As someone who loves a good meal, cooking one, came to me as a natural passion. I belong to a family where meal times consisted of not just food, but also noisy conversation centered around the events of the day and discussing the menu for the next. (ah yes, we are a greedy lot! )

For the most part of my life so far, my contribution in the kitchen was assisting mom and my duties were limited, to chopping veggies and laying the table. Then along came the great Indian wedding, and I was suddenly the queen of my very own kingdom. My curiosity about this magical world, coupled with an enthusiastic sous-chef (my husband, Vineet), led me to take on the challenge of preparing meals on a daily basis, and not succumbing to the convenience of hiring a cook.

This blog is a product of my experiments with food (not all are life threatening :D) for my fellow culinary enthusiasts - especially the newly weds and hungry bachelors and is dedicated to the women who've inspired me in the kitchen;
Aji (s),Ma and Nigella Lawson.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pasta Salad with Tomatoes & Olivada with Yoghurt marinated Grilled Salmon

Weekends are god's way of showing us that he loves us...It gives us the extra time to do stuff that we put off on the other 5 days of the week - like spring cleaning, doing laundry, catching up on sleep, and....guiltily updating your cooking blog that is 2 weeks overdue :(
For a while now I've been trying to experiment with Salads that are more "main course". I came across some very interesting Pasta salad recipes on, and these seemed to be a perfect choice for main-course salad meals. This Pasta Salad with peppers, tomato and Green Olivada, is all vegetarian, and we enjoyed this served with a grilled fillet of Salmon. Needless to say, it was a very satisfying meal, and a nice break from our usual weeknight dinner :)


Ingredients for Olivada:
1 large clove Garlic, peeled

1/2 cup pitted Green Olives, roughly chopped
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata Olives, roughly chopped,
2 tbsp Capers, drained
1 tbsp Red wine Vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp Red chilli flakes
1/4 cup Extra-virgin Olive oil

Ingredients for Salad:
1 cup Whole-wheat pasta ( I used Fusilli)
1 cup Cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup fresh Mozzarella balls
2 tbsp fresh Oregano / or Basil, chopped
1 Red bell pepper (capsicum), finely sliced

Method for Olivada:
1.) Mince the garlic clove in a food processor. Add the Olives, capers, and all other ingredients except the Olive oil.
2.) Process on 'pulse' mode till chunky. Add the olive oil little by little and puree the mixture into a thick-ish paste-like consistency. Set aside.

Method for Salad:
1.) Cook the pasta in salted boiling water till its cooked, but not too soft and still has some 'bite'. Drain the hot water and pour chilled / iced water over the cooked pasta to keep it from cooking with any residual heat. Let it drain and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
2.) Drizzle the pasta with some extra virgin Olive oil and season with freshly cracked pepper and gently toss to coat.
3.) Add the halved cherry tomatoes, sliced bell peppers (capsicum) and mozzarella balls.
4.) Add the Olive paste (Olivada) and toss to coat the pasta and vegetables. Best served chilled.


350 g x 2 nos, Salmon fillets
1 cup Yoghurt (slighly sour)
1-1/2 tbsp Cumin powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Red chilli powder
1 tsp Ginger-garlic paste
1 wedge of lime
Salt, to taste

1.) Mix the yoghurt with the rest of the spices and other ingredients. 
2.) Rinse the fillets under running water and pat dry. Make 1/2" deep slits in the flesh of the fish. 
3.) Rub the marinade all over the fillet and allow it to marinate for atleast 2 hours or preferably overnight.
4.) Heat the grill. Shake of excess marinade from the fillet and grill under high heat till nicely browned to your liking... I like the meat to be slightly scorched in parts... yum! Allow the fish to rest for a few minutes. Squirt some lime juice and Eat up! 

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