Sunday, August 17, 2014


We love Italian cuisine (including the tiny tot who loves pasta!).
This ravioli is made from scratch. Even the pasta dough was homemade and is eggless. It is a tedious procedure but turns out really nice.

Spinach and Cheese Ravioli in Creamy Tomato Sauce

Fresh Pasta Dough 
Makes 27-28 raviolis

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup semolina
Pinch of salt
1 tbspn olive oil
3/4 to 1 cup warm water

Mix the flours and salt. Drizzle in the olive oil and work the dough into bread crumb consistency. Add water little by little so that it keeps resembling bread crumbs. Slowly they will start clumping together. It will form a nice dough. Ensure it is not too soft. If required add more semolina. Set aside covered with a damp cloth for 30 mins.

Spinach and Cheese Filling

1 tbspn olive oil
1 big bunch of spinach leaves
1 cup of mixed cheese (Ricotta, Mozzarella, Parmesan)
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a pan, add the spinach. Cover and cook the spinach to wilt it. Once wilted, open and cook to evaporate any liquid.
Once cooled, chop the spinach and move to a bowl. Mix in the cheeses and season with salt and freshly cracked pepper.

Assembly of Ravioli

Roll out the dough on a well floured surface to as thin as you can. Paper thin is preferable (1/3 cm thickness). The thinner the pasta sheet the better the cooked ravioli would taste. However if it is too thin, then it would burst open while boiling. This is one of those hit and try method of figuring out the right thickness. But think paper.
Try to roll out the dough into a rectangle.We need to finally fold the sheet into half length wise. Next place teaspoon worth filling into one half of the sheet at equidistant spaces and cover over the other half to enclose this filling. Remove any air bubbles. I use a cookie cutter to cut them out into circles and crimp the edges with a fork.

Once made, let them dry out on a floured surface for 20 to 30 mins.

Creamy Tomato Sauce

1 tbspn olive oil
1/2 medium onion finely chopped
4-5 pods garlic finely chopped
3-4 medium de-skinned tomatoes chopped finely
1/2 cup tomato puree
Salt and pepper to taste
Red chilli flakes
1 cup cream
Grated parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a pan, add the chopped garlic and onion. Cook till onions are translucent. Add the tomatoes and puree. Cover and cook for 10 mins. Add the salt, pepper and other spices. Once cooked well, add the cream and grated cheese. This sauce really tastes divine!

Final Assembly

For final cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Put in the raviolis and let it boil for 2-3 mins. They will start to float when done. Remove and add sauce on top. Garnish with more cheese and basil.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Coorgi Delights

Coorg is my absolutely favourite vacation destination. I am a jungle/mountain kind of person and this spot literally hits the spot!
Its green and untouched. Its full of coffee estates and people living lives I wish I was living! In a farm house tucked far away in a remote corner of the planet. Coorgi people are very warm and have a very rich culture. They are a warrior race (a lot of them still serve in the armed forces) and are proud of their unique heritage. Their food is divine. Here are a couple of recipes I learnt in 2009 during our maiden trip to Madikeri.

The beautiful winding roads


This is a breakfast idli type bread. Its slightly sweet and sumptuous.

Ingredients -
Idli rava - 1 cup
Water - 1 cup
Milk - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 tablespoon
Salt to taste
Grated Coconut - 3/4 cup
Cardamom seeds - 2-3 pods

Procedure -
If you don't have the pre-made idli rava, one can process 1 cup dry rice in a mixer to get the rava (think phirni type rice).
Wash idli rava, soak in 1 cup water for 1/2 hour. Mix the milk, coconut, sugar, salt and powdered cardamom seeds.
Pour the batter in an oiled thali or flat bottom plate with sides. Paputtu is shaped like a pie. Steam for 25 to 30 mins.

Kooru Curry

I am calling this kooru curry, but kooru is rajma. I am using lobhiya here. One can also use butter beans.

Ingredients -
Lobhiya - 2 cups soaked overnight and pressure cooked for about 20-25 mins
Onion - 1 medium finely chopped

For seasoning -
Oil - 1 tspn (We use a non stick hence the less oil, increase if required)
Rai - 1 tspn
Urad dal - 1 tspn
Curry leaves - 4-5

For paste -
Coriander seeds - 2 tspn
Coconut - 1/2 cup grated
Dry red chillies - 3-4
Garlic pods - 3-4
Black pepper - 1 tspn
Jeera - 1/2 tspn

Turmeric powder
Tamarind to taste
Jaggery to taste
Salt to taste

Procedure -

Heat oil in a pan, add rai, urad dal, curry leaves and chopped onion. Fry till onions are translucent. Add cooked beans, salt and turmeric powder.
Grind the ingredients mentioned under paste. Add this paste to the cooking pan. Add water to make a gravy. Boil till ground paste is cooked. Balance out with a bit of tamarind and jaggery to taste.

This is a popular meal in the household. Ajay loves the curry, Adrika loves the paputtu!

Coorg is indeed the Scotland of India. Its a breath-taking place where one can see a million fireflies dance about at night. It is one of those hidden gems. Here is to many more holidays in paradise.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Funfetti Cupcakes

Saturday mornings are leisurely. It's a half day for Ajay's college so there is no rush of packing up his lunch. This Saturday morning we enjoyed a bit of sunshine after days and days of rain. It's a glorious day! Time to celebrate with some dessert for breakfast!

Makes 6 large cupcakes

1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 tspn vanilla extract
1 egg
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tspn baking powder
1/2 tspn baking soda
1/2 tspn salt
3/4 cup milk
confetti sprinkles


Cream the butter and sugar till light and pale. I used a hand whisk (easier to clean!). Add the vanilla extract and the egg. Beat well till fluffy and light.
Add all the dry ingredients. Mix it in with the milk into a smooth batter. Add the sprinkles at the very end and do not stir too much for they start losing colour.
Bake in a 170C preheated oven for 30 minutes or till a toothpick comes out clean.