Thursday, November 12, 2015


Dear Readers,
You all must be wondering about the inaction in My Food My Life. This post was long due and my apologies for the same.
Well, the good news is that we have moved to our dedicated domain My Food My Life and its bigger and better.
So hop on to My Food My Life and continue to be a part of my culinary journey. Hopw to see you all there.
Love and Luck

Monday, June 22, 2015

Baghare Baingan - Eggplants in a nutty gravy

I am a self confessed brinjal lover. I am always on the lookout for new ideas. I regularly eat the bharta,the bhaja,the pora(chargrilled),the baked - just about everything. One fine morning I just googled to know of more brinjal recipes and that's how I discovered Baghare Baingan. I am kicking myself for not making it earlier. Its like giving a super royal treatment to the the aubergines and turning them into this delicious dish without much sweat. Typically (and me too) used baby brinjals but one could easily use the big variety, just cut them into thick roundels.

Ingredients :

Brinjals - 8-10 the small sized ones

Turmeric powder - a pinch

Salt - to taste

Onion - 1 medium sized - roughly chopped

Garlic - 2 pods - crushed

Ginger - a small piece - crushed

Green chillies - 2-3 - adjust as per taste

Peanuts - a handful

Dessicated coconut - 1 tbsp. You could also use fresh coconut pieces

Poppy seeds - 1 tsp

Coriander seeds - 1 tsp

Cumin seeds - 1 tsp

Tamarind paste - 1 tsp

Vegetable oil - 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp for frying the brinjals

For tempering -

Mustard seeds - 1 tsp

Red chillies - 2-3

Fresh coriander - for garnish


Wash the brinjals. Pat dry and make deep slits in it keeping them joined at the stem. Smear a pinch of turmeric and salt and keep aside.

In a pan , heat 1 tbsp oil and sauté the brinjals. Drain and keep aside for further use.

In the same pan , add the chopped onion , garlic and ginger. Fry till fragrant. Add the chillies, peanuts, coconut,poppy seeds,coriander seeds and cumin seeds and sauté till slightly browned. Season with salt.

Remove from heat and set this mixture aside to cool. Once cooled, grind this mixture into a smooth paste .

In another pan, add a little oil and splutter the mustard seeds and dried red chillies. Next tip in the brinjals and the masala paste. Give it a good stir and add some warm water to adjust the consistency of the gravy.

Give it a gentle simmer and garnish with some fresh coriander.

Enjoy the nutty gravy with soft brinjals along with some steamed rice.


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Paranthewali Gali - The Paratha Festival @ Swissotel, Kolkata

Parathewali Gali - the name itself packs in so much memories when taking those rickshaw rides from  D school to the lanes of Chandni Chowk was just a matter of few minutes and we would be there to gorge on sinful yumminess - oil drenched ofcourse! But that seems like eons ago. So when KFB received an invite to preview the Parthewali Gali festival at the fine dining Indian restaurant "Durbari" at Swissotel, I jumped at the idea. I mean what could be better than reliving those memories sitting right here in Kolkata. The special menu developed here has an array of parathas - your staple aloo and gobhi to the more creative chicken tikka and cheese! Not to mention the Malabari Paratha - that was a show stealer for me! Crispy and absolutely oil free served with the flavourful , little sweet Vegetable stew. I would definitely go back for this one.

Then came the Warqi Paratha - a lucknow speciality - with flaky layers and served with a simple aloo ki sabzi , raita and an array of home made pickles.

A steady stream of pararthas followed from here on - there was the Soya Parantha - filled with soya granules. It was nice but I would have loved a more spicier version of the same as soya granules does tend to get bland at times. The Chicken Tikka and Cheese Parantha deserves a special mention - as was rightly pointed out by Aashish - the F & B Manager at Durbari would go extremely well with a pint of chilled beer. We ended our calorie laden( well you have to pay a price for such sin) meal with the quintessential - Bengal's favourite - Moglai Parantha - stuffed with minced chicken and deep fried with an egg wash.

