Bored of trying out the same old curries with Brinjal/ Aubergine. Why not have a go at making this spicy tangy Brinjal Pickle?? more

In a hurry, why not cook up this simple and tasty Tomato Rice. Goes well with any yoghurt raita. more

A nutritious dal, especially with its combination of different lentils. A perfect accompaniment with plain rice. more

Another unusual dessert. This time with bread!. Never thought bread would taste so good, in a sweet dish other than bread and butter pudding! more

A typical Maharashtrian snack, Misal Pav. Both filling and tasty too! more

 

Category Archives: PASTAS AND BAKED BONANZAS

PIZZA STAR

I am a member of several food groups on Facebook. On one such group a member had posted this video on chilli pizza star. The ready pizza was such a visual treat that I bookmarked the video immediately. It took me a while before I got around to making it. However, I followed only the technique to get the star shape. The toppings can vary according to personal preferences. I chose to make a veg pizza.

pizza-star

This is what you need

Pizza base: 1 (readymade)

Tomato purée: 3tbsp

Cheddar cheese: 1/2 cup (grated)

Mozzarella cheese: 1/2 cup (grated)

Pizza toppings of your choice. I used thinly sliced red onions, mushrooms, red peppers, pineapple and jalapeños

Seasoning: Oregano and Chilli flakes (optional)

Dipping sauce: Optional

Let’s get cooking

1. Place the pizza base on a sheet of grease proof paper.

2. Make 3 cuts with a pizza cutter in the centre of the dough,  this will create a star shape that will give you 6 triangles of dough to fold outwards towards the edge.

3. Around the outer edge of the pizza spread the tomato purée, leaving the centre untouched (where he slits end)

4. Add the onions, mushrooms, red peppers, pineapple and jalapeños.

5. Sprinkle the cheese, both cheddar and mozzarella along with oregano and chilli flakes.

6.  Slowly lift one of the triangles from the centre and overlap it with the corresponding outside edge of the pizza. Continue until you have completed the pizza.

7. Bake at around 250deg C for 20 minutes or until lightly browned and the cheese has melted.

8. Serve hot with a dip of your choice.

pizza-star1

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 45 minutes

Serves: 2

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pizza-star2

 

pizza-star3

LOADED POTATO SKINS

We tried out this starter Italian Potato Dippers at one of our favourite restaurants Frankie and Benny’s. The American version of this usually has bacon in it, but I prefer the vegetarian version. Made it at home today and was quite pleased with the outcome. A great starter.

lps1

This is what you’ll need

Medium sized potatoes: 6

Cream cheese: 4tbsp

Green chillies: 2 to 3 (finely chopped)

Cheese sauce: 3tbsp

Spring onion green: To garnish

Chilli flakes: To garnish (optional)

Olive oil: 1tbsp

Let’s get cooking

1. Prick the potatoes with a fork all over a few times. Coat with olive oil and bake in an oven at 180deg C for about 45 minutes to an hour (depending on the size of the potatoes)

2. Prepare the filling by mixing the cream cheese until it is smooth and soft.

3. Add the finely chopped green chillies. Mix well and keep aside.

4. You can top this mixture either with grated cheese or cheese sauce. I used cheese sauce. (Prepare the cheese sauce by melting 1tbsp butter. Add 1tbsp flour and mix to a smooth paste on a low flame. Add 1 cup of milk and mix making sure no lumps are formed. Stir until thick. turn off the flame and add the grated cheese to it. Mix well until it is smooth. Add salt and pepper as required and use as required)

5. Once the potatoes are done, remove from the oven and let them cool completely.

6. Cut them into half lengthwise and scoop out the centre pulpy portion, leaving about a cm of it all around. Do this with all the remaining potatoes. (The centre pulp can be kept aside for use in making parathas, mash or even cutlets.)

