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Roasted Tomato and Garlic Soup

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OLD POST – NEW PHOTOS 🙂

 

Hello Wonderful readers!

So you know how i have been going on and on about how cold its been and how we haven’t been able to step outside cause of the continuous rains. Its actually been more than a week since the rains started and it just doesn’t seem to stop. I was hoping it would rain continuously on the days after Diwali but that did not happen. Those two hours of no rain was filled with the horrendous sound of fire crackers bursting right up the road. It really doesn’t make sense to me. Yes when I was a little girl I loved to burst crackers with friends on Diwali but once I was in high school we never burst them. And it wasn’t like my parents hated it but I understood how bad the side effects are. A close friend of our family lost her husband during Diwali cause of the harmful gases that are emitted during that time. Asthma patients have it really bad during that entire week and so does poor little “pepper” (my lhasa apso) who also has a tough time with all the noise and smoke during Diwali time. That being said I do love lighting lamps around the house and filling our dinning tables with all sorts of sweets. My father LOVES bengali sweets and we make it a point to make as many as we can and buy more 🙂

Well its the week after Diwali, the days are short, cloudy, cold and chilly! The nights are ice cold. My son looks like an apple in the winter cold and he sleeps a lot. Thats why I have the time to make and post photos off late 😛

So we have been making and ordering lots and lots of soup and I decided why not share my simple roasted tomato soup. Its really simple and you do not really need to be there when it all happens. We have it with toasted bread but if I could I would love to have it with a grilled cheese sandwich. But each to their own. This one is my simple recipe.

Ingredients :-

  1. Tomatos – 6 – 7 ( ripe and red) all and any kind – red, black, cherry etc
  2. Garlic – 10 – 12 ( use 2 entire pods cut in the middles for bolder flavor)
  3. Rose Mary – 1/2 tsp
  4. Thyme – 1/2 tsp
  5. Chilli Flakes – 1/2 tsp
  6. Pepper – 1 tsp
  7. Salt – according to taste
  8. Vegetable Stock – 2 cups ( more if required)
  9. Olive oil – to drizzle over the tomatoes before roasting
  10. Basil and cream for garnish

Instructions :-

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C and line a baking tray with foil
  2. Now cut into 6 equal halves and cut the garlic into 2 halves
  3. Then add all dry spices – rose mary, thyme, oregano, chilli flakes and a little salt ( you add more later so just add a little at this stage)
  4. Now mix well to distribute the spice evenly with the tomato and garlic
  5. Spread the tomato and garlic over the foil evenly and make sure there is space between them to roast evenly
  6. Pop the tray into the oven and roast for 25 – 30 min ( the skin will begin to shrink and sizzle)
  7. Once the tomatoes and garlic are ready in a pan add 1 tsp of oil and add the roasted tomato mix
  8. Pour the vegetable stock. Close and cook for another 15 – 20 mins
  9. Add pepper and salt and season to your desired taste
  10. Finally transfer the mixture into a mixture and blend to required consistency
  11. If you do not like thick soups then bend for little longer that 10 mins and then push the soup through a soup strainer
  12. Serve hot with bread or grilled cheese sandwiches

Dal Tadka – The Famous Indian Lentil Curry

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Hello my dear wonderful readers,

How are you all doing today? My little boy is down with a fever again and now I am here taking care of him and spending all my time by his side. Over the weekend we took him to a fun play pen and the next day he came down with the cold. This is the second time this is happening after taking him to the same place and the only logical reason would be that he got it from some other kid at the play pen. How do I feel about the fact that parents bring their sick kids to a public area? Well personally I make sure my son is not around other kids when is unwell and if I know he is about to fall sick or is just recovering from one, I inform the family or friends I am about to meet. Well but that’s just me right? So now he is down with terrible cold, running nose, lots of sneezes and needs constant attention. All the while I find comfort in reassuring myself that this is the way his immune system does its job and grows stronger. So lets see.

The weekend was also a surprise cause after many many years, I made a new friend. A wonderful woman, who I can relate to in so many ways and its not often that you come across someone who you can just pour your heart out, the first time you meet them right? So all in all, the weekend was AWESOME!! It was also nice to leave the boys and have a little girl time after a looooooonnnggg time! Just to have a coffee and talk girl to girl and also hear out loud many things I have said to myself but never put to practice, was such a relief!! LOL..

