Southern Italian Vegetable Soup

It’s been a while since I made some soup, have been waiting to try this one but I just seemed to be missing some or the other ingredients.

Today finally made this hearty wholesome soup. Perfect for someone on a diet or wanting to stick to a healthy diet. It’s a meal by itself and pairing it with some warm bread will have your dinner sorted.

INGREDIENTS
4 tomatoes
1 onion
8 garlic
1 potato
1/4 cup cabbage
1/2 carrot
1/4 cup macaroni
2 tbsp celery (optional)
2 tsp fresh basil (optional)
Salt
4 cups water
1 tbsp mixed Italian herbs
Juice of half a lime
Olive oil

  1. Boil tomatoes till the skin splits. Peel the skin and puree the tomatoes.
  2. Finely dice the onion, garlic, potato, cabbage, celery and carrot.
  3. Saute the onion and garlic in some olive oil till pink.
  4. Add the carrots and potatoes and sautee for a few minutes.
  5. Add the cabbage and celery and sautee for a few minutes.
  6. Add the tomato paste, water and macaroni and bring it to a boil.
  7. Add salt, seasoning and pepper (optional) and cook covered on a sim.
  8. Once the macaroni and veggies are cooked but still have a bite to them squeeze some lime and adjust seasoning.
  9. Serve it with some bread on the side.

Serves 4

Semai Da Paysa

This year, we did not keep Ganpati due to certain personal reasons and I was missing the festivities big time. Every year mom makes the chana dal sabudana payasam but this year since I was doing all the cooking, decided to try the vermicelli one which we call Semai Da payasa.

I have never liked kheer much and usually refuse when offered but in the past couple of years have started loving the one made by my friend Alifya. I specifically made this version because of that. Enjoyed it to the core 

INGREDIENTS

1.5 cup fine vermicelli
1.5 cup full fat milk (boiled and cooled)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup ghee
Handful slivered almonds
Handful chopped pistachios
1 tsp cardamom powder
Pinch of saffron soaked in few tsps of warm milk

  1. Roast the vermicelli in ghee till it gets a nice golden colour. Ensure its even so use a big vessel ot roast in batches.
  2. Add the almonds and pistachios towards the end of the roasting session and fry them off well. U can add other nuts or died fruit too.
  3. Warm the milk and add the sugar and elaichi allowing it to dissolve. Adjust the sugar as per taste. U can add little at a time to adjust the sweetness as per your preference.
  4. Add this sweet milk to the vermicelli and mix gently. Allow to cook till you see the ghee float on top.
  5. Add the saffron and give it a mix. Adjust consistency by adding more milk if too thick.
  6. Shut the gas and serve hot.

Serves 5

Dhaba Style Bhindi Masala

I normally make bhindi just 2-3 ways – Stuffed with masala, simple sautee masala with potatoes or a South Indian curry style. I like my bhindi cooked well, no soft mushy ones for me.

My daughter was after my life to make geeli bhindi as her friend used to get to school. I would just roll my eyes at her request till I finally gave in. I remembered a video shared in our foodie group and hunted it down, it was from a channel called Shane E Delhi and decided to make an adaptation.


I wanted to pair it was a nice roti or naan and made this soft naan under the guidance of Ameya. Quite a good combination and approved by the geeli bhindi lovers. Yes I ate it without rolling my eyes and that says a lot.

