Thursday, December 31, 2020

Garlicky Christmas Fettucine #Food'nFlix

Fettucine alfredo is one of the topmost favorites of my kids. It is simple, creamy, and divine. I made the same with a simple twist for a reason. This post is for Food'nFlix, where we watch a film picked for the month and make something inspired out of the movie. This month's movie is "The Holiday". Debra of Eliot'seats is hosting this event for the month. Thanks, Debra! It is good romantic movie. There are food and drink moments in the movie which makes it perfect for the holiday season. What is a holiday without food, drink, and movies? It revolves around two women, Amanda and Iris, who swap their homes for the holidays just to get out of their partners out of their mind with whom they broke up. But they also find better partners. 

There are quite a few food that appears in the movie, and of course lots of booze too. Amanda, parks her car and says that she needs a drink. She drinks wine straight from the bottle in the supermarket, and also buys bread, cheese, cookies, olives, and nuts too. Iris gives a ride to Arthur and in his home, his lunch is there on the table - a sandwich, salad, soup, and iced tea. Also Iris hosts a Hanukkah party in Amanda's home. There are many food out there which I can't say clearly, but Miles complements her for the brisket and chocolate covered macaroons. When Miles was sad that his girl friend was cheating on him, Iris tried to cheer him up by saying that she would make Christmas fettucine. Coincidentally, Amanda was having a bowl of fettucine in Rosehill Cottage. Miles says that Iris hasn't finished her spicy tuna in a sushi bar. Iris and Miles drink tea when he plays Piano. There are scenes where they drink - Iris's office party, Amanda and Graham after they met, pub scene, Iris's party, and New Year eve party and Iris's home. Also, Graham makes hot cocoa for his girls with five marshmallows on each, and Amanda has a milk moustache after having hers, the girls giggling. That's one happy scene which was apt for the winter and holiday season that prompted me to share the Peppermint Hot Chocolate Bombs earlier.

The name fettucine clearly rings a bell as it is one that can bring comfort when you are sad. I don't know how to say, it is a simple dish, yet it can elevate the mood, brings calmness and comfort. As I said it's my kids favorite too. They love to order this when we go out. The name "Christmas" fettucine was fun to hear. So I added some sautéed red and green bell peppers, broccoli with garlic. The veggies represent the red and green colors of Christmas on a snowy white creamy garlicky alfredo sauce. 


Fettucine - 8 oz

For the sauce:

Whole milk - 1/2 cup

Heavy cream - 1/2 cup

Butter - 1 tbsp

Garlic - 1 tbsp

Flour - 1 tbsp

Salt and pepper for seasoning

Parsley - 3/4 tsp, dried

Parmesan cheese - 1/2 cup

For veggies

Broccoli - 3 cups

Red and green bell peppers - 3 cups

Butter - 1 tbsp

Garlic - 1 tsp, chopped fine

Salt - 1/4 tsp

Pepper - 1/4 tsp

Chili flakes - 1/2 tsp


Heat a tbsp of butter. Add the peppers and broccoli. Sauté till tender crisp. Add the salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Sauté for a couple minutes and set aside.

Cook pasta according to package instructions and set aside. In another pan, heat the butter. Sauté garlic for a minute. Add the flour and coat nicely. Add the milk and stir thoroughly so as no lumps are formed. Add the cream, season with a little salt and pepper. Simmer for 3-5 minutes. Stir in the parmesan. Switch off the flame. Add the cooked fettucine and coat with sauce. Sprinkle parsley.

Scoop the noodles into a bowl, top with the veggies. Sprinkle with parsley,chili flakes, and parmesan if preferred. Serve.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Eggless Gulab Jamun Cheesecake

Gulab Jamun is a milk-based Indian dessert that is soaked in sugar syrup with a hint of rose. Khoya or milk solids are kneaded into a soft dough with a little flour, deep-fried, and soaked in syrup. They are addictive and are made for many festivals, get-togethers, parties, and birthdays too! We make it often. There is no need for a reason to make this dessert. If you haven't tried this, you are missing something. One try, and for sure you will be addicted to it for lifelong. These can be easily modified and many variants of the original can be made which are equally tasty too. 