7. Bake the potato skins (skin facing up) in an oven at 200 deg C for another 5 to 7 minutes.

8. Remove and fill them with the cream cheese mixture. Top with cheese sauce or grated cheese and bake again for another 7 minutes.

9. Remove and serve hot garnished with spring onion greens.

loaded potato skins2

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 1 and a half hour.

Serves: 3 to 4

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loaded potato skins1

EGG CHEESE TOAST

Egg sandwiches and Cheese sandwiches are something I make very often at home, especially for the children’s lunch boxes. When I came across a combination of both into one sandwich at foodsandflavorsbyshilpi.com I made note of the recipe and was sure that I wanted to try it out. Today seemed the perfect morning to make it especially since I was in no mood to cook an Indian breakfast. Quick, filling and very easy to make this recipe is for keeps.

This is what you’ll need

Eggs: 4

Bread slices: 4

Grated cheese: 1/2 to 3/4 cup

Onion: 3tbsp (finely chopped)

Coriander leaves: 2tbsp (finely chopped)

Green pepper: 1tbsp (finely chopped)

Chilli flakes: 1/2tsp

Butter: To lightly spread on each slice

Salt and pepper to taste

Let’s get cooking

1. Boil the eggs. When cool remove the shell, cut into roundels and keep aside.

2. In a bowl mix the onions, cheese, peppers, coriander leaves and chilli flakes.

3. Butter the bread slices and lightly toast them.

4. Remove and place on a baking tray lined with aluminium foil.

5. Place the egg slices on the bread slices. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper.

6. Generously spread the cheese mixture over the eggs.

7. Bake in the oven at 200 deg C for around 4 to 5 minutes or until the cheese melts.

8. Serve hot on it’s own or with ketchup.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 2

* I used big bread slices and needed one egg for each slice.

* Cheddar cheese was what I used, but you can use any other cheese too.

 

 

 

 

JUS-ROL PIZZA PUFF

With winter having set in and the clocks moved back an hour, it seems like time has come to a standstill! Initial winter blues set in and I find myself dreading the thought of having to cook. To my rescue came the Jus-Rol puff pastry sheets that I had at home. Added a few toppings (chicken for the kids and hubby, vegetarian for me) popped it into the oven and voila out came a tasty pizza puff. The kids absolutely loved it and the best part is this required very little preparation.

This is what you’ll need

Jus-Rol puff pastry sheets: 1

Tomato puree: 4tbsp

Vegetables for topping as per your preference I used sliced red onions, mushrooms, green pepper, cherry tomatoes and spinach

Grated cheese: 6 tbsp

Mixed herbs and chilli flakes: For topping

Let’s get cooking

1. Pre heat the over at 180deg C.

2. If using rom frozen, first thaw the puff pastry sheet. Cut into 6 pieces (or 4 big ones)

3. Spread tomato puree on the base of each sheet.

4. Spread the vegetables on the top.

5. Sprinkle herbs and chilli flakes.

6. Top with grated cheese and bake in a preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until the pastry is nicely brown.

7. Drizzle with olive oil and serve hot.

 

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 50 minutes

Serves: 3

 

 

 

TUTTI FRUTTI BISCUITS

Ever since I tasted the Tutti Frutti Biscuits from the famous Karachi Bakery in Hyderabad I have been wanting to try making them at home. Finally got around to making them today, after almost a year of “planning to”!! Thanks to the recipe for these biscuits by Vahchef @ vahrehvah.com. They were delicious!

