Friday, 30 January 2015

Greek Couscous Salad !


Hello Lovely People,

Today's post is a very very simple salad recipe which absolutely needs no cooking. I love couscous for this reason most as it just needs some hot water and ready to eat.
This Greek couscous salad is very healthy and absolutely filling with lot of fresh veggies and goodness of olives seasoned with lovely herbs. Use fresh Parsley as it gives an excellent flavour and the salty feta cheese with the crunch of onions and olives it is indeed refreshing yet simple.



INGREDIENTS
  • 150 gms wholewheat couscous
  • 1/2 medium Onion (sliced)
  • 10 Plum tomatoes (halved)
  • a fistful Black Olives (halved)
  • a fistful Green Olives (halved)
  • a handful of chopped cucumber
  • 1/2 red and green bell peppers (chopped)
  • a handful chopped parsley
  • a handful crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 Lemon / lime
  • salt as needed
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp mixed dried herbs (oregano, thyme, parsley)
  • 2 tbsp E.V Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp White wine Vinegar (or Red wine Vinegar)





STEPS


  • Take the couscous in a bowl and add super hot water to it with salt as needed. 
  • Water ratio is 1.5 parts of water to 1 part couscous.
  • Leave it aside for 10 - 15 minutes and you will find all the water being absorbed by couscous.
  • Fluff it with a fork and add to a bigger bowl.



  • Now add all the veggies and olives to it and give a mix.
  • Pour in the olive oil and season with pepper and dried herbs.
  • Sprinkle some salt for the veggies if needed.



  • Throw in the feta cheese and fresh parsley and squeeze lime/ lemon juice.
  • Add little white wine vinegar (optional) and give a final mix.



Enjoy the salad fresh or refrigerate and serve it cold. Add a dash of olive oil before serving.



With Love,





Thursday, 29 January 2015

Schezwan Potato Wedges !


Potato wedges is a varitation of french fries and  goes well with many different meals and generally served as sides or sometimes as a starter in parties. I usually potato wedges with just salt and pepper and some herbs. Then one day for a twist i added my schezwan sauce and marinated the potatoes and baked them as usual. They were bursting with flavours from the garlic and chilli and melting in mouth. Just have with a cup of hot tea on a cold evening and it is heavenly. A far far better alternative to the fried potato.




INGREDIENTS


  • 2 Big Potatoes (cut into wedges)(preferably jacket potatoes)
  • salt as needed
  • 1/2 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried herbs
  • 1 - 2 tbsp Schezwan sauce (as per the spice level needed)
  • 1 tbsp oil


STEPS

  • Wash well and Cut the potatoes into wedges.
  • Parboil them in hot water for 4 - 5 minutes.
  • In a bowl, add in the Schezwan sauce, salt, pepper and the dried herbs.
  • I have already posted the recipe for Schezwan sauce and you can find it HERE



  • Add the potatoes and mix well so that it is coated well with the Schezwan sauce. Let it marinate for 10 - 15 minutes.
  • On a roastind tray, place an aluminium foil and grease with oil.
  • Place the marinated potatoes without any overlapping. Sprinkle some oil on the potatoes.
  • Bake them in a preheated oven for 35 - 40 minutes at 190 - 200deg C. In the middle, (may be after 15 mins) flip the potatoes so that it evenly cooked and the outer layer is crisp.
  • The temperature and time depends on the oven. So keep an eye always.






Serve it with the same sauce / tomato sauce / mayo / sour cream.


Try this simple recipe and enjoy with a cup of tea to beat the cold. 

With Love,

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Pasta Primavera with Roasted Vegetables !


Pasta Primavera is a simple pasta dish with bolied pasta and loads of fresh spring vegetables highlighted by light flavours and aromatic herbs. Primavera meaning spring and as the name says it has bright colored veggies like broccoli, carrot, peas, colored bell peppers etc. 

Unlike many other pasta dishes, primavera doesnt have any specific sauce based on tomatoes or basil. It is just based on olive oil, garlic, plum tomatoes and finished with grated parmesan cheese. 

The vegetables can either be boiled in water, sauted and added to boiled pasta or oven roasted and added to pasta and tossed in olive oil and garlic.

Thanks to my friend Gayatri for joining me in making this wonderful dish and click/edit some good pics.