The Paranthewali Gali festival is on at the Durbari at Swissotel Kolkata till 28th June.The menu is extensive and very reasonably priced with good portions. All paranthas are served with a side of aloo bhaji,pickle , curd and laccha onion. For reservations call - 033-66266666
Monsoons have come calling to Kolkata and this seems to be the best time to indulge in some Parantha goodness.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Keema Bruschetta - A DIY Party Snack

So you have a party coming up and you want to rustle up some easy snack/ starter. Worry not, this DIY (do-it-yourself silly!) Keema Bruschetta is the perfect party item. The keema can be made a day in advance( or few days in advance and frozen ), all that needs to be done after that is assembling. I had some leftover keema and this is the outcome! You can use your usual keema recipe or use this one here.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Roasted Vegetable Salad with Quinoa

For over 2 weeks now I am doing this Project #saladeveryday on my Fb page. I feel salads are a way of life and the easiest and fun way to include fresh veggies and fruits in your diet. With a fussy 7 yr old and an equally fussy husband when it comes to eating greens, I have been pretty much successful in this effort of mine.
This week its the the Salad Week at KFB and I made an easy  - Roasted Vegetable Salad with Quinoa. Now I am very new to quinoa, this is probably the first time I am using this grain as I have heard such nice things about it, it being sort of a wonder grain - gluten free and all that. My friend Sarani of Cocoawind uses it in many innovative ways! I found the texture nice and it went well with the vegetables alomost making it a complete meal.


Carrots - 1 medium - cubed

Cucumber - 1 medium - cubed with skin on

Mushroom - a cup - halved

Tomato - 1 large - cubed

Beans - a few - stringed and cut

Onion - 1 large - cubed

Oilve oil - 2 tbsp.

Honey - 1 tbsp.

Salt - to taste

Pepper - to taste

Balsamic vinegar - 1 tsp

Quinoa - cooked  - 1 cup - Follow instruction on packet. The quinoa to water ratio is 1:2.

Method :

In a baking tray toss together the cut vegetables with olive oil , honey, salt pepper and balsamic.

Heat oven to 180 degree C and grill the vegetables for 15 to 20 mins.

Serve warm along with the cooked quinoa.

                                          I am sending this recipe to the ongoing KFB event

The Kabab and Biryani Festival at Swissotel , Kolkata

Durbari - the Indian fine dining restaurant at the Swissotel is hosting a Kabab and Biryani Festival starting today. I was lucky enough to get invited for a preview of the same and I totally loved it. The menu is very innovative with very different and not run of the mill kababs and grilled items. They have introduced the concept of a set menu where diners get to taste a wide array of dishes at a fixed cost. The servings are unlimited and has three courses - almost 7 to 8 types of kababs , biryani and a dessert along with a glass of wine.
I had a chat with Asish - the F&B manager and also Chef Shubrodip Ghosh who has designed the menu. Each and every item included in the menu is new and will surely impress you. Set menus let the diners enjoy the courses well without getting overwhelmed when too many items are served at one go. There is a choice of Veg and Non veg - you choose what you want!The vegetarian selection has kababs like Aam aur chana ka kabab, Noril Makai ki seekh and Dahi potli to name a few while the non veg lovers can gorge on Lahsooni Tawa Jheenga , Saloni Machi Tikka , Murgh Chandi Kali , Shirka Pyaz Boti and so on!

The famous dips at Durbari

The yummy kababs

Noa sahi tangri - Tandoor roasted drumstick filled with spicy minced chicken

Dum Murgh Biriyani
The Gosht Dum Biryani was very flavourful doused with generous amount of desi ghee and succulent pieces of mutton served with a side of raita.
Gulam Jamun with Paan icecream
Finished the meal with Gulab Jamun and some homemade paan icecream which was a perfect end to the scrumptious meal. Dining at the Swissotel is always a pleasure and their top notch hospitality just make it even more special. I am off on a holiday tomorrow and there couldn't have been a better way to start my vacation.
If you are around this side of town or now with the summer hoilidays on, want to indulge in some good food, try out the Kabab and Biryani Festival here.