Since the little one is unwell, I wasn’t able to get much cooking done. So, this recipe is my life saver. If you are Indian, then you know that there is noting simpler, comforting and wholesome like a big bowl of Dal and Rice / Chappati. This recipe can be used for a wide array of lentils. The simplest and most common combination is the one I have used in my recipe (below). The use of a pressure cooker just makes it faster and easier. But if you do not have a pressure cooker, you just need a pot with a lid and cover and cook till the lentils are mushy and soft to touch. Traditionally, Ghee / Clarified Butter is used instead of oil, but you could use any oil that you are comfortable using.

Ingredients :-

  1. Toor Dal / Pigeon Pea – 2 cup
  2. Masoor Dal / Red Lentils – 1 cup
  3. Oil / Ghee – 1 tbsp + 3 tsp
  4. Cinnamon Stick – 1  one inch stick
  5. Cloves – 4
  6. Green Cardamom – 4  ( bruise with the back of a spoon)
  7. Cumin Seeds – 2 tsp
  8. Asafoetida – 2 pinches
  9. Garlic Cloves – 5 Large
  10. Dry Red Chillies – 4
  11. Onions –     (finely chopped)
  12. Tomatoes –   (finely chopped)
  13. Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tsp
  14. Turmeric Powder – 1 + 1/2 tsp
  15. Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  16. Salt – as required
  17. Water – 4 cups
  18. Coriander Leaves – 3 tbsp

Instructions :-

  1.  In a large bowl, combine both the lentils and wash thoroughly in running water. Then soak in water for 15 mins
  2. Now in a pressure cooker or large bowl, add 1 tbsp of oil. One the oil is hot, add the jeera / cumin seeds (1 tsp)
  3. As soon as the cumin seeds begin to crackle, add the cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom, red chillies (3) and asafoetida
  4. Once the chillies plump up, add the onions. Fry till the onions are pink and almost translucent
  5. Then add the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell disappears
  6. Next add the chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder and chili  powder
  7. Now cook till the tomatoes are cooked through (do not wait for it to fry )
  8. Once the onion tomato paste is ready, add the soaked lentils. ( Discard the water it was soaked in)
  9. Add the water and 1 tbsp of salt
  10. Cover and cook for 3 whistles or till the lentils have cooked through
  11. Once the lentils have cooked through, in a small pan, add rest of the oil. Once the oil is hot add the rest of the cumin seeds, red chili and garlic cloves. Fry till the garlic is golden brown
  12. Pour over the cooked lentils and garnish with the chopped coriander leaves
  13. Serve right away along with hot rice or chappatis

 

 

 

Green Cucumber Mint Lemonade

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Hello my dear wonderful readers,

So I know you are thinking it’s still cold and why on earth would I wanna put up a post with a cold drink. The fact is that it is nice and cold during the nights but the days are getting equally warm. In fact by 2 in the afternoon we have our fans on and my son is usually sweating by then. Also I  realized that it is equally important to stay hydrated during cold times as in summer.

This cucumber mint juice is the perfect way to stay hydrated and cucumber by itself has many healthy benefits. There is always a simple cucumber salad with all our meals and some days we have this drink instead of an aerated drink. We discourage our little one from having soft drinks and beverages so we replace them with juices such as watermelon or lime or even a strawberry milkshake. So this juice was not well received by the little one but we enjoy it every now and then. Its simple to make and it all goes into a single bowl so not much of a recipe per say.

You could also add cumin powder or chilli powder at the end just to give it a different kick. I just use honey cause I love sweet drinks and this is my go to drink when I am in need of a clean refreshing juice.

Ingredients :-

  1. Lime – 2
  2. Water – 4 cups
  3. Cucumber – 3  (sliced and extra for garnish)
  4. Ginger – 1 inch knob
  5. Honey – according to taste
  6. Mint – 1 cup (packed)

Instructions :-

  1. In the bowl of your blender / juicer, add the juice of 2 limes
  2. Then add all of the above ingredients
  3. Blend till the ginger has also blended with the juice. Add more honey if required at this stage
  4. Pour into glasses and serve right away

Thai Style – Galangal and Lemongrass Chicken Soup

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Hello my wonderful readers!!

Its December already!! Can you believe how fast this year has gone by!! I mean the amount of things that have happened and the pace at which things have changed is just incredible! Do not get me wrong. Every moment in it be it sadness or happiness has been an adventure and I do not intend on changing it one bit. But I fear that time moves too quickly when you have a little 2 year and you are hitting 30.

