummy full and happy.

Let me get straight on to it. Promise me you will try or else you will be missing on a lot.

2INGREDIENTS:

Flavored Thick Curd or Yogurt – 2 packs (I used store bought mango yogurt & strawberry yogurt)

Chopped nuts of your choice – Almonds/ Cashew/ Walnut

Fruits of your choice – I used banana and pomegranate

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Take a glass.
  2. Layer the bottom of the glass with yogurt say strawberry first.
  3. Now layer of fruits say banana.
  4. Next layer with yogurt this time say mango.
  5. Now layer with pomegranate.
  6. Now layer with your chopped nuts.

4TIPS:

  1. You can drizzle honey if you want extra sweetness.
  2. You can use any many layers of fruits and nuts as you want. But it will be heavy so simple will be good.
  3. You can also crumble biscuits or corn flakes for the crunch.
  4. Take chilled yogurt if you like it cold.

5HOW TO EAT:

Well take a long spoon. Put it right till the bottom of the glass. Scoop it up such that a little portion of each layer comes out. Put this heavenly bite right into your mouth and enjoy. 6

 

 

CUSTARD PANCAKE WITH MANGO PULP

2I am like a kid in a candy shop when I go for grocery shopping. I look for ingredients thinking what new to prepare from them. Has it happened to you that out of a hunch you pick up something? Then for the first few weeks it lies in the front line of your cup board. Later it gets pushed onto the back of the cupboard. Simultaneously it gets pushed at the back of your mind. But this nagging feeling will always be present that one item was bought to be used and explored.

This is how I bought custard powder. That too of my favorite flavor – mango. And then it was ignored. I was not getting enthusiastic to use it in any dish. Yes, I could always prepare custard with it. But it would be so dull and you need more than 3 types of fruits and at least 500 gms of it.Who will finish all of that ?

So, I made these pancakes. And the syrup was none other than our very own mango pulp or aamras. Loved the yellow color play on the plate.

Do try and let me know how it turned out for you.

3Source here

INGREDIENTS:

Flour/ Maida – 1/2 cup

Custard Powder – 3 tblspn (I used mango flavor)

Baking powder – 1 tsp

Baking Soda – 1/2 tsp

Sugar – 3 tblspn

Salt – a pinch

Milk – 1/2 cup

Butter – to grease the pan

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a bowl combine flour, custard powder, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt.
  2. Add in milk and whisk properly till everything is mixed well. If the batter is thin then add more custard powder and adjust the consistency.Check the sweetness based on your taste.
  3. Grease a griddle with butter.
  4. Pour ladle full of batter.
  5. When the underside is cooked, flip it over carefully to cook the other side.
  6. Once both sides are cooked, stack it on a plate.

Serve it with mango pulp or aamras or your choice of toppings.1

OATS PORRIDGE WITH FRIED RAISINS

IMG_8458My last post on oats porridge was helpful to many mummys out there. This is another oats porridge that your kiddo might enjoy. Even adults can have it occasionally. Oats is fibrous food that makes your stomach feel full and eases up constipation. Raisins too are known to ease up constipation in kids. Small babies are given raisin water when they face constipation.

I have again prepared it with water instead of milk but you can definitely make it with milk.

INGREDIENTS:

Quick Cooking Oats – 1 cup

Raisins – 8-10

Ghee – 1.5 tblspn

Water – 2 cups

Chopped nuts (optional)

Salt as per taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a pan take oats, 2 cups water and salt. Bring it to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Take it off flame.
  3. In a tadka pan heat ghee.
  4. Once hot add raisins.
  5. Toss them well till it is swollen up.
  6. Pour this over your porridge along with chopped nuts. (You can brown the nuts too in the ghee for added flavor)

It is super simple and takes hardly 10 minutes of your time. Healthy and easy. Oats porridge is quickly prepared and is soothing on a day when you have cough and cold. IMG_8457

 

MUTTON ROAST

3Mutton roast is a dry dish that can be enjoyed with hot phulkas/ rotis. It involves minimal spices and gets ready quickly. Since this is non-coconut version it is fuss free and simple.

2INGREDIENTS:

Mutton – 400 gms

Onion – 1 big

Ginger-Garlic paste – 1 tblspn

Fennel Seeds – 1 tsp

Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp

Chilly powder – 1 tsp

Coriander powder – 1.5  tsp

Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp

Garam masala powder – 0.5 tsp

Pepper powder – 1 tsp

Coconut oil – 1 tblspn

Coriander Leaves – 2-3 stems

Curry Leaves – 1-2 stems

Lemon – Half a piece

Salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Pressure cook cleaned mutton pieces with little water and salt for 1 whistle on high heat. Lower the heat and cook for 15 minutes.
  2. Switch off the flame.
  3. In a kadai, heat some oil.
  4. Once oil is hot splutter mustard seeds.
  5. Add fennel seeds.
  6. Add chopped onions and salt and saute till translucent.
  7. Add ginger-garlic paste and saute till raw smell leaves.
  8. Add curry leaves.
  9. Add chilly powder, coriander poweder, turmeric powder and garam masala powder. Saute till the raw smell leaves.
  10. Add the cooked mutton into this and mix well. Do not discard the water if any. Add it along.
  11. Add pepper powder and mix well.
  12. Let it cook and get mixed up with the spices well for another 2-4 minutes.
  13. If there is excess water, increase the heat and saute till the water is absorbed.
  14. Switch off the flame and squeeze the juice of half a lemon.
  15. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Enjoy hot.1

BEETROOT PARATHA / BEETROOT FLATBREAD

1How many of you will you agree to me if I say that we end up most of our evenings thinking what to cook for breakfast? No matter how many options we have we still fret over what to cook the next day. Cooking is an art and science that cannot be mindless. It involves extensive planning and research. What flavors work and what not is what makes a dish a success or failure. For some including different vegetables in diet is a challenge.

Beetroot paratha is a healthy option to include beetroot in our diet.

2INGREDIENTS:

Beetroot – 2 small

Ajwain – 1 tsp

Chilli powder – 1 tsp

Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp

Salt to taste

Whole Wheat Flour – 1 cup

3INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a pan add chopped beetroot with ajwain, chilli powder, coriander powder, salt and little water to cook.  Cook till the beetroot is cooked properly.
  2. Once cooled, take it in a blender and blend till smooth.
  3. In a bowl take flour, salt and the above paste. ( Balance the salt since the beetroot also has salt)
  4. Bring it together and knead to a tight dough. If required use a little water.
  5. Heat a griddle (tawa).
  6. Take small balls of the dough and roll it to a thin round roti.
  7. Place it on hot griddle.
  8. Once the underside is lightly browned turn it other side.
  9. Pour a few drops of ghee on the roti and spread it across the roti.
  10. Flip it over and spread ghee on this side too. Press it on all sides to cook evenly.

Serve this reddish roti with some chilled curd. 45