Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera is basically pasta with lots of colourful and fresh vegetables.Hence, needless to say, it’s a very healthy and nutritious dish. Not to mention, that it’s also very quick and easy to prepare.

Basically, for Pasta Primavera, we don’t need to follow any rigid recipe in terms of ingredients. Pasta and Vegetables are the core ingredients. So I generally use whatever vegetables I have currently stocked in the fridge. At the time I cooked this, I had cherry tomatoes, frozen sweet corn and some mushrooms. You can also use broccoli, carrots, peas and bell peppers. Also feel free to use any protein elements that you may have, eg shredded chicken or sausage slices.

For this dish, boil some pasta (spaghetti or macaroni) in salted water until it’s al-dente. In a pan, take some olive oil and butter and fry off the veggies, either separately or together. Season the veggies with salt, black pepper and Italian herbs (basil, parsley, oregano, chilli flakes etc.). Next add some Amul cream (if it’s too thick, then dilute with little milk). Finally mix in the pasta and sprinkle some grated cheese of your preference.Garnish with a twig of parsley and serve hot :)

I hope you would have as much fun cooking this dish as you have in eating it. With this simple pasta preparation, you can enjoy Italy on your plate in the comfort of your home :)

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Matar Paneer

Matar Paneer

Matar Paneer

I have only recently started playing around with paneer, and this dish is the first of my experiments :) . Mostly, I have observed matar-paneer dishes having a liquid like consistency. However, I personally prefer the gravy to have a thick creamy consistency. Though having a few shortcomings, the dish turned out to be good enough to be eaten :) . And yes, even though you probably can’t find the matar in the picture above, it is still a Matar Paneer dish ;)

Well, as in most paneer dishes, the gravy is the star. For the gravy, I have used onion-cashewnut paste, tomato puree and beaten curd (make sure it’s not too sour). Start off by heating oil in a pan and add some whole spices (green cardamom, bay leaves etc.). Now add the onion-cashewnut paste and ginger-garlic paste and cook until done. Next add tomato puree and beaten curd and cook until it’s properly incorporated in the gravy. Season the gravy with powdered spices (garam masala, red chilli powder, coriander powder, salt) and dry kasuri methi (fenugreek) leaves.Then add the frozen green peas (if you are using peas directly from the pod, then you may have to cook longer) and fried paneer cubes and cook for 5-8 minutes.For extra richness, you can add either cream or butter. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves before serving.

Matar Paneer goes fantastically well with puri or luchi. It’s one of those dishes which you can prepare when you have guests coming over. It’s truly pet-wasool ;) .

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Sweet Bangalore.. :)

Dessert plate @ Khansama, Bangalore

Dessert @ Khansama, Bangalore

Kheer, vanilla ice-cream, marshmallows, some white cake, chocolate brownie, chocolate sticks, gajar ka halwa and fresh fruits :)

Chutney Chang Dessert

Dessert @ Chutney Chang, Bangalore

Vanilla, butterscotch and strawberry ice-cream, custard with jellies, lauki ka halwa, watermelon slice, jalebi, date filled wontons, something sweet to munch on, chocolate stick, some fruits, chocolate brownie and some cake :)

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Sevai ka Halwa

Sevai ka Halwa

Sevai ka Halwa

Sevai is one of those delicacies without which the festival of Eid is not considered complete.Almost every Muslim household has it’s own ancestral way of preparing Sevai. Even the dry form of sevai is available in different textures, hence leading to a variety of sevai preparations.The most popular Sevai recipe is of course Sheer Korma, in which Sevai is cooked in milk. The recipe which I am going to describe in this post, is how my mother prepares it every Eid :)

Sevai ka Halwa, as the name suggests, is nothing but vermicelli cooked like a halwa.Like any festive dish, it has quite an elaborate preparation. The dish is very rich, has lots of nuts and if cooked in ghee, lasts for a week.

Before we actually start cooking the dish, a few prep work needs to be completed. Take some cashewnuts and pistas and coarsely grind them. Fry off these cashewnuts, pistas and raisins in a pan with some ghee. Soak some almonds in warm water, peel them and cut them into thin slices. Fry off some fresh and good quality khoa in ghee until it turns light brown. Finally make a sugar syrup of two or three thread consistency.

