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.