Before getting into the recipe, there was a little thought I wanted to share with you. Last month I turned 30. And oh boy that was a sucky day. I hate birthdays. I do not see the point in celebrating the fact that your skin is getting wrinkled, you hair is losing its lushness, you bones are getting brittle and your patience is running at a low. But that is when my husband sat me down and asked me – what where the highlights of the year and some how I had more reasons to be happy than sad. That is when I realized that your birthday is just a celebration of the number of memories that you have made for so many years and the opportunity to make new ones as time progresses. The number does not really matter for what really matter is how many times you closed your eyes to sleep wearing a smile on your face, or how many times you laughed like no one was watching. How far did you push your self to do the right thing and actually make a difference in someones life. More importantly a birthday is day you treat your self for the champion that you are for all the fears you overcame and all little things you did for your self to make you stronger today. Ok now I am done about that!!!

This recipe is as easy as it gets and oh my god it is so full of flavour. If you are looking for a mild, creamy, aromatic soup then this is it! It reminds you of summer days spent on beaches after a massage at a spa. Soft and delicate, this soup is the perfect winter soup for when the heart yearns for summer time.

Ingredients :-

  1. Chicken – 1 kg ( breast pieces cut into bite size chunks)
  2. Coconut Milk – 2 cans
  3. Pepper Corns – 1 tbsp
  4. Lemon Grass – 10 cms stick
  5. Lime Leaves – 5
  6. Shallots – 8
  7. Cherry Tomatoes – 8
  8. Galangal – 2 tbsp ( chopped fine)
  9. Fish Sauce – 4 tbsp
  10. Coconut sugar – 3 tbsp
  11. Chicken stock – 1 cup
  12. Button Mushroom – 250 gms
  13. Lime Juice – juice from 3 limes
  14. Green Chillies – 5 ( chopped fine)
  15. Salt to taste

Instructions :-

  1. In a large pot, add the coconut milk, pepper corns, shallots and galangal
  2. Bruise the lemon grass with the back of a knife and add to the pot and bring to a boil. Then add the chicken stock
  3. Add the fish sauce, chicken and coconut sugar. Stir occasionally
  4. Once the chicken has cooked add the mushrooms, green chilies, lime juice and lime leaves
  5. Add salt to taste
  6. Bring back to a boil and add the cherry tomatoes. Cook only for another 1 min
  7. Serve right away with fresh lime leaves

Pumpkin Khao Soi with sweet sticky Pork and Egg noodles – (soup)

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Hello my dear wonderful readers!!

How are you all doing today? I cannot believe its already November and the year is coming to an end. The air is a little chilly and I pulled out my baby’s jackets and I realized I have to buy him new ones 🙂 . How time flies.

Anyways, so this time I am back with a lovely creamy, bold soup. Now traditionally it is made without the pumpkin and usually it goes with chicken. But this time I decided to make the soup creamy and thick and give it a new dimension.  Hence the pumpkin.Trust me this soup is a meal in itself. You can make it completely vegan my omitting the pork but I wanted that little extra protein and so the addition of pork.

We absolutely love noodles at home. May it be rice, buckwheat, whole wheat, egg any sort, is always welcome. So the recipe calls of egg noddles but if you cannot get a hold of them then go ahead and use any noodle that you like. Just make sure that you add them just before you serve them in a bowl, or else they tend to absorb all the moisture from the soup and then just turn mushy. No one wants a mushy bowl of noodle soup right? This is not your typical noodle in a broth.

 

Preparing the Pork :-
Ingredients

  1. Pork – 400 gms ( lean fillet)
  2. Oil – 1 tsp
  3. Garlic – 1 tbsp ( choppped)
  4. Oyster Sauce – 1 tbsp
  5. Soya Sauce – 1 tsp 
  6. Brown Sugar / Palm Sugar – 3 tsp 
  7. Salt – to taste ( 1.2 tsp)
  8.  Pepper – 1.2 tsp 

Instructions :-

  1.  In a non stick pan, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook till soft
  2. Then add the rest of the ingredients and cook on high for 2 min
  3. Then cover and cook for 5 min on medium heat
  4. Finally open the lid and cook till all the moisture is out 
  5. Remove the cooked pork from the pan and toss out any excess fat on the pan

To Prepare the Pumpkin

 

Ingredients :-

  1. Pumpkin – 4 cups (skin peeled, innards removed and chopped)
  2. Potato – 1 cup ( chopped)
  3. Ginger – 1 tbsp ( choppped)
  4. Salt – 1 tsp
  5. Water – 4 cups

