Sunday, May 29, 2011

cannelloni pasta stuffed with spinach and ricotta cheese

Winter is upon us so are coughs and colds ,in such colder months we are now craving for some warming comfort food,so today i made some piping hot cannelloni pasta ,which was quite filling and cheesy .Here i have used the regular and common riccotta cheese and spinach combination but you can wear your thinking aprons on and make some delicious and healthy stuffing to warm yourselves up. Our love for italian food is rustic ,after my luscious,lip-smacking italian dessert tiramisu ,my adventure in cooking is heating up and this cannelloni pasta dish invention turned out wonderfully good too. I used store bought pasta sauce but next time im gonna make my own pasta sauce :P.Also i would luv to add some bechemel ( white ) sauce on top ,im sure it wuold be divine.  

approx for 2 ppl
ingredients :
6-8 cannelloni pasta tubes
150 grms frozen spinach ,thawed 
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
500gms of pasta sauce ( store bought or home made ,i used store bought creamy tomato and mozarella pasta sauce)
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1-2 cloves of grated garlic
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil  + 1 tbsp to drizzle on top
1/2 cup shredded mozerella cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt to taste
black pepper pwd to taste
method :
Boil the dry cannelloni tubes for 8-10 mins with enough water  , wash under cold water to get rid of extra starch.Strain and keep aside.Heat olive oil,add chopped onions and grated garlic.Saute onions for a while,add spinach and cook for 8-10 mins.Turn of the heat,add riccotta cheese and mix well.Sprinkle some salt and pepper in spinach and cheese mixture.Preheat the oven at 180c ,spread 1/2 the pasta sauce first on the ovenproof deep baking dish. Spoon the spinach and riccotta mixture in the boiled cannelloni tubes generously and place on the layer of the paste sauce in the baking tray.Cover the cannelloni's with the remaining pasta sauce and top it with shredded mozerella and parmesan cheese.Bake it for 15-20 mins or untill the cheese melts and gets crisp.
pls note  :
1. You can try using instant cannelloni tubes which can be directly filled and baked ,no need to boil them .And if boiling then take care not to over cook them otherwise they make break and loose their shape.
2.I had actually little less pasta sauce in hands then then given measurements above which  u can notice in my first pic,it looks a bit dry but nevertheless the taste was awesome.
3. You should cover the tubes generouslly with pasta sauce or else ur tubes will get hard and it might get little burnt taste after baking.
Sending this over to reshmi of rasoithekitchen for guest hosting veggie/fruit of the month event,brainchild of priya.

Friday, May 27, 2011

cholar dal,truly an authentic bengali dish !

"Cholar" means chana dal ( bengal split gram ) in bengali ,this dal is exceptionally easy and quick to make ,the  pure authentic bengali flavour with a dash of sweetness and the flavour of coconut is usually made with "luchis" ,a flaky,puffed thin( bengali) indian bread in weddings and occassionaly on festivals in Bengal.We cherished this dal with rice which was  again a very comfort food.Wish i could have made some luchis in combo but was just too short of time but nevertheless this dal turned out super delicious and theres always a next time,we 3 luved this dal and next time i m making it with luchi for sure :) .I am lurking on Deepa of hamaree rasoi's blog since long time now and i found this traditional dish very appealing,her pics were real treat to eyes,trust me the cholar dal recipe which she posted i cudnt take my eyes off from that pic and i knew im going to make this and i,infact we three in our family luved it,i also got glowing comments from my hubby :P .Please do check her blog with more charming dishes .I am so grateful to her for sharing such authentic and traditional dishes which can  be recreated by all of us.Thank you so much Deepa !

ingredients :
1 cup chana dal ( split bengal gram )
2 tsps finely chopped fresh coconut pieces
1/2 tsp turmeric pwd
1 tsp red chilli pwd
1-2 dry red whole chillies
1 green chilli
1/4 tsp hing ( asafoetida pwd )
1/2 tsp  ginger paste
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1-2 cardomon pods
1-2 bay leaves
1-2 cloves
1 small pc cinnamon stick
2 tsps of ghee ( i used oil )
1 tsp sugar
salt to taste
2 tbsp grated coconut for garnishing
corriander leaves for garnishing
method :
Wash and soak chana dal half an hour.Pressure cook ,adding salt,turmeric pwd and enough water,cook till tender enough yet the dal should not be completely mushy ( i cooked on slow heat for 8-10 mins ).After the dal is done add sugar,ginger paste and red chilli pwd in the dal and keep simmering. For tempering heat oil/ghee ,add bay leaf,cumin,hing ,chopped coconut ,dry red chillies and cinnamon stick.Let it splutter and fry for few secs and pour this tempering in the hot simmering dal.Boil for a min and turn of the heat.Garnish with grated coconut and corriander leaves,serve piping hot with rice / chapati /luchi.
sending this to nayna's Flavours of bengal event ,guest hosted by Priya of mharo rajasthan recipes.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Rice cutlets

This is the fabulous and healthiest way of using your leftover rice,in minutes you can fix this cutlets.Rice is very common and staple food in our everyday meals but sometimes when we happen to make some extra  rice ,its kinda boring to consume the leftover rice ,we try and cook some other variety of rice,using some veggies or yogurt etc..but to make a yummy snack out of it is highly pleasing our taste,when i made them for the first time i really used the leftover rice but now i purposely make more rice and use the remaining rice specially to make this cutlets .I and my hubby crave for it very often now.I had bookmarked this when i saw preety's post on her left over wonders on her relishing recipes food blog,please do visit her space for more spectacular dishes.
Linking this to priya's Every tuesday-bookmarked recipes event ,now hosted by aipi.

