Thursday, November 3, 2022

Broccoli Zucchini Soup

Zucchini Broccoli soup is one of the easiest soups to make with minimal ingredients. This creamy soup is loaded with nutrients and fiber. It is the perfect addition to your meal on a cold day. You can make this dairy-free by replacing dairy milk with coconut milk. Enjoy this delicious soup with your family. 

Ingredients:

  1. Zucchini - 2 cups diced
  2. Broccoli - 1 cup
  3. Onion - 1 small
  4. Garlic - 3 pods
  5. Milk - 1/2 cup
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Pepper powder - as per your preference
  8. Olive oil - 1 tablespoon
Method:
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot.
  2. Sauté onion until they turn translucent.
  3. Add the garlic pods, diced zucchini, and broccoli florets and sauté for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add 3 cups of water and let them simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Add milk, salt, and pepper, and turn off the stove.
  6. Let the mixer cool for some time before you put them in a blender.
  7. Make a fine puree with a hand blender or blender. 
  8. Sprinkle a dash of pepper powder and enjoy this warm soup.



Linking this recipe for the "Sshhh cooking secretly" event on Facebook.  As part of this challenge, a theme is selected at the beginning of the month by one of the participants. All the members are grouped in pairs. The participants will exchange 2 secret ingredients with their partners who are supposed to prepare a dish that matches the theme of that month. This month's theme is "Soups" chosen by Priya who blogs at The World Through My Eyes. Priya happens to be my partner for this month as well.

Priya gave me onion and pepper powder and I gave her garlic and coconut milk as her secret ingredients. Priya came up with a very soothing and healthy carrot soup with coconut milk. She has a collection of interesting recipes, of which few to mention include "Hyacinth Bean Stir-Fry With Fenugreek Dumplings" and "Fruit and Nut Chocolate Bites".



Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Pol Sambol

 Coconut sambol or pol sambol as it is called in Sri Lanka is one of the easiest dish you can make without fire. It is traditionally made using pestle and mortar. But we can also make them in a food processor/mixer-grinder. Fresh coconut is used for this dish but we can alternatively use moistened desiccated coconut in case fresh ones are not available. Shallots give great flavor but it can be also replaced with large onions. This dish is served with traditionally made flatbread coconut roti(pol roti), string hoppers, or with rice.

Pol sambol is very similar to the Kerala style thenga chammathi except for the fact that it does not include lemon juice. 

Ingredients:

  • Coconut - 1 cup
  • Shallots - 5-6 nos.
  • Garlic - 3 cloves
  • Lemon juice - 1 teaspoon
  • Dried whole red chilies - 3 or according to your spice level
  • Curry leaves - 1 sprig
  • Salt - to taste
Method:
  1. Take shallots, garlic, dried red chilies, curry leaves and pepper powder in a mixer grinder and pulse for couple of seconds.
  2. Add grated coconut and salt and pulse again to combine everything together. 
  3. Squeeze in lemon juice and mix thoroughly. Coconut sambol is ready to serve.
Pol sambol served with Pol roti and tea


I made this dish as part of the Shhh Cooking Secretly challenge. Narmada from Nams Corner suggested Sri Lankan theme for the month of Aug and Seema was my partner. Seema made a delicious eggplant pickle with mustard and vinegar. Do check her blog for a wide variety of cuisine. I am waiting to try her aval kesari

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Bisi bele bath powder


 Ingredients:

  1. Kashmiri chili/Byadagi chili - 15 nos.
  2. Coriander powder - 4 tablespoon
  3. Chana dal - 2 tablespoon
  4. Urad dal - 2 tablespoon
  5.  Sesame seeds - 2 tablespoon
  6. Cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
  7. Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 teaspoon
  8. Asafoetida powder/ Hing - 1/4 teaspoon
  9. Cinnamon stick - 2-inch piece
  10. Curry leaves - 1/2 cup
  11. Salt - 1 teaspoon

Method:

  1. Wash and pat dry the curry leaves. 
  2. Heat a pan on medium flame and dry roast coriander, chana dal, urad dal, cumin seeds, and fenugreek separately until they turn aromatic. Transfer the roast spices to a plate.
  3. Dry roast whole red chili for a couple of minutes.
  4. Pop the sesame seeds for a couple of seconds and transfer them to a plate.
  5. Roast curry leaves and cinnamon stick for a couple of minutes.
  6. Let all the ingredients cool down completely.
  7. Grind them into a fine powder and store them in an air-tight glass container.
Use this spice mixture whenever you make bisi bele bath.

