Spaghetti with Meatballs & Marinara Sauce

Growing up in a melting pot of cultures is at times difficult, but the exposure to the different languages, beliefs, ideologies and, of course, cuisines, is always enriching and often a breathtaking experience. Among the many aforementioned differences, one of the closest to my heart is this warm, happy spaghetti that was taught to me by one of my closest friends.

This recipe for spaghetti with chicken meatballs, smothered in a gorgeous marinara sauce, is honestly one of the most comforting meals you could make, and with relatively less effort.

P.S.: The spiciness in this recipe has been tweaked up, just to suit the dragon in us. Feel free to adjust according to taste.

To cook the spaghetti:
Spaghetti - 2 packages
Olive oil - 1 TBSP.
Salt - 1 tsp.

In a pot, bring about 1 liter of water to a boil. Add the salt and olive oil and stir well, then add the spaghetti. Once cooked, drain into a colander under running water. This will prevent the spaghetti from sticking to each other.

For the meatballs:
Ground chicken - 500 g
Rosemary, Thyme and Basil - 1/4th tsp. each
Garlic - 1/2 a pod, finely minced
Worcestershire sauce - 2 tsp.
Chilli powder - 2 tsp.
Egg - 1, lightly whisked
Breadcrumbs - as required to make firm dough
Salt - to taste
Pepper - to taste
Butter - 1/2 TBSP

In a bowl, combine all ingredients, adjusting the breadcrumbs until you get a dough that can be rolled into lemon-sized balls.
In a non-stick pan, melt the butter, and place the meatballs on the heated pan, then turn the heat to medium. Let it sear for a minute. Cover with a lid and lower the flame to allow the insides to cook for a minute. Turn over the meatballs and cook till golden brown. Remove onto a paper towel.

Just look at this juicy, meaty goodness sizzling away! :D

For the marinara sauce:
Ground chicken - 500 g
Ripe tomatoes - 5 large or 7 small
Green chillies - 2
Onions - 2, diced finely
Garlic - 1/2 a pod, chopped finely
Capsicum - 1, diced finely
Button mushrooms - 10, diced
Dried Oregano - 1 tsp.
Dried Rosemary - 1 tsp.
Dried Basil - 1 tsp.
Salt & Pepper - to taste
Chilli powder - 1 TBSP. + 1 TBSP non-spicy variety for colour
Olive oil - 1 TBSP.
Sausages - chopped (optional)
Parmesan cheese - a small handful (chopped)
Mozzarella cheese - as needed

In the non-stick pan, flatten out the ground chicken and sprinkle a little salt and pepper over it. Cover and let cook. Remove onto a plate. Fry the sausages in the same pan and set aside.

In a non-stick pot, on medium heat, add the olive oil, then toss in the onions, garlic, capsicum, and mushrooms. while it is sauteing, quarter the tomatoes and add them into a blender, along with the two chillies. Add just enough water to blend this to a smooth paste. Once the onions turn translucent, add in the tomato paste, along with the oregano, rosemary, basil, salt and pepper. On medium heat, allow this mixture to cook. Once cooked, remove a large ladle of the sauce and blend. Add this to the pot, and combine well. This will add more thickness to the sauce. Add the cooked chicken and the sausages. Let the sauce simmer over low heat till thick and no water can be seen on the edges.

Serving: Place a heap of spaghetti on a plate (Or in a bowl, if you're a rustic creature like me). Nestle a few meatballs in the spaghetti, smother with sauce, sprinkle a generous amount of parmesan and/or mozarella (When is cheese ever too much, amirite? :P ). Serve hot hot hot!

(For the sauce, you may substitute ground chicken with finely minced or chopped chicken)

Chocolate Silk Pudding

There is no use debating with me on one topic: Chocolate. It is the ultimate joy, the best friend through breakups and breakdowns, the one true love. I refuse to accept otherwise.

In fact, my chocolate obsession has led me to actually walk around swinging a tote bag that reads 'Chocolate does not ask silly questions. Chocolate understands.' :D Yes, I am obsessed.

ANYWAY, back to the topic at hand.

I have been craving something that is chocolatey, soft, cold and creamy. And the answer to that? Pudding! Here is my version of chocolate silk pudding. This recipe has been adapted from a cooking magazine.

