Translate this website?

Monday, April 5, 2021

Mac & Cheese



This  Mac and cheese recipe is a total comfort food. It is an excellent side dish and can be a main dish too when you want a quick and simple dinner. The elbow macaroni is first boiled and later wrapped in a creamy cheesy homemade sauce . It can be made in two versions. The first one is simple. Boil the macaroni and let it drain. Meanwhile make cheesy creamy Bechamel Sauce and mix Macaroni in that sauce and Enjoy. The other one is to mix macaroni and sauce and then bake it with bread crumbs in an oven. I will suggest you try the second version. The macaroni in cream and cheese with a layer of crunchy bread crumbs tastes awesome. Do try. 

We Need:

For Boiling Macaroni:

  • 1 Cup Elbow Macaroni

  • 4 Cups Water 

  • 1 Tsp Salt

For Making Cheese Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp All purpose flour ( Maida) 

  • 2 Tbsp Butter 

  • 500 ml Cold Milk

  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper Powder

  • ½ Tsp Nutmeg Powder

  • 1.25 Cups of Shredded Cheese preferably mix of cheddar and Mozzarella.   

  • Salt ½ Tsp or as required

Bread Crumbs Topping

  • 1 Cup Bread Crumbs

  • 2 Tbsp Butter

  • 2 Tbsp Shredded Mozzarella Cheese. 

Here We Go:

  1. Take 4 cups of water in a pan. Add salt to it. When it starts boiling add one cup Macaroni pasta to it. Gently stir while boiling so that pasta doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. When pasta is al dente ,( it will take 5 to 7 minutes) drain it in a colander. To stop further cooking of the pasta add cold water to it. Drain it completely. 

  2. Meanwhile, take a baking dish and coat it with butter, that is if you want to bake it with bread crumbs topping. . Preheat the oven at 180 degrees celsius for ten minutes. 

  3. Heat a pan and add 2 Tbsp of butter to it. As the butter starts melting and frothing add all purpose flour to it. Keep stirring so that lumps are not formed. You will see the bubbles forming in flour. Saute till the raw smells go off and you can smell a nice aroma. Do not brown it otherwise it will spoil the colour of Bechamel Sauce. 

  4. When the flour is done, keep the flame to lowest and slowly add cold milk to it in a smooth stream. However keep on stirring the sauce to avoid the formation of lumps. Keep on stirring till you get a thick sauce. Take a spoon and dip the back of the spoon in the sauce. If The sauce coats the spoon, your sauce is done. Remove the pan from flame . 

  5. After one minute, add shredded cheese to it. Mix well till you get a creamy white sauce. 

  6. Add black pepper powder and nutmeg powder to it  Since there is salt in the cheese, add salt only after tasting the sauce . 

  7. Add boiled pasta to the sauce and mix well with a spoon till each pasta is coated with cheese sauce. You can also have it like this. But if you prefer to bake then let us follow the next step. 

  8. Add 2 Tbsp of melted butter to the bread crumbs. Coat them well with butter. Also Mix Tbsp of mozzarella cheese to the bread crumbs. 

  9. In the greased baking dish pour the macaroni mixed with white sauce. Spread it evenly in the dish. Top it with bread crumbs which we previously mixed with butter and cheese. 

  10. Put it in the preheated oven.  Bake it at 180 degrees celsius for 10 minutes or till you see the golden crust on top. 

Enjoy your Mac & Cheese hot and Crunchy 

Total Cooking Time : 40 minutes. 

Serves : 2


Tips:

The perfect boiled pasta is when you can cut it with a knife. It should not be overdone otherwise it will become soggy and won't hold the shape. 

You can add finely chopped veggies for fiber & extra nutrition. 

Use Cold milk for making sauce as it will prevent lump formation in the sauce. 

