Roasted Red Pasta/Pizza Sauce

A plate of delicious pasta or a droolsome pizza is a sight for the sore eyes! That said, makes me want to indulge into one. So dinner tonight will be Pasta (Spaghetti) to be precise. πŸ˜›
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How do you like your Pasta to be? I like mine loaded with veggies and a good sauce that goes with it. I’m not very big on white sauce, however I love the various red coloured sauces- Arrabbiata, Marinara, Pomidoro, Red Alfredo, to name a few.
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The one that I want to share with you all today is a very simple recipe for the easiest red pasta sauce to be made at home. You can easily use this recipe to even substitute a typical pizza sauce, probably you’d just need to simmer this on the stove for another 15-20 mins to give it a more solid consistency.

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So now moving to the recipe,

Roasted Red Pasta/Pizza Sauce :

Ingredients

1 large sized Red Bell Pepper
2 big Roma Tomatoes
handful of basil leaves
3-4 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp of Mixed dried italian seasoning
1/4 tsp Red chilli Flakes
salt to taste
2 Tbsp Olive Oil (I used the spray)
1/2 tsp honey (optional)

Method :
Wash and deseed the red pepper and roughly cut into dices. Wash and cut the tomatoes lenghtwise into 4 parts. Peel the garlic cloves and keep aside.
Now line a baking sheet tray with Aluminium foil to lessen the afterwork of cleaning it up, place the tomatoes, pepper and garlic cloves on the foil and spray enough cooking olive oil and sprinkle little salt and italian seasoning. Preheat the oven to 375f for about 10 mins and place this tray in the oven for 1 & 1/2 hour.
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Now if you don’t have Olive oil spray, you can put these all in a big glass bowl, add 2 tbsp of olive oil, italian seasoning, salt and mix well, then arrange on the tray to bake.
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Place the tray on the top most rack of the oven, after an hour and a half, these would be beautifully roasted and charred.

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The kitchen shall be filled with this gorgeous aroma of burnt garlic and charred peppers and tomatoes, these realease their own natural sweet juices while getting roasted so it is completely optional to add honey for that extra bit of sweetness.
Let it cool. Now blitz it all in a mixer, add basil leaves too. Once it’s all pureed, take a heavy bottom pan and on medium flame, let it simmer for another 10-15 minutes till it thickens a bit. Add more salt and chilli flakes. Lastly, add honey if you wish to.

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Roasted Red sauce is ready to be used for making a lipsmacking Pasta.
If you wish to add a bit of heavy cream or half a cup parmesan cheese to it, feel free!
i wanted to keep it light, so I did not. Although I will add cheese to the spaghetti this evening! What’s a pasta without cheese, afterall! πŸ˜€
So next time don’t buy a jar ofΒ  pasta/pizza sauce loaded with preservatives, because you have this easy peasy recipe handy.
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Enjoy making this and keep me posted, will look forward to your feedback.

xoxo

πŸ™‚

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Delightful Dessert Bowl

Hey! All you lovely folks out there.. How’s it been? πŸ™‚
The scorching summer heat of the daytime seems to get to me, but then I think of all the things that are cooling, soothing and oh-so-delicious!!Β  I am a fruit lover for sure and can have them in all sorts of forms, but dessert would be the best! Ain’t it? πŸ˜‰
So I’m thinking Mangoes and Strawberries!!

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Truly, the king of all fruits!

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Gorgeous Fresh Strawberries!

How about I tell you that the dessert bowl we’ll make will be super healthy, all guiltfree. Ah! Wondering it must be boring then or maybe not so delicious but then you’ll have to make it yourself to find out so. I though, would for sure call it delightful. πŸ™‚

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Doesn’t that look tempting now??

Okay! Enough said let’s straight head to the recipe now.