The set menus are priced @ 1700 INR for Vegetarian and @ 2000 INR for the Non - Vegetarian option. Servings are unlimited. It is on at Durbari for both lunch and dinner from today onwards.


Monday, May 11, 2015

Amritsari Pedewali Lassi - Your favourite summer drink made even better

I have been hearing and seeing so many pictures of Amritsari food on various food groups that I had to do some research. The Kulchas, the choley, the mithais, o my god the list is endless. I am not even thinking of the awesome non vegetarian spread you get there. But one such item that caught my fancy is the Pedewali lassi. Google didn't have extensive information on it but I chanced upon some recipes. Its super easy to make ( assuming this is an authentic recipe ) and its delicious. So when KFB announced their Summer Cooler event I jumped in to make some Amritsari Pedewali Lassi.God willing I will make a trip to Amritsar soon, till then I am treating myself to this yummy goodness.

Curd/yogurt - 2 cups
Malai peda / Khoya - 5-6 nos
Vanilla icecream - 1 scoop - my own addition as I thought it would add to the taste.
Sugar - 1 tbsp. - optional
Ice cubes - a few - optional
Crushed pistachios- a handful for garnish
Saffron strands - a few - optional
Just put everything in a blender except the pista and churn till frothy.
Serve chilled garnished with some crushed pistachios.

                               I am sending this recipe to the KFB Summer Cooler Event


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Groupon Dining Vouchers - A Review

So much has changed in the food industry in the last 5 years. A dining experience at a city 5 star or your favourite restaurant, then, needed a lot of planning and also the moolah but not anymore. Groupon has kind of revolutionised this whole eating out experience and at half the cost literally. Its a one of a kind service where you can avail a wide variety of deals on restaurants. You can know everything about Groupon here. I was approached by a reputed marketing firm managing the Groupon account to dine at one of their partner outlet. They gave me two vouchers to the Lunch/dinner buffet at Hyatt and I roped in the husband to join me for a weekday lunch.

The buffet is on at their 24 hr dining outlet The Waterside café. The ambience is soothing with view of water fountains through the glass façade. Since it was a kind of an official outing for me I wanted to inform the restaurant manager my purpose of visit. Unfortunately, what I got was a very vague response. After explaining myself to three people, the husband and me took a seat by the window. The waiter filled our glasses with water and left hurriedly.

I shall now get to the food and the spread instead of reaccounting my experience (to which I will get back later). The buffet at the Waterside Café has a wide range of everything. From salads to starters to main course to dessert and also a live cooking station. You can eat to your hearts content and be happy about it. And since you just pay just about the half of the original rate when you book through Groupon, double happiness there! The process is easy, you just need to take a printout of the deal voucher, hand it to the staff there and start with your meal.

Now coming back to my dining experience at Hyatt, a lot was left to be desired. At the very onset, they were clueless that someone would go to review on behalf of Groupon ( I was told they were already informed of my visit) and my attempt to make them understand wasn't helping either. The manager definitely needs puts a smile on his face, that would help him in a big way in the service industry. They were also quite uncomfortable with me taking pictures (that explains this almost pictureless post) and I was asked to wait for good 20 mins before they could tell me if it was ok to click or not. I was there for a quick weekday working lunch and wasting 20 mins already did not make sense to me. Honestly by this time I had got restless and was in a hurry to get out of there. Of course there was someone from the marketing team who came to ask if everything was ok but by that time the damage was done.

On a positive note, I did have a chat with their executive chef Clement D souza who told me that they experiment a lot with the buffet menu and try and make is as interesting as possible incorporating dishes from different cuisines. As I could see, the spread did have a good mix of indian and continental dishes to choose from.

They Hyatt offer is available till the end of this month and you can know more about it here

I would highly recommend Groupon to my readers ,because their deals are a steal!

