Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Tag

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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Date Muesli Apple Pie   3 comments

I was craving for a delicious dessert for a long time, and now, with some muesli left at home and a bunch of nuts begging to be utilised in some way, I went on to adapt the popular Apple Pie with some Dates bought from a nearby Dry Fruits store. Roasted, Buttered & Baked Muesli with Semolina was the perfect crunchy combination for this pie. The flavours matched beautifully with another crunchy combination of apples, dates & nuts as filling and on the wholesome not only it tasted but looked divine as well 😉

-:Ingredients:-
2 Small Red Apples – Peeled & Grated Coarsely
8-10 Dried Dates – Chopped Coarsely
1 Tbsp Pine Nuts – Chopped into halves
1 Tbsp Mixed Nutes (Walnuts, Almonds, Prunes) – Chopped Coarsely
——————————————————————————————–
2 Tbsp Mixed Muesli
20 gms Suji (Fine Semolina)
25 gms Castor Sugar (Powdered Sugar)
2 Tbsp Honey
1 tsp Butter
1 tsp Ghee (Clarified Butter) – Substitue with 1 tsp Butter if not available
1 Tbsp fresh Lemon Juice
¼ tsp Cinnamon – Freshly Powdered
½ tsp Baking Soda

-: Recipe :-

  1. Mix grated apples, chopped dates and nuts with 1 Tbsp Honey and Lemon Juice. Add Cinnamon and adjust sweetness as per taste (with more honey if required).
  2. Add 2 Tbsp Hot Water and mix well while mashing from back of spoon. After the filling is well mixed and roughly mashed, keep it aside.
  3. In a non-stick pan, roast the muesli for a few minutes till it gets very lightly browned. Add semolina and roast for another minute.
  4. Take the mix off heat and grind it roughly in a grinder for some 5-7 seconds.
  5. In a mixing bowl, mix this grainy powder with 1 Tbsp Honey, Sugar, Butter, Ghee and Baking Soda. Divide the dough into two parts.
  6. Grease a baking bowl with little butter and spread first half of the dough in the base.
  7. Drain the apple filling of any excess water and put it on top of the spread dough in the bowl.
  8. Make 4 thin rolls of the remaining half of the dough and set it on top of the pie in a criss-cross pattern.
  9. Pre-Heat Microwave Oven at 180°C and bake the pie for 30 minutes. Grill it in the end for 3-5 minutes to brown and crisp the top of the pie.
  10. Serve Hot and Enjoy the Ultimate Experience 🙂
-: Pictures :-
Date Muesli Apple Pie 1
Date Muesli Apple Pie 2

Posted May 21, 2013 by Rahul in Desserts, Recipes

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Creamy Paalak Tomatina   1 comment

Creamy Spinach Sauces from the town of Florence are always a delicious and delightful combo. Having typically used florentine with fusilli and other short shapes to enjoy mixed gravy pastas, I wanted to create something different for Spaghetti. Inspired from the lovely texture of Methi Chaman (an Indian Kashmiri recipe) I came up with this new Tomatina sauce with crunches of tomatoes, olives & capsicum. Topped on Spaghetti, it was really an amazing heavenly experience accentuated by the aromatic and flavourful Pecorino & Parmesan cheeses I sourced on my recent trip to Scotland from Valvona-Crolla in Edinburgh.

-:Ingredients:-
200-250 gm Al Dentè Spaghetti (Linguine or Fettuccine may also substitute)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 tsp Tomato Ketchup
¼ tsp Tabasco Sauce
1 tsp fresh Lemon Juice
2 tsp Pecorino Romano cheese (crumbled)
2 tsp Parmesan cheese (crumbled)
2 Tbsp fresh Cream
2 tsp freshly chopped Basil (or 1 tsp Dried Basil)
1 tsp freshly chopped Marjoram (Marua leaves; or ½ tsp Dried Oregano)
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
½ tsp Pepper
½ tsp Paprika (Chilli Flakes)
¼ tsp Chilli Powder
Salt to taste
—————————–
1 Tbsp Sweet American Corn
1 small Onion (coarsely chopped)
1-2 cloves Garlic (minced)
¼ medium Green Capsicum (finely chopped)
1 medium Tomato (finely chopped)
3-4 Green Olives (thinly sliced or chopped) (Optional)
1 tsp Capers (Optional)
100 gm Spring Onions (greens & whites chopped separately)
250 gm Spinach Leaves

-: Recipe :-

  1. Wash Spinach Leaves, squeeze water from spinach, remove stalks and chop the leaves coarsely. Boil the leaves in hot salted water till they wilt sufficiently.
  2. In a blender, puree 200 gm of the wilted spinach leaves along with the lemon juice, fresh cream, Pecorino Romano and half of Parmesan cheese.
  3. Meanwhile boil the Spaghetti to just before Al Dentè (with 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp oil), add frozen Sweet Corn and keep in the hot stock water, till sauce is ready.
  4. In a nonstick pan, add olive oil and saute Garlic & Onion till translucent. Add spring onion whites, basil and remaining chopped spinach leaves (squeezed out of water) and stir fry for a minute.
  5. Add chopped tomato and capsicum and continue stir frying for a couple of minutes.
  6. Pour in the spinach puree in the pan, mix well and bring to boil. Turn to simmer and stir regularly.
  7. Add Tomato Ketchup, Tabasco Sauce, Oregano, Salt, Pepper, Chilli Powder, Paprika, Spring Onion greens, Olives and Capers in the sauce and stir well. Keep the sauce on simmer until it thickens and then take it out.
  8. Take the spaghetti & corn out of the water, drain and arrange in a serving dish. Sprinkle the spaghetti with Italian Seasoning and pour the sauce over it.
  9. Garnish with remaining Parmesan and Enjoy the Ultimate Experience 🙂

-: Tips :-

  • The tomato should be cold to get a solid bite after stir frying, otherwise it might mash out and lose the texture of the sauce.
  • Do not substitute the cheeses (for puree) with any soft or processed variety as it will melt and make the sauce gooey. You can use any other hard cheese if you prefer some different flavours.
  • As the spaghetti is to be kept in the hot salted water until sauce is ready to serve, make sure to take it out of heat sometime before it gets Al Dentè to prevent overcooking the pasta.
-: Pictures :-
Creamy Paalak Tomatina

Posted November 3, 2012 by Rahul in Italian, Recipes

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