Simple cheesy vegetarian spaghetti


500 gm spaghetti
100-150 gm paneer or cottage cheese.
5 big tomatoes pureed
1 big capsicum chopped
4-5 garlic chopped
2-3 tsp.chilli flakes
Mozzarella is best,but you could use Parmesan or any cheese of your choice
100-150 gm(or more if you like).
1 cup spaghetti boiled water.(reserve after you boil and drain the spaghetti)
Basil or parsley leaves 1 cup.
10 olives
1/2 tsp.onion powder(optional)
Salt
1/4 cup milk
Olive oil 2-3 tblsp.

Boil about a litre of water with salt in it.Once it reaches the boil,add the spaghetti. Cook till done.Drain the water (reserve a cup of drained water).Whilst this is done.Heat olive oil in a wide pan add the garlic,saute for a minute.Add in the tomato puree with a little salt,chilli flakes and cook on a slow fire for 8-10 minutes.Next add the chopped basil leaves capsicum,cottage cheese,onion powder, olives. Cook for a further 7 minutes.Remove from fire and set aside.In a another pan mix half of the cheese with the spaghetti water,and milk.and cook till the cheese is blended into the water.Now mix the spaghetti, tomato mixture and cheese mixture and cook for a further10 minutes on medium heat. Add remaining cheese, cook for a minute and serve.
Option-you could bake this too.Once you mix all the ingredients. Put all into a baking dish.Spread the remaining cheese on top. Bake in a moderate oven for 10 minutes or till you see the cheese melted on top.Serve hot.

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Thuthuvalai chutney(purple fruited pea eggplant)


Botanical name of the purple fruited pea eggplant is Solanum trilobatum which is called as Thuthuvalai in Tamil Language.

Rainy days and winter always make us widen our health eye to improve the immunity system,to keep away from colds coughs and respiratory diseases. This particular herb is considered to be the elixir of life when you look into the benefits nature god offers.
The medicinal benefits of Thuthuvalai are:

1. Very good for curing Asthma, Cold, Cough and Flu.
2. Prevents throat infection.
3. Helps to produce blood and increases blood circulation.
4. Thuthuvalai leaves helps to reduce heat and gas related disorders in human body.
So here I have given a few benefit lines of the herb.
The recipe I’m going to give you now is to be served with dosai, iddli, chappathis or even rice.
Ingredients
A handful of leaves(thick thorns removed)
3-4 red chillies
4 pips of garlic
1/4 tsp.pepper corns
1/4 tsp cumminseeds
2 tsp.Coriander seeds
1 onion or 7-8 small onions
Tamarind a small piece
1/8 cup roasted gram dal
A pinch of turmeric
Salt to taste.
1 tsp.Oil.

Heat oil in a flat pan and saute all ingredients except the ingredients listed bold. Saute for 5-7 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients. Grind fine. Add little water if needed.Serve with dosai or iddli,or with vadas.
My suggestions for health oriented people. You could use as a paste to make sandwiches or add to cooked oats.
Looking forward to your comments.

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Caramel Pudding (2 versions)


I’m giving you here two types of caramel basic pudding,one with fresh milk,and the other using condensed milk.You could try the same with thick coconut milk or tinned coconut milk.
With fresh milk
Ingredients
500 ml milk
5 eggs
5-6 tblsp.of sugar
1 tsp.vanilla essence
2 tblsp.custard powder (optional)
a pinch of nutmeg
For the caramel
2 tblsp.white or brown sugar
1-2 tblsp water
One drop lime juice (to avoid crystallisation).
First mix a little milk to the custard powder,and gradually add the rest of the milk.Beat the eggs with the vanilla essence lightly and add to the milk with the nutmeg and set aside.
To caramelise
Use a thick bottomed pan and first add the sugar (low flame). Once u see the color change add the water and heat till you get a nice golden color(take care not to burn)add a drop of lime juice.Remove immediately from fire. You could use the same pan for steaming the pudding or pour the caramel quickly into the pan you like to make,and coat the base with the caramel.Add the milk.(if you like a deeper yellow you could add yellow Coloring).Cover with foil or cling wrap and steam for 30-35 minutes,or untill done.
Allow to cool and turn over carefully and serve.
This can be served warm or cold.
condensed milk version
1 tin condensed milk
7-8 eggs
1/2 cup water to mix  with condensed milk.
This is the only variation in the condensed milk caramel Pudding recipe.The method is the same.No need to add sugar to the milk.Use only the sugar to caramelise.The number of eggs and milk,and no sugar is the only variation.
You could bake this dessert too in ramekins slightly immersed in water in a moderate oven for 20-25 minutes.(no need to cover).Can be served with fresh cream(optional)

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Photo credits:Raffaella fernando photography.

Apricot Almond Orange Muffin


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This combination of apricot,orange and almonds is really awesome. As muffins are easy to make even as beginners it’s worth the try.If you have a food processor it’s just 5 minutes to make the mix.

For the recipe
1/2 cup apricots(dried)
1 orange(seedless)
3/4 cup olive oil /sunflower oil
1+1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
3/4 tblsp.baking powder
1/2 cup almonds
A pinch of salt.
3 eggs.

Chop the apricots,next the almonds and the peeled orange slices,coarsely. Add the test of the ingredients and blend well.Line muffin cups,use  an ice cream scoop to spoon the mix.Bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees)for 30-35 minutes.
If you like to top with any icing you could use cream cheese icing,or cream,or ganache.