Chipotle Pasta Salad / Cold Pasta Salad / Summer Pasta Salad

Salads are something that I often prefer to eat during the summer time and this will help me to reduce my time in the kitchen as much as possible. Almost all my salads would be with basic lemon dressing and for a change, I prepared a pasta salad using chipotle mayo this time.

It is one the best dish to consume for this summer. I used ready to use chipotle mayo and This can also be prepared using the plain mayo and it tastes yumm.

Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2

Video Recipe:


For Salad:

1 cup boiled Pasta (fusilli or farfalle)
1/2 cup romaine lettuce
1/4 cup sweetcorn
1/4 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
1/4 chopped bell pepper
1 /4 chopped red onion
1/4 chopped avocado
2 tablespoons coriander leaves
salt to taste
pepper to taste

For dressing:

1/3 cup of chipotle mayonnaise
3 tbsp yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp paprika
½ tsp Oregano
milk to dilute (optional)


1. Mix chipotle mayo, yogurt and lemon juice in a bowl. Whisk well until it is smooth and creamy. Stir in the paprika, oregano. Mix until blended.
2. In a wide mixing bowl, add rest of the ingredients one by one.
3. Add the prepared creamy seasoned chipotle mayonnaise to it.
4. Mix well and serve.

Serving Suggestions:

1) It can be served as a main course along with a slice of bread or consumed as it is.


1) Adjust the paprika and ground pepper according to personal taste.
2) Serve this salad immediately. If you are packing it for lunch, save the dressing separately and mix with pasta just before eating.
3) Vegetables can be changed as per personal choice.

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Lunchbox Recipe Idea 3 - Beetroot Chapathi, Dal fry and Jeera Aloo

Today we will see the lunchbox recipe idea which is heart and stomach filling and tasty.

For this kind of lunchbox, I used to prepare the dough in previous night itself and rest of the things in the next morning.

Lunchbox idea 3 has the below recipes. For more lunchbox ideas, please click here.

1) Beetroot chapathi
2) Dal fry
3) Jeera Aloo
4) Cucumber and Carrot
5) Cantaloupe

Making video:

How I prepared it:

1) Kept 1/2 cup dal and 3 sliced potatoes in a pressure cooker.
2) Meanwhile, chop 1/2 beetroot and grind it along with 1/2 tsp cumin seeds and 1 green chillies. Make a smooth puree without lumps. Add this puree to the 1 and 1/2 cup wheat flour along with salt. Make a smooth dough. Towards the end, add a tsp of oil and knead well. keep it side for 15 minutes.
3) By now, the pressure cooker would have completed the three whistles. Before the steam suppresses, chop onion and tomato.
4) Now, Release the steam from pressure cooker, take out the potato from the cooker and mash the dal well.
5) In a kadai, add 2 tsp ghee. Add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, cumin seeds and 1 chopped green chilli. let it crackle. Add finely chopped onion and saute well. Add 1 tsp ginger garlic paste and saute for few more minutes. Add finely chopped tomato.
6) Cook till the tomatoes are soft. Add 1/2 tsp red chilli powder, 1/2 tsp coriander powder, 1/2 tsp garam masala,1/4 tsp turmeric powder and salt to taste. Mix well till the raw smell goes off.
7) Add the mashed dal along with 3/4 cup to 1 cup water. mix well. let the dal cook well and reach the desired consistency.
8) Add a pinch of kasuri methi and cook for a minute. the dal fry is ready.
9) While the dal is cooking, heat oil in another pan, crackle cumin seeds and green chillies. add 1/2 cup finely chopped onion and saute till it becomes soft. Add cooked potato. Add 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and salt to taste. Let it cook till the raw smell of masala goes off. Add 1 tbsp chopped coriander and mix well. Cover using the lid and cook for few more minutes to incorporate the flavor of coriander leaves with potato. After few minutes, mix gently and the jeera aloo is ready.
10) At last, divide the dough and make circular disc. Cook it on hot tawa and smear oil if required. cook both the side.

That's it. Yummy lunchbox ready!

Avocado Banana Chocolate Smoothie / ABC Smoothie

I love engaging my kid in various activities other than studying/reading. She often finds me cooking and sometimes help me as well.

This time, when she was just back from school, I involved her in preparing this simple smoothie for her after school drink. She happily prepared it under my supervision and of course turned out super good. She was extremely happy and drunk the entire glass(happens once in a blue moon)as she prepared it on her own.

For her easy convenience, I named it ABC smoothie(Avocado Banana and Chocolate smoothie). Hope you will enjoy this smoothie as much as she did.