Now take a large kadhai and add a generous amount of ghee. Once the ghee melts, add the sevai and cook it until it’s colour changes to dark brown.This recipe requires the roasted whole wheat thin and long sevai which is generally sold in the markets only on the occasion of Eid. Now, add some warm milk and cook the sevai until the milk is completely absorbed. At this stage, add the browned khoa and mix it well into the sevai. Now add the sugar syrup in appropriate quantity, according to your personal preference. Finally mix in the fried nuts. For more flavour, you can add cardamom powder and rose essence.Garnish with the sliced almonds.

Well, sevai is the first dish that we prepare on the day of Eid and also the first dish that we serve. The meat dishes only take second priority :) . I hope you will try out this recipe in your home and that you will love it as much as my family does :) . Eid Mubarak!!

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Mushroom Pasta

Creamy Mushroom Pasta

Creamy Mushroom Pasta

Well, sometime back one of my favourite home delivery orders used to be the Mushroom Pasta in White Sauce from Pizza Hut. Sadly, they no longer offer this on their menu :( . Nevertheless, I have been reformed into a lifelong fan of mushroom pasta. And in fact, pasta is the only dish in which I like to use mushrooms.

Mushroom Pasta is one of those jhatpat recipes and has great ROI in terms of taste :) . For this, cook the pasta in boiling water with salt, until it’s al-dente. Mushroom goes best with macaroni pasta, and that’s what I have used in this recipe. In a pan, heat some oil and fry off some sliced onions. Next, remove the onions from the pan, add a generous dollop of butter and fry off the sliced button mushrooms. Add salt, black pepper and parsley for seasoning, and cook for 5 min. Now, add Amul cream, the fried onions and the cooked macaroni pasta. Adjust the seasoning and mix well. To make the dish creamy, add any grated cheese of your choice. Optionally, if you want to give the dish a crumbly texture, you can use fresh bread crumbs. Also, if you don’t like your pasta too dry, you can add a few tbsps of milk.

Try out this wonderful recipe in your home, and enjoy it with your friends and family. It’s the perfect comfort food. Bon apetite :)

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Parwal Aloo

Parwal Subji

Parwal Subji

As a kid, I never used to like parwal :) . Whenever parwal curry was prepared in my home, it was always accompanied by hysterical tantrums from my side. But now that I have grown up,I am trying to find ways in which I can become friends with this vegetable :) .The dish I describe here is one such attempt.

Parwal Aloo can be made both as a curry as well as a dry dish. Since I have not yet mastered the art of preparing curries, I am going to describe the dish in it’s dry form.

To make Parwal Aloo, first cut both the vegetables lengthwise. Next heat oil in a kadhai and season the oil with coriander powder, red chilli powder and turmeric. Make sure the spices do not burn.Next, quickly add the parwal and aloo and give a proper stir.Cover the kadhai and let it cook for 10-15 min. Keep stirring in between to make sure that the veggies do not stick or burn.If at any time the dish gets too dry, then add some water. Finish the dish by seasoning with salt and amchoor (dry mango powder).

This is only the beginning of my experimentation with parwal. Next I would like to attempt parwal curry and stuffed parwal. And I hope that my fear of parwal dies forever :)

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Egg Kheema

Egg Kheema

Egg Kheema

This dish was introduced to me by a friend. Until then, I had neither heard of it nor seen it.It’s a slightly hatke egg preparation which just tastes YUMMM :) . It’s one of those not-to-miss dishes!

Well, the picture you see above is my first ever preparation of egg kheema. So there’s a lot which can be done to improve it :) .

To prepare egg kheema, the core ingredient is hard-boiled eggs. These eggs are either grated or just cut into small pieces. Then they are mixed into a traditional Indian curry. To prepare the curry, heat oil in a pan and flavour the oil with some whole spices like green and black cardamom, cloves and bay leaves. Next fry off some onion paste, ginger paste, garlic paste and tomato puree (or even diced tomato is fine) until the oil starts to separate from the sides. This indicates that the curry is cooked. Season the curry with salt, turmeric powder, red-chilli powder, coriander powder and garam masala. This is also where you can control the colour of the curry. Turmeric imparts a yellow colour, red chilli imparts a red colour and garam masala imparts a dark brown colour.Finally mix in the egg and finish off with coriander leaves, kasuri methi and a dash of lemon juice.

Serve Egg Kheema hot with paratha. Since it’s a very rich dish, you can prepare this on any special occasion or whenever you have guests coming over. Enjoy :)

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My Favourite Sports Movies

I love watching sports on telly and have also been involved in sports from my school days. This probably explains why I love sports movies so much. In this post, I have compiled a short list of my all time favourite sports movies from Hollywood.Lemme take you through them..

