Sunday, 22 October 2017

Keema Biryani...Sunday traditions!

Keema Biryanitraditionstough to explain traditions to people unless you are in the mood to deliver lengthy monologueswhether religious, national or family traditions, one needs to have short explanations which the other person can relate toeasilygive your audience the hook first, no? My short version of explaining Diwali? It’s just like Christmas but noisier!  My short version of explaining Biryani? It’s like Sunday Roast but tastier! 😜 You may or may not agree with these explanationsbut do gather around people you love and enjoy your own special traditions 😊

Keema Biryani


For Roasted Spice powder:

  • Fennel seeds, 1 tbsp
  • Star Anise, 2-3 small petals
  • Cinnamon stick, 1 small stick

For Keema Masala:

  • Minced meat, Mutton(goat)/ Lamb/Beef, 500gms
  • Bayleaf, 1-2
  • Cinnamon Stick, 1-2
  • Black Cardamom, 1
  • Green Cardamom, 3-4
  • Cloves, 4-5
  • Cumin seeds, 1 tsp
  • Onions, finely sliced, 2 large
  • Fresh Green chillies, finely chopped, 2-3
  • Yogurt, 1 cup
  • Fresh Ginger Garlic paste, 2 tbsp (1:1 ratio of ginger to garlic)
  • Coriander powder, 1 ½ tsp
  • Cumin powder, 1 ½ tsp
  • Kashmiri Chilli powder, 1 ½ tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil,
  • Mint leaves, chopped, 2 tbsp
  • Coriander leaves, chopped, 1 tbsp

For Rice:

  • Rice, 500gms
  • Cinnamon Stick, 1-2
  • Green Cardamom, 2-3
  • Cloves, 4-5
  • Cumin seeds, 1 tsp
  • Fennel Seeds, 1 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 1 tbsp
  • Water

For assembling:

  • Ghee, to coat the pan (or butter)
  • Milk, ½ cup
  • Warm Milk, ½ cup infused with a generous pinch of Saffron
  • Ghee, 4-5 tbsp (or butter)
  • Green chillies, sliced and seeds removed, 2-3
  • Mint leaves, finely chopped, 1 tbsp
  • Coriander leaves, finely chopped, ½ tbsp
  • Nutmeg powder, ½ tsp


Roasted Spice powder:

In a small pan on low heat, lightly roast the fennel seeds, star anise and cinnamon stick till fragrant. Let cool and grind together to a fine powder.

Keema Masala:

Heat oil in a pan and add whole garam masala- bay leaf, cinnamon, black cardamom, green cardamoms, cloves and cumin seeds.

Once the spices start spluttering, add the sliced onions and cook on medium-low heat, stirring, till they turn light golden brown.

Add the keema and chopped green chillies. Cook, stirring to break up lumps, till keema is well browned and all the water released from the keema dries up.

Lower the heat, add ginger garlic paste and roasted spice powder made earlier, stir well and sauté for 2-3 minutes.

In the meanwhile, whisk the yogurt with salt, coriander powder, cumin powder and kashmiri chilli powder.

Lower the heat, add the yogurt mix to the keema and stir well to combine.

Simmer, covered, stirring occasionally for 30-35 minutes or until fully cooked with fat completely separated.

Add in the chopped mint and coriander leaves. Stir, cover and keep aside.


Wash the rice till water runs clear with few changes of water and soak in cold water for at least 20 minutes.

Put a large vessel with sufficient water to cook the rice (about a litre and a half).

(Wrap and tie the whole spices in a small piece of muslin cloth. This will ensure that rice gets the flavor of the spices while boiling but spices can be taken out without any hassle. If you don’t have muslin cloth, simply boil the water with the whole spices for around 15 minutes and then strain and use the water)

Add the whole spices, salt, and oil to the water.

Once the water comes to a rolling boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes to ensure the spices completely infuse their flavor into the water.

Increase the heat, let water come to a rolling boil again, add the rice and cook till the rice is almost three quarters done (the rice grain if broken should have a bite to it)

Drain the rice in a large colander and set aside to rest to ensure all the water drains out completely. (Don’t forget to discard the spice bag)


Brush the base and side of a deep casserole with ghee or butter.

Cover the base with a half of the cooked rice.

Spread the cooked keema masala over the rice. Sprinkle over ½ cup of plain milk, half of the ghee and all of the chopped mint and coriander leaves.

