Friday, February 13, 2015

Spaghetti Pasta cooked with Prawn, Cherry Tomato and Red Chard Tender leaves

We have liked pasta recipes and it’s not a hidden secret from this blog’s readers like you.Our weekend nights are mostly pasta nights, and in the past I have shared other pasta recipes as well.Today it's spaghetti pasta with prawns, cherry tomato , red chard tender leaves cooked in marinara sauce.

I had spaghetti pasta, and was thinking to use them up soon.As the school half term holidays have started here with this weekend, I have to find ways for making my daughter enjoy her food and also keep her entertained.This spaghetti pasta was well received and appreciated by her today as her lunch.Although I will say ,this still can be cooked for a lazy weekend Valentine night celebrations, in case you don’t fancy, eating out and paying hefty sums.What ever be the occasion, love doesn't need a particular day.Every day is a lovable day, and it’s up to us how we make it beautiful.
I also happened to pick prawns this time, and wanted to make chingri - malaikari, but then thought will use it up in this pasta preparation, so this "Chingri pasta recipe" was ready.I had greens like red chard tender leaves and wild rocket leaves, which also increased the nutrients factor, so as those juicy cherry tomatoes.With all those vegetables and prawns, this spaghetti pasta recipe turned out very delicious.Now to the recipe

Spaghetti pasta cooked with prawn, cherry tomato and red chard in marinara sauce
Recipe requirements
  • Half a packet of spaghetti or roughly 250 Gms of spaghetti
  • 300 Gms of prawn- head and tail removed
  • 1 medium size onion
  • 4-5 fat cloves of garlic
  • 10-15 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 big juicy ripened tomato
  •  1 red bell pepper, - sun-dried pepper even better
  • 2-3 handfuls of red chard tender leaves
  • 1 hand full of rocket leaves

  • ¼ tsp of Italian dried herb mix
  •  1 small twig of fresh thyme
  • ½ tsp of red pepper powder
  • 1 tsp of salt or as per taste
  • 3-4 tbs of cooking oil/olive oil
  •  2-3 heaped tbs of any pasta sauce (skip if using ripened tomato)
  • 2 tbs of red wine (optional)

  • Heat up a large saucepan filled with water. Let it come to one boil; add in half a tsp of salt to it and few tsp of cooking oil. Add in uncooked spaghetti to it and let it cook for 8-10 mints. Scoop out about a 1 ½ cups of this pasta water and discard rest of water.
  • Clean prawns, and take off the head and tail.Marinate this with little salt and keep aside.
  • Now heat up a separate cooking pan, add in olive oil, and add in chopped garlic. Let it stir/fry it to get a nice brown colour.Add in chopped onion. Let it stir/fry it for 4-5 mints.
  • Add in cherry tomatoes, and red bell pepper. Adjust seasonings with salt and red pepper powder.
  • Add in marinated prawns. Add in red chard leaves. I have also used rocket leaves which give a nice peppery flavor.
  • Add in the reserved pasta water/starch and pasta sauce to it. You can even use fully ripened tomatoes for the sauce and pureed tomato is even better. Add in red wine if you wish to use, which forms base of the marinara sauce.Add in fresh thyme now.
  • Let this sauce cook well on its own juices with cherry tomatoes, prawn, red bell pepper and red chard leaves.
  • After about 10 -12 mints, add in cooked spaghetti, toss and mix well.Stop cooking it further.
  • At the time of serving, garnish with your preferred cheese and red chilly flakes.

Happy Cooking Friends

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Lobia Keema Curry- Black Eyed Beans cooked with Lamb Mince

We saw season’s first snow today, excited? Yes, you can presume as such .And who doesn’t like snow, but then if the snow starts melting, it’s another story altogether.While it’s snowing heavily far across Atlantic Ocean in US, we are happy and contended to get about an inch of snow here.Well, I wouldn’t even dare to think 10 inches of snow, as that would ring an alarm bell for me.As of now, update is, it’s melting away, oh! Things of joy don’t last for ever, it always is short-lived, but the memory that it creates always resonate.