1. The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005) : Well, I have lived next to a golf course for the better part of my childhood and always had this opinion that Golf is the most boring game ever invented. This movie however made me do a U-Turn. The awe-inspiring picturization, the mind-blowing direction and the motivational story of the dark-horse making it big will all make you instantly fall in love with Golf. This is one of those slow-moving movies where messages are conveyed more through pictures and expressions than through words.I have seen this movie so many times that I think I have almost memorised it. In short, this one is a treat!!

2. Miracle (2004) : This movie is about Ice Hockey and is one of the finest performances of Kurt Russell. The storyline begins with how Russell goes about building the formidable U.S hockey team and culminates in the epic clash between USA and Russia in the 1980 Olympics, when the Cold War is at it’s peak. I also have to add that Chak De , which came three years later, is a pale imitation of Miracle. This movie lays a huge emphasis on team spirit and the nail-biting match at the end will surely make you feel that you are watching it live in the stadium :) .And yes, don’t miss the Tonight speech by Russell just before the final match…it will give you goosebumps!

3. Coach Carter (2005) : This movie is based on the game of basketball. It’s set in the backdrop of the poor,crime-ridden, black neighbourhood in Richmond. Coach Carter, played by Samuel Jackson, lays down some tough rules to discipline his team, most of who are not doing well academically. He puts his career on the line to ensure that every player scores a good enough GPA to get into college and does not get misled into prioritising basketball over college.This movie has lots of motivational and inspiring scenes and I have learnt quite a few dialogues by heart :) . And like any other sports movies, this one too is loaded with all the drama that comes with a close-finish game.

4. Cinderella Man (2005) : Cinderella Man is based on the life of the boxing legend, James Braddock and his rags to riches story in the midst of the Great Depression. The lead role is played lovingly by one of my favourite actors, Russell Crowe :) . I had always considered boxing as a savage game, but this movie sketches a very humane portrayal of the life and personality of boxers. It provides an insight into the trials and tribulations of Baddock and how he struggles to feed his family by making a determined comeback to the boxing ring when almost everyone has written him off. Cinderella Man underscores the fact that Great Champions always have a great heart :) .

5. Ice Princess (2005) : This one is about figure skating, a sport which I knew very little about. But the few times I had seen skating shows on TV, I have to admit it was difficult for me to take my eyes off :) .While skating may look very beautiful and effortless on the outside, it requires a lot of hard work, poise and discipline. It’s not dance, it’s sports. And it’s acrobatics and it’s physics. Well if you want to know the physics behind ice-skating, then watch Ice Princess.The beauty and technique of skating that’s depicted in the movie is what keeps Ice Princess from otherwise degenerating into a chick flick.

Except for Ice Princess, all the rest are based on true stories. And in case you didn’t notice, 2005 seems to be my lucky year for sports movies :D .

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Indian Style Pasta

Indian Style Macaroni

Indian Style Macaroni

Italian cuisine is still a relative newbie in the Indian culinary scene. And sometimes our Indian taste-buds may not easily adapt to the subtle sauces that form the core ingredient of most Italian dishes. We are used to having sauces only by means of spicy curries and gravies. Hence, dear readers, Indo-Italian fusion food should not sound as a surprise ;) .

Today’s recipe is Indian style Pasta. For this boil macaroni in salted water till it’s al-dente. Parallely finely dice onions, potatoes, carrots and green bell pepper. You can also use any other veggies of your preference, just make sure they are chopped finely. Now in a pan heat some oil and add mustard seeds for tempering. Once the mustard seeds stop popping, add in the veggies and season with whatever spices you have handy. I have used salt, turmeric powder, coriander powder and garam masala. Once the veggies are cooked, mix in the drained pasta and add a dash of lemon juice. Optionally, you can also add chopped coriander leaves for better flavour.

If you are new to Italian cuisine, and are wondering what to do with that packet of macaroni, then well, this would be the ideal dish to begin with. You can have this as breakfast or snack and trust me, kids would just love it :) . So try out this dish and step into the exciting world of Italian cuisine :) .

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Daily Inspiration

Inspirational and motivational quotes have the power to get us through a tough day, make us feel positive about ourselves, and instill in us profound wisdom as we go through our often hectic lifestyles.

When I first moved in to my one bedroom flat three years back, I decided to decorate the empty walls with posters. They were the cheapest option ;) . So I picked up a few of them from M.G Road. And they have been very conducive in making this lazy bum get up from bed, especially when it’s one of those dreary days :) .

So well, here they are…

Poster3

Poster1

 

Poster4                 Poster2

 

 

 

 

 

Poster6

 

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