Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Tomato Cream Pasta with Spinach & Peas !


Yet another Pasta dish.. you may get bored with the pasta recipes that I keep posting. But Im not :)
This is one of the yummiest recipes and a little healthy too with the wholewheat pasta and the spinach. Cream is little calorific but once in a while its okay :P 
If you are a pasta lover then please do check out HERE for more than a dozen pasta recipes.. 



INGREDIENTS

  • 75 gms Fusili (or any other pasta of your choice)
  • 200 gms chopped tomatoes from tin (or use 4 tomatoes pureed)
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 - 3 Garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup Green peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 100 gms baby Spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup Cream
  • salt as needed
  • a pinch of chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp cruched black pepper
  • 1 tsp mixed dried herbs (oregano, thyem, parsley,basil etc)

STEPS

  • Boil pasta in lots of salted water with some oil until aldente.
  • In a pan heat olive oil and then add garlic , saute in medium flame for a minute.
  • Then add the tinned tomatoes to it and continue sauting.


  • Add some chilli flakes, salt, pepper and dried herbs to it and allow it to cook for 6 - 7 minutes closing the pan.
  • Add the peas  and cook for another 3- 4 minutes.
  • Now add the baby spinach to this.


  • Spinach gets cooked very quickly , may be in a minute or two. 
  • Pour in the cream to the sauce and add the boiled pasta and mix well.
  • Keep the flame in med - low so that the cream will not curdle. 
  • Cook for 2 - 3 minutes till the pasta is well coated and absorbs the flavors, turn off stove.
  • Sprinkle some herbs and shaved parmesan (Parmigiano) when serving.

NOTES

  • Adjust chilli flakes and pepper as per spice level.
  • Can also add some broccoli or other veggies of your choice.
  • Replace the veggies with some chicken or turkey and enjoy it.
  • Do not overcook the spinach.
  • If you dont prefer tinned tomatoes, just blanch the tomatoes and remove the skin and puree them coarsely, and use in the recipe.
  • I didn;t use cheese, but yes top it with lot of grated/shaved parmesan for the authentic Italian flavor.

With Love,

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Malvani Fish Curry !



Malvani cuisine is the cuisine of the Konkan region of Maharashtra and Goa, and some northern parts of West Karnataka.  Malvan is a town in the Sindhudurg district on the west coast of Maharashtra.
Malvan being a coastal area in Konkan, it has its own distinct way of cooking food. Malvani cuisine uses coconut liberally in various forms such as grated, dry grated, fried, coconut paste and coconut milk.Many masalas have dried red chilies and other spices like coriander seeds, peppercorns, cumin, cardamom, ginger, garlic, etc. Some dishes also use kokum, dried kokam (amsul), tamarind, and raw mango (kairi). (Courtesy : Wikipage)
I got introduced to this cuisine through my Marati friend and I should thank her for that. The curry is really delicious and different from my usual Meen Kuzhambu (Fish Curry) of Tamil nadu.
Malvani cuisine is a little similar to Goan cuisine in terms of most of the ingredients used. But wait and watch for the Goan Fish curry recipe too that I tasted very recently at my Goan friend's place.
INGREDIENTS
  • 400 gms fish pieces (I used Sea Bass)
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Milk
  • salt as needed
  • 4 - 5 Kokum Petals (or 1 tsp tamarind paste / extract)

To Grind to Fine Paste
  • 1 Onion
  • 1/2 cup fresh Grated Coconut
  • 10 Dry Red Chillis (Mix of normal + Byadgi chilli (for color))
  • 1 tbsp Coriander Seeds
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper corns
  • 1 inch piece Ginger
  • 4 - 5 Garlic Cloves

STEPS
  • Soak the coriander seeds, cumin, red chillis and pepper in water for 15 - 20 minutes.
  • Then grind them adding some water with fresh grated coconut, onion, ginger n garlic to a very very fine paste.
  • Wash the fish well 3 to 4 times with salt and turmeric and keep ready.


  •  Heat oil in a heavy bottomed vessel, and add a tsp of Cumin seeds. Once they turn brown add the ground paste.
  • I added 1 tbsp of Kashmiri Red chilli Powder for the color as I didnt have byadgi chillis that is generally used in the curry paste.
  • Cook the ground paste for 8 - 10 minutes till raw smell fades and oil starts separating slightly.


  •  Then add 2 cups of water and half to one cup of coconut milk and stir in,
  • Add the kokum petals to it and let the gravy cook and come to a boil.


  •  When the gravy comes to rolling boil, add the fish pieces slowly and swirl the pot slightly. 
  • Close and cook for 10 - 12 minutes in medium flame.


  •  In 10 - 12 minutes the fish must be cooked well and the curry will be thickened slightly.
  • Turn off stove and garnish with coriander leaves.

 NOTES

  • Use any fish of your choice.
  • Adjust chillis as per your spice level. As I didnt have byadgi chillis that are less in spice and bright red in color, I used kashmiri red chilli powder.
  • I have used both  fresh coconut and coconut milk. If you are using either one of them then double the quantity used. But freshly squeezed thick coconut milk makes the gravy silky and creamy.
  • Kokum can be replaced by tamarind paste or tamarind extract.



