Tag Archives: party food

Basil Pesto

Basil Pesto..!!
Basil Pesto..!!
Basil Pesto
Basil Pesto

Hi Everyone,

This is a separate post to share an amazing recipe of a delicious & unique dip – Basil Pesto. As I mentioned in my previous post, this is no my recipe but my cousin’s & uses a lot of fresh sweet basil, pine nuts & extra virgin olive oil.

Basil Pesto
Basil Pesto

Use this sauce in pasta, like I did for my last post, or use in sandwiches, marinate chicken breast or make garlic bread; the options are limitless.

For the recipe,  you’ll need:

Preparation Time: 15 mins

Ingredients for Pesto:

  • Sweet Basil – 500 grams, washed thoroughly
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 125-150 ml or accordingly lesser as per preference
  • A big handful of Pine Nuts, roasted
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese as per preference
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
Basil Pesto
Basil Pesto

Preparation Method for Pesto:

  1. Dry roast the pine nuts lightly in a non-stick pan and keep them aside to cool.
  2. Grind the washed basil in a food processor till coarsely ground and start pouring olive oil slowly in the food processor.
  3. Add pine nuts & Parmesan cheese, salt & pepper & grind again till you get the desired consistency of the sauce.
  4. Store the Pesto in refrigerator in an air-tight container with a layer of olive oil on top. Use as & when required.
Basil Pesto
Basil Pesto

Thanks for reading…!!

Spaghetti in Pesto Sauce

Spaghetti in Pesto Sauce. Amazing Bright Colors
Spaghetti in Pesto Sauce. Amazing Bright Colors
Spaghetti in Pesto Sauce
Spaghetti in Pesto Sauce

Hi Friends,

Wishing all my readers a very Happy & Prosperous New Year..!!!

Spaghetti in Pesto Sauce
Spaghetti in Pesto Sauce

It’s Holiday Season all around with Christmas just gone by & New Year around the corner, arriving soon. I hope you all enjoyed the journey of Advent Calendar as much as I did. A total of 23 bloggers from all over the world shared their holiday recipes, ranging from side dishes to main course to desserts to cakes & cookies. I would definitely be trying some of the recipes from that treasure very soon; but today I am here to share my own holiday season recipe for your New Year’s celebrations – “Spaghetti in Pesto Sauce with Cherry Tomatoes”.

Spaghetti in Pesto Sauce
Spaghetti in Pesto Sauce
Spaghetti in Pesto Sauce
Spaghetti in Pesto Sauce

This recipe is originally not mine but my cousin’s, who made this amazing Pesto for this dish. My cousin was recently in city from London & he makes very good dishes, especially Pasta. So, one night we decided to have a Pasta dinner & since I had been craving for a nice spaghetti for very long, we decided to make spaghetti in freshly made Pesto. Trust me guys, I have not had a better Pesto till date & the pasta turned out simply delicious.

Spaghetti in Pesto Sauce
Spaghetti in Pesto Sauce
Spaghetti in Pesto Sauce
Spaghetti in Pesto Sauce

For making the Pesto, you’ll need:

Preparation Time: 20 mins
Cooking Time: 15 mins
Yields: 7-8 servings

Ingredients for Spaghetti in Pesto Sauce:

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 5-6 tbsp
  • Garlic – 4-5 cloves, finely chopped/grated
  • Pesto – as per personal preference for the quantity of sauce. I used almost all the Pesto I made using about 500 grams of basil. (I prefer my pasta to be more saucy)
  • Fresh Cream – 6-7 tbsp
  • Parmesan Cheese – as per preference & for garnish
  • Spaghetti – 500 grams, boiled
  • Cherry tomatoes – 7-8 nos., cut into halves
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 2 tbsp to drizzle on top

Ingredients for Pesto:

  • Sweet Basil – 500 grams, washed thoroughly
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 125-150 ml or accordingly lesser as per preference
  • A big handful of Pine Nuts, roasted
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese as per preference
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Preparation Method for Pesto:

  1. Dry roast the pine nuts lightly in a non-stick pan and keep them aside to cool.
  2. Grind the washed basil in a food processor till coarsely ground and start pouring olive oil slowly in the food processor.
  3. Add pine nuts & Parmesan cheese, salt & pepper & grind again till you get the desired consistency of the sauce.
  4. Store the Pesto in refrigerator in an air-tight container with a layer of olive oil on top. Use as & when required.
Spaghetti in Pesto Sauce..Look at the gorgeous colors
Spaghetti in Pesto Sauce..Look at the gorgeous colors

