Popular Recipes

Friday, August 17, 2012

"Everday Cooking"- Rotini with Basil-Walnut Pesto

In this years Sizzling hot and dry summer, the only plant that has really stood well in my garden is the ...BASIL!! And doing fairly OK is the Zucchini.No matter they make into my cooking often!!
Basil has a strong flavor and smell and so I cannot incorporate it in most Indian dishes.It doesn't go that well. It makes it into the Pizza's, Pastas, Pestos or Thai curries that I make etc.
Zucchini has a different story.It is a versatile Veggie...it will go in Curries, in Pakodas, in upma, in burger patties, in vegetable tikkis, in breads, cupcakes, pancakes...you name it..and we can add zucchini to that dish!!!
So here comes the recipe-Rotini Pasta with Basil-Walnut Pesto

Basil- Walnut Pesto
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup walnuts
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/ cup Olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/2tsp Black ground Pepper
 Few drops of lemon juice

3 cups Rotini pasta ( I used the tricolor garden Rotini)
1 cup Sliced zucchini
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup broccoli florets
1tsp minced garlic
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp red chili flakes/ Powder

1) Boil pasta as per package directions in Salt water. Drain well.
2)Grind together all the ingredients for the Basil-Walnut pesto into smooth paste.
3) In 1 tbsp olive oil, saute the veggies and the garlic.
4) Toss in the boiled pasta and the basil-walnut pesto
5) Drizzle the olive oil, red chili powder salt (if necessary)
6) Just before serving ,sprinkle with the grated Parmesan cheese.

  Enjoy the Rotini Pasta with Basil-Walnut Pesto with your favorite bowl of hot soup!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

"Sweet Treats"- Mango-Pineapple-Cream cheese Gelatin molds

From the last weeks ''Mango Sago pudding"...I had Mango pulp and condensed milk leftover. To use that up and to make some snack/ dessert....these pretty  Gelatin molds came into being!!
'E' loved snaking on these after coming from school,, and we made Gelatin hearts and flowers with the cookie cutters!
I had loved this dessert- 'Mango Cheese Cake' that 'S' had made.

On similar lines with few modifications, I made a tropical "Mango-Pineapple Cream Cheese gelatin mold"

1 Cup Mango Pulp(I used Kesar Mango pulp)
4 oz Cream cheese
1/2 can of Sweetened Condensed milk
1 pkg Jello Island Tropical Pineapple gelatin
Mango slices for the garnish
Cookie cutters for cutting shapes

1) Bring cream cheese to room temperature. Microwave for 4 secs just to make it soft.
2)Heat 1 cup water. Dissolve the Pineapple gelatin in the water by stirring.
3) Mix the mango pulp,condensed milk in the gelatin mix.Stir the cream cheese. Use hand /hand mixer to blend it well and make it smooth.
4) Pour into a flat  glass tray/dish.Spray the dish with cooking spray before pouring the gelatin.

5) Let it set in the refrigerator for few hours.
5) Serve cold by cutting 'pie' shapes or by cutting various shapes with a cookie cutter.Garnish with sliced mango.

Monday, August 13, 2012

"Sweet Treats"- Quick and Easy Mango Pedhas

My little 'A' turned TWO!!!! Like all mothers say...I am going to say...YES the time flies suppperrr fast!!! Still remember the day ....minute by minute....all that nervousness, that anxiety, that joy...those tears...those hugs...those teeny tiny toes...each and every thing is still fresh in my mind...and I hope it never fades!!!

So my little 'A' is still Teeny Tiny and not a big eater. She eats small portions and feeding her is a challenge. But just before her birthday we had been to a friends place.When my friend offered these Pedhas made my her mom in law...'A' readily took it and finished it!!! It was great joy for the mom in me!!
The very next day...it was her birthday and I made these for her...
They are super quick...3-5 minute Pedhas.....good protein due to the milk powder and amazingly tasty!!!

