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Tomato Macaroni Soup

This is a yummy monsoon treat recipe. Soups are very comforting during rainy days. In here its been heavily pouring since a week. I couldn’t think of anything better than this delicious bowl of soup. And that too when you make it at home then definitely you are in heaven.. The herbs makes the soup flavorful and aromatic. 

It’s so easy and versatile. Try this soup recipe with different pasta or just the soup. I have added spinach which is totally my idea. You can also try adding kale or any other greens. Customizing your soup is not difficult. And most people end up making soup when they need to clean up their refrigerator 🙂
Are you ready to ladle your soup into bowl, swirl and slurppp 😉 ????

Servings: 2
Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 30 mins
Level: Easy

Ingredients:

Macaroni (Uncooked) 50 gm
Tomato 450 gm/ 4 medium sized
Onion 100 gm/ 1 small
Celery 50 gm/ 2 stalks
Carrot 100 gm/ 1 medium
Spinach 75 gm
Garlic 2 cloves
Olive oil / Butter 1 Tbsp
Basil (Dried) 1 Tsp
Orgeno (Dried) ½ Tsp
Fennel seed powder ½ Tsp
Chicken/ Veg broth 4 cups approx
Black pepper powder For taste
Salt For taste

Method :
1. Cook macaroni as per the instruction given on the package. Drain water from macaroni
    completely and keep aside. It took me around 10 mins to cook them.
2. Immerse tomatoes in the boiled water for 3-4 mins. Peel off the skin and crush them using
    fork or spatula.
3. Heat olive oil in a sauce pan. Add garlic and onion. Saute for 4-5 mins and add the
    broth/water, crushed tomatoes, chopped carrot, celery and salt.
4. Bring it to boil. Now add fennel seed powder, basil and oregano. Reduce the heat to low and  
    close the lid. Cook for 15 mins or till the vegetables are soft.
5. Add the spinach. Stir for few secs and cook for 10 more mins. 
6. Season with pepper powder.
7. Add the cooked macaroni to the soup and give a stir.
8. Turn off the heat and garnish with fresh basil and shredded cheese on top.


Notes:
1. You can also use any other pasta instead of macaroni.
2. Additionally use any vegetables of your choice
3. Add the macaroni to the soup only if you are about to serve immediately. Otherwise it will
   soak well and reduce the quantity of soup making it thicker.

“This recipe has been linked to Shama Nags Event Fast food – Pasta” &  EP hosted byFoodomania

Stir Fried Bok Choy & Awards

Hi friends,
After few busy days, I am back here to share and follow 🙂 … Hope all are quite busy trying new recipes and sharing with fellow bloggers.. All these days I too was partly busy  in kitchen preparing new recipes which some turned fab and some not oops!!. Was pretty busy on the other things in life so couldn’t capture or share my kitchen trials.. Anyways hoping to give more time on blogging again. 
Back to my post, I and hon’ always loved Chinese cuisines (No, I am not talking about Indo-Chinese manchurian and fried rice 😉 ). Traditional Chinese cuisines are much more interesting than we expect a cuisine would be. You will discover every meal has been well calculated for proper proportion of  greens & meat… Apart from that they also use fermented goodies for flavoring the things up. Which is why their food habits are more healthy and balanced. About their wok and extreme heat I will share in next post since lot many things to talk about it.. 
Being in China almost 4 yrs we are addicted to their food and culture. We do cook Chinese food at home 2 or 3 times a week. Never thought of sharing one 😦 That’s bad.. So this post is all about “Bok Choy” lovely green from China which has a very old history. You can find them as a main dish as stir-fried alone or with some meat and also garnishing. The picture I used to share the recipe is a year old. 
Since the Chinese food are best when eaten hot and warm, photographing is really a pain. No one has patience in front of steaming hot dish ;)..  

