October 29, 2007

Pasta : Dolce Vita with fresh basil

A quick delicious pasta recipe


Pasta of your choice: 250 gms
Olive oil : 2 teaspoon
Tomatoes chopped : 2
Fresh Ginger : 1 inch
Fresh Garlic : 2-3 pods
Fresh Green or red chillies : 2-4
Basil leaves : 5-10
Dried Herbs of your choice
Grated Cheddar cheese for garnishing
Salt to taste

1. Boil enough water to completely dip the uncooked pasta completely. Add a pinch of salt, dash of olive oil and the uncooked pasta to the boiling water. Let pasta cool al dente for about 5-8 minutes. Make sure pasta does not overcook. Use a sieve to drain the water, and lightly toss the pasta under cold running water. Keep aside.
2. Put chillis, garlic, ginger, basil leaves and tomatoes in a hand grinder, and mash them into a nice soft salsa pulp. Add in the dried herbs and salt. You can use an electric blender for quick results.
3. Add olive oil in a deep pan, add the fresh salsa pulp and toss lightly.
4. Add the cooked pasta and stir carefully so as not to break the pasta.
5. Turn off heat, and serve hot, topped with grated cheese and garlic bread.

- You can use the salse pulp as a dip with tortilla chips, fresh basil smells and tastes great.
- If available, replace dried herbs with fresh ones for better flavor.

April 25, 2007

Breakfast or snacks: Poha

Have some poha and tea..


Poha/Flattened rice : 1 cup
Onions, finely chopped : 1-2
Roasted peanuts : 10-12
Green chillies, chopped : 1 or 2
Peas : 1/2 cup (optional)
Mustard seeds : 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder : 1 teaspoon
Chilli powder : 1 teaspoon (optional)
Refined oil : 1 tablespoon
Lemon juice : 1 tablespoon
Curry leaves : 4-6
A pinch of sugar
Salt to taste
Coriader leaves for garnish

1. Lightly wash the poha in water, and drain all water.
2. Sprinkle chilli powder, a pinch of sugar and salt over the drained poha.
2. Heat the oil in a deep pan, add mustard seeds and let them crackle.
3. Add the curry leaves, peanuts, chopped green chillies and chopped onions and roast till onion turns golden brown.
4. Add the turmeric powder and stir well.
5. Add the peas(washed) and cover with lid till peas are cooked.
6. When peas are cooked, add the poha mixture and mix lightly without breaking poha.
7. Partially cover with the lid and let the flavours to be absorbed into the poha.
9. Turn off heat, add the lemon juice and serve hot topped with chopped coriander leaves or lemon slice.

- You can add coriander powder along with turmeric powder, if coriander leaves are not available.

March 30, 2007

Mutter pulav : Peas rice

Peas and rice, yummy!


Steam cooked Basmati rice : 2 cups
Onions : 1 or 2
Green chillies : 1 or 2
Peas : 1/2 cup
Cumin seeds : 1 teaspoon
Cloves : 1 to 3
Pepper seeds : 1 to 3
Cinnamon stick : 1
Cashew nuts : 3 to 4
Raisins : 3 to 4
Ginger garlic paste : 1 teaspoon
Clarified butter(Ghee) : 1 tablespoon
Salt to taste

1. Heat the ghee in a non stick pan, add cumin seeds and let them crackle.
2. Add the ginger garlic paste and roast till it turns golden brown.
3. Add the pepper, cloves and cinnamon stick. Add the raisins and cashewnuts.
4. Add chopped green chillies and onions and stir till onions turn golden brown.
5. Dash in the washed peas, stir and cover with a lid. No water is required.
6. When peas are cooked, add salt to taste and mix well.
7. Add in the cooked rice and mix lightly without breaking the rice.
8. Cover with lid and let the flavours to be absorbed into the rice.
9. Turn off heat and serve the peas pulav with curry or curd.

- You can add chopped carrots and corn along with peas for a mixed vegetable pulav.

March 06, 2007

Til Gul (Sesame-Jaggery sweet)

The Indian tradition of exchanging sweets: Tilgul ghya god bola! (which means : "Eat some seasame-jaggery sweet and talk sweet")


Sesame seeds : 1 cup
Peanut powder : 1/2 cup
Khus khus (poppy seeds): 3 tablespoon
Jaggery : 1 1/2 cup
Clarified butter(Ghee) : 1 teaspoon

1. Roast the peanuts and grind them into a powder in a dry mixie
2. Roast sesame seeds and poppy seeds till light brown
3. Heat jaggery in a pan and add a teaspoon of water to melt the jaggery.
4. When jaggery melts, add in the sesame seeds, poppy seed and peanut powder and mix well.
5. Heat till the mixture becomes thick and slightly lumpy.
6. Add a teaspoon of ghee and mix well.
7. Pour the mixture on a greased plate and roll into an even layered sheet
8. Let the sheet cool for a little bit, and then cut it with a knife into squares or diamonds.
9. Leave to cool completely, and then store the til gul in a dry container.

- Vary the thickness of the mixture and the sheet as per your choice, for more or less crispy tilgul.

February 27, 2007

Matki Usal (Moth bean dish)

A nice way to eat those sprouts!

