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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Eggplant Pasta | Easy Pasta Recipes

eggplant pasta
Pasta is one of the easiest options I would look for when I am pressed for time or if I am lazy to cook something elaborate.I must say that I am lucky that DH prefers the simple kind of pastas like Aglio E Olio or a simple pesto based Pasta than the heavy sauce and cheese loaded pastas.Hence making pastas is easy for me. Infact I have also started preferring these simple yet flavorful pasta.
pasta with eggplants
As I find Aglio E Olio bit dry for my liking, I usually serve it with grilled vegetables or eggplants.The soft and fleshy eggplants make a nice combination with the pasta and we started liking it and slowly I turned out the entire dish into a single one and that is how the Eggplant pasta started featuring at my place.

In case you are interested check out other Pasta recipes here -
pasta with eggplants

Eggplant Pasta Recipe:
Serves 2
Prep time:10 mins | Cooking time:20 mins | Total time:30 mins
Cuisine: Italian | Category: Pasta - Main Course

Ingredients:
2 cups Pasta(of any shape)
2-3 long thin Purple Eggplants
1 Onion,finely chopped
6-8 Garlic cloves,finely chopped
1/2 tsp Pepper powder,freshly ground
1/2 tsp Red chili flakes
1 tsp Mixed Italian Herbs
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp Extra virgin Olive oil
Salt to taste

Method:
  • Bring water to a boil with salt and add a tsp of olive oil in a big pot add pasta and cook for 8-10 mins until it is al dente or follow the instructions on your package.Drain the pasta and keep it aside.
  • Meanwhile chop eggplants into small cubes or cut them into thin 1" length pieces and drop them in salted water for 10 mins.This will remove the bitterness of eggplants and also would not let it turn black.Squeeze slightly the extra water and pat dry it.You can either grill them in oven with some olive oil and salt for 15-20 mins until done or saute it in olive oil in a pan until they are soft and cooked.
  • Heat olive oil in a pan and add finely chopped garlic and fry until it turns slight red in color and then add chopped onions and fry well until they turn translucent and turn slight pink.
  • Add grilled or sauteed eggplant cubes/pieces and fry for 1-2 mins.
  • Add red chili flakes, mixed herbs, pepper powder and salt and fry for 1-2 mins.
  • Add cooked and drained pasta to it and mix well until the mixture coats the pasta.
Serve it hot and drizzle on top with Extra virgin olive oil and shaved Parmesan cheese.I served it with Garlic Bread and lemonade.

eggplant pasta recipe
Notes:
  1. You can use herbs of your choice like fresh basil or oregano in the recipe instead of mixed dried herbs. 
  2. If you like you can add Parmesan cheese into the pasta while it is on heat.
  3. Chopped canned tomatoes or blanched,peeled and chopped tomatoes also can be added along with onions in the recipe.
eggplant pasta recipe

Monday, June 16, 2014

Gawar aur Aloo ki Sabzi | Cluster Beans-Potato Curry

 Gawar ki Sabzi
We get very good and tender Cluster beans in Mumbai and hence it is again one routine vegetable which appears frequently at my place.Cluster beans take a bit of time to clean, chop and cook but it has good fiber content and hence I include it often.'Cluster beans' are called 'Gawar ki Phalli' in Hindi and 'Goruchikkudu' in Telugu.
I have posted a south Indian style Cluster beans curry(Goruchikkudu kura) earlier and today I am sharing a Maharasthrian version called - Gawarchi Bhaji which can be paired with rice or rotis.I usually pair cluster beans with potatoes as they make a nice combination with rotis. The addition of groundnut powder enhances the taste of the curry, do give this version a try next time.
cluster beans potato curry

Gawar ki Sabzi with Aloo | Cluster beans - Potato Curry Maharasthrian style:
Serves 2-3
Prep time:20 mins | Cooking time:30 mins | Total time:50 mins
Cuisine:Maharashtrian-India | Category:Curry-Side dish

Ingredients:
250 gms tender Cluster beans
1 large Potato
1 Onion,chopped
2-3 tbsp roasted Groundnut powder
3/4 tsp Red chili powder
1/4 tsp Garam masala or 1 tsp Goda masala
1 tsp Coriander powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
3/4 tsp roasted Cumin powder
6-8 Curry leaves,chopped
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste

Method:
  • Wash and wipe cluster beans and remove the ends and stings and pluck them into 1" pieces using hands.Steam it for 10 mins or 2 whistles in pressure cooker.You can skip steaming if you want to cook it directly.
  • Peel the potatoes and cut into thin fingers of  1" length.
  • Heat oil in a big thick kadai /pan and crackle mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
  • Add chopped onions and curry leaves and fry until they turn translucent.
  • Add potato fingers to it and fry for 2-3 mins.Sprinkle some water and cover it and cook for 5-7 mins until it is 3/4th cooked.(If you are cooking cluster beans directly add them along with potatoes and cook them together.You need to add required water to let it cook,so keep checking in between if it needs more water,sprinkle water in regular intervals so that the vegetables would not get burnt).Add steamed cluster beans and cook for another 3-4 mins until the potatoes are done.
  • Add all the spices and salt and mix nicely.Cover it and cook for 2-3 mins.
  • Switch off the flame and add roasted ground nuts powder and mix it.
Serve it hot with Roti/Phulka/Rice.

