Fakies – Greek Lentil soup

BM# 97: Week 4, Day 2
Theme : Flavors of Greece

I was browsing the book Greek Revival, Cooking for life for recipes and stumbled upon this one. This is a very easy, basic traditional soup. The lentil is the main ingredient here, you can use brown or green. The choice of vegetables can be changed according to your preference. The author mentions that something sour- like lemon juice, yogurt or vinegar- is added to Greek lentil soups at the time of serving. It’s a good idea to leave these condiments on the table and let the guests choose for themselves.

The recipe is fairly basic. All it needs is onion, tomatoes and carrots. As I mentioned earlier, you can add vegetables of your choice too. I decided to stick with the recipe on the book. The flavor is simple and it’s easy to put together. I made it easier by cooking the lentils ahead. Serve with some bread to soak up the soup and it’s a healthy and delicious meal indeed!

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 2 carrots, chopped finely
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups tomatoes, diced or 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry whole lentils
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 cups water
  • Handful of fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • Plain yogurt for serving

Method:

  1. In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté garlic, onions and carrots. Once the onions are soft, add the tomatoes, ground coriander and cumin. Stir and cook for a cook of minutes.
  2. Add 4 cups of water. Cover and bring it to a boil. Add the lentils. Bring it to a boil again, reduce heat. Cover and let it simmer for 1.5 hours until the beans are cooked. I cooked the beans separately in pressure cooker, so I reduced the cooking time to ten minutes for the flavors to blend. Add parsley and let it cook for another couple of minutes.
  3. Serve hot with bread. Add a dollop of yogurt or lemon juice to the soup at the time of serving.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#97

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Melopita – Greek honey pie

BM# 97: Week 4, Day 1
Theme : Flavors of Greece

Now a days, I prefer books over internet for recipe searches for the simple reason that the book won’t turn itself off when I am half way through making a dish. I leave the book open and keep coming back to it whenever needed as opposed to asking my son or husband to unlock my phone if my hands are wet or dirty. For this theme, I had taken two books from the library. It’s easier to cook from a book when it comes to new cuisines. And the irony is that I had to depend on the internet for the recipe here.

The Reason? I didn’t do my grocery shopping this week and as a result the last onion and tomato went into making a very Indian lunch. So with the vegetable tray empty, I started looking at recipes that would cater to my pantry contents. Inevitably I was looking at recipes online and ended up choosing Melopita or Honey pie.

This recipe is from the Greek island of Sifnos. The recipe uses a local cheese Mizithra, but ricotta is a close substitute. The recipe can be made with or without a pie base. I had a ready made pie base that I wanted to use up, but you can bake the filling directly in a greased cake pan as well. I may not have onions and tomatoes at home, but I have honey, I have eggs and even ricotta cheese! It takes like a light cheese cake. I served it with some honey on top.

Read on for the recipe.

Recipe source: The spruce eats

Makes: One 10″ pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb(450gms) Ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 readymade pie crust or homemade crust, optional
  • Honey for glaze

Method:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 350F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add the ricotta cheese, honey, sugar, eggs and flour.
  3. Grease a 10″ pie dish with butter and line with the pie crust. Press the dough into sides and bottom of the pan so that there is no gap in between the pan and crust.
  4. Add the filling to the crust and bake until the filling sets and doesn’t jiggle in the middle. It might take somewhere around 40-50 minutes.
  5. Once the pie is cooked, take off the oven and let it cool. Serve with honey or cinnamon sugar drizzled on top.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#97

Sweet Potato chapati

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BM# 97: Week 2, Day 3
Theme : Vegan recipes

I have been making a whole lot of Vegan recipes for this theme but unfortunately I don’t seem to be able to take pictures. The weather is now bad and before I know it, it’s dark outside and there is no light to take pictures. If I take pictures indoors, the colors don’t come out right. So that’s something I have given up doing a long time back.

Initially i was planning to post the recipe of a vegan cake I had made sometime back. Unfortunately the frosting had butter in it. Coming to think of it, its easy to make a vegan cake, but vegan frosting can be much harder.

