Dec 29, 2009

Guest Chef: Sweet Potato Fries!

My Guest Chef - My sister Aruna!

We visited my sisters place a few days back my little niece's 3rd bday! Happy Bday Pappu Kutty! And of course, there was a lot of cooking! And eating! And fun!

This was a quick snack she made for us - Sweet Potato Fries. So, it thought it would be a good Guest Chef Blog Post! So, I started clicking when she was cooking.

And boy..this was so awesome. You can look at the last picture to see how fast these were gone!

So, here's my sister's recipe.

Wash and peel one or two sweet potatoes.

Chop into long slices.


Put the pieces in a bowl. Add some Olive oil on top and give the pieces a good toss.


Add sea salt to taste and toss well.


Add some red chilli powder. Adjust to your heat levels. Add fresh ground black pepper on top.


Move the fries to a greased baking sheet.


Bake the fries in a preheated oven at 375F. Bake for about 15-30 mins or until well done. They should be crispy at the outside but still a little soft inside.


Can you see that they are almost done here?


These are awesomely done!

My obsession shot - these were super yummy to eat! You should try this!


This is how the baking sheet looked 4 mins after it came out of the oven. We ate it all up!!


Dec 21, 2009

Pasta Bake with Veggies Casserole

This is one of my favorite pasta dishes. Period. A Perfect Lunch recipe!

This is also a good make ahead casserole dish. And you can customize it to your taste. I kind of kept it simple with just carrots and broccoli.

To begin, cut your veggies and blanch them.

Here are the carrots roughly chopped in circles.

Boil some water in a wide pan. We will be using this same water to cook the pasta too. Just dip the carrots placed in a colander type serving spoon and let sit in boiling water for about 30 seconds.


Then, run cold water over the carrots to stop them from cooking.

Do the same with the broccoli.


There's the blanched veggies.


Now, cook the pasta al dente. I used Farfalle. You could anything you want or anything that you have in your pantry.


When the pasta is cooked, wash it well with cold water too.

Pour all the pasta in a baking dish. Add some fresh ground pepper and salt to taste on top.


Add about 2 tbsp of alfredo sauce on top. Mix well with the pasta.


I had some parmesan cheese mix (leftover from Costco ravioli packets). I added some cheese powder on top. This powder basically has parmesan cheese, oregano and other spices. Just plain old parmesan cheese and dried spices will be a good substitute here.


Now, add the veggies on top of the pasta. Do NOT mix it. We are going for layers here.


Add another tbsp of alfredo sauce and lightly toss the veggies with it without mixing the pasta below.


Sprinkle some shredded mozzarella cheese on top.


Put it in a pre heated oven at 375F for about 15 - 30 mins or until the top turns golden.


There - its done! Delicious!


Look at that golden melted cheese!


Serve hot - forget serving. Eat Hot!


Here's a close up of this baby!


Enjoy! Peace Out!

Dec 19, 2009

Dahiwale Cauliflower

I was so bored with what to make with Cauliflower. I got browsing and found this recipe for Gobi Kastoori from Indian Relish website and thought I should try it. I used the recipe as a base but modified it and added my own masala to it. The original calls for a garam masala with cinnamon and bay leaves and all that. But I made a different masala with other spices. It turned out great and I think I will be making this again in the future.

This serves as a tangy and wonderful side dish for rotis or parathas. My husband especially loved the tanginess of this from the yogurt base.

Cut Cauliflower into small florets.

In a mixing bowl, add about 1/2 cup of fresh yogurt. Add 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder, 1 1/2 tsp of red chilli powder and another 1 tsp of jeera-dhaniya powder.


Mix well till all combined.


You will need to get a smooth paste without any lumps.


Now, add the gobhi pieces in here and mix well.


Let this marinate for about an hour.


Chop up some ginger, garlic and green chillies roughly.


Make a fresh paste out of the chopped GGG.


In another pan, dry roast these spices till golden brown. About 1/2 cup of dhaniya, a few black peppers, 1 tsp of Ajwain, 1/2 tsp of methi seeds, 3-4 red chillies and 1 tbsp of Jeera.


Dry roast these and move to a mixie to grind.


Grind up the spices coarsely. This should not be too fine. Does this not look gorgeous?


In a wide pan, add 1 tbsp of oil. Add the GGG paste in here and fry for a min.


Then, add chopped onions and saute till they turn pink.


Add chopped tomatoes - about 2 -3 small ones. Cook for a couple of mins.


Now, add the marinated cauliflower along with the yogurt paste in here. Mix well. Add salt to taste. Let this cook for a couple of mins.


Now, add the ground spices in here and mix well.


Cover and let cook in simmer for about 10 mins. Add a little bit of water if its too thick. Don't add too much water and make it too thin - that will just wipe out a lot of flavor.


When cooked well, switch off the stove and add chopped cilantro on top.


Serve hot with Parathas or Rotis.


Enjoy! Peace Out!

Dec 16, 2009

Arisi Upma - How to turn a BLAH dish into a WOW dish!

This recipe is for my friend Kamakshi..and she happens to be the blog's very first follower too! Thank you's your on demand recipe! Do try it out and let me know how it turns out!

This is a very simple, quick and easy Upma recipe. But, before I start - let me tell you this. A lot of people cook this and then pressure cook it the second time. I like it just pan cooked. Also, nobody adds cashews to this upma...I do. I'm crazy but I do like a little bit of cashews in all my upmas! It kids of make it so tasty and gives a rich kick to a simple dish! Kind of like the 15 mins of fame! Goes from a blah dish to a wow dish! Get it?

To make this upma, wash about 1 cups of rice and 1/4 cups of toor daal separately. Drain all the water and let it sit for about 30 mins.


Then, in a mixie or food processor, grind the daal first coarsely like this.


Now add the wet rice to this and then add 1 tsp of cumin, a few red chillies and 1/2 tsp of black pepper. Grind all of this together again coarsely.


This is the consistency we need. Not too fine. Not too lumpy.


In a wide pan, add about 1 tsp of oil and 1 tsp of ghee. Add mustard seeds and splutter. Then, add about 1/4 cup of cashews to this and roast it a little bit till they begin to brown.


Now, add the powdered mixture to the pan and roast for a min.


Add salt to taste. Add about 2 cups of water or enough to cover all the mixture and another 1/2 inch on top.


This much water. Now, cover the pan. Turn the stove to simmer and let this cook.


When all the water is gone, and the upma looks cooked, add another 1/2 tsp of ghee and mix well. You are done! How easy was that?!


This is the chutney that goes good with Arisi upma. This is raw coconut chutney - that means nothing in here needs to be cooked.

Just take a mixie bowl and add all of these -about 1/2 cup fresh or frozen coconut, 1 tbsp urad daal, 2 green chillies, about a small piece of tamarind, salt and water. Grind well to a chutney consistency. You are done! Perfect tangy chutney for the upma. You do have to cook just the tadka on top - splutter mustard seeds and add on top.


Here's the wonderful upma and coconut chutney!


This guy needs his close up shot published!


These are for pure obsession!



This is how my daughter loves to eat them. She calls them Rice balls. And eats it with sugar! I made a smiley face for her with the rice balls!


Enjoy! Peace out!