Spaghetti with roasted garlic sauce

If you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to live without garlic and lemon. I don’t know what I’d do without them. For this hearty spaghetti meal, I slow roasted full garlic bulbs in the oven, mashed them with some olive oil and crushed black pepper. That’s it. The garlic roasting bit I’d watched on TV or might have read it somewhere – I don’t quite remember. It’s been a while and I’ve always wanted to do it. Garlic sure is pasta’s best friend and I just got them together on a plate.

spaghetti roasted garlic sauce

Ingredients:

Spaghetti – one portion

Garlic – 3 full bulbs

Olive oil – to drizzle over garlic

Salt – to taste

Pepper – 1 tsp crushed

Cherry tomatoes – handful

Basil – a few leaves

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Method:

Preheat oven at 190C for 15 mins.

Remove some of the flaky skin of the garlic bulb but not so much that the cloves just fall apart. Cut the top of the bulb off leaving the rest of the bulb to be exposed.

Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt on the exposed part of the garlic and all over it.

Wrap in foil and roast in oven for 50 mins.

You can throw in the cherry tomatoes (drizzled with olive oil and with a sprinkling of salt) as well and take them out after 40 mins.

When there’s 15 mins to get the garlic out, cook the pasta so it remains warm when you mix it with the sauce.

Take the garlic out and let it cool a little.

You can see the flesh would have turned really soft.

Squeeze the flesh out of the bulbs into a bowl.

Add a dash of some more olive oil with pepper and mix well.

Toss the cooked spaghetti in this garlic sauce and add more olive oil to it if it seems too dry.

Garnish with the roast tomatoes and fresh basil leaves.

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Hot and Sour Drumstick Curry with Cabbage Palya

I’ve completely gotten into this mode of cooking a proper vegetarian meal every night this week. Thankfully I had the ground coconut masala and cooked tur dal in the fridge already. All I needed to do was cook the vegetables and bring it together with the dal and masala. The cabbage palya barely took 7-8 minutes to cook, so it wasn’t an elaborate process.

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The drumstick curry

Yield: Enough for 4 people

Ingredients:

Drumstick - 2 medium ones cut into 2 inch pieces

Red shallots (sambar onions) - 7-8

Tomato - 1 quartered

Masala - 3 tbsp of previously ground masala + 3 dried red chillies + 3 cloves garlic + 1 tsp tamarind pulp all ground together

Cooked tur dal - 1/2 cup

Jaggery - 1 tbsp crushed

Chilly powder - 1 tsp

Tamarind pulp water - 1/4 cup

Coriander leaves for garnish

Salt - to taste

Tempering:

Ghee/oil - 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds - 1 tsp

Urad dal - 1 tsp

Curry leaves - 2 sprigs

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Method:

Cook drumsticks in water for 6-7 minutes or till it's slightly soft when you poke it with a fork/knife (I didn't know how else to check) and keep aside with the water it was cooked in.

Heat oil/ghee and add all the ingredients for tempering and let them splutter.

Now add the tamarind water and let it come to a boil for about 3-4 mins.

Add the masala and dal along with tomatoes and shallots. Let this bubble on medium heat for 5 minutes.

Add the drumsticks, salt and chilly powder.

Take it off the heat and garnish with coriander leaves.

The cabbage palya

Ingredients:

Cabbage - 1 small, shredded

Oil - 2 tbsp

Mustard seeds - 1 tbsp

Channa dal - 1 tsp

Curry leaves - 1 sprig

Chilly powder - 1 tsp

Turmeric - 1-2 tsp (depending on how you like it)

Salt - to taste

Method:

Heat oil and add mustard seeds, channa dal and curry leaves. Let them splutter.

Add the turmeric and chilly powder.

Add cabbage and stir well.

Add salt and cook for 5 minutes. I like mine slightly on the crunchier side. If you want it to be cooked though completely cook it longer.

I served the curry and cabbage with rice and a side of yoghurt and mango pickle.

 

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Spinach Curry and Egg Masala

Yesterday was spent cooking and over eating chicken biryani. I couldn’t get myself to cook more chicken today as well. Not in this heat. My kitchen doubles as a sauna during summer. That’s why the spinach curry and some egg masala on the side. The curry base was a mix of cooked tur dal and ground coconut with whole spices. If the masala and dal are made before hand, it’s a easier to put it all together.
spinach curry
Spinach curry
Ingredients:

Spinach - 2 cups chopped

Tur dal - 1/2 cup cooked

Green chilly - 1 slit

Salt - to taste

Ground masala:

Coconut - 1/2 cup grated or cut pieces

Dried red chilly - 1

Cumin seeds - 2 tsp

Coriander seeds - 1 tsp

Pepper corns - 1 tsp

Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp

Water - enough to make a thick paste

Tempering:

Oil/ghee - 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds - 1 tsp

Dried red chilly - 2

Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Method:

Blanch the spinach and keep aside. Save the water it was blanched in.

Heat a pan with a tsp of oil/ghee and add 3 tbsp of the ground masala along with the dal.

Mix well and add a dash of blanching water. Add the spinach, salt and chilly.

Let it come to a boil and take it off the heat.

Now heat some ghee in a pan for tempering. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter.

Add the red chilly and the curry leaves. Once they splutter as well, add to the curry.

Note: Save the masala in a box and freeze. Use when you need to make another curry. Replace spinach with any other cooked vegetables. Same with the dal

spinach curry

Egg Masala
Ingredients:


Eggs - 4 boiled

Onion - 1 medium sized finely chopped

Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp

Curry leaves - 1 sprig

Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp

Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp

Garam masala - 1/4 tsp

Salt to taste

Oil/ghee - 2 tbsp
Method:

Heat oil/ghee and add the cumin seeds and then the curry leaves. Add the onions.

