Saturday, December 18, 2010

Carrot ginger soup and Tomato bruschetta

The winter has set in early this year and most parts of India which barely got cold during winters, have seen a real dip in the temperatures. Ahmedabad used to get a little cold towards the end of December, but this year its been pretty cold since end November and I've pulled out my entire stock of woolens...

Remember I had told you about this set of hand-written recipes that Miri had gifted me long back...I was going thru it a couple of days back and decided to make a nice healthy soup from it. I don't make soups very often and I really don't know why because I think I really like them ! And I love these new soup bowls that my sister-in-law gifted me, so I'm sure I'll be making soup more often now :)

carrot ginger soup

Teamed the carrot ginger soup with some tomato bruschetta from Kay's fabulous blog 'Kayotic Kitchen'- perfect dinner for this weather, light on the stomach and nice combination of flavours

soup and bruschetta

The sharp taste of ginger with the almost sweetish carrots and the heat from the pepper made this soup really perfect and we loved the bruschetta...Thank you Kay and Miri for these great ideas !

What you need -

3-4 medium sized carrots
10-12 sprigs of coriander leaves
2 medium sized onions
1 big piece of ginger
1 tsp butter
juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1 litre water

What you do with it -

Clean the carrots, peel and cut into big chunks
Chop the onions and crush the ginger slightly, but dont let it break. This way you get the flavour, but not the pieces of ginger
Heat butter in a pan and add onions and carrots
Clean the coriander sprigs and tie it up with a thread
Add the bunch of coriander and the ginger piece and a litre of water to the carrots
Pressure cook for 15 mins
Discard the coriander bunch and the ginger
Cool and run thru the blender
Add the remaining water, salt and pepper and allow to simmer
Turn off the heat and add a few drops of lemon juice
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Lasun Batata / Spicy Garlicky Baby Potatoes

One more of my Ma's special dishes..Knowing my love for potatoes, its a surprise I haven't made this in a really long time...

I had some friends over for lunch and decided to make this...It was a real hit, they even packed the remaining for their dinner !! If you like it with a little more gravy to have with rotis, you can add curd to the masala..My aunt makes it like that and its called 'jumping potatoes' !!

lasun batata

Peeling garlic isn't really one of my favourite things to do..I used to buy peeled garlic from the stores earlier, but ever since one of the vegetable vendors here told me that they rub kerosene on the garlic to make it easier to peel, I have stopped buying them...Do check with your stores before you pick up peeled garlic...
And let me also mention here that the 12 cloves of garlic I used in this dish are the regular Indian sized garlic cloves. I had to mention this since the garlic I've seen in the US is about 3-4 times the size of the ones here !!

You can make these as spicy as you like. I have used my stock of Byadgi chillies from Bangalore, which give a lovely red colour, but aren't that spicy..

What you need -

15-20 baby potatoes
10-12 cloves of peeled garlic
15-20 red chillies (use as per your preferred spice level)
small ball of tamarind / 2 tsp tamarind paste
salt to taste
3-4 tbsp oil

What you do with it -

Boil the baby potatoes in a pot of hot salted water
Peel and set aside
Grind the peeled garlic, tamarind and red chillies into a smooth paste, without adding water
Add salt and grind once more
Apply this paste on the potatoes and keep aside for 10-15 mins
Heat half the oil in a heavy bottom pan and then put the potatoes in it
Stir occasionally and fry on a low heat, adding the remaining oil, as required, for about 20 mins or till the ground paste has blended well with the potatoes and there is no raw smell
Serve hot with rotis or dal and rice

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Baked Stuffed Peppers / Capsicums

Stuffed capsicums was one of the dishes that my dad always insisted on for the big dinners at home, when he had people over...My mom makes some wonderful stuffed capsicums, which for some reason, hasn't been made in the longest time now...

I had this packet of sunflower seeds lying around and wasn't sure what to use it in. Googled for a recipe using sunflower seeds and found these stuffed baked peppers, that included brown rice - another one of the ingredients in my kitchen, that was waiting to be used...

stuffed baked peppers

The sunflower seeds added a nice crunch and I quite liked the idea of the rice and cheese, which made this a complete meal in itself !

cross section peppers

The stuffed peppers brought back a lot of memories of the ones that my mom made, though the ingredients here are very different. I hope to make her version soon and post that too..

What you need -

1/2 cup long-grain brown rice
6 large capsicums / peppers (2 red, 2 green, 2 yellow)
3 Tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
2 tsps chopped cilantro
10-12 olives, chopped in half
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded cheese

What you do with it -

Cook brown rice in 1-1/2 cups boiling salted water until tender. Drain if necessary
Set it aside in a large mixing bowl
Preheat oven to 220 deg C. Line a baking pan with nonstick foil
Cut the bell peppers in half and deseed
Parboil bell peppers in boiling salted water for 5 minutes. Drain thoroughly and arrange cut-side up in the prepared pan
Saute onions and sunflower seeds in the butter over medium heat until onion is soft and translucent. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes. Add to the rice in the bowl, along with olives, cilantro, cheese, oregano, basil, salt and pepper
Mound rice mixture in the bell peppers. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the stuffed peppers
Bake in the pre-heated oven at 220 deg C, for 15-20 mins


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