Pasta Verduras – Pasta in Veggies, Wine And Tomato Sauce

Every dish has a story to tell. Like my Pasta Verduras. The idea was to rustle up a quick stew for Sunday lunch. Pasta just came waddling around for a stroll. But, glancing at this inviting, aromatic stew bursting with colors, the pasta decided to take a dip. So, that’s that 🙂
It’s a one-pot recipe that’ll make for a quick, hearty lunch and also a comforting dinner.
All you need to do is get chopping 🙂

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
2 red peppers, deseeded and diced
2 yellow peppers, deseeded and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 medium size red onions, finely chopped
1 medium aubergine, cut into big chunks
1 medium broccoli, roughly chopped
1 large courgettes, diced
1/2 cup green peas
2 tbsp, garlic, grated. I use lots of it. I’m a huge garlic fan 🙂
1 ripe tomato, roughly chopped
3 ripe tomatoes, pureed
3 tbsp, tomato ketchup or sauce
1/2 cup any red wine. I used Port Wine
400 gm macaroni, penne or spaghetti pasta
A cup of grated parmesan cheese. Save a little for garnishing.
Chopped coriander for garnishing
2 tsp lemon juice
Olive oil for frying
Salt and pepper for seasoning

Method:
1. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes, or until they are soft and translucent.
2. Toss in all the chopped peppers. Put the lid on and cook on medium, till soft.
3. Now add carrots and courgettes and cook.
4. Once the carrots are soft, add peas, aubergine, tomatoes, broccoli and cook with lid on.
5. Add the tomato puree, sause and the seasoning and cook on medium for another 3-4 of minutes.
6. Lastly add the slosh of wine and lemon juice and stir. Let it simmer on low for 5 minutes. Do the taste test and add more seasoning if needed.
7. Add the grated parmesan, stir and let it cook on low for a minute. Save some of it for plating.
8. Meanwhile, put a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the packet instructions. When cooked, drain in a colander, reserving some of the cooking water.
9. Now pop the pasta and cooking water into the stew, add the chopped coriander and give a good toss.
10. Serve hot with a garnish of coriander, gorgeous long ribbons of grated parmesan and a poached egg mounted on the top, its sun-kissed yolk streaming down.
I like it medium-poached.

Good and nutritious food isn’t always the outcome of lengthy, rigorous cooking. It can also be like that story, short and simple; yet it leaves an indelible effect on you that lasts forever…

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Cloud Eggs – The Latest Instagram Obsession

Bangda Recheado Fry – Crisp Fried Stuffed Mackerel

Mackerel or Bangda in Marathi hits the perfect spot when it comes to nutrition. This gorgeous steely-blue fish is loaded with proteins, B vitamins and is a top notch source of Omega-3 fatty acids.

I usually fry this fish by applying the marinade only on the outside. This time I went all Goan by doing the recheado.
Now, recheado is frequently mistaken as the spice paste used for marinating the fish. But, it actually is the Portuguese word for Stuffing 🙂

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Marination time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
4 medium size Mackerels
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
6 tbsp red chili powder / kashmiri chili powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 cumin powder
4-5 black pepper corns
1 inch cinnamon stick
5 cloves
4-5 fenugreek (methi) seeds
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp Sugar
3 – 4 tbsp vinegar
Chickpea flour or Besan for coating
Salt as per taste
Oil for frying

Method:
1. Slit the fish lengthwise on the narrower side, but don’t cut it into two.
2. Marinate with salt and turmeric powder and leave it aside for 10 minutes.
3. Grind all the other ingredients together into a smooth paste – chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, ginger-garlic paste, pepper corns, cinnamon, fenugreek seeds, cloves, mustard seeds, vinegar, sugar and salt.
4. Rub this spice paste equally on to the surface and then stuff it within the slit.
5. Again, leave it aside for 15 minutes, so the fish absorbs all the flavors.
6. Heat some oil in a fry pan.
7. Sprinkle the chickpea flour equally on both the sides of the fish.
8. Fry the fish on medium flame, about 2 minutes each side, till brown and crisp.
9. Drain the excess oil on an absorbent paper.
10. Serve hot with rice and curry.