Ingredients :
1-1/2 cups of cooked rice ( preferable leftover ones )
3 tbsps cornflour
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
1-2 finely chopped green chillies
1-2 tsps of garam masala  ( adjust acc to ur taste)
1/2 cup vegetables (grated carrots ,peas , grated beetroots..etc ..  optional )
1-2 cloves of garlic,grated
1 small piece of ginger,grated
handful of chopped corriander leaves
lemon juice to taste
salt to taste
oil for shallow frying
1/2 cups of breadcrumbs for coating ( i used  coarse semolina / rava   )
method :
Mash the cooked rice till soft and mushy,add all the other ingredients except breadcrumbs / semolina and oil and mix well.Take lemon size mixtures and flatten them like a tikki or a circular disc and dust each of them with bread crumbs or semolina and shallow fry them and serve hot with ketchup  or corriander chutney.
pls note :
you can deep fry the cutlets as well .Here i have not shallow or deep fried but used only few spoons of oil and fried on a non-stick pan which was little time consuming but was more healthy .

Monday, May 23, 2011

vanghi bhaath /eggplant rice

A traditional spicy eggplant  rice with a blend of spices infused to give a deep flavour and amazing aroma ,this rice is very simple and easy peasy to make ,most common in karnataka state of India, years back after my marraige when  i moved  from mumbai to bangalore,this dish was so very new and unique to me but now its one of the most common dishes i make regularly in my kitchen,i usually make when i feel lazy to cook.

ingredients :
2 cups rice
1-11/2 cup bite size eggplants / brinjals / baingan ( any variety can b used )
2-3 tbsp chopped capsicum
1 small onion chopped
2 tbsp vangi bhaath masala pwd ( i used ready store bought  )
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp red chilli pwd  ( optional )
1/4 tsp garam masala ( optional,i always add though )
1/2 tsp turmeric pwd
2 tbsp oil
salt to taste
lemon juice to taste
corriander leaves to garnish
method :
Cook rice and keep it aside.Heat oil in a pan,splutter mustard seeds .fry onions till transluscent,add capsicum and eggplants,fry till both are tender enough.Add chilli pwd,salt,garam masala ,turmeric pwd and vanghi bhath masala pwd .Add cooked rice and mix well .Garnish with corriander leaves and squeeze in some lemon juice and serve hot with raita /yogurt.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

kaali daal / daal makhani

Hi friends ! I am back after a months break ...yeah it is exactly a month i posted anything , had some personal reasons as well some other important committed stuff but now im happy to be back with loads of new / known/ tried and tasted  dishes  :) . Well,today im posting the favourite,simple slow cooking process of  kaali dal / dal makhani which hails from northern parts of India .I made for couple of my friends when i invited them for dinner and  its been long i promised them for the recipe ,sorry gals for posting up so late .This dal is very commonly served in almost all Indian restaurants with tandoori roti / naan / rice and is thick creamy in taste .I have used the black whole urad lentils( kali dal ) ,red kidney beans ( rajma ) & yellow gram lentils ( chana dal )  while preparing this dal and all these three ingredients together  make wonders .

ingredients :
1/2 cup black whole urad gram ( kaali dal / maa ki dal )
2 tbsp red kidney beans ( rajma )
2 tbsp gram lentils ( chana dal )
1 tsp red chilli pwd ( adjust acc to your taste )
1 tsp garam masala ( adjust acc to your taste )
1/4 tsp turmeric pwd
1/4 cup yogurt
1/4 cup fresh cream
handful of chopped corriander leaves
salt to taste
for tempering ( tadka ) :
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida pwd ( hing )
1-2 bay leaf
1 small stick cinnamon
1 finely chopped onion
1 finely chopped tomato
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1-2 chopped green chillies
method :
Soak kali dal , rajma and chana dal together overnight .Pressure cook all the three dals with turmeric,salt,red chilli pwd,garam masala with water ( say about 3-4 cups )for atleast half an hour in low heat till tender and soft enough.When done take 1/4 cup of cooked dal and mash it thoroughly to be smooth and thickand mix it back into the rest of the dal.Heat oil in seperate pan,add  bay leaf,cinnamon stick,hing ,cumin seeds ,let it splutter, saute onions,add ginger-garlic-green chillies .Drop in the tomatoes and cook till pulp.Add the cooked daal , and yogurt and let it simmer for a while.Plop in some cream and turn off the flame,garnish with corriander leaves and serve hot with rotis / rice.