Monday, October 01, 2012

Oven hot Broccoli & Fusilli in white sauce,a winter warmer dish !

A week back i had been to my regular store to buy some groceries ,there i found a roll back offer on broccoli,a packet containing two small cute little heads of broccoli and then what,obviously i had to pick it up and put it in my shopping basket.No matter on whatever stuff i see the tag of " roll back price " i have some googly eyes going on there ;) .Finally i came home with my usual jam packed trolley and on the way my mind boggled for some good and healthy broccoli dishes.Its just that i always try and think of healthy food in dreams but while making i end up cooking the way i like to consume it ...and u bet it has nothing to do with health factor anywhere close  .The next day i made the broccoli and potato fry with one head and the other one was still lying in my refrigerator.I also found some cheese sitting in my fridge which i had to make use of or else it would straight away go into the trash.My daughter meantime started yelling that i never make fun food and when i asked her wht is this fun food all about,she said that according to her fun food means pastas/pizzas/burgers here i go,hadn't much choice in hand i opted for pasta .So this is why i came up with this dish and i really thank my sweety pie for wrecking my brains to use pasta with this green beauty .

ingredients :
1 cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup cooked fusilli as per the instructions given on your packet ( you can use any pasta)
2 tbsp chopped onions
1 tsp of finely chopped garlic
1 cup white sauce
1/4th cup shredded cheese ( i used mozeralla)
salt to taste
black pepper pwd to taste
2 tsps olive oil
red chilli flakes / herbs for seasoning ( optional )
for white sauce :
1 cup milk
2 tbsps butter
2 tbsps plain white flour ( maida)
salt to taste
black pepper to taste

method :
Steam broccoli over hot boiling water,cover for 5 mins until its tender yet crispy.Meanwhile heat olive oil,fry onions till translucent ,add garlic and fry for few seconds till u get its fragrance.Turn off the flame,add cooked fusilli,steamed broccoli ,toss a little,sprinkle some salt and pepper and give it a mix.
Preheat the oven at 200c .
For making  the white sauce,melt butter in a saucepan,stir in the flour and fry till the colour changes and u get some foam.Add in the milk slowly little at a time and whisk continuosly to avoid lumps.Keep stirring till the milk boils and then lower the flame and keep stirring till the sauce thickens and is smooth enough.Simmer for 5 mins and turn off the flame.Sprinkle salt and pepper as per your taste.
Pour this white sauce in the broccoli and fusilli mixture and mix it  gently,transfer this mixture in a greased baking pan.Sprinkle some shredded cheese over and bake in a preheated oven till the cheese melts and you get brown spots.Sprinkle some italian herbs/chilli flakes and the broccoli and pasta bake is ready to eat.


Monday, September 03, 2012

Spinach paratha for brunch !

I love the baby spinach which we get here in London,so cute and fresh :-) ,greens were really not one of my favourites when i was young ,but somehow later when i grew i developed the taste and now i love it to the core.Today's dish is a very simple,easy peasy and healthy,prefect for breakfast and the best thing is that we can  have it as a brunch also.I am sure everyone are aware of the high nutritonal value of spinach  ,it is very power-packed and one of the most super power foods.Instead of spinach sometimes i use fresh fenugreek leaves also ( methi leaves ),grated paneer and onions ,which also tastes awesomely yummy as the stuffing.This style of making paratha was taught by my mom and the methi stuffed was one of my regular breakfast before marraige.I was quite happy to make this style as making round paratha was quite tedious for me and all the more my stuffing use to come out when i was just a learner."Practice makes the man perfect ",yeah this is obviously the perfect proverb which applies while making chapatis/parathas,not an easy task man,now after years of cooking finally i manage to make round parathas :-),so if you are not good in making rounds,dont worry try this style ;)

approx will make 6-7 parathas
ingredients :
2 cups fresh chopped spinach leaves
red chilli pwd to taste
salt to taste
oil for frying ( i drizzled some olive oil on the parathas for frying )
1-11/2 cups whole wheat flour + 1/2 cup extra( dry flour for rolling the paratha) ( regular chapati aatta )
water as required
method :
Mix little water,salt in the flour to make a medium soft chapati dough.Cover and keep aside for 5-10 mins.Meanwhile wash spinach leaves thorough under running water .Strain well and chop the leaves finely.Spread the chopped leaves on a fresh dry kitchen towel so that it soaks all the extra water.Grease the dough with few drops of oil and knead once.Pinch a lemon size dough and roll it to a chapati with help of dry flour .Spread some (handful of ) chopped spinach leaves on one side ,sprinkle red chilli pwd and salt on it.Fold the chapati to the other end ,again roll once the semi circle chapati.Carefully put this stuffed spinach paratha on a preheated tava/griddle/pan .Drop few spoons of oil on both sides ,press the paratha evenly with the help of spatula and fry the paratha till it get brown spots and evenly roasted.Remove it from the pan, place it on your serving plate,cut into halves and serve hot with yogurt or pickles.

Linking this super veggie spinach paratha to Jagruti Dhanecha's super power event.


