Friday, March 14, 2014

Quick and Easy Angel Hair Pasta with Roasted Vegetables and Chicken

We moved to our new home a few weeks back and I was dying to try my new oven.  I got some veggies from a local organic farm and tossed up some simple pasta with that.  Made some Chicken along to add the protein.  A complete, tasty and satisfying meal!!

  • Vegetables of your choice for roasting  - I used Brussel sprouts, Zucchini and Asparagus - chop them mostly into same size to aid roasting at the same time
  • Chicken - 2 pounds - Cut into portion size - This is optional if you want to keep the meal vegetarian
  • Angel hair pasta - 1 pound
  • Olives - about 1/4 cup - I used an assortment of pitted and pickled Olives
  • Feta Cheese - about 2 OZs - cut into small cubes
  • Pesto - 2 tbs - I got the Organic freshly made from the store
  • Salt - 1 table spoon - add per taste
  • Freshly crushed black pepper - 1 table spoon - add per taste
  • Olive Oil - 4 table spoons
For Roasted Vegetables:
Take a flat non stick oven tray and spread the vegetables evenly on one half and Chicken pieces on the other half..  Drizzle it with about 2 table spoons of Olive Oil and Salt.  Preheat the over to about 350 deg F (this might differ depending on the size and type of oven you are using).  Use the roast setting if available.  Once the oven is preheated, place the oven tray with vegetables and Chicken inside.  Roast it for about 20-30 minutes until you can see the vegetables and Chicken turn golden on the edges.  Take the tray out and sprinkle it with some pepper.  You can also sprinkle it with some lemon salt or rosemary salt.  Be mindful that both these contain Salt already.
For Pasta:
In a large pot, bring about 8 cups of water to boil.  Add some salt.  Add the pasta once the water comes to boil.  Follow the instructions on the pasta package for how long to cook it.  I like it al-dante. So, it took about 8 minutes.  Drain the pasta and keep aside.  In another bowl large enough to toss the pasta, add 2 table spoons of olive oil, Feta Cheese, Pesto, Olives, Salt and Pepper.  Toss the pasta you kept aside gently with these.  Serve it Luke warm with Roasted Vegetables and Chicken.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Quick and Easy Paneer/Indian cottage cheese Stirfry

There is a saying "Laughter is the loudest where food is the best"!!  Very true I think, specially when good food is easy and quick to make.  This recipe is one of the more flavorful, crispy and fingerlickingly satisfying.

  • Paneer - 1 pound - Cut into bite size pieces (You can substitute Paneer with firm Tofu)
  • Onion - 1/2 cup - Sliced thin
  • Garlic - 3-4 cloves - Sliced thin
  • Turmeric powder - 1 tea spoon
  • Red Chili powder - 1 table spoon (adjust per taste)
  • Red Chili flakes - 1 tea spoon
  • Coriander powder - 1 tea spoon
  • Cumin powder - 1 tea spoon
  • Salt - 1 table spoon (adjust per taste0
  • Olive oil - 1 table spoon

To a non stick pan on medium heat, add the Olive oil.  Once the oil is heated, add the Garlic and Onion and saute till onions are browned.  Add Paneer/Tofu.  Saute until the Paneer/Tofu crisps up.  This will take about 8-10 minutes.  Now, add all the dry ingredients and mix till all the Paneer/Tofu pieces are well coated.
Serve this hot by itself or with rice or roti.  I served it with some yogurt and Pita Bread.  My daughter loves it as a roll.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Udad dal vada/ Medu Vada/ Savory Fried Lentil Dumplings

Urad dal vada or medu vada are very popular in south Indian households.  We make them for breakfast or as an evening snack.  Most of the times, it is paired with Idly.  Best served with hot spicy Sambar and coconut chutney. 
  • Urad dal/Split black gram - 2 cups
  • Black pepper corns crushed - 1 tea spoon (add per taste)
  • Green Chillies finely chopped - 1 tea spoon (add per taste)
  • Cilantro finely chopped - 2 table spoons
  • Onion finely chopped - 2 table spoons
  • Kalounji / Nijella seeds - 1 tea spoon
  • Salt - to taste
  • Baking soda - 1 tea spoon
  • Cooked rice - 2 table spoons
  • Hing / Asafoitida powder - 2 pinches
  • Oil to fry - 3 cups
Soak the Urad Dal over night.  Drain all the water and grind it fine with cooked rice.  Add very less water while grinding.  Adding more water makes the dough to soak in more oil while frying.  The consistency should be like the bread dough or a little looser.  Now, add all other ingredients and mix well. 
Heat oil in a deep frying pan to medium high.  To make sure that the oil is ready to be fried in, add a little of the prepared dough.  If the dough rises to the top, then the oil is ready.  Now, wet your left palm with water or oil.  Take about 2-3 tablespoons of the dough and place it on your left palm.  Form a hole in the center with your right hand finger and now slide it slowly into the hot oil.  Be very careful while doing this as the oil can splatter on you.  The form of the vada should look like a tiny doughnut.  The hole in the center is made not only so that it looks pretty, but also for even cooking.
Lower or turn the heat for oil to make sure that you do not burn the dough.  It needs to be fried on even heat until cooked and friend golden.  Turn the dough a couple of times to ensure even frying.
Now the crispy yummy urad dal vada is ready to be served.  You can serve it with Sambar and Chutney.  You can also soak the vadas in some yogurt for about 3-4 hours to make Dahi-vada.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Quick and Easy Fish Curry in a Hurry!!

