Thursday, December 31, 2009

Baked pasta with roasted vegetables

I love Italian food. What I absolutely love about this pasta is it's delicious roasted flavor combined with marinara and combination of 2 cheeses!! The combination makes wonder. You just have to try it out to believe. 

I used Penne and all the vegetables I had including onion, red pepper, zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms.

Cook the pasta less than al dente- I cooked it for 6 minutes, because it's going to finish it's cooking later in to the oven. Salt the water in which you are cooking the pasta. 

Chop all the veggies and spread them on a baking pan which is lined with an aluminium foil. Season the veggies with salt and pepper and some olive oil. Mix well and arrange in a single layer. 

Set the oven to 400F and roast the veggies for about 15 minutes.

In a bowl mix the cooked pasta, all the roasted veggies and marinara sauce. Fold in the cheeses. I used smoked mozzarella for it's smoky flavor and Parmesan for the beautiful crust. 

Spread the mixture in a baking pan and bake for about 25 minutes or until the cheese melts and forms a nice golden crust on top.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Asparagus Soup- A slow cooker/crock-pot wonder

This is the first time I used slow cooker for making this healthful soup. And now that I have used it once I am kind of addicted to use it over and over. Slow cooker is such a convenient invention, that it gives you ease of preparing your food while you are away the whole day/ sleeping the whole night. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Preparing the soup is such a simple task, all you have to do is gather the ingredients.

chop them.

and throw them in to the slow cooker, with vegetable stock/vegetable broth. I used vegetable stock. Also add salt and pepper to taste. Keep in mind that the vegetable stock also contains salt.

Set the cooker to low for about 7-9 hours, or high for about 5-6 hours. I set it on high for 5 hours, just until the potatoes are tender.

Let the mixture cool for an hour and then use the blender/mixer to blend it in to a soup like consistency.

Return the mixture to the slow cooker add the milk or half an half. Using milk or half and half is totally optional. As per my experience, using it is a wise decision, as it will make the soup creamy and thick. Set on a low for about 45 minutes, and then set the cooker on warm until you are ready to eat.

Ladle the soup in to a bowl. I garnished the soup with a dollop of cream cheese, shaved red pepper and asparagus spears that I kept aside.


Coming up: Baked pasta with roasted vegetables

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tasty Triangles and Savory Ribbons!!

Only one dough makes these two tasty snacks!! It's a great time saver for parties. You will be able to do more in less time. The dough is made up of all purpose flour, Ajwain seeds, salt, which makes savory ribbons,and the same dough with a few more ingredients added makes tasty triangles. Both the items are good for a picnic, you can just make them beforehand and just store them in the airtight container and you are ready to go....:)

Savory Ribbons:-

Ingredients you are going to need-:
  • All purpose flour- 1 cup
  • Cumin seeds- 1 tbsp
  • ajwain seeds- 1 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • water- to kneed the dough
  • oil- 2 tbsp(heated)
  • oil- for frying.
  • Mix the flour, salt, ajwain seeds, cumin seeds, and heated oil together.

  • With your hands, mix the dough so that the oil gets into the dough very well.
  • Add the water as much needed to kneed the dough.
  • Make the dough t0 the medium consistency.

  • With the rolling pin, roll the dough to make it into a thin round.
  • With the help of the round cutter, cut the round, in to strips. Cut them so that they will be 2-3 inches long.

  • Cut them again into half if needed.

  • Deep fry them in the oil.

Tasty Triangles:-

As I mentioned above one dough makes both snacks. Only ingredient we are going to add while making these triangles is the cornflour mixed with 1 tsp of oil/ clarified butter/ ghee.


  • Follow all the steps in the ribbons recipe up to rolling the dough and making it round.
  • After you make a round shape, spread the cornflour mixed with 1 tsp of butter/ oil.

  • Fold the round in to a half and again in to a half, so as to make a triangle.Apply cornflour at every fold.

  • Press the triangle slightly with the rolling pin, so that all the layers get close to each other.

  • Heat the oil and let the triangles swim in to the hot tub!

  • Try to separate the layers while they are swimming in the hot tub.

  • Nice layers will be formed, and you will see the color changing that's when you know that they are ready for you.

  • Let them swim for a while.

And they are ready!

These yummy snacks are great themselves or they taste even better with the mint chutney/ tamarind chutney!!

Coming up: Asparagus Soup-A slow cooker wonder!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Crispy Rice Fingers

Fried snack is always fun!! These crispy rice fingers are absolutely delicious, crunchy snack , goes very well with Indian chai..:) Kids love this finger food. It's a great snack item for the party, especially because it doesn't have to be hot while serving. You can prepare it a day or even a week before the party, and store it in an airtight container and you are ready to go...:)

Here is what you will need-:
  • Rice flour- 1 cup

  • Ajwain seeds - 1 tbsp
  • Milk - as much as you need to kneed the dough.
  • Salt- as per your taste.
  • Oil- Heated oil, 1 tbsp.
  • Oil- For frying.
This is how you prepare it-:
  • Mix the flour ,ajwain seeds, salt together. Mix it well.