Servings: 2
Preparation time: 3 mins
Cooking time: 4 mins
Level: Easy
Ingredients:

Bok choy 300 gm
Garlic  2 cloves
Sherry/cooking wine ¼ cup
Sesame oil 2 Tbsp
Salt to taste
Water to sprinkle


Method :


1. Wash the bok choy thouroughly and separate the leaves. Slice the garlic
2. Set the flame to high and heat oil in a large wok.
3. When the oil is hot enough throw in the garlic and toss for 2 secs.
4. Now add the bok choy and saute for 5 secs.
5. Add little salt and sprinkle water. Close the lid and cook for 1 min tossing inbetween.
6. Add sherry or cooking wine and toss them till all the water evaporates and the leaves are dry.
7. Splash some sesame oil and turn off the heat.
8. Serve hot with steamed rice.

Notes:

1. If you don’t want to use sherry you can omit that step. Rest of the ingredients are enough to give you a perfect stir fry.
2. You can add strings of meat along with bok choy. In that case add the meat right after the oil.
3. If bok choy is unavailable in your place replace with any green vegetables which has thick stem.

Awards:

I am so humbled by receiving these two lovely awards from our co-bloggers R.Punitha and Preeti who blogs awesome recipes and have been inspiring from the beginning. Thanks for sharing the awards.

And I would take this opportunity to thank and appreciate all other bloggers by passing these awards to all of them out there who is already rocking and who has just stepped in. All the very best and happy sharing!!

Thank you all 🙂

Kumbalanga Moru Koottan / Ash Gourd in Yogurt Gravy (Kerala style)

Yet another mom’s signature dish straight from Kerala. Moru kuttan is very common in Kerala and easy to make. This is a yogurt based vegetable curry flavored with coconut. Traditional tempering adds more flavor to the curry. This simple yet yummy curry will woo you for sure.


Servings :  2

Preparation time: 10 mins 
Cooking time: 15 mins
Level : Moderate

Ingredients:

Ash Gourd 250 gm
Turmeric powder ¼ Tsp
Salt as req
Red chilli powder ½ Tsp
Water ½ Cup 
Curd  ¾ Cup
For grinding:
Coconut (Grated) ½ Cup 
Cumin seeds ½ Tsp
Green chilli 2 nos
For tempering:
Coconut Oil 1 Tbsp
Mustard seeds ¼ Tsp
Fenugreek seeds ¼ Tsp
Curry leaves A stem
Dried red chilli 2 nos

Method :

1. Peel the skin of ash gourd and chop them into cubes.
2. In a pan add water, chopped ash gourd, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt. Place it
    on medium heat and cook for 10 mins.
3. Grind the grated coconut with cumin seeds and green chillies by adding little water to a coarse paste.
4. Add the coconut paste to the ash gourd and mix wel. Cook further 5 more mins in low flames.
5. Turn off the heat and add the beaten curd and mix. Transfer to serving bowl.
6. For tadka take a small frying pan and heat oil. Add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds,
    dried red chillies and curry leaves respectively.
7. Pour the tadka on to the curry. Serve with steamed rice.

Notes:

  1. This recipe can be used to make Yam, raw mangoes, raw plantain, pumpkin moru kootan.
  2. I haven’t used curry leaves as I don’t get it here. 
  3. Adjust the quantity of curd according to the sourness.

Aloo Palak / Spinach & Potato Masala

Aloo palak is a subtle spinach dish with potato. This is a healthy and delicious veggie delight to go with roti or any other Indian bread. I have seen some people use pureed spinach in this. But I use chopped spinach along with stems. I believe pureeing would kill all the nutrition the spinach holds. Anyways thats all upto to you.. For me I like the texture of my aloo palak more than that of pureed spinach masala.. And also I use to saute them in brief so that I can get most of its vitamins 😉 Such a health freak huh??… So here’s my Aloo palak in my style.. 

