Saturday, May 5, 2012

A day of experiments in the kitchen

God knows what got into me today. I decided to eat like a pig. Not just an ordinary pig, but an experimental pig. Lunch and dinner, experiments galore :P

For lunch, well, I had this sweet potato lying in the fridge for a really long time. Looking back, I have no clue why I bought it in the first place. But had to finish it off somehow. So I peeled it, cubed it, and put the cubes to simmer and boil with a tadka of chopped onions and cumin. After a good 25 minutes the potato cubes were nice and tender, and with a quick dash of salt and pepper and a generous dollop of yoghurt, I blended the hot mixture into a thick puree and got it back on heat for another couple of minutes. There you have sweet potato soup!! The yoghurt made the soup creamy but it also brought down the sweetness of the potato, so you might want to skip adding it altogether to retain the sweetness of the sweet potato-provided you are fine dealing with a slightly watery version of the soup. The result turned out to be sweet-and-sour, and a really comforting recipe for a lazy albeit hot Saturday afternoon.

But a very heavy lunch it was, so much so that I was feeling lazy to cook even at night! Those sprouts were lying in the kitchen for the last three days and I had planned to cook them tonight, but making them meant making accompanying rotis (for this roti loyalist at least). Honestly, after 5 days and 10 meals of rolling rotis Monday through Friday who wants to do that?! So there goes lazy Sonal hunting into the drawers and shelves looking for substitutes. Laid my hands on a nearly empty box of penne pasta, cooked them al dente in salt water and set them aside. Meanwhile got those sprouts to cook in the microwave for a good 15-20 minutes, and chopped the tomatoes, zucchini, squash, and baby bella mushrooms. Once the sprouts were done, gave the veggies and the sprouts fried along with onions and minced garlic till the mushrooms got tender, and then threw in the pasta. Final touches were given by the Italian seasoning, red peppers, and basil. Don't forget to add salt! And an overdose of parmesan cheese and reduced fat cheddar cheese (or any cheese in grated form you like) is a must, otherwise it can't be called an Italian dish ;-)  Tip: The red peppers were added for making the pasta hot, but they didn't make much of a difference. They could be easily substituted with lemon zest to enhance the taste of the sprouts.

Result: A scrumptious fusion of healthy and filling Indian sprouts (basically moong or matki, but you can substitute it with any sprout you like) and classy Italian, both virtually free of cost. So you feel happy about having eaten a different cuisine, and yet don't feel guilty about skipping on your desi meal, AND don't spend a penny on the restaurant or the waiter's tip! :P :D

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