Thursday, June 30, 2011

If This Saree Was A Room

I am sure I have mentioned this gazillion times best part of blogging personally for me is getting to know some of the most talented people from all walks of life their passion, energy and just the sheer display of talent is just jaw dropping. I love my hobby and feel so blessed that it has enriched me in more ways than I can imagine.

And adding to the series is my virtual designer blog dost Designwali, I have been hooked to her blog every since I saw If Saree was a room series, without much adieu presenting

If This Saree Was A Room

Now it would not be fun if I published the whole series would it ? so go check out Designwali for the rest of the eye candy !!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Spicy Baked Cappelletti Pasta - Ultimate Comfort Food !!

Spicy Baked Cappelletti Pasta - Ultimate Comfort Food 

We here in San Jose are experiencing weird weather, never have I see it rain in June, it supposed to weather for summer chillers, salads and ice creams turns out its cold and had us craving for some thing warm and comforting.

Have my parents visiting me cannot tell you how happy that makes me feel . This time on took a vow to not let my mom in the kitchen, she is always on the giving end, never takes a break so this vacation I want to make sure I pamper both of them as much as I can. Fortunately for me both my parents are very enthusiastic and love to try out new cuisine or a new recipe and this gives me a chance to experiment as well.

Made baked pasta for dinner yesterday simple and that's what I call as comfort food.

Ingredients  Makes for about 3-4 medium sized ramekins

1 cup of pasta of your choice

For white sauce
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp all purpose flour
salt according to taste
pepper according to taste
1 garlic finely minced
1 tbsp of taco seasoning
1/2 tbsp of pepper flakes/paprika
1 cup milk
1 cup of shredded cheese ( I used  combination of feta and Mexican blend)

Process to make white pasta sauce
1. In a medium sized pan melt butter and add garlic and saute for few seconds, add pepper flakes and mix well.
2. Now add flour and saute for few seconds and then add milk and the rest of the ingredients and
allow to cook on medium heat stirring constantly to avoid burning.
3. remove from heat and keep aside

4. Boil pasta according to instructions

5. Add the prepared white sauce pasta to paste and mix till pasta is well coated.
6. In a medium sized ramekin add the prepared pasta and top it with generous amour of cheese.
7. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees .
8. Cover  the top of the ramekin with aluminum foil and allow it to bake for 8 -10 minutes.

9. Remove the foil and change the bake setting to broil on low and allow it to broil for 2-3 minutes till the cheese melts and starts to bubble.
10. Remove from heat and serve piping hot.

Makes for a creamy,spicy and delicious comfort food unusually apt for June weather in CA.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Spicy Roasted Corn with Taco Flavored Butter infused with Cilantro and Lemon

Spicy Roasted Corn on the cob With Taco Flavored Butter infused with Cilantro and Lemon

Tomorrow is the official start of summer in US and if today temperature is any indicator of the coming days I think it's going to be one hot and sweaty summer.

Happy belated father day, this weekend celebrated father's with friends in a park, perfect company and perfect weather with of course unbelievable amounts of food, it was a fun, fun day. Every party or a get together gives me a chance to experiment and try out new recipes and bless their souls my friends always  are willing to try and shower me with compliments.

Decided to make spicy corn on the cob for the picnic so here goes the recipe perfect for your summer picnic , barbecues or camping.

Todays recipe is enough to coat 6-8 corns

1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup taco seasoning
1 cup finely chopped cilantro/parsley
1/3 cup lemon juice
salt according to taste
pinch of freshly ground pepper

1. Melt butter in pan and remove as soon as it reaches the boiling point.
2. Add all the above ingredients and mix well.

Store butter in an air tight container and add a dollop of it on the hot grilled corn on the cob
Since we had quite few kids who lost their front tooth shelled hot grilled corn and added butter and tossed till each kernel is well coated.
End result was perfectly spicy sweet corn. Never the less my friends loved it and I had a perfect day spending with my friends and loved ones.
Here's wishing everyone a fun filled and a lazy summer !!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Mixed Vegetable Parata - Your five a day can't get any tastier and healthier than this ..

Mixed Vegetable Parata

Weekend refrigerator clean up lead to the creation of today's parata. I get carried away at the farmers market and the next thing you know I have a refrigerator bursting at it seems. I have had help with making roti's for a while now, I make the stuffing and root lady makes the roti's/parata's. She is a pro and makes roti's like its nobodies business. Today's recipe has serious serving of vegetables and also used flax seed so makes for a delicious and healthy roti.


3 carrots peeled
1 cup broccoli
2 cups cabbage
1 bell pepper/capsicum
1 spinach bunch about 2 cups
1/2 bunch of cilantro
1/2 bunch of mint (optional)
2-3 green chilies ( adjust according to taste)
2 tbsp of cumin seeds
tbsp of turmeric (optional)
2 tbsp of garam masala ( or your choice of masala's like chaat masala)
1 tbsp kasoori methi  (optional)
1 tbsp red chili powder
2 tbsp flax seeds powder
salt according to taste

For roti's
3 cups of chapathi atta
2 tbsp of oil

1. Wash all the vegetables and run them through a food processor with all dry ingredients included.
2. Grate till it become finely chopped.
3. Now to the above add chapathi flour , since the vegetable mix leaves a lot of water it should suffice to bring the dough around.

