Sunday, July 27, 2014

Pasta in White Sauce With Mushrooms Tomato and Capsicum

This pasta was a part of our lunch last week. For all who are regular here definitely know by now how the pasta in all its varied flavours and tastes(a little soft corner for the pasta in white sauce thought) is a favourite with the daughter and so the endeavour to try out new variations each time. Dal rice two days in a stretch and the happiness quotient coming to the table seems to be dipping at a fast pace and so a meal like this which is sheer happiness and polished off in no time is a great idea both for her and me. Fast to cook and good to eat with veggies and nutrition thrown in keeps me happy and she is thrilled at finding pasta on the lunch menu. It is a total win-win situation. This has come to be favourite. Here is my pasta in white sauce with mushrooms tomato and capsicum. For those who want to make a few more additions, you may add strips of chicken and corn too.

For the White Sauce :
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp maida/all purpose flour
2 cups milk

For the Pasta :
Pasta - 100 gms (boiled and strained)
Tomato - 1 medium sized chopped into small pieces
Capsicum - 1 medium chopped into small pieces
Salt - to taste
Pepper - 1tsp
Garlic - 1 tsp (minced)
Oil - 1 tbsp
Oregano (dried) - 1/2 tsp
Mushrooms - 5 to 6 chopped fine or to the size of your choice

1- Boil Pasta in enough water with some salt. When done strain and wash thoroughly under cold running water. Keep aside.
2- Take a pan and add the butter and oil. Add the minced garlic and saute for a minute till the raw smell of garlic disappears. Now add the chopped tomato and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chopped capsicum amd mushrooms and saute till all the water content of the mushrooms dry up completely.
3- Now add the 2 tbsp of maida and saute for a minute or two. Add the milk little by little and keep stirring. Make sure to add the milk little by little or else you may have lumps forming that will spoil the complete texture of your white sauce.
4- Add in the oregano, salt and pepper. Adjust seasoning. Let boil till the white sauce thickens and is of the desired consistency. Do not let it thicken too much as white sauce will thicken on its own too as it rests.
Switch off gas and transfer to a serving dish. Serve hot. You may add your choice of sides to add to your meal.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cream of Broccoli Soup - Add a bowl of health to your meal

Broccoli, the green vegetable from the cabbage family is high on dietary fiber and extremely nutritious with its high Vitamin C content and cancer fighting properties. I add this nutritious vegetable to my dish of sauteed vegetables and as an addition to the pasta. This Broccoli soup is also one dish that my family enjoys.

I remember having the cream of Broccoli at a restaurant while we were in Russia, they served it hot with a crispy naan for accompaniment. I tried creating the same at home, which was well received and it has since been a regular on our dinner menu. I managed to get a quick picture while cooking and after pouring it out into the soup bowl on my mobile camera( as both hubby and daughter were waiting)

Ingredients for the Cream of Broccoli Soup
Broccoli - 1 (chopped into florets) (approx 2 cups)
All purpose flour/Maida - 2 tbsp
Milk - 1 cup
Chicken stock - 2 cups
Salt to taste
Pepper - 1 to 1.5 tsp (you may use white pepper)
Butter - 1 tbsp
Garlic - 1/2 tsp minced

Method for making Cream of Broccoli Soup 
1- Cook the chopped broccoli with half a cup of water in the microwave for 5 minutes and keep aside to cool (you can even steam it in the pressure cooker or steamer).
2- After cooling, blend the cooked broccoli in the blender and keep aside.
3- Take a pan and add the minced garlic. Saute for half a minute till the raw smell of garlic disappears. Add 2 tbsps of maida and roast for 1-2 minutes. Slowly add in the chicken stock, taking care not to form lumps. Let boil. Keep stirring.
4- When it starts boiling, add the broccoli puree. Let boil for 4-5 minutes.
5- Now add the milk. Season with salt and pepper. Boil. You will see that the soup begins to thicken. Switch off gas when the desired consistency is reached. Pour into soup bowls and serve hot.

Accompaniments: Soup sticks, crispy Naan or even a khakhra.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Chicken Chukka Recipe

This Chicken Chukka Recipe is one that I happened to come across blog hopping. Mornings are generally spent blog hopping with all the tasty updates that show up on the Fb page. Following one such tempting link got me to Faseela Noushad's yummy blog. Moviing from one page to the other, this chicken chukka had me hooked and I knew I just had to make it and RIGHT NOW!! A recipe that had a small list of ingredients and all available at home I decided to go on. The only difference being Faseela has used boneless chicken in her recipe and I didn't have boneless chicken in the freezer at the time and so went ahead with the chicken pieces that I had at hand. The recipe and the picture sounded too tempting to wait:)

The chicken tasted great and we had it for lunch with curd rice and vegetables and for dinner it made a tasty combination with chapatis. This is a recipe that I will definitely make again, next time I guess it will be in the form of an appetizer with boneless chicken. The chicken with the dark red coloured marinade(with the Kashmiri chilli powder looked really inviting) was amazing, I fried it a little more than what Faseela did and so the change in colour.

Here is the recipe for Chicken Chukka

Ingredients for Chicken Chukka
Chicken - 500 gms (with bone)
Onion - 3 (cut into thin long slices)
Kashmiri chilli powder - 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
Pepper powder - 1 tbsp
Lemon juice - 2 tbsp or the juice of 2 lemons
Oil - 3 to 4 tbsp (I used cooking oil)
Curry leaves - a handful (they really add to the taste and flavour)

Method for making Chicken Chukka
1- Wash and clean the chicken pieces( I wash the chicken pieces like mom does, by keeping it soaked in water with a tbsp of salt and lime juice added to it for 10 minutes. Take out clean thoroughly with fresh water and use).

2- Mix together the chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, pepper powder, salt and lime juice. Marinate the chicken in this mixture. The longer you marinate, the tastier it will be. Make sure to keep it marinated for a minimum of one hour. You may decide to marinate it overnight too.

3- Take oil in a pan and fry the onions till golden brown and keep aside.

4-In a pan, add some oil, add the fried onions , the marinated chicken pieces and curry leaves and cook. Cook on medium heat (like Faseela has mentioned, I cooked the chicken in an open pan). Cook till chicken is nicely fried. Add fresh curry leaves when almost done and you have yummy fried chicken that you would love. All the fresh curry leaves gave it a flavour of fried chicken that we make at home Kerala style:). Yumm!!

Do check out Faseela's blog for her other mouthwatering recipes

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