Friday, September 20, 2013

Gnocchi in Vodka Cream Sauce

As part of Daring Cooks group for the onth of september we were challenged to prepare potato gnocchi in a sauce of our choice. I made gnocchi in vodka cream sauce for this challenge.

Todd,who is the Daring Kitchen's AWESOME webmaster and an amazing cook,is ur September Daring Cook's host! Todd challenged us to make light and and fluffy potato Gnocchi and encouraged us to flavor the lil pillows of godness and go wild with a sauce to top them with

My inspiration for this dish was penne in vodka cream sauce I had at spaghetti kitchen couple of moths ago. It was their in house speciality and I just fell in love with that sauce. I had to recreate it and daring cooks gave me the perfect challenge for that!
It was my first time preparing gnocchi and they turned out to be so soft and pillowy, perfectly complementing the creaminess of the sauce.


For the gnocchi

3 medium sized potatoes (approx. 300 grams)
1/2 to 3/4 cup refined flour
salt to taste

For the vodka cream sauce

1 spoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion,chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 cup vodka
200 gram tomato purée (1 small pack)
1/2 cup cream
2 tablespoon parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
salt and pepper to taste

How to make Gnocchi

  • Boil potatoes till cooked.Peel and grate them.
  • Add 1/2 cup flour and salt to taste.Keep adding more flour in small batches till the dough does not stick to your hands.Knead well and keep aside for 10-15 minutes.

  • divide dough into 4 portion. Roll out each portion into 1/2 inch thick rope. Cut small one inch long pieces from it. 

  • Boil water in a large pan,add salt. When water starts boiling lower the heat to medium and drop 7 to 8 gnocchi in it at a time. Gnocchi will first sink at bottom and then rise to top in about 1-2 minutes. 

  • Take them out with a slotted spoon and keep aside on greased surface as we prepare sauce.

How to make Vodka Cream sauce

  • Finely chop onion,mince garlic and keep aside. Also grate parmesan cheese.


  • In a pan heat olive oil and butter together,add chopped onion and garlic to it.Cook on slow flame for 3-5 minutes till onion softens. Do not brown the onion.

  • Take pan off the flame and add vodka to it.Put pan on heat again and reduce vodka to about half of its volume.

  • Add tomato purée,1 cup water,chilli flakes,salt and pepper to taste. Bring the mixture to boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

  • Keeping flame low, add cream, parmesan cheese and sugar to sauce. Toss prepared gnocchi in sauce and switch flame.

  • Serve hot garnished with shredded basil leaves.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Healthy Banana Bread

This recipe has been on my to do list for ages but I never got around to making it.This weekend when I had many over ripe bananas lying around with me and didn't know what to do with them I remembered about this recipe then. I have made a few modifications in the original recipe and the result was amazing. It gave me deliciously soft and moist banana bread.The addition of walnuts and chocolate chunks complements the fruity flavor of the bread. This is a perfect recipe for kids, it has loads of fruits hidden in it, made of whole wheat flour with minimal of fat. I also added ground flaxseed powder to it to increase it nutritional value. So it is a power packed treat for kids and adults alike any time of the day. I loved having it with my evening tea.


1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup Refined Flour
1/2 cup Sugar, powdered
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 pinch salt
4 small very ripe bananas or 3 large ones
2 apples, medium sized
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
4 tablespoon butter,melted
2 teaspoons flax seed powder(optional)
1/4 cup chopped walnut(optional)
1/4 cups dark chocolate chips( optional)

How to make Healthy Banana Bread

  • Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius. Grease and lightly flour a loaf tin and keep it aside.
  • Peel and core apples. Roughly chop the apples, put them in a microwave safe bowl with 1/2 cup water and microwave on high for 4 minutes till apples are completely soft. Purée them using a hand blender or mixer.

