Friday, July 3, 2015

Red pepper soup

When we need something warm and comforting on a rainy evening, then soup is the answer.

This pepper soup was an inspiration from a picture in a cookbook which I was sifting through.


Then I saw a some fresh peppers in the market and voila!



Serves- 2 large portions
Ingredients

  1. Pasta (any shape)- 1/2 to 3/4 cup
  2. Red pepper/ Red color capsicum- 5
  3. Garlic- 2-3 cloves
  4. Olive oil - 1 tbsp
  5. Shallots- 2, chopped fine
  6. Vegetable broth- 1 cup
  7. Black pepper- 1/4 tsp or as per taste
  8. Salt as per taste


Method

  • Boil the pasta till al dente. Reserve the water.
  • Grind the peppers and garlic together with 1 tsp of olive oil to a puree.
  • Heat the remaining olive oil. Saute the shallots in it.
  • Pour the puree into the pot. Add vegetable broth and salt. Mix and cook for a few minutes.
  • Now add the pasta with the water reserved. Cook for a few minutes. Add black pepper.
  • Taste and check for salt and pepper.
  • Serve hot for a fulfilling meal.
  • It'll go great with some cheesy garlic bread, or buttered french bread even some plain boiled rice.



Thursday, June 18, 2015

Gaund ra Laadoo / Goond ke laddu / Sweet Wheat flour balls with Indian edible gum

This is a recipe which brings back happy winter memories. Since I now live in a coastal town, the rainy season is about as cold as it gets here. Nonetheless, the taste of home is priceless!


A number of varieties of laddoos (and other delicacies) were made at our house over the cold winter months which lasted from November till early February.


These gond laddoos were one of the staples. My mother and my aunt would make a large batch and store in a stainless steel containers. They were ready snacks for the kids in the house. I used to love them and trade them for breakfast many times. A glass of hot milk and 1 laddoo and my breakfast was done.

Gond is an ingredient which is used in traditional foods like laddoos and panjiri given to newly lactating mothers.


It is also considered to be heat producing and hence widely used in winters.




Ingredients
Whole wheat flour- 2 katori
Goond/ Gaund- 1/4 katori
Sugar (powdered)- 1 and 3/4 katori
Cardamom (Powdered)- 5
Kali mirch/ black pepper- 1tsp (you can use whole or crushed ones)
Dry fruits- 1/2 katori , a mix of almonds, pistachios and cashews
Saffron strands -1 pinch  (optional)
Ghee- 5 and 1/2 tbsp


Method
Melt the 1 tbsp ghee in a thick bottomed pan.
Add the gond crystals to the heated ghee. It will puff up into whitish balls.
Remove from pan and crush it with a rolling pin /belan
In the same pan, add the remaining ghee and let it melt.
Roast the whole wheat flour on a medium low flame. Stir it constantly till it roasts well. The house will be filled with a nice aroma to warm everyone's heart.
Add the gond and dry fruits to this mix. Remove from heat.
Let it cool enough for you to touch with hands. Now mix in the sugar, Cardamom, saffron and kaali mirch.
Mix it well and press it into the shape of lemon sized balls.
Makes about 18-20 small laddoos.


Note: If the mixture is too dry or crumbly, add some hot melted ghee spoon by spoon. Mix till u get it right.



Thursday, June 11, 2015

Rainy season and cupcakes- Egg free Apple cinnamon cupcakes

Its raining, its pouring....and we are baking cupcakes!!


Occasionally it rains sooo much that you need to bake something....anything.


Okay, that's probably my excuse for baking these cupcakes...but they are good and my little one is relishing these little beauties.

Cinnamon apple cupcakes

Ingredients (adapted from Divinetaste)
Apple (green)- peeled, cored and chopped
Sugar- 3/4 cups
Baking soda- 1tsp
Butter- 100 gm
Baking powder- 1 tsp
Whole wheat flour- 3/4 cup
White flour- 1/2 cup
Cinnamon powder- 1/2 heaped tsp
Vanilla essence- 2tsp


Method

  1. Pour 3 tsp water in a pan and add the chopped apples..cook till soft.
  2. Pre-heat the oven at 150 degree centigrade.
  3. Mix well the baking powder, cinnamon powder, wheat flour and white flour, sieve them together.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar.
  5. Blend the cooked apples and mix baking soda in it.
  6. Now add the apple puree to the butter and sugar mix.
  7. Add all the dry ingredients to this mixture. Add vanilla essence.
  8. You will get a thick batter, do not overbeat.
  9. Spoon the batter into cupcake liners.
  10. Bake for 25 min or till the skewer comes clean.
  11. Enjoy warm. You can refrigerate it and re-heat it, but it taste best when its fresh.
I have not used any icing here, but a small amount of glace icing with lemon should taste good.