Friday, August 31, 2012

My fav chaat ,Panipuri & a winner of a giveaway in London

Recently in London ,the smiling sun was quite in a mood and we were having such bright sunny days that most of the time we spent in the gardens and beaches .A couple of weeks back i had my first potluck and considering the sun showing some empathy on us i opted for panipuri .I have made panipuri quite a few times before and ofcourse i had it end number of times on the streets of mumbai ,infact i can say i have grown up eating panipuris ;)....buh this time i made the panipuri from the scratch,i rolled and puffed the puris which turned out nearly perfect that also in my very first attempt,im so proud of myself...hehehehe yeah i know this is too much now buh i really had a myth that making puris is a tedious job ,believe me i proved myself wrong.If you have a perfect puri recipe in your hand and if you are  following the proper technique then nowhere you are making a mistake.
I want to share some good news you all ,hey wait a min ,dont misunderstand,no im not pregnant or so ...just that i recently won a GIVEAWAY which was hosted by NAYNA from simple sensational food.I won a pair of free tickets for foodies festival at battersea park in London.I had tried my luck before in entering quite a few giveaways but everytime i was disappointed,this time luckily i won and that too for foodies festival,what better than this can it be right ? So my hubby who is also a big foodie joined me for the festival .We had gala time tasting and experiencing various foods,drinks and the amazing culinary talents.Will write and post some of the event pics in my next post .Till then tc and njoy the weekend !
Without any further delay lets go to the chatpata chaat recipe ....


ingredients for 50 puris ( puri recipe is taken from manjula's kitchen ) -
3/4th cup suji ( i used coarse semolina / rava )
1/4th cup maida (plain flour )
1/2 cup water ( or as required,for me this qty was good enough )
method :
Mix rava and maida together ,add water and make a dough.Knead the dough until it is firm and pliable .Cover with a damp cloth and keep aside for 10-15 mins.Pinch a golf size dough and roll it flat and thin like a big round chapati ,with a help of round cookie cutter or any sharp cutter scoop out the circles as shown in the picture above and deep fry them on medium heat ,with the back of your frying spoon press the puri to puff up and fry till they turn golden in colour.Strain the excess oil on the kitchen towel.Once they get cooled down store in an airtight container for few days and use as required .

ingredients for pani -
1 bunch pudina leaves ( mint leaves)
1 bunch corriander leaves ( cilantro )
7-8 green chillies ( pls adjust acc to your taste,i luv spicy water )
1 tsp chopped ginger
salt to taste
kala namak ( black salt ) to taste
black pepper pwd to taste
cumin powder to taste ( roasted jeera pwd )
amchur pwd to taste ( dry mango pwd )
7-8 cups water ( adjust more or less )
1/2 cup plain boondi ( optional )
method :
Clean the pudina and corriander and wash thoroughly under cold running water.Mix pudina ,corriander,green chillies and ginger together,add some water and grind into a paste just like u grind a chutney.Strain this paste adding the water .Add all the other ingredients in this water and refrigerate until you use it.When serving add the boondis and put this paani in the puris.

ingredients for potato and chana masala
2-3 boiled and mashed potatoes
1/2 cup kala chana ( soaked overnight and pressure cooked with little salt and turmeric )
salt to taste
cumin pwd to taste
red chilli pwd to taste
1-2 tsps lemon juice
black salt to taste
chopped cilantro to taste
method :
Crush the boiled chanas with your fingers  and mix it with mashed potatoes.Add the rest of the ingredients ,mix everything together and the filling to put in the puri is ready .

Assembling the panipuris :
For assembling the pani puris ,crack the puri with a finger in the centre( make a small hole ). Fill the puris with boiled  potato and chana masala. Fill each puris with the hot and sour pani (water). Serve immediately !

Monday, August 20, 2012

Elaichi & kesar pedas for our first UK bloggers meet :)

Hey friends ! hope everyone are in pink of their health.Life has really been a roller coaster ride so far ..... finally after settling down in a new country,state,city and ofcourse our new home in London ,i am back to blogging.I have been ususally lucky as when i moved from Australia to India i got a chance to meet the lovely bloggers from bangalore and now when im in UK i had a chance to meet some of the UK bloggers and trust me i never ever imagined in my life that i may move to London and meet such amazing foodies one fine day.To begin with we were 8 of them and had such a lovely day out,besides a foodie and a blogger they all are wonderful humans too and that is what surprised me ;) .We had such a gala time sipping,chatting ,eating and gossiping together the whole sunny afternoon .The hang over is still there and we are not enough with the pics and are pretty much alert on our messangers as well.Had tried for the first time these small sweet treats for everyone and i was glad to know the results.Thank you guys for liking the pedas !

approx makes 18-20 pedas
ingredients :
11/2 cups mava ( grated or crumpled )
1/2 cup sugar ( please adjust more or less acc to your sweet tooth )
1/2 cup whole full fat milk
1 tsp elaichi pwd
4-5 strands of kesar
2 tsps ghee + 1/2 tsp extra
handful of almond flakes or pistachios
method :
In a microwave safe bowl add mava ,sugar,milk,elaichi and kesar together.Give it a stir and throw in microwave .Heat on 800 w for 8-10 mins ,stirring every 2 mins in between OR till it starts getting thick enough.Once the mixture is little crumbly and thich enough take it out from the micro and let it cool down or else you will burn your fingers.After few mins,apply the extra ghee on your palms and roll the mixture into a smooth and fine dough.Scoop out 1 tbsp of dough and mould it into whatever desired shape you like.Sprinkle some almond flakes/pistachios on top and press it little with your thumb.Let it set for some time and store it for a couple of days.