Preparation Method for Pasta:

  1. Boil the spaghetti in salted water till cooked Al dente. If you don’t like it Al dente, boil till you get your preferred chewiness.
  2. Drain the spaghetti & keep aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in a pan, add chopped garlic and saute.
  4. Add pesto and saute for a minute, add cream and mix well.
  5. Add the grated Parmesan cheese. Mix well. Add the drained spaghetti & mix till gets coated with the sauce properly.
  6. Do the taste test, and add salt & pepper to taste.
  7. Take out the spaghetti in a serving bowl, drizzle olive oil, add cherry tomatoes & grated Parmesan cheese on top before serving.
  8. Serve it hot with a glass of chilled white wine.
Spaghetti in Pesto Sauce
Spaghetti in Pesto Sauce
Spaghetti in Pesto Sauce
Spaghetti in Pesto Sauce

Thanks for reading…!!

Kesari Angoori Rasmalai

***Picture Heavy Post***

Kesari Angoori Rasmalai
Kesari Angoori Rasmalai

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Look at the gorgeous Golden yellow color
Look at the gorgeous Golden yellow color

Hi Friends,

As I had announced on November 30 regarding my participation in the Food Advent Calendar Event 2017, today I am back with my chosen recipe on my assigned date :). When I got this opportunity for Advent Calendar & I had to choose a spice which I would be using – I immediately chose Saffron aka Kesar & the cuisine as desserts because I love trying different desserts at home.

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Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the “saffron crocus”. The vivid crimson stigmas and styles, called threads, are collected and dried to be used mainly as a seasoning and coloring agent in food. Saffron has a long history of use in traditional medicine. Saffron has also been used as a fabric dye, particularly in China and India, and in perfumery. It is used for religious purposes in India. As a spice, Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. A pinch of the spice can be added to soups, stews, risotto and rice dishes, as well as to any tomato-based sauce. Saffron is considered an especially good addition to seafood dishes, such as paella and bouillabaisse. Saffron is used in dishes ranging from the jeweled rice and khoresh of Iran, the Milanese risotto of Italy, the paella of Spain, the bouillabaisse of France, to the biryani with various meat accompaniments in South Asia. One of the most esteemed uses for saffron is in the preparation of the Golden Ham, a precious dry-cured ham made with saffron from San Gimignano.

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Saffron has a very unique, rich & delicate flavor and it is used extensively in Indian desserts. It lends a beautiful luminous yellow-orange color to the desserts specially the milk based desserts. Saffron is widely used in Persian, Indian, European, and Arab cuisines. I personally love to add saffron in my desserts because it makes even a simple dessert look gorgeous & festive.

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For this Event, I chose one of my favorite Indian desserts – Angoori Rasmalai; and gave it a saffron-y taste and color. Soft and spongy small cottage cheese dumplings dunked in creamy saffron flavored thickened milk, garnished with dry fruit slivers and saffron strands is apt to be included in the Event. For this rasmalai, I used store bought small sized rasgullas instead of homemade ones. These are easily available at any sweets shop in Delhi. This is a super quick method to make homemade rasmalai & enjoy this delicious dessert in no time. This super simple hack procedure was shared on Facebook by a very dear friend and an amazing cook, Renu Kochhar Nagrath of Renu’s Kitchen Delights fame. I adapted her recipe & tweaked it a bit to make the rasmalai creamier & saffron-y in taste.

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See the sponginess.. Yumm..!!
See the sponginess.. Yumm..!!

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Do try this Angoori rasmalai; and for the recipe, you’ll need:

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Preparation Time: 10 mins.

Cooking Time: 30 – 40 mins.

Passive Chilling Time: 6 – 8 hours

Serves: 4 people

Ingredients:

  • 200 gms small sized rasgullas (I used market-bought, available at any sweet shop)
  • 1/2 litre full cream milk
  • 2-3 pieces of saffron/kesar barfi (I used market-bought, available at any sweet shop)
  • A good big pinch of saffron soaked in warm milk
  • ½ tsp Cardamom powder
  • A few slivers of almonds
  • A few unsalted pistachios, coarsely shopped

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Preparation Method:

  1. Grate saffron barfi and keep aside. Boil milk in a heavy bottomed pan on medium to low flame for 10 mins.
  2. Once the milk boils, add the grated barfi in milk, mix well and boil further till it reduces to 2/3rd of its quantity. Leave the milk to cool a bit.
  3. When the milk is still warm but not hot, add all the small sized rasgullas in it and leave them covered for at least 10 minutes. During this time, the rasgullas will absorb the milk and become soft.
  4. After 10-15 mins, squeeze the rasgullas and transfer in the serving dish. This step is done to release all the extra sweetness out of them into the milk as we have not added any sugar in the milk.
  5. Do the taste test at this step to check the sweetness in the milk as per your preference. In case you want, you may add a bit of sugar as per your taste preference. I didn’t feel the need to add more sugar as the sugar from barfi & rasgullas were sufficient as per our preference.
  6. Now, add the saffron milk and cardamom powder in the sweetened milk and mix well. The color of the milk will turn golden yellow as soon as you add saffron milk.
  7. Finally, pour the milk into the serving dish in which we have kept the squeezed rasgullas and make sure they soak properly in the milk.
  8. Garnish with a few more saffron strands, almond slivers and chopped pistachios. Chill in the refrigerator for about 6 – 8 hours.
  9. Your perfect Angoori Rasmalai is ready to be served and enjoyed chilled.

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Source of Information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saffron

https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/saffron.html

https://www.livestrong.com/article/402444-common-uses-saffron/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saffron_(use)

Thanks for reading..!!

Pineapple Upside Down Muffins

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Hi Everyone,

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Diwali is around the corner and festivities are on full swing in this part of of the world. I personally love this festive time as there are so many lights, sweets, delicacies, Diwali parties and brightness all around with just a little bit of cold nip in the air. Weather also favors us in the kitchen to cook all sorts of delicacies and sweets and carry on a few experiments in the kitchen.

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As I stated in the previous post, I had shortlisted Pineapple Upside Down Cake to bake for my hubby’s birthday, but this time since I was making Banoffee pie, he had asked me not to bake any cake for him. But me being me, my mind was stuck on  these cute looking muffins, the recipe of which I had already shortlisted this recipe on Pinterest, so I was finding reasons to try baking these upside down muffins. The original recipe had been tried by a lot of people and they had given amazing reviews for the same along with the picture of their baked muffins and they looked so heavenly for me to try them asap.

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And what better reason to try scrumptious desserts for this festive season. These cute and individual portion of Pineapple Upside Down Muffins are a perfect dessert option for your celebrations and Diwali parties. So, put on your baking cap and bake these yummy muffins with just a few ingredients at hand.

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This recipe would yield around 8-9 normal sized muffins, but since I wanted to bake all the batter in one go, I made 6 muffins and 1 mini teddy bear shaped cake.

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Ingredients:

For the Cake Batter:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup castor sugar
  • 4 tbsp pineapple juice
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the Topping:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 6 pineapple rings (whole or trimmed to fit into the muffin tin)
  • 6 cherries

Preparation Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together eggs, sugar, and pineapple juice for 5 minutes
  3. In another small bowl, sieve together flour, salt, and baking powder.
  4. Fold dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with light hands and mix well till combined.
  5. In a small non-stick pan, melt together butter and brown sugar over low heat. Stir frequently until well combined.
  6. Grease the muffin tin and spoon brown sugar mixture evenly into the bottom of each section.
  7. Place a pineapple ring or pineapple tidbits into each section, pressing gently to fit. Then add a cherry to the center of each ring.
  8. Pour the cake batter into the muffin tin evenly and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then loosen with a butter knife along the edges.
  9. Place a piece of parchment paper or a cookie sheet on the counter, to catch any drips, and then invert the muffin tin onto a wire rack.
  10. Enjoy these delicious muffins.

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Wishing all my readers a very Happy and a Prosperous Diwali..!!

Thanks for reading..!!

Paneer-Stuffed Spinach Kofta in Makhani Gravy

Paneer Stuffed Spinach Koftas in Makhani Gravy
Paneer Stuffed Spinach Koftas in Makhani Gravy

Hello Everyone..!!

Here’s wishing all the readers HAPPY 68TH REPUBLIC DAY..!!

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See the beautiful colors

This day inculcates a lot of patriotism in our hearts. I have fond childhood memories of watching the Republic Day Parade on TV with my dad & my mom would make yummy brunch for us. Being a National holiday, we usually used to be very laid back and used to relax and eat yummy food made by mom. So on this Republic Day, I thought of posting a dish with the wonderful colours of our National Flag – Orange, White & Green. On thinking of these colours, only one very famous dish comes to my mind which beautifully portrays these three colours – Shaam Savera by MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor.

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So, today I am bringing you a dish which is inspired by the original Shaam Savera recipe – “Paneer Stuffed  Spinach Koftas in Makhani Gravy. I have made some changes to the original recipe according to the taste buds of my family. This dish is not only beautiful to look at but also very delicious to eat. The koftas are so soft that they literally melt in your mouth & the rich creamy gravy has a perfect texture to go with the soft koftas. Do try making this recipe and share your feedback with me.