P.S.:
1. You can use lemon juice or tamarind paste as an alternative to vinegar.
2. Vinegar has a very strong tangy flavor. So don’t go overboard, else it will dominate all the wonderful flavors other spices impart.
3. Fish can also be coated in semolina or rice flour.
4. Sprinkling the flour prevents wastage of the flour and the spices while frying.
5. Being patient with marination goes a long way in making the fish more flavorful.
6. It’s best to fry the fish when you are ready to serve.
7. If you’ve fried it before hand, instead of warming it up in a microwave, heat a skillet/ fry pan/ grill pan and warm it up on medium flame for few seconds each side. You don’t have to add oil here. This will not just warm up the fish but also retain its crispness.

Crisp Fried Bombay Duck – Bombil Fry

Now, Bombay Duck is not a duck from Bombay, okay. Rather, it’s a fish. Lizard Fish, to be scientifically precise. Weird, no. So is its unusual, slimy appearance. But the history, I tell you, is a lot more amusing… dates back to the British times. You have to Google it 🙂
Commonly known as Bombil, this peculiar fish has made Maharastrian kitchens its home.
And, this is one fish in particular that has intimidated me all these years. I somehow, couldn’t muster courage even to touch it. Bombil is wobbly, slippery and doesn’t have a taste of its own. It needs to be flavored with a really nice marinade and believe me, it’ll love you right back 🙂
Posting a link that shows how to clean and cut the fish. I followed it too.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D53lpR_GJ2g

Ingredients:
8-10 medium size Bombay Ducks
8 cloves of garlic
1 inch ginger
2 green chilies
4 tsp Kashmiri chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Juice of 1 lemon / 2 tbsp tamarind extract
1 cup rice flour (if you don’t have the flour, blitz the rice in the mixer to a really fine powder)
4 tbsp semolina
Sal as per taste
Oil for frying

Method:
1. Slit and pat dry the fish as per the link above and place them in a bowl.
2. Grind together ginger, garlic, green chilies, turmeric powder, red chili powder, salt and lemon juice to a smooth paste.
3. Apply the marinade and 1 tsp of rice flour to the fish. Leave it aside for 30 minutes.
I believe in marinating a little longer. I have it in my head that more the marinating time, the more flavored the fish will be.
4. Heat oil in a non-stick pan.
5. Mix the balance rice flour and semolina together.
6. Now dip the marinated fish in the flour+semolina mixture so it’s coated well on both sides. Dust off the extra bits and shallow fry till crisp and golden brown on both the sides.
7. Drain the excess oil on absorbent paper.
8. Serve with steaming hot rice and curry or just like that with green chutney or ketchup.

P.S.:
1. Oil has to be really hot for the fish to fry properly and turn crisp. Reduce the flame if you feel the crumbs are burning.
2. There’s one central bone or thorn in the fish that is soft and tender. And it cooks well while frying the fish. So don’t bother to chuck it out while slitting the fish. I too didn’t.
3. It’s best to fry the fish when you are ready to serve. That’s when you really enjoy the crispness. Keep it for long and it wears off and turns flat.
May be you can try warming it up in the OTG. I’m yet to try it.

I believe in my heart, whatever dish you cook with all your love and care, it will be the most celebrated dish ever…

Goan Sausage Pulao

A visit to Goa doesn’t need an itinerary or a plan. Because, here things just happen. You don’t plan stuff when you visit your home, do you? Goa is home. Home to its locals and tourists alike. Hire a bike or a car and jet off to make the most of its beaches, nightlife, shopping and food.
I have a proclivity to markets – the bustling Mapusa, Margaon and Panjim markets and their cheeky vendors are the places where I feel, is the actual essence of Goa.

Goan cuisine is a magical amalgamation of the Hindu, Muslim and the Portuguese influence. The indigenous Pork Sausages are a typical reflection of the Indo-Portuguese cuisine. These long, entwined, fiery red and aromatic beaded necklaces dangling from the stalls have always caught my fancy.
The ubiquitous Pork Sausage Pulao is practically every restaurant’s sweetheart and so is my husband’s.

