Friday, 5 December 2014

My Creative Couscous Salad

There are various combinations and permutations for making a salad – I can literally pair couscous with almost anything to make a salad out of it. This is a super easy, light, fresh and vibrant salad. The best thing about it is that this salad is very low on carbs. Sometimes when I need it to behave like a comfort food, I just toss some grilled chicken to it.

You can add any other vegetables or salad leaves that you like. Use a little preservative juice from the jar of gherkin and jalapenos – they add an extra kick to the taste.  Also, I suggest using fresh peas because the stock that is used to cook the peas, deliver a very mellow sweetness to the juicy peas – I feel it gives a subtle liveliness to the peas.

You can always substitute couscous with cooked quinoa. Please do keep a check on the level of spiciness to the dish – I like my food extra hot, so I added chopped chilies, you can always forego the step.

1 cup chopped Tomatoes
1 cup fresh green peas
½ cup chopped onions
3-4 tbsp Jalapenos
3 tbsp chopped gherkins
10-12 chopped preserved olives
½ cup couscous
1 cup vegetable stock/ chicken stock
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chopped green chilies
Salt and sugar
Juice of 1 lime

Heat the vegetable/ chicken stock to a rolling boil. To the couscous, add garlic powder, salt and sugar, a little juice from the bottle of preserved jalapenos and gherkins. Drizzle the stock until it barely covers the small grains of pasta. Cover it with foil or cling film, without letting the steam escape. Leave it for about 10 minutes, it will be completely cooked.

In a separate pot, cook the peas in the stock. Once cooked, strain and keep aside.

In a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients – including the cooked and fluffed couscous (use a fork to fluff the couscous). Generously, add a squeeze of lime for the zingy flavor.  This salad should be amazingly fresh and has the sweet and sour taste to it. It’s very addictive, once you start eating you won’t be able to stop; you’ll keep going back for another spoonful.

A deliciously healthy choice for dinner/lunch.. Enjoy :)

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Birthday Marble Cake

Before I even start calling this cake as “my marble cake”, I would like to state that the inspiration came from Rachel Allen and Lorraine Pascale. My version of the marble cake is incredibly easy to make. I did not use any fancy equipment in creating this amazingly attractive cake. The super smooth silky icing compliments to beautifully moist sponge inside.

This is the first time I tried making a marble cake and I guess it worked out perfectly – looked and tasted delicious.

For the Sponge:
200grams butter
150grams castor sugar
230grams plain flour
20grams cocoa powder
4 eggs
1 tbsp Vanilla essence
1 cup milk
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda

Sift the flour, baking soda and baking powder and set aside. Sift the cocoa mixture separately.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. You will see that the color of butter mixture becomes very pale that when you add the eggs.  Add one egg at a time or beat the eggs and add a little at a time. Amalgamate the mixture completely before adding the flour. In case if you see your mixture splitting, add 2 tbsp of flour, it will stop it from splitting.

Use half a cup of the milk, reserving the other half. Also, reserve about 20 grams of flour. Add the rest of the flour and half cup of milk alternately.

The mixture shouldn’t look too thick. It should be dropping consistency. Divide the mixture equally. In one half of the mixture, add the sifted cocoa powder and half of the reserved milk. Mix thoroughly.
Add the reserved flour and milk to the vanilla (white mixture) and mix thoroughly.
By now you should have two separate sponge mixtures.

In a round lose bottom arrange the two mixtures using one scoop at a time. Alternate between the white and brown mixes. Once it done, tap a few times on the counter to settle it completely. Using a palate knife, cut through the mix giving it the marbling effect.

Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.  

For the Icing:

200grams unsalted butter
200grams icing sugar
100grams melted dark chocolate
1 tsp vanilla
Few packets of Cadbury Shots or Maltesers (decoration)

Sift the icing sugar. Beat the butter and icing sugar for a good 5 minutes. It will fluff up completely. 

Add the vanilla and melted butter and stir to combine.

