Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Piri Piri and Basil Pasta

For Day 3 in the last week of BM #46,under the theme Pizzas and Pastas I had planned to post Pizza from the scratch..but when I checked the pics I realized that the final pic was not clicked. This was very unlike me , but I guess I missed out as the little kids were around and could not wait.

This pasta comes from my son's collection .I had some boiled spaghetti and he transformed it into a very very delicious meal.With him , I can never get a perfect recipe, he likes to use whatever is handy and at the same time he needs all the exotic ingredients. The worst is he wants the kitchen to himself with just the staff boy who is his helper. Anyway once he finished cooking this I immediately asked him the details and jotted down.

Piri Piri and Basil Spaghetti
1 cup boiled spaghetti / pasta
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tbsp piri piri, finely chopped
1 tbsp jalapenos in brine
Basil oil
Salt to taste
Black pepper

Heat oil.
Add chopped garlic, let it turn golden.

Add the piri piri and chopped jalapenos. let cook a few minutes.
Add the spaggeti.
Add salt , pepper,oregano and toss.
Remove from fire.
Serve with basil oil.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#46
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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Pizza Tikka

For the second day under Pizzas and Pastas, I had some dough from the pizzas that I made. (I shall be posting The pizzas from scratch soon).I decided to make cal zones but some how I wanted to create something new,I did not know what...but something different.

Next day while cooking my evening meal, I gazed at the open refrigerator and saw capsicum and cottage cheese. I knew what I had to cook. I quickly marinated the paneer , capsicums and onion for Tikka. After marinating these for about 30 minutes I stringed these into the skewers. I rolled the left over pizza dough, applied some purée to it and wrapped this over the tikkas, and put them to bake.

A new dish evolved.
Here is how I made these..
1/2 recipe pizza dough (coming soon )
4 tbsp pizza purée
4 large pieces paneer rectangles
Few capsicum and onion cubes

For the marinade
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp red chilly powder
1/4 tsp mix of garam maslala and chaat masala
2 tbsp thick yogurt.
Place paneer, capsicum and onion in a flat tray.
Sprinkle the spices , ginger garlic paste and yogurt.
Mix and keep aside for 30 minutes.

Preheat a oven at 180 for 10 minutes.
Taking a metal skewer, thread the paneer, capsicum and onion alternately.
Roll the pizza dough lengthwise .
Cut a long strip from it and apply purée to it.
Rotate the dough strip over the threaded paneer skewer.
Brush it with some olive oil.
Bake till done.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Tomato Basil Pizza

BM # 46 Week 4 Day 1

For the last week of this month I have chosen to serve some Home Made Pizzaz.Yes this is my theme for this week.I have been wanting to share this particular pizza since a long time.Now what is special about this one. Well, it is special as this is made by my son. The recipe for the purée is different from what I generally make. He uses store bought thin crusts for his pizzas, those too from one particular outlet.

For the purée that he makes he uses only canned tomatoes, he does not want to compromise on this. He gets a special tomato paste and says it gives a nice texture to the purée. He uses fresh basil and will not substitute with dry one. In short he wants his ingredients to be perfect.

He cooks the purée and after it cools down , and is blended he cooks it again with some more garlic and his favorite piri piri chillies. I must admit he is quite lavish with oil.

The toppings are individual choice. Normally he makes half and half pizzas, where he uses different toppings for two people. You see he likes to serve the pizzas real hot. So normally two people would share the first pizza and so on.

The basil after getting cooked and made into a paste lends the purée a very special flavor which makes these pizzas very aromatic plus the taste is awesome. There aren't any other herbs used, the spices are just salt and pepper.

He makes the pizzas more interesting by making a chilly oil.I had served this chilly oil with Pesto pizza wontons.

Basil tomato pizza
6-8 cloves garlic, chopped
2-3 piri piri
Handful fresh basil leaves
2 cans tomatoes
4 tbsp tomato paste
Salt to taste

Heat oil.
Add garlic and piri piri.
Sauté for a few minutes .
Add the canned tomatoes and fresh basil leaves.
Cook till the moisture from the tomatoes is gone.
Add the tomato paste.
Grind to a fine paste.

Heat oil.
Add some more garlic and piri piri.
Add the ground paste.
Add salt and pepper.
Cook till oil leaves sides
The purée is ready to use.