Ingredients:  Makes 20 or more small Pedhas
Note: Since the brand of milk powder, microwave oven, the glassware you use differs--- the cooking time and the amount of milk powder might have to be increased!!
1/2 stick Unsalted butter (at room temperature)
1 and 1/2 cups Milk powder ( I used non fat dry milk) --You might need more*
1/2 can of 14 oz Sweetened condensed milk
3tbsp of Mango pulp/ Puree
1/4tsp nutmeg powder
1/4tsp cardamom powder
Some granulated sugar to roll the Pedhas

1) Mix together milk powder, butter,condensed milk,nutmeg,cardamom,mango etc in microwave safe big bowl
2) Microwave for 3-4 minutes total. After every minute stir the mixture. *If the mixture doesn't thicken in 4 mintues, add a little more milk powder and microwave another minute.Keep doing this till it is thick.
The mixture will fluff up in the microwave as it is cooking. It will thicken as it is cooked. Remember to stir every minute!
3) After it thicken enough to roll in to Pedhas, let it cool. Make into small Pedhas.
4) Roll into granulated sugar lightly. Store in the refrigerator.

" Around the World in 30 Weekends"- Weekend 7- China:: Chinese Mango Sago Pudding

I missed my 'Culinary' travel around the world for so long!! Finally, got to write this post about the new dessert I tried at home. It was my friend "M's surprise birthday party and the menu decided was "Chinese".
Since, the noodles, fried rice, stir fries are not new anymore and we make them so often....and  since I was to make a dessert....I decided to try out this Chinese Mango Sago Pudding. Traditionally, this pudding is made with both Mango and Pomelo (a citrus fruit). Since I didn't have any Pomelo...I just did the Mango version.
Now, 'Sago Kheer"/ Sabudanyachi kheer is a typical food for religious fasts in Maharashtra,India. I am not a big fan of that kheer, but I decided to try this one out anyways.
I wouldn't say, I will make this one again and again....but it was worth trying once. But, all you Sago and Mango lovers...worth a shot! And it can serve as a variation to the usual Sago kheer too!

2 Cups soaked sago (soak sago overnight in water.Add as much water as to cover the sago plus a little more)
1/2 cup Sweet condensed milk
1 cup mango pulp(I used the Kesar mango pulp)
1/2 cup Whole milk
1 Cup cubed Mango pieces
1/2tsp cardamom powder(optional)
Sugar if needed

1) In a pan, heat 2 and 1/2 cups water.Bring to a boil.
2) Add the soaked sago to the water and cook while stirring. Cook till the sago turns translucent. Add more water if too thick.
3) Take off the heat and let it cool. Add the mango pulp, condensed milk, milk, mango pieces etc. Add more milk to adjust to desired consistency. Add sugar if not sweet enough.
4) Chill in refrigerator.Garnish with sliced Mangoes before serving.

"Nutritious and Delicious"- High Fiber Cereal bars with Oats, Wheat bran and Almonds

Instead of the 'Wheat germ' that I buy for the cereal bars, I accidentally picked a pack of 'Wheat Bran" the other day at the grocery store. And the next day... we had "High Fiber" homemade cereal bars!!
Wheat bran is one of those "super good for you foods". Here are few nutrition facts about wheat bran:
In short...a cup of wheat bran gives almost the daily needed fiber!!! In addition to that it has many more benefits...high in protein, low saturated fat etc etc
Along with wheat bran there are whole grain oats ,almonds, flax seed meal...all the 'Good for you' stuff that go in the bar! You have to try these!!

1 and 1/2 cup Whole grain Quick Oats
1 cup Unprocessed wheat bran
1/4 cup Flax Seed meal
1/4 cup Almonds
1/8 cup White chocolate chips
3/4 to 1 cup Light Brown sugar (add more for sweeter bars)
1 tbsp Honey
1 Egg
1tsp Vanilla
1/4tsp Cinnamon
1tbsp Canola Oil
1 tbsp All purpose flour
1/4tsp salt 
1) Preheat oven to 350F. Spread the oats and almonds on a cookie sheet and warm in the oven for 8-10 mins...until slightly toasted. Don't let the almonds or oats burn.Take out sooner if needed!!!  OR Toast the oats in microwave oven for 3 mins and the almonds for 50-60 sec.
Now Reduce temperature to 325F. Coat a 8*11 inch pan or 9* 9 inch pan with aluminum foil.Spray with nonstick cooking spray.
2) Beat the egg.Mix oil, sugar and all of the above ingredients, stir well.
3) Press the mixture in the coated pan.
4) Bake at 325F for 15- 20 mins ....till slightly golden brown. Do not let them burn.Take out sooner if needed!
5)Let them cool  a bit and then cut onto bars with a oiled sharp knife
6) Store in airtight container.Makes 12 bars.

 Delicious, High fiber healthy bars for your breakfast/ snack from your own oven!!!