Creamy spaghetti and kidney bean bake

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Ingredients:-

For 1st layer:-

  1. Spaghetti –
  2. Salt to taste
  3. Butter – 1.5 tbsps.
  4. Oil – 1 tbsp.
  5. Plain flour – 1.5 tbsps.
  6. Cream – 3/4 cup
  7. Water – 3/4 cup
  8. Pepper powder – 1/4 tsp.
  9. Mustard powder – 1/4 tsp.

For the 2nd layer:-

  1. Oil – 1 tbsp.
  2. Garlic – 2 cloves; finely chopped
  3. Onion – 1 medium; finely chopped
  4. Kidney beans – 1.5 cups ( I used tinned)
  5. Tomato Basil sauce – 11/4 cup
  6. Sugar – 1 tsp.
  7. Fresh basil – 5-6 numbers
  8. Oregano – 1/2 tsp.
  9. Sugar – 1/2 tsp.
  10. Cornflour – 1 heaping tsp. mixed with 1 tbsp. of water

For topping:-

  1. Cheddar cheese – as needed
  2. Olives – a few; sliced
  3. Butter – 10 grams; cut into small cubes

Method:-

  1. Put the spaghetti in boiling salted water and cook for 10 minutes. Drain water from the cooked spaghetti.
  2. Heat 1.5 tbsp. of butter and 1 tbsp. of oil in a medium sauce pan. Stir in the flour and fry it for 2 minutes on low heat. Add the cream and water and cook till saucy. Add salt, pepper powder and mustard powder.  Mix the cooked spaghetti with the white sauce. Place the spaghetti in a oven proof dish.
  3. For the 2nd layer, heat oil and add the garlic. Cook till it starts to change colour. Stir in the onions and cook till translucent. Add the kidney beans, tomato basil sauce, salt, basil leaves, sugar and oregano. Add cornflour and cook till the mixture turns saucy. Finally add sugar and remove from heat. Spread this mixture over the spaghetti layer.
  4. Sprinkle grated cheddar cheese and olives on top. Place a few pieces of butter here and there.
  5. Bake in a 180C preheated oven for 10 minutes.
Posted in Baking, Continental, pasta | Leave a comment

Jackfruit seeds in roasted coconut gravy or Chakkakuru Varutharacha curry

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Ingredients:-

  1. Chakkakuru or jack fruit seeds – 1 cup
  2. Coconut oil – 1 tbsp.
  3. Onion – 1 medium; thinly sliced
  4. Garlic – 4 big cloves
  5. Ginger – 1 tsp.
  6. Greenchilly – 1 number
  7. Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp.
  8. Red chilly powder – 3/4 tsp.
  9. Coriander powder – 1 heaping tsp.
  10. Meat masala powder ( I used eastern) – 1/2 heaping tsp.
  11. Tomato – 1/2 cup; chopped
  12. Water – 1.5 cups
  13. salt to taste
  14. Drumstick – 2 numbers; large cut into 2″ pieces
  15. Mustard seeds – 3/4 tsp.
  16. Shallots – 2 numbers; thinly sliced
  17. Curry leaves -a few
  18. Garam masala powder – 3/4 tsp.
  19. Pepper powder – 1/2 tsp.

For the coconut paste

  1. Coconut oil – 1 tbsp.
  2. Grated coconut – 1 cup
  3. Cumin seeds – a few
  4. Shallots – 2 numbers; sliced
  5. Curry leaves – 2-3 numbers; torn
  6. Coriander powder – 1 heaping tsp.

