Himalayan Noodle Soup

Soups are cleansers.They are really the detoxifiers for any season.Whether hot or cold,soups are delightful bowls of goodness and freshness.The key is fresh ingredients and clear broth.Tibetan and Bhutanese cuisines are rich in hearty soups like the Thukpa.So I made a vegetarian version of thukpa for today’s breakfast.

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Himalayan Noodle Soup

Ingredients:

Vegetable broth:2 cups,strained through a muslin cloth

Flat rice noddles:150 grams

Onion:1 medium,chopped

Green bell pepper:1,julienned

Carrot:1/2,julienned

Ginger:1 1/2 inch,julienned

Garlic:2 cloves,chopped

Green chillis:1/4 inch ,chopped finely

Tomato:1/2 sliced

Black pepper:1/2 tsp

Red chilli pepper flakes:1/2 tsp

Salt

Olive oil:1/2 tbsp

Coriander leaves:For garnish

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Method:

In a pot heat the oil and add the onion,carrots,ginger,garlic,bell pepper and saute it until tender.Add salt and red chilli flakes to it.Now add the warm broth to the pot and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes.Meanwhile in a large pot of boiling water add the rice noodles and let it cook al dente.Β With a wooden ladle pour out the soup into deep bowls.Now add handful of the noodles to it.Sprinkle with ground black pepper and add fresh sliced tomato to it.Serve it immediately.In the hot broth the tomatoes become pliable and wonderful to eat.That is the beauty of soups.

I enjoyed the soup with the Lord of The Rings movie marathon today.Happy Weekend everybody!

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Lentil Burger with Mint Yogurt Dressing and Semolina Onion Rings

Summer to me means lots of lemonade and fresh mint.And cool yogurt.So for today’s breakfast there was healthy lentil burger patties and a cool mint yogurt dressing that went with the onion rings too.

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Lentil Burger with Mint Yogurt Dressing and Semolina Onion Rings

Ingredients:

For the burger patty:

Lentils:1 cup,soaked overnight and boiled

Red chilli powder:1/2 tsp

Coriander and cumin powder:1/2 tsp

Salt

Cornflour:1 tbsp

Dried mango powder:1 tsp

Green chillis:1/2 inch,chopped finely

For Burger Assembly:

Onion: 2-3 slices

Tomato:1-2 slices

Coriander leaves:1 sprig,whole

Bread slices:2,slightly toasted

Egg:1,at room temperature

For the Mint Yogurt Dressing:

Mint leaves:2 sprigs,chopped

Yogurt:1/2 cup

Black pepper:1/2 tsp,ground

Green chillis:1/2 inch,chopped finely

Salt

For Semolina Onion Rings:

Onions: 2 big,sliced into 1/4 inch thickness

All-purpose flour:1/4 cup

Semolina:1/2 cup

Baking soda:1/2 tsp

Red chilli powder:1/2 tsp

Dried mango powder:1/2 tsp

Milk:Enough to make the batter

Salt

Canola oil for frying

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Method:

1.In a bowl mix the boiled lentils with spices,seasoning and green chillis.Mash well using hand and make a patty.Roll the patty in cornflour to cover all the sides.Meanwhile get the batter ready for the onion rings.In a bowl mix the semolina,flour,spices,salt and baking soda.In this add the milk slowly to incorporate all the dry ingredients.Dip the sliced onion rings in it and set aside.

2.In a skillet pour around 3 tbsp of oil and heat on medium heat.Place the lentil patties in it and let it fry for 3 minutes on each side.When the faces are golden brown take off the patties and place them on kitchen tissue to soak extra oil.In the same skillet pour some more oil and add the onion rings from the batter.Fry them on each side for 1-2 minutes until golden brown.

3.In the meantime place a pot of water for boiling while you make the yogurt dressing.As soon as the water starts bubbling around the sides of the pot,crack the egg and pour it into the water.For a runny yolk let it poach for 2 minutes tops and for a hard-boiled yolk make it 4 minutes.

4.In a small bowl add yogurt,mint leaves paste,salt,black pepper and crushed Β green chillis.Whip it well until smooth consistency.You can increase the yogurt or mint amount according to your preference.I like it with more minty taste.

