Tag Archives: international flavors

Ratatouille

I had just received a batch of garden fresh zucchinis from my neighbor Jim and I was wondering what to make with them – something different you know. I’ve made soup, curries, cakes, and even zuccchini fritters but I was in the mood for something I haven’t made before.  Ratatouille is the dish that came to mind because my friend Iya had been talking to me about how she made ratatouille recently and how her husband absolutely loved it. Continue reading Ratatouille

Parmigiano Reggiano Fettuccini

The twins Anjali and Rani brought back a bunch of Italian goodies from their school trip to Italy recently -Parmigiano reggiano cheese, balsamic vinegar, pasta, and honey infused with balsamic vinegar.  The parmigiano reggiano cheese was amazingly delicious 😋 and tasted so good that Hitesh asked me to make a pasta with just the cheese, and I did. Gosh, when food is made with quality ingredients it really doesn’t need much by way of flavor enhancers. I didn’t even add any herbs to this parmesan pasta, just olive oil and garlic with salt and pepper. What is it about pasta that makes one feel so good? Pasta has to be God’s gift to man, the ultimate comfort food. Continue reading Parmigiano Reggiano Fettuccini

Basbousa. Middle Eastern Semolina Cake

Happy Thursday! If you have been following the news or know anyone who is of Islamic faith then you know that Ramadan has been observed by Muslims all over the world for the last 4 weeks. During the annual observance of Ramadan Muslims fast for one month, which involves not eating or drinking between sunrise and sunset. This is meant to allow people to devote themselves further to their faith with the goal of ultimately becoming closer to God. The annual fast during Ramadan is an integral part of the Islamic faith.

This year Ramadan took place from mid-May to mid-June (ending on June 15th this year). The last day of Ramadan is known as the “festival of breaking the fast” and it is called Eid al-Fitr, this marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. On Eid as it is known Muslims gather together at the mosque for a prayer before spending the day with family and friends with a large feast and wishing one another ‘Eid Mubarak’ or ‘Blessed Eid’. Which brings me to this Middle Eastern dessert called basbousa that is usually made for celebratory occassions. Continue reading Basbousa. Middle Eastern Semolina Cake

Eggplant Tomato Pasta

This is a quick and easy recipe for a delicious tender eggplant pasta that takes just minutes to prepare. But before I share this pasta recipe let me share these beautiful and I mean BEAUTIFUL photos that one of my twins Rani took this week from guess where? La Dolce Vita!! Italy!! The twins Anjali and Rani are on a school trip to Italy this week! Why didn’t we go along? We tried, believe me!! But their school was very clear – only for students please! So here we are in California enjoying Italy vicariously through our kids.  Rani texted these photos from Florence on day two of their trip and the pictures are just gorgeous! Continue reading Eggplant Tomato Pasta

Kale and Shallot Risotto

I had just picked a basket full of fresh kale from my veggie patch and wanted to cook something delicious that same day for dinner. I asked the kids what they were in the mood for – kale pasta? kale paneer curry? or kale risotto? The answer was a unanimous “Kale risotto please!”  Kale risotto it was for evening dinner. Continue reading Kale and Shallot Risotto

Soft Tacos with Roasted Cauliflower, Leeks & Peppers

In celebration of Cinco de Mayo here is a simple and delicious recipe for soft tacos with roasted cauliflower, leeks and peppers with a few Mexican spices. Since we are celebrating Mexican culture, I would like to take this opportunity to share these photos I took of beautiful Mexican tiles at gorgeous Spanish Mission style buildings in and around California.

IMG_1044.jpg Continue reading Soft Tacos with Roasted Cauliflower, Leeks & Peppers

Moroccan Mint Tea

Moroccan mint tea is a refreshing green tea drink infused with fresh mint leaves that is  served in countries like Morocco, Tunisia, and a few Arab states as well. Moroccan mint tea is typically served with brown sugar lumps or white sugar lumps, but rarely is it had with milk. For a long time I tried very hard to drink Moroccan mint tea without the sweeteners purely to avoid sugars, but then one day my friend Radhika who grew up in Morocco told me that in Morocco mint tea is served so sweetened that flies would hover around the tea trays! I asked her “You mean it is supposed to have sugar and plenty of it?”😋😋  I was so thrilled to hear this little tid bit! I love anything sweet (sugary anything is my Achilles heel)!  Sweetened or unsweetened, Moroccan mint tea is a refreshingly delicious drink any way you have it. Continue reading Moroccan Mint Tea

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

Simple, savory, sweet and scrumptious, this pasta is a breeze to make. I made this red bell pepper pasta after returning from a week away for Spring Break. When we came back home I had six red bell peppers in the refrigerator that I had bought before our trip and they were not as firm as when I first bought them. Roasting them with some olive oil to get them caramelized seemed like a great way to mask the “not so fresh” texture of these peppers. I was debating on what to make with the roasted peppers – a quinoa pilaf, or a sandwich, soup, or pasta?  Rani happened to walk past and requested pasta. Roasted red pepper pasta it was to be 😋. Continue reading Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

Potato Leek Bisque

The inspiration for this soup was Barefoot Contessa’s Ina Garten’s French Mussel Bisque. Her soup had plenty of steamed mussels, leeks, and carrots in a creamy herbed broth with saffron. The soup looked so delicious that I was racking my brains trying to figure out a way to make it without the mussels. The vegetable that came to mind is potatoes.  I followed Ina’s instructions with my own selection of vegetables and cut down on the amount of butter, half and half, and cream. When the kids had this soup my eldest Sri said it tasted like clam chowder.  She asked me if this was a vegetarian clam chowder?  I’ve always looked enviously at clam chowder but I’ve never tried it. Now I know what chowder tastes like 😀. Continue reading Potato Leek Bisque