Anyway I decided on this sweet potato chapatis for today. It’s been in my drafts folder for a while. My cousin has made this for us when we were in our Velacheri house. I still remember how soft and delicious it was. Mine didn’t turn out to be as good as hers but still it was pretty good. I forgot her recipe so this recipe is from the internet. These chapatis turn out to be very soft. The spice level can be adjusted to your preference. I like it flavored only with chili powder, but you can try adding whatever spices you like.

Read on for the recipe.

2sweet_potato_roti

Recipe adapted from: Archana’s kitchen

Sweet potato roti:

  • 1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potato
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1.5 teaspoon red chili powder, or per taste
  • Salt as needed

Method:

    Pressure cook sweet potatoes. Once completely cooked and cooled down, peel and mash them. For every cup of wheat flour, add one cup of mashed sweet potatoes.
    In a big mixing bowl, add the mashed sweet potatoes, flour, chili powder and salt. You can add a teaspoon each of cumin seeds and ajwain(carom seeds) too, if preferred. Mix everything and make a smooth and soft dough, sprinkling water as needed to bring the dough together. Don’t add too much water in one shot, add a little at a time, mix in and add more if needed.
    Once the dough comes together and is soft and not lumpy anymore, cover the bowl and leave it to rest for 10-15 minutes.
    Make chapatis. I suggest watching a video in YouTube if you are not familiar with the making chapatis.Serve with pickle or a curry of your choice.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#97

Almond Pulp Energy Bites

BM# 97: Week 2, Day 2
Theme : Vegan recipes

I feel blessed that no one in my family has any food allergies. When my niece was born, there was a doubt whether she was lactose intolerant, but thankfully she wasn’t. They had switched to almond milk for a while but now everyone is back to normal milk and a normal diet.

For a lot of Indians, vegetarian diet is not a big deal but switching to a vegan diet is not easy. Given the affinity for yogurt and ghee, it’s a difficult switch. Growing up, me and my brothers never used to drink milk. No coffee, no tea and no milk with the malt based drinks like Boost or Bonvita. But we used to have a lot of yogurt and ghee everyday. My brothers still don’t drink tea or coffee but I started that habit about a decade back.

For whatever reasons you are choosing a vegan diet, milk is the first thing that we miss. Now a days there are so many dairy alternatives you can pick from the supermarket aisle or even better, make your own nut milk at home. Like the almond milk here. And the residual pulp can be made into a healthy bite with dates and oats.

Read on for the recipe.

Almond milk

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 4 cups water*
  • Method:
    1. Soak almonds for at least 10-12 hours or up to 2 days.
      Drain the water and grind the almonds with 4 cups of water until the nuts are completely mashed up and very smooth.
      Strain using a filter lined with a cheese cloth. I used a handkerchief for this.
      Gather the cheesecloth around the almonds and twist and squeeze out as much of milk you can.
      Refrigerate the almond milk in a sealed container and use with in 2-3 days.

    Note:

    *You can reduce the milk to 2 cups for a thicker almond milk.

    *You can add a tablespoon of maple syrup along with the almonds for a sweetened version.

    *The almond pulp can be added to oatmeal,

    Almond Pulp Energy Bites

    Recipe source: Simple Sweet Vegan

    • 3/4 cup oats
    • 1/4 cup chia seeds
    • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
    • A pinch of salt
    • 15 dates*
    • 3/4 cups almond pulp leftover from making almond milk

    Method :

    1. Pulse the oats, chia seeds, cocoa powder and salt in a food processor until they resemble sand.
    2. Add the almond pulp and dates. Pulse until everything combines and forms a ball.
    3. Take it out and use a tablespoon to scoop out the dough and roll into a ball. I got about 15 balls of this size.

    *You can soak the dates ahead in hot water for sometime if you prefer. That would make breaking it down a little easier. Drain and use in the recipe.

    *You can add a tablespoon or two of almond milk or water to combine everything if the dough doesn’t stick together.

    Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#97