This recipe serves 6-8 people. (If you are someone like me, this recipe serves one. :P )
Cooking time: 45 minutes


Milk - 1 1/2 cups
Sugar - 14 TBSP.
Cocoa powder - 4 TBSP.
Vanilla essence - 2 tsp
Eggs - 3 (Room temperature)
Gelatin - 3 tsp.
Water - 6 TBSP.
Melted butter - 1/2 tsp.
Whipped cream (Optional)
Sliced strawberries (Optional)

Separate the egg whites from the yolks.
Beat the yolks with 10 TBSP sugar till soft and creamy. Add one tsp vanilla essence.
In a separate vessel, beat the cocoa powder and remaining 4 TBSP sugar till well-combined.
Strain this mixture into the yolk mixture through a sieve and combine.
In a pan, heat water till boiling. Place the vessel with the egg mixture over this (Double boil method).
Cook this till thick and creamy. The perfect consistency should coat the back of a spoon.)
Let this cool completely.
While it cools, heat the 6 TBSP water in a pan and add the gelatin to this.
Add the gelatin to the cooled mixture.
Beat the egg whites till soft peaks form, then add the remaining 4 TBSP sugar and vanilla essence and combine.
Fold this into the yolk mixture and fold in gently till well mixed.
Grease desired dish with butter, pour in the mixture, and let set overnight.
Serve cold, either topped with whipped cream, strawberries or vanilla ice cream.


Mutton Liver Roast, Naadan Style

There is something infinitely comforting about warm, spicy, peppery food. Just the thought of non-vegetarian food cooked with black pepper is enough to get me salivating. Today, I am posting my version of a naadan mutton liver fry. There are several version of the same dish. This dish, when cooked at our relatives houses, tastes wholly different, though the ingredients remain the same, much like the love that goes into its making. Feel free to adjust the level of spices according to your tolerance. I will mention now that the spice tolerance in our house is very high (except poor ol' dad, who by the end of the meal, sweats buckets and goes charging for the ice-cream tin! :D )

Without further ado, I present to you my version of naadan mutton liver fry!

This recipe serves 4-6 people.
Cooking time: about half an hour
Preferred equipment: Non-stick kadai
Best served with naadan matta rice.

Mutton liver (washed, drained and cubed) - 1/2 kg
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp.
Saunf (dry-roasted and ground) - 1/2 tsp.
Pepper powder - 1 tsp. + to taste
Coriander seeds - 2 Tbsp.
Dry red chillies - About 10 (or to taste) + 2-3 extra
Ginger-garlic paste - about 4 Tbsp. (preferably freshly ground)
Curry leaves - a big handful
Coconut oil - as required
Salt - to taste

Mix the liver with turmeric and about 1 teaspoon of pepper. Set on a medium flame. (Please remember that no salt or water is to be added at this stage, since the liver will release water as it cooks, and adding salt at this stage makes the liver tough and rubbery). Cover and let it cook.

Meanwhile, dry roast the coriander seeds and dry red chillies, and grind to a coarse powder. Add this powder to the cooked liver. Mix and set aside. In the same kadai, heat some oil, and add the ginger-garlic paste, curry leaves, and 2-3 torn dry red chillies. Fry this on medium flame till fragrant. Now add the liver to this, and roast well, then mix in the . Add in salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

- When roasted to perfection, the liver will get a dark brown colour, bordering black.
- To take this recipe a notch up, fry a few cloves of slivered garlic till lightly browned and add this to the mixture and combine before serving.

Meen Peera

This recipe serves 3 to 4 people

Cooking time - About 20 minutes

Preferred equipment - Mannchatti (Flat earthen pot)

Best served with boiled rice


      Key ingredients

 Kozhuva/Netholi (Anchovies) - 250 Gms 
 Garlic (Skinned & Crushed) – 4 cloves
 Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
 Kudampuli - 2 big pieces
 Salt to taste 

To be ground coarsely:
Grated coconut – ½ cup
Green Chillies – 6 to 8
Ginger - 1 big piece
Shallots – 5 to 8
Chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric Powder – ¼ teaspoon

To garnish:
      Coconut oil - 2 Tablespoons


1.    Add the key ingredients and the coarsely ground mix to the mannchatti; Sprinkle about ¼ cup water and set on stove at medium to low heat. Cover with a lid for 5 to 10 minutes. Open the lid and check every few minutes to make sure it doesn't get burnt!

2.    Once the fish is cooked, stir the mix slowly so as not to mush up the fish too much. The fish may break here and there, but that’s okay as long as it doesn't get mashed up.

Add the garnish over the dish. Serve hot. 

Cold chocolate milk

Cold chocolate milk is any man's comfort drink. And a homemade one is even better.

Milk - 3/4th cup
Sugar - 3/4th tbsp
Marshmallows - 4-5
Hot chocolate mix - 1 tbsp

• Add all the ingredients to a microwave safe cup.
• Heat for 30 seconds; take the cup out of the microwave and stir well.
• Heat for another 30 seconds; take the cup out and stir well till all the ingredients are well blended.
• Refrigerate for couple of hours. Serve chilled.