Cover with rest of the rice.

Make holes in the rice and keema layers with back of a long spoon and sprinkle over the saffron infused milk. Finish off with the remaining ghee, nutmeg powder and lastly spread the green chillies on top.

Cover the dish with foil or grease proof paper and a tight fitting lid.

Place the dish in preheated oven at 170C for a final cooking time of 25-30 minutes (or cook on indirect flame on the stove- heat a tawa/skillet on stove, place the casserole on top of the skillet and let cook on low heat)

Let rest for 10 minutes.

Once done, fork the rice gently, garnish with coriander and/or mint leaves and serve warm with accompaniments of your choice.

To save time:

  • Wash and soak the rice first.
  • While the rice is soaking, chop and start cooking the onions. This takes time, so keep the flame medium-low and check back as you simultaneously move to the next step.
  • Roast and grind the spices, prepare ginger and garlic paste, chop mint, coriander and green chillies, make the yogurt mix for the keema, soak saffron in warm milk, make the spice bag for the rice.
  • Put water and spices to boil for the rice and move on with cooking the keema.
  • Add rice to the boiling water and keep a close eye – you can’t afford to move away from the stove at this stage! Not overcooking the rice is critical to a good biryani.\
  • Drain the rice and let cool while you finish cooking the keema masala.
  • Assemble and final cooking of biryani

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Moong Dal Laddoo...Happy Diwali and resolutions!

Moong Dal Laddoohere I was all set on not indulging in any of the Diwali goodies this year except for all the gossip from the Diwali parties I am missing (yet again! 😒) back homebut I guess my Diwali resolutions are just like my New Year resolutions, not meant to last for more than a week!…my Diwali prep may be last minute, but my wishes are notjoy, luck and cheer to you and yours this Diwali and always! 😊

Moong Dal Laddoo


  • Moong Dhuli Dal/ Yellow Moong Dal/ Split and Husked Mung lentils, 1 cup
  • Granulated Sugar, ¾ cup ( use any sugar of your choice or even Powdered Jaggery)
  • Ghee, ¼ cup to 1/3 cup
  • Cardamom Powder, ¼ tsp

(refer to notes section before starting)


Wash the dal till water runs clear. Drain well in a colander – shake the colander a few times to remove excess water.

Lay a clean cotton kitchen towel on a flat surface and spread the dal on it. Leave to air dry for a couple of hours.

Heat a non stick pan on medium low heat. Add the dal and dry roast the dal, stirring continuously for even colour and cooking. Don’t rush this step as the dal needs to not only change colour but should get completely cooked inside.

Switch off the flame once the dal turns aromatic and golden. (It will also get crunchy)

Remove to a plate and let cool completely.

Once cool, grind the dal to a fine powder. Remove to a large bowl.

Powder the sugar in the same jar and add to the dal powder. Also add the cardamom powder to the mix and stir to mix well.

Heat ¼ cup ghee in a small pan, just till it melts. Pour the warm ghee over dal sugar mixture little by little and mix quickly with spatula.

Once the mixture has soaked up all the ghee and is coming together nicely knead it with your palms for a minute.

Use 1/8 cup measure to portion the laddoos – this will make 10 laddoos.

Take one portion of the mix and shape into a round ball by firmly binding the portion in the palm of your hand and then rolling between your palms. If the laddoo is not holding shape, add additional 1 or 2 tablespoons melted ghee and mix to combine well.

Make laddoos with rest of the mixture.

You can garnish the laddoos with slivered almonds, pistachios, cashews or raisins or let them be as is. ( I was doing a nut free version hence the stars!)

Let the laddoos rest on a lightly greased plate for about 10 minutes before serving.

You can store the remaining laddoos in an airtight container at room temperature for around 5 days (you can also refrigerate the laddoos for longer however they tend to become harder on refrigeration because of the ghee)


  • For a slightly different texture, add ¼ cup almond meal/flour to the dal and sugar mix.

  • For added texture, you can add 2-3 tablespoons of crushed almonds, cashews or pistachios to the dal and sugar mix just before adding ghee.

  • Use ground cardamom powder or can use cardamom seeds removed from 3-4 cardamom pods and grind along with sugar.

  • If not too fond of cardamom, feel free to skip or use ½ tsp vanilla essence instead.

  • Make double batch of the dal and sugar mix and store the extra in an airtight container in the refrigerator to make instant laddoos in a distant or not so distant future!