Cheesecake is always creamy, decadent and it is absolute bliss. There is no stress when you enjoy it. The creaminess of the cream cheese along with a little tart sour cream perfectly balances the sweet gulab jamun making it even more enjoyable. The flavors dance in your mouth to all your tunes.  

We love both gulab jamun and cheesecake. They are great candidates for fusion cooking. They go very well with creamy desserts and hence offer a chance to make a plethora of fusion desserts. Both gulab jamun and cheesecake are make-ahead desserts. So combining both is quite easy. This fusion is going to satisfy all the flavors that you ever dreamed of. 

I love this recipe. Over the years, slowly I had reduced the sugar and butter too. This has the perfect balance of sweetness too. The gulab jamun is sweet too and wanted to have the right balance of sugar in the cheesecake. I used a 200g gulab jamun mix for this cheesecake. A couple of things to keep in mind when baking cheesecake - baking in a water bath, and leaving it to cool inside the oven for some time followed by cooling outside. Then it should be refrigerated for at least 4 hours before serving. The center should be a little jiggly when it finishes baking. It will firm up when it completes the cooling inside. 

I just can't believe that it is almost the end of Bake-A-Thon this year. We have been posting for 4 weeks and this is the last post in this series. Totally fun to bake delicious food and share with everyone. And quite enjoyed reading through fellow bloggers' posts too. 

Here is the list of my recipes posted for Bake-A-Thon 2020. 

Day 13 Gulab Jamun Cheesecake (this page!)


Makes one 9-in cheesecake


Graham cracker crumbs - 1 and 3/4 cups

Butter - 6 to 8 tbsp


Cream cheese - 24 oz, 3 8-0z packages, room temperature

Sour cream - 1/2 cup

Heavy whipping cream - 1/2 cup

Sugar - 1/2 cup

Condensed milk - 2/3 of a 14-oz can

Corn starch - 3 tbsp

Water - 3 tbsp

Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp

Saffron - 2 generous pinches

Gulab Jamun - 40 -42


Cover the outside of the springform pan with aluminum foil. This is to prevent water from seeping inside the cheesecake pan when it bakes in a hot water bath. Line the inside with a circle of parchment paper. Also line the inner edges with parchment paper. This helps in the easy release from the sides. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. For the crust layer, mix the graham crackers crumbs and melted butter. Add to the lined springform pan. Press down with a flat glass to set a uniform crust layer. I like to have some crust on the side edges too, as they give a border to the gulab jamun that would be arranged later. This crust can be left as a flat layer too. 

Whip the heavy cream to and set aside. In a bowl, add the cream cheese and sugar, and beat well. Add in the condensed milk, sour cream and beat well. Mix corn flour and water. Add it to the cream cheese mix. Add crushed saffron and cardamom. Mix thoroughly. Fold in the whipped cream.

Arrange about 36 gulab jamuns on the crust. Pour the cream cheese mixture on it. Tap a couple of times. Carefully, place this on a tray and pour hot water to half the height of the pan. 

Bake in the oven for 40 minutes. Switch off the oven and let it cool inside for another 30-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely. Remove the foil wraps and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Slowly release the springform pan lock, remove the pan, and also remove the parchment from the sides. 

Add a few more chopped, or sliced gulab jamuns, a few whipped cream swirls which are optional. The gulab jamun cheesecake can be served without the additional decorations on top too.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Monday, December 28, 2020

Pearl Millet Banana Muffins #MuffinMonday

These pearl millet banana muffins and absolutely delicious with all the benefits from millets. Millets have a nutritional palette that is different from other grains. Regular intake of these millets helps in being healthy and balanced weight. Pearl millet aka Kambu (in Tamil)or Bajra (in Hindi) are included in the diet commonly and flatbreads made of these are very prevalent in Indian cuisine. We substitute this for rice. To make it even more fun for kids I make muffins more often with millets and they vanish very quickly. I try to include bananas in millet muffins as they supply the necessary potassium for our body, as a substitute for eggs, and finally, in this form, my daughter would accept bananas without an unhappy face (she doesn't like bananas):-) This is a tasty and healthy breakfast option.