Thank you Jayashree Trao for the wonderful theme on Sshhh Cooking Secretly challenge. I have been thinking of putting this recipe for a long time and now is the right time to publish it. If you are curious about what Sshh Cooking Secretly challenge is, it is a Facebook group that does monthly challenges. Each month, a theme is chosen and members are paired together.  Two secret ingredients are shared between pairs who make a dish that complies with the theme. The other members are asked to guess the ingredients at the end of the month. 

Jayashree blogs at Evergreen dishes and she has a huge collection Indian cuisines. Do check out her home made pav bhaji masala

This month I paired up with Mayuri who is a very talented blogger who blogs at Mayuri's Jikoni. She gave me sesame seeds and curry leaves and here comes my bisi bele bath powder. I gave her Pista and saffron and she made doodh masala/masala milk powder



Here I have my bisi bele bath prepared using little millet. 


Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Sindhi Koki

 Koki is a traditional Sindhi breakfast item. It is very crisp and has a flaky texture. It has wheat flour as the main ingredient with lots of flavor from onions, carom seeds and cumin seeds. Traditionally, the shortening used in this is ghee, but we can replace it with oil as well. It is served along with yogurt and pickle. 

Ingredients:

  • Wheat flour - 2 cups
  • Chickpea flour/Besan - 2 tablespoon
  • Onions - 1 medium-sized
  • Green chilies - 2
  • Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
  • Carom seeds/Ajwain - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cilantro - 2-3 tablespoon
  • Dried fenugreek leaves/Kasuri methi - 1 teaspoon
  • Salt - to taste
  • Pepper powder - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Ghee - 3 tablespoons + more for smearing on koki
Method:
  1. Mix together wheat flour, chickpea flour, finely chopped onions, green chilies, cilantro, cumin seeds, carom seeds, Kasuri methi, salt and pepper powder in a large mixing bowl. 
  2. Add 3 tablespoons of ghee to the dry ingredients and mix well to get a crumbled texture. 
  3. Add water little by little and knead to make a stiff dough. 
  4. Rest the dough for at least 15 minutes.
  5. Divide the dough into large lemon-sized balls and flatten them to make thick rotis. 
  6. Cook on a hot griddle, smearing ghee on both sides. 
For our monthly cooking challenge "Sshhh cooking secretly", I had the opportunity to select a theme for the month of March. I came up with the theme "Flatbreads". The dish can be international or Indian and made on skillets, tawa, oven or grills. 

My partner for this theme is Preeti Tandon Shridhar who gave me ajwain and green chili as my secret ingredients. I gave her yogurt and baking powder and she made delicious puffy bhature. Do check her blog cakes and curries to get the recipe. I have bookmarked her thandai cookies and ginger snap cookies.



Sunday, March 6, 2022

Paneer Butter Masala


Paneer butter masala is one of the easiest curries you can make in less than 30 minutes. You can serve it alongside naan, roti or jeera rice. Even though I haven't used any cream in this recipe, it tastes just like the ones we get at restaurants. The creaminess is got by grinding cashews. You can also use soaked almonds with the skin removed. 

I am tagging this recipe for the "Homemade restaurant-style food" theme suggested by the "Shh cooking secretly" group on Facebook. This month's theme was suggested by Aruna who blogs at VasusVegKitchen. Do check her restaurant-style curd rice recipe

I am paired with Jayashree Trao for this month and she gave me ginger and tomatoes as my secret ingredients. I gave her cumin and onion and she made a delicious lip-smacking Dal Makhani. Jayashree blogs at EverGreen Dishes where you can find a huge collection of recipes. I would love to try her Quinoa dosa recipe.  

Ingredients:

  1. Paneer - 250 gms
  2. Tomato - 2 medium
  3. Onion - 1 medium
  4. Ginger - 1/2 teaspoon crushed
  5. Garlic - 1 teaspoon crushed
  6. Cashews/Almonds - 10-12 nos. 
  7. Kasuri methi - 1 tablespoon
  8. Garam masala - 1/2 teaspoon
  9. Kashmiri chili powder - 1 teaspoon
  10. Turmeric powder -1/4 teaspoon
  11. Butter - 1 tablespoon
  12. Oil - 1 teaspoon
  13. Salt  - to taste
  14. Sugar - 1 teaspoon
Method:
  1. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a pan. 
  2. Saute chopped onion till they turn translucent.
  3. Add the crushed ginger and garlic and saute till the raw smell disappears.
  4.  Add the chopped tomatoes and cashews/almonds and cover and cook the tomatoes to turn mushy.
  5. Add turmeric powder, chili powder and garam masala. 
  6. Turn off the stove and wait for the mixture to cool completely.
  7. Blend the mixture to get a fine paste.
  8. Put the ground paste back into the pan and turn on the stove on medium flame. 
  9. Add in cubed paneer and salt to taste.
  10. Add sugar and butter. Simmer the curry for a few minutes. 
  11. Turn off the stove, add in crushed kasuri methi leaves and serve hot.