Add two tbsp oil while running the food processor, end result is a beautiful textured blob of chapati dough.

Now take a small portion of the dough and roll into a ball with your hands and then flatten into a round shape using a rolling pin.
Heat a griddle/tava and when hot add the roti and let is cook for about a minute or two of each side.

Remove from heat and store in a closed container.

Serve hot with a dollop of butter, yogurt, spicy mixed vegetable pickle, red onions and green chilies. You just can't stop at one I guarantee it and above all its your five servings or more of vegetables can't ask for a healthier meal.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Spilling The Beans - Healthy , Protein Packed Three Bean Rice Pilaf

Spilling The Beans - Healthy , Protein Packed Three Bean Rice Pilaf

Today was the last day of school for the kids  I always have mixed feelings about it, glad that its summer break  but fear the fact that kids are growing up faster than I would want them too and then one day move out to college, technically that's a long time away but still its a constant reminder to make the best use of time when they are around.

Today's recipe is inspired after my visit to Costco , I rarely buy food from Costco it just seems too much for a family of four. The fact I stumble to temptation and buy food results in throwing out which I am seriously against. Anyways long story short ended up buying the sprouted three beans mix, its a mix of Moong dal,adzuki and lentils, loved the fact that these beans have been sprouted which makes is very easy to use since they get tenderize in less than 15 minutes.  I can totally see myself finishing the packet or I hope so ...

1 cup basmati rice
1 cup mixed beans ( soaked for about 15 minutes)
1 cup of mixed vegetables chopped finely ( I used peas& carrot, can add cauliflower florets,potatoes etc..)
1 red onion finely diced
cup of diced almonds ( substitute with cashews or other nuts of your choice)
For seasoning/thadka
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 cinnamon stick
Few bay leaves
6-8 cloves
Few cardamom pods
½ tsp. fennel seeds
½ tsp. ginger garlic paste (optional)
½ tsp. ghee/ clarified butter ( I know ,I know it’s supposed to be a healthy recipe)
salt according to taste

Beans before and after being soaked in warm water for 15 minutes.

1. Soak bean mix in water for about 15 minutes
2. While bean are being soaked, heat a pan add tbsp of ghee and 1 tbsp of oil and when oil get warm add all the seasoning ingredients and saute for few minutes, you can smell the aroma from the seasoning.
3. Add onions and saute till they turn golden brown.
4. Now add peas and carrot ,soaked beans and rice, mix well till every rice grain is well coated.
5. Add salt and now transfer the mixture into a rice cooker, add one and half cups of water and allow to cook.

Once cooked serve hot with Raita, I really loved the texture and flavor it was just plain delicious.

You can substitute quinoa for rice and it will make for an excellent healthier version of the same.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Aloo Methi - Potatoes With Fenugreek

Aloo Methi - Potatoes With Fenugreek

Ahhhhh finally summer break for kids is here, it feels amazing to go home and put your feet up and drink a cup of tea without having to worry about home works ,tests , lunch for next day and most importantly driving kids around for classes I tell you summer vacation is a bliss not just for kids but parents too. Looking forward to spending some quality time with kids and relaxing.

Today's recipe is a staple across India, I was surprised that I haven't blogged about it yet. Fenugreek/Methi/Menthi is a herb widely used though it tastes bitter when eaten raw, it's completely transformed when sauteed.

1 bunch of fresh fenugreek leaves – washed and chopped finely
4 medium sized potatoes
½ cup finely chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
1 red onion finely chopped
1 tbsp finely diced ginger
1 tbsp finely diced garlic
1 tbsp green chilies finely diced
2 tbsp kasoori methi (dry fenugreek)
½ tspn mustard seeds
½ tspn jeera
½ tbsp. garam masala
1/2 tbsp haldi/tumeric
2 tbsp of olive oil
Salt according to taste

1. Heat oil in a pan and when it gets hot add mustard seeds, jeera , kasoori meth, turmeric ,garlic and ginger and saute for few seconds.
2. Now add diced onions and fry till try turn golden brown
3. add chopped fenugreek leaves and saute for about 3 minutes
4. To the above add cubed potatoes, salt, garam masala to mix till potatoes are well coated.
5. Add few tbsp of water and cook covered for five minutes till potatoes are soft and well cooked.
6. Adjust for salt and serve hot.

Goes excellent with roti's, naan or just plain basmathi rice. Happy summer everyone !!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Garden Log - Summer Color

Garden Log - Summer Color

A peak into my modest sub urban yard and a look into what's adding color .
My hardy Clemantis
Peach colored rose, smells divine

Yellow Rose , makes an excellent cut flower, love the burst of color it add to the table
Classic Red Rose
My favorite creeper rose, love the burnt orange
Red Rose creepers

My modest vegetable patch all prepped , fertilized and mulched and ready for summer bounty
Heirloom melon
My summer favorite heirloom tomatoes, can't wait
Bottle Squash
Vegetable patch after planting, crossing fingers that these plants survive the snails and make it through the weird weather this year.

So what are you growing in your yard this summer, drop by a line mentioning the same.

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