Note: The folks from Edelman were kind enough to send me a couple of pics so adding it for your ref.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Baked Meatballs in Cheese Sauce - Served on a bed of Linguine

It had been long that I invited my extended family over for a meal together and Easter break provided that perfect opportunity. The thing with me is, I get into elaborate menu planning when I am having people over that it exhausts me! This time around, however, I decided to keep it simple. The menu was mainly Indian with just this easy Baked Meatballs in Cheese Sauce thrown in for variety. Very easy again, made with very few ingredients but full marks for taste. I served it on a bed of boiled linguine and it turned out just perfect. My family licked their plates clean and theres nothing more that makes me happy when I can feed my loved ones well. You go note the recipe!


For the meatballs:

Chicken mince - 500 gms

Dried oregano - 1 tsp

Dried thyme - 1

Chilli flakes - 1 tsp

Salt - to taste

Pepper - to taste

Olive oil - 1 tbsp.

For the sauce :

Onion - 1 medium - finely chopped

Garlic - 2-3 fat cloves - minced

Readymade pasta sauce - 4 tbsp. - I used the red tomato based sauce

Heavy Cream - 1 cup

Butter - 1 tbsp.

Grated parmesan - 1/2 cup

Boiled linguine or spaghetti or even penne would do fine - to serve the meatballs.


Mix all the ingredients listed under meatballs and roll the mince into small balls.

Line a baking tray with foil or butter paper, assemble the meatballs and bake in a preheated oven for 10-15 mins at 180 degree C.

Once the meatballs are done, remove from the oven and keep aside.

In a pan , heat the butter. Lightly sauté the garlic and onion mince. Add the readymade pasta sauce and fry for 2-3 mins. season with salt and pepper. Or use any herb of your choice.

Lastly mix in the heavy cream and simmer the sauce gently.

In a baking dish arrange the baked meatballs, pour the sauce over it, sprinkle the grated parmesan cheese on top and bake for 10-15 mins  or till the cheese has melted and browned lightly.

Serve on a bed on linguine or spaghetti or any other pasta of your choice. Garnish with oregano ,chilli flakes and some fresh basil leaves.

Well it cant get easier than this.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Ras Malai - Poila Boisakh Special

I will be honest here. I was planning to make something else for the KFB Poila Boisakh Special event but ended up making this dish by chance. It was just another way in my kitchen to use left overs! I didn't know what to do with a litre of extra milk lying in my fridge, so decided to just thicken it up a little with some sugar and keep it for further use. Then I didn't know what to do with some left over paneer too..the end result? This wonderful home made Ras Malai. I have kept the flavours simple here with just a touch of cardamom.
All those who know me , know that I am a die hard Indian sweet/mishti lover. No matter how much I keep a check on my diet, eat healthy, follow strict regimen, put a ladoo or a sondesh or a gulab jamun in front of me and I am gone! I just cannot resist sweets. So you see this experiment made me very happy. And with Poila Boisakh  (Bengali New Year ) and Bihu around the corner this was well timed I would say. I will be surely making this again soon and treating my friends and family.


Milk - 1 litre

Paneer - 200 gms -

I used home made paneer/ chenna here. To make 200 gms chenna, bring around a litre of milk to a boil. Add 2 tbsp of lime juice , mix well and let the milk curdle. Drain the chenna/paneer , wash with cold water, drain the water completely and it is ready for use.

Sugar - 4 tbsp + 1 cup

Bay leaves -  2 nos

cardamom/ elaichi powder - 1 tsp

Water - 1 1/2 cup


First lets make the mini rasgullas/ paneer balls .

In a pan add the water and the sugar and bring it to a boil.

Meanwhile, take the paneer/ chenna and knead it with your hand till its very smooth. This will take about 7-10 mins. Make small balls of it and keep adding to the boiling sugar syrup.

Let the paneer balls simmer in the sugar syrup for around 15 mins , till they become firm.
Remove the rasgullas/paneer balls from the sugar syrup and keep aside to cool.

