Pasta in Red Sauce


for Pasta:

2 cups whole grain penne pasta (use can use another pasts shape if “penne” is not available)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Salt

for Vegetables:
1 medium chopped bell pepper (i have added 2 types of capsicums)
1 medium sliced zucchini
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Salt
for Tomato sauce:

6 medium diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can of diced tomato
2 tablespoons Olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped basil
1 teaspoon Italian herb
1 teaspoon red chili flakes (adjust to taste)
1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon sugar (adjust to taste)
for Preparing Pasta:

2 tablespoons Olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped basil
1 teaspoon red chili flakes (adjust to taste)

In a large pot boil the water with salt and oil.
After water comes to the boil add the pasta.
Cook the pasta until it is just tender, not too soft. Drain the water and set pasta aside.
making Vegetables:

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium high heat.
Add vegetables (carrot, green beans, bell pepper, mushrooms, and zucchini) to skillet and sauté until they are nearly tender.
making Tomato Sauce:

Mix the cornstarch in ¼ cup of water and keep aside.
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the basil, Italian herbs, and chili flakes stir and add tomatoes.
Let the tomatoes cook until they become pasty.
Next add cornstarch, salt and sugar to the tomato sauce, cornstarch will give thickness to the sauce.
Next add the sauté vegetables to the sauce and cook for few minutes on medium heat until sauce come to the desirable thickness.
Prepare The Pasta:

Heat the oil in a saucepan and add basil and chili flakes stir for few seconds.
Next add the drained pasta and sauté for a minute until pasta is well coated with oil.
Pour the vegetable sauce over the pasta, serve hot with slice of French bread or salad.



Butter Paneer

Paneer/Cottage Cheese – 250 gm
Cinnamon – 1 small piece
Cloves – 2
Onion – 2 (medium, sliced)
Ginger Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Red Chilli pwdr – 1 ½ tsp
Garam masala – ½ tsp
Coriander pwdr- 1 tsp
Turmeric pwdr – ¼ tsp
Cumin pwdr – ½ tsp
Kasuri Methi – 1 ½ tsp
Cashew – 12 numbers (grind to paste)
Tomato – 3 numbers (boil, drain the water completely and remove the skin and grind)
Fresh cream – 3 tbsp
Butter – 4 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Ghee (Clarified butter) – 1 tbsp
Heat ghee in a pan. Add paneer cubes and saute till light golden brown. Keep this in a separate bowl and add 1 cup hot water to it. Leave it for five minutes. Drain the water and keep it aside.
In a deep pan heat 1 tbsp of butter, add cinnamon and cloves. To this add the sliced onion and saute till soft. Grind this sauted onion to fine paste.
Heat 2 tbsp butter in a pan. Add ground onion (from step 2) and saute till raw smell disappears and the color changes slightly. Add ginger garlic paste, saute for another 2 to 3 minutes. To this add chilli pwdr, garam masala pwdr, coriander pwdr, turmeric pwdr, and cumin pwdr. Saute till the raw smell disappears. Add Kasuri methi and cashew paste and mix well.
To this add the tomato puree and when it starts to boil reduce the flame and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the paneer cubes and ¼ cup of water and cook for about 10 – 15 minutes in low flame till the desired the consistency is obtained.
Remove from the flame and add fresh cream and remaining 1 tbsp butter. Mix well and serve hot.

Cottage Cheese Gravy/Paneer

Paneer/Cottage Cheese – 200 gram
Cashew nuts – ¼ cup
Milk – 3 tbsp
Cardamom – 2
Onion – 2, thinly sliced
Green chili – 2, chopped
Ginger (chopped) – 1 ½ tsp
Tomato – 3, chopped
Red chili powder – 1 ½ tsp
Coriander powder – ½ tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Tomato sauce – 1 tbsp (optional)
Garam masala powder – a pinch
Dried fenugreek leaves/ kasoori methi – 1 ½ tsp
Water – ¾ cup
Fresh cream – ¼ cup
Coriander leaves – 2 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Oil – 4 tbsp


Soak the paneer /cottage cheese cubes in medium hot water for about ½ an hour or till the gravy is ready.
Boil the cashew nuts adding little water, remove from flame and leave it for about 20 minutes. Drain the excess water and grind it to fine paste adding 3 tbsp milk. Keep it ready.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan, add cardamom saute for few seconds. Add sliced onion and little salt and saute till soft. Add chopped green chili and ginger and saute till nice aroma appear, add the chopped tomatoes and cook till soft. Remove from the flame and leave it to cool at room temperature. Grind it to fine paste.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in the pan over medium flame, add red chili powder, coriander powder, and turmeric powder and saute till the raw smell disappear. Add the ground onion – tomato paste, cashew paste and tomato sauce and cook over low flame for about 2 – 3 minutes.
Add garam masala powder, fenugreek leaves/ kasoori methi and ¾ cup of water and bring it to boil. Discard the water in which the paneer cubes and are soaked, add the paneer cubes to the prepared gravy and cook for about 3 – 4 minutes.
Add fresh cream and coriander leaves and combine well. Remove from flame and serve hot.

Punjabi Chole


To dry roast and grind into powder –
Bay leaves – 2
Black cardamom – 2
Cloves – 4-5
Cinnamon stick – ¼ inch piece
Black peppercorns – ½ teaspoon
To grind into paste –
Onion – 1 medium or 1 cup roughly chopped
Tomato – 2 small or 1 cup roughly chopped
Green chili – 1
Ginger – ½ inch piece, chopped
Garlic – 2 cloves, sliced
For curry –
Dry chickpeas or kabuli chana or chole – 1 cup
Oil – 2-3 tablespoons
Cumin seeds – ½ teaspoon
Salt – to taste
Red chili powder – 2 teaspoons
Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
Anardana powder (dried pomegranate seeds powder) – 1 teaspoon
Water – 2 ¼ cups
Amchur powder (dried mango powder) – ½ teaspoon
Cilantro or coriander leaves – 2 tablespoons, finely chopped.


