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October 2011

Green Peppers and Chicken Pasta


Pasta should, I think, be served with a more substantial sauce than it usually is.I like it to be 60-40 with the pasta constituting the lesser amount.

I like to build up the sauce , like we do curries here, letting the flavours get more complex as the ingredients are added one by one.


1 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion

1 tsp ground garlic

4 tomatoes, blended into pulp

5 sundried  tomatoes, cut into strips

3 green peppers/ simla mirch

Handful of basil leaves

Salt  and pepper to taste

2 full Chicken legs, cooked .

1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese. ( optional)

100 gms fusilli per person


Take the cooked chicken off the bones and reserve the stock.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil for the pasta. Drop in the pasta and cook till al dente, about 12 minutes. Strain and drizzle with a little olive oil.

Meanwhile heat the olive oil and saute the garlic and onions in it for five minutes. Add the tomato pulp and chopped sun dried tomatoes and cook for 10 more minutes. Add the chopped  chicken,green peppers, the salt and pepper and cook for 15 minutes.If you need it to be a bit more saucy add  some of the chicken stock.

Add torn basil leaves in the last five minutes of cooking.

Pour a generous amount over each bowl of pasta and serve garnished with some grated parmesan.

Green Tomato Garlic Chutney


Green Tomatoes

While green tomatoes are available in abundance its the time to pickle and chutney.This recipe is quick to make but keeps for only three weeks in the fridge so don't make a vast amount.

.Green tomato Chutney

Photo Courtesy: Emma Jane Hogbin


250 gms green tomatoes

6 gms salt

50 ml vinegar ( use toddy vinegar if possible)

10 gms red Bedgi or Kashmiri chillies, ground

1 tbsp ground garlic

2 tbsp fresh ginger,grated

10 gms salt

250 gms sugar


Wash and chop the green tomatoes removing the eyes. Marinate the chopped tomatoes in 6 gms of salt for 12 hours.Saute the tomatoes in vinegar till tender. Add the rest of the ingredients and keep cooking over low heat till they mix well and become mushy.When it gels it is ready. This will take at least 15- 20 minutes.

Keep in a clean sterilized jar in the fridge and use within 2-3 weeks.

Tofu Bean Curd Makhani



Photo Courtesy Little Blue Hen

Nowadays all types of Tofu are available on the market, both fresh and processed.The coagulant used  to curdle the soya milk to make fresh tofu is what makes the difference in the final product.

Making tofu is similiar to makiing paneer and you can use lime juice or vinegar to curdle the milk though this gives it a slightly sour taste and this type of tofu does not lend itself well to making sweet dishes.

Fresh Tofu should always be kept underwater in the fridge and should be used within a few days or it  will get cloudy and slimy.

Our local make is a little dry as compared to the "Silken Tofu" from Japan but it works well for Indian style dishes.Here is a nice recipe for all vegetarians wondering how to dress up their weekly dose of Tofu.

Perhaps the heaviness of the Makhan is offset by the healthiness of the Tofu....


250 gms tofu

1/4 cup soy curd

1 tsp ginger paste

1 tsp garlic paste

1 tsp salt

2 tsp red chilli powder.

450 gms tomato

2 cups water

3 cloves/ lavang

3 cardamom/ elaichi

1 " stick cinnamon/ dalchini

1 tsp oil

1/2  tsp turmeric/ haldi

1 tsp cumin /jeera powder

1 tsp coriander /dhania powder

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup cream

1 1/2 tsp dried mathi leaves / kasoori methi

1 tsp sugar



Mix the beaten soy curd with half of the ginger and garlic paste, the red chilli powder and salt .Cut the Tofu into cubes and mix with the curds. Stand for 15 minutes. Shallow fry the pieces in hot oil till slightly brown on the surface.

Cook the tomato in two cups of water along with the clovesm cinnamon and cardamon.

Put into a blender and make tomato pulp of it.

Heat the oil and fry the tomato puree till it reduces and the oil seperates.Add the rest of the ginger and garlic paste and fry for a couple of minutes.Add the cumin and corainder powder, the red chilli powder and the turmeric and fry for another minute.

Add water to make a thick gravy. Cook on low heat for 10 minutes to let the flavours mingle. Now add the butter, cream and kasuri methi. Add th e sugar and the tofu and let it simmer on a low fire for another 5 minutes.

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and strips of fresh ginger.

Wonderful with roti.

Do not plan on eating another meal for the next 12 hours!