Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mint coriander chutney

I am back with another condiment. Since the holy month of shravan has started, I am quite busy with all the festivities. As of now, I am busy preparing for the Varamahalakshmi festival that is on Friday. These days, even though I am cooking a lot, I hardly have anytime to photograph the dishes. Today however, I made this mint chutney and quickly took a couple of shots.

I think mint and coriander chutney or hari chutney as it is commonly called is one of the staple condiments that can be found in most of the Indian homes. A versatile dip, that can be used as spread as well. Apart from being a key ingredient in chaats, It can also be used as a spread in sandwiches, rolls, and wraps.This is a quick chutney to prepare and it uses some very basic ingredients. It takes a few minutes to put this chutney together but it can refrigerated for a few days and frozen for many weeks.

Mint coriander chutney recipe:
Preparation time: 10min
Makes- Approximately 1 cup

Fresh coriander leaves- 1 cup
Mint leaves- 1 cup
Green chilies- 2
Salt- to taste
Sugar or jaggery- 1 tsp
Lemon juice- 1 tbsp
Onion- 1 small, roughly chopped
Water- 1tbsp


  • Rinse the coriander leaves and mint leaves thoroughly and allow the water to drain.
  • Combine all the ingredients in the blender jar and blend into a smooth paste and store in an air tight container.
  • This chutney can be refrigerated for upto  a week.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Pickled chilli peppers

I was introduced to pickled peppers only a few months back. Before that, I thought chili peppers were used to make only fritters or at the most, it is used to flavour certain rice dishes. Thanks to blogging. I was introduced to a gamut of dishes, cuisines and pickled peppers. A few days back, my vegetable vendor brought these gorgeous looking chili peppers and I got so carried away that I ended up buying quarter kilo of these chilies. At first I thought of making fritters. But S is not too fond of them so the only other way I could use these chilies were to pickle them. I Searched the net for some recipes and I found this recipe here. It was as easy as 1-2-3 and it wasn't that time consuming. In short, the recipe was perfect. So I decided to go ahead and pickle these peppers. I knew that these pickled chilies could be used in salads, sandwiches and maybe I can create a dish that could accommodate these peppers. 

For a spice craving person like me, this condiment is just the thing to be had in the refrigerator. It took only 15mins of effort to make this. With that kind of effort I know I have something that will spruce up my taste buds for at least a few months. 

Pickled peppers recipe:
Preparation time: 10min
Cooking time: 5min
Makes- approximately 300gms

Large chilli peppers- 250gms
Salt- 1tbsp
Water- 1 cup
Distilled vinegar- 1 cup

  • Wash the chilies thoroughly and pat them dry. Slice them into rounds and keep aside
  • Wash the jar and the lid you want to pickle in in hot water and warm the jar till completely dry. Alternatively you can microwave for a min.
  • In a sauce pan, combine the salt, water and vinegar and bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 5min
  • Pack the sliced peppers in the jar and pour the brine over the sliced chilli peppers and allow to cool and close tightly.
  • This can be refrigerated for upto two months.
Note: You can make this pickle with whole chilies instead of slicing them. You can also flavour the pickle  with  fresh herbs, garlic or pepper corns

These pickles will go straight to Nancy's YBR-July event

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Creamy Farfalle with Spinach and mushroom

Even though I love pasta dishes, I hardly make them because S doesn't like pasta a lot. The only pasta he really likes is vermicelli. He doesn't like the other varieties because he thinks that they are way too chewy. So this being the reason, I get to make pasta only when S is out of town or when he has an official meeting over lunch. Last Thursday was one of those days. S called up to say that he would be having lunch outside and asked me not to send his lunch. No sooner did he hang up, I just jumped at the opportunity to try this pasta dish. 

I have been wanting to try this dish since the time I had first tasted it. I had eaten this dish at one of S's colleagues place and I had instantly fallen in love with the flavours. I just loved the fact that dish was satisfying enough to be a main dish, but you could add more cheese to make it more substantial. With nutrient rich ingredients like spinach, mushrooms and carrots, this dish is packed with proteins, vitamins and fibre. I have cut the fat in this recipe, by reducing the quantity of the cheese. You could add more cheese for a richer version.

Creamy farfalle with Spinach and mushroom recipe:
Preparation time: 20min
Cooking time: 15min
Serves- 4

Farfalle- 2 cups
Canned or fresh Mushrooms- 6-8, sliced vertically
Spinach- 1/2 cup, finely chopped
Carrot- 1 med sized, cubed
Onion- 1 small, finely chopped
Paprika powder- 1/2tsp
Garlic- 2 cloves, crushed
Freshly ground pepper- 1/2tsp
Salt to taste
Dried parsley- 1/2tsp
Sugar- 1/2tsp
Olive oil- 1tbsp
Cheddar cheese to garnish- optional
For the white sauce:
Butter- 1tsp
All purpose flour- 2tsp
Milk- 1 cup
Salt- 1/4tsp
Cheddar cheese- 2tbsp, Grated


  • Cook the farfalle as per the package instructions. Drain and refresh in cold water and keep aside
  • For the white sauce, heat butter in a pan and add thee all purpose flour. 
  • Saute till brown and add the milk while mixing continuously.
  • Add the cheddar cheese and keep mixing till the mixture thickens. Add salt and Take off the heat.
  • Heat oil in another pan in another pan and add the crushed garlic and saute for a min.
  • Add the chopped onions and fry till translucent.
  • Stir in the chopped mushrooms and carrots and fry on high heat for 3-4min
  • Add the chopped spinach, salt, paprika powder, sugar and dried parsley and fry for another 3-4min
  • Add the cooked pasta and pepper and mix well. Stir in the white sauce, toss and mix.
  • Garnish with more cheese if desired and serve immediately.

