Monday, June 29, 2020

Ravioli Lasagna

This post is sponsored by S. Pellegrino Essenza but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

A delicious meal that is incredibly easy to make, this Ravioli Lasagna is a perfect dish for date night or family dinner! It is a fancy meal with hardly any preparation needed.


Ravioli, the pasta that is super delicious, versatile and has a restaurant feel to it. Most of the time ravioli is ordered at luxurious restaurants that serve it with exotic sauces and toppings.

Making a ravioli lasagna at home is a great idea because it has the feel of your favorite fine dining restaurant when served the right way!

I like to serve mine with S.Pellegrino Essenza to complete the meal. I would not have it any other way.

Why make this Ravioli lasagna?

Family meals are something that we enjoy. Making dishes that are yummy yet easy are a big win for family dinners.

Lasagna is a popular recipe for family style meals. However, it might get boring after a while. So bring in some change while hanging on to the classic flavors; this ravioli lasagna is a great idea.

Just a handful of ingredients needed, preparation time under 10 minutes and a bake that is cheesy, yummy and perfect each time. Plus, freezes beautifully to enjoy later.


Why I chose S.Pellegrino Essenza?


A natural accompaniment to the baked ravioli dish is a refreshing drink. This S.Pellegrino Essenza offers the perfect pairing with the Lemon & Lemon Zest Flavor.

Super refreshing, versatile and easy to serve from the can, this drink is definitely a great way to elevate home cooked restaurant style meals.

It is great with a meal and also good to enjoy as a drink.



These days I am ordering almost all of my groceries online and it is great to have everything delivered in my Walmart order. It was super easy to order from the app and have it delivered to my doorstep! Get yours today.


What you need to make this Ravioli Lasagna?

Back to the recipe; this is the EASIEST batch ingredient and bake recipe that turns out like a beautiful restaurant quality dish.

Frozen or fresh ravioli is the base for this recipe (obviously!) and it needs a sauce of your choice. Plus, cheese and vegetables (totally optional) complete the dish. After the dish comes together, no one will ever guess how easy it was to put together!

I generally use fresh ravioli that is filled with cheese, butternut squash or mushrooms. Meat based raviolis will work too.

For the sauce, there is marinara, three cheese, alfredo or pesto. Whether you make it from scratch or use it from the jar, it does not really matter! It all tastes great for sure. I used jarred marinara here.

Parmesan, mozzarella or cheddar is the choice of cheese for the dish. I like to use a combination of three by adding mozzarella and cheddar in the dish and topping it off with dried parmesan.

Spinach is the addition I made to the dish this time. While raw spinach works, sautéing it in butter tastes great too.

Substitute with any vegetable you like such as mushrooms, zucchini or peppers.


How to serve this?

This recipe makes a great dinner dish. Serve it family style with some toasted bread, soup or salad. And of course do not forget the S.Pellegrino Essenza

I chose the Lemon & Lemon Zest Flavor that is fine and elegantly enhanced with refined bubbles that offer a surprising fresh taste.They also have Tangerine & Wild Strawberry flavor as well as Dark Morello Cherry & Pomegranate. Pick your favorite flavor here


Storing Ravioli Lasagna

This dish is super versatile. It can be enjoyed hot out of the oven (my personal favorite way) or enjoyed later. 

If serving a few hours after making, store at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Heat it up in a warm oven till the sauce starts to bubble.

If storing for later, freeze the lasagna. It stays well for a couple of months. To serve, defrost and warm in the oven till it bubbles. This ensures the filling is heated well too. 

Step by step recipe

Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). In a baking tray (I used a 7*9 inch baker) spread 1/4 cup sauce. 

Arrange half the frozen or fresh ravioli to cover the sauce. 



Spread half the spinach over it. Add 1/4 cup sauce.



Sprinkle half the cheeses. 

Repeat the layers of ravioli and spinach. Top off with leftover sauce and cheese. 



Sprinkle oregano and cracked pepper over it. 

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes if using fresh ravioli (30 minutes for frozen).

Remove foil and bake for 8-10 minutes till the cheese is golden brown and the sauce is slightly dry.



Remove and top with chopped parsley and parmesan cheese. Serve warm. 


Ingredients

Frozen or fresh Ravioli 6 oz
Marinara Sauce 1 cup
Chopped Spinach (fresh or frozen) 1 cup
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese 1/4 cup
Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese 1/4 cup
Dried Oregano 1/2 tsp
Freshly cracked pepper 1/2 tsp
Fresh chopped parsley 1 tbsp for garnish
Shredded Parmesan to serve

Method

Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). 