With this cold and grey weather, we really crave to eat some spicy food, and lobia- keema curry is one such dish.As our family struggled with seasonal flu and cough, this hot and spicy preparation was well appreciated by my folks.There is of course a vegetarian version, and that will be to skip lamb mince all together, or may be adding up soya mince- vegetarian option for meat mince.But if you like non-vegetarian meals, then this is very appetizing.You can even make this  curry in bulk and store in batches in fridge, but try to consume within 2-3 days.And trust me, next day , when the flavours are well incorporated, this turns out more flavourful.
Well it does remind of Mexican Chilli, although I haven’t included other vegetables or cheese or kidney beans or pinto beans, in to this curry.This is a spicy preparation, if you are making it for little kids, reduce the red pepper powder.Actually I have used red bird-eyes chili pepper / Thai chili for this preparation, which is considered one fo the hot peppers, so you can guess the hotness of this curry.
Lobia Keema Curry – Black Eyed Beans lamb Mince Curry
Recipe requirements (serves 3-4)
  • About 500 Gms of cooked lobia/ black eyed beans or use 1 pre-packed tin of black eye beans
  • 500 Gms of lamb mince/ mutton keema

For the gravy
  •  1 large tomato
  • 2 medium size purple onions
  • 3-4 fat pods of garlic
  • ½ inch ginger root

For the seasonings
  •  ¾ tsp of turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp of red pepper powder
  •  ¾ tsp of Kashmiri red pepper powder
  • 1 heaped tsp of coriander powder
  •  ¾ tsp of cumin powder
  • 3/4  tsp of cinnamon powder
  •  ¾ tsp of nutmeg powder
  • ½ tsp of cardamom powder
  • 2-3 Red bird’s eye chily slit in between
  • Salt as per taste
  • Pinch of asafetida
  • ¼ cup of cooking oil
  • Method

Prepare Black eyed Beans- lobia
  • Soak about 2 -3 cups of dry lobia/black eyed beans in ample water for about 6-7 hrs. You can even soak them in warm water for 2-3 hrs in case you are running short of time. Or even use pre- packed tins. I have used approx 2 – 3 cups of cooked lobia for this curry (1 can serves well for 3-4 people). You can even use 2 tins to increase more beans in the curry.
  • Now pressure cook  black eyed beans/lobia  for one whistle at high, lower the flame and let it cook further for about 10-12 mints. Open once the pressure subsides. Reserve this for later use.

Now prepare the keema- lamb mince
  • Chop finely all the ingredients- onion, ginger, garlic and tomato. If you don’t like chopping then, wet grind those in a mixer adding little bit of cooking oil. I have even added some of the dry masala ingredients while making the onion+ginger+garlic paste, so add turmeric powder, red pepper powder, kashmiri red pepper powder, cumin-coriander powder to make a smooth paste.
  • Now heat up a large vessel enough to hold keema, lobia and the gravy. Add in cooking oil. Add in pinch of asafetida, and then add in the prepared masala paste. Add in slit bird eye chili.Adjust salt.
  • Now let it stir/fry it further for about 9-10 mints at medium high flame, splash some water if the paste starts to stick on the base. Once the paste has turned dark in color and the oil starts separating out, add in lamb mince.
  • Keep on stir/fry the lamb mince for about 10-15 mints. Add in cinnamon powder+nutmeg powder+cardamom powder. You can even use garam masala as well. Splash little water if it tends to become very dry.
  • Now add in about 2 cups of lukewarm water and the cooked beans with all the water if any left after pressure cooking it.
  • Cover the vessel and let it cook slowly for about 1 hr at low flame. Alternately you can put the entire thing in a pressure cooker. Let one whistle at high and then lower the flame, so that it can cook on it’s own for about 10 mints. Open once the pressure subsides.Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  • Enjoy with rotis or rice. I had it with cooked couscous and cherry –avocado salad.

Bird eye chilly adds the hotness to this curry, skip it if you do not like very hot and spicy curry.The same recipe goes well with rajma- red kidney beans as well.

Happy Cooking friends