Category Archives: Urban Bangalore Garden

Basil-scented Green Salad

basil scented green salad 3

Welcoming Monsoons in Bangalore, this is a recipe that celebrates the beginnings of rains, a brand-new diet plan and a new magazine that I am about to launch in ten more days!

basil scented green salad 2 basil scented green salad

  1. half a head of green Cabbage
  2. 1 medium green Bell Pepper
  3. 15-20 leaves of green Basil
  4. 1 tbsp of cooked brown rice
  5. 1 medium green Apple
  6. ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  7. 10 almonds
  8. 8 walnuts
  9. 4 cloves of garlic
  10. 1 medium green chilli
  11. Salt
  12. Black/white pepper (optional)

 

  • Roast the nuts dry, till they are lightly browned, and keep them aside
  • Julienne the bell pepper and cabbage, mince the garlic, and finely chop the chilli.
  • In the same pan, pour about 2 tspns of oil and stir fry them for 30 seconds each, separately (starting with the garlic and chilli), and set them aside.

For the basil-scented oil, this is what I did:

  • Heat ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil in a deep pan, and switch off just a minute before you know it would start getting smoky. That would be approximately a minute and a half on medium heat.
  • After switching off, tap the basil leaves into the oil and wait for things to settle down. Leave them to steep for about a day.

 

  • Slice the apple into half-moons and set aside.
  • Arrange the salad on your plate (vegetables garlic and chilli, nuts, rice and the apple), adjust the seasoning, and dress the salad with the basil-scented oil. A warm and welcoming salad it is!

basil scented green salad 7 basil scented green salad 6 basil scented green salad 5 basil scented green salad 4

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Tomato + Hazelnut Pesto Pasta

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Home-grown vegetables have a completely different taste, and I have proof for that, and I am sure you agree.

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This time, I grew tomatoes and basil, organically of course, and so, I have good reason to make pasta.

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  1. 10 vine tomatoes
  2. 120-150g hazelnuts
  3. 300g wholewheat spaghetti (or any pasta of your choice)
  4. 1 dense stalk of basil
  5. 4 cloves of garlic
  6. Salt
  7. Extra virgin olive oil

 

  • Cook the pasta till they are aldente
  • Meanwhile, soak the hazelnuts in warm water for about 10 minutes, and chop half the tomatoes roughly
  • Drain the nuts and add them to a food processor with the chopped tomatoes, half the basil leaves and some starch from the cooking pasta
  • Process this mixture till it forms a smooth pesto, adding a tbspn of oil in between
  • Season with salt and pulse again
  • When the pasta is cooked, add the pesto, and combine well
  • While serving, chop up the remaining tomatoes, pluck some more fresh basil from the stalk and dress the pasta. Drizzle with olive oil and enjoy!

Squash + Quinoa w/ Homegrown Basil and Mustard Oil

squash quinoa 9squash quinoa 4 squash quinoa 5 squash quinoa 6 squash quinoa 3squash quinoa 1 squash quinoa 2squash quinoa 8 squash quinoa 7

 

 

  1. 500 g Squash
  2. 150 g Tri-colour Quinoa
  3. 3 tbspns grain mustard
  4. 100 g fresh firm tofu
  5. 1 green pepper
  6. 1 red onion
  7. 6 cloves of garlic
  8. 1 stalk of basil
  9. Extra virgin olive oil
  10. Salt

 

  • Wash and chop the squash into 2 halves, and roast them (brushed with oil) at 250 C for 30 minutes, till the flesh is almost tender, and there are crispy bits of skin.
  • Cook the quinoa as per instructions on the packet;
  • Meanwhile, chop the pepper into long shards, finely chop the onion and 4 cloves of garlic, and chop the tofu into small cubes.
  • In a pan on heat, add 2 tbspns of oil, and start sautéing the onions and garlic; do this for a minutes, and add in the chopped pepper; saute for another 2 minutes, and then add the tofu. Braise the tofu for a minute and take the mixture off the heat, and keep it aside.
  • After the pumpkin is roasted, cut it up with your hands into small pieces, and add them to the onion-pepper mixture.
  • Add a tbspn of mustard and season with salt, and combine.
  • In another pan, heat 2 tbspn of oil on medium heat, add the remaining mustard, the remaining 2 mashed up cloves of garlic, and stir the mixture for 20 seconds; add the basil leaves, and let them wilt for about 10 – 15 seconds, and then take the pan off the stove.
  • Arrange your dish with the vegetables, and quinoa, and top the dish off with the mustard and basil oil, and serve warm!

 

Spinach + Apple w/ Nutty Pesto

 

spinach green apple 6

A small experiment turns really delicious with this salad. I used the spinach we grew in our balcony. And here is the result of that. The leaves were not yet mature; but they were not baby-ish too. So, these are ‘young’ spinach leaves.

 

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Spinach crop 3

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spinach green apple 3

 

 

  1. 300 g fresh spinach leaves
  2. 1 green apple (preferably)
  3. 4-5 black olives
  4. 5 cashew nuts
  5. 5 hazel nuts
  6. 5 almonds
  7. Half a handful of parsley
  8. 3 garlic cloves
  9. Salt and fresh ground black pepper
  10. Extra virgin olive oil

 

–        Wash and dry the fresh spinach that you have, and if possible, place the leaves wrapped in plastic or just a brown paper bag, in the fridge, for about 30 minutes. (try not to drain the water completely after you have washed the leaves)

–        Wash, peel (optionally), and chop the apple into mediocrely thin wedges

–        To make the dressing, wash the parsley and place the leaves in a processor, with all the nuts, garlic cloves, and salt.

–        As you process add tspns of water and more tspns of olive oil. When your dressing is completely emulsified in the oil, and looks thick, it is done.

–        Arrange you salad by placing the apple wedges, spinach leaves and olives (pitted) in a large bowl, and then pouring the dressing over. Mix well with your hands and serve immediately, with an extra helping of olive oil.