Monday, 25 September 2017

Stuffed Peppers/ Stuffed Mirchi/ Bharwaan Mirchi...choose!!

Stuffed Peppers/ Stuffed Mirchi/ Bharwaan Mirchi...optionschoiceslove them or hate them? Get confused by them or thrive on them? So apparently the world is divided between “maximizers” (ones who want to find the absolute best option) and “satisficers” (ones who go for the first option that clears the sets criteria)and if you are wondering where you stand between the two, go through this post – choose any one name, choose any one stuffing option, choose any one cooking methodand then tell me where you think you stand 😊

Indian Stuffed Peppers mmskitchenbites

Stuffed Peppers/ Stuffed Mirchi/ Bharwaan Mirchi


  • Long fat Green Chillies/Peppers, any non hot kind would do, 6-7 (or even the small coloured sweet peppers, they make excellent appetizers)
  • Stuffing, of your choice
  • Oil, 1-2 tsp or Oil Spray if cooking in the oven/ Oil, 1 tbsp, if cooking in a pan
  • Half a lime, optional


Option A

  • Roasted Peanuts, ¼ cup
  • Sesame Seeds, 1 tbsp
  • Coriander Powder, 1 tsp
  • Red Chilli Powder, ½ tsp
  • Lemon/Lime juice, 1 -2 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 1-2 tsp

Pulse the peanuts and sesame seeds in a mixer/blender/food processor a few times –as coarse or as fine as you’d like. Mix with rest of the stuffing ingredients in a bowl.

Option B

  • Roasted Peanuts, ¼ cup
  • Sesame Seeds, 1 tbsp
  • Fresh Grated Coconut, 1 tbsp (or even use desiccated coconut)
  • Coriander Powder, 1 tsp
  • Red Chilli Powder, ½ tsp
  • Turmeric powder, ¼ tsp
  • Chaat Masala or Aamchur/Dried Mango Powder, ½ tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 1-2 tsp

Pulse the peanuts, sesame seeds and coconut in a mixer/blender/food processor a few times –as coarse or as fine as you’d like. Mix with rest of the stuffing ingredients in a bowl.

Option C

  • Roasted Peanuts, crushed to a coarse powder, ¼ cup
  • Roasted Besan/ Gram flour, 2 tbsp
  • Onion, very finely chopped, 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder, ¼ tsp
  • Coriander Powder, 1 tsp
  • Red Chilli Powder, ½ tsp
  • Saunf Powder/ Fennel Seeds Powder, ½ tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Lime/Lemon juice, 1-2 tsp or Aamchur/Dried Mango Powder, ½ tsp
  • Oil, 1-2 tsp

Pulse the peanuts in a mixer/blender/food processor a few times. Mix with rest of the stuffing ingredients in a bowl.

Option D

  • Roasted Besan/Gram flour, ¼ cup
  • Turmeric powder, ¼ tsp
  • Coriander Powder, 1 tsp
  • Red Chilli Powder, ½ tsp
  • Saunf Powder/ Fennel Seeds Powder, ½ tsp
  • Hing/Asafoetida, 1/8 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Lime/Lemon juice, 1-2 tsp or Aamchur/Dried Mango Powder, ½ tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 1-2 tsp

Mix all the stuffing ingredients in a bowl.


  • You can add Sugar, ¼ to ½ tsp to all four options if you want, I never add.

  • For Option A and B – I keep the stuffing quite coarse.(this is how I grind mine for A)
indian stuffed peppers mmskitchenbites

  • For Option C – I grind the peanuts to a fairly fine powder.

  • If doing the final cooking in a pan over hob, stuffing ground to a fairly fine powder works better.

  • If allergic to peanuts, use roasted cashews instead.


Wash the peppers and trim the stems.

Indian Stuffed Peppers mmskitchenbites

With a knife make one long slit along the length of the peppers –from under the stem to about half an inch above the tail end. Please make sure that you don’t slit all the way to the end or cut through to the other side. Remove the seeds and membrane.

Indian Stuffed Peppers mmskitchenbites

Pry open the slit gently and fill it with the stuffing, one teaspoon at a time –spread the filling evenly throughout the pepper. Push the pepper closed and keep aside.

Try with one pepper first – if it breaks while stuffing, keep the peppers in hot water for about ten minutes to soften and then it will be easier to stuff them without breaking.