With Love,

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Chicken 65 !



Chicken 65.. Whats that 65??? Though it is the most famous Chicken recipe from South India many of us  (including me) are unaware of the origin of this weird naming. There are many theories on this naming and if you are interested in knowing about them please do refer the wiki page of Chicken 65.
And for those who really dont care about the name  but feel that all you need is just food and the procedure to make this delicious and succulent chicken recipe, just scroll down :) 



INGREDIENTS
To Marinate Chicken

  • Boneless Chicken 400 gms
  • salt as needed
  • a pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste

To Coat Marinated Chicken

  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tbsp Rice Flour
  • 1 tbsp Corn Flour

For Yogurt/Curd Mixture

  • 1/4 cup Yogurt (or Thick beaten curd)
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder (or less if using normal one)
  • a small pinch of salt

For Tempering

  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 3 - 4 Garlic Cloves (Chopped or Crushed)
  • 3 - 4 Green Chillis (Slit)
  • Few Curry Leaves

Others

  • Oil to Deep Fry 
  • Onion Rings (to serve)
  • Lemon Wedges (to serve)

STEPS

  • Wash Chicken pieces well and marinate for an hour with the ingredients mentioned under "To Marinate Chicken"


  • After an hour combine the egg, rice flour and corn flour to the chicken and mix well.
  • Heat sufficient oil in a vessel to deep fry the chicken.


  • Drop few pieces at a time and deep fry till they are cooked and turns golden brown.


  • Remove the fried pieces on a paper towel.
  • In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, chilli powder and salt and mix well.


  • In a pan heat oil, and once hot add the cumin seeds followed by green chillis and garlic. (and curry leaves if u have)
  • Fry for few seconds and then add the yogurt mixture.


  • In medium flame cook the yogurt mixture for 2 - 3 minutes till oil separates and then add the fried chicken pieces to it
  • Toss the chicken well in the yogurt until the chicken absorbs all the yogurt well and coated nicely. Make sure the yogurt is all dried up.
  • Garnish with some coriander and Serve hot with lemon and onion. 

NOTES

  • Choose fresh and boneless chicken for best results.
  • Adjust spices as per taste.
  • Deep fry chicken well in medium flame so that its cooked well from inside.
  • Do not skip the yogurt part as it makes the chicken more moist and juicy and also gives a nice texture with taste.
  • But do not use too much yogurt or runny curd . And make sure you add the fired chicken pieces to the yogurt mixture only after its cooked well and  oil separates, else chicken will turn soggy. 
  • Egg is mandatory as it locks the chicken juices when frying in oil.
  • Serve as starter with some lemon and onion rings and bring restaurant style food at home :)
  • I haven't used any extra coloring agents and got the color from Kashmiri red chilli powder.

 With Love,

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Besan Ladoo !




Finally I managed some time to post this 200th recipe that was pending since a long time. I am so happy and excited as I write this to reach this milestone. And of course it calls for a sweet to celebrate this small success. And today being my only sibling's birthday, I want to dedicate this sweet post to him. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRO !
Besan Ladoo , the very easy ladoo as compared to the boondi ladoo. Though it takes a good amount of pure ghee there is no frying part involved. Just saute the gram flour in ghee well and add sugar and mix, roll into ladoos.. and tadah.. done !


INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups Besan (Gram Flour)
  • 1 1/2 cup Powdered Sugar (or lesser)
  • 1/2 cup Pure Ghee (preferably Desi Ghee) (or more upto 3/4 th cup)
  • 2 to 3 tbsp dry fruits (almonds, cashews and raisins)
  • a pinch of cardamom powder

STEPS

  • Heat a tbsp of ghee and fry the cashewnuts till golden brown. Take them out and keep aside.
  • In the same pan add the remaining ghee and allow it to become hot. (But dont let it fume)

  •  Add the besan to the hot ghee and start roasting it in medium flame.
  • Initially it would look dry and crumbly, but dont bother and keep roasting.


  •  The below pictures taken after 10 - 12 minutes from the time I started roasting. 
  • You will start getting a nice aroma of roasted besan after 10 minutes and the flour will start releasing ghee slowly as it is getting cooked.
  • You can see in second thumbnail that the flour has started to become like a dough.
  • Add the chopped dry fruits (almonds and raisins) after 15 mins or so, and start roasting everything together.


  •  After 20 minutes of roasting the besan looks like below with all ghee released out and an awesome aroma wafting your kitchen.


  •  Transfer the roasted flour to a wide bowl.
  • Sprinkle some cardamom powder and give a mix.


  •  Add the powdered sugar and mix with a spatula as tjhe mixture would be very hot.
  • Initially it would look crumbly but just keep mixing.


  •  When you are able to bear the heat, take small portions of the flour and combine them together tightly with your hands, Then roll them in your palms to give a smooth finish.
  • Top the ladoo balls with a roasted cashew and give a press so that it sticks to it.

