Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cream of Cauliflower soup

I had this half cauliflower lying in my refrigerator for many days, waiting for its fate! And then I caught a bad cold. I wanted to eat something hot and delicious and soup, obviously, was my choice. This turned out to be a great soup and my cold was gone in no time (I am not saying there was any connection ;))
Anyway, here goes the recipe:

1/2 cauliflower broken in florets
1 big onion chopped
1/3 bell pepper chopped (optional)
2 green chillies chopped (if you want hot soup)
5 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp+1tsp clarified ghee or butter
1 tbsp all purpose flour
3 cup milk
3 tbsp whipping cream or fresh cream (optional for richer soup)
salt to taste
Black pepper to taste

In a big pan, heat 2 tbsp ghee. Once ghee is hot add cumin seeds. When seeds crackle, add garlic and green chillies. When garlic turns golden brown, add onion and little bit salt. Saute for a minute and then add bell pepper and cauliflower. Let it cook on medium with pan covered until the cauliflower florets are semi-soft. Turn off the stove and let this mixture cool a bit. Now grind this mixture in a grinder. In another pan on medium heat, add 1 tsp clarified ghee. When ghee is hot, add all purpose flour. Saute it and very quickly add milk and grinded paste of cauliflower. When the mixture comes to a boil, add the cream. Let it cook until the desired consistency of the soup is reached. Adjust salt and pepper and serve hot. You can serve with a thin stripe of bell pepper or a dash of cream.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fish with maximum chilli you can handle, Thanks Ushnish!

I am a vegetarian but usually cook fish and chicken for my husband and many times taste the curry part of the final product too!!! The other day DH asked me to make a different style of hot fish and I stumbled upon Ushnish's blog which I found is the best for non-vegetarian spicy recipes. I immediately chose one of the easy looking fish recipe and it turned out to be one of the most delicious fish I have ever made (thats what DH said :)). Look at my pretty pictures of the final product and please follow the this link for the original recipe. Just one word of caution - take many napkins with you while eating even if you claim you can handle the most spicy food!!!! Even though I used 1 tsp less chilli powder than suggested in Ushnish's recipe, when I tasted the curry it was the fire blast in my mouth!!! I did not have the fish Ushnish suggested so I used 2 big pieces of Salmon fish.

Here is the fish pieces after frying them.

The final product in the pan:
And then served to DH..He wanted me to leave little gravy and he ate it with rotis...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Vada-Pav with fried green chili and garlic chutney

Just the title of this post sends me back in Maharastra, my train journeys between Mumbai and Pune and eating vada-pavs all through the journey.... Somehow vada pao tastes best to me when I am traveling. Well, I cannot re-create that here in Canada but could certainly eat vada-pavs and remember those good old days....and to make it like the thela-walas, I made friend chili and garlic chutney too.

For fried chilies:
5-6 green chilies
oil for frying

Just slit the green chilies and deep fry them and then sprinkle some salt on them. Keep them aside.

For garlic chutney:
8-10 garlic cloves peeled
7-8 dry whole red chilies
salt 1 tsp (or to taste)
1 tsp oil

Heat oil in a pan. Put garlic and fry until brown. Remove them. Put red chilies in the same oil and immediately switch off the stove. Grind the red chilies, garlic and salt together. Chutney is ready. This chutney has long shelf life.

I have made pavs in the past and them came out real nice. However this time I just bought them from the grocery store :) I actually bought hamburger buns and roasted them a bit on a tava (a flat pan). When I make pav next time, I will take pictures and post the recipe!!

For the filling:
4 medium sized potatos, boiled and peeled
6 cloves of garlic
4 green chilies
1 tsp lemon juice
salt to taste

For the batter: 
3 tsp gram flour
some water
salt to taste
red chili powder to taste
1/2 tsp garam masala