If the sauce is too thick, then add more milk to thin it down 

Don't use packaged shredded cheese. Shredd your own cheese. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Kaanji : The Indian Probiotic Drink

In the month of February when you visit the vegetable market, you will see these dark purple colour carrots. Fermented in the Sun with water,salt and mustard powder, these carrots make an excellent probiotic Vegan drink. In India it is called Kaanji. It is rich in antioxidants, dietary fibre, vitamin C , potassium & magnesium. It also boosts your digestion thereby boosting your immune system.Kaanji is the miracle health drink. Easy to prepare and full of health benefits. What else one can ask for. ? All you need is black carrots, Black salt, mustard seeds, red chillies and water. In the absence of Black carrots you can use ¾  part red carrots and ¼ part beetroot for that beautiful colour. But I prefer black carrots any day since they taste good as well as produce a very vibrant colour. These are all mixed with water and fermented in the Sun for 4 to 5 days. You can strain it after five days and drink immediately or keep it in a fridge. The carrots in the kaanji can be used as pickle and tastes awesome with khichdi or rice. Always  use glass or terracotta pots for the fermentation process. The benefit of using terracotta pot is that it will cool in a natural way and there is no need for refrigerating the Kanji. My mother used to make it in a big terracotta pot and keep it in the sun. It is pungent in taste so as a kid I didn't relish it so much. But my mother made it compulsory to drink this because of its health benefits. But as I grew up I started relishing it as well as preparing it myself. It has the balance of sourness and sweetness and is very refreshing.So enjoy this super healthy, gut friendly drink. It is like Kamboocha made in your own home. 

We Need

  • 6 Black Carrots

  • 2 Tbsp Mustard Powder ( Rai) 

  • 2 Tbsp Black Salt

  • 1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder or Black pepper powder. 

  • 7 glasses of Water

Here We go:

  1. Cut carrots in thin strips. 

  2. In a glass jar drop carrots slices, black salt, red chilli powder, mustard powder. 

  3. Fill with seven to eight glasses of water. 

  4. Cover it with a lid. 

  5. Keep it in the Sun and let it ferment for 4 to 5 days . Stir it daily. 

  6. Strain and Enjoy this gut friendly Kaanji with or without ice. 




Bread Cutlet



Crispy and tasty bread cutlets with a hot cup of tea make an excellent evening snack. My family enjoys them for breakfast as well. Boiled potatoes and veggies, rolled in bread and are then coated with bread crumbs. You can either shallow fry them or deep fry them. Choice is yours. In this recipe I am doing a deep fried version. You can use brown, white, wheat or any other type of bread for this recipe. Serve them hot with coriander and peanut chutney (recipe for chutney is towards the end). Enjoy bread cutlet or any other snack with this healthy and tasty dip. 

We Need 

  • 8 slices of Bread. 

  • 500 gm Boiled Potatoes

  • 100 gm boiled peas

  • 1 onion chopped finely

  • 2 green chilies chopped finely

  • 1 Tbsp of grated Ginger. 

  • 2 Tbsp chopped Coriander leaves

  • 1 Tbsp Salt or to taste

  • 1 Tbsp of Red chilli powder

  • 1 Tbsp of Coriander powder

  • 1 Tbsp dried Mango powder

  • 1 Tbsp roasted Cumin powder

  • 2 Tbsp Corn flour

  • 1 cup Breadcrumbs for coating

  • Any vegetable Oil for frying

Here We Go:

  1. Mash boiled potatoes. Add chopped onions, boiled peas, chopped green chillies, chopped coriander, grated ginger, mango powder, salt, red chilli powder,  coriander and cumin powder. 

  2. Mix everything together to form a dough. 

  3. Cut the sides of the bread slices and keep aside. You can later grind them in a grinder and make bread crumbs. 

  4. Take ½ Cup water in a bowl. Add ¼ tsp of salt to this. Take a slice of bread and wet the surface of the slice in this water. Wet the slice from both sides by turning each side. Now by pressing in between your palms squeeze out extra water. 

  5. Make a ball of potato mixture and keep in the middle of the wet slice. 

  6. Cover this potato mixture with the remaining part of the same slice and pressing it gently from all sides shaping it into cutlet using both your hands. Make all the cutlets and keep aside.  

  7. Mix 2 Tbsp of cornflour in water. Now dip each cutlet in this mixture and roll it in breadcrumbs covering all sides. Coat all cutlets in cornflour mixture and roll in breadcrumbs. Keep aside. 