Separate the cake in equal halves and ice it generously. Cover the cake completely with this chocolate frosting. To decorate, arrange the maltesers or the chocolate shots on top of the cake. If you want you can completely cover the whole cake with these. But I just did it on the top.

Enjoy your birthday marble cake!!!! 
(I am terrible at Photography, thereby I completely ruined the actual shot where the marbling effect should have been evident)

Nonetheless, it is a stunningly beautiful cake ! 

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Carrot Pudding

Carrot pudding is a very labor intensive recipe but the final outcome is worth it. I call this labor intensive because it needs a lot of stirring. The use of milk and condensed milk is required in this. Without the dairy products, the intense smooth and creamy texture is impossible to attain. 

In case you can’t find clarified butter, you can use butter. You can use the same amount of unsalted softened butter.

The amount of clarified butter used is quite a lot. But this amount is absolutely important for this pudding. I assure you this, very unhealthy, artery clogging amount infact makes the pudding all the more delicious! 

For the halwa (pudding):

3 Cups Carrot (Shredded)
1 cup Clarified Butter/Ghee
Handful of raisins and cashews
1 Can condensed milk (sweetened)
3 cups full fat milk
1 tbsp Sugar
½ tsp cardamom powder
A pinch of salt

Take a heavy bottomed pan and heat the clarified butter in it. Add the raisins and the cashews and sauté them until they are brown. At this point the heat should be at medium high, stir in the carrots and make sure you keep stirring it until the carrots are glistening with the clarified butter. Lower the heat, sprinkle the salt and sugar. Mix thoroughly. The color of the carrots will turn into lighter shade. Increase the heat to high, and stir until all the shredded carrots have changed color and turned into a mellow shade of amber.

This is the tricky bit. We have to treat this like risotto, add a ladle of milk at a time until it’s evaporated. For the first few (6-8) ladles, keep the heat on high and keep stirring. We don’t want the milk to stick to the bottom or it will give a burnt aroma to our pudding. Once the milk had evaporated, add remaining milk one cup at a time. Once all the milk has evaporated, add the can of condensed milk. I always add this according to how much sweetness I want in my dessert. In case you like it to be sweeter, you can always add extra condensed milk.

Let the condensed milk dry off a little. We do not want liquid-y pudding. When you see the fat, in this case the Ghee, separating from the pudding, your dessert is ready. It is very important for the fat to separate as it is an indication that the carrots are completely cooked and the milk has been well evaporated.

Turn off the heat and sprinkle the cardamom powder.

Serve hot or warm after a scrumptious meal.. !

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Prawns with Coconut and Tomatoes

The cuisine in India varies from region to region. Most of the recipes that I adapt are from north India and north east India. However, my interest also lies in knowing the extensive repertoire of southern cuisine. My venture into southern cuisine is very minimal knowing only a little about their breakfast dishes and few other main dishes. My prawns with coconut and tomatoes is an adaptation from Kerala’s (India’s Southern State) famous Prawn Masala.

Few things in the recipe: you can use any kind of prawn for this recipe. Also the fresh coconut can be replaced with desiccated coconut. I could use coconut milk or cream for this but it does not give body to the curry. This curry is a thick curry; however if you wish, you can add a little coconut milk to loosen the masala. 

For the Recipe:

Marinade about 250 grams prawns/ shrimps in the juice of 1 lemon. Set aside.

For the Masala:
2 medium onions sliced
3 dried red chilies
3 cloves
¼ inch quill cinnamon
10 peppercorns
½ tsp whole cumin
½ inch piece ginger
4 cloves of garlic
¼ cup fresh coconut chopped (in case fresh coconut is unavailable, use 2 tbsp desiccated coconut)

Heat a pan and dry roast (on low heat) all the ingredients except ginger garlic and onion. Once the aromas are released, set aside. In the same pan heat a little oil and fry the onion and coconut until the onions are golden brown and caramelized. Blend everything into a smooth paste.  The spices turn into color of blush ready to be romanced with the prawns!