I added crushed chocolate as topping as per her suggestion. You may please change it according to your personal preference.
Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 1, generously

Avocado – 1/2 ripe
Banana – 1 ripe
Cocoa powder – 1 tbsp
Sugar – 1 tbsp (adjust as per taste)
Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
Milk – 1 and 1/2 cup, chilled

Recipe Video:

1) In a blender, add all the ingredients one by one.
2) Blend it for 5 to 10 minutes till it becomes smooth and no lumps found.
3) Pour it in glasses and top it with crushed chocolate.

4) Serve chill.

Serving Suggestions:
1) Reduce the milk quantity and make a thick smoothie. Serve it in a bowl with seeds and dry fruits as a morning breakfast.
2) Prepare the smoothie exactly given in the above method, pour it tall glass, top it with chocolate crumble and serve it as back to school drink.

1) Increase the sugar quantity as per liking. We generally prefer our smoothie with less sugar quantity.
2) Instead of diary milk, you may use soy or almond milk for making it vegan.
3) Instead of sugar, you can also use honey.

Ginger Pickle / Inji Urugai / Adrak ka Achaar

Ginger pickle or Ingi Urugai or Adrak Ka Achaar is one of the great and unique pickle recipes that is been prepared in South india in various ways.

In tamil nadu, this is prepared typically like any other pickles but added jaggery to reduce the musty/earthy to taste of ginger.

The fresh ginger is used for making this recipe. Based on the strong flavor, one can adjust the red chillies and jaggery quantity. If it is prepared in small quantities for immediate consumption, reduce the jaggery quantity.

For the below quantity of ginger, the jaggery is perfect and after storing it for couple of days, you may not feel the sweet taste at all.

Make sure to choose the ginger without much fiber. We saute ginger for easy grinding. If the ginger is soft and fresh, this step can be avoided.
Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Makes: 1 cup


Gingelly Oil – ¼ cup
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Asafoetida – a big pinch
Fenugreek seeds – ½ tsp
Dry red chillies – 12
Ginger – 1 cup, peeled and chopped
Tamarind – 1 amla size, soaked in ¼ cup warm water
Jaggery – ¼ cup
Salt – to taste

Video Recipe:

1) Peel the skin of the ginger and chop into cubes. Soak tamarind in the 1/4 cup of water.
2) Meanwhile, heat a pan. dry roast the fenugreek seeds and dry red chillies. Once roasted, transfer it to a plate and cool down.
3) To the same pan, add a tablespoon of oil, add the chopped ginger. Saute for 3-5 minutes continuously.
4) Transfer the sauteed ginger to a mixer jar. Add roasted fenugreek, dry red chillies, powdered jaggery, soaked tamarind and grind it to a fine coarse paste.
5) Heat remaining oil in the same pan. Throw mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add asafoetida.
6) Add ground ginger paste and salt to taste.
7) Stir well and simmer it till the oil oozes out. It tends to give bubbles, so cover it using the lid and cook it. Stir it at even intervals.
8)Once the pickles started leaving the sides and oozes oil and becomes thick .turn off the flame.
9) Cool down completely and store it in a airtight container.

Serving Suggestions:
1) It is served as a condiment for curd rice and all type of stuffed parathas.
1) If the ginger you use is very tender, reduce the jaggery quantity a bit. The same is applicable for strong flavored ginger as well.
2) Use spoon for peeling the skin of ginger easily.
3) Add more oil if preferred. I prepared it in a small quantity and hence added only 4 tbsp of gingelly oil only.

Lunchbox Recipe Idea 2 - Mac & Cheese and Sweetcorn Salad

In today's lunchbox we are going to see the simple yet delicious macaroni and cheese recipe. I have used quick cooking macaroni and cheddar cheese powder for making this dish. But one can very well substitute it with the mac and fresh cheese.

Lunchbox Idea 2 has below recipes. for more lunchbox ideas, please click here.

1) Macaroni and cheese
2) Sweet corn salad
3) Baby carrots
4) M & M Cookies
5) Clementine

Making Video:

Mac & Cheese:

For mac & Cheese, I cooked macaroni for 12-15 minutes and drained the water.

To the same pan, added 2 tbsp butter, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese powder,  salt to taste, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp ground pepper.

Mixed everything well and cook till it becomes thick and creamy.

Sweet corn salad:

For sweet corn salad, in a bowl, add 1/4 cup sweet corn, 2 tbsp tomato, 2 tbsp onion, 2 tbsp cucumber, 1/4 tsp of each oregano and ground pepper, salt to taste and 1/2 tsp lemon juice. Mix well and it is ready!

Rest all store bought.

1) Mac & cheese tasted good while eating it during lunch time.
2) You can even pack this in a microwave safe container and reheat it during the lunch time.
3) All the vegetables I used for making salad is at room temperature. It tends to leave some water but I usually have my lunch within 2 hours after packing it. If you worry about it, you may pack the dressing separately and mix it during lunchtime.


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