Delightful Dessert Bowl

Servings : 2

Ingredients :
3-4 strawberries
1 medium sized Mango of your choice
1 & 1/2 cups whisked yogurt
2-3Β  tsp honey
silvered almonds or nuts of your choice
sprig of mint

Method :
Wash and pat dry the strawberries, cut them lenghtwise into thin slices, so they look petal like. Peel the Mango and cut so as to make a mango rose. In a separate bowl, whisk thick yogurt (you may use greek/homemade) with honey. Now take two glass bowls for individual servings, first place the strawberry petals on the sides, pour in the yogurt-honey whisk in the centre and top it with the mango rose. Garnish with silvered almonds on the sides and a sprig of mint in the middle of the rose. These beautiful looking delightful dessert bowls are ready to be relished! πŸ˜€

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These make for great breakfast options too, just top them with granola mix! Next will be sharing the recipe for an easy peasy homemade granola/granola bar. Until then try this one and keep me posted. Hope you love this healthier sugar-free version of dessert as much as I do. πŸ™‚

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Enjoy!!! πŸ™‚

Old Bakery Style Jeera Cookies

Do you remember those old bakeries that were once the pride of the city, because they were usually the only ones of their own kind? I was reminded of the one we had in our little town when I was a kid, that only bakery which was the source of all things sugary and buttery!! Usually one would relate to all the sweet nothings from a bakery but those delicious Jeera cookies had my heart, I still remember the lingering after taste and how they’d melt in the mouth.

With such delish thoughts I had a flood rushing inside of my mouth and I couldn’t help the thought of not having them. Right now I’m not even in my country, let alone my native town. So, what idea came over was this – Let’s try and replicate the same!!

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So there I was in the kitchen, assembling all the stuff i needed to bake the cookies. The good part being i had everything at once in front of me. So while waiting for Mr. Husband to return back from office i decided to bake these cookies which we then savoured with our evening tea.

So without any further delay, let me straight come to the recipe. I know you have all been eagerly waiting for it.

Old Bakery Style Jeera CookiesΒ 

Recipe :

Ingredients –

1 & 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour/Maida

1/4 cup castor sugar

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup or 1 stick butter (115 gms)

1 & 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds/jeera

5 tbsp milk

1 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

Method :

1.Take a large bowl and whisk together butter and sugar until the mixture tuns into a pale yellow/whitish color. You may use an electric whisk at medium speed or a hand whisk, just make sure the mixture is light and fluffy.

2. Now add APF/Maida (I used Pillsbury Unbleached All Purpose Flour), salt, jeera, baking powder and baking soda to the sugar-butter mixture. Mix them with your fingers until the mixture looks crumbly.

3. Now add milk and knead the dough. It won’t be like our usual dough, just assemble all of it together. If you feel the need to add some more milk, just add very little.

4. Bring the cookie dough together, assemble it well and keep it covered for around 15-20 minutes to rest.

5. Dust the working surface/Kitchen slab with a little flour. Divide the dough into 2-3 parts and start rolling each of them out one by one on the dusted surface. Make sure to roll each side equally for even thickness of the cookies. After rolling evenly, sprinkle a little more cumin seeds and roll one last time very gently so as to press them on the dough.

6. Now take a cookie cutter of any desired shape, I took a basic round cutter. If you don’t have a cookie cutter available, make use of any lid/bottle cap that has sharp edges to cut through.

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7. Preheat your oven to 320 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Meanwhile get the cookie tray ready. Spray some oil/butter and spread out a parchment paper. Put the cookies in the oven at the same temperature for 16-18 minutes.

8. When the cookies are done, get them out of the oven and place them on the cooling rack. they will be soft as they come out of the oven but once cooled, they’ll be crisp and yumm!! πŸ™‚ Enjoy with your tea/coffee!
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Notes :

This recipe yields about 25 cookies.
I used unsalted butter, you may use salted one too. Just adjust the amount of salt accordingly.
Bake the cookies on the middle rack of your oven for best results.
If you like your cookies a little brownish in color and your oven has an option for broil, just put the tray on the top rack and broil at 460 degrees Fahrenheit for about a minute.

I hope you’re going to bake these too and enjoy them as much as we have been. Keep me posted! Happy Baking!!
xoxo πŸ™‚

Crispy Arbi

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Is that bowl enough to tempt you to eat arbi?? Or do i need to also tell you that this is not fried! Good enough? πŸ™‚
Okay so let me tell you this is one of my favourite snacks to hog onto, a bowlful. There are so many of us who are crazy about french fries, right? But then those fried calories often turn down your craving, so why not make this instead. Arbi or Taro root is super healthy and has some amazing nutrional values too.
I know you’re going to thank me later. πŸ˜‰

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Nutritional Benefits Of Arbi :

  • Strenghtens immune system
  • Helps to boost blood circulation
  • lowers blood sugar levels
  • Rich in dietary fibre, hence helpful in digestion
  • Improves eye vision & skin health

Amongst other benefits of arbi, these are some important ones. Now i guess you have enough reasons to try this and more so when it isn’t time consuming at all.