For the Curry:

4 ripe tomatoes chopped
3 tbsp oil
1 tsp each turmeric, cumin, coriander powder
1 tsp Mustard seeds
Few curry leaves
Salt and Sugar

In a heavy bottomed pan, heat the oil and add the curry leaves and mustard seeds. The seeds will start to pop and the leaves spit and splatter. There is nothing to worry; the oil is being infused with its entire flavor. Add the chopped tomatoes, throw in all the powdered spices, add a little salt and sugar, give it a good stir and cover. Let it be on a high heat as we want the tomatoes to be reduced to pulp. Notice when the oil starts separating, its an indication that we can add the prawns to it now.

Strain the prawns, give it a wash and add it to the pulpy tomatoes. You will notice that as soon as the prawns hit the hot pan, it changes color beautifully. Add the blended masala to the tomatoes. Let it bubble away for about 10minutes or until the curry comes together. We don’t want it to be watery and this is why we cook the masalas and try to amalgamate them. 

It is best with fresh rotis or chappatis. Can also be eaten with Steamed rice or flour tortillas.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Sautéed Cabbage with Corn Kernels

Eating healthy, generally, is not my forte but sometimes I do manage to conjure something up that is vigorous and nutritious.

I have been fond of cabbage since my childhood and this recipe below is an adaptation from what my father cooks. He omits the corn and the tomatoes but adds beautiful plump fresh peas to the cabbage thereby giving it a very sweet and mellow taste. The peas actually compliment the cabbage which generally has a very watery taste. Also, he adds a mixture of whole spices called panch phoran which is essentially a mixture of Fenugreek seeds, Nigella seeds, Cumin, Black mustard seeds and Fennel seeds in equal parts. He pops that in the oil before adding the onions. This process is called tempering where the seeds release its entire flavor in the oil.

You can, of course, substitute the corn with green peas and use the whole spice mixture but my variation is an easier adaptation and I am assuming that these ingredients can be found without difficulty.

For the recipe:

2 tbsp Mild olive oil
½ tsp whole cumin seeds
1-2 green chilies
1 onion sliced
2 cups shredded cabbage
½ cup corn kernels (tinned)
1 medium potato sliced lengthwise
2 tomatoes chopped (fresh preferably)
½ inch piece of ginger
A pinch of turmeric

Heat a heavy bottomed pan with the oil and pop the cumin in it. Once the aroma is released add the onions and fry them until they are golden brown. Add the sliced potatoes and corn and sauté them until they are well coated in the cumin-y oil. Add the tomatoes to it, give it a good stir and cover to cook for about 2-3 minutes. You’ll see that the tomatoes start to almost melt in the heat, making them soft and pulpy. Throw in the cabbage, salt and turmeric. Anoint the cabbage with the mixture. Cover and cook for about 15-20minutes or until the potatoes are completely cooked. Grate the ginger over the sabzi, stir well and serve hot.

The perfect side for this is lightly toasted flour tortillas. I would warm them up with a little butter; give it a nice toasty shade!

Monday, 4 August 2014

Rice with Mushroom and Soy Nuggets

Mushrooms are an absolutely delight for me. The flavors and textures of mushrooms vary and that gives the dish an ultimately different approach. I have always liked working with button mushrooms as they are incredibly easy and they adapt very well with anything - be it rice, noodles, pasta, couscous etc. I even make curries out of it. Whereas, the usage of Shiitake mushrooms in my kitchen is quite limited. 

You can use a mix of mushrooms in the recipe mentioned below. I just happen to have a tin of button mushrooms at that time that is the reason why I used it. You can easily use chopped Portobellos, Enoki, Shiitake etc. It depends on what kind of mushroom you like. I suggest using the Shiitake in less volume as it has an exceptionally strong flavor.  

I have used soy nuggets but you can always substitute it with frozen/fresh Edamame beans.

