Cinnamon Mocha

PhotoGrid_1451026323133It touched 5 °C this morning in Gurgaon. I’vegot my heater at arm’s length, 2 tees under my sweatshirt, socks, and my favourite armour this winter, my Cinnamon Mocha. It’s so good, you want to cuddle with it. Also, because it’s best had in bed watching your favourite TV show. It’s a no fuss mix which goes into a mug with piping hot milk and some sugar. Stir and rush back to your bed or couch.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup instand coffee powder (I used Bru)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup cocoa

1/2 cup chocolate chips or chocolate chunks

1 tbsp cinnamon powderPhotoGrid_1450936438581

Method:

Mix it all together and store in a jar.

When you need some lovin’ add 2 tbsp of this mix into a cup of piping hot milk and a tsp of sugar. Stir and slurp it away.

 

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Bafat Keema with Pav

 

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We all know about what happened in Chennai last week. I was swamped myself, coordinating with the on ground team from the Zomato Chennai office. People from across the country donated meals on Zomato that were then taken upon by restaurants to prepare and our team in Chennai picked them up and distributed along with volunteers and NDRF. It was an incredible effort on the team’s part. And I was tired. Mentally, emotionally, and physically, considering my posture sitting in front of my laptop through 3-4 days without a break. When it was Sunday, I realized how I lost track of time. I wanted comfort, I wanted food, and I wanted it easy. And that’s exactly what I had. Keema cooked in bafat powder I’d made last week.

Ingredients:

500 gm minced mutton (keema)

3 onions, finely chopped

3 tomatoes, finely chopped

3 tbsp tomato puree

1 tsp cumin (jeera)

2 green chillies, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

3 tbsp bafat powder

1 tsp chilli powder (optional)

Salt to taste

Oil/ghee

Method:

Heat oil/ghee and add jeera, garlic and green chillies.

Once fragrant, add onions and cook till brown.

Add keema and bafat powder, cook for 5 mins.

Add tomatoes, tomato puree and chilli powder.

Cover pan with a lid and let it cook on low flame for 20 mins, or till done.

Turn off heat and garnish with chopped coriander.

I served this with pav. You could have it with rice or rotis too.

 

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Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Chilli Basil Sauce

basil chilli sauce

I keep whining about how it’s not easy to find good fresh basil around here in Gurgaon, and that it costs so much more than what it does in Bangalore. Thankfully the vendor near my house here had some beautiful fresh basil in stock as well as some plump fresh red chillies. It was obvious I had to use them both. A nice Thai curry came to mind, and even a noodle soup but then I remembered I had some whole wheat pasta that I’d been meaning to cook for a while. I did something really simple – grind basil, chillies and garlic into a paste. Which then I used as my pasta sauce base and added tomatoes and cream to make it the best sauce I’ve made. Ever!

basil chilli sauce

Ingredients:

Bunch of basil leaves – I’d say a cup, chopped

4 – 5 big fresh red chillies

5 cloves garlic

(Grind these into a paste with a dash of water. Store in fridge or use immediately)

For sauce:

1 tbsp olive oil

2 large tomatoes, chopped

2 cloves garlic, grated (alternatively you could use a tbsp of garlic paste)

1/4 cup fresh cream (you could try milk for a lighter version)

1 cup pasta cooking water

Salt to taste

Pepper for seasoning

Basil leaves for garnish

Optional – vegetables. I used a box of mushrooms, sliced.

Method:

Cook any pasta as per instructions on the package and keep aside along with a cup of the water.

Heat olive oil and add the chilli basil paste, and saute for 2 – 3 mins.

Add garlic and tomatoes. Cook for 5 mins till tomatoes break down.

Add the pasta water and vegetables at this point. I added mushrooms and let it cook.

Once mushrooms are cooked, add cream, salt and pepper.

Tip in the pasta into the chilli basil sauce and mix well.

Garnish with basil and serve hot!

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