Method:-

  1. Heat 1 tbsp. of coconut oil in a wok. Add the grated coconut, shallots, curry leaves, cumin seeds and roast till the coconut turns dark brown in colour and crisp. Add the coriander powder and switch off heat. Let cool slightly. Grind to a very smooth paste adding little water if required.
  2. Remove the outer cover of the jack fruit seeds and cut each seed into half from the middle length wise. Cook in a pressure cooker adding 1/3 tsp. of salt,. 1/4 tsp. of turmeric powder and 1/2 cup of water for 2 whistles on high heat. Open the cooker once the pressures subside and cook till completely dry.
  3. In a broad non-stick pan, heat 1 tbsp. of coconut oil and stir in the onions, garlic, ginger and greenchilly. Cook till the onions turn golden turn golden brown in colour. Stir in the turmeric, coriander, meat masala and red chilly powders. Cook for 2 minutes on low heat. Add the tomatoes and cook till they turn mushy. At this stage, stir in the drumstick pieces, cooked jack fruit seeds, 1 cup of water and salt to taste. Transfer this mixture to a pressure cooker and cook for just a whistle on high heat.
  4. Open the cooker once the pressures subside. Add the coconut paste, garam masala powder, 1/2 cup more of water, pepper powder and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook on medium heat for 2 minutes.
  5. In a wok, heat 1 tsp. of coconut oil and splutter the mustard seeds. Add the shallots and fry till golden brown in colour. Pour this seasoning over the curry.
Posted in Traditional Kerala dishes, Vegetarian gravy for lunch | Leave a comment

Vegetable Mappas

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Ingredients:-

  1. Coconut oil – 2 tbsps.
  2. Shallots – 1/2 cup; thickly sliced
  3. Curry leaves – a few
  4. Garlic – 4 big cloves
  5. Ginger – 1 tsp.
  6. Kashmiri chilli powder – 1 level tsp.
  7. Coriander powder – 3 bit heaping tsps.
  8. Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp.
  9. Cinnamon – 1″ piece
  10. Fennel seeds – 1 tsp.
  11. Potato – 2 medium; cut into small cubes
  12. Cauliflower florets – 1.5 cups
  13. Green peas – 1 cup ( I had used frozen peas)
  14. Randaam paal or thin coconut milk – 1.5 cups
  15. White vinegar –  1 tbsp.
  16. Salt to taste
  17. Thick coconut milk – 1/2 cup

Method:-

  1. Grind together the fennel seeds, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric powder, chilly powder and coriander powder to a fine paste adding very little water.
  2. Heat oil in a wok & add the shallots. Cook till they start to turn golden in colour. Stir in the masala paste and cook for 5 minutes or till the oil starts to separate.
  3. Add the curry leaves, potato cubes, cauliflower florets and peas. Fry on medium high heat for a minute. Add the thin coconut milk, salt and vinegar. Bring the mixture to a boil and cover cook for 30-40 minutes on low heat. The veggies should be cooked well and most of the liquid should have evaporated by now.
  4. Finally add the thick coconut milk and remove from heat.
  5. Serve hot with appam/idiyappam/chapathi.
Posted in Lakshmi Nair recipes, Traditional Kerala dishes, vegetarian gravy for dinner | Leave a comment

Beetroot squash

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Ingredients:-

  1. Beetroot – 500 grams or 2 big numbers; grated
  2. Water – 7 cups
  3. Sugar – 1 kg. or 2.5 cups
  4. Lime juice – of 5 limes
  5. Ciric acid – 1/2 tsp.
  6. Tonovin essence – 3/4 tsp.

Method:-

  1. Mix the grated beetroot and water together and bring to a boil.  Cook for 20 minutes on a medium low heat. Strain the mixture.
  2. Add sugar to the strained beetroot extract and cook further for 15-20 minutes. Add the lime juice and boil further for 5 minutes more. Switch off heat. Finally add the essence and citric acid. Let cool completely. Store in a glass bottle in a refrigerator.
  3. To make beetroot juice, take 1/4 cup of beetroot squash and 3/4 cup of water in a glass. Mix well with a spoon. Top with ice cubes and serve immediately.

Note:- This squash does not taste of beetroots at all. It tastes like grape juice.

Posted in Drinks, Lakshmi Nair recipes | Leave a comment

Baked paalak and paneer rice

Ingredients:-

  1. Basmathi rice – 2 cups
  2. Ghee – 1.5 tbsps.
  3. Cardamom – 4 numbers
  4. Boiling water – 4 cups
  5. Salt – 2 tsps.

