Friday, October 31, 2008

Spaghetti with Pumpkin-Chickpea sauce

Atleast once a week I make spaghetti at home, usually for our dinner. Today I made the sauce using roasted pumpkin and chickpeas. Few weeks ago I have made pumpkin-chickpea soup for my daughter she loved the flavour. Chickpeas makes the sauce very rich and creamy so I made it again for spaghetti.

Ingredients I used.
  • 2 cups - chopped pumpkins ( and kind of winter squashs can be used)
  • 1- medium onion
  • 1 cup - Cooked chickpeas (soak about half cup overnight and cook in pressure cooker for 20 mins)
  • 1 tsp- tomato paste
  • 2-3- Red chillies
  • 1tbsp- oilve oil
  • 3 handful Spaghetti ( I used whole wheat thin spaghetti)
  • Salt to taste

For garnish
  • Handfull of chopped corriender/cilantro or parsley
  • Few tablespoon of grated parmasen cheese
  • Few tablespoon of toasted pumpkin seeds

  1. Chop pumpkin and onion put them on a baking sheet and bake them for 30 mins in a 350 degree oven. Meanwhile, cook soaked chickpeas. When pumpkins and chickpeas are cool enough puree them along with tomato paste and chillies in mixie/blender to smooth sauce like consistancy.
  2. Heat water in big pot when it comes to boil put spaghetti and cook till they are soft.
  3. In another pan heat oilve oil, add blended sauce, add more water if required to deisred consistancy. Add salt to taste.
  4. Once the spaghetti is done cooking, drain well and add this to sauce mix well.
  5. Before serving, garnish with chopped herbs, pumpkin seeds and little cheese.

Very simple tasty and healthy, satisfying meal.

*Roasting pumpkin and cooking chickpes takes time, so if any one wants to make this dish in a hurry use store brought pumpkin puree and canned chickpeas.

I will be sending this dish to AFAM-Pumpkins hosted by Madhuram of Eggless cooking. Originally started by Maheswari of Beyond the usual.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Moongdal Burfi (Halwa)

I made this sweet dish for deepavali this year. Main ingredient in this dish is roasted split yellow moongdal (hesarubele in kannada). For making this dish I have used the basic recipe, used for making sweets. Since my family likes mild sweeetness and less oily, I have tried to make it low fat and tasty at the same time.

Ingredients I used
  • Split yellow moongdal - 1 cup
  • Brown sugar or Jaggery powdered - 1 cup (add more of more sweetness,white sugar can also be used)
  • Home made Ghee - 2 tbsp + 1/2 tsp for roasting and 1/2 tsp for greasing plate.
  • Cardamom/Eliachi- 2 pods chrushed
  • Water- 1/2 cup (milk can be used instead of water, to give more richness)

For Garnish

Poppy seeds (Gasgase)- 1tsp lighted toasted.

* Using above measurements I got about 20 medium size peices.

  1. Roast moongdal with 1/2 tsp of ghee untill its golden in colour. Once moongdal cools down, make into fine powder. Using ghee while roasting , gives very nice aroma to the sweet.
  2. Toast 1 tsp of poppy seeds and keep aside for garnish.
  3. In a heavy bottom pan, mix together brown sugar and water then add powdered moongdal, cardamom powder and 2 tbsp of ghee mix well (more ghee can be used to make the sweet more rich in taste).
  4. On medium-low flame keep stiring the mixture until it forms to a dough, and all the moisture is gone, this process takes about 20-30 mins. Once the sides starts to leave, put the mixture on to a greased plate. Press evenly with back of a spoon and spread on the plate.
  5. Sprinkle toasted poppy seeds all over. Mark lines using a knife when it still warm, to a desired shape.
  6. Allow it to cool for atleast 15 mins. Then cut along the marked lines, take a piece and enjoy.

I will be sending this to Srivalli for JFI-Festival Treats and Aparna for Sweet Celebrations.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Stuffed Capsicum Buns

Three items that I always like from a bakery is bread toast, potato stuffed buns and capsicum puffs. I very much like the dry capsicum curry they use in making the puffs, but don't feel like eating much since puffs are so flaky with butter. Today I recreated two of my favorite foods from bakery into one, by stuffing capsicum curry inside home made bread dough.

