Steak of luck

Cottage cheese ‘steak’ with red bell pepper and green olive sauce

Vegetarian main course dishes that go beyond plated carbs, impress me a lot. While most Indian and international cuisines have an exhaustive array of appetizers, salads and soups that can be made using vegetables only, when it comes to mains, the options are often restricting. If you don’t believe me, thumb through any restaurant menu and you will see how your choices will be restricted to pasta, rice and potato-based dishes.

As a vegetarian cook, I admire roasts. Roasts are wholesome and fit perfectly into my idea of main course meals. I miss having an easy main course-friendly ingredient that can be roasted into a glorious brown, be dressed in a glimmering sauce and served just like that.

My answer to a non-vegetarian roasts, is this cottage cheese ‘steak’.  Continue reading

On a sour note

Lemon and cream spaghetti with basil and chilli chutney

When I first heard about spaghetti al limone, I couldn’t bring the two flavours together in my head.  Since I usually like my pasta mild and easy, this combination got me cooking.

The role of bringing an edge to a pasta dish is mostly played by an herb or a sharp cheese, but using lemons provided a refreshing change.

To keep the dish from going hideously citrusy, I cut the flavours with a sweet and hot, basil-chilli chutney.

Lazy cooks, the sauce is almost no-cook, so it is perfect to stock in jars. Continue reading

Dumpling ground

Water chestnut, shitake and edamame dimsums with honey, garlic and chilli sauce

I’m not big on Asian food, but when I crave for certain textures and flavours, I happily give in. I believe that no cuisine does justice to the energy of lemon grass, the denseness of tofu, the woodiness of bamboo shoots and the peculiar bite of bean curd, like Asian.

One such ingredient that blends extremely well with Asian fare is water chestnut. Personally, I always end up popping them one by one, as if they were popcorn or something. The burst of sweet juice is so addictive.

Today, I stir fried them with two ingredients that I absolutely adore for their texture – edamame beans and shitake mushrooms. I stuffed them in dim sum wrappers and served it with a hot and sweet sauce.  Continue reading