Monday, July 26, 2010

Spaghetti Venkatano

This is roughly how I make pasta most of the time. Being a vegan, I can't use cheese and I am not a big fan of olive oil. However I like the variety of colours and flavours vegetables can offer. So here I go..


Spaghetti - 15-20 long sticks
Oil - 1 tablespoon
A variety of vegetables - 1 cup
(in the above pictured one I used chopped capsicum, zucchini, beans, corn, carrots, broccoli)
Cumin powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Chilli powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Oregano - 1 teaspoon
Chopped tomatoes / tomato sauce - half cup
Salt - to taste


1. Boil water in a wide bottomed pan, add pasta and half teaspoon salt and cook till it is al dente.
(It will be a sin if I don't use that jargon in a pasta recipe :-) Basically it means the pasta is cooked but still firm with a small raw core)

2. On another pan, add oil and heat it.

3. Fry the veggies with the seasonings in the oil.

4. Retain some water from the pasta and drain the rest.

5. Add a little water to the vegetables and cook covered for 2 minutes.

6. Add the tomatoes / tomato sauce and simmer for sometime

7. Serve the sauce over the spaghetti and serve.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Mexican / Spanish Rice

Made Spanish / Mexican Rice. It more or less resembles our tomato rice, except for the following differences.

  1. The rice needs to be roasted in oil till it becomes golden brown.
  2. Olive oil is recommended and garlic needs to be added. I did not have them but used  Italian dressing while cooking rice which contains olive oil and garlic.
  3. In tomato rice, we use fresh chopped tomatoes, but Mexican rice, uses tomato sauce. 
  4. In tomato rice the cooked rice will be mixed with the tomato preparation, but in this all the ingredients are steamed with roasted rice. 
It tastes different and yummy.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My version of Parangikkai (puLi) pachchadi with Butter Squash - பரங்கிக்காய் பச்சடி

This is a version out of constraints rather than creativity. I have substituted grated coconut and grinding of spices into a paste. How? As described below :-)


Oil - 1 tablespoon
Butter squash - 1 cup chopped into 1cm cubes
Chopped / diced vegetables - 1 cup
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Ulundu seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Fenugreek / Mentiyam seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Sesame / Black Yellu - 1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Green chillies - 2 long nicely chopped
Tamarind soaked in water - half cup
Potatoes - very finely chopped or finely mashed into paste - 1/4 cup
Salt - to taste


(Since this is not a standard recipe, I will write how I made it, rather than how to make it)

I coated the pan with a thin layer of oil and then roasted mustard, fenugreek seeds, sesame and ulundu seeds in a medium low heat. Then added the finely chopped green chillies and roasted them together. I moved it to a piece of sheet.

Normally, the spices and coconut would be ground to a fine paste, since I did not have the provision of grinding and neither had any coconut in stock, I took this approach:
Folded the sheet of plastic with the spices in it and hammered it. As for the gravy, I microwaved and mashed a very small quantity of potatoes. (Too much potatoes can give a starchy taste, so just right enough to give a gravy consistency)

Back to the pan. Heated a spoon of oil, sautéed the squash pieces with turmeric and salt till they are half cooked. Added a half a cup of water and cooked it covered for 3 minutes.

Added the mashed potatoes, tamarind water and powdered spices and boiled them under medium heat.

The aroma of roasted mustards and fenugreek was too tempting . :-)

(I had used only one chilli and when tasted found the sweetness of butter squash unbearable and had to neutralise it with half a spoon of chilli powder and hence the pachchadi lost it's yellow colour :-( )

That's all folks!