This is my recipe for #MuffinMonday hosted by Stacy. This is my first recipe in the group. I am very happy to be a part of this group and it is great reading each and every blog. Absolutely fun!

Muffin Monday

#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all of our lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday can be found on our home page.

I am posting this for Srivalli's Bake-A-Thon 2020. We share recipes for baked food 3 days a week - Monday, Wednesday, Friday - all through the month.


Makes 12 regular sized muffins

Banana - 1 cup, mashed
Salt - 1/4tsp
All-purpose flour - 3/4 cup
Pearl millet flour - 3/4 cup
Brown sugar - 3/4 cup ( packed)
Oil - 1/4 cup
Vanilla - 1tsp
Baking powder - 2 tsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Walnut -4 tbsp ( optional)
Flaxseed - 2 tbsp
Milk - 1/4 cup


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add milk to flax seed and let it gel. Whisk the bananas, brown sugar, vanilla, flaxed egg, and oil. Mix the all-purpose flour, pearl millet flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 

Add the banana mixture to the flour, and mix quickly. Fold in the nuts if using. Line a regular muffin tin. Distribute equally into the muffin tins making sure to pour only to 3/4 the level. 

Bake for 18 minutes. Cool. Serve.

Here is a link to the muffin recipes shared for December 2020.


If you are making mini muffins, adjust the baking time. Make sure the toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Any type of millet flour can be used. I have used finger millet, barnyard, and foxtail millet too in this recipe and it works great.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Stuffed Mini Peppers - Taco style #OurFamilyTable

These stuffed mini peppers are filled with veggies, cheese, and beans - taco-style finger foods that would want you to take a couple more. These are non-messy, individually portioned just like any finger food, when you want to move around and eat. They are the most yummiest according to me. Sometimes, when you are in a hurry, we need quick fixes for some healthy snack, or for a party. Who wouldn't like a taco? They help in having a casual atmosphere when you have a gathering as it has the best filling.  Also, when you want to check on the calories, you might want to serve finger food rich in fiber and low in carbs and fats. Plus this can be made ahead. Just right before serving, pop it in the oven, and bake till the cheese melts. Canned beans can be used too. The stuffed mini peppers fall in all these categories, what else could one ask for?  These are the perfect ones for the New Year or any party!

This is one of my favorite finger food and when Christie announced the theme "Favorite Finger Food", I decided to post this. I like the mini peppers stuffed with cheese filling too. But this is more filling and sometimes make it for snack style lunch or dinner. We share Recipes From Our Dinner Table! Join our group and share your recipes, too! While you're at it, follow our Pinterest board, too!


Mini sweet peppers - 12-14
Black beans - 1 cup, cooked
Carrots - 1/3 cup
Peas - 1/4 cup
Corn - 1/2 cup
Onion - 1/4 cup, diced
Garlic - 1 tsp, finely chopped
Paneer - 1/2 cup, shredded
Cheddar cheese - 1 and 1/4 cup, shredded
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Cayenne - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Ground Pepper - 1/4 tsp
Oregano - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp


Heat oil in a pan, add the cumin. When it sizzles add the onion, garlic, carrot, and saute for 4-5 minutes, till they are tender. Add the tomatoes, peas, and corn, saute for 3-5 minutes till they are cooked. Add the black beans, grated paneer, salt, pepper, cayenne, cumin powder, and oregano. Continue to saute for 2-3 minutes. Switch off the flame and let it cool. Once cooled, add cilantro and 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Mix thoroughly and keep aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Wash and dry the peppers. Slit each pepper lengthwise into two. Stuff about tbsp of the veggie-bean-cheese mix into each pepper piece. Arrange in a baking sheet. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese on top of all the peppers.

Bake for about 10 minutes, until the cheese melts. Remove from the oven, cool, and serve.

