Main Course

Pasta Puttanesca

puttanesca

This dish mainly originated in mid twentieth century. Some believe that it was a sauce created by a restaurant owner … Petti who was near closing his restaurant one evening, found a group of customers sitting at one of his tables, Petti was low on ingredients and told the customers he didn’t have enough to make a meal. They started complaining and said it’s too late and they are hungry. “Facci una puttanata qualsiasi (Make any kind of garbage),” they insisted. At that time Petti had nothing more than tomatoes, capers and olives, so he used them to make a sauce for the spaghetti and later from then he included this dish in his menu as spaghetti alla puttanesca- source history of pasta puttanesca.

I personally love this sauce, it has wonderful taste of capers, olives, tomatoes and herbs. Its jam-packed with intense flavors and very simple and easy to make.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

6 garlic cloves chopped finely

1 tsp red pepper flakes

20 large pitted black olives (coarsely chopped)

3 -4 tbsp capers

1/2 white onion chopped

1 (32 ounce can )- chunky style tomato

1 (14 ounce can)- diced tomato

Black pepper and salt to taste

1/4 cup parsley chopped

1 pound spaghetti cooked to al dente

Method:

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add oil, chopped onions, garlic and red pepper flakes. Sautee until the onions and garlic are translucent. Then add  chopped olives, capers, tomatoes and bring them to boil. Simmer and heat the sauce for another 8-10 minutes. Add pepper and salt according to your taste and garnish with parsley.

puttanesca

Toss the sauce with pasta and serve with bread and cheese/olive oil, vinegar mix.

puttanesca

 

 

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Main Course

Methi mutter corn pulao (Fenugreek peas and sweetcorn rice)

“Methi mutter corn pulao”. This is a very simple yet delicious recipe with flavorful spices and rice.

Methi Mutter sweet corn pulao

Ingredients:

Cooked green peas- 1/2 cup

Cooked sweet corn kernels- 1/4 cup

Chopped fenugreek (methi) leaves- 1 cup

Oil-3 tbsp

Cooked white long grain rice- 1  1/2 cups

Thinly sliced onion- 1/4 cup

Ginger paste- 3/4 tsp

Green chilli paste- 3/4 tsp

Peppercorns-4

Cloves- 2

Cardamom- 2

Cinnamon – 1/2 inch

turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp

Salt to taste

Method:

Heat oil in a non stick pan, add pepper corns, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and sliced onions, sauté on a medium flame for 1-2 minutes. Add  turmeric powder, ginger and chilli paste and sauté for 30 seconds.

Methi Mutter sweetcorn pulao

Add cooked green peas, sweet corn kernels and chopped fenugreek leaves. Sauté again for 3-4 minutes. Add 2 tbsp of water if it becomes very dry.  Add salt according to your taste. Once everything is cooked. Add the cooked rice, mix well. Adjust salt to your taste and serve hot with yogurt or just plain.

Methi Mutter sweetcorn pulao

P.S. I  soaked the rice in water for about 10 minutes then drained the water completely. I added 2 cups of water to 1 1/2 cups of rice and cooked in a rice cooker.

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Main Course

Singapore noodles

Singapore noodles

Noodles are a hu-la-la make it kind of thing in my house. My husband and I are ready to have it anytime. These noodles are simply awesome when it comes to spiciness and taste. Addition of veggies brings it so much flavor too!

Ingredients:

6 oz rice sticks also called rice noodles. ( I brought mine from asian stores)

For the sauce:

1 1/2 tsp curry powder- (I tried S&B oriental curry powder)

3 tbsp soy sauce

1/2 tsp rice vinegar

1/2 tsp Crushed dry red pepper

1 tsp brown sugar, optional

For the noodles

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 heaping teaspoon ginger garlic paste

1 carrot, peeled and cut into match sticks

1 red pepper, cut into thin strips

1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage

1 cup cubed fried tofu, available in Asian markets

1 heaping cup bean sprouts

3 scallions, chopped

4 lemon or lime wedges

Chopped cilantro for garnish

Preparation:

Soak the rice noodles according to package instructions. (This usually involves soaking them in warm or cold water for 2-5 minutes).Drain well and set aside in the colander.

Whisk together all ingredients for sauce, along with 3 tablespoons of water. Set aside. Heat oil in a large wok, Add ginger garlic paste and let them sizzle on medium heat, till fragrant and lightly browned.

Pour in half of the sauce. Work quickly, and mix everything together, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon. Cook till the sauce starts to bubble, about 20 seconds.

