This lockdown is bringing out the inner chef in all of us. Some of us are learning how to cook whereas most of us are rediscovering the joy of cooking – including yours truly. But cooking good food doesn’t necessarily have to take up a lot of time, nor does it require fancy gourmet ingredients or involve long painstaking procedures. If like me, you enjoy eating well but also don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen, these pasta recipes below are perfect to whip up quickly and taste absolutely amazing.
Pasta remains one of my favorite things to cook (and eat!). And over a period of time I’ve mastered these two basic sauces such that now I can cook them in 30 minutes with my eyes closed and hands tied behind my back. Okay, not the latter. Feel free to experiment with choice of pasta (spaghetti vs penne vs fettuccine vs fusilli) and choice of protein (chicken vs prawn vs tofu) – but I’ll mention my favourite combinations at the end.
*drum roll* Without further ado here are my easy ‘red sauce’ and ‘white sauce’ pasta recipes. (Yes, I am desi like that.) *rolls eyes at pink sauce*
(My apologies for that hopeless pun in the title.)
We saw a lot of food trends in 2015. One of which included a tiny, black seed taking supermarket shelves, cafe menus, and our lives by storm. Salvia hispanica or chia seeds have been included in the Mayan and Aztec diet since the beginning of time. But only recently this ‘superfood’ has gained impetus in our lives.
I first encountered the trend at an all-organic cafe in Bandra, where I found ‘chia seed pudding’ on the menu. That very same day thanks to my local grocer, and recipes off the internet, I decided to experiment with chia seeds. This was roughly six months ago, and since then I cannot stop advocating the benefits of chia seeds to all!
My recent trip to Nashik was an eye opener. I got to see first hand what this season’s dismal rainfall has done to crops. I saw arid, and dry land where I should have been seeing green. I found walking around in the farm so tedious, only to imagine the kind of hardships our farmers must have to face working under that harsh sun, day in and day out. But they do it, with a smile on their faces, waving to us as our car drove by, proud of being able to put food onto our plates every single day.
Freshly returned from my Nashik trip, I was approached to participate in the #SeedTheRise campaign by Mahindra and Mahindra. Call it destiny, or coincidence this campaign happened right around the time I wanted to do something for the farmers, and make a difference in any small way that I could.
Call me conservative, but the charm of cooking with a good ol’ recipe book beats YouTube videos or articles on the web! Which is why I was super thrilled to receive Nisha Katona’s new cookbook – Pimp My Rice – where rice is the supreme star! An entire book with recipes ranging from smoothies, to mains, to dessert all emphasizing on everyone’s staple crop, is a genuinely handy book to have.
I was recently inspired by an interesting article I read on one of the social media platforms, which listed beautiful chocolate desserts that could be made in under ten minutes. That very same evening I came home, experimented, and improvised on a beautiful chocolate oats, no bake cookie. I loved the recipe for two reasons:
1. It is the perfect lazy and easy recipe. It requires basic cooking skills, and if you can mix ingredients in a bowl – you can make this! Also it does not require baking. So major win win for people who do not own an oven, or are skeptical about baking.
2. Secondly, and most importantly it is a comparatively low fat cookie version. I’ve used dates in place of sugar, dark chocolate instead of regular chocolate, and increased the quantity of oats.