Pasta and Paratha is a simple manifestation of my own struggle to bring flavor and pleasure to the mundane task of eating.
The process that finally culminates into the crucial decision of “what’s for dinner” can be exasperating. So, along the pages you will find menu ideas, party food, cooking tips, everyday fare and an occasional gossip!
More than anything this blog is about love and enjoyment of food and its preparation.
You are most welcome to share your recipes, tips and secrets.
Wikipedia defines pancake as a thin, flat, round cake prepared from a batter or dough and cooked on a hot griddle. Therefore, technically speaking, this recipe qualifies to be a pancake.
This is one of my favorite foods for the kids. The lentils provide necessary proteins and use of brown rice only makes it healthier. Grated cheese on top is a necessary evil, calculated to tempt my kids into eating this pancake.
Chana dal – ½ cup
Green moong – ½ cup
Urad dal – ½ cup
Brown rice – 1 cup
Diced onion – 1 small
Diced jalapeño – 1 small
Curry leaves – a few
Ginger – small piece
Oil – as needed
Salt and pepper
Grated cheese – as preferred
Soak all the lentils and Brown rice for 6 hours in water. Add curry leaves, ginger and grind everything using as little water as possible to make a batter. Store the batter in an airtight container.
Just before making the pancakes, add diced onion, jalapeño, salt and pepper and mix well. Heat a griddle or a non stick pan. Spread a ladle full of the batter and spread evenly on the pan forming a circle. Add half a spoon of oil along the edges. Flip sides to cook evenly. Press the pancake lightly while cooking to make it crispy. Sprinkle grated cheese (pepper jack cheese has been used in this recipe) of your choice and serve right off the pan.
·With coconut chutney/mint chutney/ketchup
·Diced bell pepper can be a nice addition.
·The batter can be made beforehand, making this recipe a very good last minute meal.
·Lentils are regarded one of the five healthiest foods the other four being Olive oil, Soy, Yogurt and Kimchi (as stated in the Health Magazine).
I had always thought that creating a food blog meant sharing your own cooking experiments and recipes. What I didn’t know was that doing so opened a whole new world of culinary expertise at your dashboard in the form of similar blogs.
Clicking on one such page led me to this wonderful recipe. Read on to get a taste of this deliciously tangy Orange Juice Rasam, originally posted by NOW SERVING and slightly modified by me.
Fresh orange juice – 1 cup
Water – 3 cups
Dry shredded coconut – 6 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 2 tsp
Green chilies – 2 small
Dry red chili – 1 small
Readymade Rasam powder – 1 tsp
Lemon juice – 2 tsp
Cilantro – for garnish
Heat a skillet and roast the red chili, green chilies, cumin seeds, coriander powder, Rasam powder and coconut for a couple of minutes. Blend them into a nice paste using some water in a mixer. Transfer this paste to a cooking vessel, add 3 cups of water and bring to boil. Add salt and pepper, cook on low heat for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, add orange juice and mix well. Squeeze in the lemon juice, garnish with cilantro and serve hot.
·Freshly squeezed orange juice has been used in this recipe but you can very well use the store bought juice.
·This Rasam can be cooked without the ready-made Rasam powder as the recipe relies more on the freshly grounded seasoning.
·Using the juice of Moro (blood) oranges enhances the flavor and color of this recipe.
·Other than food, orange is used in a lot of other things like making a perfume, a bug repellant and beauty treatments.
Two things must be clarified at the very beginning. First, this could very well have been a grilled sandwich with guacamole in it, but the chef was unable to mash the avocado and second, I can really not take credit for this recipe.
My husband puts together the best guacamole in this world, with the correct ingredients that is. Guacamole requires that a fine ripe avocado be used in its preparation. Since the avocado at hand was not ripe enough to be mashed, he had no choice but to dice it with the rest of the ingredients.
Unusual circumstances call for unusual actions. I chucked the normal practice of using used it as a dip with the chips or in my burrito bowl and decided to use this “nearly there” guacamole to make a sandwich.
Diced avocado – 2 medium
Diced red onion – 1 small
Diced jalapeño - 1 medium
Diced tomato – 1 medium
Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
Red chili powder – 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice – 4 tsp
Salt and pepper
Wheat bread – 4 slices
Butter – as desired
Grated pepper jack cheese – 4 tsp
Mix the first 8 ingredients. Store in an airtight box and refrigerate for 1 hour. Heat a skillet and lightly toast the wheat bread using butter. Spread a scoopful of the avocado mixture over one slice. Sprinkle half of the grated cheese on top. Close it with another slice of lightly toasted bread. Toast the sandwich for a couple of minutes more, flipping sides. Take it off the skillet, cut into half and serve with ketchup.
