Being at home with lots of time on hand, means lots of food experiments too. With Tata Q’s ‘heat to eat in 60 second’ meals, you have all new reasons to become a home chef. Giving you some major inspiration is Gayatri Singh, expert chef and food blogger at Culinary Niravana. Trained from the one of the most prestigious institutes of the world, The Culinary Institute of America, Singh has worked at the Taj Boston and The Peninsula Tokyo, representing Indian culture and food with a global flair.

Chef Gayatri Singh - Culinary Niravana

After successfully transforming her passion into her profession, she expanded her horizons to connect with food lovers and created her blog, where she dedicates all her time now. From authentic Indian dishes to fusion cuisines, Singh’s Culinary Nirvana is where you will find over 150 delicious and quick recipes that strike a perfect balance between health and taste. Her well curated Instagram page is a visual delight, with scrumptious food pictures that would inspire you to put on the chef’s hat and get cooking immediately.

Sausage Alfredo Baked Pasta

Ingredients for the pasta:
260 gm penne pasta
4 sausages of your choice (I used chorizo)
50 gm cheddar cheese for topping
1 tsp olive oil

Ingredients for sauce:
350 ml milk
250 ml water or chicken or vegetable stock
40 gm plain flour (all-purpose flour)
40 gm Parmesan cheese
10 ml olive oil
15 gm or 1 tbsp butter
6 small cloves of garlic finely chopped
Salt to taste
½ tsp cracked black pepper
¼ tsp nutmeg powder
Parsley and chilli for garnishing

  • Cook pasta till al dente in salted water with 1 tsp (5 ml) olive oil. Drain it well and wash it under cold water, so it doesn’t stick 
  • Take the sausages out of its casing and cut them in thick pieces. Heat 1 tsp olive oil and brown the sausage pieces. Once browned scoop them out and drain them on a paper towel.
  • In the same pan add in the rest of the butter and olive oil mentioned for the sauce. Add in the garlic and saute till fragrant. Sprinkle the flour and cook the flour for 3 minutes on a low flame.
  • Slowly add stock or water whisking it, so there are no lumps. Now slowly add in the milk and keep whisking to combine. Simmer for 3-4 minutes. Once it is thick to the sauce consistency, add in the salt, pepper, nutmeg and grana padano or parmesan cheese. Mix it well till the cheese is melted. Turn the heat off and keep it aside.
  • In an ovenproof dish, add in the pasta, browned sausage and sauce. Mix it well. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top. Preheat the oven to 175C. Bake it for 20-25 minutes till the cheese is slightly brown. Serve immediately.

You can add vegetables like mushrooms, broccoli and green peas to keep it vegetarian. Leftover grilled chicken can be an excellent addition to this baked pasta too, instead of sausage.

Pasta With Lentils

200 gm dry fusilli pasta
100 gm or 1 big shallot or onion small diced
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 dried red chilli or fresh chilli chopped
10 cherry tomatoes cut in half
1½ cup or 1 can cooked brown lentils
2 tbsp quark or ricotta or curd cheese
Black pepper to taste
Chilli flakes to taste
1 tsp thyme leaves roughly chopped
½ tsp nutmeg powder
1 tsp orange zest
Salt to taste
1 tbsp olive oil

  • Heat water with a splash of olive oil and salt. Add in the pasta and cook till al dente. Wash the pasta well to get rid of the excess starch.
  • In a pot, heat olive oil add in the chilli and garlic. Fry till the garlic becomes golden, add in the shallot, thyme. Saute for 2-3 minutes or till the shallot is translucent. Add in the spices and lentils, mix well. Add in the quark, stir it continuously so it doesn’t separate.
  • Add in the pasta, ½ cup of water and cherry tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes. Add in some water if the pasta is too dry. Add the orange zest and mix well.

Creamy Tomato Sauce Pasta

200 gm spaghetti pasta
200 gm cherry tomatoes or 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
120 ml double cream
6 small cloves of garlic finely sliced
2 fresh red chillies (finely chopped) or chilli flakes
½ tsp cracked black pepper
15 gm Parmesan cheese
1 vegetable stock cube (optional)
Salt to taste
1 tsp sugar if you are using canned tomatoes
1 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
Chopped parsley, chilli for garnishing (optional)

  • Cook the pasta in salted water with 1 tsp olive oil till al dente. Add in the vegetable stock cube in the water. Wash the drained pasta under cold water, so it doesn’t stick.
  • In a heavy-bottomed pan add in the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, tip in the garlic and saute till golden brown. Add in the chillies, saute for 30 seconds and add in the tomatoes. Cook for 2-3 minutes if using cherry tomatoes. If you are using canned tomatoes, then cook for 5-7 minutes.
  • Add in the black pepper, sugar (if you are using canned tomatoes) stir to combine. Add in vegetable stock cube water and continue to cook for 2 minutes till the sauce is thick. Add in the pasta and stir to combine. Now add in the cream and half of the cheese.
  • Stir well to mix everything well. Check the seasoning.
  • Garnish with rest of the cheese and parsley. Serve immediately and serve hot.

Inspired? Find more of healthy recipes by her on her Culinary Nirvana. Some of our favourites include this yummy pumpkin soup and healthy pesto.