Also please note that I have used excessive chilies in my recipe. You can adjust it accordingly to your liking or completely omit chilies if it doesn't suit your palate.

For the Pilaf:

1 cup basmati rice
1 cup button mushrooms (sliced)
1 cup soy nuggets
½ cup shredded carrots
½ cup potatoes diced
½ cup onions (sliced)
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp mild olive oil
1 tsp dry red chili flakes
2 green chilies chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
Handful of raisins
3-4 cups chicken stock

Wash the basmati rice in some cold water and soak it for 15-20 minutes. In this time we can take care of the vegetables and rice.

Heat the chicken stock until it starts boiling. Add the carrots and potatoes to it and cook it partially. We are doing a little more than blanching but we are not cooking it completely. Once the carrots and potatoes are partially done, use a sieve and take it out of the liquid and keep aside.

Add the soy nuggets to the same boiling stock and cook the soy nuggets completely. Once they are done, you need to keep it under cold water and then squeeze out the liquid completely.

Add the washed rice to the stock and bring it to a boil. You will see that after about 10 minutes of boiling, the liquid starts to thicken up and the rice looks plumper. The rice should not be cooked completely. It should be done two-thirds. The rest of the cooking will be done by the microwave.

Strain the rice and keep aside.

In the same pan, heat the butter and mild olive oil. Add the onions and cook until they are gorgeously golden. The garlic powder, chilies and chili flakes goes in next followed by the chopped mushrooms. Saute the mushrooms until they get some color. Add the partially cooked vegetables and soy nuggets and stir. Season it well with salt and sugar. Throw in the raisins.

Once they are well sautéed, add the rice. Combine thoroughly without being harsh as it will break up the grains and become mushy.

Transfer the contents to a microwave safe bowl; add about 3-4 tbsp chicken stock. Cover and microwave on high for 10 minutes.

Serve hot as a side dish or it can be eaten with raita.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Sautéed pressed rice with Potatoes

Poha or Sauteed pressed rice with potatoes is a very popular breakfast dish in India. Pressed rice or beaten rice is easily available in all Indian stores. It can be easily stored up 3-5 months in airtight containers.

The preparation of beaten rice is very easy. All you need to do is rinse it well in cold water. please use a sieve. During the rinsing process, the flat beaten rice soaks the water giving it a crumbly texture. Though it will look a little wet in the beginning, it should be able to soak the water and the excess will be drained out. 

My recipe uses more onion as it gives moisture to the pressed rice and the potatoes. May be I am a little partial to curry leaves as I love them but the addition of curry leaves is essential as it gives an authentic flavor and aroma.

I usually make this in advance for breakfast and also store in the fridge for up to 3 days.  Some people like their poha sweet and some like it tart. I like it somewhere in between – there should be a good balance between the tart, sweet and the heat from the chilies. Also, the addition of peanuts gives it a very good crunch. The tradition recipe doesn't use cashews; it’s just that I am overly fond of cashews that are fried until they are golden brown. So if you don’t like cashews, you can skip it.

For the Poha:
1 cup onions sliced
3 cups pressed rice
1 cup boiled potatoes diced
1 tsp mustard seeds
10-12 curry leaves
½ tsp Whole cumin
2-3 green chilies chopped
Handful of salted peanuts
Handful of raw cashews
2-3 tbsp oil
A Pinch of turmeric
Salt, Sugar and lemon juice to taste

The first job is to wash the pressed rice thoroughly. Use cold water to wash this. You will see that the pressed rice is very delicate and with this thorough wash it is ready to be eaten. It should look crumbly and not stiff. Keep aside.