Instructions :-

 

  1. In a large pot, combine all the ingredients and place on medium heat
  2. Cook till the pumpkin and potatoes are soft
  3. Once they are soft, spoon them out, into a blender
  4. Make a fine paste and set aside


To make the Khao Soi Paste :-

  1.  Dried Red chilies – 25
  2. Water – 1/2 cup
  3.  Garlic – 20
  4. Ginger – 2 tbp ( chopped fine)
  5. Cilantro leaves and steam – 1 cup ( packed)
  6. Shallots – 13 
  7. Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
  8.  Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
  9. Garam Masala Powder – 1/2 tsp 

Instructions :-

  1.  Heat water till boiling point
  2.  Place all the dried chillies into the boiling hot water and let them soak for 30 mins
  3. Later in the bowl of a blender add all the ingredients along with the soaked red chillies and the water and blend to make a fine thick paste
  4. Set aside ( you can use as much as you want for this recipe and freeze the rest for later use)

Making and Assembling the soup 

Ingredients for the soup :-

  1.  Egg noodles – 250 gms 
  2. Oil – 2 tbsp
  3. Yellow Bell Pepper – 1/2 cup ( finely sliced)
  4. Red Bell Pepper – 1/2 cup ( finely sliced)
  5. Chicken Broth – 2 cups
  6. Basil Leaves – hand full 
  7. Lime Juice – 3 tbs
  8. Coconut Milk – 1 can 
  9. Coriander and lime for the final garnish 


 Instructions :-

  1.  In a large pot, heat oil 
  2.  Then add Khao Soi Paste and cook till the oil separates from the mixture
  3. Then add the pumpkin and potato mixture
  4.  Cook and combine for 2 mins .Then Bell Pepper and chicken broth
  5. As the mixture begin to simmer add the coconut milk. Again mix well 
  6. Mix well and bring to a boil again ( on medium heat)
  7. Once the mixture boils, add the basil leaves, lime juice and salt according to taste
  8. Cover and cook for another 5 mins and you are ready!
  9. While serving, first add the soup into a bowl, then add the noodles, the pork and finally garnish with some fresh corinader , lime and basil leaves! Yummm!!   

Pumpkin Oat Smoothie – Fall inspired goodness

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My Dear Wonderful Readers

So we are finally settling in and most of my stuff are on the walls and inside the wardrobe and guess what? I am still out of space! LOL All the while I am thinking how did I store all this junk at the old place. Have you felt the same way too?

So I was online scrolling through my instagram account and I found that pumpkin is the thing every body wants to cook with. So i decided to join the fun and start off with a simple smoothie. This one is a no brainer and it really is a mixture of everything I would have on a daily basis just that instead of apples or other fruits I just added pumpkin puree. Now making the puree was actually really easy. It helps if you make a large batch and use whenever you need it. Not just in smoothies but in many more recipes. I will share those with you soon. But for now here is a fall inspired pumpkin smoothie.

 

Ingredients :-

  1. Pumpkin puree – 2 cups (scroll down for recipe)
  2.  Oats – 2 cups
  3. Milk –  1/2 ltr ( or as much as you want)
  4. Coconut / Palm Sugar – 1 tbsp
  5. Cinnamon Powder – 1 tsp
  6. Nutmeg – 1/2 tsp
  7. Banana – 2 (ripe)
  8. Almond flakes and chia seeds – just for the topping

Instructions :-

  1. In the bowl of your blender, add the pumpkin puree, oats, palm sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg powder and bananas
  2. Turn you blender on and add as much milk as required
  3. Add in accordance to the consistency that you like
  4. Finally pour the smoothie into your glass and top with chia seeds and almond flakes

 

To make the pumpkin puree :-

  1. First wash and  cut a medium sized pumpkin into 4 equal halves
  2. Then scoop out the seeds and innards of the pumpkin
  3. Bring a pot of water up to boil and slowly immerse the cut pumpkin into the water
  4. Boil for 10 – 15 ( depends on the size and ripeness) mins till the pumpkin is soft and tender ( use a spoon to pierce through the pumpkin to see if its done)
  5. Turn the heat off and drain the water from the pumpkin
  6. Let the it cool and then scoop out the flesh leaving only the skin
  7. Drain excess water by keeping all the flesh in a strainer and letting the water drain out completely
  8. Store in a clean container in the fridge till ready to use. I usually use it in a day or two.