Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Colour, colour, what colour do you choose?

Tomato – Spinach pasta with Cheddar cheese

Many a time our curiosity proves to be the best way to explore new recipes. We found this star at our local Italian restaurant while sifting through their menu card that was available for distribution, advertising their take away service. Little did they know that we might never order the Tomato – Spinach pasta from them after having made it ourselves. The tomato provides the tanginess and the spinach, both body and flavor to this amazingly tasty dish.

The recipe (a meal for 2)

Tri-color pasta- 150gms any shape other than spaghetti (we used fusili spirali)

Ripe Tomato – 5

Shallots (chopped) – 6 big ones

Garlic – 4 gloves

Fresh Basil – handful (save some for garnishing after the pasta is cooked)

Spinach – one bunch

Chilly flakes – one table spoon

Dry Parsley – one spoon

Olive Oil – accordingly

Cheddar Cheese – as cheesy as you like it

Salt – to taste


Boil water in a big pot. Add about a table spoon of salt and a table spoon of cooking oil. When the water comes to a rolling boil add the pasta and cook till they are al dente and drain. Slit the tomatoes and boil for 10 seconds. Cool them off, peel and mash them. Wash the Spinach leaves and blanch. Grind with garlic and set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok and when it's hot add salt, chilly flakes and half of the chopped Basil leaves. After exactly 10 seconds, add the chopped shallots and fry for 2 minutes on medium flame. Add the mashed tomatoes and cook for a few seconds. Add the ground Spinach leaves and mix it thoroughly leaving it in low flame for 3-5 minutes until the raw smell goes. Add the cooked pasta and mix it in low flame. Turn the heat off and add cheese shavings and the remaining chopped basil leaves and set aside for 10 minutes before serving. Slurp with a glass of dry white wine, preferably and you will find yourself calling the meal all sorts of adjectives in slurry words.

Tip: Adding the pasta to the sauce as soon as it is drained without running it under cold water helps pulls the sauce together if it's too watery due to the starch in the pasta. So try and sync the pasta draining with the sauce getting ready.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Baked Mushroom Sandwich

A rainy evening, a lazy and stressed out mommy after a long day’s work who decided to pass the cooking buck to him, a pack of recently bought succulent mushrooms, a packet of bread, and an oven. Flash popped an idea. He spruced up and put his gray cells to work. Thus born the recipe of baked mushroom sandwich.


Bread slices
Boiled sprouts
Capsicum (any color)
Green chillies
Coarsely powdered pepper
Olive oil

Heat olive oil in a kadai. Add salt, pepper and finely chopped garlic, onions, capsicum, part of the tomatoes and sauté for a min till the typical olive oil-garlic-onion-pepper smell comes. Turn off the flame and immediately add a dollop of butter (we want the butter to melt not clarify). Let this cool for 3-4 minutes.

In a bowl, put in the sliced mushrooms and thrown in the sprouts as well. Add the mixture that is relatively cool now to the bowl and toss well. We want it all over the mushroom. You can sprinkle more pepper at this point if u like the raw taste. Hold one or 2 green chillies in a chimta (tongs for chappati) over a flame till you hear some crackling. Chop the green chilles and toss it with the mushroom. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 200 Degrees Celsius. Take a greased baking dish (with butter or olive oil) and line the bottom with bread slices. Add the mushroom salad and make a layer (you could alternatively do another layer of bread and salad as well. If the dish is deep enough) cut just one or 2 cheese slices into narrow slices and put it on top (grated cheese is another option if u like a lot of cheese) the rest of the chopped tomatoes go on top of this (this is optional if u like the red color) and bake at 180 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Your baked mushroom sandwich is ready to eat!!

Let your neighbors go green with envy while you eat the aromatic baked mushroom sandwich.

PS: The picture has suggested garnishing (sauce).

Monday, October 20, 2008

Dal Dhokli - The Gujarati Delight!!

After tasting Dal Dhokli and falling hook, line, and sinker for its simple yet lip-smacking taste, I decided to try it myself and put my culinary skills to test. The Gujarati dish’s recipe is as simple as simple can get and is very easy to make. I cooked Dal Dhokli for dinner although I think it will make a sumptuous meal anytime of the day.

Since it has wheat and Dal in generous proportions, a cup of Dal Dhokli is as good as two rotis and a bowl of Dal. Try it yourself. Here is the recipe my friend’s mom bequeathed me.

