Orecchiette with Basil Pesto & Petite Peas   1 comment

Orecchiette is one of the most popular shapes of pasta from Southern Italy, especially the Puglia region. Traditionally paired with Greens (di rapa) or Peas, it tastes delicious with a combination of Basil Pesto & Sundried Tomatoes.

One of the tastiest sauces I have made in a long time, one of the fun things about this is how adding walnuts at the time of sauteing adds so much crush & fragrant flavour!

Serves 2

-:Ingredients:-

225-250 gm Al Dentè Orecchiette Pasta (Farfalle or Conchiglie work as well)
1 tsp Olive Oil
2 tsp (heaped) Basil Pesto Sauce
1 Tbsp crushed Walnut (or substitute with Pine Nuts)
½ tsp Dried Basil
½ tsp Chilli Flakes
¼ tsp Black Pepper powder
¼ tsp Paprika
1 tsp Tomato Ketchup
1 Tbsp grated Cheddar
Parmesan for garnishing
Salt to taste
—————————–
2-3 cloves Garlic (minced)
1 Tbsp chopped Sundried Tomatoes
1 cup frozen (or boiled) Petite Peas

-: Recipe :-

  1. Boil the Pasta in lots of salted water till it is Al Dentè, drain but retain 1 Tbsp of the salted water.
  2. Around 3-4 minutes before pasta is done, in a nonstick pan, add Olive Oil and saute Garlic & 3/4th crushed Walnut for a minute or so.
  3. Add Chilli Flakes, Dried Basil & Petite Peas and saute for a couple of minutes. Take the mixture off the heat.
  4. Add Paprika, Pepper powder and Sundried Tomatoes. Mix well and stir in the Basil Pesto sauce along with the retained 1 Tbsp salted water.
  5. Mix the pasta with sauce & Tomato Ketchup. Add in salt to taste.
  6. Top the dish with grated Cheddar and garnish with some Parmesan & leftover Walnuts. Enjoy the Ultimate Experience🙂

Orecchiette with Basil Pesto & Petite Peas

Posted August 8, 2015 by Rahul in Italian

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Tirali Mushroom Stroganoff   1 comment

Ever since I got a chance to try Russian Cuisine in Seattle with its distinct sour & spicy flavors, I wanted to make Stroganoff Sauce. Here is my take on the delicious brown sauce with mushrooms, yogurt, soy, tamarind, vinegar & paprika. I like it with Pasta but you can very well try it with wild rice. Tastes amazing and for a change does not involve any basil, tomato or cheese!

Serves 2

-:Ingredients:-

200-250 gm Al Dentè Tirali Pasta (Fusili works as well)
1 tsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Butter
1 tsp freshly chopped Cilantro (or ½ tsp Dried Cilantro)
½ tsp Pepper
½ tsp Chili Flakes
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Soy Sauce
1 tsp Tamarind Paste
1 tsp White Wine Vinegar (substitute with any other variety)
3-4 drops Tabasco Sauce  (or ½ tsp Chili Sauce)
1 cup Vegetable Stock
3 Tbsp Creamy Yogurt
A pinch Dry Mango Powder (Amchoor)
1 Clove (ground)
Salt to taste
—————————–
8-10 medium White or Crimini Mushrooms (sliced ¼” thick)
1 medium Onion (coarsely chopped)
2-3 cloves Garlic (minced)

-: Recipe :-

  1. In a nonstick pan, add Olive Oil and saute Garlic & Onion till they get translucent, for about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, boil the Pasta till it is Al Dentè, drain water and keep it aside till sauce is ready.
  3. Add Chili Flakes, Paprika & Pepper to the onions and stir for a minute to roast properly.
  4. Add Mushrooms, Butter & Salt and cook for about 5 minutes till mushrooms get soft.
  5. Add in Vegetable Stock, Soy Sauce, Tamarind Paste, Vinegar, Tabasco, Dry Mango Powder & ground Clove and bring to boil.
  6. Simmer the sauce until it thickens and then add yogurt after turning off the heat.
  7. Mix the pasta with sauce and sprinkle with Cilantro & Paprika for garnish.
  8. Enjoy the Ultimate Experience🙂

Tirali Mushroom Stroganoff

Posted April 19, 2015 by Rahul in Recipes, Russian

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Masala Oolong Tea   2 comments

Some time back, while visiting Northern Thailand, I happened to purchase some high quality local Oolong Tea from near the Vietnam Border. It has been a delicious company to me all this time and never fails to brew an amazing cup (or cups I should say, since the same leaves can be used to brew tea almost 6-7 times, and each cup is great if not better!). Oolong is a variety of tea in between Greens & Blacks, oxidised anywhere between 2-80% which retains its natural sweetness and provides an amazing finish on the palate, which greens with their earthy flavours sometimes fail to.