  • Add 1 tbsp of heated oil into the mixture.

  • Add the milk as much as you need to kneed the dough. Make sure that the dough is neither too tight nor too soft. It should be of medium consistency.

  • Rest the dough for half an hour before you give them a shape.
  • Take a little portion of the dough in to your hands and roll the dough to make them like the shape of your fingers.

  • Deep fry them in the oil.

And the rice fingers are ready!!

You can change the shape and make them round or shape them like a drop of water. (refer to the picture below).

Courtesy: Wikipedia.

When you shape them like the picture above, it's called kadboli. Kadboli is a savory snack prepared in Maharashtra, India. Traditionally kadboli's are made up of a flour mixture of chana, urad dal,rice,moong and cumin seeds.


Coming up: Tasty triangles and savory ribbons!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Suralichi Wadi (Khandavi)

In Maharashtra it is known as Suralichi wadi, In Gujrat it is known as Khandavi. It is one of my favourite snacking items. Just like any other Indian recipe, this one needs special efforts. After you are done making these delicious rolls, the clean up is a big task. But these yummy snack will make all the efforts worth. That's my promise!! Give it a try....:)

I wasn't very comfortable trying this recipe on my own, because it does require some skills. And now that my mom is here, I tried this one for the potluck we had last Friday in my community. As expected it was a big hit.

You will need:-

1 cup besan/gram flour
1 tbsp Maida/all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
a pinch of turmeric
Small green chilly crushed
1 clove of garlic crushed
3/4 cup buttermilk (sour)

2 cups water

For tadka-:

2-3 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp Asafoetida

prepare this tadka and keep it ready beforehand.

For garnishing-:

Shredded coconut
Finely chopped Coriander/ cilantro

This is how you do it:-

  1. Mix besan, maida, salt, turmeric crushed chilly and garlic.
  2. Mix water, sour buttermilk and all the mixture in the step 1. Mix everything well so that no lumps are formed.
  3. After everything gets mixed up well, place the mixture in a saute pan on the heat. Keep the heat low.
  4. Keep mixing everything continuously while it is on the heat. Continuous mixing is the key here.
  5. Keep mixing until it starts to come together as shown in the picture.
  6. Cover it with the lid with very low heat for about a minute. Mix again and repeat 2-3 times.
  7. Now its time to spread the dough. Keep the baking pans/steel plates ready. Spray them with non-stick cooking spray.
  8. Keeping the pan on the stove top, take a little part of dough and spread it on to the baking pan with your hands. Try to spread it evenly, and in thin layers.
  9. Similarly spread the rest of the dough on to the baking pans and steel plates while the dough is hot. Once the dough gets cold, you won't be able to spread the dough. It's critical to spread when it's hot.
  10. Once you coat every plate with the dough it's time to make vertical lines on the spreaded dough, so that you can roll the wadi's.
  11. Sprinkle the cilantro and the shredded coconut on to the plates before you start rolling the wadi's.
  12. Slowly start to roll the wadi's from one end. Cut it in middle if necessary to keep all wadi's of one size.
  13. Arrange them all nicely and top them off with extra cilantro and coconut. Finish it off with tadka that you made and kept ready beforehand.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Khajur Barfi (Date Rolls)

Nowadays, I get hungry all the time. I have to admit that I need something to munch on almost 24 hours a day. Just because, I am allowed to eat anything I want, I should not allow myself to indulge in unhealthy food. That's why I am always on a lookout for a healthy snack that I can prepare beforehand and then just save it for later.

Khajur Barfi is one of them. I am not a huge fan of khajur, so adding khajur to my daily diet wasn't really an easy task for me until I hit this recipe. This is really fun to make, with very less efforts and a big satisfaction of doing something good to yourself.

Khajur, as you all know, known as dates and has tons of nutritional value to it. Take a look at this and let me know if you can read the whole chart in one sitting. voooooooooffffff!!! I gave up!!

Benefits of this great fruit.

In this recipe, I am not going to add any sugar, or milk or any fat. Dates themselves are very sweet in taste and that's what makes this recipe even healthier.

There are really only 3 ingredients in this barfi-:
  • Khajur-(Dates)- pitted chopped roughly-2 cups

  • Desi Ghee-(clarified butter)- about 3 tbsp

  • cashews and almonds- chopped/sliced

Procedure is very simple.

  • Heat the ghee in the pan, and add the chopped pitted dates to it.

  • over low to medium flame, keep stirring constantly.
  • Keep stirring until the dates are soften.
  • Take a baking sheet, or a flat tray or a cutting board on which you can spread the dates.
  • Spread the dates mixture and press it down.
  • Sprinkle the chopped/ sliced almonds and cashews when the date mixture is hot.
  • Press them down, so that they can stick to the dates. You can use a spatula or just any glass bowl to press them down.

  • Wait until it cools down to handle, and then cut and make them in to rolls or any shape you like.
  • You can store these lovely bite size rolls for about 15-20 days.