INGREDIENTS


  • 150 gms Fusili pasta(I mixed half white and half whole wheat)
  • Chopped Vegetables (Baby corn, Peas, Broccoli, Zuchini, Bell Peppers, Carrot)
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 100 gms plum tomatoes (half of them halved , and remaining quatered)
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 1 tsp mixed dry herbs
  • few mint leaves / parsley / basil
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt as needed
  • 3 - 4 tbsp grated Parmesan (optional) (i didnt use)





STEPS

  • Place the chopped vegetables in a roasting tray and sprinkle some olive oil, salt and pepper and some dried herbs.
  • Roast it in the oven at 200 deg C for 30 minutes or until the veggies are roasted nicely. Take it out and give a mix in the middle and  add the halved plum tomatoes at the last few minutes.
  • Alternatively you can just saute the vegetables and add the pasta to it.
  • Or cook the veggies along with the pasta in salted water. But add it at last few minutes before you turn off the stove.



  • Boil the pasta in salted boiling water until al-dente.
  • Filter and keep aside. Reserve some pasta boiled water coz u may need it when sauting with veggies as sometimes they become very dry.



  • Heat a pan, add olive oil and add the garlic. Saute the garlic for a minute and then add the tomatoes that are quartered.
  • Add the chilli flakes and peas and saute until they become soft and until the water left by tomatoes are drained. 
  • Make sure the peas is cooked well.


Now add the boiled pasta, roasted veggies and mix well in low flame.
Turn off stove, squeeze the lemon/lime juice.


  • Throw in the dried herbs (oregano, thyme and parsley) and some Orange /Lemon zest.
  • Garnish with some fresh basil / mint / parsley.


Transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy it with a glass of wine :)

The roasted veggies give a nice aroma and i would suggest roasting them rather sauting or cooking in water. Because it turns out crispy outside and soft inside.



Enjoy this simple and flavorful pasta with lof of colorful veggies. It is indeed very filling and healthy.

With Love,

Monday, 26 January 2015

Thai Red Curry !

Hi all,

This is my first post on Thai Cuisine and made Red curry with loads of veggies. It is indeed a very simple and delicious dish to make if you have the red curry paste handy.
Red curry paste is available in all stores nowadays but making at home is easy too subject to availability of those oriental ingredients. I have made the red curry paste at home too but this time used store bought paste as i couldn't get all the ingredients esp galangal.
Will post the recipe for red curry paste sometime.



INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp oil (sesame oil / vegetable oil)
  • 2 tbsp Thai Red curry paste ( homemade / store bought) use acc to spice level
  • 300 ml coconut milk
  • 1 bowl full chopped vegetables (as per our choice)
    • 1 small potato
    • 1 carrot
    • 7 - 8 Beans
    • 10 broccoli florets
    • 7 - 8 baby corn 
    • a handful green peas
    • red, green and yellow bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup bamboo shoots (i couldnt get)
  • salt as needed
  • 2 - 3 Kaffir Lime Leaves (use lime peelings as substitute)
  • 1 tsp palm sugar (use brown sugar / white sugar as substitute)
  • 1 tsp fish sauce ( purely optional)
  • water as needed

STEPS

  • Add a tbsp of oil and add the potato and carrot and saute for 2 -  minutes. THen add the beans ad saute for a minute.
  • Close the vessel and let them cook for a minute.

  • Add baby corn, and the remaining veggies and saute everything for a mintue.
  • Transfer and keep aside.
  • Sauting vegetables is upto you. You can also directly add them to the curry.



  • Now add the remaining oil and once hot add the red curry paste. Cook it well in the oil for a couple of minutes until nice aroma wafts.


  • Add the coconut milk and give a nice mix. Brint it to boil.
  • Add the sauted vegetables to the boiling coconut milk and add salt and little water.



  • Close the vessel and let the vegetables cook in the coconut milk for 4 - 5 minutes.
  • Then add sugar, lime peelings (or kaffir leaves) and the fish sauce(optional).
  • Lower the flame to medium- low and let the vegetables simmer in the coconut milk curry for another 5 - 10 minutes.
  • Do no overcook the veggies.. a bit of crunch should be there in the Thai curry.
  • If you have bamboo shoots , add them when adding sugar and lime peelings. I couldn't get this time.


Transfer to a bowl and serve with hot rice / Jasmine rice. The sweet aroma of coconut milk filled my kitchen :)





Enjoy this simple and delicious curry and i will meet you soon with another interesting recipe.

With Love,

Friday, 23 January 2015

Rasagulla !


Heyy All,

Guess what makes me post a sweet dish all of a sudden ??  Its my 50th post.. I am so happy that i reached here.. and of course there are many milestones to reach.. 100.. 500 and 1000.. :) 

And i dedicate this post to my dearest friend Divya's son Krithik who is turning 3 today. (Actually tomo (Jan 24) but its already the next day in India :) )
Happy Birthday Krithik.. Have a wonderful bday. God bless you.Miss you and your mom a lot !




