Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Crispy Spaghetti Balls

                     Tonight, me and my husband were in the mood for some Italian food, but wished for something different than the usual pasta dishes. So, I tried to think of some new Italian dish that would be fun, and not too difficult to make. And I thought of making Spaghetti balls with Tomato sauce. So, here is my recipe for this unorthodox Italian dish. I hope you like it.

  • 1 packet Spaghetti
  • 1 cup finely chopped Onions
  • 1 cup boiled Corn
  • 4 cups Hot Milk
  • 3/4 cup Refined flour (Maida)
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese
  • 2 tsp Black Pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup Semolina 
  • Oil for frying
  • Boil the Spaghetti according to the package directions. Drain and keep it aside
  • Heat some butter in a pan, and add the onions
  • Saute them for a minute or so till they are translucent.
  • Now add the refined flour and mix it well.
  • Saute the mixture till it is golden brown.
  • Then whisk it in the hot milk slowly and mix it well so that no lumps are formed.
  • Continue cooking till the mixture thickens.
  • Now mix in the corn and spaghetti. Add salt and pepper according to the taste and mix well
  • Let the mixture cool down completely.
  • In the meanwhile, heat the oil in another pan for deep frying
  • Once the mixture has cooled down, add the cheese to it and mix it well
  • Then, shape them into small balls. Roll these balls in some semolina properly
  • Fry them till they are golden and crisp.
  • Serve hot with the pasta sauce of your choice. I tried it with a reduction of this Pasta Sauce.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Tortilla Soup

            Soups are loved by everyone. And personally, both me and my husband, love having soups for dinner. They are light, tasty and nutritious. So I keep trying to make different varieties of healthy soups every now and then. Today, I tried making a Mexican specialty, the Spicy Tortilla soup.
            Tortilla soup is easy to make and is healthy and rich in fiber and protein. The best part about soups is you can customize them in a number of ways. You may add more vegetables to it, or more chillies or skip the chillies altogether. So here is my take on this Mexican delicacy.

  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped Onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped colored Bell Peppers
  • 4-5 minced Garlic cloves
  • 3-4 chopped Green Chilies/Jalapeno peppers
  • 1 cup yellow Corn
  • 15 Oz/425 gm kidney beans (I used black beans)
  • 1/3 cup Cilantro chopped
  • 1 tbsp Cumin Seeds
  • 4 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 2 tsp Lime Juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Shredded Mexican Cheese (Optional, omit it for Vegan Soup)
  • 3 Tortillas
  • To make the tortilla Strips, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  • Cut the Tortillas in strips and place the strips on a cookie sheet or any baking pan. 
  • Place them in the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until they are crispy.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan, and add the cumin seeds to it.
  • Once the seeds start to crackle, add the garlic and the chilies and saute it for a minute.
  • Now, add the onions and saute them till they are translucent. 
  • Then add the bell peppers and corn to it and stir for about 4-5 minutes.
  • Now add the vegetable broth. If you don't have broth, you may add water too.
  • Add the cooked beans and mix well.
  • Then add salt, pepper and lime juice and mix them well
  • Reduce the heat, cover and let it simmer for 10-12 minutes
  • To serve, pour some soup in a bowl, garnish with Cilantro, Cheese and the Tortilla strips and serve hot

Monday, April 8, 2013

Methi Mutter Malai

                  I always used to think Methi Mutter Malai (Fenugreek Peas Cream) is a dish that is slightly sweet in nature, and hence was always hesitant to try it out. But then, few days back, I had a version of this dish that was not sweet at all, but in fact was a bit on the spicier side. I loved it, but still I was hesitant to use a huge amount of cream, and then I decided to use cashew cream instead. So, here is my "healthy" take on this Indian classic.

  • 3 cups coarsely chopped Fenugreek (Methi) leaves
  • 2 cups green Peas
  • 1/2 cup sliced Onions
  • 1/2 cup raw Cashews
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 2-3 green Chilies
  • about 1 inch chunk of Ginger
  • 2-3 Cloves
  • 1/2 inch Cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 tbsp Cumin Seeds
  • A pinch of Asafoetida
  • Butter
  • Heat 1 tbsp butter in a pan.
  • Add cloves, cinnamon, garlic, ginger and chilies. Saute it for a minute.
  • Now add the onions and saute them till they are translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Then add this mixture to a blender or a food processor. Be careful with the hot temperature.
  • Add the cashews to the blender and puree the mixture into a smooth paste. Add a little water if necessary.
  • Keep the paste aside.
  • Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp butter in a pan. Add asafoetida and cumin seeds.
  • Once the cumin seeds start to crackle, add the white paste and saute it for 2 minutes or till the butter starts separating from the paste.
  • Now add the fenugreek leaves and green peas to the paste and mix it well.
  • Let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Now add the milk and mix well.
  • Let it simmer on medium heat for 4-5 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Serve hot with Paratha or Naan or any bread of your choice.