Once all the peppers are stuffed, wipe them clean with a kitchen towel from outside to wipe away any stuffing which may have stuck to the skin outside. This will prevent the stuffing from burning and turning bitter.

Oven baked Indian Stuffed Peppers mmskitchenbites

Cooking options:

If using Oven:

Line up the peppers on a baking sheet.

Spray or drizzle oil all the peppers and bake at 180C for 10-12 minutes (around 15 minutes if you like them a little charred like we do).

If using Microwave:

Keep all the peppers in a microwave safe bowl. Cover with a lid and microwave for around 4 minutes.

After the initial 4 minutes, microwave for additional 2-3 minutes checking to see if done to your liking after every minute.

If cooking in a Pan:

Heat the oil in a pan/skillet on medium heat.

Lay the peppers flat in the pan. Cook covered for about a minute.

Remove cover and roll over the peppers to cook on the other side.

Repeat till the skin of the peppers looks wrinkled and cooked all over.

Cooking time for any option you choose will vary according to the kind of peppers you use and what you need to use them for, so keep an eye on them. If you are serving them as a appetizers, bake for a slightly shorter time as peppers will not hold their shape if baked for long.

Sprinkle some lime juice on top. Serve as an appetizer or as a side with rotis/paranthas.

Indian Stuffed Peppers mmskitchenbites

Monday, 18 September 2017

Potol Posto...seasons don't matter!

Potol Posto (Parwal with Khus Khus / Pointed Gourd with Poppy Seed Paste)it’s officially autumn, so what am I doing cooking a summer vegetable in a typical summer prepseasons don’t matter when you are away from home and cravings strikeseasons also don’t matter when your weekly visits to the Indian Food market reduce to monthly visits and then dwindle down to quarterly, you grab what you see, pack 10 bags full of grocery and come back home skipping because you just found goldseasons especially don’t matter when someone tells you that Indian food needs a million ingredients to taste nice...well, then you just have to prove them wrong, don’t you?😊
(The next few recipes on the blog will be simple Indian food recipes using 5 ingredients or less – typical home cooking and not what you see in restaurants or curry housesso stick around!)

Bengali Parwal recipe mmskitchenbites

Potol Posto (Parwal with Khus Khus / Pointed Gourd with Poppy Seed Paste)


  • Potol/Parwal/Pointed gourd, 8- 10 pieces
  • Posto/Khus Khus/ White Poppy seeds, ¼ cup
  • Green chillies, 3-4
  • Kalo Jeera/Kalonji/Nigella seeds, ½ tsp
  • Onion, finely sliced, 1 medium size *refer to notes
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 2 tbsp (preferably Mustard Oil, or else any white oil of your choice- Peanut/Sunflower/RiceBran/Vegetable/Canola/Rapeseed Oil) 

Optional Ingredients:*refer to notes
  • Turmeric powder, ¼ tsp + 1/8 tsp
  • Red chili powder, ½ tsp for heat or Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder, ½ tsp for colour
  • Sugar, ½ tsp or to taste


If you have a wet grinder: Soak posto in ½ cup of hot water for half an hour. Grind into a nice white paste with 1 green chilli and some salt.
If you have a dry spice grinder: Dry grind the posto and then mix with water to make a thick wet paste.

Wash and pat dry the potols. Scrape the skin off, cut off the ends and peel off the skin in alternate strips.

Potol or Parwal mmskitchenbites

Now you can either slice the potols lengthways into 2 or 4 slices each or simply make long slits on both ends.

Toss them with a little salt and ¼ tsp turmeric powder, if using and keep aside 

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and on medium high heat, fry the potols until lightly browned on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep aside.

In the same pan, add the balance 1 tbsp oil. When the oil is hot, add nigella seeds and let them splutter.

Add in the sliced onions and 2-3 green chillies slit through. Sauté till the onions change colour to light brown.

Add salt and the remaining turmeric powder, chilli powder & kashmiri chilli powder, if using. Stir to mix well.

Reduce the heat and add the posto paste. Sauté and stir well for 3– 4 minutes till raw smell of posto goes.

Add the fried potols and stir gently to mix with onion and posto paste.  

Add half a cup of warm water and sugar, if using.

Cover and cook till the potols are fully cooked and almost all the water has dried up. The gravy should coat the potols nicely and should not be runny.

Serve with plain riceheaven!! 


