Saturday, April 18, 2015

CHEESY PASTA

Cooking time: 20 minutes
Ingredients:
Pasta - 1 cup (I used shell pasta but you can replace it with macaroni or farfelle)
Milk - 1 cup
Cheddar cheese - 1 cup
Salt - to taste
Pepper powder - 2 tsp or more if needed
Dried basil - 1 tsp
Water - to cook the pasta

Method:
  • Cook the pasta in the water, as per packet instructions, till al-dente
  • Drain the water and take the pasta in a non stick pan. Add the milk and cook on low heat
  • Add the cheddar cheese, salt and pepper. Cook until the milk thickens slightly 
  • Add the dried basil and any other seasonings of your choice
  • Cook till the milk thickens and the serve warm

Friday, April 10, 2015

DAHI PURI


Who doesn't crave some lip-smacking chaat? It appeases to all age groups, and in most Indian homes, at all times.The most gratifying feeling is when it is made at home, with the personal touch. So, here's one of my weeknight dinner experiments that turned out to be quite a special treat!
I normally do not use ready made products in a recipe as I don't stock too many prepared foods in the pantry, but this time I used prepared items. The things I used are easily available at most Indian stores in the U.S and in several supermarkets in India. I also gave the original recipe some minor tweeks of my own. I had Swad tamarind chutney, which I mixed with a spoonful of sugar to make the sweet tamarind chutney. The original recipe calls for tamarind & date chutney. For those who want to try making it, a link I'd recommend is http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/tamarind-date-chutney-recipe-sweet-chutney-for-chaat/
I also used ready made Swad coriander & mint chutney. Again, this can also be prepared easily at home. The link for that is http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/mint-coriander-chutney-recipe/
I used boiled, canned chick peas in the stuffing, but you can also use boiled, diced potatoes. I just like to save time on weeknights.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2 or 3

Ingredients:
Puris or golgappas - 20 to 25
Boiled chick peas - 1 cup, washed & drained
Red onion - 1 small
Tamarind chutney - 1/2 cup 
Sugar - 1 Tbsp
Mint & Coriander chutney - 1/2 cup
Yogurt - 1/2 to 3/4 cup
Red chili powder - to taste
cumin powder - to taste
Sev - about 1/2 cup or more, as needed

Method:
  • In a small bowl take the tamarind chutney & mix the sugar in it. This step can be skipped if you are using the tamarind and date chutney
  • Dice the red onion finely
  • Beat the yogurt with a wired whisk till smooth. You can add a teaspoon or two of water if the yogurt is very thick
  • In a plate, arrange the puris or golgappas as per portion size. Break the puris in the center on one side
  • Stuff the boiled chick peas in to the puris
  • Then add the diced red onions in each of the puris
  • Add half a teaspoon each of the mint & coriander chutney and the tamarind chutney in to the puri.
  • Top it with the yogurt, according to taste.
  • Sprinkle the red chilli powder & cumin powder on the puris, as per taste
  • Add the sev on top in a way that each puri gets covered with sev. Eat as soon as possible, so that the puris do not turn soggy
NOTE: you can also add boiled potatoes, peas, tomatoes as stuffing. If you have chaat masala, you can sprinkle that on top as well. Garnish can be done with coriander leaves or mint leaves, to make the dish look pretty.

Monday, April 6, 2015

MOONG DAL KHICHDI

Everyone needs some comfort food from time to time. Whether you're under the weather or just plain tired to put in serious work in the kitchen, there's not much that can't be fixed with a hot plate of khichdi. This is that yummy, soft, flavorful food that satiates like no other. There are several variants of Khichdi in India, but here's one that I personally love.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Ingredients:
Rice: 2 cups
Whole green gram (Sabut hari moong) - 3/4th cup
Ghee - 1 Tbsp
Salt - to taste
Whole peppercorns - 3 or 4 (optional)
Water -  3 or 4 cups
Special requirements:
A pressure cooker - this is more of a convenience device, actually. It halves the cooking time and makes it easier to make the rice and moong soft. You can avoid this by cooking in a regular pan
Method:
  • Wash the rice & green gram and put in a pressure cooker
  • Fill it with 3 cups of water. Add 1 Tbsp of ghee, salt & whole peppercorns & stir lightly. Set the pressure cooker for 3 whistles. Alternately, cook the rice till it is soft.
  • If you like your khichdi soft and slightly runny, you may have to add another cup of water and cook the rice without the lid of the cooker.
  • Serve hot with pickle, papad or yogurt.

EGGLESS BANANA BREAD

This is a simple, egg-less, no-yeast banana bread recipe that is so delectable that it vanishes in minutes, every time I make it.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40-50 minutes

Ingredients:
Ripe or over ripe bananas - 2 big / 3-4 small
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Vegetable oil - 1/2 cup
Whole wheat flour - 1.5 cups
Baking powder - 1.5 tsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Vanilla essence - 1/2 tsp
Salt - a pinch (optional)
Dry fruits (like walnuts, pistachios, almonds) - about a small handful (optional)
Butter or oil to grease the bread pan

Special requirements
A bread pan
Toothpick to check if the bread is done
A baking tray to roast the dry fruits

Method
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius OR 375 Fahrenheit
  • Roast the dry fruits in the baking tray for 10 minutes, shaking to toss them once in between
  • Meanwhile, grease a bread tin or a rectangular cake pan with some butter or oil
  • Take bananas and sugar in a mixing bowl.
  • Mash the bananas well or puree them with a hand blender.
  • now add the oil, vanilla to the banana and mix well.
  • sieve the flour with the baking soda, baking powder, salt directly in the bowl containing the mashed bananas.
  • Fold the sieved flour really well. Add the roasted dry fruits and mix well
  • Pour the bread mixture into the loaf pan.
  • Bake at 375F for 0- 50 minutes or till a toothpick inserted in the bread comes out clean
  • remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. When it is slightly warm or cooled, you can remove the bread from the pan. Slice & serve.