Carrot tomato soup

Hot soups and winter go together!! We don’t need any occasion for soup, though if you are suffering with bad cold, drink any hot soup and take a long afternoon nap – you will feel much better.

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During winter season when kids are back from school you can serve them hot soup accompanied by any bread, toast or sandwich. Apoorva loves to have her favorite cheese sandwich with soup and now as bright red sweet carrots are available in Bangalore, I decided to prepare carrot tomato soup flavoured with dry and fresh mint leaves!

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Ingredients :

200 gm carrots
300 gm tomatoes
1 cup water for boiling
1/2 tsp black pepper powder
Salt 1+1/4tsp
Dry mint powder
Fresh mint leaves
2 cups water

Process :

Chop carrots and tomatoes and boil them with 1 cup of water till carrots become soft.

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After boiling, let them cool down and later grind in mixer.

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Sieve the pulp in a strainer, add 2 cups of water and boil this for 10-15 minutes on sim heat. Add salt.

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Once soup is done, transfer it in a serving bowl and add dry mint powder and black pepper powder.

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The  color of soup will slightly change by adding black pepper and dry mint powder. While serving in soup bowls you can add some more dry mint powder and cream.

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Suji ke cheele

Rava, samolina or suji is a very versatile ingredient. With rava we can cook savoury breakfast, fry snacks, prepare sweets, add it with other flours to give crunch, and can even can bake bread too!

In North India we prepare different types of “cheela” for breakfast. Cheela is very similar to South Indian dosa, but the biggest difference is that cheela batter is not fermented. Cheela can be prepared with your choice of daal (lentils), gram flour and rava. Moong daal cheela with paneer is a very popular snack stall during marriages.

During winter season at my parents’ house my mother used to prepare rava cheela by adding grated vegetables in it for dinner with coriander and tomato chutney. Sitting, chatting and having dinner with all family members in the kitchen used to be very cosy and warm.

Initially we used to prepare cheela on iron tava but then non stick tava was introduced and my mother also bought one. But right from the beginning I never liked non-stick tava. One has to be very careful while using them and while cleaning you can’t scrub them completely to clean the oil. Call me old fashioned, but my preference always remained solid iron tava. Slowly, I became so good in preparing thinnest dosa or cheela that you give me any thin or thick iron tava – I can give you the best cheela or dosa from it. Not boasting, but practice makes you perfect!!

Don’t you agree….

Ingredients :

Rava, salt, red chilli powder, a small pinch of asafoetida powder and turmeric powder, onion, carrot, coriander leaves, cabbage, ginger, and oil.

Process:

In a bowl take rava and add water in that to soak it for half an hour. In the meantime grate carrots, ginger and finely chop onions, cabbage and coriander leaves. After half an hour add all chopped and grated vegetables in soaked rava.

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Mix everything well. If batter is thick cheela will be thick and crisp, if it is thin, cheela would be thin and soft. If you are a beginner, better start with thick batter.

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Heat thick bottomed or non-stick tava and slightly grease it with oil. Once tava is hot, reduce the heat  to sim and with the help of the ladle take batter and place it on tava.

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Slowly spread it with ladle evenly and increase the heat to medium to high.

IMG_20180909_092140572.jpgSlowly cheela would start looking dry – spread very little oil all around it on tava and reduce heat to sim. With the help of flat ladle slowly start with the edges and without breaking turn it to the other side.

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Apply oil all over it and again turn it on to the other side and apply oil.

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Slightly press with the laddle on both sides while it is getting cooked until completely done.

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Serve hot with chutney or sauce.

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Pizza sauce

Preparing homemade pizza sauce was in my long time wish list. If pizza sauce is ready then preparing pizza is very easy as it is less time consuming and less work.You can prepare pizza sauce one day in advance, next day in the morning bake pizza base and assemble everything together along with toppings and bake pizza for dinner. Doesn’t this planning sounds great!!! Though I prepared this sause to use for Pizza rolls

Ingredients

4 boiled tomatoes puree
2 finely chopped onion
1tsp black pepper
4 finely chopped green chillies
3 tbsp butter/olive oil
2 tbsp tomatoe sauce (optional, I didn’t add)
Salt 3/4 tsp reduce or add as per your taste)
1/2 cups water (I didn’t add as I wanted thick sauce for pizza rolls)
2 tbsp mixed pizza spices (instead can use seprate your choice of pizza spices like oregano, rosemary, thyme, red pepper flakes etc…)
1+1/2 tsp sugar
Few crushed fresh basil leaves

Process :

Heat a thick bottomed pan and add butter/olive oil. Add finely chopped onion and green chillies. Saute them till till onions are light brown.

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In this add boiled, grinded tomatoes puree.  Keep the heat on sim and add pizza spices, black pepper and tomato sauce. Add water and let it cook until you get the desired thickness.  Add salt and sugar, mix well and switch off gas. Add crushed green basil leaves and let it cool down completely

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Fill pizza sauce in a clean bottle and keep it in the fridge. Just make sure that you are able to save it from your family members for next day’s pizza….!!