Friday, May 15, 2015

Nimbu pudina sherbet / Lemon mint-ginger cooler

Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it
 - Russell Baker

Summer
It beats us down with heat......
We need solace from the hot winds and the harsh sun......
We need shady trees and cool evening breeze.....
We need a lot of breaks......




But mostly we need to quench our unending thirst time and again.
And thus, the season of lazing around begins....


Lemon mint ginger sherbet 

You will need
Indian lemon or lime- about 14 in number
Mint leaves- 1 cup, cleaned and washed well
Sugar- 250 gm
Water- enough to cover the sugar.
Ginger- 2" piece (optional)
Kala namak/ red salt- 1 tsp


Method
Take sugar and water in a pan. Keep it on low flame till the sugar dissolves. Bring it to a boil. Lower the flame and cook for a minute or so.
Remove from flame to cool till room temperature.
Remove the seeds and squeeze the juice out of lemons or alternatively, strain the juice.
Blend the mint leaves with ginger. Do not add water. Add lemon juice if required.
Add the lemon juice and mint-ginger mix to the sugar syrup and mix.
Your sherbet is ready!



To serve
Pour about 1 tbsp syrup in a glass.


Add ice cubes if not using chilled water.


Add water or soda (if you like)
Add some more red salt..adjust to your taste.

Garnish with mint leaf and serve. You can also add a slice of lemon to it.





Enjoy the summers!!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Lauki Ke kofte- Bottle gourd dumplings in tomato-curd gravy

Plant a radish, get a radish,
never any doubt, thats why I love vegetables,
You know what they are about!
-Tom Jones & Harvey Schmidt

Vegetables are the best thing to eat...everyone knows that. But sometimes you need to add a little twist to them for creating new...psst...also you need to hide it for little ones to eat.


That's when you take a homely bottle gourd and elevate it to the princely kofta status.


You will need

For koftas
Lauki/ Dudhi/Ghiya/ bottle gourd - 1, medium, grated
Besan/ chickpea flour- 4 tbsp
Green chillies- 1 or 2, chopped fine
Salt- 1/3 tsp
Adrak /Ginger- 1/2 " piece, grated
Coriander/ Dhaniya leaves - 2 tbsp (optional)
Oil- for frying

Method
Mix all the ingredients of koftas/ dumplings except oil and leave it for 5 min for the chickpea flour (mota besan) to absorb water. If your chickpea flour is ground fine then you don't need to leave it.

Heat oil in a wok/Kadhai.

Take the mixture in a spoon and pour in the oil. Cook on medium flame, till the kofta changes color to golden brown. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and keep aside on a paper towel.
Make in batches.



 For gravy
Tomatoes- 2, medium
Green chili- 1
Adrak /Ginger- 1" long
Curd- 1/2 cup
Coriander seed powder/ Dhaniya powder- 1 tsp
Salt- 1/2 tsp or to taste
Haldi/Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Garam masala- 1/4 tsp
Red chili powder- 1/4 tsp
Oil- 1/2 tbsp
Heeng /asafoetida powder- 1 pinch
Jeera / cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp


Method
Blend tomatoes. ginger and green chilli together in a blender.

Heat oil in a Kadhai.

Add a pinch of heeng and jeera /cumin seeds. Let the seeds sizzle and brown.

Add the tomato mix and let it cook for a few minutes. Add salt and haldi powder.

Take curd in a mixing bowl. Add dhaniya powder and red chili powder. Mix it together.

When the tomato mix is cooked, add the curd mix and keep stirring for a minute or till it comes to a boil. Even if it does boil over, keep mixing for a few minutes. The oil will come on the top. If you feel the gravy is drying out, then add water. I added about 1/4 to 1/2 cup water.

Add koftas to the gravy and serve hot.



Enjoy hot with Rotis or paranthas.