  8. Heat oil in a pan for frying. Keeping the flame on medium, fry all cutlets till golden brown and crisp. 

  9. Drain on a paper towel to absorb extra oil. 

  10. Serve hot with coriander and peanut dip. Enjoy them in evening snacks or morning breakfast. 


Coriander & Peanut Dip:

In a grinder jar, add 1 cup coriander stems/leaves , ¼ Cup roasted peanuts, 2 green chillies, salt, juice of one lemon and 1 Tbsp grated ginger. Add ½ Cup of water and grind to a fine paste. Take out in a bowl and serve it with any snack. 


Preparation Time :  15 min

Cooking Time : 30 minutes. 


Tips 

Avoid over boiling the potatoes as they will become soft & mushy. 

Immediately take out water from potatoes after boiling as they soak water and will become soft and pulpy thereby making it difficult to hold shape

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Mutton Curry ( Punjabi Style)


Mutton Curry is lamb cooked with flavourful spices in onion and tomato gravy. Though it is cooked in many delectable versions, Punjabi Mutton Curry is simple and tasty. The whole spices are sauteed in pure ghee or mustard oil and then cooked with onions, ginger garlic and tomato gravy. I prefer to cook it in mustard oil which gives a sharp flavour to this dish. I also prefer to cook my mutton Curry with bones. Since it adds flavour and juice to the Curry. The best meat is of the front leg of the lamb which is tender and juicy. The most asked question is why the mutton remains chewy. If we don't pressure cook it for the required time, it doesn't cook well and becomes chewy. It should be slow cooked for best results. 

Serve it with jeera rice on a Sunday brunch and delight yourself with this simple and flavourful recipe. 


We need

  • 500 gm Mutton with bones. 

  • 2 Tbsp fresh Curd. 

  • 3 Medium Onions 

  • 2 Medium Tomatoes

  • 8 Cloves of Garlic

  • 2" Ginger piece

  • 2 Green Chillies

  • 2 Tbsp Kasuri Methi

  • 1 Tbsp Turmeric

  • 1 Tbsp Red Chilli Powder

  • 1 Tbsp Coriander Powder

  • 1 Tsp Garam Masala

  • 1 Tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli powder

  • 2 Bay leaves

  • 4 Cloves

  • 2 Green Cardamoms

  • 1"  Cinnamon stick

  • 1 Black Cardamom

  • 1 Tbsp Cumin Powder

  • 1 Tbsp salt or to taste

  • 5 Tbsp Mustard Oil. 


Here We go:

  1. Wash Mutton thoroughly under running water and then put it in a sieve to drain water completely. 

  2. Add fresh curd to the mutton along with ½ Tbsp salt and red chilli powder. Mix well and set aside. 

  3. Grind onion to a fine paste. Also grind ginger, garlic and green chillies separately. Make puree of tomatoes also and set aside . 

    just

  4. In a pressure cooker add mustard oil and heat it till it smokes. Let it cool. When cooled, put it again on flame and add cumin seeds, black & green cardamom, cloves, bay leaves and cinnamon sticks . Saute till cumin seeds splutter. 

  5. Add onion paste to these whole spices and saute till onions turn light brown in colour. Add ginger garlic paste to the onions and saute again till it leaves oil. Add tomato puree and ½ tbsp salt, turmeric powder, coriander powder, kashmiri Red chilli powder and garam masala powder. Saute till it leaves oil. Add kasuri methi and mix. 

  6. Add marinated mutton to this onion & tomato masala. Saute till it leaves oil and gets aromatic. Mutton juices are also sealed. It will take 5 to 7 minutes. Keep the flame on low during the process.

  7. Add around 600 ml of water to the mutton and close the lid of the pressure cooker. Keep the flame on high. 

  8. After first whistle, turn the flame on low and continue cooking for 15 minutes. Oh it smells so good. After 15 minutes turn off the flame and let the pressure release on its own. When the pressure is released, open the pressure cooker and serve your mutton Curry with jeera rice or chapati. Enjoy your Sunday Lunch. 