So, I decided to try it back home. It was as inviting, gorgeous and bursting with flavors, as it did in the restaurants in Goa.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 3

Ingredients:
1 cup (250 gms) Basmati rice
2 cups of water
14 beads of homemade Goan Sausages
2 medium size onions, finely chopped
2 medium size tomatoes, finely chopped
2 green chilies, slit
8 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp sugar
Salt as per taste
Oil for frying
Chopped coriander for garnish
Whole Spices:
2 bay leaves
4 green cardamoms
1 black cardamom
4 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
4 black pepper corns
1 tsp cumin seeds

Method:
1. Wash, drain and soak the basmati rice for about 15 minutes
2. Remove the sausages off their casings.
3. Heat oil in a non-stick pan and add the whole spices. Fry till aromatic.
4. Toss in the onions and fry till translucent and golden brown.
5. Add minced garlic and slit green chilies and saute.
6. Tumble in the chopped tomatoes and cook till they are soft.
7. Add turmeric powder and stir.
8. Now add the sausages and saute till aromatic and the oil starts leaving from the sides.
9. Add the soaked rice and mix well.
10. Pour in the water, sprinkle salt, sugar and stir gently.
11. When it comes to boil, cover it up and cook on low for about 15 minutes or till done.
12. When cooked, leave it covered for about 10 minutes. This helps the flavors and aroma to permeate through.
13. Gently toss the pulao with a fork, so you don’t harm the long, beautiful grains of rice.
14. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with a wedge of lime.

P.S.: Here, simplicity is the key. The tangy vinegar, smoked paprika, a dash of garam masala, spicy pepper and few other ingredients together add an intense flavor to the minced pork.
The Pulao is nothing but heaven sizzling on your plate 🙂

Crispy Lamb Chops

Hello Everyone!
Greetings!!!

Sorry, haven’t posted since long. Had been busy with few other assignments. Made a short, fun-filled trip to Goa, para-sailed, ambled the golden, serene beaches and stuffed my face with tonnes of fish.
Then a long long drive to Pune. It’s definitely an adventure to try out new recipes at home. But it’s an entirely different experience to relish and cherish them in the place they were born. Steaming hot, spicy and gorgeously red Misal with Paav is one such. A specialty of Pune, every Punekar takes utmost pride in.
Cooking ran parallel as well…perhaps, not as frequently. But yes, it did 🙂

Did I mention, I participated in a beauty pageant and made it to the top six… 🙂 🙂

Coming back to business…Tried Nigella’s Crisp Lamb Chops yesterday. Fun to cook, fun to eat. The sound when you dig your teeth into them, is totally rewarding. I tweaked it a little, as I didn’t have all of her ingredients. But, they were super super yummm!
Ingredients:
5 lamb chops (with bone in)
2 tsp red chili powder (you can also use smoked paprika or chili flakes)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried rosemary (optional)
zest of a lemon
1 tsp lemon juice
A pinch of black pepper
Salt as per taste

For frying:
100 grams fresh white breadcrumbs (or as required)
1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1 large egg (beaten with salt and pepper)
Oil for frying

Method:
1. Remove the thick layer of fat from around the edge of each little chop, either by tearing it off by hand, or with a pair of scissors. Be careful not to lose the shape of the chop, though, or it will fall to pieces on frying.
2. Layer the chops between two sheets of clingfilm, and whack them vigorously with a mallet or rolling pin so that they are flattened a little. Be careful not to massacre them 😛
3. Rub the chops well with all of the marinating ingredients. Cover the bowl with a cling film and leave it in the fridge for at least two hours. This tenderizes and flavors the meat really well.
4. Then, in a wide, shallow bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and parmesan.
5. In another bowl, beat the egg and season it with salt and pepper.
6. Pour some oil, about 1cm / ½ inch deep, in a fry ban and heat it.
7. Dip the lamb chops first in the egg mixture and then press them well in the cheese and breadcrumbs before frying them in the hot oil.
8. Cook the chops for about 3 minutes each side. Adjust the flame, so that they are cooked through. They should be a deep golden brown and crunchy on the outside, tender and pinkish on the inside.
9. Serve hot with mint chutney or tomato ketchup. They taste equally good at room temperature or even cold.
10. Pack them up in an airtight container and they’ll last a good 3-4 days.