Oil to fry

There are various versions of making filling for vadas. Some recipes call for many many spices to be put with potato, such as coriander powder, garam masala, amchur, turmeric etc. Some fillings are made by actually frying the masalas and mashed potatoes in a pan. However, I like my vadas to be dominated by garlic and I don't like multiple masalas to confuse the garlic flavor (and when I make aloo paratha, I put all possible masalas availbale on earth!!! Will put recipe sometime soon). So I just put garlic, green chili and lemon juice. Lemon actually enhances garlic flavor and at the same time gives some tangy taste. I can just say that try my recipe and you will not regret :)
Anyway, mash the potatoes. Its okay to have few lumps here and there.  Take garlic and red chilies and grind them with hand in a mortar-and-pestle. The texture which comes from not-so-fine grinding in a mortar-and-pestle actually tastes great when you are biting on vadas. Mix the crushed garlic-chilie in the mashed potatoes. Add lemon juice and salt and mix well. Make 2 inch diameter tikkies  and keep them aside. Now put your deep frying pan on stove and let oil get heated. Now for the batter, mix salt, chili powder, garam masala in gram flour. Pour water such that pancake consistency batter is prepared. I actually like my batter to be a bit on the thicker side so that potatoes are nicely coated. Some like to add baking powder in the batter. I don't add it. If you want, add 1/2 tsp baking powder. Now coat potato tikkies in this batter and deep fry.

And finally cut the pavs in two pieces and assemble the vadas in between pavs and relish with fried chili and garlic chutney. If you wish you could also add coriander chutney . I did not have coriander leaves at home so skipped this part.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Red Lentil Soup

This recipe is inspired by DSM's food blog .  This caught my eye because the main ingredient here is red lentils. I have few kilograms of red lentil at home and it is never used as none of us like daal of red lentil. I tried to make pakodas in the same way as we make chana daal pakoda or urad daal pakoda but DH didn't like saying it is missing "that" crunchy feeling! I tried tomato-onion-red lentil dry vegetable and had some success (in terms of DH liking) but not to the extent that he wants to eat it again and again. When I came across this Rustic lentil soup by DSM, I decided to give it a try and it was a super-dupar success and I have already made it twice in past 1 month. First time DH liked it so much that it got over even before the remaining dinner was ready. Second time I had to hide it from him. I make some modifications in this recipe as we like this soup little more spicy, more garlicky and thick. So here is my version of the same soup. The original recipe is here .

1/2 cup red lentils
1/2 cup whole red lentils
2 green chillies, chopped
1 onion chopped
5-6cloves of garlic, chopped
 2 medium tomatoes chopped
 10 baby carrots, chopped lengthwise
 1/2 cup of white mushrooms
10-12 spinach leaves chopped fine
1/4 cup frozen corn kernels
4 cup water (you could replace it with stock..I didn't have it so used water)
Salt to taste
Crushed black pepper to taste (1 used 1 tsp)
1 tbsp olive oil

Wash the daals. Heal oil in a pan and put garlic and green chillies. When garlic turns brownish, add onions and carrots and add some salt. When onions turns translucent, add corns and mushrooms and tomatoes. Cook covered for 5 minutes or until tomatoes become mushy. Now add lentils and spinach. Saute for a minute and add 4 cups of water. At this point taste the salt and add as per your taste. If you want a spicier soup, add some crushed black pepper too. Once a boil comes, cook covered at medium-low until the lentils are well cooked. Serve hot. If you wish, you could top it up with a tsp of sour cream.

This time I took more pictures.

Some veggies in the pan....

Soup being cooked...
And the yummy final product :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bread ki kheer (Bread pudding)

Necessity is the mother of creativity!!!! Yes, I wanted to make some dessert for my 1 year old LO and I made this bread pudding and finally ended up eating most of it. But yes, my LO liked it and that was great. Initially I was planning to use bread crumbs for this but since I wanted to make it for my little boy, I used fresh bread crumbs by throwing some breads slices in the food processor. Also while making the pudding, you could add some cardamom powder. I did not add any because I was not sure if my LO will like the strong cardamom smell. Most importantly, I am not a big fan of using cardamom in my cooking as I feel that cardamom smell and flavor is so dominating that the food looses its own shuttle smell and flavor.  So here is the recipe of the bread pudding my LO liked very much.

2-3 slices of white bread (you could use wheat too...its just that I didn't have any wheat bread at that time and also wheat bread may make the pudding little brownish in color)
3 cups homogenized milk
1/4th cup condensed milk
2 tbsp sugar
If you wish you could add 2-3 drops of rose water or kevda water for the flavor and fragrance.

Throw the bread slices in the food processor and make fresh bread crumbs. Before this remove the bread crust from the sides. Now in a thick-bottom pan heat milk. When milk comes to a boil, add condensed milk and stir for 30 seconds. Finally add the bread crumbs and stir constantly for 10-15 minutes. Now add the sugar and mix well. At this stage, you could add some nuts such as pistachio, cashews, almonds etc. I did not add any since I didn't want to give nuts to my LO at this age (the pistachios in the picture were put just to take a pretty picture!!).  Anyway, your bread pudding is ready and it tastes best when served chill.