Veggies

Throw in red peppers, carrot, cabbage, and tofu. Crank up the heat to medium-high and sauté till the vegetables just start to wilt, about 2 minutes. Don’t over cook the vegetables.

Singapore noodles

Add the soaked, drained rice stick noodles to the vegetables. Also add the remaining sauce. Working quickly, and using two spoons or tongs, toss and combine everything till the noodles are well coated in the sauce. Turn off heat and add sesame oil, bean sprouts and scallions. Toss well. Serve immediately garnished with chopped cilantro and lemon or lime wedges on the side to squeeze over the noodles.

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Main Course

Simple peanut noodles

Simple peanut noodles

I have always seen my mom cooking with lentils, vegetables and curry powder until I left India 8 years back. Even though she used to cook varieties of food from different parts of India it was never with chinese food, Italian pasta or Singapore noodles. I bet during the time we were growing we weren’t having so many international markets, restaurants as we do today in India. Being in the US for all these years I have enjoyed myself cooking not only Indian food but also different cuisines from the world. This is one type of food which I learnt after coming here and love making it often. Peanut sauce is always available in the grocery store, but I am pretty sure you wont be disappointed by trying this simple peanut sauce made freshly at home!

Ingredients:

2 cups- Broccoli

1 cup- shredded cabbage

1 cup- sliced carrots

8oz- linguine or spaghetti

For sauce:

3 Tbsp- peanut butter

2 tbsp- soy sauce

1 tbsp- lime juice

1 tbsp- sesame oil

1-2 garlic cloves, minced

Crushed red chili flakes, according to your spice level

Cilantro and bean sprouts for garnishing

Preparation:

Bring 4-6 quarts of water to boil adding little salt. Once it starts boiling, In a colander, add the chopped veggies and immerse in water and cook it for a minute or two.

Veggies

They have to be little tender yet a bit crispy. Remove the colander from water, drain all the water and keep aside. Add the linguine or spaghetti to the water and cook according to the instructions on the packet.

Pasta

Meanwhile place all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix well by adding 3-4 tbsp of water. Adjust the spiciness according to your taste.

Peanut sauce

Once the pasta is cooked. In a large wok, add them with veggies and give it a quick stir. Add the sauce all over the pasta and mix well. Add 1 tbsp of soy sauce and salt to taste. Garnish with cilantro and bean sprouts and serve hot!

peanut noodles

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Vegetarian Sushi

Vegetarian SushiBeing a vegetarian, I get to try very few types of vegetarian version of sushi’s at restaurants near my place and wanted to prepare one of them at home. Believe me, I have been trying to do this past one year. Last year I bought the sushi mat from amazon and kept it inside since I had not bought any other ingredients and forgot about it. Then I had my mom visiting us and I was very sure, she wouldn’t try it and I did not feel like making it. So I got some time to browse over few sushi recipes and bookmarked it. Very recently did I get a chance to buy the rest of the ingredients and prepared it. Never the less, I guess it was worth the wait and I was not disappointed with the outcome and enjoyed it thoroughly with my family!

Servings- 4 rolls

Ingredients:

Sushi rice– 2 cups

Sea weed sheets

Sushi rice vinegar 2 tbsp

Tofu- 1 pack

Carrot-1

Zucchini- 1

Red chilli powder– 3/4 tsp

Lemon- 1 tsp

Salt

Oil- for shallow fry

Soy sauce– for dipping

Materials required:

Sushi mat

wooden spatula

Preparation:

Shallow fry long strips of tofu in a tablespoon of oil until golden brown and crispy, keep aside. Cut carrots and zucchini into long thin strips, coat the vegetables and tofu with little lemon, salt and red chilli powder and set aside. (My version of spicy sushi) 🙂

vegetarian sushi

Cook rice according to the directions provided on the packet. The rice must be a bit mushy, once cooked mix it well with vinegar and keep aside.

Rice

On a flat surface, spread the sushi mat. Place the sea weed sheet on top (slightly toasted sheets gives a crispy texture) and add enough rice so that you cover 3/4th of the sheet. Spread the rice grains 1 inch thick and make sure it’s tightly packed.

vegetarian sushi

Place 3- 4 strips of carrots, zucchini, and tofu lengthwise on the rice on one edge.

vegetarian sushi

Place your fingers next to the vegetables and start rolling it tightly until you reach the end where there is no rice. Tap the edge with little water and roll the sushi completely. Tapping with water allows the edge to stick well.

vegetarian sushi

Now cut 1 inch of the edges on both side and keep aside, cut the rolls into bite size pieces. Dip the rolls in soy sauce and enjoy!