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So now let’s come to the recipe.

Recipe :

Serves : 4-5

Ingredients :
500gms arbi
4 tbsp oil
1/3 tsp ajwain
1/3 tsp rai
1/3 tsp jeera
a generous pinch of hing
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/3 tsp haldi powder
2 tsp dhaniya powder
juice of 1 lemon
salt as per taste
handful of coriander leaves Β (washed and chopped)

Method :
Wash arbi and peel it. Cut it lenghtwise just like french fries.
Take a wok, heat oil and add rai, jeera, hing & ajwain. Add arbi and stir. Do not cover the wok, let the flame swing between medium to high. Roast it well, almost like shallow fried so that it is cooked well inside and remains crispy outside.Now add all the spices, salt, haldi powder, red chilli powder and dhaniya powder. Give it a quick stir. Do not let it stick to the bottom. When cooked well, add lemon juice. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve. Yummy snack is ready to be savoured.

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Notes :

Don’t forget to apply oil before peeling and cutting arbi as it might cause itching. You may use regular vegetable oil.
If you feel the need add a tbsp oil more but do not let your spices burn while cooking.

Give it a try! Awaiting feedback. πŸ™‚

Happy cooking. ❀

 

Bhutte ka halwa (Sweet corn fudge)

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Monsoon memories for me, are made of this fingerlicking bowl of bhutte ka halwa. While there are a lot of varieties of halwas that get made in the Indian households, this is a little uncommon. It is so delicious, I promise you’d not want to stop! Β Okay, I know you’re counting calories too. But then a little indulgence once is in a while, is totally allowed.

My family is a family of foodies and how each one has a sweet tooth. So with corn cobs at home, this was the first thing that came to mind. πŸ™‚

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Tell me that you’re already tempted to eat this, so just go make this and serve it with love to your family and see them enjoy this delicacy.
You can even make this a day before you have guests and keep it in the fridge after it cools. Just reheat with a little milk in the microwave or in the wok before serving the next day. πŸ™‚
Getting done with even the dessert a day before is so much relieving, isn’t it?
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Now that the dish itself looks so festive and that beautiful kesariya rang, feels like it is meant to be a part of your coming “Ganesh Utsav”. Ganpati is all about good vibes, haapy hues and delish food, it’s the spirit that really matters.
So make this a part of your celebration too. Β πŸ™‚

Now coming to the recipe, let me share what mom’s taught me.

Recipe :

Servings : 5-6

Ingredients :

4-5 corn cobs/ 1 kg corn cobs
200-250 gms ghee
200 gms sugar
800 ml full fat milk
few strands of saffron (soaked in a tsp of warm milk)
almond/pistachio silvers
handful of raisins

Method :

Grate the corn cobs and keep it aside. Take a wok, put 200 gms ghee and grated corn and start roasting on medium flame. Make sure you constantly keep stirring it so as not to let it stick at the bottom. Keep cooking till the mix leaves the sides of the wok and does not stick to the laddle. It’ll be a beautiful golden colour by now.
At this point add milk and stir. Cook it for another 7-8 minutes.Add remaining ghee.
Now add sugar and stir, cook till it leaves the sides. Β Add soaked saffron and raisins. Give it a quick stir.
Garnish with almond and pistachio silvers. It’s all ready to savour. ❀

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Notes :

1. I took half american sweet corn and half desi corn. That gives it a perfect balance.
2. Take a heavy bottom wok.
3.Β  Do not overcook after adding milk as it’ll leave the halwa very dry, it should be moist and creamy in texture.

I hope you like it as much as i do. Do give it a try, will await your precious feedback.

Happy cooking. πŸ™‚
xoxo

Cucumber Onion Raita

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I am not a summer person, spring and winters is more me! πŸ™‚ But then summers bring along some of the most awesome things to savour on, favourite being “Mango”, but for now I am talking of the other favourites. Raitas, salads, panna, mocktails, coolers, cold coffee, lassi etc. to name a few.
The heat is rising up and all we need is something super light and refreshing and what better than cucumber onion raita. So easy peasy to make and gets done in a jiffy. While the vegetable pulav gets cooked, I prepared this. ❀ Summer meal for the day sorted!
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So here’s my way of making Cucumber Onion raita.