In a baking tray (I used a 7*9 inch baker) spread 1/4 cup sauce. 

Arrange half the frozen or fresh ravioli to cover the sauce. Spread half the spinach over it.

Add 1/4 cup sauce and half the cheeses. 

Repeat the layers of ravioli and spinach. Top off with leftover sauce and cheese. 

Sprinkle oregano and cracked pepper over it. 

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes if using fresh ravioli (30 minutes for frozen). Remove foil and bake for 8-10 minutes till the cheese is golden brown and the sauce is slightly dry.

Remove and top with chopped parsley and parmesan cheese. Serve warm. 


Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Samosa Chaat

A savory snack made from samosas, Amritsari chole and other add-ins; Samosa Chaat is delicious yet super easy to make. Perfect for parties or as a snack!



Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. 

Samosa is one of the MOST popular Indian street food. Triangular shaped pastry filled with spicy potato or other filling, samosas are best enjoyed with chutney and some chai on the side. 

Samosas can be used in several recipes like chole samosa, samosa sandwich, samosa pizza, sizzler or this samosa chaat or bhel. The crisp outer cover and soft filling make it a great choice to have as a chaat.

What is Chaat?


The name of the recipe has the words samosa and chaat. While we understand that samosa is the triangular pastry filled with potato, let us see what chaat is.

By definition, chaat is a savory dish enjoyed in various ways in India. From recipes like pani puribhel Puri, dahi puri to the more complex palak patta chaat, raj kachori and ragda pattice. 

Chaat for most of us is a comfort food that is best enjoyed from the street vendors. It has the tones of sweet, sour, spicy and savory all at once!  


What you need to make Samosa Chaat?


As the name suggests, the recipe has samosa for sure. And given that it is a chaat, it will have the other ingredients that are popular in chaats. 

Samosa: The starting point for this recipe, samosa can be store bought or homemade. I used pre-made samosas from the frozen aisle and baked them till crisp and golden brown.

The samosa can be the regular big size ones or mini samosas. They can be fried, baked or air fried as you like. The only thing I like to have is that they be slightly warm and not entirely cold. 

Chole: The recipe calls for chole or chana masala. Whether you are making it specially for the recipe or using up leftovers, chole does play a crucial part in the taste. 

The recipe I use for chole is either this stove-top one or this instant pot version. 

Yogurt: Contrast to the spicy chole and samosa is the cooling yogurt in the recipe. 

While plain yogurt or Greek yogurt works greta for the recipe, I like to sweeten and season mine to add some extra flavor. It is best to have chilled yogurt for the recipe.

Chutney: As the recipe makes a chaat, chutney plays an important role in the ingredients. 

I have used some spicy cilantro chutney and some sweet dates tamarind chutney in the recipe. If you like, adding some spicy garlic chutney is a great option too. 

Add-ins: Once we have the above mentioned ingredients ready, adding some extras makes the recipe delicious and flavorful.

I like to add some diced onions and tomatoes for crunch, some chaat masala for flavor and some sev for texture. 

While these can be left out or substituted with other ingredients, they do make the chaat amazing.

How to serve this Chaat?


This samosa chaat is best enjoyed fresh. I like to prepare it as needed and serve immediately. 

If making it for a party, make a big batch and have the guests enjoy it. Remember to keep some extra chutney and toppings for them to add if needed. 


Steps to make Samosa Chaat 


In a bowl mix together yogurt, rock salt, sugar and cumin powder. Whisk till smooth and set aside.

In a plate roughly break the samosas. I used 3 medium samosas per serving. 


Add 1 cup hot Amritsari chole to each plate. 


Add 1/3 cup prepared yogurt to the plates.


Divide the sweet dates tamarind and spicy cilantro chutney in the three servings. 


Add tomatoes, onion, cilantro, lime juice, chaat masala and thin sev. 


Ingredients


Samosa 9 medium
Amritsari Chole 3 cups (this recipe)
Yogurt 1 cup (this recipe)
Sweet Tamarind Dates Chutney 1/2 cup (this recipe)
Spicy Cilantro Chutney 1/4 cup (this recipe)
Onion 1 medium, diced
Tomato 1 medium, diced
Thin Sev 1 cup
Lime Juice 1 1/2 tsp
Chaat masala 2 tsp
Sugar 1/4 cup
Cumin Powder 1/2 tsp
Cilantro to top


Method


In a bowl mix together yogurt, rock salt, sugar and cumin powder. Whisk till smooth and set aside.

In a plate roughly break the samosas. I used 3 medium samosas per serving. 