Next we will thicken the milk and prepare the base of the ras malai. All that you need to so is in a heavy bottom pan , put a litre of milk to simmer  and thicken up. Keep the flame low. Add the bay leaves and cardamom powder , so that the flavours are well infused into the milk. This will take a while, almost 20 -25 mins. Keep stirring once a while so that the milk doesn't burn.

After around 20 mins you will find the milk had just about thicken forming some solids(Malai). At this point add the 4 tbsp sugar, give it a good mix. Add the mini rasgullas/ paneer balls and simmer for 2-3 mins.

Remove from heat and let it cool. Serve chilled.

  • Its important to knead the paneer/chenna well before making the balls or else they might break off once you put it into the sugar syrup.
  • Garnish with crushed pista, casheews or some soaked saffron. I skipped it as my family likes it without any garnish.
I am sending this recipe to the KFB Poila Boisakh Special event.


Friday, April 3, 2015

Chicken in Creamy Mustard Sauce

I am back with yet another super easy recipe to make weeknight cooking a breeze! This recipe of Chicken in creamy Mustard Sauce is a steal. It is from one of my favourite cookbook by Mary Berry. I often try out her baked goodies but not the mains so much. However I will from now on! This dish needs just 3-4 ingredients and you are done.

Boneless chicken - 200 gms - cut into thin strips

Olive oil - 1 tsp

Garlic - 2-3 pods - crushed

Heavy cream - 1 cup

Salt - to taste

Pepper - to taste

Flour - 1 tsp

Mustard paste / sauce - 1 tbsp. - I used the readymade bottled grainy mustard. It gave a nice texture to the gravy.


Take 2 tbsp cream from the 1 cup heavy cream ,mix in the flour and keep aside.

In a pan heat the oil. Lightly sauté the crushed garlic. Add the chicken strips and fry till they turn light brown in colour and is 90% cooked.

Drain the chicken pieces and keep aside.

In the same pan , add the heavy cream. keep mixing so that the cream doesn't split. Add the flour - cream mixture and give it a good mix. Keep it on low flame.

Now add the chicken strips back into the pan. Let it simmer in the gravy for a minute. Turn of the heat and stir in the mustard sauce/paste. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve hot with some plain rice or some bread and enjoy the creamy deliciousness.

  • Make sure to add the mustard right at the end or else the dish could turn bitter.
  • Vegetarians can replace chicken with mushrooms!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Murgh Pulao - One pot meal

I am a stickler for recipes that are easy to cook but doesn't compromise on the taste factor. And of late I have also become a lover of one pot meals. In such hurried lives that we all live, its a boon to be able to cook up nutritious tasty food without slogging it out too much in the kitchen. This is one such recipe - Murgh Pulao. It is not as heavy as your typical biryani but packs in a lot of flavours nevertheless. Similar to yakhni pulao but not really that. This particular recipe is heavily inspired by the Bangladeshi Morogh Polao - a very traditional chicken rice dish which is not too spicy but is extremely flavourful. The orginal recipe would include marinating the chicken in poppy seeds paste and also use a lot of nuts - cashews and raisins. I have however made a simpler version that I learnt from my mother which works well for a regular weeknight meal. And the fact that it uses very little oil is an added bonus.


Gobindo bhog rice/ or any kind of short grained rice - 1 1/2 cup

Chicken - 500 gms - cut into medium sized pieces

Ginger paste - 1 tbsp.

Garlic paste - 1 tbsp.

Mace - a few strands

Nutmeg - 1 tsp- grated

Fennel - 1 tsp

Cardamom - 4 nos

Cinnamon - a small stick

Cloves - 4-5 nos

Bay leaves - 2 nos

Onion - 1 large - finely chopped

Ghee - 1 tsp

Salt - to taste

Sugar - a pinch

Turmeric powder -  1 tsp + a pinch

Green chillies - 4-5 - slit at the top

Water - 3 cups

Mint leaves and green chillies - for garnish


Wash the rice well, mix in 1 tsp of turmeric, drain well and let it dry on a flat surface.