Preparation Time : 15 minutes. 

Cooking Time : 45 minutes. 

Tips:

Grind the onions to a fine paste for smooth gravy. Add a little water if required for grinding. 

First wash mutton and marinate with curd, red pepper and salt and then start with the gravy preparation as the mutton will get marinated side by side till you prepare the gravy. It will save time. 

Always keep the flame on low after the first whistle as the slow cooked mutton is tender and delicious. 

Choose raw material carefully to get best results. 

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Paneer Tikka ( Restaurant Style)



Paneer Tikka is a North Indian snack recipe, very delicious and full of nutrition. Paneer or cottage cheese is a good source of protein for vegetarians. It also adds calcium and phosphorus to our diet and is also a source of fat soluble vitamins A & D. Moreover it also has yoghurt which again is a good source of protein and probiotics. In the context of Indian vegetarians, Paneer Tikkas are a healthy as well as tasty food option. 

Tikkas are originally chunks of meat marinated with spices and yoghurt. But here we have taken chunks of Cottage cheese marinated with spices, hung curd and diced veggies. These are then marinated to absorb the flavours. After the marination, the tikkas along with veggies are threaded on Skewers and baked in clay ovens and served with green chutney and onions. Sprinkle some lemon and chat masala for extra tang. 

Since we don't have clay ovens at home, we can cook them on girdle, electric ovens and air fryers

For variations we can make sandwiches, wraps and pizzas out of them. So what are we waiting for? Let us make them this weekend and surprise our family. 

We Need:

  • 200 Gm Cottage Cheese

  • 8 to 10 Garlic Cloves

  • 2" Piece of Ginger

  • 3 to 4 Green Chillies

  • 2 Tbsp Mustard Oil.

  • ¼ Tsp Turmeric Powder

  • 1 Tbsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder

  • 1 Tbsp Kasuri Methi

  • 1 Tbsp Coriander Powder

  • 1 Tbsp Roasted Cumin Powder

  • ¼ Tbsp Black Pepper Powder

  • 6 Tbsp Hung Curd. 

  • 1 Tsp Salt Or to taste. 

  • 1 Lemon

  • 1 Big Green Capsicum

  • 1 Big Red Capsicum

  • 1 Big Onion

  • 4 Wooden Skewers. 

  • 2 Tbsp Yellow butter for coating. 


Here We Go:

  1. Cut Cottage cheese into 2 inches cubes. Smaller pieces will not hold onto the skewer so cut them in big chunks.

  2. Grind garlic, ginger and chillies together to make a fine paste. Add 1 or 2 spoons of water to the grinder jar if required. 

  3. Take around 200 gm of fresh curd and hang it in muslin cloth till the water from the curd is drained. Alternatively you can strain curd in a sieve till the water is drained and you get thick curd left.

  4. Dice red, green capsicum and onion into chunks and set aside. Discard the seeds of capsicum. 

  5. Take a bowl and first add Mustard oil to it. Now add all the powder spices, salt and mix well. Add ginger garlic paste, lemon juice and hung curd . Whisk the marinade well till it is of thick smooth consistency. 

  6. Add Cottage Cheese cubes, diced capisicum and onions to the marinade. Coat them well, feel free to use your hands gently. Leave this marination for half an hour. 

  7. Meanwhile if you are using wooden Skewers, immerse them in water for 10 to 15 minutes, because if you don’t then dry wood of the skewers has the risk of catching fire in the oven.

  8. Now take one skewer and thread onion, capsicum and paneer cube in it. Try to follow a pattern while threading.

  9. Grill these skewers on a non stick pan or alternately in an oven or air fryer. For that smokey flavour hold them on the flame of gas for a minute or two. 

  10. After tikkas are grilled, coat them with melted butter. Sprinkle some chat masala and lemon juice. Serve hot with onion salad and mint chutney. 


Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Marination Time : 30 minutes

Cooking time : 10 minutes


Tips:

Avoid over cooking tikkas because then they will become rubbery and chewy. 

As Paneer is soft so avoid Marinating it for too long. The paneer cube will break and lose shape.