Hubby was a little disappointed with the avocados, I am not complaining though, it made a great sandwich.
·With ketchup/salad/chips on the side.
·You can use any kind of cheese; pepper jack goes best because of it being closer in taste with the spice in the guacamole.
·Avocado has a higher fat content than most fruits.
The internet is a wonderful tool, helps bring all kinds of known and unknown food in your kitchen. For me it was a “sweet” revelation. Really wanted to cook a dessert other than the usual for friends coming over. After browsing through a couple of recipes, I came across the recipe of “Basbousa”. Tried it and turned out delicious, very aromatic too, maybe it was the rosewater …
So here goes the recipe I discovered (there are a couple of variations), am so glad that I found it and tried it. And if you do the same thing after reading this one, I am sure this sweet little square (or diamond) will live up to your expectations!
Semolina flour/Rava – 1.5 cups
Yogurt – 1 cup
Butter – 1 stick (softened)
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Vanilla essence – 1 tsp
Sugar – 1/2 cup and 1/4 of a cup
Honey half a cup
Rose water – 4 tsp
Lemon juice 2 tsp
Almonds – 16 to 18
Mix the butter and half a cup sugar thoroughly with a hand mixer. Add yogurt and vanilla essence and beat again for a couple of minutes with the mixer. Add the semolina flour (rava), baking powder and mix with a wooden or plastic spatula. The result will be a sticky loose kind of dough. Keep aside for half an hour.
Make a honey syrup in the meanwhile. In a pan, combine honey, one fourth cup of sugar and 2 tsp rosewater, cook for 10 minutes to form a syrup. Turn the heat off, add the lemon juice and 2 tsp rosewater and mix well. The honey syrup is ready to use.
Now, transfer the dough in a greased baking dish or pan. Level it as much as possible by gently pressing with hand or spatula. Bake it at 375 F for about 25 minutes first. Take the pan out, the dough will be partially cooked by then. Cut the in squares or diamonds as preferred and press an almond into each one of them. Don’t forget to wear your oven gloves while doing all this. Back in to the oven for another 20 minutes or till the edges appear brown. Once this is done, increase the temperature of the oven to “Broil” mode and bake further for 5 to 8 minutes so that a fine brown crust is formed on the Basbousa. Carefully watch the Basbousa every 2 minutes while it is on broil, food burns easily at that high temperature.
Pour the honey syrup all over the squares as your baking dish comes out of the oven. Cool and transfer the pieces to a serving dish or a storing box as this dessert tastes best the next day.
·With whipped cream on top.
·With strong coffee.
·Cooking times can vary depending on the Oven, adjust the timer accordingly.
·Reduce the amount of sugar if you prefer your sweets to be less sweet.
·Basbousa is called by different names (Hareesa, Ravani) in the Middle Eastern regions.
·It is a very high calorie (220) per piece dessert.
One of the followers here on this blog and my friend Reefath once suggested do some Tofu recipes (quick ones). So this one is for you Reefath and since there is a lot of Tofu still left, some more will follow!
Bok Choy (Chinese cabbage) – one bunch
Diced tofu – 1 cup
Any salad dressing – 4 tsp
White Sesame seeds – 1 tsp
Red chili sauce – 1 tsp
Soya sauce – 2 tsp
Oil – half tsp
Salt and pepper
Separate the green leafy portion of the Bok Choy and wash it thoroughly. Chop them roughly and in a bowl combine the Bok Choy greens, diced Tofu and the salad dressing. Mix well and refrigerate covered for 2 hours.
Heat oil in a skillet and add sesame seeds. Once they come to a splutter add the Bok Choy and Tofu and the remaining sauces. Add salt and pepper to taste and cook on high flame for 2 more minutes. Turn the heat off and serve immediately as it is important to maintain the slightly crunchy texture of the Bok Choy.
·If you do not have salad dressing, mix finely chopped garlic and 2 tsp vinegar instead.
·Bok Choy is the main ingredient for making “Kimchi”.
·The traditional Chinese method of cooking suggests Bok Choy must be combined with ginger or chili pepper in any recipe for health benefits.