Thursday, 26 November 2015

Russian Salad

Russian salad is the most favourite one in our home, even Abi likes it (of course without the veggies). How I learnt this is an interesting story which goes back to some 30 plus years. I have published the story elsewhere in my blog. Those were the days when technology was alien to us. We used to learn from each other  in person (not many were willing least the uniqueness/importance of the person goes) or from some magazines. At times, professionals were called to our ladies meet to take classes. This salad I learnt (rather got the recipe) in one such classes. Its only much later I mastered it. I am sending this to BM#58,under 'salads' theme, week 4 Day 3.To know what else is cooking under this, lets Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#58

  • Mayonnaise: 3 tablespoons (I used homemade mayonnaise)
  • Potato: 1 no
  • carrots: 1 no
  • Peas: 2 tablespoons
  • Apple: 1 small
  • Tinned pineapple slice: 1 no
  • Fresh cream:2 tablespoons
  • Sugar: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Make mayonnaise and keep it in the refrigerator to chill. 
  • Peel, cut and cook all  the vegetables and let them cool. 
  • Now cut the apple (cut it just before mixing to avoid discolouring of the apple)
  • Take the cream in a bowl,add sugar and beat it slowly till it becomes thick (avoid over beating). Pour it into the bowl of mayonnaise and mix well.
  • Now add the vegetables, chopped pineapple, apple to the mayonnaise and mix them well.
  • Serve chilled with french bread or dinner rolls. 

P.S:  The quantity of vegetables and fruits  can be of your choice.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Mixed salad with toasted seeds and a mint dressing

   Last winter, my daughter's senior was to come home for lunch. She informed me at the last moment and I had very little time to prepare an elaborate menu. The good thing was that our kitchen garden was in full bloom at that time. So to add some colour to the table and a slightly filling side, I randomly threw available vegetables together. This was also the time when flaxseed was a new found obsession in our household, given its numerous health benefits. So I used it too. 

   The gentleman really liked the salad and so, even though I didnt pay much attention to details while I was creating the salad, I tried making it again a few times to create a more tasty and healthy snack/dish. The final outcome, which we all relished is the one I am sharing here. Fellow bloggers are putting up some gorgeous dishes on their blogs, all of which can be checked out at the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#58.

  • Cooked Rajma (red beans) : 2 tablespoons
  • Shredded red & white cabbage: 1/4 cup
  • Boiled & julienned beetroot:1/4 cup
  • Chopped cucumber:1/4 cup
  • Grated carrot:1/4 cup
  • Coarsely ground flax seeds: 2 teaspoons
  • Roasted, coarsely ground til / sesame  seeds: 1 teaspoon

  • Til (sesame) oil: 2 teaspoons
  • Lime juice: 1 teaspoon
  • Salt, pepper & oregano to taste
  • mint leaves - 5 to 6 torn by hand
  • Prepare the dressing by whisking the  dressing ingredients together nicely.
  • Put all the vegetables in a large bowl except the beetroot.
  • Pour the dressing over the vegetables. Mix lightly. 
  • Just before serving, add the beetroot, ground flax and til seeds to the vegetables. Give it a good toss.
  • To garnish, you can sprinkle a few whole roasted til seeds on top. 
  • Serve immediately. 

Couldnt resist adding another photo - it was a beautiful sunny winter afternoon here and setting this snack up in our little rose garden for pictures was the highlight of the day:)

Down memory lane : culinary hits and misses

      Russian Salad: the name instantly brings a smile on my face. Even now I laugh at myself for when I think back to my younger days. It was in 1982, still learning to cook. We were in Pune at that time. We used have 'cooking demo' in the ladies club. I attended one such meet where we were taught 'Russian Salad'. With full confidence in myself, armed with  printed paper (no laptop)  recipe and the drive to impress hubby dear, (it was only 3 yrs of marriage) I started making it. One of our very good family friends had dropped in that very day. I was very happy with the idea of showing off my newly acquired culinary skill to him also as he knew me from the time of my marriage and that I didn't know  much about cooking.

     Right at dinner time I told my hubby that I made continental dinner (I wanted to surprise him). Now I can imagine what must have gone through his mind at that time.  As I served the dinner, both men appeared kind of too surprised  to say anything about the food. I thought they were really enjoying it. After dinner, with a cup of coffee in hand as we all sat in the drawing room I anxiously asked them what they thought about my Russian Salad. My hubby reserved his comments for later, but our guest, a true well wisher, hinted politely choosing the words very carefully so as to not hurt me, that it was no where near what one called Russian Salad. I was devastated. But never mind, he said to encourage me, one day I will definitely make the Russian Salad.

     Years went by. In 1986, he happened to visit Delhi and we were also there (beauty of Army life,you keep meeting somewhere or other). Needless to say, we made him stay with us and I had an opportunity to show my improved culinary skills to him again. I once again subjected him to my surprise continental dinner, of course with Russian Salad. Again both men were quiet. But this time I was not at all jittery. And till today he can't stop praising the Russian Salad I made that night! 