NOTES

  • I used only Besan flour, but sometimes 1 or 2 tbsp of sooji (rava) can be mixed with flour to give the ladoo a coarse texture.
  • Increase/decrease amount of ghee and sugar as per your preference.
  • Do roast the besan well till raw smell fades completely and color turns slightly brown. It should take around 20 - 25 minutes for 2 cups of Besan in medium flame.
  • Finish rolling all ladoos when they are still warm. 
With Love,

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Munagaaku Pappu / Drumstick leaves Dal !


Pappu is always the classic lentil recipe of Andhra Cuisine and they are made with vegetables or leafy vegetables with or without onion and Garlic. Pappu is always thicker when compared to the sambar and the cooked lentis are not mashed here. This time I made with the healthy drumstick leaves and it was yum with hot rice.

INGREDIENTS (No Onion No Garlic)

  • 1/3 cup Toor Dal
  • 1 cup Drumstick Leaves
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • salt as needed
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Jeera
  • a pinch of hing (Asafoedita)
  • 2 Dry red chillis
  • 2 - 3  Green Chillis (slit)

STEPS
  • Pressure cook toor dal and tomatoes for 2 - 3 whistles with turmeric and salt. (Do not overcook or mash the dal)
  • Heat oil in a kaDai / vessel and add mustard seeds. ONce they crackle add jeera, hing and chillis.
  • then add washed drumstick leaves to it .
  • Just saute the leaves for 2 minutes until they shrink and reduce in quantity.
  • Then add the pressure cooked dal n tomato to the leaves and give a mix
  • Allow to simmer for 4 - 5 minutes. 
 NOTES
  • Do not mash the dal and the dal needs to be visible here unlike we do in sambar.
  • You can also add some tamarind extract if you like the dal to be a little tangy.
  • Feel free to add onion and garlic to this recipe.
  • If you like more drumstick leaf recipes pls do check these out


With Love,

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Pudina Thuvaiyal !


Thogayal / Thuvaiyal are kind of chutneys that are very thick with very less water and mostly used as an accompaniment with rice. Sometimes they are a very easy option and we just make this , rice and rasam which makes a full meal and a comfort food. The fresh coconut added gives a nice taste and texture to the thuvaiyal and an excellent accopaniment for hot steaming rice with a spoon of ghee or gingelly oil. 


INGREDIENTS
  • 1 1/2 cups Fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated coconut
  • 2 - 3 tbsp Urad Dal
  • 3 Green Chillis
  • 3 Dry Red CHillis
  • 1 big piece Ginger
  • salt to taste
  • marble size tamarind
  • 1 tbsp Oil


STEPS
  • Heat Oil in a pan and urad dal. Fry it till its golden brown and then add the chillis, followed by ginger pieces.


  • Remove the fried dal and chillis and set them aside to cool.
  • In the same pan add the (washed) mint leaves and saute them in low flame for 1 - 2 minutes max until they start shrinking.
  • But make sure not to saute them more else they turn brown in color.
  • Now cool the sauted ingredients and grind them together with fresh grated coconut adding salt, tamarind and little water.


NOTES
  • The consistency of thuvaiyal (thogayal) is very unlike the chutneys used for idlis / dosas. Goes well with rice and gingelly oil.
  • Adjust spice as per taste.
  • Use fresh coconut for better taste and texture.
  • Thuvaiyals doesnt need a tadka at last usually but if you prefer you can do a small tadka with oil, mustard , asafoedita and cumin seeds and pour on the thuvaiyal.
  • If you are interested in more chutney/thuvaiyal/pachadi recipes then do check HERE


With Love,

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Sweet Potato & Squash Soup !



Butternut Squash Soup is an extremely delicious soup and this time with sweet potato its even tasty.
Adding chicken stock helps bring out all the nutty flavors of squash. The soup is slightly sweet and with the perfect balance of pepper and basil makes the soup an awesome comforting food for a cold autumn day.
If you are interested in more soup recipes, do check HERE

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1 Onion
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Medium Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped squash cubes
  • 1 litre vegetable or chicken stock. (I used stock cubes to make stock)
  • 5 to 6 Fresh Basil leaves
  • salt as needed
  • 2 tsp Crushed Black pepper

STEPS
  • Melt butter in a heavy bottomed pot and once it melts add garlic and onions.
  • Saute them for a minute and then add sweet potato chunks and saute everything together for 2 - 3 minutes.


  •  Then add the squash chunks to it, saute for a minute so that the butter coats in the pieces.
  • Add hot vegetable or chicken stock, some fresh basil leaves and some salt.


  • Close and cook for 10 - 15 minutes in medium flame. 
  • Blitz everything togerther to a smooth puree.
  • Fliter it through a metal sieve to get a silky smooth soup.
  • Adjust water, warm it up again , sprinkle some pepper and serve hot !


NOTES
  • Instead of cooking everything on a stove top, you can also just pressure cook everything for 1 - 2 whistles.
  • If you dont have fresh basil, then just add some dried herbs.
  • With squash the soup itself is creamy enough and there is no need for any additonal cream.
  • I used orange flesh sweet potato, you can also use white flesh sweet potato.


With Love,