5.Now time to assemble the burger.Place the patty on a slice of bread.Drizzle the mint dressing on top lavishly.Place the onion and tomatoes on top and garnish with coriander leaves.On top add the poached egg and season with salt.Add the onion rings as a side to the burger along with the mint yogurt dressing as a dip for the rings.

The tangy yogurt is a nice compliment to the lentil patty and semolina adds a nice crunch to the onion rings.

Oh and Happy Easter Everyone!

 

Okra Yogurt Curry

Bhindi is the Hindi vernacular for Okra and is used in a variety of curries in the subcontinent.This particular curry has its roots in Rajasthan and surrounding areas in India which uses hung curd as its base and is filled with spices.Yogurt curries are delicious and yet healthy in summers in tropical countries.

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Okra Yogurt Curry

Ingredients:

Okra:20,sliced into pieces 2cm wide

Onion:1 medium

Olive oil or canola oil: 2 tbsp

Dried red chilli: 2 pieces torn into halves

Mustard seeds: 1 tsp

Cumin seeds:1 tsp

Asfoetida: 1 pinch

Dried coriander powder: 1 1/2 tsp

Dried cumin powder:Β 1 1/2 tsp

Red chilli powder: 1 tsp (I added 2 tsp but you can vary it according to how much heat you want in the dish)

Turmeric powder:1/2 tsp

Hung curd or yogurt :1 cup

Salt

Curry leaves: about 20 whole leaves

Method:

1. In a saucepan add oil and fry the okra pieces until tender for 4-5 minutes.Sprinkle salt while frying.Set the fried okra aside on a kitchen tissue to soak the excess oil.

2. Now in a glass bowl add the yogurt,cumin and coriander powder,red chilli powder,turmeric powder and salt.Mix together.Add a tablespoon of water to thin the mixture.

3.Return to the saucepan now.Add oil and to it add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds first.The moment the mustard seeds start sputtering add the dried red chillis,curry leaves and asfoetida.To the tempering mix add the yogurt-spice mix.

4. Let the mixture cook on medium heat until it starts bubbling.At that time add the fried okra to it and stir.Stir for 2-3 minutes before serving hot with rice or naan.

 

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Homemade Veggie Delight Pizza

Summer is here but that doesn’t stop me from churning out recipes including loads of vegetables.And pizza is really a good excuse for having veggies you normally wouldn’t have say in salads.I made two different types of pizza this morning.One was without cheese since Dad and my Aunt really don’t eat dairy products.Here am sharing the cheese version.

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Ingredients:

For the dough:

2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

For the sauce:

1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato puree
1 large-sized onion, chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley

For topping:

1 1/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup chopped green and yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup kalamata olives
1/2 cup sliced cherry tomatoes

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Method:

1.Firstly take the yeast and soak in warm water(not boiling) until it froths and starts becoming creamy.Set it aside.

2.Sift flour and 1 teaspoon salt into a large bowl. Mix egg and oil into dry ingredients; stir in yeast mixture. When dough has pulled together, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, then place dough in bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a light cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

3.Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (235 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.Take a saucepan and cook and stir diced tomatoes, tomato puree, onion, 1 tablespoon oregano, garlic, onion powder, 1 teaspoon salt,dried parsley and black pepper over medium heat. Cook until sauce has thickened and tomatoes are tender.

4.Punch down dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Use a knife to divide dough into two equal pieces–do not tear.Form dough into circles(mine were about 8 inches wide), and place onto prepared baking sheet. Spoon tomato sauce over dough. Sprinkle with 1 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese; top with green and yellow bell pepper, onion,kalamata olives,cherry tomatoes sliced.Sprinkle dried parsley on top and drizzle tabasco sauce(yes! I did this and it was way too hot and spicy).Sprinkle 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese over top.

5.Bake in preheated oven until crust is browned and crisp and cheese has bubbled and melted, 20 to 25 minutes.Take pizza out of the oven and sprinkle oregano and red chilli flakes before serving hot.

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Cherry Tomatoes,Caramelized Onions and Pepper Cheese Bruschetta

Italian antipasto has an interesting history.Today bruschetta and crostini are fancy terms we use and interpret and improvise to our imagination but their origin goes back as far as the 15th century.Toasted bread rubbed with garlic and topped with olive oil and seasoning.Truth is food is at its best when there are few and fewer ingredients.It always was and will be.