For Dal

Toor / Masoor / Moong Dal – 1 cup
Chillies – 2 medium sized
Ginger – one small piece
Tomato – one medium sized
Onion – one small sized
Peanuts – 10 - 15
Chilly powder – one tea spoon
Coriander powder – one tea spoon
Salt – to taste

For Tadka

Oil – one table spoon
Turmeric powder – one tea spoon
Chilly powder – one tea spoon
Cum seeds – as required

For Dhoklis

Wheat flour – 1 cup
Chilly powder – ½ tea spoon
Turmeric powder – ½ tea spoon
Salt – to taste
Butter – one table spoon
Coriander leaves – as required



Coarsely grind chilly and ginger and add to the washed and ready to cook dal. Chop onion finely and add the tomato to the dal. Pressure-cook the dal, mash it when done and keep it aside.


Mix all Dhokli ingredients to wheat and knead the dough. Make medium sized roti-balls and roll out rotis. Heat the rotis both sides for just 5 seconds. (This is done so that the Dokhlis won’t stick to each other when you throw them into the dal).

The final touché

Heat the pan and add oil to it. When the oil is hot enough, add mustard seeds and when they start spurting, add cumin seeds. Now add the mashed dal with chilly powder and turmeric powder. You can add water liberally since Dhokli’s tend to absorb water. When the dal comes to a boil, add the Dhoklis one by one stirring occasionally. Cook for 5 minutes before turning the stove off. Add chopped coriander leaves to garnish and serve hot.

Your Dal Dhokli is ready to eat now!!

Monday, December 31, 2007

And the things that I’ve learnt………….

Yet another year has just passed by and while looking back I don’t have a sense of accomplishment. If surviving the year doesn’t count as one. For that matter, I don’t feel a sense of disappointment either.

Can’t use phrases like ‘what a year it’s been’ because this year has just been yet another one. Have had people dissecting my abdomen in the name of appendicitis, changed jobs after taking up in less than a year, and resisted parents’ pressure for the inevitable – wedding, that is… and yeah if obtaining a driver’s license at the age of 30 count as an accomplishment, I’ve done something.

On the funnier side – if this isn’t funny enough yet – have visited the gym once dropping out the very next day. Still can’t figure why most people drop out soon after joining the gym. Well yes, doesn’t that top the list of my 2008’s resolutions – rejoining the gym that is? Now that brings up another revelation. I’ve learnt to laugh at myself, now that’s something.

Now for the resolution part:

a) Curb laziness – I realized that I hate last minute bill payments and the consequences associated

with it.
b) Get a shape – Will I resist my laziness and stick on to a gym routine?
c) Drive – Something that I’ve not attempted in my entire life.
d) Learn a Language – French / Spanish / German? I’m contemplating…
e) Blog – Sticking to a stricter blogging routine…

And yes, before I forget, Happy New Year 2008!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Silly things about people that I don’t understand…. PART 1

Disclaimer: No offense intended to any poor soul

1) Why do people have loud caller tunes? Especially ones those are loud enough to break your eardrum? If they can justify this by saying the ‘favorite song’ thing – favorite song is for you to hear. Why subject others to this? Same way why would somebody have ring tones of songs that start in high notes.

2) I’m tired of posing as a temporary pillow to my fellow-traveler. I mean how can somebody sleep like a log in a bus/train/airplane at the expense of other’s shoulder? Wake up people.

3) Do cheesy, sentimental, and sloppy text messages really mean anything? Especially those friendship ones. They evoke irritation more than even a sense of empathy towards the sender.

4) Why don’t people keep promises? When making promises mean a lot to them, why not keeping them mean the same? (this question is intended to me, mostly)

5) Does traveling with hefty luggage for a mere two days enhance people’s status in the society? When all you need is a pair of clothes and the essential stuff to keep yourself clean, why stuff all those cutleries (for the meal supposedly) and bed sheets (for spreading in your bed though the Railways takes care of that). Mom, are you reading?

Monday, October 1, 2007


Dunno why, I have a craving for cheese cakes now...

Coming to think of them, I remember this one time when I tried to introduce few of my friends to the smoothest world of cheesecakes... Having seen them pouting their lips and grimacing their faces after tasting a small slab, I couldn't help but think that they are just ignorant of the taste of those wonderful cheesecakes.

Forget about their nutritional values... there isn't just another replacement for them....

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Balalaika - If you thought it was just a catchy word...

I thought it was only a catchy word that Rahman usually uses to zap up his peppy numbers when I heard the word Balalaika (from Sivaji). However, much to my surprise, I recently found that Balalaika is a musical instrument of Russian origin.

I wonder do Rahman's other 'catchy phrases' like' kuluvalile' from Muthu have an origin of their own? Something interesting to be researched!!!!