Notes:
  1. You can avoid potatoes and prepare this only with cluster beans.
  2. I like it to be a slightly dry version.If you want you can make it to a slight gravy by adding water and more ground nut powder and boil at the end.
  3. You can prepare this curry in a pressure cooker by following the same process and pressure cook with little water for 1-2 whistles.Once the steam subsides,increase the flame and let the water evaporate if you prefer a dry version or serve as it is if you like gravy version
  4. You can add grated coconut or dry coconut powder along with ground nut powder at the end.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Baby Corn Korma | Babycorn Peas Kurma Recipe

baby corn korma
Babycorn Capsicum Curry is one of the most liked recipes in my blog and has got a very good feedback. In fact, it is even my favorite curry and my first choice when I have Babycorns at home.The crunch of baby corns is what I love the most and it adds a nice texture to any curry.I love preparing stir fries , pulaos, fritters and also this Korma. Baby corn Korma has become the latest favorite at my place. The aroma of the fresh spices, especially the cardamom and kasuri methi and the slight hint of sweetness from cashew nuts and coconut paste with the bite of crunchy baby corn pieces makes this dish extremely delicious. I bet the flavors lingers with you even after a while.
babycorn kurma
You pair with simple rotis or laccha parathas or jeera rice,it is absolutely a winning combo.I would vouch for this Baby corn Korma recipe as  much as I love my Babycorn Capsicum Curry.Do give it a try once and I am sure you will like it.You can definitely make this for any party and just wait to receive the compliments.

baby corn korma

Check out other Babycorn recipes in my blog.
babycorn peas kurma

Baby Corn Korma Recipe:
Serves 3-4
Prep time:15 mins | Cooking time: 25 mins | Total time:40 mins
Cuisine: Indian | Category: Side Dish - Main Course

Ingredients:
12-15 Baby corns,each cut into 4 cylindrical pieces
1/2 cup fresh/frozen Green Peas
1 large Onion,finely chopped
2-3 tbsp fresh Curd,nicely beaten
1 tsp Kasuri Methi
1 tbsp chopped Coriander
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
3/4 tsp Red chili powder
1 1/2 tbsp Oil
1 tbsp Ghee
Salt to taste
Lemon wedges, to serve

to temper:
1 Bayleaf
2 Green cardamoms,crushed with a pestle
2-3 Cloves
1" Cinnamon
1 Green chili,slit

to Grind:
1/4 cup grated fresh Coconut
1 large Tomato,chopped
8-10 Cashewnuts
1 tbsp Corinader seeds
1 tsp Cumin seeds
5-6 black Pepper corns
3/4 tsp Fennel seeds(Saunf)

Method:
  • Par boil baby corns and green peas in hot water for 3-4 mins.Drain and keep them aside.
  • Meanwhile heat 1/2 tsp oil and add coriander seeds, cumin seeds and pepper corns and fry nicely.You can even dry roast them if you want.Remove them from the pan and let them cool.
  • Grind roasted coriander seeds, cumin seeds and pepper corns with raw fennel seeds to a coarse powder.
  • Add cashew nuts, grated fresh coconut and tomato and grind it to a smooth paste.If necessary add some water but make sure you grind it to a smooth paste.
  • In a wide non stick pan heat 2 tsp oil and add baby corn pieces and green peas and saute them for 4-5 mins until they turn slightly golden in color.
  • In another thick kadai/pan heat 1 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp ghee and add a bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon, green cardamoms(crush the cardamoms with a pestle before adding which is important to give the korma a nice flavor) and slit green chilli and fry for half a minute.
  • Add finely chopped onions and fry until they turn translucent.Now add ginger-garlic paste and fry well for a minute.
  • Add the ground masala paste and fry nicely for 3-4 mins until the raw smell goes away.
  • Add turmeric powder, red chili powder and garam masala and fry well for 2 mins.If the masala is completely dry add a tbsp of water and fry again, but do not let it burn.
  • Add roasted baby corn pieces and green peas and add enough water (roughly 1- 1.25 cups) to get your required consistency.
  • Also add salt, kasuri methi and curd(make sure you have beaten the curd nicely before adding) and mix it nicely.Simmer it and cook for 7-8 mins.Adjust the consistency of gravy by adding or reducing the water accordingly.
  • Switch off the flame.Add coriander at the end and mix well.You can add lemon juice now or serve the lemon wedges along with gravy.
Serve it hot with Rotis/Parathas/Naans/Jeera rice/Ghee rice.
babycorn peas masala
Notes:
  1. You can prepare the entire process in a pressure cooker.In that case follow the grinding process as mentioned above,but you don't need to par boil and roast the baby corn and green peas ahead.You can do the tempering and roasting the masala along with the spices in the pressure cooker as mentioned above and then add baby corn pieces and green peas and fry them for 2-3 mins and then add water along with salt, kasuri  methi and beaten curds and pressure cook for 1 whistle.Once the pressure drops remove the lid and boil it again for 2-3 mins and add coriander and lemon juice after you switch it off.
  2. This Korma tastes best when it is made spicy but you can adjust according to your wish by reducing the chili powder.Do remember we are adding pepper corns while grinding.
  3. If you like you can add fried paneer pieces at the end to the korma.
  4. Make sure you crush the green cardamom with a pestle before adding to the tempering.This adds a nice aroma to the korma.
  5. Also do not forget to beat the curds well before adding,otherwise it will curdle.
babycorn korma