Assembling the pizza
Apply purée on a pizza crust.
( I used ready made thin crust)
Place fresh mozzarella cheese, capsicum slices, fresh basil leaves and bake.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookies

BM # 46 Week 3 Day 3

For Day 3 under festival recipes I have some chocolate chip cookies. Chocolate is a favorite flavor in our house and the majority prefers anything and everything with this sinful chocolate,though we have conscious eaters and all eat a very small portion of any sweet or chocolate. These cookies were made by my little niece. They came as a surprise as she made them while we were taking our afternoon nap. I woke up with the aroma of these bakes, wondering who was playing with my oven. The cookies came out perfect, very crunchy , very chocolaty and very addictive. Here is the recipe that she followed...

Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 cup APF
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 tbsp soft butter
3 tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 tbsp milk
3 tbsp or more  dark chocolate chips 
1/4 tsp vanilla essence

Combine flour, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl and mix well.
Keep aside.
Combine the sugar and butter in a bowl and whisk well till no lumps remain.
Add vanilla essence, milk and chocolate chips and mix well.
Add the dry ingredients and mix well to form a dough.
Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and shape each portion into a round ball and flatten the balls lightly.
Sprinkle some more chocolate chips on top.
Place the cookies on a greased baking tray and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 c (360 f) for 15 to 20 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack and store in air-tight containers.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Chocolate Mango Pie

BM # 46 Week 2 Day 2

After the hustle and bustle of Diwali and all the traditional festive desserts of Diwali, we look forward to the English desserts which are a part of Christmas celebrations.Even though we do not celebrate Christmas like it is done on the other side of the globe, I love this festival and it's feel. I make it a point to make some special desserts, and here is one which never ever fails. I know I have made a mango rose which is not a winter produce, but you could pick fruits like apple or pear, just about anything. It is just the dressing , the basic pie remains the same and as delicious.This pie is my Day 2 post under the theme Festival Recipes for Blogging Marathon  # 46.

Chocolate Mango Pie
1 cup crushed digestive biscuits
5 tbsp melted butter

2 cups dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup milk
2 cups beaten whipped cream
2 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence

For The Garnish
Chocolate Vermicelli

Combine the biscuit and melted butter in a bowl and mix well.
Press the mixture into the base of a (6") loose-bottomed pie dish.
Place in the refrigerator till firm . It should take about 30 minutes.

For the filling
Combine the chocolate and milk in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 30 to 40 seconds.
Mix gently till no lumps remain.
Keep aside.
Combine the beaten whipped cream, powdered sugar and vanilla essence in another bowl and fold gently.
Add the prepared chocolate-milk mixture and fold gently.
Pour on the prepared crust.
Refrigerate till firm.
Garnish with chocolate vermicelli.
De mould the pie.

I garnished this pie with fresh mango and made a rose with it.

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Monday, November 17, 2014


BM # 46 Week 3 Day 1

For the last week of BM # 46 , I have picked Festival recipes. Christmas being round the corner, I thought of making Mendiants. Mendiants are French confection, which are discs or pieces studded with nuts and dried fruits.These represent the four mendicants of the Dominicans, Augustinians, Franciscans and Carmelites.these chocolates are usually found during Christmas. The traditional chocolate has taken new combinations of nuts and fruit peels. These might be very simple ones but taste amazing. The apricots and nuts give a wonderful flavor after being chewed with chocolate. In fact Fruit and Nut has always been my favorite amongst chocolate bars.
The recipe is simple and nothing much has to be done, but here is how I made these.

What you need
Cooking chocolate
Blue berries

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
Stir well with a spatula and make sure you have a smooth consistency.
Pour the melted chocolate into a tray or using a spoon drop as discs.
Let it set for a while and while it is still moist place the nuts and raisins, or what ever dried fruits you wish to top it with.
If using a tray make indents, so it is easy to break the slab into pieces.

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Badaam Halwa / Almond Halwa - Rajasthan Special for ICC

Indian Cooking Challenge is something that I always look forward to. Cooking special and traditional dishes from a particular state is very interesting. This month we have Badaam or Almond Halwa. This is a speciality of Rajasthan.