Recipe :
Serves : 4-5

Ingredients :
3 cups fresh yogurt/curd
1 cup finely chopped cucumber
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
2/3 tsp salt (adjust as per taste)
1/4 tsp rock salt
1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder (jeera powder)
handful of coriander and mint leaves (washed and chopped)

Method :
Whisk the curd well and add chopped cucumber and onions.
Add salt, rock salt, roasted cumin powder. Stir well.
Lastly add chopped coriander and mint leaves, they add to the flavour and enhance the freshness.

That’s about it, raita is ready! So what are you going to have it with? For us today was vegetable pulav and maybe tomorrow it’ll be some sort of parantha! πŸ˜€

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Notes :
Use only fresh curd, not sour. I used fresh home set curd and it be creamy. If there’s too much water in the curd, strain it in a sieve.

Happy Cooking!
Thank you for stopping by.
xoxo

Khatta Meetha Karela (Sweet and Tangy Bitter Gourd)

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Like I mentioned in the last blog post, I love anything and everything from the gourd family. So here I am with another though β€˜not-so-very- liked-by-many’; β€œBitter Gourd”.
Maybe as a child I wasn’t too fond of it either and didn’t really like eating it. But I remember once during summer vacations, when I must have been 5 or 6 years old, my nani (Maternal Grandma) told me to atleast give it a try. From that day on, I guess this has been on my list of favourite veggies. πŸ˜€
As the name suggets, it is certainly bitter in taste but then looking at the nutritional benefits of this vegetable, one can totally let go off that! If you are not a keen eater of this one, try out the way i made it and maybe you will start liking it too. πŸ™‚

A little about the ‘Nutrional Benefits’ of Bitter Gourd
Bitter Gourd is an extremely rich source of Vitamin C which helps in boosting immunity and keeps a check on your regular health. It is essentially a store house of dietary fibre that aid in proper digestion and good bowel movement.
Also it has as less as only 17 calories per 100 gms which makes it a good food to be included in your weight loss diet. And an extremely diabetic friendly vegetable, it is advisable to have a glass of Bitter gourd juice every morning on an empty stomach.
So have I given you enough reasons to incoroporate Karela in your diet.Β  πŸ™‚

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While Karela is cooked in a number of ways, here I made a khatta meetha karela, i.e. sweet and tangy and yet not losing on the healt aspects! Check out the recipe and make it soonest.

Recipe for Khatta Meetha Karela
Serves : 4

Ingredients :

250 gms Bitter Gourd/ Karela
4 tbsp oil
2 tsp + 1 &1/4 tsp salt
a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
1 tsp red chilli powder
3/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi powder)
2 & 1/2 tsp coriander powder (dhaniya powder)
1 tsp coarsely ground fennel powder (saunf powder)
1 small raw mango, grated
2-3 tbsp grated jaggery (Gur)
Enough water to wash the vegetable

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Preparation :
Firstly wash the karela well in running water so that it is all clean.
Take a bowl, put your vegetable in here and sprinkle 2 tsp salt over it. Cover with a lid and give it a topsy-turvey shake so that salt mixes with all the karelas.
Keep them like this for an hour and a half.
Now wash them again twice and drain all the water.
Salt is completely washed. This method of first putting them in salt is done to remove the bitterness of the vegetable. Now cut them into slices just as given in the second picture above. πŸ™‚
There is no need to peel it.

Method :
1.Take a wok, heat oil and add hing, jeera and rai and let them crackle.
2.Add sliced karela and stir. Cover with a lid and cook till they are soft for about 8-10 minutes. Give a stir or two in between so that they do not stick to the bottom.
3.Uncover the lid, check that they’re cooked and add all the spices, salt,red chilli powder, dhaniya powder, saunf powder,haldi powder and stir.
4. Add grated raw mango and grated jaggery and stir well again.
5. Cook for another 2 minutes and your khatta meetha style karela is ready to eat.

Best eaten with phulka/roti/chappati or mixed with dal and rice. πŸ™‚
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Notes :
Bitter gourd uses more oil for cooking lest it’ll be too dry.
If raw mango is not available, you may use 1/2 tsp dry mango powder (amchur) and there won’t be any difference in the taste.
Also sugar can be substituted for jaggery but I personally prefer Jaggery.
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Awaiting your feedback. πŸ™‚
Thank for stopping by, Happy Cooking. ❀