Here are the links to "Favorite Finger Foods". Thanks, Christie, Ellen, and OurFamilyTable Group! 

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Paneer, Masoor Dal, and Veggie Lasagna - Paneer and Lentil Lasagna - Desi Style

Food brings everyone together. Be it any cuisine. Food helps in building memories by bringing everyone together. Sometimes, fusion of cuisines is fun. The marriage two different cuisines resulting in mouthwatering flavors is a must experience. No wonder they slowly become the ones that comes to the table often.  We experiment very often with different cuisines and one such dish that is often loved is lasagna. I remember exactly making masoor dal lasagna 14 years back for the first time, and from then on, more and more variations in flavors are often made and enjoyed in our home. Trust me and try this ones, and you will understand why you would want to make it more often.

The only change I made in my original masoor dal lasagna is the addition of more paneer.  I added more paneer as we are paneer lovers and kids want more of it. Also, I have used fresh paneer, grated paneer, and cottage cheese (small curd, Daisy brand). Fresh paneer is very much similar to ricotta cheese and hence adding it would result in a great tasty lasagna. These three types of paneer go in the cheese spread between layers and the veggies have chunks of paneer making it a "paneerilicious" lasagna. I know - it is addictive. And, the addition makes it very perfect for me to post for the Paneer Recipes event in Blogging Marathon #119 hosted by Srivalli. I have used gluten free corn and rice oven ready lasagna sheets. Oven ready ones need not be cooked prior to baking. Feel free to use any type of sheets, if needed cook them according to the directions and further continue. I have used less of tomato sauce, just to keep tha dal flavor more pronounced. When it was baking, the entire home was filled with the masoor dal makhni, paneer, veggies, and cheese. It is similar to eating cheesy lasagna but desi style, with dal, curry and panner. As I said, paneerilicious comfort food. You get the same comfort just like when you have a bowl of rice and dal. 



Masoor dal makhni -  3 cups
Lasagna sheets - 8, (6X3-in size)
Cilantro - 2 tbsp
Mozzarella cheese -1/2 cup


Potato - 1 cup
Carrots - 1/2 cup
Bell peppers -1 cup
Peas - 1 cup
Salt - 1.2 tsp
Paneer - 1 cup, small dices
Turmeric - 1/8 tsp
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Cilantro - 2 tbsp
Oil - 1 tbsp

Cheese mix:

Fresh paneer - 1/2 cup
grated paneer - 1 cup
Cottage cheese, small curd - 1 cup
Mozzarella cheese - 1cup
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Chilli powder - 1/4 tsp
Cilantro - 2 tbsp

Tomato sauce

Tomatoes - 2.5 cups
Salt - 1/3 tsp
Chilli powder - 1/4 tsp
Ginger - 1/2 tsp finely chopped
Garlic - 1/2 tsp, finely chopped
Oil - 1tsp


Heat oil in a pan, add the tomatoes, ginger, garlic and cook till it is cooked. Add salt, chilli powder and continue cooking it is reduced to 1/2 cup. Keep aside.

In a bowl, add the fresh paneer, grated paneer, cottage cheese, mozzarella, salt, chilli powder, and cilantro. Mix well and keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan, add the onion, carrots and potatoes, and cook till they are 3/4th cooked. Add the bell peppers, peas, and continue to sauté for another 3-4 minutes. Add the chopped paneer, salt, turmeric, and chili powder. Mix thoroughly and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add cilantro and keep aside.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In a 11X9 baking dish, add a tbsp of each tomato sauce and dal and spread. Keep 3 lasagna sheets. Spread a cup of masoor dal makhni. Divide the cheese and veggies into three, and add one portion and spread evenly. Repeat these three layers again. For the final layering, after adding the lasagna sheets, add the remaining tomato sauce and spread. Add the remaining dal, veggies, and cheese as layers. Add 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese on top. Cover with a foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 13-15  minutes. 

Remove from the oven. Cool for 15 minutes. 

Serve warm.