Monday, July 28, 2008

Creamy Penne with Spinach And Peas


Creamy Spinach Peas Penne

This is one of my favorite pasta recipes and I make it very often. The sauce used is the mother of all sauces, the Bechamel. Nutmeg is a must in bechamel and blends with the milk to create an enticing base.



Think Nutmeg

Recipe:

Uncooked Pasta - 1 Cup ( Any small variety like penne, elbows, shells)

Garlic Powder - 1 Tbsp

Black Pepper Powder - 1/2 Tbsp

Lime Juice - From 1 Lime


For the Bechamel Sauce:

Milk - 1 Cup

Butter - 1 1/4 Tbsp

All Purpose Flour - 1 Tbsp

Ground Nutmeg - 1/8 tsp

Salt - As per taste


Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and stir till smooth. Let it cook for a couple of minutes till it turns a sandy color. Do not burn it. Next add the milk and whisk to remove any lumps. Cook till the sauce thickens, and keep stirring all the while to prevent lumps. Season with salt and nutmeg and set aside.


Cook a cup of pasta as per the instructions on the pasta container. Drain. Saute a cup of frozen peas and 3 handfuls of spinach leaves, using a little oil. Cook till done.


Add the sauce to the drained pasta, along with the sauteed vegetables. Add 1 Tbsp garlic powder and 1/2 Tbsp black pepper. Next add the juice of 1 lime. Adjust salt according to taste. Mix well and serve.


The nutmeg in the bechamel sauce adds a very distinct flavor and binds the rest of the ingredients superbly in this simple pasta dish. This recipe goes to 'Think Spice' event initially started by Sunita of Sunita's World and being hosted by Aparna of 'My Diverse Kitchen'. Aparna has chosen Nutmeg as the star ingredient this month.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Spinach Lime Dal



Spinach Lime Dal

Hello friends,
I am back after a 6 month blogosphere hibernation. I was ill and could not come anywhere near blogs or cooking. It was sudden and hence I could not leave a message here. I hope you will continue visiting as usual...

On to the recipe now...

This is a simple Spinach dal which has been recreated on a lot many blogs till now. I have tweaked my mom's recipe a bit and the result was very good. Instead of using tamarind to add the sour quotient, I used lime juice and I had no complaints.

Recipe:

Spinach - 1 Bunch

Toor Dal - 1/3 Cup

Onion - Half of a medium onion

Green Chilles - 7 to 8

Lime - 1

Asafoetida / Hing - 1/8 Tsp


For seasoning:

Mustard - 1/2 Tsp

Cumin / Jeera - 1/2 Tsp

Urad dal - 1/2 tsp

Turmeric - 1/8 Tsp

Garlic - 2 cloves crushed

Oil - 1 Tbsp


Wash toor dal and clean spinach. Dice the onion and slit the green chillies. In a pressure cooker, cook together the dal, spinach, onion, green chillies, asafoetida using about a cup of water. Once they are cooked, mash together to a coarse consistency using a wooden/steel ladle or a hand blender. Add salt as per taste. Next, juice the lime and add to the dal. Check for tartness and add according to your taste. Finally for seasoning, heat oil, add the turmeric, mustard seeds, cumin, urad dal and garlic. Wait till the mustard splutters and add to the dal.