Vegetarian sushiVegetarian Sushi

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Main Course

Tehri

Tehri

I met my MIL’s cousin a few months ago, she is so friendly and an enthusiastic cook. She cooks a variety of dishes from different parts of the world, She had an opportunity to travel around the world with her husband during his career and thats how she learnt  so many cuisines amazing well. Tehri is a dish which I learnt from her and is a favorite rice dish in our family gatherings.

Ingredients:

Ghee/clarified butter- 2 tsp

Cardamom – 1

Cloves– 2

Tej patta (Malabathrum) – 1

Garlic– 6 ( crushed)

Ginger– 1″ piece (crushed)

Coriander powder- 1 tsp

Red chilli powder– 1tsp

Basmati rice- 1 cup

Beans- 1/4 cup (chopped lengthwise)

Carrot- 1/4 cup(chopped lengthwise)

Cauliflower – 1/4 cup (chopped lengthwise)

Peas- 100 gms

Potatoes- 1/4 cup(chopped lengthwise)

Onion -1 (sliced lengthwise)

Green chillies- 1 (slit lengthwise)

Mint leaves– 4 to 5 optional

Salt- to taste

Preparation:

Soak washed rice in water for half an hour. In a pan add ghee, when hot add cloves, cinnamon, tej patta. Add onions and roast until golden brown. Now add green chillies, crushed ginger and garlic, fry for a minute. Add all the vegetables, coriander powder and chilli powder(adjust the level of chilli powder according to your spice level). Add salt and mix well.

TehriTehri

Drain the water in rice, add the vegetable mixture, mix well with rice. Add 1 and half cup of water and cook until done. ( I cooked the rice in rice cooker). Serve hot with any type of  raita.

Tehri

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Paneer paratha

Few years back, I had visited my aunt and uncle who were living in Jalandhar, Punjab.  My aunt had a cook who used to make amazing rotis and parathas. I had a really good time eating variety of parathas with full fat yogurt and the best mixed vegetable pickle that he made. Ofcourse with the delicious food that I enjoyed, I also gained some weight :). I really dont regret eating so much though. So, this paneer paratha was thought by the cook and never forget him nor his recipes.

Ingredients:

Grated paneer- 1 cup

Cumin powder- ¾ tsp

Coriander powder- ¾ tsp

Red chilli powder– 1 ½ tsp or according to your spice level

Garam masala powder- ¾ tsp

Chopped cilantro leaves- ¼ cup

Wheat flour-1 cup

Hot water- ½ cup

Salt- to taste

Oil

Preparation:

To make the dough: Mix the wheat flour with half cup of hot water, 1 teaspoon oil and ¼ teaspoon salt. Mix it well and make it into dough, cover and keep aside.

For the filling: Mix grated paneer with rest of the spices mentioned above, chopped coriander and salt.

Take a little bigger than lemon sized dough. Roll it to ½  inch thickness and smear ½ tsp oil. Add 2 tbsp paneer mixture in the center. Lift the sides of the dough and bring it to the center. Flatten it a little and roll the dough to ¼ inch thickness by adding gentle pressure to the rolling pin and making sure the filling doesn’t come out. You can sprinkle little wheat flour and roll the rotis making sure the dough do not stick to the bottom.

Roast it on a hot griddle adding little ghee or oil on both sides.  Serve it with yogurt and pickle or any other side dish of your choice.

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Main Course

Majjige HuLi

Majjige HuLi is most favorite to people of Bengaluru/ Mysoru. It is very tasty, simple, easy to prepare dish made of single vegetable with yogurt and gravy. It goes really well with rice, muddhe or nuchinunde. We can prepare this dish with a variety of vegetables, like bendekai/ okra, seemebadhnekai/Chayote, boodhkumbaLakai /Ash gourd,  dantina soppu/Amaranthus , thondekai/Tindora. Today I prepared it with dantina soppu/Amaranthus.

Ingredients:

Yogurt/majjige- 1 1/2 to 2 cups

Channa dal– 2 Tbsp( soaked in water for an hour)

Shredded coconut- 1 cup

Green chilliesJalapenos -5 to 6 depending on your spice level

Coriander/ Cilantro– 4 to 5 strands

Ginger- 1″ peice

Mustard seeds– 1/4 tsp +1/2 tsp for seasoning

Cumin seeds– 3/4  tsp

Curry leaves– 2 strands

Turmeric- 1/4 tsp

Dantina soppu/ Amarathus- 1 bunch (chopped)

Oil- for seasoning

Salt- to taste

Preparation:

In a vessel,  heat  a glass of water and add the chopped leaves, let it cook for few minutes until tender (add little salt while the leaves are cooking). Meanwhile grind coconut, green chillies, coriander, ginger, turmeric, cumin seeds , 1/4 tsp of mustard seeds and channa dal with little water. Grind to a fine paste. Add the ground mixture to the cooked leaves. Cook till the raw smell goes away (approximately for 8- 10 minutes). Add the yogurt/majjige at the end and mix well.  Add more salt if needed.