This is what you’ll need

Mixed tutti frutti: 100gms (cherry, papaya, orange, cashewnuts, raisins or your choice of candied fruits finely chopped)

All purpose flour: 250gms

Custard powder: 50gms

Milk powder: 15gms

Cardamom powder: 2tsp

Baking powder: A pinch

Butter: 150gms

Castor sugar: 150gms

Pineapple essence: 1tsp

Water: 1tbsp

Let’s get cooking

1. Mix the tutti frutti, flour, custard powder, milk powder, cardamom powder and baking powder in a bowl and keep aside.

2. Cream the butter and sugar to a smooth paste.

3. Add the pineapple essence and water and mix well.

4. Add the flour/ tutti frutti mixture and knead well till it forms a soft dough.

5. Roll out flat on a kitchen counter dusted with a little flour.

6. Cut into desired shapes and place on a baking tray lined with butter paper.

7. Bake at 180 deg C for 15 to 18 minutes.

8. Remove and cool. Store in an air tight cookie jar and serve as a tea time snack.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 50 minutes

 

VEGETABLE MACARONI MUFFINS

Everyone at home enjoys pastas, especially if they are in a cheese sauce. Had found a few recipes for Macaroni muffins on various websites, but most of them had used egg and I was looking for an eggless recipe. Finally found one on rakskitchen.net. Followed this recipe with a few modifications. Turned out good.

This is what you’ll need

Macaroni: 1 cup (uncooked)

Mixed vegetables, I used

Onion: 1/2 (finely chopped)

Mushrooms: 3 (finely chopped)

Broccoli: 3 florets (finely chopped)

Carrot: 1 (finely chopped)

Spring onions: 2 (finely chopped)

Butter: 1tbsp

Grated mozzarella cheese: 1/2cup

Bread crumbs: 1/4cup

Chilli flakes: 1tsp

Olive oil: For greasing the muffin pan

Salt and pepper to taste

Let’s get cooking

1. Cook the macaroni as per instructions on the pack. Drain and once cool, mix with half of the mozzarella cheese.

2. Grease a muffin try with olive oil and dust with the bread crumbs generously. Tap off the extra crumbs.

3. Melt the butter in a pan and soute the chopped vegetables for 3 to 4 minutes. Add salt and pepper and eep aside.

4. Pre heat the oven at 190 deg C and keep ready.

5. To make the macaroni muffins, add a layer of the macaroni cheese mixture in each compartment.

6. Pour in a few spoonfuls of the vegetable mixture. Add a little more of the cheese.

7. Finally top with bread crumbs and chilli flakes.

8. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until the top is nicely browned and the cheese melts.

9. Let it cool remove from muffin tray and serve.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 40 minutes

Serves: 4

* Make sure that the muffin tray is generously coated with bread crumbs to help binding.

* Mozzarella cheese also helps binding the macaroni.

* You can use any vegetables of your choice, like spinach, peppers, corn or non veg filling like prawns, ham and chicken!

 

PULL APART MUSHROOM CHEESE CHILLI BREAD

I haven’t been very active in the kitchen since the last few days. Last night while browsing through the net I found this recipe for a pull apart mushroom bread and there were similar recipes on quite a few websites, some with mushroom, some with onion. At home everybody likes food spicy, so decided to add some green chillies to it too. A great starter/snack and quick to make.

This is what you’ll need

Sourdough bread: 1 loaf (uncut)

Mushrooms: 8 to 10 (sliced)

Green chillies: 3 (sliced)

Cheese: 10 to 12 slices (cut from a block)

Butter: 3tbsp

Poppy seeds: 1tsp

Spring onion greens: 3tbsp

Chives: To garnish

Salt and pepper to taste

Let’s get cooking

1. Cut the bread lengthwise and horizontally, into squares , keeping the base intact. Keep aside on foil.

2. Melt 1tbsp of the butter and saute the sliced mushrooms for a couple of minutes.

3. Add the green chillies, salt and pepper and then fill this mixture in between the cut bread.

4. Add the slices of cheese in between.

5. Melt the remaining butter and add the spring onions greens, poppy seeds and chives.

6. Pour over the bread.

7. Cover the bread with the foil and bake at 200deg C for 15 minutes.

8. Open the foil and cook uncovered for a further 10 minutes.

9. Serve hot.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 40 minutes

Serves: 4

 