Add 1 cup hot Amritsari chole to each plate. 

Add 1/3 cup prepared yogurt to the plates.

Divide the sweet dates tamarind and spicy cilantro chutney in the three servings. 

Add tomatoes, onion, cilantro, lime juice, chaat masala and thin sev. 

Serve immediately. 


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Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Instant Pot Dates Tamarind Chutney

A sweet and sour Indian condiment, Dates Tamarind Chutney is naturally vegan and delicious. It is really simple to make in the Instant Pot!



Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. 

Meethi chutney, a popular condiment in Indian cuisine. Served with pakoras or samosas, this makes a great dipping sauce. 

It is also a great addition to Bhel PuriPani puri, ragda pattice, Dahi Vada and chole bhature.

What is Dates Tamarind Chutney?


An easy to make Vegan recipe, this chutney is sweet and sour and super flavorful. 

A great addition to so many North Indian recipes, this chutney is served with a lot of dishes too. 

If you have tried Indian dishes like pakoras, dahi bhalla, pakoras or pani puri, you must have tried this recipe for sure. 

It is really easy to make, can be refrigerated for days and keeps well for months when frozen. 


What you need to make Chutney


The basic ingredients in this recipe are dates, jaggery and tamarind. The spices can be adjusted based on preferences. 

DatesDates are the base for this chutney. Choose dates that are moist and not super dry. The quality of dates will determine how smooth the chutney is. 

Regular or Medjool dates work for this recipe.

Jaggery: Another key ingredient in the recipe is jaggery. This imparts sweetness to the chutney and flavor. 

I use Kolhapuri Jaggery for this recipe. Using jaggery powder does not work well here as it does not turn creamy on cooking.

Tamarind: This sweet chutney needs something sour added to it. Tamarind is generally used in the recipe. It imparts a great sour taste and flavor to the chutney. 

In case there is an allergy or it is unavailable, lemon juice can be used.

Rock Salt: While the chutney is sweet and sour, adding a little bit of salt helps elevate the taste so well. I always add some to the chutney. 

Spices: Addition of spices to the chutney is absolutely optional but it makes the chutney amazing. 

Red Chili PowderDhania Jeera PowderAamchur powder and Ground Cumin are the ingredients I add. 

Optional ingredients: Dry ginger powder, black pepper and Turmeric Powder are often added to the chutney. These may be added or skipped.


Making this chutney


Once all the ingredients are ready, it is time to make the chutney. The dates and jaggery needs to be cooked for it.

Using the Instant Pot or stovetop pressure cooker is a great way to cook the ingredients quickly. Using the instant pot is my preferred way of making the chutney. 

After the ingredients are cooked, they have to be blended to a smooth or grainy texture. The consistency depends on how you like it. 

Where to use this chutney?


This chutney works perfectly for chaats. From Bhel Puri and Pani Puri to dishes like ragda pattice, dahi puri and chole bhature, this chutney is great.

Plus, serve it as a dipping sauce for dishes like samosas, vada or tikkis.



Steps to make Dates Tamarind Chutney


Wash and chop the dates into pieces. Cut the jaggery into bits. 

Soak the tamarind in 1/2 cup water. Set aside.


In a bowl add dates, jaggery and 1/2 cup water.

In the instant pot add 1 cup water. Place a trivet and place the bowl with dates and jaggery and cover with a plate.

Set mode to pressure cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. Once the pressure releases naturally, open the instant pot and let the mixture cool.


Add red chili powder, rock salt, aamchur powder, dhania jeera powder. 

Strain the tamarind and add the strained liquid to the mixture. 


Blend to a smooth mixture. Transfer the chutney to an airtight jar and store refrigerated. 



Ingredients

Pitted Dates 2 cups 
Jaggery 1 cups 
Ground Cumin 2 tsp 
Aamchur powder 1 1/2 tsp
Rock Salt 1/2 tsp

Method


Wash and chop the Pitted Dates into pieces. Cut the Jaggery into bits. 

Soak the Pitted Tamarind in 1/2 cup water. Set aside.

In a bowl add dates, jaggery and 1/2 cup water.

In the instant pot add 1 cup water. Place a trivet and place the bowl with dates and jaggery and cover with a plate.

Set mode to pressure cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. Once the pressure releases naturally, open the instant pot and let the mixture cool.


Strain the tamarind and add the strained liquid to the mixture. 

Blend to a smooth mixture. Transfer the chutney to an airtight jar and store refrigerated. 

The chutney can be frozen for 2 months in silicone cubes or in a bottle. 



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