  • Remember, salt is added in three stages – first while making posto paste, then while frying potols and then finally with the onions. Adjust quantity needed accordingly.
  • I like the texture onion gives to the gravy, you can skip if you want. 
  • In my husband’s family, turmeric is usually never used with posto (it interferes with the flavour). If you want to use turmeric to get some colour, I have specified when to add should you choose to use it. 
  • The green chillies used in the posto paste and then with the onions mean there is normally no need to add red chilli powder for heat. I have specified above when to add in, in case you choose to.
  • We don’t add Kashmiri Red Chilli powder to keep the posto gravy colour. I have specified above when to add in, if you want to add it for colour.
  • Normally a little sugar is almost always added to posto dishes. I prefer to skip. 

Monday, 11 September 2017

Lemon Butter Pasta with Artichoke...eyes, hearts and habits!

Lemon Butter Pasta with Artichokeevery time I promise myself that I will cut down on carbs, something pulls me ina picture here, an ingredient thereand off I go reaching for rice, bread or pasta (or all three together!!)I call it the “Greedy Eyes” syndromethis time it was the artichokesthey were not on my shopping list – far from it, they were not even on my mind zonebut once I saw these, I convinced myself that I will buy these for a nice Mediterranean saladoh boy, was I fooling the time I reached home, the only thing on my mind was a buttery lemony pasta with these hearts for my heart...old habits die hard!! 😊

Lemon Butter Pasta with Artichoke


  • Pasta of your choice, 450gms
  • Artichoke Hearts, marinated in oil*, 250gms ( *I used fresh grilled artichokes bought from Waitrose, if using jarred/canned- ensure you use the ones marinated in oil and not in brine)
  • Shallot, finely chopped/minced, 1 small to medium
  • Garlic, peeled and minced/crushed, 2
  • Parsley leaves, finely chopped, 2 tbsp
  • Thyme leaves, finely chopped, ½ tbsp
  • Lemon juice, from 1 lemon
  • Lemon zest, from 1 lemon
  • Stock of your choice, ½ cup (or just use pasta water)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Chilli flakes, to taste
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 2 tbsp (if using jarred/canned artichokes, use the oil from the jar)
  • Butter, 2-3 tbsp
  • Parmesan, shavings, to serve


Bring a large pan of heavily salted water to the boil.  Cook the pasta according to package instructions or until al dente (reserve about a cup of pasta water for sauce)

(** Please don’t wait for pasta to cook before starting on the sauce. Start the sauce when you put the water to boil**)

Meanwhile, heat a large fry pan/skillet over medium high heat and add extra virgin olive oil.

Add the shallots, garlic and chilli flakes to the pan. Sauté together for a couple of minutes till the shallots soften.

Add the artichokes, lemon zest and thyme. Toss through and sauté for about 5 minutes to let the artichokes colour a little.

Stir in half of the parsley.

Lower the heat; add the butter, lemon juice and ½ cup of the stock/pasta water to the pan.

Season with salt and pepper and let the sauce simmer on low heat till the pasta is ready.

When the pasta is cooked, drain and toss it in the pan with the sauce and remaining parsley.

If the pasta seems too dry, add the reserved pasta water 1 tablespoon at a time, to loosen it a bit.

Add additional salt, pepper, and lemon to taste, if desired.

Finish with some Parmesan and/or parsley to serve.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Easy Almond Cake...Sweet beginnings!!

Almond Cakeall new beginnings need to start with something sweetnew beginnings or fresh starts after long never ending breaks 😊 I had seen this recipe on Spicespoon’s Instagram account a while back and it has since then become a regular in our homea no fuss, easy and absolutely fabulous recipe right up my alleyand hopefully yours too😊 

Easy Almond Cake mmskitchenbites

Easy Almond Cake


Dry Ingredients:

  • Blanched Almond Flour (U.S)/ Ground Almonds (U.K.) , 150gms  (both use blanched and skinned almonds, please don’t use Almond meal as  that is much coarser and almonds are not skinned)
  • Regular All purpose Flour, 50gms
  • Baking Powder, 1 tsp
  • Salt, 1/8 tsp
  • Orange Zest, 1 tbsp (optional)

Wet Ingredients:

  • Unsalted Butter, at room temperature, 110gms
  • Sugar, 175gms (I switch between Caster Sugar and Demerara Sugar depending on what I have on hand, have used both with good results)
  • Eggs, 2
  • Buttermilk, 3 tbsp (based on the quantity needed, if you don’t have buttermilk on hand just used thinned out yoghurt or sour cream)
  • Vanilla Extract, 1 tsp


  • Flaked Almonds, a handful 

To serve: (optional)

  • Icing Sugar


Grease and line a 20cm/8 inch round cake tin.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Sift the ground almonds, regular flour, baking powder and salt together in a mixing bowl. Stir in the orange zest, if using. Keep aside.