JHATPAT NAAN PIZZA

Another busy day and as usual suddenly realise that I had not cooked anything! Was too tired to even make anything too elaborate. Had some Naan bread at home and with a few of my favourite toppings and cheese popped it into the oven for a quick, tasty meal! Works well as a quick evening snack for the kids. 😀

This is what you’ll need

For the base

Naan bread: 2 (you can even use mini naans. The kids enjoy that)

For the topping

Red onion: 1 (sliced)

Tomato puree: 4tbsp

Mushrooms: 6-8 (sliced)

Pineapple: 4 slices

Green chilli: 1 (chopped)

Chilli flakes: 1tsp

Mozzarella cheese: 4-6tbsp

Salt and pepper to taste.

Let’s get cooking

1. Apply the tomato puree on the naan bases. Sprinkle a little cheese on top.

2. Add the toppings, onions, mushrooms, pineapple and green chillies. ( Or any other toppings of your choice)

3.  Sprinkle the top with the rest of the grated cheese.

8. Preheat the oven to 200 deg C and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese melts.

9. Cut into slices and serve hot. Add spices of your choice, like pepper powder, chilli flakes or oregano.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 20 minutes.

Serves: 2

* Non vegetarian toppings like pepperoni, chicken and prawns can also be added.

 

MUSHROOM SPAGHETTI

This is what you’ll need

Spaghetti: 150gms

Mushrooms: 2 cups (sliced)

Garlic: 6 cloves

Chilli flakes: 1tsp

Olive oil: 3tsp

Coriander leaves: To garnish

Salt and pepper to taste

Let’s get cooking

1. Cook the spaghetti in boiling water along with a little oil and salt. Drain and keep aside.

2. Heat the olive oil in a pan and saute the sliced garlic along with the mushrooms.

3. Add the chilli flakes, salt and pepper.

4. Mix in the spaghetti and toss lightly, until well mixed.

5. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with garlic bread.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

SPAGHETTI IN TRI COLOURED SAUCE

Choose your favourite sauce and devour on this tri coloured spaghetti. With everyone at home having varied tastes I came up with this recipe. Not that I pamper their taste buds to this extent always, but had a little more time to spare today than usual.

This is what you’ll need

Spaghetti: 200gms

For the spinach sauce:

Spinach: 30gms

Onion: 1 small (finely chopped)

Garlic: 2 cloves

Cream: 4tbsp

Green chilli: 1

Butter: 1tbsp

Cheese: 1tbsp

Salt and pepper to taste

For the tomato sauce

Tomatoes: 3 (chopped)

Onion: 1 small (chopped)

Garlic cloves: 2

Chilli flakes: 1tsp

Coriander leaves: 2tsp (finely chopped)

Butter: 1tbsp

Salt to taste

For the white sauce

Mushrooms: 8

Cream: 1/2 cup

Cheese: 2tbsp

Butter: 1tbsp

Salt and pepper to taste

Let’s get cooking

1. Cook the spaghetti, drain under cold water, divide into three portions and keep aside.

2. To prepare the spinach sauce blanch the spinach and then make a puree.

3. Melt some butter in a pan, add the chopped onion, green chillies and garlic. Saute for 2 minutes.

4. Add the spinach puree, along with the cream and spaghetti. Mix well.

5. Add salt and pepper as required. Dilute with milk, if too thick. Bring to a boil and keep aside.

6. For the tomatoe sauce, chop the onion, tomatoes, garlic and coriander leaves finely.

7. Melt the butter. Add the onions and garlic and fry for a few minutes.

8. Add the tomatoes and chilli flakes and cook until the tomatoes are soft and pulpy.

9. Add the spaghetti, salt and coriander leaves and heat well. Keep aside.

10. For the white sauce, slice the mushrooms and saute in butter until soft.

11. Add the cream, spaghetti, cheese, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and keep aside.

12. Arrange a little of each of the spaghetti in the different sauces in a plate and serve hot.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4

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