For seasoning- Heat 2 tbsp of oil, add 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds and curry leaves. Allow the mustard seeds to splutter.  Add the seasoning on top the majjige huLi and its ready to serve.

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Main Course

Greek Pizza

Pizza brings back nostalgic memories to me. There is a chaat center in Malleshwaram 8th cross who sells not only amazing chaats but also delicious small pizzas. When I was in my college I used to go and have their pizzas almost every day and I also remember the pizza guy asking me if I ever eat anything other than pizza 🙂 and those pizzas were just 8 rupees back then now I am sure they must have increased the price. So thats how I was introduced to pizza and after coming to US my craving for pizzas have never ended. I love to try different ingredients on pizzas each time I bake one. My husband and I both like Greek pizza a lot. Artichokes are another favorite for us.  So this time I tried using all these on one base and it made for a tasty pizza!

Serving-2to3

To make pizza sauce:

Ingredients:

Tomato paste- 16oz/ 1 can

Warm water- 1 cup

Minced garlic- ½ Tsp

Honey- 2 Tbsp

Onion powder-¾ Tsp

Dried oregano- ½ Tsp

Dried basil-½ Tsp

Ground black pepper-¼ Tsp

Red pepper flakes-¼ Tsp

Salt – to taste

Preparation:

In a bowl mix all the above ingredients well and the sauce should sit for 30 minutes to blend flavors. I took the pizza sauce recipe from all recipes.com and. I omitted few ingredients for my own taste.

To make pizza:

Ingredients

Pizza base-12 inches

Corn meal -1 tsp (optional)

Pizza sauce – as desired

Shredded mozzarella cheese-6 tbsp

Feta cheese-2 tbsp

Canned artichoke hearts – 6 to 8

Pitted Kalamata olives – 10

Pitted green olives – 4

Red onion – ½

Roma tomato – 1

Dried oregano – 1/2 tsp

Preparation:

Cut tomato and onions into thin slices and grate mozzarella cheese. Cut the olives lengthwise into halves and artichokes into small bite sized pieces.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Coat a large pizza tray with cooking oil and sprinkle the corn meal. Place the pizza base on the sheet and evenly spread pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella, artichoke hearts, tomato slices, onion slices, olives, feta cheese. Sprinkle oregano on top.

Place in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes or until it is cooked. Remove from oven and slice. Enjoy!

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Pesto Pasta

I can never forget having pesto pasta the first time at an Italian bistro, the flavors just hit me and the taste was so good. I could never guess the ingredients until I asked my husband. Then I did some research and found out that small variations in the sauce can ruin the flavors.

There are different ways of making this pesto sauce. Some prepare it with walnuts, almonds and combination of pine nuts and walnuts. There are variations in using the cheese too. I prepared the sauce with only pine nuts and felt the authentic taste. I really liked the way it turned out. Took this to my office for lunch and my colleagues could not resist asking for some 🙂

Ingredients:

Pasta- ½ pound (Any type)

Button mushroom– 2 oz (or small can)

Extra virgin olive oil– 2 tsp

Ingredients to make Pesto sauce:

Basil leaves- 2 cups packed leaves

Pine nuts– ¼ cup

Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese – ½ cup (grated)

Extra virgin olive oil- 2/3 cup

Salt and pepper – for seasoning

Preparation:

To make pesto sauce:

Blend basil leaves and pine nuts coarsely in a food processor or blender. Add in olive oil slowly until it mixes well. Pour the sauce in a container and add the cheese and mix well. Add salt and pepper as per your need.

The pesto sauce can be stored as prepared for up to a week in the refrigerator. If you are planning to store the sauce for a longer time, store it without adding cheese. Apparently, if you top the sauce with olive oil and store it in the freezer, the sauce will be good up to three months.

To make the pasta:

Cook the pasta as per the instructions given on the pack. Add mushrooms 5 minutes before the pasta is cooked. Drain and run cold water on the pasta to prevent it from sticking.

Heat 2 tsp of olive oil in a pan, add the pasta and mushrooms and stir well for few minutes. Add 2-3 tbsp of pesto sauce and mix well.

Do not heat the pasta too long after adding the sauce. Mix well and serve immediately!

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