Halwas are sweet and dense loaded with ghee or butter. We have a variety of Halwas, They could be flour based, fruit or lentil based or even nut based, just like this Almond Halwa.

This halwa reminds me of my friend, who was a Rajasthani. Once while was making this halwa  her mixy conked off. Being neighbors she asked if I could make a paste of the almonds. I agreed and made the paste of nearly a kilo of these almonds. After about an hour I received a bowl of the ready halwa and that is the first time I tasted this. I immediately fell in love with it. Memories of my friend and Badaam Halwa came back. Unfortunately I lost my friend many years ago, but whenever I make this halwa I immediately think of her. God Bless her soul.

Badaam Halwa
1/4 cup almonds
4 tbsp ghee
4 tbsp sugar or to taste
Pinch cardamom powder

Soak the almonds overnight.
Wash and peel, wash again.
Make a fine paste of these, using bare minimum water or milk.
Heat ghee preferably in a non stick pan.
Add the almond paste.
Roast the paste till it turns to a nice pink color.
The almond paste has the tendency to stick so make sure you keep scraping it from the pan, if using a non stick pan it will be a easy job.
Make sure the flame is very slow through out roasting.
This should take about 10 minutes.
Since i did not use a non stick pan, I switched off the gas twice to scrape off the sticky almond.
Once the almonds are a nice pink and lend a aroma, add water gradually bringing it to the correct halwa consistency. 
Add sugar and cardamom powder .
Mix well and simmer till the ghee floats up.

I made the halwa with just 1/4 cups of almond , after eating all those Diwali treats, I knew a small portion would be fine and everyone would have it like a prasad. In fact everyone thought that it was prasad and ate a spoonful without any fuss. It was later I told them that it was Rajasthani Prasad made at Ribbons to Pastas.
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Fruit and Nut

BM # 46  Week 2  Day 3

Day 3 kids lunch box and I have a delicious recipe which even the grown ups will like. This is a breakfast recipe which my aunt serves and we all love it. Very simple and gets e In a jiffy and healthy too. The recipe does not have chocolate sauce but since I was going to eat it , I added some. While packing you could avoid it , else add it and make sure to pack in a leak proof box.

What you need
1 apple, sliced or chopped

Nuts of your choice
Mine are
Brown sugar

Here is what you have to do
Roast the nuts.
Place the sliced apple in a MW bowl.
Sprinkle sugar and a few drops of water.
MW for about 20 seconds.
The sugar should have melted.
How ever if not MW further.
Add the roasted nuts and drizzle some honey .
MW again for 10 seconds.
If you wish you could drizzle some chocolate sauce and sprinkle some cinnamon .

This goes to Valli's Kid's Delight who is hosting Nuts and Legumes event.
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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Mung Bean Tic Tac Toe / Criss Cross Burger

BM # 46  Week 2  Day 2

Now when it comes to kids lunch box we are lost. Though I don't have any lunch boxes to pack now, it always was...What to pack? For Day 2, under Nuts and Legumes I have a open burger with Mung beans. The bun is simple but kids love it since they have a game of Criss Cross or Tic Tac Toe.
No particular recipe but here is how you assemble it.

Mung Bean Criss Cross Burgers
1 burger bun or a jumbo slice toast.
Apply butter on the bun.
Place the mung beans.
Take a slice of cheese and cut into strips.
Place these into a criss cross pattern.
The olives and tomato can be used for circles and crosses.

How to make the mung bean mix

Boil the mung bean.
Add butter to a pan.
Add chopped onions, coriander leaves and mung beans.
Add dry spices to choice.
I added dry mango powder and green chilly.
Mash the beans lightly, so that they are a little mushy.

One can use any beans or even a potato mix, but the mix has to be mushy else it will fall apart. Since I was eating it at home I did not mash the beans.
I served some fries along with the bun.

This goes to Valli's Kid's Delight who is hosting Nuts and Legumes event.
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Monday, November 10, 2014

Almond Butter Dates

BM # 46  Week 2  Day 1

When I chose the theme Nuts and legumes I had no idea as to what I would be posting. I was totally blank . I decided to give my head a break and not get worked up with the theme. Rarely do I choose a theme where I have to put effort in my thoughts.
I remember on my search while doing Around the world in 30 days, I had read some where about the almond paste, and had wanted to try making it, so I made these stuffed dates. Dates and almonds both are nutritious and ideal for kids, and kids will appreciate these if well decorated.