Now we need to prepare a broth in which we cook the rice.
In a pressure cooker , add the chicken pieces, ginger-garlic paste, mace,nutmeg,fennel,cardamom,cloves, cinnamon, salt and 3 cups water. Put the cooker on heat and let it get a couple of whistles.
Remove from heat take out the chicken pieces,strain and keep the broth aside.

In a bowl take the par boiled chicken pieces and smear with a little turmeric and keep aside.

Heat the ghee in a non stick pan or kadahi. Ensure its non stick and deep bottomed so that the rice cooks well.

Add the chicken pieces and sauté till they turn light brown in colour. Remove from pan and keep aside.

In the same pan, add the bay leaves and the finely chopped onions. Fry till they turn golden brown. Keep the heat low or else the onions burn. Now add the washed and dried rice. Fry the rice for 5-7 mins or till it starts to leave oil on the sides. Now place the sautéed chicken pieces on top of the rice and  add 2 1/2 cups of the broth. Give it a good mix, cover the pan tightly and let it cook. Keep the flame low.

The rice doesn't take too long to cook so keep a watch.It would take around 10 mins for the water to dry up. Remove the cover, fluff up the rice with a fork. Add a pinch of sugar, the green chillies, give a gentle mix and put the lid again for 2 mins. Your murgh pulao will be ready to serve by now.

  • Short grain rice is preferred but basmati rice can be used too.
  • The left over broth - if any can be used for cooking curries and gravys and lends a great flavour.
  • Be cautious while cooking the rice. Don't open the lid often as that could make the pulao soggy. always keep the flame low.
  • You could also add cashews and raisins at the last stage to add to the richness of the dish.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Aloo Ka Achaar - Nepali Style Potato Salad

The thing with having foodie friends is that you are constantly learning new things from them too. My one such very dear friend A is my partner in crime when it comes to food. We do lunches and dinners to satiate our souls every now and then! She is from Nepal and she treats us to these Nepali delights often. I wouldn't be exaggerating, if I say that she make the best momos I've ever had, so much so that now I never want to eat momos outside! Nepali cuisine is extremely under rated I would say and there is definitely more to momos. One such delightful dish is this Aloo ko Achaar - Nepali Style Potato Salad that A makes and we all love . She was very kind to part with the recipe and I did not lose much time preparing it in my kitchen. It is a delightful salad made with potatoes, red onions, garlic and sesame seeds. And what makes it so different is the tempering with mustard oil . Serve it as a starter with your drinks or as a side dish to your meal - you are going to love it anyway!


Potato - 2 large sized - par boiled - thinly sliced

Onion - 1 large - thinly sliced

Garlic paste - 1 tsp

Sesame seeds - 1 tbsp - dry roasted and grounded into a powder

Green chillies - 2 - finely chopped - use more or less as per taste

Lemon juice - 1 tbsp

Salt - to taste

Turmeric powder - a pinch

Chilli powder - 1 tsp

Mustard oil - 1 tbsp

Fenugreek/methi  seeds - a few

Spring onion - finely chopped- for garnish


In a bowl mix together the thinly sliced potatoes, onions, green chillies, turmeric powder, chilli powder , salt, sesame seed powder and the lime juice. Give it a good gentle mix.
Check if its well seasoned. Feel free to add more lime juice as per your taste.

In a small pan heat the mustard oil and splutter the fenugreek/methi seeds. Temper the salad with this. Give it a mix. Garnish with chopped spring onion and some toasted sesame seeds.

This is best served at room temperature. A tells me that another variation would be to add dried fish or shrimps to enhance the taste. Sometimes even diced cucumber is also added to it. The options are many and in any which way this is one yummy dish that can be prerpared in a jiffy.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Banana Oats Mini Bundt Cakes - with a chocolate drizzle

When life gives you over ripe bananas, bake a cake! No, seriously, In today's age when each and everything costs a bomb you don't want your hard earned money go down the drain. So  nothing should go waste. And when you see so much poverty around you when even a square meal a day seem a distant dream for so many people, prudence is necessary. I don't  know any other way of using up these odd smelling over ripe bananas, than to turn them into some cakes or muffins. Only the taste of bananas can be over whelming so I like it best to mix it with some chocolate. So here try my recipe of Banana Oats Mini Bundt Cakes - or you can simply make some muffins.