Servings: 2
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Level : Moderate
Ingredients:

Potato 250 gm (1 Big)
Spinach 250 gm
Onion 200 gm (1 Medium)
Tomato 150 gm (1 Medium)
Garlic 4 cloves
Ginger 15 gm
Green chilli 2 nos
Musturd seeds ¼ Tsp
Cumin seeds 1 Tsp
Asafoetida a pinch
Turmeric powder ¼ Tsp
Red chilli powder 1 Tsp
Coriander powder 1 Tsp
Kasoori methi (Dried Fenugreek leaves) ½ Tsp
Garam masala (Optional) ½ Tsp
Salt as req
Vegetable Oil 1 Tbsp
Preparation:

1. Clean the spinach in cold water and drain the water. Chop them roughly.
2. Boil the potatoes with skins on and cube them into large chunks.
3. Finely chop the onion and tomato. Chop one green chilli.. 
4. Grind together garlic, ginger and one green chilli
Cooking:

1. Heat oil in a large pan.
2. Add mustard seeds and allow to splutter.
3. Now add cumin seeds and asafoetida.
4. When cumin seeds stop spluttering, add in the onion and green chilli with little salt.
5. Stir fry till onion turns brown and nicely fried. 
6. Add ginger,garlic & green chilli paste and saute well for 1-2 mins.
7. Add turmeric powder and tomato now.
8. Saute for few more mins or till the tomato softens.
9. Add coriander powder, red chilli powder and fenugreek leaves. Saute well. 
10. Now add the spinach and drizzle some water.
12. Cook in medium flame till the spinach gets cooked well.
13. Add the boiled potato and stir well.
14. Check for seasoning and adjust salt .
15. Let the gravy thickens a bit. Turn off the heat and add garam masala.
16. Transfer to serving bowl and serve with rotis.

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Crostini

It’s been a while I made this luscious appetizer. This is one appetizer never be left lonely on the plate at the end of a meal. Creamy & nutty red pepper pesto is divine, comfort & lip smacking sauce I ever made. Goes well with pasta, as a dipping sauce and in crostini. The roasted red pepper adds more flavor to the pesto. Never be lazy to roast the pepper.

Whenever I see the vibrant red peppers I just dream of the pesto I used to make long back when we were in North China. You find ample quantity of red pepper there. I used to make in large quantity and freeze them for later use. Here in Guangzhou I see them on & off. So I bought them last week when I found them in farmers market.

Here we go with nice & crisp crostini with red pepper pesto. I am bit unhappy that I totally lost the original recipe owner as I have been making this pesto since long time & never had any record of the original recipe. Anyway I am very much grateful to the person who shared this awesome recipe in web. 🙂

Servings: 3-4
Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins
Level : Moderate

Ingredients:

Baguette 1 loaf
Red pepper 3 nos
Walnut 10 nos
Basil (Dried) 2 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
Garlic 3 Cloves
Parmesan cheese 2 Tbsp
Extra virgin olive oil 1 Tbsp
Salt & Pepper For seasoning
Mozzarella 2 Tbsp

Method:

  1. Slice the baguette (Narrow French stick loaf) into thick slices.
  2. Preheat oven to 210° C. 
  3. Wash the red peppers thoroughly, cut into halves and remove the seeds.
  4. Place the peppers on the baking tray and sprinkle half the quantity of following ingredients : olive oil, finely chopped garlic, basil, salt & pepper on the top.
  5. Bake for 30 mins or till the peppers are roasted well.
  6. Transfer to mixer jar along with walnut, Parmesan cheese, and remaining olive oil, chopped garlic, basil, salt & pepper. Blend them to a rough paste. 
  7. You can toast the baguette slices first and top with the pesto and mozzarella cheese. Or else top with pesto, cheese & basil and toast till cheese melts. 

Notes:

  1. Tastes good when used fresh basil. Since it is unavailable in here I have used dried basil. 
  2. You can try with different nuts like almonds, pine nuts etc. instead of walnut. If you would like the pesto more heavy add more cheese/cream.
  3. Also discover some unique flavors by including different Italian herbs.
  4. You can also roast the pepper on direct fire.
  5. This pesto goes well with pasta too.

Poori Masala / Deep fried Indian Bread with Mashed Potato

Poori Masal or Poori Kizhangu as referred by my dear hubby is a classic south Indian breakfast combo. Pooris are deep fried indian bread made with wheat flour. And masala is nothing but mashed potato with Indian tadka.
Alas, I have a slight food aversion towards this dish since many years 😦 , but on the other hand my sweetheart crave for poori kizhangu ;).. I rarely prepare this at my kitchen due to my aversion. I cooked poori masala last week since he was starving for it for long time. I am glad to dedicate this wonderful recipe to my sweet hubby.