INGREDIENTS

500 gms Bhindi cut into 1″ pcs
Oil
2 onions chopped
1 tsp jeera
1/4 tsp hing
2 pinches ajwain
1″ ginger julienned
8 garlic chopped
2 chillies chopped
1 tsp red chilli powder
2 tomatoes pureed
1/4 tsp haldi
1 tsp kitchen king Masala
1 tbsp coriander powder
3 tbsp curd + 3 tsp cream
Chopped coriander

  1. Heat oil in a pan, fry the onions till golden brown.
  2. Add the bhindi and sautee till it’s semi cooked and soft. Remove and keep aside
  3. Heat oil again, add jeera, hing, ajwain fry till it starts to sizzle.
  4. Add ginger, garlic and chillies, let it get slightly golden brown.
  5. Add the tomato puree, red chilli powder, haldi, salt, kitchen king masala, coriander powder and little water and fry it off well. It should begin to leave oil.
  6. Add the mix of beaten dahi and cream and bhuno it well. Fry till it leaves oil. Keep on low flame.
  7. When the masala is well cooked, add the onion and bhindi and mix well.
  8. Cover and cook for 7-8 mins or till bhindi is cooked completely
  9. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves

Tandoori roti

1 cup maida
1 cup atta
1 tbsp dry yeast mixed in 1/4 cup luekwarm water and 1 tsp sugar
Salt
1/4 cup curd appx.1/4 cup oil appx
Minced garlic
Chopped coriander
Black Til

  1. Add the frothed yeast mix to the flours, mix it.
  2. Add salt, half thr oil and half the curd. Mix well
  3. Keep adding oil and curd till u get a soft dough. Don’t add any water
  4. Cover and rest for 1 hr. When doubled in size, punch the dough and make balls and keep. Should make about 7-8 rotis. Let it rest for 15 minutes.
  5. Dust flour on the counter and roll slightly thicker Chapati.  Or u can pat by hand into a slightly oval shape.
  6. Apply water on one side and keep that side on the tawa. Press the sides of the roti onto the tawa so that it sticks to it with a grip.
  7. Add the chopped garlic, dhania and til mix and press it onto the roti gently.
  8. Cook the top side first by inverting the tawa and moving the tawa for even browning.
  9. Turn over the tawa and place on gas to cook the bottom side
  10.  Let it cook.
  11. Once u see the roti leaving edges it means its done..
  12. Immediately apply butter and keep covered under a cloth or casserole but with cloth inside covering the rotis.
  13. Ensure your tawa is cooled down before making each roti. 

Serves 5

Paneer Lasooni

I love hoarding crockery and when I finally got some new ones after a long time, I was waiting for an occasion to showcase them.

We are vegetarian for 13 days as my Dad passed away recently and I keep trying to keep the food interesting for the kids. Searched for a new Paneer recipe and found and interesting video by Chef Sanjyot Keer.

The final dish Paneer Lasooni was lapped away happily by all at home. Definite add on in my menu.

INGREDIENTS
PASTE
Oil
1 tsp Jeera
2 Choti elaichi
3 cubed onions
5 cubed tomatoes
12 garlic flakes
1.5″ ginger
10 cashews
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder
5 dried Kashmiri chilli
500 ml water
Salt

  1.  Heat oil, Sautee all the ingredients for a few minutes by adding them one by one.
  2. Once mixed well add the water and cover and cook for 15 mins or till the tomatoes are soft and water is slightly absorbed.
  3. Cool and make a fine paste in the mixer.

500gms paneer
Oil
1 tsp Jeera
1.5 ginger julienned
2-3 green chillies chopped
1 onion chopped
1/2 cup garlic chopped
1/2 cup curd
Salt
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp kasuri methi
3 tsp fresh cream
1 tbsp butter
Chopped coriander

  1. Heat oil in a pan, add the jeera.
  2. When it sizzles add the onion, garlic, ginger and chillies. Sauté till it’s golden brown.
  3. Add the masala paste and mix well. Fry for few minutes.
  4. Add the curd, salt, garam masala powder and kasuri methi. Mix well. Let it cook for a bit till it leaves oil.
  5. Check and adjust seasoning and add the paneer. Mix well but gently.
  6. Add the cream and gently mix.
  7. Add the butter and garnish with coriander leaves.

Serves 6

Corn Cheese Chowder

A delicious thick creamy bowl of soup on a rainy day can bring cheer to a gloomy moment. This soup was made for mom but the kids hogged it all up and poor mom barely got half a bowl.