     Writing about this has inspired me to share this recipe with everyone. I will do that in my next post.
Golden memories

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Moong Sprout Salad

   After all the creamy and cheesy pastas, this simple yet healthy salad is a good change especially for people in their 50's like me. This particular salad is so tasty that my daughter who's otherwise not into sprouts at all, enjoyed it so much! So I thought of sharing it with all of you. In fact we did not even wait till mealtime to have this salad.  It can be served as evening snack as it is quite filling. I have used it as a filling for canopy with a little less dressing than what I've mentioned here. This salad is my entry to BM#58, week 4 Day 1 under 'salads'. Let's  Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#58 


  • Moong sprout: 1 cup (Indian)
  • Grated carrot: 1 no
  • Deseeded, chopped tomato: 1 no
  • Chopped cucumber: 1 small 
  • Crumbled paneer: 2 tablespoons
  • Olive oil: 2 teaspoon
  • Lime juice:1 teaspoon
  • Salt:to taste
  • Sugar: 1/4 teaspoon
  • Chopped basil leaves: 3 nos
  • Pour just enough water to cover the sprouted moong, add a little salt and boil it for four to five minutes. Leave it aside to cool.
  • Prepare the dressing by whisking all the dressing ingredients together.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the cooked moong and the vegetables and the paneer. Pour the dressing over them. Give it a nice toss.
  • Serve warm or cold as a side dish or as a sunday morning brunch.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Pasta in green sauce

Like most children Abi also does not like eating vegetables - especially leafy ones! So I keep trying to camouflage the greens and accordingly, modify recipes. In the process I made this green sauce to go with Abi's favourite pasta. A rich, healthy and comforting pasta dish which one can enjoy with a book on a lazy wintry afternoon as well! This is my entry to the BM#58 under Pasta for kids, week 3 day 3. For many more mouthwatering dishes check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#58

  • Pasta : 100 gms
  • Spinach : 12 to 15 leaves
  • Butter : 1 tablespoon
  • Mushroom : 100 gms
  • Onion : 1 no
  • All purpose flour : 1 to 1 and a half tablespoon
  • Milk : 100 ml
  • Salt & pepper : to taste


  • Cook pasta as per the instructions.
  • Cook spinach with salt and puree most of it keeping aside some to mix with pasta.
  • Heat butter in a pan add chopped onions till it is translucent then add the sliced mushroom.Saute them till its cooked and light brown in colour.
  • Mix flour with milk and pour into the mushroom stirring all the while. Let it cook till it becomes a little thick and the flour is cooked. 
  • Add the spinach puree, mix and cook for a minute or two. Add seasoning to your taste
  • Serve warm sprinkled with cheese on top.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Pasta with red sauce

  •  Pasta: 100 gms
  • Tomatoes: 3 or 4 nos
  • Carrot: 1 no
  • Garlic chopped: 1 teaspoon
  • Onion chopped: 2 nos
  • Basil leaves: 4or5
  • Salt & pepper : To taste
  • Oil / butter: 1 teaspoon
  • Cream with sugar: as required (optional) 

  • Prepare the pasta as per the given instructions.
  • Microwave (boil) the tomatoes and chopped carrot (with water)  for 10 minutes. Puree them once they become cool (use the leftover water).
  • Heat the oil in a pan, add garlic and fry for a minute. Do not brown them. Add the onion and saute till its translucent.
  • Add the puree and cook till it becomes slightly thick. Add the basil leaves, salt and pepper. 
  • Add the pasta, mix them together nicely and switch off the gas.
  • Serve with cream with or without sugar separately. Alternatively, you can mix the cream in the sauce before serving.     

I am sending this post also for Blogging Marathon #58. I am happy to state that I experimented with this traditional red sauce by adding carrots to make it more healthy for Abi and it worked! For lots of exciting other recipes check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#58.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015


 I was in fact, looking forward to joining this BM given that the topic is "Kids' Delight" - Pastas for Kids! My 3 and a half years old grandson loves pasta but only without any vegetables in it. We kept telling him that if he wants "power" like "chhota bheem" he has to eat vegetables with pasta. So now, after a lot of persuasion, he has started eating his vegetables with pasta. This is one of the dinners he eats without much fuss!

This one is posted for BM#58 under the theme "Kid's Delight - Pastas for Kids". Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#58

  • Pasta: 150 gms
  • Vegetables of your choice ( I used cauliflower, carrots, potatoes, cabbage )
  • Paneer
For the sauce:
  • Maida/ all purpose flour: 2 tablespoons
  • butter: 2 tablespoons
  • chopped onion: 1 small
  • milk: 350 ml (approx)
  • grated cheese: as desired (I used 3 tablespoons)
  • salt, white pepper & oregano: to taste 
  • Cook the pasta as per instructions given on the packet
  • Boil all the vegetables and keep aside. 
  • Crumble the paneer
  • Heat a heavy bottomed kadai and add butter. Once it starts melting, lower the heat and add the chopped onions and saute till translucent
  • Now add the maida and fry for a minute or two on low heat till maida is cooked. Switch off the gas and add milk slowly, stirring all the while so that no lumps are formed.
  • Put it back on heat and cook on slow fire till it becomes thick.
  • Add cheese, salt, pepper and oregano and mix. 
  • Add the boiled vegetables and crumbled paneer. Give it a thorough mix and switch off the gas.
  • Serve with bread or a cup of your favourite soup !

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