Heat a wok with the oil and chuck in the mustard seeds, cumin, curry leaves and chilies. Cover the wok and let the mustard seeds pop in the hot scorching oil. Once the popping stops add the onions and sprinkle some salt on it. Give it a good stir and cover so that the onions stew in its own steam. We are not going to brown the onions but we are merely going to cook the onions until almost cooked. Chuck in the cashews and boiled potatoes and sprinkle the pinch of turmeric. Stir this on high heat as we want to cook off the powder-iness of the turmeric. Add the salt and sugar to the potatoes and mix thoroughly before adding the washed pressed rice to it. Again give it a good mix and give it a squeeze of lemon. Sprinkle the salted peanuts on top.

Serve hot with a cup of tea or coffee. .!

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Curry Chicken with mushrooms and peas

This is one of the most fulfilling recipes. It absolutely satisfies your cravings and hunger without you having to start feeling guilty about anything. The inspiration for this recipe came from the vegetarian version of making mushrooms and pea curry. No one in my house wants to see vegetarian food that’s when I decided to add chicken to it making it utterly delectable.

You can have/serve this curry with anything you prefer – steamed rice, toasted bread, tortillas or rotis. But I served mine with couscous. The recipe is mentioned below.  

In case you are using chicken (drumsticks and thighs) on the bone, you do not need any chicken stock to flavor the dish but If you are using boneless chicken then you need about half a cup of chicken stock in which case it will be half cup chicken stock and half cup of milk.

For the Curry Chicken

500 grams of Chicken
200 grams of Button mushrooms
300 grams of green fresh/frozen peas
10-12 almonds
6 cloves of garlic
1 inch piece of ginger
1 tsp whole cumin
5 medium onions sliced
3-4 green chilies
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garam masala
½ cup tomato puree
1 cup whole milk
6 tbsp mild olive oil
Salt and sugar

Chop the garlic and ginger roughly. Heat a heavy bottomed pan, add 1 tbsp oil and saute the almonds until its aroma is released and then throw in the garlic and ginger. Toast until the almonds, ginger and garlic smell wafts through. Blend it into a very fine paste and set aside.

Heat the same pan with 3 tbsp oil, sprinkle the whole cumin on it and let it pop. Saute the onions and chopped green chilies for a few minutes on high, sprinkle some salt on it, give it a good mix and lower the heat completely and cover the pan with a lid. Let the onions stew in its own juices until they are completely soft and mushy. Add the quartered mushrooms and peas. At this point add in all the powdered spices into the mixture and season it liberally with salt. Cook the mushrooms, peas and spices on a high heat before adding the tomato puree. Add in about a teaspoon of sugar. Stir the mixture thoroughly before setting it aside in a bowl.

Heat the same pan with 2 tbsp oil and brown the chicken pieces in it. I like golden brown pieces and thereby I fry it on a high heat until my desired color is achieved. Once the chicken has some color, you will see that it oozes juice into the pan that is when you add the silky almond paste to it. Stir on a high heat until you see the oil separating, and then add the mushroom and peas. Add the liquid, cover with a lid and let it come to a bubbling boil before you reduce the heat to simmer for 15 minutes.
It should be very thick and gloopy giving it a spicy hit yet there should be a creamy undertone. Please note that by spicy I do not mean it to be hot, I am particularly referring it to the use of numerous spices in the curry.

I served this curry on a bed of couscous that I flavored with ginger, mustard and curry leaves.

For the Couscous with ginger and curry leaves

1 cup of couscous
1 ½ cup of chicken stock
3 tbsp mild olive oil
15-20 curry leaves
Handful of raisins
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp julienne ginger
1 tsp green chilies chopped

Bring the chicken stock to a rolling boil and then add it to the couscous. I used somewhere between 1 ¼ cup – 1 ½ cup. It depends on the quality of the instant couscous, sometimes it needs more and sometimes less. Cover with a cling wrap thereby not letting any steam escape. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.

In a frying pan, heat 3 tbsp oil, add the ginger, curry leaves, green chilies, mustard and raisins to it. The mustard seeds should pop and the raisins should plump up and look blistered but not black. Fork the couscous fluffing it up before adding the tempered spices. Add in the hot oil and the spices to the bowl of couscous very carefully and stir it thoroughly.