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Monday, June 2, 2014

Schezwan Vegetable Noodles | Indo Chinese Recipes


schezwan veg noodles
Noodles and Pasta varieties are always a favourite among kids and adults.When it comes to main course in Chinese I would definitely opt noodles over fried rice but I absolutely enjoy both but my taste buds slightly incline towards noodles any day. Schezwan flavour complements noodles very well and is my favourite too. Usually for Hakka noodles a side dish like Manchurian gravy is more preferred but for Schezwan noodles you do not need any side dish to accompany it with as the noodles are already flavoured with the schezwan sauce and tastes nice on its own.
chinese schezwan veg noodles
One can prepare schezwan sauce before and keep it ready. Once you have all the preparation work done you can toss the noodles in no time. I always love to watch how they toss in such high flames in restaurants, it adds a nice smoky flavour to the dishes.Chinese dishes tastes best when it is served piping hot and slightly spicy, one can adjust the amount of sauce according to the personal preferences.
schezwan veg noodles


If you are interested check out other Indo-Chinese recipes in my blog.
Schezwan Vegetable Noodles Recipe:
Serves 2
Prep time:15 mins | Cooking time:10 mins | Total time: 25 mins
Cuisine: Indo-Chinese | Category: Noodles - Main Course

Ingredients:
1 pack(200 gms) Vegetarian Hakka Noodles
1/3 cup Schezwan Sauce
1 Onion, finely sliced
1" Ginger, julienne into thin strips
3-4 Garlic pods, finely chopped
1/4 tsp freshly ground Black pepper/White pepper
1 tsp dark Soya sauce
1 tsp white Vinegar
2 tbsp Olive oil
2 tbsp Sesame oil
Salt to taste

Vegetables needed:
1 cup finely shredded Cabbage, length wise
1 big Carrot, julienne into thin strips
1 Capsicum, julienne into thin strips
12-15 French beans, thinly sliced lenth wise
6-8 Spring onions, whites-sliced thin;greens-finely chopped

Method:
  • Bring 7-8 cups of water to a boil in a pan and add salt and one tsp of sesame  oil to it and add hakka noodles and cook according to the instructions. The noodles should hold its shape and firm to bite, this process should take 8-10 mins. Keep an eye at the end so that the noodles will not become soggy.
  • Drain the noodles in a colander and pour cold water over it and wash the starch completely from the cooked noodles, this helps in retaining non-sticky noodles.
  • Heat olive oil and sesame oil in a big wok over a high flame and then add ginger strips and chopped garlic and saute it well.
  • Add finely sliced onion, spring onion whites and shredded cabbage and fry in high flame.
  • Add julienne carrots, beans and fry well until they are half cooked. Take care that it would not loose the crunch of vegetables, they should be firm to bite.
  • Add capsicum strips to it and toss it again.
  • Add schezwan sauce, pepper powder, soya sauce, vinegar and fry for a minute. Add salt and do remember that the sauces already have some salt so do not add more salt.
  • Add cooked noodles and chopped spring onion greens and toss well until it is mixed properly and toss on high flame for 2-3 mins until the noodles are piping hot. Toss it continuously so that they would not stick to bottom.
Serve it hot with any manchurian gravy side dish or tomato sauce.

schezwan veg noodles

Notes:
  • The entire process of sauteing would be done under 8-10 mins, so be quick while sautéing the vegetables and noodles and also take care not to loose the crunchiness of vegetables.
  • You can use white pepper powder or black pepper powder and it is preferred to use freshly ground black pepper in the recipe.
  • Be liberal in using oil as it helps the noodles not to turn sticky and in Chinese cooking it is always advisable to use more oil.
  • I have used olive oil and sesame oil in the recipe as it gives a nice flavor to noodles.If you do not have olive oil in hand the best substitute for olive oil is sesame oil in Chinese cooking as sesame oil is primarily used in Chinese cooking as the oil itself has nutty flavor which enhances the taste of Chinese dishes.
  • In Chinese cooking ajinamoto(tasting salt) is added for extra taste,I do not use it in my cooking and hence not mentioned in the recipe. If you are using it, add 1/2 tsp of ajinamoto while adding salt and sauces to the wok.
schezwan veg noodles




 
 
 
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