Vegetarian Concoctions

August 29, 2006


Filed under: Cheese, Italian, Mushroom, Pasta, Spinach, Sundried Tomatoes — Hema @ 3:32 pm

Last week when we were at our local grocery store, my husband complained that they had stopped selling his favourite sun-dried tomato ravioli that used to be one of his staple meals before marriage. I guess the store decided that since he was now married and had a wife who could cook, they didnt need to make his favourite ravioli anymore. Blame it on me or on the store, the most obvious thing to do was to make my husband say ‘I dont miss the store bought ravioli anymore’. I remembered one of the episodes of Everyday Italian on Food network, in which Giada made spinach and sausage ravioli with wonton wraps. Ah! brainwave!!! Back home with a packet of wonton wraps and my brain loaded with brilliant ideas, I opened my pantry to find I was out of sun-dried tomatoes!! I should have thought about that. The closest thing to sundried tomatoes was a bottle of sundried tomato pesto that I use in pastas. I found my imagination at work again and came up with very simple ‘can do this after work’ recipes for two kinds of raviolis – Sundried tomatoes and Spinach-mushroom. Here are the recipes:

Sundried tomatoes filling

Sundried tomatoes pesto                      4 tbsp

Grated Cheese any kind (I used cheddar + mozzarella)        3/4 cup

Mix the above 2 ingredients and that’s that!

Spinach – mushroom filling

Basil pesto                                          3 tbsp

Spinach cooked, chopped and drained   1/2 cup

Mushroom                                          1/4 cup

Crumbled paneer or riccotta cheese       2 tbsp

Make sure all the water is drained from the spinach. It should be nearly dry. Mix the above ingredients.


Preparing the ravioli:

Lay a wonton wrap on a cutting board. Place a spoonful of filling in the centre. Place another wrap on top of it and press it in lightly. Make sure the filling doesnt creep out of its designated area. Add about 2 tbsp of water to 1 tbsp of all purpose flour. Use this to seal the edges (you could also use eggwash). Press edges tightly and make sure there are no gaps. You could use a ravioli cutter and trim the edges for a store made finish. I just pressed the edges down with a fork.


Boil water in a big pot and drop in the raviolis 5-6 at a time. It takes about 4 minutes to cook up a batch. Once you take them out, rub some olive oil on each of them, else they tend to stick together.


Mix this with your favourite pasta sauce and you are done!



August 15, 2006

Hyderabadi Mirchi Bajjis

After reading the post by Indira of Mahanandi on mirchi bajjis, I couldnt resist the temptation of trying out this famous snack from Hyderabad. I grabbed some long green chillies on the way back from work and waited for the weekend purely because heavy thunderstorms were predicted for Saturday. Is there a better food-weather combo? Watching the downpour (and of course the TV) tucked into a sofa with hot, spicy mirchi bajjis and garam chai….hmmm pure heaven!

I just modified the recipe a little bit. Instead of tamarind water, I added a tsp of aamchur and then made the paste adding water. I also added about 1/4th tsp of cumin seeds and flennel seeds, both ground,  with the stuffing. Though removing the seeds from the chillies involves a little bit of hard work, it was well worth the effort. Thanks Indira for the recipe!!


August 8, 2006

Rasmalai (Rakhi special)

Filed under: Bengali, Milk, Paneer, Rakhi, Sweets and Desserts — Hema @ 4:31 pm

It has been a while since I started this blog and havent posted a recipe since. So, what better day to start than Rakhi…a day dedicated to my brother, who by the way is a big time foodie and an even bigger time sweetie:)…yes! he loves sweets…anything sweet. The first time he went grocery shopping for his new home, he ended up buying half a kg rice and 2 kgs sugar! So, my dear saapattu raman, yeh recipe tere naam. Enjoy the visual treat! HAPPY RAKHI !!!


Paneer       250 gms

Milk            1 litre

Water         7 cups

Sugar         3 cups if you are like my brother…else 2 1/2 cups

Cardamom powder    1 tsp

Slivered pista and almonds    2 tbsp

Saffron  few strands

Rosewater few drops


I like to make my own paneer. About 2 litres of milk should suffice for the amount of paneer this recipe needs. Once the whey seperates, just squeeze out the excess liquid and knead it gently with your hands. It is not required to hang the paneer overnight to drain out all the water as done usually. Cow’s milk is preferable but not necessary. If you have bought your paneer just crumble it up and knead it gently without applying too much pressure. You may add a tbsp of all-purpose flour for binding if required. Make small balls and flatten it out.

Boil the milk with a cup of sugar till it reduces to 2/3 the amount. Add the cardamom powder and 1 1/2 tbsp of the pista and almonds, saving some for garnishing in the end. reduce the heat and let the milk simmer. Also boil the water with the remaining sugar and add a few drops of rosewater to it.

Drop in the flattened panner balls into the boiling water and cover the pot partially. In about 10 – 12 minutes the balls will puff up and float on top of the water. Press one and see if it springs back into shape just to be sure they are done. Remove the balls from water and gently drain water from each piece individually and transfer it to the hot milk. Let this boil up for another 5 minutes and transfer this to your serving bowl. Garnish it with the remaining pista and almonds and of course saffron. You are done! Pop it into the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. Enjoy!



August 3, 2006

Another name in the blogging world!!!

Filed under: General — Hema @ 5:02 pm

This is my very first post in my very first blog!!! It is exciting to know that i will soon have visitors…my eyes will be on the blog stats for a while till i get used to the number of hits increasing in value  (i hope)! I also hope to make friends for life to share my cooking adventures with.                     

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