This black and white photograph of the farfalle goes to Susan's Black and white Wednesday#41 which is being cohosted by lynne of cafe lynny lu

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Warm apple cider- A perfect drink for a cold evening

First of all I want to thank everyone who sent birthday wishes to Purvi through this blog and FB. A big thanks to all of you. As I had mentioned in my earlier post, I was down wsith flu a few days back. Things got from bad to worse and I ended up with chills and fever. I was bed ridden for almost a day. I am not sure what went wrong because the flu was almost gone. I am wondering if it is the weather here. Because this time the winter is really long. Though most of my friends are taking full advantage of the weather, I am afraid I don't share the same enthusiasm for the winters. As I come from a place that is famous for it's sun, a slight dip in the temerature makes me extremely uncomfortable. I feel extremely depressed and gloomy. Am I sounding like a wet blanket? Perhaps I am. But then it is true. Winter always make me feel lazy. It makes me crave for hot cofee, hot chocolate and hot soups.

Yesterday was one of those days when I had a similar craving for something hot and spicey at about 4pm. Since I limit my coffee intake to one large cup a day, I didn't want make coffee again. I wanted something that would warm me up from inside and also something that is healthy. That is when I decided to try making this hot apple cider. I remembered the recipe from an old Tarla dalal magazine. And as luck would have it, there was some apple juice in the fridge. It took only five minutes to put this drink together and it tasted abolutely divine. This delicately spiced drink not only managed to warm me up, but also gave me enough enthusiasm to make me photograph the drink. Now isn't that great??

The spices used in this drink not only impart an irresistible flavour and fragrance, but they also add warmth to the apple juice, making it a source of delicious comfort on a cold cold day!!!

Warm apple Cider recipe:
Preparation time: 5min
Cooking time: 5min
Serves- 2

Apple juice- 2 cups
Cloves- 2
Cinnamon sticks- 2" long
Brown sugar or honey- 1 tsp
Lemon juice- 2 tsp

  • Combine the apple juice along with the cloves and cinnamon and bring to a boil.
  • Strain the juice and discard the cloves and cinnamon.
  • Add the lemon juice and honey. Mix and serve immediately.
  • If using packaged apple juice, then use a juice that is free of artificial flavours and sweeteners.
  • For an alcoholic version, you can add a table spoon of brandy


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Home made fererro rocher forPurvi

I actually wanted to make this post on the 27th of Jun. That was on Purvi's birthday. But I got so held up with the celebrations that I did not have time for anything else. After that I got a bad flu that refused to go away for nearly 5 days. Even now I am not in the pink of my health. But then, I could nor delay the post further. So I pulled myself out of my blues and sat down to make this post.
As I mentioned before, Purvi turned three on the 27th of jun. Like last year, we had small get together for about ten kids and about a dozen adults. Me and S had a lot of fun planning and arranging the party. But this there was something different. Unlike the last two years, even Purvi had a lot of fun. She wasn't weepy or claustrophobic as she was during her previous birthday parties. Seeing her walking around with that twinkle in her eyes made our hearts leap. I guess all the efforts that went into the birthday party was totally worth it.

This time I thought of making something different for Purvi. Something more than just clothes and toys. That is when I decided to make these Ferrero Rocher like truffles. Actually I wanted to make them since the time I had seen the recipe here. But I was just waiting for the right occasion. And what could be a better occasion than your child's birthday. I knew she would like these as she loves chocolates (surprise!!!) Needless to say she did. But the surprising thing was, even S liked them as much as Purvi. The father daughter duo just wouldn't stop eating these. I literally had to fight them off so that I could photograph a few of them. 

This recipe for chocolate and almond balls, apart from having only five ingredients, is literally a breeze to make. The only difficult part was rolling the nutella and wafer mixture. With all that chocolate on my hands, I felt like a kid again. But apart from this, these truffles are simply fabulous!!!

Home made fererro rocher recipe
Preparation time: 45min+chilling time
Makes- 25-30 truffles

Hazelnut wafer biscuits: 100gm, crushed
Toasted almonds- 150gm, finely chopped
Nutella- 200gm
Dark chocolate- 150gm (I used bournville)
Oil- 1tbsp

  • In a large bowl, combine the chopped almonds, crushed wafers and nutella and mix well. Cover and allow the mixture to chill in the refrigerator for 30min.
  • After the mixture is chilled thoroughly, scoop out a heaped tsp of the mixture and shape them into balls. Cover and allow the balls to harden in the fridge for 30-45min
  • Melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler with oil and let it cool.
  • Using a toothpick, dip each truffle in the melted chocolate and place on a plate. After all the truffles are coated with chocolate, allow them to set in the fridge. You can either coat the truffles once or as many times as you like for a richer chocolate experience!!!

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