All posts filed under: Pasta & Rice

Donne Biryani – Bangalore Style

I’m not certain we can call this Biryani in the purest sense of the word. But the debate on what constitutes Biryani has been raging for decades and I don’t have the time or the inclination to delve into its subtleties. For me, Biryani will always be a one-pot meal of rice and meat cooked together with spices, served with aplomb on a Sunday afternoon. Sundays would be incomplete without Biryani in our house, though logically it had no place in Andhra-Karnataka cuisine.

Bisi Bele Bath – Comfort Food

Bisi Bele Bath – the Kanndigas answer to dal kichidi, but with so much more pizzaz! As a Bangalorean, you can’t escape this dish – every Udupi restaurant or darshni worth its salt, will inevitably list it on its menu. There is nothing more satisfying or comforting that digging into a plate of steaming hot (bisi) lentil rice (bele bath). The accompanying chips, mixture or boondi just adds to the heavenly experience. And to top it all off is Ghee…the mother of all flavour enhancers and my personal favourite fatty item 🙂

Pasta Aglio Olio to the Rescue

I don’t know what it is about the 1st of January that everything touches ground zero and everyone has hopes of suddenly turning over a new leaf. And for most people that new leaf is losing weight. Everyone writes down that great resolution and goes on some sort of diet (or at least they start thinking of one). Unfortunately for me, everytime I even think of a diet – I get crabby and mean and generally ill-tempered. So to ensure everyone around me and I stay sane, my easy fix for a more healthy meal is to just cook at home.

Porcini Mushroom Risotto

Let’s face it – porcini mushrooms are expensive. It’s not something that finds its way into my grocery list AT ALL. But there are odd days (when the salary account has been credited) that one is inclined to feel generous. So I picked up a teeny tiny bottle of it for half a thousand rupees. When coming up with an idea to use it judiciously – a Porcini Mushroom Risotto was a no brainer. The mushrooms would lend themselves nicely to being slowly rehydrated while cooking the risotto and the flavor and color would permeate the stock. And to be fair, just half a cup of Porcini mushrooms is more than enough to make that risotto praise worthy. Cooking risotto is like barbequing something – you have to hang around. The stock has to be poured in ladle by ladle while the rice absorbs the liquid and gets plump. And you need to use your intuition and your tasting spoon to know when it’s ready. Lucky for you, I use a fail-safe risotto recipe that …

Easy Grilled Chicken with Pasta

The grill pan is one of my favorite kitchen treasures. It lets me (almost) replicate the look and taste of an outside grill, right on my stove-top. I’m all for shortcuts and making life easier, so you well know how this fits into my lifestyle 😉 Another thing that makes life easier is ready-made sauces – for the life of me, I can’t imagine slow simmering some BBQ sauce over 12-14 hours! I have better things to do, like read a juicy cookbook or go grocery shopping for exciting ingredients! Now, there’s two kinds of grocery shopping I indulge in. The first one is running to the local kirana store (doubles up as exercise) for curry leaves or a loaf of bread and the second is where I make a huge list and plan an exciting day at a large and well stocked supermarket. (yes, I’m sad like that). Foodhall @ 1MG Road, has been a regular haunt to pick up all things interesting – wasabi paste…check, gnocchi…check, tarragon vinegar…check, Ras-El-Hanout…check, an elephant…check (ok, just …

Vietnamese Summer Rolls: Light and Fresh

It’s 38°C! I’m almost tempted to break and egg on the pavement and see if it gets cooked! My house feels like a mini sauna and I have officially stopped wearing pants at home. (I wear cotton dresses – go wash your dirty brains :P). So it goes without saying that summer is here! Which is both a boon and a curse depending on which part of the world you live in. I, for instance live in a city that has salubrious climate for 80% of the year so any extremes in temperature is treated with great disdain. (Yes, Bangaloreans are spoilt that way!). Every year we just whine and crib till the first showers of April hit the sands and then we whine and crib that it’s monsoon already. This year is no different except that I learnt how to make some Vietnamese Summer Rolls. It’s fresh, light and all kinds of colorful. Just what summer should be?    This recipe is more about getting your mise en place and rolling technique right. Once …

Penne a La Vodka

Featured on and on 24th Jan 2013 Featured on The Berry on 26th Feb 2013 I’m still detoxing after the excesses of December, but this dish needed to get made! I just got assigned an additional role at work and to add to that, we have a new boss. Changes, changes, changes – how I hate them! (Especially, when I’m not the one making them!) Since I’d sworn off alcohol atleast for a month (part of the detox plan), I needed to find an alternative. (And No, I can’t make the ‘special’ brownies). So I gave myself and my frazzled nerves some loving, in the form of Penne a la Vodka. It doesn’t count as cheating because technically, the alcohol content is supposed to burn off when you deglaze the pan with it. (It’s another story that when you’re off alcohol, even a whiff of it can send you into a happy place). Anyway, this is a classic recipe and loved the world over. It’s sophisticated enough to serve at a dinner party …

Quick Fried Rice – A Lifesaver, literally!

Chinese Cooking is an art (At least for me). So attempts of Chinese cuisine at home are few and far between. We do visit the fancy Chinese restaurant for a nice meal, but nothing beats ordering greasy Chinese food from the neighborhood restaurant and settling blissfully on the couch to watch reruns of ‘How I met your Mother’ (Or CSI Miami, if that’s your scene :P). At the end of the meal however there’s always a faint feeling of regret. And regret tastes like a swollen tongue because of the amount of MSG/ Ajinomoto that the local guys use, to kick up the taste of the food. Not nice… not nice at all! When such derailing urges strike these days, thankfully I don’t need to call the Ajinomoto joint anymore. (No, I don’t have a Chinese chef at home.) But I recently found this brand called Blue Dragon, which makes some amazing stir fry sauces. All I need to do is cut up some chicken and veggies and stir fry them quickly and toss the …