You would mostly hear of Masala Chai (Spiced Indian Tea) prepared with Milky Black or Green Teas, but I wanted to try out something different and see how Oolong responds to that. Here is a recipe I perfected over the weekend with a pleasing combination of natural sweeteners and light spices and I should say, you can’t have just one🙂

Serves 2

-:Ingredients:-

2 large cups Water
1 tsp Oolong Tea Leaves
2 Cloves
1 Green Cardamom Pod (opened)
2-3 whole Black Peppercorns
¼ inch piece of Mulethi (Licorice Root)
½ inch piece of Ginger
¼ tsp dried Tulsi Leaves (Holy Basil)
¼ tsp Sugarfree (or ½ tsp Sugar)

-: Recipe :-

  1. Place water in a pan, add all the solid spices & sugar and bring to a boil.
  2. Take off heat, add the Oolong Tea leaves and cover the pan to let the tea brew for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Pour hot & enjoy a great cup of sweet & spicy Oolong Tea🙂

-: Tips :-

  • The Oolong Tea leaves can be brewed for 6-7 times, each time giving a great cup of tea. You can keep the leaves in fridge after making this tea and use them to brew another 2-3 cups the same day.
  • The inherent sweetness of Oolong, accentuated with that of Mulethi, gives it a very nice taste. Use sugar sparingly, only to take it to the level of sweetness that just allows you to savour the flavours in fullness.

Spicy Oolong Tea

Posted February 9, 2015 by Rahul in Recipes

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Tangy Cream of Cauliflower Soup   2 comments

Cauliflower Soup is quite a delicious comfort soup and I wanted to prepare some for a lazy lunch avoiding all the standard starch of potatoes & heaviness of cream & dollops of butter. It also gave me the best opportunity to enjoy some of the amazing Blackburn Wheat Bread I sourced during the weekend from one of the best bakeries in Seattle – ‘Macrina Bakery‘. This recipe below is a tangy take with an Indian twist on the popular cream of cauliflower soup which I believe you will certainly find delicious & crunchy on the palate. Its healthy too, if that matters🙂

Serves 2

-:Ingredients:-

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 cups Vegetable Stock
½ tsp Butter
1 tsp Parmesan Cheese (crumbled)
1 tsp Milk Powder
½ tsp dried Sage
1 tsp freshly chopped Cilantro (or ½ tsp dried Cilantro)
¼ tsp crushed Pepper
¼ tsp Paprika Powder (or more to taste)
Pinch of Garam Masala
Pinch of Caraway Seeds (Ajwain) (Optional)
¼ tsp Cumin Powder (Jeera Powder)
¼ tsp dried Mango Powder (Amchoor)
Rock Salt to taste
—————————–
½ head large Cauliflower (coarsely chopped)
2 stalks Celery (diced)
½ medium Green Capsicum (coarsely chopped)
½ medium Onion (coarsely chopped)
½ cup American Corn
3-4 sticks Asparagus (cut in 1 inch pieces)
2-3 cloves Garlic (minced)
Handful of Green leaves (Arugula, Baby Spinach, Chard, Kale, Mizuna, etc.)

-: Recipe :-

  1. In a nonstick pan, heat Olive Oil & Butter and add Garlic & Onion. Add crushed Pepper & Paprika and saute for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add Celery & Capsicum and saute for 4-5 minutes, after which add Cauliflower, Corn, Green Leaves, Sage, Cilantro, Garam Masala, Cumin Powder & Mango Powder.
  3. Mix for a couple of minutes and add the vegetable stock with Rock Salt to taste (½ tsp or more).
  4. Once it starts boiling, cover and simmer for 15 minutes till the cauliflower gets a bit soft.
  5. In the mean time, stir fry the Asparagus cuts in another pan with a pinch of Caraway Seeds and keep aside.
  6. Take the simmering soup mixture off the heat and add in Parmesan Cheese and Milk Powder.
  7. Roughly puree in a blender to maintain some bite. Mix in the asparagus and check for spices/seasoning.
  8. Garnish with crunchy caramelised onions & sprinkle some spicy seasoning mix. Serve with whole wheat multi-grain bread to Enjoy the Ultimate Experience🙂

-: Tips :-

  • Milk Powder adds the creaminess to this soup. If you would use whole milk instead, reduce the vegetable stock quantity by similar amount to balance water and check for the salt/spices accordingly.
  • Avoid using any soft cheeses in the soup since it will make it sticky. Dried crumbly cheeses like Parmesan or Pecorino Romano are the best for this.