I used raisins to give it some sweetness. When eaten with the curry, it absolutely requires this sweetness from the raisins thereby balancing the spicy gravy.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Eggy Toast Sandwich

A controversial name for a simple savory french toast that I sandwiched with cheese. A good French toast should be crispy on the outside but soft and squidgy in the middle. Most of the time I land up making a vanilla or cinnamon French toast but somehow this time I was in a mood for something savory, something that felt warmingly satisfying.

I came up with sandwiching plain cheese slice thereby giving it a whole new attitude and dimension. You can always use the cheese of your liking – mozzarella would be a good replacement as well as some flavored cheeses like pepperjack.

I used a plain white bread that I cut into ½ inch thickness. I have seen that using precut white bread doesn’t give the same squidgy-ness to the toast.

Also, by adding a tablespoon of good chicken stock (In my case, I used a pinch of chicken stock cube or you can use a dash of chicken stock concentrate) adds a depth to the toast, the taste becoming sensational.

For the Toast:

2 slices of white bread
2 eggs
3-4 tbsp milk
Salt and Pepper
½ tsp Garlic powder
½ tsp Red Chili Flakes
1 tbsp chicken stock
1 cheese slice
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp mild olive oil

Mix the eggs, milk, pepper, salt, garlic, chili, and stock. Sandwich the cheese in the bread and place the bread in the egg mixture to soak for a little bit. After about a minute, turn the sandwich so that it can soak on the other side. Heat a non stick frying pan and add the butter and oil to it. Let the butter foam up, then place the eggy bread in the pan very gently. We don’t want it to break as it is very soft and susceptible right now. It should be placed on a low heat so that the insides of the sandwich cook evenly. Once it golden brown, do the same on the other side until you get the same finish. By this time the egg is completely set, the outsides would be golden brown and crispy, the insides meltingly gooey cheese!!

Serve hot. I enjoyed mine with sweet chili sauce. It tastes marvelous with ketchup too!! 

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Chocolate Cake with Cherry Filling

This cake is my take on a black forest cake. I just combined the idea of using chocolate and cherry together and hence chocolate cherry cake was born. It’s a very simple recipe and it tastes amazingly delicious with the soft sponge, the fluffy icing and the thick chocolate sauce on top. Every mouthful of this cake is luscious and moreish.

I have experimented a lot with the filling of this cake. Sometimes I substituted chocolate butter cream in place of vanilla and then I skip the whole step of adding the ganache.

I also added strawberries (fresh ones) in place of cherries. But I heated the strawberries in a pan with a little bit of sugar and lemon juice to give it a jammy consistency so that the spreading becomes easier. It also gives a nice tang and tartness to the cake which balances the sweetness in the sponge and the ganache.

This cake is light, fluffy, outright delicious and moist. Please note that I have used less sugar in making this cake. However, if you wish, you can add more for the sponge as well as the icing. I am using 50 grams of cocoa which is actually a lot of it but it makes the cake very dark and the flavor of chocolate is accentuated all the more with the addition of this cocoa.

For the Cake:
200 grams butter
200 grams flour
50 grams good cocoa powder  
1 tsp baking powder
150 grams sugar
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup milk
4 eggs at room temperature
A pinch of salt

Sift the flour, cocoa, Baking powder, Soda and a good pinch of salt and keep aside.

I always use an electric handheld mixer and that makes my job ten times easier. Cream the Softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. The mixture should look very pale, almost white, start adding in one egg at a time. Beat the egg in completely before adding another one. Add the vanilla now.

Start adding the flour and fold it in completely before drizzling in a third of the milk. Again add the flour and then the milk.

The mixture should be dropping consistency. It shouldn’t look clumpy but it should look like a gorgeously glossy and dark mix.

Bake in a round loose bottomed 8 inch cake tin at 180 degrees for 50-60 minutes. Please start checking the cake from 50 minutes on wards with a tester. Once done, let it cool for sometime in the tin and take it out and let it cool down completely.