Ghee Upma !



Hi Guys,

A simple and comfort south Indian breakfast dish that can be eaten as such or paired with pickle , chutney, sambar or just sugar. Made this today with the goodness of ghee unlike my usual upma which has lot of veggies and less oil. I had to make this once and enjoy this flavorful melt in the mouth upma after hearing from my brother many times. He enjoys this even in the middle of the night just when he needs something to eat after working late hours. 




INGREDIENTS

English
Tamil
Telugu
Hindi
Quantity
Semolina
Ravai
Rava
Sooji
1 cup
Clarified Butter
Nei
Neyyi
Ghee
3 - 4 tbsp
Mustard
Kadugu
Aavalu
Rai
1 tsp
Cumin Seeds
Seeragam
Jeelakara
Jeera
1 tsp
Cashewnuts
Mundiri
Jeedipappu
Kaju
12 (split into half)
Green Chillis
Pachai Milagai
Pachi Mirapakaya
Hari Mirch
5 - 6 small ones
Ginger
inji
Allam
Adrak
one big piece
Curry Leaves
Karivepilai
Karivepakku
Kari patha
1 sprig
Onion
Vengayam
Ullipaya
Pyaaz
1 medium
Urad Dal
Ulutham Parupu
Minapappu
Urad ki Dal
1 1/2 tsp
Channa Dal
Kadalai Parupu
Senaga Pappu
Channa Dal
1 1/2 tsp
Salt
Uppu
Uppu
Namak
AS Needed
Water

2.5 cups



STEPS
  • Heat a pan and add some ghee..Once the ghee melts add the rava and fry it unti you get a nice aroma of fried rava. 
  • Do not brown it. Once done transfer to a plate and keep aside.

  • Add some more ghee in the pan, and once hot add the urad dal and channa dal and fry till golden brown. 
  • Add mustard and once they splutter add the jeera.
  • Then add the cashew nuts and fry them too till golden brown.

  • Then add onion, curry leaves if you have and saute them. Throw in the ginger juliennes and the slices green chillis.

  • Once everything is well sauted , add water (for one cup rava, add 2.5 cups of water).
  • Add salt as needed and let it come to a boil.
  • THen slowly add the rava and keep stirring so that any lumps are not formed. 
  • Mix well and the upma starts kind of boiling and bubbling and may spill out.. so better keep it covered in a medium flame.

  • After 4 - 5 minutes, just open the lid and your upma wil be done. Give a mix and if you still find upma is watery, keep on stove for another  3 - 4 minutes uncovered. 
  • Add again a tbsp of ghee and mix well. 
  • Squeeze lemon juice if desired.





Happy cooking and healthy eating. Dont bother about the ghee and cashews.. once in a while you got to enjoy such things :) Will post the healthy version of this soon with lot of veggies.

With Love,



Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Spaghetti in Butternut Squash Sauce !


Hello All,

I am back with my fav dish... pasta.. and in a healthy butternut squash sauce. The sweetness of squash combined with onion and garlic lends a wonderful flavour to the pasta. Its creamy in texture and goes well with spaghetti and linguine type pasta. 




INGREDIENTS

75 gms spaghetti pasta (or any shape of your choice)
lot of water to boil pasta
salt

100 gms butternut squash
3 cloves garlic
1 medium onion
2 tbsp cream
2 chillis or chilli flakes (optional)
salt
1/2 crushed pepper
1 tsp drird herbs
chopped parsley to garnish
Grated PArmesan or Pecorino

STEPS
  • Boil the pasta in salted water until aldente. Once done drain the water and keep aside.


  • Heat a pan and add olive oil, then add the onions and garlic and saute on medium to high heat.


  • Once the onions and garlic are well sauted , add the butternut squash cubes and saute them well.
  • You can sprinkle some water if you feel they are getting burnt. The squash should get cooked well and become soft. Turn off stove.


  • Cool the mixture and grind it to a smooth paste with salt as needed.
  • Add little oil to pan and add the chopped chillis.
  • Pour the sauce back in the pan and add crushed pepper and dried herbs.



  • Add 2 tbsp of cream and give a mix . Adding cream is optional as the squash sauce itself is creamy.
  • Add the cooked pasta and toss it well so that the the sauce is coated well.


Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with chopped parsley and grated Parmesan.







Simple , healthy and yummy pasta. Give a try and leave your  comments.

With Love,