 

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Tamatar ki chutney (tomato dip)

What do you prefer to have with poori if you are frying them for brunch. I like this word “brunch” a lot. It suits for occasionally lazy people like me 😉. It allows us to cook just two meals rather than three in a day.

Generally while having poori for brunch I prefer to have curd along with  sukhe aaloo ki sabzi Sukhe aaloo ki sabzi (boiled potatoes with Indian spices). But last weekend I thought of trying  salty, sweet, tangy and spicy tamatar ki chutney. My mother used to prepare it as a side dish for stuffed parathas and was my favourite!

 

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A small tip : To prepare this chutney, always buy sour tomatoes, instead of sweet ones.

Ingredients :

Tomatoes, green chillies, dry mint powder or fresh mint leaves, salt, sugar, red chilli powder, oil, turmeric powder, rai, cumin seeds and asafoetida.You can go with your choice of flavours like parsley, basil, rosemary, garlic, ginger etc…

Process:

Wash tomatoes, green chillies and fresh mint leaves.

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Cut tomatoes into big pieces and chop green chillies.

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In a pan heat 2 tbsp oil (I used mustard oil) and crackle rai, cumin seeds and asafoetida.

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Add tomatoes and green chillies in the oil along with salt, red chilli powder and turmeric powder.

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Cover it and let it cook on medium to sim flame for 15-20 minutes. Tomatoes are very tender so they they don’t take long time to get cooked.

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In between turn them upside down but don’t let tomatoes become completely mashed up.

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Once tomatoes are cooked  add sugar (according to your taste) and sprinkle dry mint powder for flavor. If you don’t have dry mint powder, chop finely fresh mint leaves and add.

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Tamatar ki chutney tyaar hai!!!

Garnish with green mint leaves.

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Coriander Chutney

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Right from our childhood we all have tasted different kinds of chutneys in various flavors. It might be of mint, coriander, onion, tamrind, spinach, coconut, tomato or chili. On a beautiful rainy day or nail biting cold weather, before we start preparing hot bhajiya or pakora, we first prepared chutney. In India chutney is integral part of our breakfast. Dosa, idly,  vada, poha, upma, plain paratha, samosa, kachori are incomplete without chutney. So, come let’s prepare nice spicy green coriander chutney and add a zing to your meal.

Ingredients :

Fresh green coriander, salt, hing(asafoetida) green chilli, amchoor(dry mango powder) ginger and tomato.

Tips:

1.If you are interested in keeping chutney for a week in fridge, always use fresh coriander,otherwise you won’t get beautiful green color and taste will be different.

2.Don’t throw away tender stems – use them along with coriander leaves.

3.Quantity of green chilli is based on individual’s taste – my personal preference is spicy chutney. So I add lot of green chillies and ginger and it gets  balanced with amchoor powder.

Process:

Cut the roots of coriander and wash it thoroughly under running water – after washing keep it on a sieve, so that all excess water will be sieved away.IMG_20170430_204206843.jpg

Wash one tomato, a small piece of ginger and some spicy green chillies. Chop coriander so that it’s easy to put in the jar. Grate or chop and add ginger, chopped green chillies and tomato.IMG_20170430_204049611.jpg

Grind it for a minute (if required, add some water). Now you will know exactly how much quantity of chutney you will get. So now add salt, amchoor powder and hing and again grind till your choice of consistency, whether you want it to be a complete paste or slightly coarse. Enjoy your spicy green coriander chutney with any meal of the day!!!

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Mangoshake (aamras)

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Summer is best known for fun filled freedom from school, playing for hours without worrying about school homework, no need to get up early in the morning, having cousins at your home, or visits to Nani ma ke or dadi ma ke ghar, and having lots of cool drinks, sharbat, chilled ice-cream and lots of fruits. I remember during summer we used to gobble one big sized watermelon after dinner!!!!!!! Mangoes were used in different ways.  Raw mango for pana, chatni, pickle, longi, or eat it just like that with salt.  My favorite was always sweet and sour pana. My mom used to roast raw mangoes instead of boiling them to prepare pana and I still have that yummy tangy taste. Dussehri is considered the best variety of mango in North India. Just slice into pieces and enjoy……. 😋😋We used to enjoy aamras or mango shake in the evening during summer, because as kids we were not allowed to have tea. Now I prepare aamras with breakfast. In Bangalore I buy Baiganpalli mangoes specifically for mango shake as it gives lots of pulp. One glass of mango shake, and you are good to go for  next 3-4 hours…….

Ingredients :

  • Mangoes
  • Sugar
  • Milk

Procedure :

  • Wash mangoes and peel them.

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  • Slice them into small pieces.

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  • Grind these pieces along with sugar.  You will get nice smooth paste like consistency of pulp.

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  • Add milk in it and run the mixer again.

Your mango shake is ready. You can keep it in the fridge to chill it for two hours, or if you can’t wait that long, just crush some ice cubes and add in mango shake. Pour in glasses, cut small pieces of mango and add on top (optional). I love to sip and eat mangoes at the same time 🤣🤣. Enjoy the king of fruits…..

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