I choose Kimia Dates, which are slightly dry and less sticky, though you could choose any dates you wish . This is my Day 1 post for BM # 46 under nuts and Legumes for lunch box series.

Almond Butter Dates

20 almonds, soaked overnight, peeled
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp butter
Few drops vanilla extract
Cake sprinklers
Make a fine paste of almonds and sugar.
Using a non stick pan, add the paste and butter and cook till dry.
Add vanilla extract.
Cool and fill this in piping bag.

How to go about
Make a vertical cut and Remove the seeds from the dates.
Split it open and fill in the paste.
Now close the date and pipe out a clean line to cover on the slit .
Sprinkle some colorful sprinklers or vermicelli.
Chill and serve .

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#46

This goes to Valli's Kid's Delight who is hosting Nuts and Legumes event.
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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Besani Koki

For Day 3 under the theme Car Snacks I have made Besani Koki. Besan as you all know is gram flour . Koki is a Indian Bread which is a specialty of Sindhi community. It is normally made for breakfast and is a special travel food. While going on long trips, these kokis are very handy as they have a good shelf life and can be bited into without creating a mess.If eating at home, usually curd is served but on trips pickle is a preferred accompaniment.

Besani Koki
1 cup gram flour
2 tbsp oil
1 small onion , finely chopped
1 green chilly, finely chopped
Coriander leaves
Mint leaves
Salt to taste

Mix all the ingredients and rub in the oil.
This should resemble bread crumbs.
Bind the dough adding little water and very gradually.
Bind to a dough.
The dough should not be either too soft or too hard.
It should be slightly on the harder side.
Divide the dough into two .
Make rounds and flatten the balls.
Roll each into a thick circle .
Using a blunt knife make criss cross checks on the rolled disc.
Make sure not to cut through.
Cook like a chapati on a griddle.
The flame should be very slow.
When one side has cooked flip over and cook the other side.
Now drizzle ghee on one side and flip again.
Repeat the ghee on the other side.
Cook till crisp and golden.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Whole Wheat Crispy Fries

While travelling by road kids just cannot do without some munchies..I know that they  love those fried ready snacks , come to think of it even we grown ups enjoy munching on these snacks while travelling. To avoid all those junk packets, try these crispy bites. They are made from our every day rotis. These bites are terribly addictive , just pack these in zip locks and give a pack to each kid..they will love them. These crunchy bites are my Day 2 post for the theme Car Snacks BM # 46

Here is what you have to do..
Make rotis a day before you want to make the fries.
Stack the chapatis on the chopping board.
Cut them into thin strips.
Heat oil and deep fry these strips to a golden.
Remove on a kitchen towel.
Sprinkle the spices.

I used
Dry Mango powder
Red Chilly powder
Chat Masala
you could give these other flavors too using your favorite herbs.

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Monday, November 3, 2014

Oats and Poha Ladoos

Vacations are a nice break from everyday routine . Everyone has a different perspective where these vacations are concerned. With this jet age everyone wants to save travel time and choose flights as their travel mode, but some how road trips are lot of fun. One can stop anywhere on the way to enjoy the natural beauty , carry and eat loads of goodies, basically a munching trip!!

Carrying lots of food packets is a option which most people follow, but of course home made goodies are always preferred. This time for Diwali pooja I made ladoos. The recipe was given by Priya , she used jaggery but I chose  powdered sugar. This is the first time I have made ladoos , even though I am a great fan of any kind of ladoos, I don't make them...eventually I find myself indulging into finishing them. These ladoos were a total hit and my little grand children loved them.for once my daughter asked me to pack these as they are travelling to North. The ladoos are healthy and the children need not gorge on those junky chips. These ladoos are my Day 1 post under the theme Car Snacks for BM 46.

Oats and Poha Ladoos
1 cup oats
1 cup poha
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp cardamom powder
1/2 cup almond powder
1/2 cup or more warm clarified butter
Dry roast the oats and poha separately.
Grind to a fine powder.
Grind almonds to a fine powder.
Mix all dry ingredients.
Add warm ghee and bind the ladoos.
I garnished these with tiny fondant flowers, but you can use any nuts.

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