Showing posts with label Continental. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Continental. Show all posts

Monday, September 16

Risotto With Idly Rice

Last Friday, I tried this risotto recipe with the idly rice (Earlier I had tried my ‘Humble Risotto’ with brown rice). Though this is not as creamy as Arborio rice, I would consider it a closer variety we’ve in India. I also experimented in substituting cucumber for zucchini, which both of us didn’t appreciate very much but it can be just skipped if zucchini is unavailable. I’ve not used cream in this recipe, Italians do not use them at all; the creamy texture of risotto is rendered by the starch released by Arborio rice and slow cooking is another imperative process in risotto making.

Serves:  2

Preparation Time:  15 minutes

Cooking Time:  30 minutes


1.      Idly rice – 1 ¼ cup
2.    Butter – 1 tbsp
3.    Zucchini (I used cucumber) – 1
4.    Carrot – 1
5.     Bush beans – 5
6.    Tomato – 1
7.     Onion – 1
8.    Garlic – 4 cloves
9.    Italian seasoning – 2 pinches
10. Salt to taste
11.  Pepper crushed – ½ tsp
12. Olive/ shaved parmesan cheese for garnishing (optional)
13.Vegetable stock or hot water – 3 ½ cups approx


Step 1: Clean and chop all vegetables into small chunks and mince garlic.

Step 2: Hand pick the rice to clean it as we are not going to wash it.

Step 3: Melt butter in a pot and sauté ginger and onion in it for a minute and then add carrot and beans.

Step 4: When the veggies are half done add the rice and fry for a couple of minutes.

Step 5: Add ½ cup stock or water and cook it open in low heat, once the liquid is fully absorbed add another ladle water/ stock repeat this ladle by ladle.

Step 6: When the rice is half cooked add required salt, cumber and then tomato and repeat adding stock/ water.

Step 7: The right way of making risotto is cooking it until there is just a light crisp in the centre of the rice grain though some prefer to cook it completely soft and gooey.

Step 8: Sprinkle crushed pepper and Italian seasoning and adjust salt and spices as required.

Step 9: Garnish with shaved parmesan cheese or olive.

Tuesday, August 27

Creamy Tomato Macroni

This is another delectable macaroni dish that I had tried during my early kitchen days and repeated recently. It is really simple to make and better be eaten within a couple of hours otherwise the tomato might react with milk and cream and get curdled.

Serves:  2

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time:  15 minutes


1.      Macaroni – 2 cups
2.    Tomato – 2
3.    Onion - 1
4.    Cream – ½ cup
5.     Milk – if required
6.    Salt to taste
7.     White pepper crushed – ½ tsp
8.    Butter – 1 tbsp
9.    Oil – 1 tsp
10.   Italian seasoning – 1 tsp (optional)
11.   Cheese grated – as per liking


Step 1: Slice the onion and tomatoes and sauté them in butter until soft.

Step 2: Cool it to room temperature and grind it into smooth paste.

Step 3: In parallel cook the macaroni with salt, drain the water and toss with a few drops of oil.

Step 4: Now bring the ground paste to boil and add salt, pepper, cream and the Italian seasoning.

Step 5: Add in the cooked macaroni and add some milk just to adjust the consistency.

Step 6: Serve hot garnished with grated cheese if you like.

Sunday, May 19

Whole Wheat Ravioli

When my new camera had come home I wanted to shoot some glamorous dish and I was hunting on net for a fancy dish. Ravioli was the beauty I decided to conduct my first photo shoot with. It had come well that I tried it again for the local cookery contest in Little Millennium School in our locality. You know what, it won the first prize and was critically acclaimed ;)… I made a twist to the traditional recipe for accommodating it to the contest theme; I used only wheat flour to make raviolis while traditionally semolina flour is used for the recipe.

Serves: 5

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 40 minutes

1.      Wheat flour – 2 cups
2.    Dried basil – ¼ tsp
3.    Olive oil – 4 tbsp
4.    Salt to taste
5.     Ricotta cheese – 50 gm (I used cottage cheese)
6.    Parmesan cheese – 50 gm (I used cheddar cheese)
7.     White pepper crushed – ¼ tsp
8.    Tomato well ripen - 10
9.    Onion big – 1, finely chopped.
10. Garlic – ½ a pod, peeled and grated.
11.  Dried Italian herbs – ½ tsp
12.Pepper crushed – 1 tsp