Tangy Cream of Cauliflower Soup

Posted February 9, 2015 by Rahul in Indian, Recipes

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Fruity Bread Custard Pudding   1 comment

Custard is always a delicious treat specially when clubbed with fruits. Being a fan of Shahi Tukda (an Indian Bread Dessert) I wanted to adapt the dish to use Fruity Custard instead and enjoy some wonderful pudding. So here it goes, enjoy the treat!

-:Ingredients:-

1 small Apple
1 small Pear
500 ml Milk
1 tsp Powdered Sugar
4 Tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
1 tsp Lemon Juice
¼ tsp Cinnamon Powder
3 Tbsp Vanilla Custard Powder (Pillsbury)
½ tsp Orange Glucose Powder (Optional)
1 Tbsp Muesli Mix (Optional)
3 Bread Slices

-: Recipe :-

  1. Quarter and thinly slice the Apple & Pear and mix with cinnamon, vanilla essense, powdered sugar, lemon juice and 2 tsp milk.
  2. Cut each toasted bread in 6 rectangular pieces and mix with the fruit slices. Arrange trhe mixture in a baking tray.
  3. Mix Custard Powder with ½ cup cold Milk.
  4. Boil remaining milk and sugar and add the custard mixture. Cook till 2-3 minutes as the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and pour over the fruity bread base so that it covers everything equally.
  5. Garnish with muesli and orange glucose and bake in a pre-heated oven at 190ºC for 10 minutes.
  6. Take the tray out, keep it covered at room temperature to bring down the tenmperature.
  7. Let it set and cool in fridge for about 5-6 hours and Enjoy the Ultimate Experience🙂

-: Tips :-

  • In case using a different brand of custard powder, use the instructions on the pack to prepare custard with 500 ml Milk with appropriate quantities of custard powder and sugar.
-: Pictures :-
Fruity Bread Custard Pudding

Posted August 25, 2013 by Rahul in Desserts, Recipes

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Scrambled Egg Ziti in Tomato-Mint Sauce   3 comments

A Ziti Pasta creation with a simple tomato sauce, yet with a tangy twist. The flavours of mint, sage & basil combine wonderfully with Mushrooms & Tomatoes to create this delicious offering garnished with hearty parmesan and some sweetly sour raw mango. Scrambled Eggs in an adapted avatar give a chunky base to the pasta which is of course pleasingly delicious!

-:Ingredients:-
150-200 gm Al Dentè Ziti (Fusilli may also substitute)
1 tsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ Tbsp Butter
2 tsp Tomato Ketchup
1 tsp Cheddar cheese (grated)
1 tsp Parmesan cheese (crumbled)
1 tsp Dried Basil
½ tsp Dried Oregano
½ tsp Dried Parsley
½ tsp Dried Sage
1 Tbsp chopped Fresh Mint (and a sprig for garnishing)
½ tsp Italian Seasoning
¾ tsp Pepper
½ tsp Paprika (Chilli Flakes)
¾ tsp Chilli Powder
¼ tsp Soya Sauce
¼ tsp Sugar
Salt to taste
—————————–
2-3 cloves Garlic (minced)
1 Egg
4-5 medium Tomatoes (peeled, quartered & roughly pureed)
5-6 medium Button Mushrooms (coarsley sliced)
1 tsp grated Raw Mango (for garnishing)

-: Recipe :-

  1. In a bowl whisk an egg with soya sauce, ¼ tsp each pepper & chilli power, parsley and salt to taste.
  2. In a nonstick pan, add Olive Oil and scramble the eggs in medium chunks till they become lightly golden brown. Keep aside in a bowl.
  3. In the same nonstick pan, add butter and saute Mushrooms, Sage & Garlic till lightly cooked. Add Mint & Basil and mix well with the mushrooms for a minute.
  4. Meanwhile, boil the Ziti Pasta till it is Al Dentè, drain water, toss with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Paprika, ¼ tsp Pepper & Salt to Taste, and keep it aside till sauce is ready.
  5. In the pan, add the roughly pureed fresh tomatoes and ketchup. Keep the flame on high and stir till a boil comes. Turn the flame on medium and add Oregano, Salt, ¼ tsp Pepper, Sugar and ½ tsp Chilli Powder in the sauce and stir well.
  6. Cover the pan with a lid and keep the sauce on simmer for around 5 minutes until it thickens; Stir in Cheddar Cheese & Scrambeled Eggs and let them mix well in the sauce for a couple of minutes.
  7. Mix the Pasta in the Sauce and take it off flame in a serving bowl. Garnish with a crumble of raw mango, parmesan and italian seasoning.
  8. Drop a sprig of fresh mint for flourish and Enjoy the Ultimate Experience🙂

