Tag Archives: pasta

Soulful Soups

Ah! there is something about soups in this weather that is so comforting. If made with the right ingredients and spices, these can be nourishing as well as healthy too. Nothing like a steaming bowl or mug of soup especially for dinner. In fact, on most days I prefer just that.

Goan, Bokdiacho caldo (mutton soup) made from mutton bones, onion, ginger, garlic, turmeric, coriander leaves and dices of potato, salt and pepper, is my all-time favourite. It is filling and boosts my immunity too. Caldo Verde with potatoes as the base is also a light and flavourful vegetarian soup of Portuguese origin.

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Being from Kolkata, I am used to relishing a spicy Thukpa, a Tibetan soup made with mixed vegetables, mixed meats and noodles  when the mercury dips. There is something for every palate in global cuisines too. Mulligatawny, Tom Kha, Tom Yum, Miso soup, Lobster bisque. My mouth is watering now.

Be imaginative and play around with flavours and textures. Be experimental. And global soups are not your only options. A plethora of soups from our very own Indian cuisine are a delight in this weather. Soups made from dals or lentils, paya soup, tamatar ka shorba or even a murg shorba. The options are endless.

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Don’t forget to add seasonal veggies in your soups wherever possible for that extra health quotient. Pumpkin, potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, work wonders. And yes, the right spices to for additional warmth and immunity.

Cinnamon works wonders, as do ginger and garlic. I love to add these in my soups where ever possible.

If the soup alone is insufficient, pair it with garlic bread, toast or add macaroni to your soups or even red rice, to make it more sumptuous.

There is nothing like a well-made soup, it is soulful and comforting in winter, keeping winter blues at bay.

 

 

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Sunday Fiesta :Of Cartoons & Comics

It is not often that you get to relive your fun-filled childhood days. But I was lucky enough to do so last Sunday. The Cartoon Themed Sunday Brunch at Courtyard by Marriott Mumbai International Airport, Andheri East, presented me with the perfect opportunity.

The festival has already begun, and is being celebrated every Sunday in the form of an extravagant Sunday brunch. It will feature a new superhero/cartoon series theme every two Sundays. Batman, Superman, Harry Potter, Tom & Jerry, Scooby Doo; name your favorite DC Comics or Cartoon Network character and it could be featured at India’s first and only official DC Comics (DC) & Cartoon Network (CN) Brunch.

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There was merriment galore as the place was buzzing with excited kids, having fun with themed cupcakes, pastas, pizzas, and more as well as the entertainment from Flubber Martin, face painting, magic shows, music, contests et al. It was almost a fete.

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The child in me surfaced involuntarily, as I went and enjoyed myself at the various counters as I watched kids whiz past, enjoying themselves.

The chefs at Courtyard by Marriott Mumbai have  toiled relentlessly and researched and created authentic menus in keeping with those characters,  that children love. And there is so much to choose from – Scooby’s snacks or his XXL sandwiches, Dexter’s scientific experiments, Harry Potter’s dinner at Hogwarts or Flintstone’s famous roast, Tom & Jerry’s cheese.

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Says Executive Chef Suresh Thampy, “We didn’t want to limit ourselves to character-shaped food. Hence, we studied every character, superhero and cartoon series to find their likes, dislikes, favorite foods and more. The food served on the festival’s brunch buffet will have this research as its major influence.”

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The food was a vast spread with pastas, burgers, pizza, mains, grills, desserts galore.  The chefs were also preparing dishes a la minute at the live counters which were equally a delight to watch.

The dessert counter with attractive Tom & Jerry themed desserts was enough to get any child hooked. I too unabashedly indulged. My guilty pleasures these.

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Whether or not you have kids, if you are a fan of these comics and the characters and enjoy good food and a lively atmosphere, head to the Mo Mo Cafe one of these Sundays.

I had the time of my life last Sunday.

Here’s the complete schedule:

July 03 & 10, 2016 – Batman

July 17 & 24, 2016 – Ben10

July 31 & August 7, 2016 – Tom & Jerry

August 14 & 21, 2016 – Harry Potter

August 28 & September 4, 2016 – Dexter

September 11 & 18, 2016 – Scooby Doo

September 25 & October 2, 2016 – Superman

October 9 & 16, 2016 – The Flintstones

Creamy Green n Red Pepper Pasta: Recipe

This quick and easy to prepare creamy Green Pepper Pasta can home handy when you are not in the mood for an elaborate meal but want something delicious made in a jiffy. One of my favourites, obviously.

Ingredients:

500 gms tagliatelle

1 Tbsp cooking oil

1 Green pepper

1 red pepper

300 ml parmesan cheese

100 ml double cream

200 ml creme fraiche

2 tbsp butter

salt and pepper

Method:

Boil pasta in water with salt and oil  till al dente.

Rinse with cold water

Dice peppers into cubes. Mix together with cheese, creme fraiche and cream.  sprinkle salt and pepper as per taste.