Step 1: Knead soft dough with wheat flour, 2 tbsp olive oil, salt as per taste, dried basil with luke warm water. Set it aside for a couple of hours.
Step 2: Prepare the filling by blending together both the cheeses with white pepper. It should be in a cream cheese consistency; I added little milk.
Step 3: Drop the tomatoes in boiling water and peel off the skin. Crush them in a blender pulsing few times.
Step 4: Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil sauté garlic and onion in it and add the crushed tomato to it. Simmer it until a nice sauce is obtained. Sprinkle salt, crushed pepper and Italian herbs to it and mix well. Adjust taste and turn off heat. This might take 30 min approximately and you can prepare raviolis in parallel.
Step 5: On a wide working surface, soften the dough and divide into 4 portions. Roll them into long rectangle like sheets and cut each into 2” ribbons
Step 6: Now place blobs of filling on one ribbon leaving 2” gap in between. With the help of brush or your fingers, wet the rest of the surface of ribbon in which filling is placed with plain water.
Step 7: Carefully cover it with another ribbon from one side to the other by pressing your finger in between each filling so as to allow enough covering for the bulges.
Step 8: Once the entire ribbon is covered work to get the sheets stick to each other while not allowing any air bubble to stay in with the filling. Now cut the between fillings to get fresh raviolis. Alternatively you can use cookie cutter to get various shapes but it is meticulous relatively. Freeze them until use.

Step 9: To cook the raviolis, boil salt water in a vessel and blanch the raviolis until they float on the surface. When done, carefully drain all water and collect them. Repeat other batches.

Step 10: Serving is done as per comfort, look appeal and taste. Drop the raviolis into sauce and mix well and serve on a plate; or spoon enormous sauce in a shallow bowl and arrange raviolis on top; or arrange raviolis and pour some sauce over like our idli - sambar ;) (The photographer in me is yet to mature, bear with me)

Sunday, February 3

Cornmeal Porridge

Cornmeal porridge is a simple healthy Jamaican recipe that I tried for breakfast today. Eating cereals every day has become the most preferred first meal for its ease of preparation and nutrient richness;  porridge is the next common dish and cornmeal porridge offers another good choice in this category. My husband liked this though I personally felt that it tasted bit like a baby food - smooth and sweet.

Serves: 2
Preparation Time: Nil
Cooking Time:  10 min

1.       Cornmeal – 1 cup
2.      Milk – 2 cups
3.      Water – 2 cups
4.      Salt – 1 pinch
5.      Sweetened condensed milk -  4 tbsp (can be replaced with sugar)
6.      Nutmeg grated – 1 pinch
7.      Cinnamon powder – 1 pinch
8.     Vanilla essence – 4 drops

Step 1: Mix cornmeal with water and bring it to boil with a pinch of salt.
Step 2: Add milk and boil in simmer by stirring continuously.
Step 3: Spoon in the condensed milk or sugar and mix well.
Step 4: Sprinkle nutmeg powder, cinnamon powder and drop in vanilla essence; mix well and turn off heat.
Step 5: Serve hot garnished with cinnamon powder.


* I had used the corn puttu flour that I had at home. A coarse cornmeal is generally flavorful.

Friday, January 18

Tomato Sauce Pasta

As my husband is a fan of Alfredo sauce pasta, i hardly try something else with pasta. Also, for some reason I do not like red color pastas (tomato sauce pasta) from anywhere outside, I feel it is more ketchupy :). So, this home made one was a step I wanted to take before denouncing tomato sauce pastas for good. Yes, it was not ketchupy when prepared fresh, it was tangy and different. I liked it and he quite liked it.

Serves: 2
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes


1.     Pasta - 200 gm
2.     Tomato - 4
3.     Yellow bell pepper - 1
4.     Garlic - 4 cloves
5.     Onion – 1
6.     Corn starch – 1 tbsp
7.     Salt to taste
8.     Sugar - 1 pinch
9.     Italian seasoning - 1/2 tsp
10. Pepper crushed - 1 tsp
11. Olive oil - 2 tbsp


Step 1:  Cook the pasta as per instructions on the pack, toss with few drops of oil and keep it.
Step 2: Puree the tomatoes in a mixer slightly chunky if you prefer, chop the bell pepper & onion in the size matching the pasta used and fine slice the garlic.
Step 3: Heat a non- stick pan add a tablespoon of olive oil, sliced garlic and chopped onion. Toss the bell pepper with it. Sprinkle a pinch of crushed pepper and salt.

Step 4: Add to it the cooked pasta and toss them well and keep aside.

Step 5: In the same pan or another one, add less than a spoon of oil and add Italian seasoning to it. Pour in the pureed tomato and let it boil for 5 minutes.

Step 6: Mix corn starch in some water and stir in the boiling tomato sauce to thicken it. This gives an even consistency to sauce.

Step 7: Add salt and crushed pepper to the sauce.
Step 8: While serving spread the pasta and pour the sauce on top.

*Garnish with shredded cheese if you like it and do not mind some extra calories.