Matki (moth beans) soaked in water overnight: 1 cup
Tomato : 2 medium finely chopped
Onions : 2 medium finely chopped
Green chilli : 2-4 chopped
curry leaves : 5-6 leaves
Ginger garlic paste : 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds : 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder : 1/2 teaspoon
Garam masala : 1 teaspoon
Refined Oil : 1-2 tablespoon
salt to taste
Finely chopped coriander leaves and coconut(optional) for garnishing

1. Rinse and soak matki(moth beans) overnight in wate. Drain water and leave them to sprout a little.
2. Heat a little oil in a pan, add in the mustard seeds and let them splutter.
3. Add the ginger garlic paste and stir till it becomes slightly brown.
4. Add in the curry leaves and chopped green chilli, stir for a few seconds.
5. Add the chopped onion and saute on medium heat till the onions turn golden brown.
6. Add the turmeric powder,garam masala and stir well.
7. Add the chopped tomatoes and fry till the tomatoes get cooked.
8. Add the drained matki(moth beans) and mix well
9. Add water just enough to cover the mixture, cover and let the matki cook in medium/low heat for 20 minutes or till the moth beans are fully cooked.
10. When matki is cooked, add salt to taste and mix well.
11. Garnish with coconut shavings (optional) and finely chopped coriander leaves.
12. Serve with rice or Indian chapati.

- Replace garam masala with goda masala if available, for truely authentic Maharashtrian matki usal.

February 16, 2007

Ratale cha khees - Grated Sweet potato dish

Fasting for Mahashivratri? Then heres one yummy Maharashtrian dish! Goes great with curd too!

Sweet potatoes : 2 Medium sized
Ghee(clarified butter): 1 tbspoon
Green chilies : 4
Peanut powder : 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds : 2 tsp
salt and sugar : to taste
Lemon juice : 2 tsp
Coriander leaves and Coconut for garnishing

1. Wash, peel and finely grate sweet potatoes.
2. Heat ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds.
3. When they start crackling, add cut chilies and fry.
4. Add the grated sweet potatoes into the pan. Stir occasionally and keep covered till they turn soft.
5. Remove the lid, add peanut powder, salt, sugar, lemon juice and mix well.
6. Turn off heat and garnish with grated coconut and coriander leaves. Serve with curd.

- If you do not have cumin seeds, for any dish, you can add cumin powder too.
- Peanut powder : Roast peanuts in a pan till they become crunchy, and then grind them in a mixie without removing the peanut cover.

February 15, 2007

Mom's special : Carrot Halwa

Gajar Halwa

Juicy orange carrots : 1 kg
Ghee(clarified butter): 1 tbspoon
Milk : 1 1/2 litre
Sugar: 400-500 gms
Cardomom(elaichi) powder : 2 pinch
Saffron : few flakes
Orange colour (optional) : few drops
Cashewnuts : For garnishing

1. Peel and finely grate carrots
2. Mix milk and grated carrots in a heavy saucepan.
3. Heat the mixture till it is thick, stirring occassionally.
4. Once it starts thickening, stir continuously to avoid being burnt at the bottom of the pan.
5. Pour in the sugar and heat further till mixture is thick and consistent.
6. Add a dash of ghee, elaichi(cardomom), saffron and colour(optional).
7. Stir on low heat till the mixture gathers into a soft ball or the ghee oozes out. 8. Serve hot, garnish with a cashewnuts or the dry fruit of your choice.

- The milk added to mixture should be slightly warm or at room temperature.
- You can reduce the amount of sugar added as per taste.

February 08, 2007

Quick Sweets - Rava Ladoo

A mouthful of sweet!

Semolina(rava) : 1 cup
Ghee(clarified butter): 2 tbspoon
Milk : 1/4th cup
Sugar: 3/4th cup
Cardomom powder : 2 pinch
Slightly crushed cashewnuts, raisins : For added zing

1. Heat ghee in a deep saucepan
2. Dash in crushed cashewnuts and raisins and stir
3. Add the rava (semolina) and stir till it turns slightly brown.
4. Add the sugar and stir for a few minutes.
5. Turn off the heat and add the cardomom powder
6. Add half the milk and mix well
7. Wet hands in the remaining milk, take a small portion of the mixture and press into the shape of a ball.

- The milk added to mixture should be slightly warm or at room temperature.
- If the mixture becomes hard, slightly warm it with a dash of milk.
- Its best to store ladoos in the refrigerator, and consume within 10-15 days

January 20, 2007

Breakfast special - Sabudana Khichadi

Its simple! Its delicious! And if you have it with slightly sweetened curd, its out of this world!

Sago (sabudana) : 2 cup
Peanut powder: 1 cup (Leave some peanuts half crushed for crunchyness)
Green chilies: 3-4
Cumin seeds; 2 teaspoon
Potato: 1 (optional)
Ghee(clarified butter): 1 tbspoon
Lemon juice: , 1 teaspoon
Sugar: 2-3 teaspoon(optional)
Salt to taste
Coconut and coriander leaves for garnishing

1. Rinse and soak sago in water. The water in the container should be just visible. Soak overnight for best results, minimum time required is atleast one hour (soaking time depends on the quality of the sago).
2. Sago absorbs the water and expands. If sago is easily separable, water content is ideal. Add peanut powder, salt, sugar(optional) and mix.
3. Cut green chilies into small pieces.
4. Heat ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds.
5. When seeds start crackling, add chilies.
6. Add potatoes(optional), cook till potatoes are tender..
7. Add sago mixture and stir.
8. Cook uncovered for sometime on low/medium flame and keep mixing so that sago will not stick to the bottom.
9. When the rawness of sago disappears, sprinkle lemon juice and mix.
10. Garnish with grated coconut and coriander leaves and serve hot.

- Do not cover the pan while cooking all the time, else the steam will make the sago stick together into a ball.
- Toss the khichadi lightly, so that it does not get mashed.
- Sabudana Khichadi with sweetened curd or plain curd tastes amazing! Try it!