Add garam masala, turmeric, chilly powder and salt. Stir well.

Once onions are cooked through, add eggs and mix.

Take off heat and serve as a side dish.

 

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Mango Cream Cheese Pancakes

cream cheese

Making the most of mango season, and the fact that it’s Sunday, meant mango for breakfast. I’m certain these pancakes aren’t an innovation. But I didn’t look up the recipe. I tried them on my own and they turned out just as expected. Delicate and decadent. You can taste the cream cheese and the mango in the pancake itself. They’re also very soft and moist, so no need to bathe them in syrup. Top with more mango or any other fruit and you’re good to go.

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Rava dosa with chutney pudi

Rava dosa (dosae in Kannada, of course) is definitely right up there among my favourite breakfast dishes. This one’s easy to put together since there’s no grinding, fermenting and all of that. Serve it with some garlic chutney, or as in my case this morning I did with chutney pudi and ghee. Makes for a really delicious and quick breakfast on weekdays.

rava dosa

rava dosa

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Roasted strawberries swirled yoghurt

The last few boxes of strawberries called out to me at the grocer’s the other day. I picked up one. I would always use them on my French toast, pancakes or with muesli and yoghurt. But since I’m on a low carb diet, I skipped the muesli and stuck with the yoghurt bit. This time around I roasted the berries so they intensify in taste and colour. They turned out beautiful.

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Strawberry Banana Smoothie Bowl

I’m a fan of these easy-peasy smoothie bowls now. I got my hands on some of the last strawberries of the season and made a couple of bowls with them.

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Ingredients:

Strawberries – 1 box or 10 – 12

Banana – 2

Yoghurt – 2 tbsp

Toppings – I used ragi flakes, fruits and nuts. Feel free to add cornflakes, wheat flakes, granola, etc.

Method:

Blend the strawberries and bananas with yoghurt till there are no lumps. You could keep the lumps too if you prefer it that way.

Pour it onto a bowl and top with fruits, nuts, cereal flakes.

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Mango Banana Smoothie Bowl

I’ve cut sugar out of my life and it’s been over two weeks now. The first day of no sugar I could have killed someone. I was that irritable, annoyed and basically frustrated. By the time I got to day three, I felt good. And I’ve realized that when you go long enough without sugar, you don’t miss it anymore. The thing about sugar is that it sneaks up on you through various other foods as well – bread, rice, condiments, and the likes. However, since I do have a sweet tooth (32 of them, actually), I indulge in breakfast smoothie bowls. The fruits help.

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Breakfast bowls are the easiest, quickest and the tastiest. Also, surprisingly filling. The fun part is you get to top it with whatever you want – wheat or ragi flakes, muesli, nuts, dried fruits, chia seeds, flax seeds, the list goes on.

Ingredients:

Mango – 2

Banana – 1

Yoghurt – 2 tbsp

Toppings – More fruit, chia seeds, nuts, ragi flakes

Method:

Cut up one mango and half of another one, along with one banana.

Blend it in your mixer with the plain yoghurt.

Pour it in a bowl and top it with mentioned toppings.

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Wheat Pancakes with Strawberry Sauce

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It’s Pancake Day today, apparently. On this auspicious (how can pancake day not be?!) occasion, let me present you with wheat pancakes. Just good old atta replacing the evil maida (not to worry, you can have enough of it in your cake). Since it’s winter, there’s enough of strawberries rolling around in the market and in my kitchen. I just blended a box of them with a spoon of sugar. You can skip the sugar and add honey instead so it’s not all tart and no sweet.

Yield: 4 pancakes

Ingredients:

1 cup atta (whole wheat powder)

3/4 cup milk

1 large egg

1 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp fine/castor/powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Pinch of salt

Method:

Mix dry ingredients (atta, baking powder and salt) together in a mixing bowl.

Mix milk, egg and vanilla together in another bowl.

Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix till everything is incorporated well. Do not over mix, else pancakes will turn out leathery and tough.

Pour a ladleful of the batter on a hot nonstick pan and let it cook for a min on medium heat or till you see bubbles on the side of the pancake.

Flip it and let the other side cook for 40 seconds to a minute.

Strawberry sauce: Blend a box of strawberries (hulled and diced) with a spoon of sugar or honey.

Serve pancakes with strawberry sauce along with other fruits and honey or maple syrup.

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Chilli Honey Roast Potato Wedges

I could say it’s a party favourite, but I won’t. Simply because I made these for my vegetarian friend, and it wasn’t a party. It was finger food for while watching a movie, before we all dropped one by one and slipped into deep slumber. These wedges are spicy with a hint of honey for balance. You can add whatever you’d like if spicy isn’t your thing. You can make them lemony, cheesy, loaded with herbs, peppery, or just plain with some salt.

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Ingredients:

3 whole potatoes, cut into wedges

Generous sprinkling of spicy condiments

Chilli oil and olive oil to drizzle over

3 tbsp honey

Fresh herbs (for after the baking)

Dried herbs (during baking)

Salt to taste
Method:

Toss wedges in the spices, salt and herbs.

Drizzle chilli and olive oil and mix well.

Bake in pre-heated oven for 40 mins.

Drizzle the honey over wedges.

If you have fresh herbs, sprinkle them after the wedges are out of the oven.

Serve with a mayo or creamy dip, or even just ketchup!
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