Cream butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl; once fluffy, add eggs to the mix, one by one.  Mix with a spatula until smooth

Add in the buttermilk and vanilla extract. Stir to combine.

Fold in the dry ingredients gently without over mixing.

Spoon and the mixture into prepared tin and top up with flaked almonds in a ring shape.

Bake at 180C for 35-45 minutes till a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

Let rest for 5 minutes before digging in!

Dust with icing sugar to serve.

Almond Orange Cake mmskitchenbites

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Asparagus Pasta...five to ten, give me more!

Asparagus Pastaor Spring Pasta...a quick weeknight meal recipe when Amazon Prime or rather my new love Viking Ragnar Lothbrok awaitsquick, easy, pasta, bacon, greens, cheese – what’s not to love? The pasta, not Ragnar J that one I feel a little guilty of falling in love with but the character combined with Travis Fimmel’s smile gets me every single timeI cook the asparagus tips with pasta if using Fine Slender spears...and in the pan to slightly char/brown/caramelise if using the Regular/Giant/Jubilee spearsthe recipe is adapted from Gimme Some Oven’s 5ingredient Bacon Asparagus Pasta and Serious Eat’s  Lemony pasta withAsparagus and Bacongo with either the 5 ingredients or the 10 ingredient list or 6 or 7 or  8 or 9you will end all singing:
“This will never end 'cause I want more
More, give me more
Give me more”

P.S.: the last bit is Fever Ray’s theme for Vikingsjust in case you thought I’ve totally lost it

Bacon Asparagus Lemon Spring Pasta mmskitchenbites

Asparagus Pasta with Crispy Bacon and Lemon


  • Pasta, 250gms (Tagliatelle, Linguine, Spaghetti – any noodle shaped pasta would work)
  • Bacon or Pancetta, sliced into strips, 250gms
  • Asparagus, 250gms (refer to notes)
  • Wine, ½ cup (or chicken stock or just use pasta water)
  • Fresh Red Chilli, seeds and membrane removed, finely chopped, 1 (optional)
  • Spring Onions/ Scallions, whites and green separated and finely chopped, 2-3 (optional)
  • Lemon juice, 1 tsp and Lemon zest, ½ tsp (optional)
  • Butter, 1 tbsp (optional)
  • Parmesan Cheese, finely grated, ¼ cup /25gms
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste


Snap and discard the woody bottoms of the asparagus stalks

Cut off about 2 to 3 inches of the asparagus tops and keep aside. Chop the rest of the spears into about ¼ inch pieces.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling generously salted water al dente according to package instructions. Add the asparagus tips for the last two minutes of the cooking time. (2 minutes for thick/regular asparagus, 1 minute for fine asparagus) Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of the cooking water.

 Meanwhile, add bacon to a large saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until bacon is crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add chopped asparagus bits to the same pan and cook in the bacon fat, tossing and stirring frequently for about 2 minutes until lightly browned. Add spring onion whites and half of the chopped chillies, cook, stirring constantly for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Remove everything with a slotted spoon and set aside with the bacon.

Lower the heat and add the white wine (or pasta water) to the pan to deglaze and scrape off the browned bits. Continue cooking until the liquid has reduced by half. Take the pan off the heat.

**your pasta would be cooked and ready to be drained about now**

Add the pasta with asparagus tips, previously cooked bacon and asparagus stalks, lemon juice, lemon zest, remaining chopped red chilli, spring onions greens, pepper and butter to the pan.  Toss together until butter melts.
Stir in most of the grated cheese and extra pasta water, stirring until desired consistency is reached.
Taste and adjust seasonings.
Sprinkle pasta with remaining cheese and serve immediately.


  • I normally cook the asparagus tips with pasta if using Fine Slender spears...and in the pan to slightly char/brown/caramelise if using the Regular/Giant/Jubilee spears – toss the tips in the pan along with the chopped spears.