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Moving on to the recipe, you’ll need:

Preparation Time: 15-20 mins.
Cooking Time: 30 – 40 mins.
Serves: 4-5 people

Ingredients:

For Koftas:

  • Spinach – 1 kg
  • Boiled potatoes – 2, mashed finely
  • Paneer – 200 gms,crumbled
  • Gram Flour/Besan – 2 tbsp
  • Oil – 1-2 tbsp
  • Jeera – 1 tsp
  • Garlic – 3-4 cloves, finely crushed
  • Salt & Black Pepper to taste
  • Cornflour to coat the koftas
  • Oil for frying the koftas

For Makhani Gravy:

  • Oil – 2-3 tbsp
  • Jeera – 1 tsp
  • Cloves – 3-4
  • Whole Black Pepper – 3-4
  • Bay leaf – 1
  • Cinnamon – 1 small stick
  • GInger – 1 small piece, chopped coarsely
  • Garlic – 5-6 cloves,  chopped coarsely
  • Onions – 3 medium, chopped coarsely
  • Tomatoes – 5 medium, chopped coarsely
  • Cashews – 5-6 pieces
  • Almonds – 5-6 pieces
  • Butter – 1 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Red Chilli powder/Degi Mirch – 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Shahi Paneer Masala – 1 tsp
  • Honey/Sugar – 1-2 tbsp
  • Kasoori Methi – 1 tbsp
  • Cream – 4-5 tbsp
  • Milk/Water to adjust the consistency
  • Coriander powder – 1 tsp
  • Garam Masala powder – 1 tsp

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Preparation Method for Spinach Koftas:

  1. Separate the spinach leaves and blanch them in boiling water for 4-5 mins. and then immediately transfer them to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
  2. Once cooled, finely chop the spinach leaves.
  3. Heat oil in a non-stick pan, add jeera and garlic. Once they brown, add besan and cook it for 2-3 mins. till raw smell goes away.
  4. Add chopped spinach leaves and cook till the mixture is dry and leaves the sides of the pan.
  5. Till the spinach mixture cools down, in a separate bowl, add salt & pepper to taste in crumbled paneer and mix well. Make equal sized balls of the paneer mixture and set aside.
  6. Now take the spinach mixture in a separate bowl and add mashed boiled potatoes, salt & pepper to taste and make a dough like mixture. The dough will be a little sticky but do not make it too sticky. If it is too sticky, you may add more potatoes, but that will affect the softness of the koftas.
  7. Take a little amount of spinach dough in your palms, flatten it, place the paneer ball in the dough and cover it from all the sides with the spinach dough. Likewise, make all the koftas and keep aside.
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Prepared Koftas

8. Heat oil in a wok and fry koftas till golden brown and keep aside.

Note: You can test fry one kofta in oil, if it splits you can coat and dust the koftas with a little cornflour and then fry them.

Preparation Method for Makhani Gravy:

  1. Heat oil in a pan. Add jeera, bay leaf, cloves, whole black pepper and cinnamon stick. Once it crackles, add ginger, garlic and onions.
  2. Saute onions till light pink in colour and translucent, and the raw smell of the ginger and garlic goes away. Add chopped tomatoes.
  3. Add cashews and almonds and add little water and cover the pan with a lid. Switch the flame to low and cook till the tomatoes and onions are tender. Do not let the masala dry completely. We need a little watery mixture to make a smooth puree.
  4. Once the masala is cooked and cooled, grind the masala in a blender to a puree. Strain the puree through a sieve to get a smooth silky gravy.
  5. Heat butter in a pan, add the gravy and add salt, chilli powder, turmeric powder, shahi paneer masala, and cook for 5 mins.
  6. Add sugar/honey and adjust the seasoning as per preference. Add kasoori methi, and cream and mix well.
  7. Add water/milk to adjust the consistency of the gravy and add coriander powder and garam masala powder and cook for 5-10 mins on a low flame.
  8. Add a few coriander leaves and serve the gravy piping hot.
  9. For serving, cut the koftas in 2 halves and heat them in the microwave for 20 secs. Pour gravy in a serving dish, place the cut koftas on the gravy , garnish with fresh cream and enjoy with rice, roti, naan or paranthas.

Note: You may also make the makhani gravy with the recipe which I had shared earlier in my Soya Chaap recipe.

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Thanks for reading..!!