Place pasta in an oven proof dish.

Sprinkle chopped peppers. Pour over the cheese mixture and bake at 225 degrees C for approx 15 minutes

Remove from oven, let it stand and serve hot.

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Passable Pizza and Past(a) Imperfect

Not another Pizza and pasta joint in Mumbai! That was my first reaction when I heard about Ristorante Prego. And that too Prego. I was a bit confused as Prego is my favourite fun-dining place at the Westin Mumbai Garden City. Yes,  this newly opened Italian eatery serves typical Italian fare, but a lot more than that too.

The decor is bright and chic and the ambience cheerful. Being able to look at the busy street outside, helps. It gives you the feel of being on a High street abroad. After being comfortably seated, we settled for a Virgin Mojito and Iced tea. The soups and salads,  sounded pretty interesting, but we decided to skip those and plunge into our main course. The appetizers section too is quite exhaustive. There is something for every taste-bud.

Our drinks arrived after a long time and the pasta and risotto even later. Papardelle grilled chicken Alfredo Pasta was what my friend tried, while I opted for the Confit chicken Risotto. The pasta was a bit overcooked, while my Risotto was a wee bit too insipid and pasty in texture. We were disappointed. The Prego classics like grilled chicken lasagne and spinach& ricotta cheese cannelloni might have been a better bet. Maybe next time!

Pasta at RISTORANTE PREGO

The menu offers a fairly wide array of thin crust pizzas, both vegetarian and non vegetarian to choose from. Chorizo & marinated rocket leaves & chillies, I thought was quite innovative.  Espresso crème brulee, tiramisu are the popular desserts but failed to entice us.

For those of you, who are bored of pizza and pasta, there are a lot of interesting sandwiches and paninis. A good idea for office- goers in Nariman Point.  What’s more there is something for kids too, in terms of the Kids special menu section.

Prego seemed busy for lunch on a weekday and is apparently open for dinner too. The food is passable, but not spectacular. Robust Italian flavours are clearly missing. It appears to be more of an Italian joint, dishing out quick stuff for people who are not too particular about textures & flavours. And the service could be expedited a bit.

Pasta with yoghurt : Recipe

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Ingredients:

500 gms pasta – small macaroni or spiral

1 kg yoghurt- strained

3 finely chopped onions

1/3 cup butter

Parmesan cheese to sprinkle

salt to taste

Method:

Boil the pasta in salted water and drain. Put yoghurt in a large bowl and add pasta. Saute onions in butter, till brown.  Spread half the pasta on a flat dish and place half the onions on top of it. Cover this with another layer of pasta and the rest of the onions. Sprinkle parmesan cheese. Bake for a few mins till a brown crust forms. Serve hot. Simple and yummy.

 

We like it too : Ci Gusta !

Italian food is always a delight to indulge in and Ci Gusta, the newly opened eatery in Bandra West was certainly buzzing with frenetic activity even on a weekday evening. Everyone was obviously having a good time.

From word go, there was warmth in the pleasant demeanor of the staff. One felt extremely welcome and happy to be there.

The menu is fairly simple, though exhaustive. Pizza, Pasta, sandwiches, salads, breakfast, crepes, waffles, smoothies, frozen yogurts, desserts. There is something for every palate. Affordably priced too.

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We settled for the Iced mocha, which was refreshing but not overly sweet. Quattro Al Polo, the pizza with four varieties of chicken, sounded appealing and sure was. The chicken pieces in different sauces were juicy and succulent. There were several options to choose from including vegetarian ones. The chicken and parmesan risotto came next. That was a wee bit disappointing and did not match upto my expectations. The texture and consistency was not of a typical risotto. The ingredients used are fresh and of excellent quality.

The service was prompt and courteous and Rohan patiently explained the menu to us and also gave great suggestions.

The green apple yoghurt was a treat for the taste buds as was the Parfait full of seasonal fruits and fresh yogurt. The sweet warm burger sounded enticing too, but perhaps next time.

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This is clearly Italian fast food, though authentic. A great place to catch up with friends and family. Lively and cheerful, you can spend hours here. Not fine dining, so no pretense.

Ci Gusta- we like it, it means. We like it too. Errr…make that, love !

Spinach n Pasta Bake: Recipe

 

 

 

Ingredients:

400 gms pasta

1/4 litre milk

2 cloves garlic

100 gms nutmeg

1kg spinach

3 eggs

butter

salt to taste

Method :

Boil the pasta in lightly salted water, until al dente and drain completely. Pre heat oven to 180 degrees and grease a baking dish. Mix spinach with milk and eggs, using a hand mixer ideally, and season with nutmeg and salt.

Place pasta in the greased baking dish and piur spinach mixture over. Stand the dish in a larger one and add boiling water. The water should cover half the dish. Place in the oven and cook for approx 40 mins. slice the nutmeg and garlic cloves. and sprinkle on top of the dish. Place back in the oven for 5 moins or so and remove. serve hot.