For dough I used:
  • Whole wheat flour - 1 cup
  • Unbleached all purpose flour - 1/2 cup
  • Yeast - 1tsp (dissloved in warm water)
  • Carom seeds- 1tsp
  • Salt as per taste and oilve oil to knead the dough.
  • Warm water - about a cup
  1. Disslove yeast in warm water .
  2. Mix whole wheat and all purpose flour along with carom seeds and some salt.
  3. Now add warm water in which yeast was dissloved, mix in to form a stiff dough.
  4. Knead with little oil, close and keep in a warm place for about an hour.

To make the curry for stuffing I used 4 different kinds for peppers. One can also use potatos, onion along with peppers.

Making Capsicum curry

Chopped peppers and Peppers sauted and mixed with spices

Wash and chop peppers( i used pabalano, redbell pepper, 1 jalapeno and 2 bananna peppers). Heat 1 tsp of oil and when hot add cumin and add chopped peppers. Cover and cook till soft make sure it does not get mushy. Now add chilli powder and garam masala. Adjust salt per taste. Finally squeeze in 1 tsp of lime juice. Let it cool completely.

When dough has raised or doubled its volume and curry mixture is completely cooled. Pre-heat the oven for 400 degrees F.
  • Divide the dough into 5 equal parts. Flatten it and put the curry mixture on it. Bring all the sides together and tuck it in and put tucked side down on baking tray (just like we do for stuffed parathas). Rub with little oil before putting in the oven, so the dough won't dry out. See pics below.

Now bake for 12 mins or untill the crust is golden brown. Take out and let it cool before eating.

*Bananna peppers peel off their outer skin once sauted. So make sure to remove them before stuffing. If made in large batches make sure to use them within 1or 2 days.

Enjoy !

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Rice with Lentils

Hello all, I had been on vacation (India) for last few months. Days/months went by so fast, I enjoyed the sun, the rain and I did eat a lot of food cooked by my mom, my aunts and enjoyed countless plates of panipuris and chaats. Before leaving to India I thought of cooking and posting recipes from there but I was just happy to sit back and enjoy others cooking, which I miss here a lot.

So its been almost 3 weeks, back in Alaska getting back to my daily routines. Have been checking recipes and pictures of my fellow bloggers and events going on. I have been doing the same basic cooking like rice, sambar, chapatis, dosas and idlies since we got here.

Yesterday I made one pot rice dish using lentils (masoor dal /red lentils) for our dinner. One can use small lentils which does not require much soaking time like whole moong dal, brown lentils and green lentils. Combined with rice and topped with corriender leaves and chopped almonds its one wholesome and tasty meal.

Ingredients for Recipe :
  • Rice - 1 cup
  • Lentils- 1/2 cup

Tempering : Oil - 1tbsp, Fennel seeds - 1tsp

  • Onion - 1 medium chopped

Spice Powders : Red chilli powder - 1tsp and Garam Masala - 2 tsp

Garnish : Corriender leaves - one hand full chopped ,Almonds - 2 tbsp chopped and Lime - 2 tsp freshly squeezed.
  1. Wash and soak rice and lentils together for about 10 mins.
  2. Do the tempering, I do it directly in Pressure cooker. So put oil when hot add fennel seeds and onion. Fry till onion are soft. Add chilli powder and garam masala ( if not using garam masala ,one can use cumin and corriender powder). Mix well.
  3. Now drain water from rice-lintels, add it to onion mixture. Add water about double the amouny of rice(for 1 1/2 cups of rice-lentils I added 3 1/2 cups of water). Add salt adjust to taste. Cover with cooker lid and put weight on, cook on meduim low heat till 2 whistle.
  4. Once cool enough transfer it to plate squeeze lime juice, garnish with corriender and chopped almonds.

*If doing in open pan, after sauteing onions add water first, when it comes to boil rice mixture and cover and cook on low heat for about 10-15 mins.

Enjoy !

I'll be sending this to Srivalli of cooking 4 all seasons for Rice Mela and to SRA of When my soup came alive to My Legume Love Affair , which was first started by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook.