Monday, July 30, 2012

Pear Ginger Ravioli in Butter Sage Sauce

There are a lot of recipes lying in my drafts, waiting to be posted. I have promised myself not to create new ones before I post all what I have in the draft. This pasta dish is one such recipe which has been waiting long to see the light of day. What I remember vaguely is that the inspiration for this dish came from a local neighborhood Italian restaurant. My hubby went for a dinner with some colleagues and had this dish. The first thing he said after coming home, was "let's try making ravioli" Hence this recipe was born.

I have added semolina to the pasta dough, which gives the ravioli a very nice texture and slight crunch. This is quiet a rich pasta dish with all that butter sage sauce, so of course it tasted really good.


For the Ravioli

1 cup - all purpose flour 
1/4 cup - semolina (suji)
1/2 tsp - salt
4 tbsp - olive oil
water to knead 

Mix the flour and the semolina with the salt, the olive oil and enough water so that the dough is neither too soft nor too hard. Knead well. Cover with a wet piece of muslin cloth and let the dough rest for 30 minutes. The semolina should have soaked up most of the water, making the dough hard - so sprinkle a few drops of water and knead the dough lightly.

Divide the dough into 4 parts and flatten it out with your hand.Sprinkle some flour on the dough. Feed the flattened dough into the pasta machine at the thickest setting and roll it out 2-3 times until the dough is smooth. Take care to keep pulling the dough sheets form the machine at the same rate you are feeding it in. Change to a medium thickness and repeat another 2-3 times.

Finally, change to a thin / fine setting and let the dough pass through the pasta machine another 2-3 times. The dough should be a thin sheet by now. Do not worry if its irregular in shape or is broken in places.

Take a cookie cutter or a bowl with a sharp edge and cut out rounds from the dough. The dough left over form the corners can be kneaded and put through the machine again.

For the Filling

1 - pear, peeled, deseeded and finely chopped
2 tbsp - finely chopped candied ginger
1/2 tsp - butter
2 tsp - mascarpone cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pear pieces in the butter until slightly soft. Add in the mascarpone cheese, finely chopped candied ginger, salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat.

Take the filling, lay it out on the center of a raviolo sheet, leaving an approx. 2 cm edge all around. Take another raviolo sheet, wet the edges with some water and press this sheet onto the sheet with the filling. Impress the edges with fork tines to make the sheets stick better as well as to give it a classic ravioli look.

Boil some water. Carefully lower the Ravioli into the boiling water. Let boil until the ravioli start floating (around 4-5 minutes for medium sized ones, slightly longer for bigger / thicker ones).

For the Sauce

50 grams (or more if you like) - butter
10 -12 pieces - sage leaves
a pinch of salt
parmesan cheese and pepper to garnish

 Put the butter and the sage leaves into a pan and heat until the butter melts completely (do not bring the butter to boil). Add a pinch of salt. Pour while still warm on the ravioli and garnish with grated parmesan and pepper. Serve hot.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Spicy Rice Starch-Tamarind Soup Mandiya - A traditional Rajasthani Dish

Hope you all had a lovely weekend. We had a very relaxing and lazy weekend - watched a couple of movies, indulged in good food and it was simply amazing.

On Sunday, I made this very traditional Rajasthani dish: kaatha dal chawal-maandiya, literally translated, Thick Lentils and rice with this spicy tangy tamarind, rice starch Soup.

The Mandiya is lovely as a spicy soup or in a more traditional combination, as we had it, with the rice and the lentils- which makes a filling and very delicious meal. We normally mix 1/3rd thick dal and 2/3rd rice, with a generous helping of ghee and dip each spoonful in a bowl of the mandiya.

The lentils needs to be cooked in a little water with a couple of cloves, cardamom and cinnamon sticks, a bay leaf, a pinch of turmeric powder, salt and a tsp of ghee. The consistency of the lentils needs to be thick. If it is not, let the dal simmer in the pressure cooker without the lid and, after a couple of minutes, carefully remove the watery part from the top. (you can put this lentil water in the mandiya, instead of water)

Ingredients for the mandiya

1 tbsp - ghee 
2 - red whole chilli or according to your taste
2 pieces - bayleaf
a generous pinch of asafoetida, (hing)
2 pieces of green cardamom
2 pieces of clove
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp - mustard seeds
1/8tsp - cumin seeds
6-8 pieces of curry leaves
1/8 tsp - turmeric powder
1/4 tsp - red chilli powder, more or less
50 grams - tamarind soaked in 3/4 cup of warm water
450 ml - rice starch water (maand)
1 cup - water
2 tbsp - thick cooked lentils/daal (I used split pigeon peas/toor daal)
salt to taste
2 tsp - sugar


  1. Mash the soaked tamarind. Sieve the extract and use 1/2 cup for this recipe. (if kept in the fridge, tamarind pulp stays good for 4-5 days)
  2. Heat 1 tbsp of ghee in a pot, add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, red whole chili, asafoetida / hing, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick and let the seeds crackle. Add the curry leaves, turmeric powder and chilli powder, and cook for a few seconds. Add the tamarind extract and cook for a minute, stirring continuously.
  3. Add the rice starch water, lentil water or normal water, 2 tbsp of the cooked thick lentils and salt to taste. Cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Lastly add the sugar and cook again for a couple of minutes. Serve piping hot.

This is one of my favourite Rajasthani dishes and I can never have enough of it. 



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