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!