A bold and beautiful Pomegranate Beet Pasta Sauce 

A sauce should be well… saucy. A sauce without character is like a burlesque dancer without sex appeal.

Keeping that in my mind you could do variations on staples. But remember, while tomato , herb and cheese based sauces are classics for a reason, venturing into the new is what adventure is about. So get bold with us by trying this pomegranate beet sauce. It’s sweet, it’s spicy, it’s tart and an all-round sweetheart. It’s toddler approved making it the perfect vehicle to get some nutrition in while building a plate pretty enough to land a prince.

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To make this pasta for four, 

You will need:

Half a large pomegranate 

Quarter a big beet or half a small

One cup pasta

A handful of chopped onions

A pod of garlic

Two tablespoons of tomato purée

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt

Pepper

A tablespoon of white vinegar 

Method of preparation:

I cooked a cup of pasta. I mixed rotini and penne in an effort to finish up my reserves.

Then I puréed a pod of garlic and half a large pomegranate. I did not strain this mixture if you dislike the texture of minute bits of seeds, you could. I personally think it adds crunch. Then I puréed quarter a large beet and mixed the two sauces. 

I coated a saucepan with a thin layer of olive oil. Turned on medium heat and added in a handful of chopped onions. Once they turned a bit translucent, I added in the pomegranate-garlic-beet mix. I seasoned it with salt, pepper, a tablespoon of white vinegar, and a handful of cheddar cheese. I also added two tablespoons of tomato purée. Once the desired consistency was reached, I added in the pasta, gave it a quick stir and turned off the flame.

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Indulge your madness with this everything-goes chickpea salad

As the temperature drops, quick one-pot / one-dish dishes come to the rescue. And of course since grocery shopping becomes such a production in winter, it’s best to resort to pantry-led cooking and to go easy on letting recipes take the lead.

A warm chickpea salad lends itself to that kind of flexibility and acts as the perfect canvas for the lone carrot or the few leaves of Swiss chard left over in your fridge.


For this amazing salad, you need cooked chickpeas. Of course soaking dried chickpeas overnight and cooking them is the best way but canned chickpeas are just fine. I usually soak and cook a large batch of chickpeas and divide them into ziplocks and freeze them so I can use them at short notice.

You also need cooked potatoes or sweet potatoes. Then, just open up your fridge and pull out whatever veggies you like — carrots, beans, greens, asparagus, mushrooms… whatever you like – indulge your madness.

Place a skillet or wok on the on the stovetop. Turn it on medium heat. Pour in a bit on oil, preferably olive oil. Add in your veggies and stir till you reach the desired done-ness. Then add in the potatoes, salt, pepper and lime. Add in the chickpeas. Once it’s warm enough, add in chopped greens and herbs. Green onions are welcome too, always! Give it a minute and transfer to a bowl, add in chopped tomatoes or not depending on your preference. Sliced pink radishes or cucumbers should work brilliantly too. Add a bit of light sour cream, Greek yogurt or lite mayo for the extra comfort factor. You need to add enough dairy to just quote the chickpeas. Taste and adjust for seasoning.

Bon appetite!

mango sesame chutney

By Shalini Kolluri 

This is a classic South Indian traditional recipe that goes perfectly well when eaten with rice crepes (dosas) or steamed rice. Although, I would’nt say no if you tried it with crackers or nachos! The tarty sweetness of a raw mango combined with the spiciness of red chilies makes this chutney my absolute favorite.

The taste of this dish heavily depends on seasoning. While sesame seeds add that nutty taste and enhance the aroma, the crushed mustard powder adds an unmistakable south Indian taste to this chutney.

Raw mangoes are versatile and are widely used in Indian cuisines. From pickles to lentil soups, they make an appearance in many forms. I will post many more raw mango recipes in the days to come. Hope you enjoy this recipe!

 

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Ingredients :-

 

1 raw mango peeled and grated (approx 1 heaped cup) -Slightly sweet and sour mangoes work best.

a pinch of turmeric powder (optional)

1/2 cups sesame seeds( dry roast on low flame for 6-7 min and crush into a coarse powder

1/2 teaspoon of crushed mustard seeds

Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 tsp, dry roast till red and crushed to a fine powder ( available at Indian stores)

Salt to taste

1 teaspoon red chili powder (optional)

Canola oil -3 tablespoon or mustard oil -3 tablespoons

1/4 teaspoonMustard seeds

1/4 teaspoon Cumin seeds

3 to 4 Dry red chilies tear and de-seed

Curry leaves -a few leaves (optional)

Method:-

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed skillet. Once hot, add the mustard seeds and allow them to splutter. Add the cumin seeds, red chilies, and curry leaves.

Immediately, add the grated mango and turmeric powder and mix. Cook on medium flame for 7-8 mins without a lid or till oil separates.

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Add the sesame seeds powder and mix and continue to cook on low flame for a min. Add the mustard seeds powder, fenugreek powder, chili powder and salt, mix well and turn off the heat.

 

Remove to a serving bowl and serve with steamed rice. Enjoy!