Poori

Servings:  2 
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time : 10 mins
Level: Moderate
Ingredients:
Wheat Flour 200 gm
Sooji / Rava/ Semolina 1 Tbsp
Salt 1/4 Tsp
Vegetable Oil For deep frying + 1 Tbsp
Warm water For kneading


Method:
  1. Sieve the flour and salt together.
  2. Add the sooji and oil to the flour. Add warm water little by little and knead well.
  3. Dough should be little harder than roti dough.
  4. Keep covered with damp cloth.
  5. After 10-15 mins, knead the dough again by adding little oil.
  6. Divide the dough into gooseberry sized balls.
  7. Roll them round using rolling pin and rubbing oil on both sides.
  8. In a shallow pan heat oil for deep frying.
  9. Fry the poori till it puffs up by turning both sides.
Potato Masala:


Servings:  2 
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time : 20 mins
Level: Moderate
Ingredients:

Potato 250 gm /1 no. Big
Onion                                                     150 gm /1 no. Medium
Tomato                                                   100 gm /1 no. Medium
Green chilli                                            2 nos
Ginger                                                    15 gm
Garlic                                                    5 cloves or 20 gm
Mustard seeds ½ Tsp
Cumin seeds                                       1 Tsp
Curry leaves 8 nos
Asafoetida  a pinch
Turmeric powder                            ¼ Tsp
Salt                                                        as required
Vegetable oil                                     1 Tbsp
Water 1½  Cups
Coriander leaves For garnishing

Preparation:
  1. Boil the potatoes in a cooker or pan with skins on.
  2. Once cooked remove from heat and drain the water. Run cold water over the potatoes & peel off the skin. Mash it using potato masher or spatula.
  3. Chop the onion, tomato, ginger, garlic and green chillies finely.
  4. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida and cumin seeds. Allow to splutter.
  5. Add curry leaves and onion. Saute for 3 mins till onion turns golden brown.
  6. Add ginger, garlic and green chillies. Saute well.
  7. Add turmeric powder and tomatoes. Mix well and cook till tomatoes become soft.
  8. Add the mashed potatoes and 11/2 cups water. Mix well till it blends with the masalas.
  9. Let it boil for 5 mins. Check for salt.
  10. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and transfer to serving bowl.

Notes:

  1. Adding sooji to the dough makes crispy pooris and retain the crispyness for long time.
  2. My husband’s aunt used to add ground pottukadalai / poricha kadalai/ fried channa dal to the masala while adding water to increase the gravy quantity. I didn’t use due to unavailability. But that part is best when you make masala for many. 

Mixed Pepper Salad

This colorful salad holds so many nutrition. Red and yellow peppers are attractive in color & contains plenty of health benefits. Here’s the recipe for making easy & tasty Mixed pepper salad with vinaigrette dressing in my way.


Servings:  2        

Preparation Time: 15 mins
Level:  Easy
Ingredients:
1)      Red pepper                                      75 gm ( Half of a medium size pepper)
2)      Yellow Pepper                                  75 gm ( Half of a medium size pepper)
3)      Pepperoncini                                    2 nos
4)      Lettuce                                             2 leaves
5)      Cucumber                                         1 small
For Dressing:

6)      Wine Vinegar/Rice vinegar             2 Tbsp
7)      Olive oil                                           1 Tbsp
8)      Dried Oregano                                 1 Tsp
For Seasoning:
9)      Black pepper powder                       ½ Tsp
10)   Salt                                                   as req


Method:
1)      Wash all the vegetables thoroughly and dry them using kitchen towel.
2)      Dice the peppers and cucumber. Roughly chop the lettuce and pepperoncini.
3)      Place them in the mixing bowl.
4)      For making vinaigrette, take wine vinegar and olive oil in a medium sized bowl.
5)      Whisk them for 2 – 3 mins or till it blends well and become thick.
6)      Add the dried oregano, black pepper powder and salt.
7)      Pour the vinaigrette on to the vegetables and combine well.