Sharmin Pasha

Sharmin Pasha is a food writer currently based in Dubai, UAE, where she teaches privately-organised cooking lessons on different techniques of cooking. She also hosts an informative page featuring Assamese recipes on Facebook, which was created to showcase the culinary treasures of Assam to the world and to preserve ethnic recipes for generations to come.

Carrot cake

Ingredients:

* Flour................................... 2 ¼ cups

* Baking powder........................... 2 tsps

* Baking soda ............................ 1 tsp

* Cinnamon powder......................... 2 tsps

* Salt.................................... ½ tsp

* Sugar................................... 1 ¾ cups

* Vanilla essence......................... 1 tsp

* Refined oil............................. 1 ¼ cups

* Eggs, at room temperature............... 4

* Carrots, grated......................... 3 cups

* Walnuts, chopped........................ 1 cup

Method: Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease and line a ten-inch round cake pan with baking paper and keep it aside.

Put the flour, the baking powder, the baking soda, the cinnamon and the salt into a large bowl and mix thoroughly. In a separate bowl, beat the sugar, the vegetable oil, the vanilla essence and the eggs until creamy. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined.

Fold in the carrots and the chopped nuts. Do not over mix. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake the cake in the centre of the oven for 50 to 70 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Cool the cake in the pan for one hour. Turn it out onto a wire rack, peel off the baking paper and let it cool completely. Serve with tea or coffee.

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Shrimp pasta

Ingredients:

* Shrimps, medium, shelled, deveined............ 20

* Dry penne pasta............................... 1 cup

* Butter ......................................  2 tbsps

* Oil........................................... 1 tsp

* Garlic, minced................................ 2 tbsps

* Capsicum, medium, finely chopped ............. 1

* Chilli flakes................................. 1 tsp

* Cream......................................... 2 cups

* Parmesan, grated.............................. 3 tbsps,

plus more for serving

* Black pepper.................................. to taste

* Salt.......................................... to taste

Method: Cut the shrimps into half-inch pieces. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper and mix well.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a tablespoon of oil and a teaspoon of salt. Add the pasta and cook for ten minutes, or until al dente. Drain the pasta and set it aside.

Heat the butter and the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the chopped garlic and the chopped capsicum and cook until tender. Stir in the shrimps and a pinch of the chilli flakes and sauté briefly. Slowly stir in the cream. Add the parmesan cheese and cook until the sauce thickens. Mix in the pasta and immediately transfer to a serving bowl.

Sprinkle with extra parmesan cheese and garnish with the remaining chilli flakes. Serve hot.