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Cherry Tomatoes,Caramelized Onions and Pepper Cheese Bruschetta

Ingredients:

Baguette slices :3

Cherry tomatoes: 4 to 5,sliced

Pepper cheese spread

Onion:1 medium,sliced

Olive oil

Black pepper: 1tsp ground

Sugar: A pinch

Salt

Method:

Toast the baguette slices in oven and sprinkle olive oil on top of them.In a pan heat olive oil and add the sliced onions and saute turning the heat low.Add salt and sugar to it and keep stirring.Do not let them sit otherwise they will burn.The onions should be golden brown when caramelized.Turn the heat off.On the baguette slices spread the red pepper cheese spread(I got it from the store the other day and kept myself from eating half of it..it is that good!) first.

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Next put the caramelized onions on top of it.Season with black pepper.Lastly arrange the tomato slices neatly in rows.They look adorable and lovely.Summery breakfast is ready.

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As a matter of fact it might be the best thing I cooked this season.Fresh and a thousand flavors burst in your mouth after the first crunchy spicy bite you have.

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Pasta Arrabiata with Black Olives

One of the easiest pasta recipes to make for any meal.I had bought a fresh batch of tomatoes this morning and decided to cook this one.I went ahead to add some beautiful corn kernels to give it a fresh twist and it turned out just fine.

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Pasta Arrabiata with Black Olives

Ingredients:

Chopped good quality tomatoes : 4

Tomato puree : 2 tbsp

Onion diced finely: 1

Garlic diced finely: 3 cloves

Olive oil: 3 tbsp

Dried or fresh oregano: 1 tbsp

Dried or fresh basil: 1 tbsp

Handful of black olives pitted and halved

Handful of corn kernels

Freshly grated parmigiana

Salt and pepper to taste

Pasta of your liking(I used fusilli)

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Method:

Saute the onion/garlic and oregano in a hot pan with the olive oil till translucent /browning.Add the tomatoes,corn, puree,salt and black pepper and turn down the heat.Stir and make sure the tomatoes do not stew which would turn this watery.Add basil before serving and turn off the heat.Boil the pasta in a pot of water according to package instructions.I usually use a pot with generous water to drown the pasta and add the pasta to rapidly boiling water with 1tbsp of salt.This adds more flavor and prevents pasta from sticking.Six minutes tops and pasta is ready.Drain the pasta and toss it into the sauce.Serve hot with grated cheese.

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Fried Egg Open Sandwich

I have been reading The Horologicon by Mark Forsyth and am totally in love with it.It might be the best book I have read this year till now.Mark has this style of making a dictionary feel brainy yet savvy.His other book Elements of Eloquence is also fascinating but this one is going to be my favorite.So I am in a rush to complete it and have been taking notes too.Keeping a written journal sometimes feels more useful than pinning or bookmarking.

All this reading business calls for eats that can be made within say,ten minutes.Tops.So you end up being curled up with your favorite book instead of sweating off in front of the burner waiting for it to cook your breakfast.

Open sandwiches are my favorites because technically its one slice of bread and a ‘lot’ of topping.So you keep piling them and it looks pretty too.Interestingly,an old English phrase ‘butter shag’ means a slice of bread and butter.There is a confectionary in Calcutta named Flurys which has its signature open sandwich and is quite delicious.It serves bacon or ham of your choice with grilled chicken,tomatoes and greens.With the quintessential fried egg on top.I must say my sandwich has the look of the Flurys one but sans meat.I cook mostly vegetarian because Dad is a vegetarian and he is the greatest critic.So you know.

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Fried Egg Open SandwichΒ 

Ingredients:

Multigrain bread: 1 slice

Butter: 1 tsp

Red and yellow bell pepper: 3-4 slices

Romaine lettuce: 1-2 medium leaves

Ground black pepper

Egg:1

EVO

Salt

Method:

One of the simplest and prettiest breakfast dishes.Toss the bell peppers in the butter for 2 minutes and add salt.Set aside.Place the lettuce leaves on the bread slice and then the pepper slices and season with black pepper and salt.Fry an egg in the olive oil and and toss it on the assembly.The open sandwich is ready to eat.

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Let’s go back reading!