Weekdays are kind of busy and for people who work outside home, it can get a little too tiring to get back home and cook a tasty hot meal.  This is for one such evenings...quick and easy but very tasty and healthy.  I bet your family will love it!!

  • Fish - 2 pounds (I used Salmon) - Cut into bite size pieces
  • Coconut Oil - 1 table spoon
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tea spoon
  • Curry leaves - 6-8
  • Methi / Fenugreek seeds - 1 tea spoon
  • Dry red chillies - 4-5
  • Coconut milk - 1 cup
  • Water - 2 cups
  • Salt - 1 table spoon (adjust per taste)
  • Red chili powder - 1 tea spoon (adjust per taste)
  • Turmeric - 1 tea spoon
  • Coriander powder - 1 tea spoon
  • Sambar powder - 1 tea spoon (adjust chili powder if your sambar powder has chili added to it)
  • Jeera / Cumin powder - 1 tea spoon

To a pan on medium heat, add Coconut oil.  Once it is hot, add mustard seeds and let it splutter, add curry leaves, dry red chillies and methi.  Now, add the coconut milk and water.  Add all other spices and let it come to a boil.  Now add the fish pieces and cook till the fish is well done.  This will require about 8-12 minutes depending on which fish you are using.  Generally, fish does not need too much time to cook.  Serve hot with rice, roti, quino or just enjoy by itself!!


Friday, November 22, 2013

Slow cooker Garlic-Peanut Yellow Lentils / Lahsun-Moongphali Dal

Simple ingredients married together to form an explosion of flavors....yes, this is one such recipe!! 

  •  Toor dal - Yellow lentils - 2 cups
  • Onion - one medium - Thinly sliced
  • Garlic - 5-6 pods - Minced finely
  • Whole Peanuts - 1/2 cup
  • Cilantro - 2 table spoons - finely chopped
  • Green chilies - 5-6 - roughly chopped (adjust per taste)
  • Olive oil - 1 table spoon
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tea spoon
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tea spoon
  • Salt - 1 table spoon (adjust pre taste)
  • Turmeric - 1 tea spoon
  • Curry leaves - 5-6 leaves

In the slow cooker, add Lentils, Onion, Garlic, Whole peanuts, Green Chilies, Salt, Turmeric and about 6 cups of water.  Turn it on low for 6-8 hours. 
Just before you are ready to eat, heat a small sauce pan on medium heat.  Add Olive oil to it.  Once the oil is heated, add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds to it and let them splutter.  Now add the curry leaves and take the pan off the heat.  Add this to the dal and enjoy it with hot white rice or roti!!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Spicy Roasted Lamb Chops

There are days I really crave some red meat and Lamb chops is one of the simplest to make and cooks in a jiffy!!  This is one of the recipes which can be pre marinated and frozen ahead of time.  Very convenient for parties where you could take it out and cook them quick.  They turn out finger lickingly delicious!!  Your guests will love it and will not even guess that it took so less effort :)

  • Lamb Chops - 12 to 15 number
  • Olive Oil - 1 tea spoon
For the Spice rub:
  • Turmeric - 1 tea spoon
  • Coriander powder - 1 tea spoon
  • Cumin powder - 1 tea spoon
  • Chilli powder - 1 tea spoon (adjust per taste)
  • Salt - 1 tea spoon (adjust per taste)
  • Ginger paste - 1/2 tea spoon
  • Garlic paste - 1/2 tea spoon
  • Methi/Fenugreek powder - 1/2 tea spoon
  • Lemon juice - 1 table spoon

If the Lamb chops are in a block, cut it into thinner slices (one bone per piece as shown in the picture above).  In a bowl, mix the ingredients for spice rub really well.  Smear and rub gently this spice rub onto the Lamb chops.  Cover and keep aside for 15-20 minutes.
To a pan on high heat, add the Olive oil.  Now place the marinated Lamb Chops flat on the pan.  Sear them on both sides for 1 minute each.  Now lower the heat to medium and cook the lamb chops until completely cooked.  This will take about 4-5 minutes on each side.  Serve with some Onions and Lemons!! 


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Simple Tomato and Onion Curry topped with Poached/Fried Egg

Simplest things are the best!!  We all go back to what we grew up when we need comfort.  One such recipe for me is this simple onion tomato curry topped with sunny side up egg.  Not many people like the half boiled or cooked egg.  But, it is one of my favourites :)  You can cook the egg fully if that is what you like and serve it with rice or roti...yummy....

  • Onion - One - peeled and chopped roughly
  • Tomato - 2 - chopped into small pieces
  • Green Chilies - 5-6 - Slit or cut thin
  • Olive oil / any other oil of your choice - 1 table spoon
  • Mustard - 1 tea spoon
  • Curry Leaves - 5-8 leaves
  • Cumin/Jeera - 1 tea spoon
  • Turmeric - 1 tea spoon
  • Salt - 1 table spoon (add per taste)
  • water - 1 cup (add more if you like thinner consistency)
  • Cilantro - 2 tablespoons - finely chopped
  • Egg - 3-4 - you can poach it or fry it per your preference

To a pan on medium heat, add Olive oil.  Once the oil heats up, add the mustard seeds.  Let it splutter.  Then add cumin seeds and curry leaves.  Add onion and saute till translucent.  Add Tomatoes and other ingredients except eggs and cilantro.  Let cook closed for 10-15 minutes till the tomatoes are soft and well blended with other ingredients.  Take off heat and top it with poached or fried eggs and cilantro.  You can eat this by itself for breakfast or with rice, roti or nan.