-: Tips :-

  • Always saute mushrooms in butter as it lets it retain its natural flavour and enhance it. Olive oil or other oils might destroy the distinctive woody/foresty flavour of mushrooms.
  • To easily peel off tomatoes and boil them quickly, first heat water to boiling levels. Take tomatoes and slit them in a cross hair fashion for about 1-2 cms from the bottom and add to the boiling water. Take out after about 12-15 secs and wash with cold water. Peel off, quarter & puree accordingly.
-: Pictures :-
P1070069

Posted July 5, 2013 by Rahul in Italian, Recipes

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Linguine Babycorn Arrabiata   2 comments

Pasta dishes are one of the most amenable to bring around a riot of colors. This one being no exception, is an adaptation of the very popular Arrabiata Sauce with a core of babycorns. The layers of creamy Linguine and fiery red arrabiata topped with golden babycorns look extremely delicious! I have used Linguine in this recipe which is a much thinner form of Fettuccine and looks like flattish Spaghetti. This gives it a much more navigable base to the chunky sauce than Spaghetti which seems to be much more suited for pure sauce based dishes like marinara or napolitana.

-:Ingredients:-
200-250 gm Al Dentè Linguine (Spaghetti may also substitute)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 tsp Tomato Ketchup
2 Tbsp Tomato Puree
2 tsp Cheddar cheese (grated)
1 tsp Parmesan cheese (crumbled)
2 tsp freshly chopped Basil (or 1 tsp Dried Basil)
1 tsp freshly chopped Marjoram (Marua leaves; or ½ tsp Dried Oregano)
1 tsp freshly chopped Parsley (or ½ tsp Dried Parsley)
½ tsp Italian Seasoning
¾ tsp Pepper
½ tsp Paprika (Chilli Flakes)
½ tsp Chilli Powder
¼ tsp Garam Masala
½ tsp Soya Sauce
¼ tsp Sugar
Salt to taste
1 sprig Coriander (for garnishing)
—————————–
1 medium Onion (coarsely chopped)
2-3 cloves Garlic (minced)
½ medium Green Capsicum (finely chopped)
8-10 small Tomatoes (peeled, quartered & roughly pureed)
3-4 Green Olives (thinly sliced or chopped) (Optional)
7-10 medium Babycorns (2 sliced in halves for garnishing, others sliced in 1 cm thick rounds)

-: Recipe :-

  1. In a nonstick pan, add ½ Tbsp Olive Oil and roast the sliced babycorns (including those to be used for garnishing) till they become lightly golden brown. Keep aside in a bowl.
  2. In the same nonstick pan, add remaining 1 Tbsp Olive Oil and saute Garlic & Onion. Add Basil and saute till onions get translucent.
  3. Meanwhile, boil the Linguine till it is Al Dentè, drain water, toss with ½ Tbsp Olive Oil, Paprika, ¼ tsp Pepper & Salt to Taste, and keep it aside till sauce is ready.
  4. In the pan, add tomato puree, stir for a minute and add the roughly pureed fresh tomatoes. Keep the flame on high and keep stirring for a couple of minutes.
  5. Add Capsicum, Olives, Babycorns, Tomato Ketchup, Soya Sauce, Oregano, Parsley, Salt, ½ tsp Pepper, Sugar, Chilli Powder and Garam Masala in the sauce and stir well. Keep the sauce on simmer until it thickens, stir in Cheddar Cheese and then take it off flame.
  6. Arrange the Linguine in a serving bowl and pour the sauce over it while keeping the layers separate.
  7. Garnish the sauce with the 2 lengthwise sliced & roasted Babycorns and sprinkle Italian Seasoning and Parmesan.
  8. Grill in an oven at 180°C for 2 minutes, drop a sprig of fresh coriander for flourish and Enjoy the Ultimate Experience🙂

-: Tips :-

  • To easily peel off tomatoes and boil them quickly, first heat water to boiling levels. Take tomatoes and slit them in a cross hair fashion for about 1-2 cms from the bottom and add to the boiling water. Take out after about 12-15 secs and wash with cold water. Peel off, quarter & puree accordingly.
-: Pictures :-
Linguine Babycorn Arrabiata

Posted June 14, 2013 by Rahul in Italian, Recipes

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