For the Icing:
200 gms butter
150 grms icing sugar
½ cup cherries pitted (Preserved )
1 tsp vanilla essence

Blitz the pitted cherries and make it into a mush. Strain the liquid and keep aside. Beat the Butter on high until very pale. Start adding the icing sugar and beat it in completely.

For the Assembly:

Cut the Cake in half. Add a layer of butter cream icing and spread it evenly on both the layers. We are doing this so that the sponge is not soaked in the cherry liquid (even after straining, an amount of liquid is left in the cherries so its important to put the butter cream on both the cake layers). Add the cherries and spread it on the butter cream. Now, put the layers on top of each other making sure that the butter cream sandwiches the cherry mush.

Ice the cake completely covering every inch in that luscious butter cream. And keep it in the fridge to set.

For the Ganache:
200 grms dark chocolate
75 gms Butter
1-2 tbsp Single Cream

Please note that this step has to be done after the cake is completely iced. On a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter. Add the single cream. Take it off the double boilers and let it come to room temperature.

Once the chocolate sauce comes to room temperature, slowly drizzle the sauce on top of the iced cake and keep turning the cake letting the sauce drop from the sides creating the dropping effect. Leave it in the fridge for an hour before serving.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Garlicy Cream Sauce (For any Pasta)

Pasta is one of those ingredients that become unexciting quickly; hence you need to keep a repertoire of sauces in order to make the monotonous pasta refreshingly electrifying. Earlier I jotted down the walnut sauce recipe in which you can always make a few changes like – add toasted and pureed almonds/cashews, use slivers of pine nuts, minus the cream, add rosemary instead of oregano. That recipe had so many versions and you can quickly manipulate it to suit your palate. (Please avoid the maneuvering if you are a kitchen virgin)

Here comes another one of those recipes that is extremely quick to put together, requires very few ingredients and also doesn't really require any skills.

This is my version of the alfredo sauce; I decided to complete ignore the use of butter as I am already using cream and egg yolk. For people who wants to make it extra creamy, they can go for heavy cream instead of single cream. I do add a squeeze of lemon at the end as it cuts through the richness of the silken cream sauce. The garlic gives it a good punch thus I leave out chili flakes (which is optional. Sometimes the volatility of my temperament changes and I add a good pinch of red chili flakes to the sauce)

For the Sauce:

1 cup single cream
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg yolk
½ tsp grated or minced garlic
Salt, pepper and sugar to taste
A squeeze of lemon
Parsley (Fresh or dried)

For those who are not familiar with the double boiling method, here it goes – take a saucepan with about 1 inch of water. Place a bowl over it. The bottom of the bowl should not be touching the water. Bring it up to a boil. Put the cream, salt, sugar, pepper and the parmesan cheese in the bowl and let it come up to temperature. The indirect heat will melt the parmesan. Once the mixture is warm, add the egg yolk and stir until the cream thickens a little. Take it off the heat.

In a separate pan, add a tsp of flavourless oil and toast the minced garlic until soft and brown. Dump the garlic into the sauce. Let the sauce cool down a little before adding the lemon, if it’s warm there are chances that the sauce will split.  

There is another way to cook the sauce but if you are not careful, the egg yolk will split and hence you will get cream and scrambled egg. So unless you have done this before and are absolutely sure that you can handle it, I suggest using the double boiling method.

Heat up the cream in a saucepan until you can see bubbles arising on the sides. Give it a swirl. Take it off the heat and beat in the egg yolk. The residual heat will cook the egg yolk and make the sauce thick. Throw in the parmesan cheese and let it gradually melt in. Add salt and pepper to taste. To finish the sauce give it a squeeze of lemon. Finish off with chopped parsley.

You can use this sauce with spaghetti, fettuccine, tagliatelle. Sometimes I just add strips of fried chicken to it and it tastes absolutely fantastic.