INGREDIENTS

1 tbsp butter

2 cups boiled sweet corn

1 large onion chopped

4 garlic flakes

2 tbsp cheese spread

2 tbsp cream

Chopped coriander leaves

Salt

2 tsp mixed Italian herbs

1.5 cups water


  1. Heat butter in a heavy bottom dish.
  2. Sautee onion and garlic till transluscent
  3. Keep aside a handful of corn and add the rest to the onion mix.
  4. Sautee it a bit and turn off gas.
  5. When cool, puree it to a thick paste u may add little water when grinding.
  6. Return the paste to the pot, add water and bring to a boil
  7. Add salt and herbs mix well, lower gas.
  8. Add the cheese and mix well till incorporated.
  9. Add rhe cream and adjust seasoning. Keep flame low now.
  10. Add the coriander and give it a good mix. Shut gas

Serves 3 bowls

Cabbage & Potato Soup

An unusual combination but a delicious soup that I have been making since a few years.

INGREDIENTS

250 GM’s chopped cabbage

1 medium size chopped potato

1 medium sized chopped onion

1 green chilly

Salt

Pepper

Chopped coriander leaves1 TSP

oil

3+1 cups water


  1. Heat 1 TSP oil in a pan, saute the onion, potato, cabbage, chilli for few minutes.
  2. Add 3 cups water and bring it to a boil. Simmer covered and let it cook.
  3. When cooked, shut the gas and let it cool.
  4. Blitz in a mixer.
  5. Heat this mix in in pot and add one more cup of water or adjust as per preferred consistency.
  6. Add salt, pepper and chopped coriander. Mix and shut gas. 

Medu Vadas

I love medu vadas especially the ones my mom makes. I can easily gobble down 6-8 and sometimes 10 of them (they are pretty big in size). If I stayed over at mom’s place I would ask her to make these for Breakfast the next day. Piping hot vadas and no one to disturb me while I gobble it up, Pure Bliss.

Since the lockdown, I missed my mom’s vadas. I asked her the recipe when a friend wanted it and got amazing feedback for it. Then another friend tried it and said they were too good. I was like, I think it’s about time I make it. And I did and I can’t tell u what a disaster it was. Not once but twice, total flop.

My mom was very ill for a while so I brought her to stay with me for a few months. With god’s grace, she is better now and yesterday when she told me let’s make vada I jumped with joy. She sat on a stool in the kitchen while I got to work. Every step there was a rigid quality check and she managed to guide me through these amazing beauties. I just wish I had made more as got to eat only 4 this time. Super thrilled. 

INGREDIENTS
1.5 Cup urad dal
Salt
4-5 green chillies
2″ pc ginger
1/4 cup water (appx)
Chopped coriander
Chopped karipata
Oil for frying

  1. Soak the dal overnight or minimum for 2 – 3 hours.
  2. First in the grinder (try to use the small jar) put chillies and ginger and salt.
  3. Put about 2 fist fulls of soaked urad dal grind to smooth paste without water. If needed add a tbsp of water at a time for each round. Avoid water if possible.
  4. Take it out then grind the urad dal in batches of 2 fist fulls. You need to make a smooth paste without any grains. Try to use as little water as possible else the batter wil be difficult to shape.
  5. Remove it in a vessel add chopped karipatta, coriander leaves. Adjust seasoning. Mix well and keep a side for 15 mts.
  6. Heat oil on medium flame. 
  7. Wet your palms and take a bit of the dough. Transfer from palm to palm in such a way till u get a roundish ball. Indent the center with your finger to make a hole.
  8. Drop into the hot oil and fry on medium heat. Keep the flame constant and fry till golden brown.
  9. Enjoy with chatni. Makes 14-15 vadas (size as shown in pic)

Mangalorean Chutney Saar (Lauki curry)

This dish is very typical of a Mangalorean home and my mom used to make it often. You don’t really need an accompaniment with it except maybe some papad on the side.

