Sunday, 6 July 2014

Ravioli with a twist

The ravioli is a revolutionary dish and the genesis of this artistic potpourri asIi call it goes back to Italy. The authentic tastes of food has changed over the years and have attained a global vista. Despite a meagre number of Italian food joints in India, the ravioli has come full circle and established itself into the palate of the Indian food connoisseurs like the pizza- quite ironical.

India is currently buzzing with international cuisine and people have ventured forth towards global cuisine. A penchant for fried food is inherent in our culture and crispy ravioli just fits in with a few nuances here and there. And fusion food is the latest trend in this age. Hence, the ravioli has forayed into newer and unconventional ways of food creation. With cooking coming to the forefront we have perfected the art of making indulgent and creative food enhancing the cooking aesthetics providing sustenance, nourishment and nutriment.

The ravioli is the perfect archetype of the modern genre as it caters to the tastebuds of both young and the old. Also the cooking technique is not complicated and the ingredients are simple and healthy. The intrinsic promise of delivering Italian flavour, much popular among food lovers , has enabled this dish to carve a niche for itself in restaurants and parties as a starter item. Like the veritable pizza, ravioli has forged a relationship with Indian menus. In the competitive food industry, with little modification the ravioli offers a plethora of innovative process to connect with the sophisticated palates.

I would like to present this exquisite dish with improvisations that would suit our taste buds. To enjoy food one has to first savour the dish and the ambience with the eyes, then inhale the fragrance and get a feel of the flavours used in the dish and finally munch the food displayed slowly and gradually to partake of  its goodness and variants.

This journey is necessary to really relish a dish in the truest sense. My ravioli requires refined flour, eggs, milk, blanched spinach, mustard powder, salt, black pepper, red chilli flakes, basil leaves, cottage cheese and mozzarella cheese.

The first step is to knead a dough in a large Borosil bowl consisting of four cups of flour, two eggs, milk as required for the dough, little pepper powder, salt according to taste and two teaspoon of olive oil. Keep it aside for an hour. The second step is the stuffing for the ravioli. Two cups of spinach are blanched and chopped finely. In a non stick pan, any refined oil (two tablespoons) or olive oil is added. The chopped spinach is cooked in low flame with the seasonings like salt, pepper powder, little cottage cheese and little sugar to balance the taste. Then, add the chilli flakes and chopped basil. Now roll the dough into squares. Brush one square sheet with egg wash (a mixture of egg and water), put the stuffing, arrange a square of the mozzarella cheese on top of the spinach stuffing and cover it with another square sheet of the dough. Seal the edges. Make more such raviolis. With a fork create a design on the edges. Finally deep fry the raviolis till golden. Remove the excess oil in a tissue.

For a better pictorial glimpse of the platter, it should be served in an oval shaped Borosil tray with a rose arranged at the corner. The garnishing is simple. The basil leaves can be arranged artistically with chilli flakes and a dip of tomato-chilli sauce as an accompaniment. The result is definitely going to be eclectic. It will surely give one a new lease of life.


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