Wheat flour - 1/2 cup

Oats - 1/4th cup - any rolled oats - dry grind into a fine powder

Cocoa powder - 1/2 cup

Eggs - 2 nos

Olive oil - 1 cup

Sugar  - 1 cup

Mashed bananas - 2 nos - the over ripe ones

Vanilla powder/ vanilla essence-  1 tsp

Baking powder - 1 tsp

Chocolate sauce - for drizzling on the cake - optional

Sprinkles - for decoration - optional


Preheat oven to 180 deg. centigrade.

Prepare bundt tins or muffin tins.

Sift together wheat flour, oats, cocoa powder and baking powder. Keep aside

Cream the olive oil and sugar together. Beat well till light and fluffy . Add the vanilla powder/essence and beat further.

Add the eggs , one at a time , beating well after each addition.

Add the mashed bananas and give it a good mix.

Now gently fold in the wheat flour mixture. Add in two batches, mix well after each addition.

Pour mixture into the prepared tins , bake for 25 - 30 mins or till done.

Drizzle some chocolate sauce and decoate with sprinkles before serving.

  • Baking time might vary from oven to oven, so please keep a check.
  • A dollop of vanilla ice cream would go very well with warm cake.


Summer Salad with Lemon Pepper Vinaigrette

In anticipation of those dreadful summer days I am already exploring cool summery recipes. Come summers - well, its already here considering the temperature is already soaring as high as 35 degress we all need to plan our diet to include fresh vegetables, fruits a plenty. Salads will surely be a part of our daily menu. Like this Summer salad made with everyday vegetables with a generous drizzle of Lemon Pepper vinaigrette.

On my recent visit to Bangalore to spend two days with my friend of 15 yrs sans the little boy and the husband I explored few food stores in the city and was spoilt for choices. I was like a little girl in a candy store who didn't know what to buy and what to leave. What first caught my fancy was the variety of peppers - I didn't know of more than 3 kinds and here there were more than 10! There was pink , long and green pepper that I was seeing for the first time. Ideas started flooding my head and I picked up an assortment of 6 kinds of pepper.There were hoards of other stuffs I picked up which would need a dedicated post I suppose. Coming back to my Summer salad with a dressing of lemon pepper vinaigrette using some pretty pink peppers! Those peppers were a revelation..very sweet at the first bite with a woody fiery after kick to  it. I couldn't resist eating those while I prepared the dressing.


Penne pasta - 1 cup - boiled al dente - follow instruction given on the packet

Cucumber - 1 cup - diced

Red bell pepper - half cup - diced

Cherry tomatoes - a handful - halved

Green olives  - a handful - halved

Oilve oil - 1/4th cup

Rice wine vinegar - 1 tsp

Lime juice - 1 tbsp

Pink pepper - 1 tbsp. - crushed

Black pepper - 1 tbsp. - crushed

Coarse sea salt - 1 tbsp. - crushed

Fresh mint leaves - few sprigs - roughly chopped for garnish

Lettuce or any other salad leaves - few leaves for garnish

Grated Parmesan cheese - for garnish - optional


For the vinaigrette:

Mix together the olive oil, rice wine vinegar,lime juice, crushed pepper and salt. Give it a good stir and keep aside.
This dressing can easily be stored for later use .

For assembling the salad:

Line a salad bowl with the salad leaves. Toss together the pasta, diced cucumber, red bell pepper, tomatoes, olives into the salad bowl. Put in a good drizzle of the vinaigrette. Give it a good mix. Throw in the chopped mint leaves and some grated parmesan. Serve chilled.

  • This salad is best served chiiled. You can use whatever freash vegetable that catches your fancy!
  • Instead of pink pepper use normal black pepper and white pepper.
  • Rice wine vinegar can be substituted with apple cider or even normal vinegar.