Thursday, February 3, 2022

Chutney powder for Idli/Dosa


Chutney powder or chutney podi makes a great accompaniment for dosa and idli. The powder is usually served by mixing it with sesame oil/ghee/coconut oil. It can also be spread on one side of dosa while you make set dosa or masala dosa.  The amount of chili can be adjusted as per your spice preference. In this recipe, I have just used Byadagi chili, but you can replace it with 50% Byadagi chili and 50% Guntur chili. I have added around 2 teaspoons of jaggery in this because my family likes it on a bit sweeter side, but it is completely optional. 

Ingredients:

  1. Urad dal - 1/2 cup
  2. Byadagi chili whole - 1/2 cup
  3. Curry leaves - 4-5 sprig
  4. Sesame seeds - 1/4 cup
  5. Chana dal - 2 teaspoon
  6. Jaggery - 2 teaspoon
  7. Asafoetida - 1/4 teaspoon
  8. Salt - 1 teaspoon or to taste
Method:
  1. Dry roast urad dal, chana dal, Kashmiri chili, curry leaves, and sesame seeds separately on low- medium flame. Set aside to cool them to room temperature.
  2. Grind the dry roasted ingredients along with the rest of the ingredients.
Chutney powder is ready to serve. It can be stored in a glass container at room temperature. 

Ingredients used for chutney podi

Chutney podi on masala dosa

Linking this recipe for the "Shhh cooking secretly" event on Facebook. This month's theme is "Stick to seeds" which was chosen by Archana. At the beginning of the month, a theme is chosen by one of the participants and all the participants are grouped in pairs. The participants will exchange 2 secret ingredients with their partners who are supposed to prepare a dish that matches the theme of that month.

Archana blogs at The Mad Scientists Kitchen and there are many interesting reads in her blog. The one which I bookmarked is about the Pegan Diet. My partner for this month is Renu who has a collection of interesting, unique and healthy recipes. Do check out her Quinoa crispies if you are looking for healthy snacking options. For the "Stick to seeds" theme, she gave me asafoetida and jaggery as my secret ingredients and I gave her sunflower seeds. Renu made Sunflower seeds butter which are healthy alternatives to store-bought spreads.   

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Green Peas Egg Stir Fry


Green Peas Egg Stir Fry is a perfect side dish for chapathi. It is very easy to make and can be done in less than 30 minutes. This is one of the street-style dishes which you get in Kerala. 

Ingredients:

  1. Green peas - frozen/fresh - 1 cup
  2. Eggs - 3
  3. Onion - 1 medium
  4. Tomato - 1
  5. Green chilies - 2-3
  6. Ginger minced - 1 teaspoon
  7. Curry leaves - 1 sprig
  8. Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
  9. Red chili powder - 1/2 teaspoon
  10. Garam masala - 1/4 teaspoon
  11. Cilantro for garnishing
  12. Salt to taste
  13. Oil - 1 tablespoon
Method:
  1. Defrost green peas if you are using frozen ones. 
  2. Heat oil in a pan and add minced ginger, slit green chilies, and curry leaves.
  3. Add chopped onions and saute till they turn translucent.
  4. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala, and salt. 
  5. Add finely chopped tomatoes and stir everything well. Cook till tomatoes turn mushy. 
  6. Add the green peas and a couple of tablespoons of water. Cover and cook until the green peas are well done. 
  7. If the water is still left in the pan, keep the cover off and let all the water evaporate.
  8. At this stay, crack in eggs and keep stirring until eggs are cooked.
  9. Garnish with cilantro and the dish is ready to serve. Serve it as a side dish for rice or chapathi. 


This month's theme of "Healthy Ideas" was suggested by our group admins Renu and Mayuri ji. My partner for this month's "Sshhh Challenge" is Priya Vijaykrishnan who blogs at Sweet, Spicy, Tasty. 
She gave me ginger and green chilies and I came up with this dish. I gave her cabbage and curry leaves and she prepared a very delicious cabbage kootu. Priya's blog has a variety of recipes that are a must-try. One among them is Thiruvadhirai Kali. I have seen so many photos of the Thiruvadhirai Kali dish in the month of December and I have been thinking of making it. Priya does have a detailed recipe for the same which I am planning to make.