Tuesday, December 18

Veg Hakka Noodles

Hakka noodles or chowmein has been one of my favorites ever since I had it for the first time in the premises of Tirupathy during a family trip long time back. Hunger always adds taste to the food and company augments it much more.  However, hakka noodles or chowmein as such is a wholesome dish if we add a lot of vegetables to it.    


1. Hakka noodles - 1 pack
2. Cabbage - half of a small one
3. Bush beans - 10-12
4. Carrot -2
5. Capsicum - 1
6.Onion - 1 large
7. Garlic - 5 cloves
8. Soy sauce - 1 tbsp
9. Vinegar - 1 tbsp
10. Pepper powder - 1 tsp
11. Salt to taste
12. Gingelly oil - 3 tbsp
13. Dried red chili - 2


Step 1: Boil water and cook the hakka noodles as per the instructions on the pack and drain them. Toss with a few drops of oil so that they don't stick to each other.

Step 2: Clean the vegetables and cut them into long thin pieces like in the picture below. (I know there are 2 portions of bush beans in my pic, because my husband is a hard core fan of it ;)). You can also add some bean sprouts if you've.

Step 3: Heat the oil in a large kadai (If you have a wide wok or a deep skillet pan, that's the best, go for it), add garlic and broken chilies to it.

Step 4: When aroma surrounds saute the onion and then thrown in other vegetables in a minute.Stir fry the vegetables for a couple of minutes with some salt sprinkle over it.

Step 5: Now add the cooked noodles and toss them well.

Step 6: Add the soy sauce, vinegar, pepper and toss them on high heat. Though we can't get the effect of that large wok tossing the noodles almost a feet high, like we see in the street fast food stalls; we still would a decent chowmein on table this way.

Sunday, October 21

Humble Risotto

Risotto is a kind of Italian dish prepared with starchy rice varieties, mostly arborio. It is usually cooked to a creamy texture using vegetable or meat stock and then spiced as per need. You get only imported arborio in India; I used local brown rice which is also short grained and starchy, even the normal idli rice should work. Yeah, it may not taste ditto like arborio risottos because I'm translating it and not transliterating :)

1.       Brown rice – 1 cup
2.       Butter – 1 blob
3.       Onion – 1 chopped finely
4.       Tomato – 1 chopped finely
5.       Vegetable stock – 3 cups
6.       Pepper powder – 1 tsp
7.       Italian seasoning – 1 tsp
8.       Salt as per taste
9.       Mint to garnish
10.   Fresh cream or grated cheese (optional)


Step 1: Heat butter in a non-stick pan, sauté onion in that and then roast the brown rice in that. Boil the stock in parallel, we’ll use them periodically.

Step 2: Add stock to the rice to the level the rice just submerges and cover it. Sprinkle required salt. Stir occasionally.

Step 3: Once the water is absorbed, add some more stock to cover the rice and let it cook. Add in chopped tomatoes. Repeat adding stock, until it is fully done. Slow cooking is the essence of risotto, it takes about 45 minutes.
Step 4: Sprinkle seasoning, pepper and add cream/cheese if using and stir well. Adjust salt.

Step 5: Garnish with mint leaves and serve hot.

Wednesday, September 26

Stir Fried Pasta

My husband wanted to have pizza yesterday for dinner but for some reasons we couldn't go out... we had to eat food that I prepared. So pitying him I made this stir fried pasta. It turned out decently good J And he has no other option anyway…


                  1.      Pasta – 2 cups (I used penne)
2.      Capsicum – 3 (medium)
3.      Onion – 2 (medium)
4.      Garlic – 5 cloves
5.      Red chili flakes – 1 tsp
6.      Olives -10
7.      Cheese – 2 cubes
8.      Italian spice – 2 tsp (if you have)
9.      Crushed pepper – ½ tsp
10.  Salt to taste
11. Olive oil – 2 tbsp


Step 1: Cook the pasta according to the instruction on the pack with slightly more salt than usual because we are not going to coat them with any sauce as such. Then drain the pasta completely and toss by drizzling some oil to avoid sticking of pasta to each other. Keep this aside.

Step 2: Chop capsicum and onion in to thick slices to match the length of penne, cut the garlic finely and make wedges of olives.

Step 3: Take olive oil in a pan and add garlic, chili flakes and crushed Italian seasoning when the oil is still cool. Let the oil and spices get heated up together , this flavors the oil and also does not brown the spices.

Step 4: Now add onions and toss in high flame, add in capsicum, olives, crushed pepper and toss for 1 minute.

Step 5: Put the cooked pasta in and grate cheese cubes over it. With soft hand, mix with a wooden ladle to combine all ingredients without breaking pasta. Switch of the stove within 30 seconds to retain crunch in the veggies.

Step 6: Serve it hot or warm with few garlic breads.