  • Mix the first six dry ingredients together in a bowl.
  • In the another bowl add bananas and  purée using the hand blender. Add apple purée, vanilla extract,flax seed powder and melted butter to it.Mix well.
  • Mix the dry ingredients to the banana mixture in 3 batches,gently folding as you mix till a smooth batter is obtained.
  • Finally add chopped walnuts and chocolate chips to the batter,keeping aside little amount to sprinkle on top.
  • Pour the batter in prepared loaf tin,smoothen it and sprinkle chopped walnuts and chocolate on top.
  • Bake at 180 degree C for 45 minutes or till toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

Quick Tips

  • If you don't have chocolate chips at hand, roughly chop some dark chocolate and add it to the batter.
  • Make sure to use bananas that are very ripe,as it enhances the flavor of the cake.
  • The addition of walnuts and chocolate chips is optional but highly recommended for the flavors they impart to the cake.
  • Do not over mix the batter after adding flour as it will result in a slightly harder cake.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Zafrani Paneer

Zafrani Paneer  has a fragrant and delicate white gravy with pieces of succulent paneer. Its gravy is versatile and can be used for navratan korma (by adding cooked vegetables of your choice) or for making malai koftas(add paneer koftas).The rich white gravy fragrant with cardamom and saffron goes well with all kinds of bread. I like it best with butter naan or roomali roti.


500 gm Paneer/ Cottage Cheese
100 gm or 1 cup Cashew nuts/ Kaju
1 & 1/2 Cup Khoya/ Reduced milk
1" piece of  ginger,roughly chopped
5 small green chillies(stalks removed)
5 green cardamoms/ Elaichi
2 medium sized onions,chopped
100 ml cream
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
Salt, to taste
2 tablespoon Ghee/ Clarified butter

For Garnishing
3-4 saffron strands,soaked in 1 teaspoon of water
4 almonds,slivered
1 sheet Silver leaf/Varq

How to make Zafrani Paneer 

  • Grind to a smooth paste Cashewnuts,Khoya,ginger, green chillies and 2 cardamoms using little water as required

  • Slice paneer into 1" thick cubes.I have cut paneer into small star shapes using a cookie cutter.
  • Finely dice onion.
  • Heat ghee in a pan,crackle cloves and remaining cardamoms
  • Add chopped onions and saute on medium heat till onions become translucent.Do not brown the onions as it will change the color of the gravy
  • Add cashew-khoya paste and cook stirring continuously so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan
  • Add white pepper powder and salt to taste 
  • Add milk and paneer pieces and cook till one boil

  • Turn of the gas,add cream,sugar and mix well
  • Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with drops of saffron water,slivered almonds and varq.

Quick Tips

  • Do not cook gravy for long after adding paneer as it will turn paneer hard and chewy
  • You can decrease the amount of green chillies to your liking if you don not like your dish spicy
  • Do not skip on cardamom as it imparts the lovely fragrance to the dish.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Quick & Easy Donuts

I can have donuts any time of the day, seven days a week.This recipe of donuts is a super quick & easy which can serve hot donuts on table in flat 15 minutes.The ingredients listed are readily available in home and it just took me few minutes to whip them and they were gobbled down by my son even faster.It took me more time to write this recipe than making them.The end result was fluffiest and just melt in the mouth donuts.


1 1/4 Cup Refined Flour/ Maida
2 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk
3/4 teaspoon vinegar
1/4 cup sugar, powdered
3 tablespoon melted butter
Refined Oil,for frying
1/4 cup sugar(powdered) for dusting

How to make Donuts

  • Preheat refined oil in a deep pan to a medium temperature or 180 degree celsius.
  • In a bowl mix refined flour,baking powder and salt
  • In another bowl, mix sugar, melted butter, milk and vinegar.

  • Add all the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients while gently mixing with a fork.Mix just enough so that all the ingredients are just mixed

  • Make small lemon sized balls gently by hands.Do not overwork and press.

  • Fry 3-4 of these balls at a time over medium heat till they turn golden brown in color

  • Take out fried donuts on a plate lined with paper towel to absorb excess oil.

  • Dust with powdered sugar generously or roll in cinnamon sugar as desired

Quick Tips

  • Do not fry these donuts at very high heat else the centre will remain uncooked.If fried on very low temperature,they will absorb excess oil.
  • Do not over mix the dough of donuts, else they will become heavy.
  • For cinnamon sugar: To 1/4 cup castor sugar add  tablespoon cinnamon powder.Roll donuts in this mix while still warm.
  • You can also will these donuts with any filling of your choice like nutella, jam,whipped cream etc. Place the filling in piping bag with long nozzle. Insert the nozzle into donuts and press in the filling.