Lauki is not a much loved vegetable in our home but in this yummy coconut chutney gravy cooked just right with a bite to it, makes this curry absolutely delicious.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup grated fresh coconut

2-3 green chillies

1 lime size ball of tamarind

2-3 garlic flakes

1″ ginger

1 tbsp jeera

1 medium sized lauki/bottle gourd peeled and cut into cubes

1 chopped tomato

Salt

1/4 tsp Haldi

1 tbsp mustard seeds/Rai

10 karipata leaves

4-5 crushed garlic flakes

Oil

Chopped Coriander leaves

  1. Grind the coconut, green chillies, garlic, ginger, tamarind and jeera with little salt and water to a fine paste.
  2. Boil the lauki and tomato with enough water covering the vegetables. Add salt and little haldi.
  3. When the lauki is 90% cooked (remember don’t let it get mushy – needs a bite to it), add the chutney paste and mix well.
  4. Simmer for 5 mins (don’t let it boil as may split).
  5. Add the coriander leaves and mix well.
  6. For the tadka/tempering heat oil, add the mustard seeds when it splits add the karipata and garlic. When golden, put this tadka into the curry.
  7. Serve with steamed rice.

Dhaba Style Anda Tawa Masala

My foodie bestie is Ameya and we discuss or recommend a lot of recipes that we try or intend to try. Recently he had tried this recipe by Suhani Deshpande and seemed might impressed by the outcome. I immediately starmarked it as it seemed like a must try dish.

It’s such a different version from the egg prepations that I have tried till date. The twist she adds in the recipe makes this such a wonderful and flavoursome meal.

INGREDIENTS

6 hard boiled eggs – cut to 8 pcs each

6 sliced big onions

2 big tomatoes pureed

2 tbsp ginger garlic paste

2 tsp chilli powder

2 tsp pav bhaji masala

1 tbsp besan

2 slit green chillies

1/2 cup water

Salt

1/2 tsp haldi

1 tsp jeera

Oil

2 tbsp butter

1/4 cup chopped dhania

1. Heat oil in a pan, add jeera. When it sizzles add onion and fry till golden brown.

2. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for a couple of minutes till the raw smell disappears.

3. Add the sieved besan and haldi and fry it off for 3-4 mins till it’s rawness leaves.

4. Add tomato puree, chilli powder, pav bhaji masala, salt, slit chillies. Mix it well and fry till the masala leaves oil.

5. Pour 1/2 cup water and cover and simmer for 5 mins.

6. Add butter and mix well. Add the chopped eggs and 3/4th of the coriander leaves and mix well.

7. Cover and cook for another 2-3 mins. Serve hot garnished with the remainder of coriander leaves

Link to original recipe -https://youtu.be/mfeD7PWt7qk

Prawn Basil Stir Fry

Recently everytime I get a protein I get the itch to try something new. I had actually saved half of the prawns to make butter garlic but just an hour before lunch the itch to attempt something for the blog started.

I started googling recipes and just wasn’t too excited about any I saw. Suddenly the word basil popped up and I remembered that I had a few leaves left over from making the focaccia. So here it’s is Prawn Basil stir Fry. I ofcourse adapted the recipe on the ingredients available.

INGREDIENTS

20 big sized prawns
3-4 green chillies chopped
10 garlic chopped
1-2 TSP paprika powder (as per taste)
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
4 tbsp olive oil
Handful of basil leaves
Lime wedge
Salt

  1. Blend chillies, garlic, sugar, salt, fish sauce, 3 tbsp oil and paprika powder in the blender.
  2. Marinate the prawns in this for 30 minutes
  3. Heat the rest of the olive oil in the pan, cook the shrimps without the marinade. 
  4. When the shrimps are cooked, add the basil leaves and toss it till it’s wilted.
  5. Squeeze lime when you serve.