Wash dry chana under running cold water till water runs clear.

Soak them in enough water for 8 hours or overnight. After soaking they will double up in size. drain the soaking water.
Soak kabuli chana chickpeas

First we will make dry spice powder. Take bay leaves, black cardamom, cloves, peppers and cinnamon stick in a small pan.

Dry roast them on low-medium heat for 2 minutes. You will get nice aroma of spices.

Remove it to a plate and let it cool completely. Once cooled, take into grinder. It can be coffee grinder or spice grinder.

Make fine powder out of it. Keep it aside.

Now chop onion, tomato, ginger, garlic and green chili.

Make smooth paste in grinder or blender. You do not have to remove it to a bowl.

Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot add cumin seeds. Let them sizzle a bit.

Then add prepared onion-tomato puree. Sprinkle some salt.

Let it cook. It will splutter a lot. you can partially cover it. It avoids some mess around the stove.

Cook till oil starts to leave. and moisture is evaporated.

Then add red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, anardana powder and prepared spice powder.Mix well and cook till oil starts to ooze out. Add chana. Mix well.

Add 2 ¼ cups of water. Cover the pressure cooker with lid. Put the weight on. Let it cook for 20-25 minutes on medium heat. During cooking time, it will keep whistling.

Then turn off the stove, let the pressure go down by itself. Open the lid. Oil will be floating on top.

Stir with spatula. Check the chana. it should be cooked and soft, not mushy. Taste test the gravy. adjust the salt or chili powder as per your liking. Also check the gravy consistency. If gravy is thin and watery, then let it simmer for few minutes. If it gravy is too thick. add some more water and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Mine was perfect for me. So I have not added any extra water.

Add amchur powder and mix. Lastly add chopped cilantro. Mix well.Punjabi chole is ready to serve.

Serve it with Hot Roti or Puri.


Bisi Bele Bath


For the rice:
1 cup regular rice (i used sona masuri rice)
¼ cup raw peanuts
¼ tsp rock salt
2.5 cups water for cooking the rice.
for the dal:
¾ cup arhar dal/tuvar dal/pigeon pea lentils
½ tsp turmeric powder
2 cups water
For the vegetables:
1 medium carrot, 100 to 120 gms
18 to 20 french beans, 80 to 100 gms
½ cup peas, 60 to 70 gms
3 to 4 gms small brinjals, 80 to 100 gms
1 medium onion or 3 to 4 shallots, 80 to 100 gms
1 medium tomato, 80 to 100 gms
1 tbsp tightly packed seedless tamarind soaked in ½ or ⅔ cup water
2 to 2.5 cups water for cooking the vegetables
1 cup water added later
3 tbsp bisi bele bath masala dissolved in 1 cup water
¼ tsp rock salt for cooking the vegetables
1 tsp rock salt added later or add as required
For tempering:
3 to 4 tbsp ghee or oil
1 tsp mustard (rai or sarson)
2 to 3 dry byadagi/bedgi chilies or dry red chilies
12 to 15 curry leaves (kadi patta)
18 to 20 cashews (kaju)
cooking the rice:
rinse the rice and peanuts first. add 2.5 cups water.
soak both rice and peanuts for 20 to 25 mins. add salt.
keep on the stove top and cook the rice.
if required, then you can add some more water while cooking the rice.
bring to a boil and then lower the flame. simmer till the rice grains are cooked well. the peanuts would also cook well. cover and keep aside.
preparing the lentils and veggies:
soak 1 tbsp tightly packed tamarind in ½ or ⅔ cup warm water for 25 to 30 mins.
later squeeze and extract the tamarind pulp.
in a pressure cooker, add rinsed tuvar dal/pigeon pea lentils, turmeric powder and 2 to 2.5 cups water.
pressure cook for 8 to 9 whistles or till the dal is cooked soft.
once the pressure settles down on its own, mash the dal and keep aside.
in another pan, take the chopped veggies and ¼ tsp salt. pour 2 cups water and stir.
cover and allow the veggies to cook till they are cooked and still retain their shape.
now in the cooker with the mashed dal, add the cooked rice and peanuts.
then add the cooked vegetables along with its stock. stir lightly.
add 1 cup water. add tamarind pulp. mix everthing well taking care the rice grains do not break.
now in another pan or bowl, take the 3 tbsp bisi bele bath masala and 1 cup water.
stir very well. the masala tend to stick to the back of the spoon while stirring, so scrape it off and add to the mixture.
now add this bisi bele bath + water mixture in the cooker.
add 1 tsp salt or as required. stir well.
keep the cooker without the lid on the stove top and simmer on a low flame for about 20 to 25 mins. add more water if required. keep on stirring often. the raw aroma of the tamarind has to go away and all the flavors should be blended well. cover and keep aside once done.
in a another pan or the tadka pan, heat ghee or oil first. crackle the mustard seeds and then temper the curry leaves, dry red chilies, cashews till the dry red chilies change color and the cashews turn a light golden. don’t burn the spices.
pour this tempering in the prepared bisi bele bath. stir and cover the cooker with its lid for about 5 mins, so that the tempering flavors infuse in the bisi bele bath.