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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Tomato Soup

Tomato Soup
Serves 2 for sure

  1. Ingredients
  • 1 small onion -peeled, washed and chopped roughly
  • 3 medium tomatoes, washed and chopped roughtly (remove the annoying bit at the stalk!)
  • Half a handful (silly measurement!) of celery leaves and/or stalks washed and chopped (Celery can be replaced by chopped fresh coriander)
  • A small potato, peeled, washed and thinly sliced
  • You can also add extras like:
  • 2" carrot, peeled , washed, thinly sliced
  • 2" courgette / gourd (doodhi), cut into small pieces
  • 2" red pumpkin, cut into small pieces
  • 2" white pumpkin, cut into small pieces
  • a dash of black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive (or any) oil

2. Method
  • Keep 1 ltr boiling water ready, in the kettle or in a pan
  • In a deep pan, add oil. Add the chopped onions
  • On a low heat, fry for few minutes till tender. You may cover it
  • Add celery/coriander. Stir well. cook for a minute or two
  • Add potatoes, tomatoes(and other veggies). Mix well
  • Pour 2 mugs= 500 ml boiling water. Let it all come to a boil
  • Lower heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes until all veggies are cooked through
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • If you think there is not enough liquid left, add some more boling water
  • Blend thoroughly with a hand mixer or in a blender/ liquidiser
  • No need to seive!
  • In winter, fresh tomatoes are very pale in color. So, u may add few tablespoons of tomato puree.
  • In summer, u can get lovely pumpkin. So u may alter this recipe to pumpkin soup by adding more pumpkin and less tomatoes!
  • If u have some boiled dal, u can add it to the soup before blending
  • U can add a spoon or two of baked beans too

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Easy Rasam

Easy Rasam
(serves 2 portions)
Can be enjoyed as an appetizer/ soup, or with rice

  1. Ingredients
  • DAL (OPTIONAL) : 2 tablespoon moong dal(yellow dal) - washed and cooked for 20-30 minutes until tender(mushy) 2 tablespoon Tuvar dal - washed and cooked for 40 minutes until tender.
Note: to cook 2 tbsp dal, add 1 mug of water. when it comes to a boil, cover and simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally until done. If the water gets absorbed, add some more water.
You will get the hang of it if u try a couple of times!

  • 2 medium tomatoes finely chopped 1/2 can tomatoes- chopped+ juice
  • 2-3 cloves garlic peeled and grated or pounded ( fresh tastes way better than shop bought puree)
  • 1 tbsp oil or ghee
  • 1 tsp jeera powder
  • 1/4 tsp pepper powder ( more if u like spicy)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 3-4 washed curry ( limda) leaves , dry or fresh (Opt.)
  • fresh or bottled lemon juice (to your taste)
  • 1/4 tsp salt (or to your taste)
  • a pinch of asafoetida ( opt.)
  • fresh coriander- chopped (opt.)
2. Method

  • Take a deep pan with a lid.
  • On a low heat, put oil/ghee in the pan. Add jeera. cover . wait for it to darken in colour.
  • add limda, garlic and stir. Cover for few seconds.
  • add hing, turmeric and tomatoes. Mix . Cover. Cook for a few minutes until tomatoes soften a bit.
  • add jeera powder, pepper powder , salt and mix well.
  • If you have cooked dal, add the dal to it . mix well. (or skip this step altogether!)
  • Add 1 - 2 cups water(or more) according to the consistency you like.
  • Increase the heat and boil for further few minutes.
  • Garnish with coriander.
  • if u like it a bit more sour, add few drops of lemon juice after serving.
NOTE: Instead of tomatoes, u can even use tomato juice.

Variation : Onion Rasam
  • After step 1 , add one medium chopped onion and cook it till transluscent, then continue with step 2.

Mixed Vegetables

Serves 2 for sure!
(Using  home made mix veg masala)

  1. Ingredients:
  • 1 coffee mug (2 tea cups) mixed steamed/boiled/ frozen veg. of your choice ( e.g; beans, peas, carrots, corn/baby corn ,cauliflower,broccoli) Some can be fresh, some frozen or canned..doesn't matter!
  • Eventually capsicum chopped in cubes or even paneer/ricotta if u like.
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 medium onion-chopped as finely as possible
  • 2 medium fresh tomatoes-finely chopped
  • 1/2 packet-250 gms tomato puree (if using both, u can decide the proportion)
  • 1/2 can (200 ml) coconut milk or 4 tbsp dessicated coconut
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 " piece of ginger (opt.), peeled
  • 1/2 tsp jeera
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tsp mix veg masala ( if u run out of it, u can use choley or pav bhaji masala)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt (to your taste)
  • chopped fresh coriander to garnish(opt.)
  1. Method:
  • Put oil in a pan. Add jeera and cover. When it changes colour, add onion. Mix well. Increase the heat little bit and let it cook till just changes colour....being careful that it doesn't burn! so, stiroccasionally
  • While the onion is getting cooked, If u have a small grinder/mixer, blend the dessicated coconut , ginger, garlic. IF u DON'T have a mixer, finely chop or grate the garlic and ginger and instead of dessicated coconut, use canned or tetrapak coconut milk which needs to be shaken well before using. (rest can be frozen or refrigerated for later use)
  • When the onion gets slightly coloured, on a LOW HEAT , add the blended coconut + garlic + ginger add the grated onion garlic and stir, cook for a bit. You will smell the aromas of garlic/ginger.
  • Add the mix veg masala. Stir. add choley masala and stir.
  • IF u r using coconut milk, first add ginger- garlic. stir; add masala. stir;
  • Then add the tomatoes , cover and let it cook for a few minutes.
  • Add the vegetables, salt to taste, mix well.
  • Add coconut milk. Cook covered for further 4-5 minutes.
  • Garnish with coriander.
  • If you find the curry sour(depending on the flavor of the tomatoes), u can add extra coconut milk or cream.
  • If the gravy is too thick, u can add little water.
  • For that extra bit of nourishment, alongwith the coconut, you can grind some almonds or cashews too.