For the spinach mixture:-

  1. Oil – 1 tbsp.
  2. Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp.
  3. Garlic – 5 big cloves; chopped
  4. Onion – 1 cup; finely chopped
  5. Spinach puree – 1 cup (Blanch 3 cups of fresh spinach in boiling water for a minute and blend in a mixer/grinder. Adding a pinch of sugar and baking soda while blanching gives a brighter colour to the puree)
  6. Cashew – 5 numbers; soaked in hot water and pasted
  7. Garam masala powder – 3/4 tsp.
  8. Salt to taste

For the paneer mixture:-

  1. Paneer – 300 grams; crumbled
  2. Tomato and basil pasta sauce – 3 tbsps. (heaping)
  3. Fresh basil – 5 to 6 numbers; chopped
  4. Kasoori methi – 1/4 tsp.
  5. Salt to taste

Method:-

  1. For the paalak mixture, heat oil in a broad non-stick pan & add the cumin seeds. Allow them to crackle. Stir in the chopped garlic and onions & fry till onion turns almost golden brown in colour. Add the spinach puree and cashew paste and cook for 2 minutes more. Check for salt and add more if needed. Add the garam masala powder and keep aside.
  2. For the paneer mixture, mix together the crumbled paneer and pasta sauce. Cook for a minute. Add the basil leaves and kasoori methi. Check for salt and add more if needed. Remove from heat.
  3. Soak rice in water for 30 minutes. Drain water completely from the rice. Heat ghee in a broad pan & add the cardamom. Stir in the rice and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the boiling water and salt. Cover cook on medium low heat for 10 minutes. Divide the cooked rice into 2 portions.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  5. Mix one portion of the cooked rice with the paalak mixture and the other portion with the paneer mixture.
  6. Spread the green rice in a baking dish. Spread the pink rice over the green rice. Cover with a foil.
  7. Bake at 180 for 15 minutes.

Source:- Smart cooking by Sanjeev Kapoor

Posted in rice | Leave a comment

Double chocolate banana loaf

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Ingredients:-

  1. All purpose flour – 3/4 cup
  2. Wheat flour – 1/4 cup
  3. Unsweetened cocoa powder – 1/2 cup
  4. Baking soda – 1 tsp.
  5. Salt – a pinch
  6. Semi-sweet chocolate chips – 1 cup
  7. Walnuts – 3/4 cup; coarsely chopped
  8. Butter – 100 grams; melted and cooled
  9. Very ripe bananas – 3 numbers; mashed
  10. Egg – 1 large
  11. Vanilla essence – 1 tsp.
  12. Brown sugar – 1 cup; tightly packed
  13. Dark chocolate – 50 grams; coarsely chopped

Method:-

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flours, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, chocolate chips and chopped walnuts.
  3. In another bowl, combine the bananas, butter, egg, vanilla essence and brown sugar. Fold in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients mixture.
  4. Pour the batter into a prepared 2 lb. loaf tin. The batter will be on the thicker side.
  5. Spread the chopped dark chocolate over the batter.
  6. Bake the loaf at 180C for 50 minutes.
  7. Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing.
Posted in Baking, Cake, Chocolate, Continental | Leave a comment

Dense and rich Chocolate loaf

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Ingredients:-

  1. All purpose flour – 11/3 cup
  2. Unsweetened cocoa powder – 1 level tbsp.
  3. Salt – a pinch
  4. Butter – 175 grams; softened
  5. Brown sugar – 12/3 cups
  6. Egg – 2 numbers; large
  7. Vanilla essence – 1 tsp.
  8. Dark chocolate ( I used Lindt 60%) – 100 grams; melted and cooled
  9. Baking soda – 1 tsp. (level)
  10. Hot coffee – 1 cup ( 1/2 level tsp. instant coffee powder mixed with 1 cup of boiling water)

Method:-

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Sift together the flour, salt and cocoa powder.
  3. Mix together the butter and brown sugar.
  4. Add in the eggs and just mix till combined. Do not over beat the mixture as the cake will not be dense.
  5. Stir in the melted chocolate and vanilla essence. Sift in the baking soda.
  6. Fold in the sifted flour mixture alternated with the hot coffee.
  7. Pour the batter into a prepared 2 lb. loaf tin.
  8. Bake at 180C for 55 minutes. A skewer inserted into the center of the cake will not come out clean in this case.
  9. Let the cake cool completely before removing it from the pan. This cake will be crispy from outside and very soft and moist from inside.

Source:- Hot chocolate hits

Posted in Baking, Cake, Chocolate, Continental | Leave a comment

Elephant yam and Plantain mulaku curry

Ingredients:-

  1. Kashmiri dry red chillies – 8 numbers
  2. Pepper corns – 1/2 tsp.
  3. Elephant yam – 2 cups; cut into small cubes
  4. Raw banana – 1 cup; cut into small cubes
  5. Water – 1.5 cups
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Coconut oil – 1 tsp. + 1.5 tbsps.;divided
  8. Curry leaves – a few
  9. White vinegar – 1/4 tsp.

Method:-

  1. Soak the dry red chillies in hot water for 3-4 hours. Remove the seeds from the chillies. Grind together the chillies and pepper corns to a smooth paste.
  2. Cook the elephant yam and banana pieces together adding  the prepared chilly paste, 1 tsp. of coconut oil, 1 cup of water and salt. Cover cook on low heat for 15 minutes.
  3. Finally add 1.5 tbsps. of coconut oil, vinegar and curry leaves and remove from heat.
Posted in Lakshmi Nair recipes, Traditional Kerala dishes | Leave a comment

Drumstick and toor dal ozhichu curry

Ingredients:-

  1. Toor dal – 1/2 cup
  2. Drumstick – 6 numbers, cut into 2″ pieces
  3. Greenchilly – 2 numbers; slit
  4. Tomato – 1 cup; cut into bite size cubes
  5. Onion – 1 medium; thinly sliced
  6. Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp.
  7. Water – 1.5 cups
  8. Salt – to taste

For the coconut paste:-

  1. Grated coconut – 1 cup
  2. Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp.
  3. Green chilly – 1 number
  4. Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp.
  5. salt to taste

For tempering:-

  1. Coconut oil – 2 tbsps.
  2. Mustard seeds – 1 tsp.
  3. Shallots – 3-4 numbers; thinly sliced
  4. Garlic – 1 big clove; chopped
  5. Dry red chillies – 2 numbers; split
  6. Curry leaves – a few

Method:-

  1. Soak toor dal in water for 3-4 hours. Drain the water from the dal.
  2. Cook the dal with tomato, drumstick pieces, onion, greenchillies, turmeric powder, 1.5 cups of water and 1.25 tsp. of salt in a pressure cooker for just a whistle on high heat. Open the cooker when the pressures subside.
  3. Grind together the grated coconut, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, salt and greenchilly adding little water to a very smooth paste. Add this paste to the lentil-drumstick mixture and bring the curry to a slow boil. Keep stirring to prevent curdling. Remove from heat.
  4. In a wok, heat 2 tbsps. of coconut oil and add mustard seeds. Allow them to splutter. Stir in the shallots and garlic and fry till they turn almost golden brown in colour. Add the dry red chillies and curry leaves and pour this seasoning over the curry.
  5. This goes very well with rice.
Posted in Lakshmi Nair recipes, Traditional Kerala dishes, Vegetarian gravy for lunch | Leave a comment

Chewy peanut butter and chocolate chip blondies

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Ingredients:-

  1. All purpose flour – 1 cup
  2. Baking powder – 1.25 tsp
  3. Salt –  a pinch
  4. Butter – 125 grams (softened)
  5. Creamy peanut butter – 1/2 cup
  6. Brown sugar – 1/2 cup; packed
  7. Granulated white sugar – 2/3 cups
  8. Egg – 2 numbers, big
  9. Vanilla essence – 1 tsp.
  10. Milk –  1 tbsp.
  11. Semi-sweet Chocolate chips – 3/4 cup

Method:-

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Grease a 9″x 9″ brownie pan & keep aside.
  3. Sift together the flour, salt & baking powder.
  4. Beat together the butter, peanut butter, white sugar and brown sugar till creamy and fluffy.
  5. Beat in the 2 eggs, one by one.
  6. Stir in the vanilla essence and beat again.
  7. Fold in the sifted dry flour mixture and chocolate chips.
  8. Pour the cake batter into the greased tin & bake at 180C for 25 minutes.
  9. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.
Posted in Baking, Bars and squares, Chocolate, Continental | Leave a comment