Cauliflower soup

BM# 95: Week 2, Day 1
Theme : Winter warmers

Wish you all a very happy and healthy 2019!

2018 ended on a high note for our family. The entire summer was action packed with me becoming the stereotypical soccer mom. In our case it was cricket mom since most of our summer was dedicated to our son’s cricket class and matches. He is no Javagal Srinath yet, but he is away from electronics, spending time with other kids and is physically active. So Its a complete win as far as I am concerned. The game took over our complete summer, but it really was worth it.

We moved to a new neighborhood in November and are still settling in. My son is in middle school now (boy!! They grow up so fast!!) and his work load is a lot more than the previous years. So all in all the days are over way too quickly and before I realized it, 2018 has already waved me goodbye.

The new year began on a great note too as my brother and his family was visiting us over the holidays. They left last weekend and now the house feels lonely and cold. The cold part is a little too literal. It’s winter here and it’s no fun. The cold can be tolerated if you are dressed in layers, but if it’s a windy day like today, it’s very difficult. So it’s apt that I have chosen a piping hot cauliflower soup to serve you all here today. Check out the link for the original recipe from The Pioneer woman.

Read on for the recipe and you can see from the above picture that my son is having a good time too :-)

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons Butter, divided
  • 1 medium Onion, finely diced
  • 1 Carrot, diced
  • 1 whole cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • handful of fresh or dry parsley
  • 8 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 6 tablespoons  all purpose flour
  • 2 cups Milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a thick pan. Once it’s melted and hot, add the onions to it. Sauté until it turns to light pink.
  2. Add the chopped carrots and cauliflower. Saute for a couple of minutes and then cover and cook until the vegetables are softer, about 5 minutes. You can add some broth or water if the veggies starts to burn or start sticking to the bottom of the pan. Now add 8 cups of broth or water, parsley, salt as needed and let it come to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are done.
  3. In a separate pan, melt the remaining two tablespoons of butter. In a bowl, whisk the milk and flour together until you don’t see any dry lumps of flour. Add the milk mixture slowly to the butter whisking continuously. Cook till then mixture thickens. Take off heat.
  4. Carefully add the white sauce to the soup, mixing with a spatula. Let it come to a boil. Taste test and adjust the salt if needed and add pepper. Serve hot!

BMLogo

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#96

Advertisements

Baingan Mutter Makhini

mymy k

I can not believe that my small break has (again) turned into a major vacation from my blog. Given the fact that I do this at least once in two years, I won’t say I am surprised by this behavior now.

With the overdose of information from social media, I find that I need a break more frequently than before. Now my everyday food is mostly from simpler sources like books and recipes from friends. I will be back to the blogging scenario, but right now I am taking it slow.

While we are on the topic of recipe from books, this one is also from Raghavan Iyer’s 660 curries. It’s a book that I really like and this recipe was also a success like the other ones I tried. It’s similar in some ways to baingan Bharta but with fresh cream and cashews involved :-). Read on for the recipe and stepwise pictures.

baingan_mutter_makhani2

Ingredients:

  • 1 big eggplant
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen green peas
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup cashews or blanched almonds
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2″ long piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 tomato chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt as needed

Method:

Rub one teaspoon of oil all over the eggplant. Poke holes all over it using a fork and microwave it for about 8 minutes until its cooked. Take out keep aside until its cool enough to handle.

Peel the eggplants and discard the stem. Mash using a fork or roughly chop using a knife. Add this into a bowl and mix in 2 cups (fresh or frozen) peas, 1/2 cup coriander leaves, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder and salt. Set this aside while we prepare the gravy.

In a pan, heat 2 tablespoons of ghee or oil. Add one medium sliced onion, 1/4 cup blanched almonds (or cashews), 2 tablespoons raisins, 4 crushed garlic cloves, 2″ piece of chopped ginger. Cover and let this cook until the onion is caramelized, about 8-10 minutes. Add one chopped medium tomato half way through and let it also cook without mixing it in too much.

Once the mix is cooked through, let it cool a bit and grind into a paste, adding a little water if needed.

Clean the skillet and heat it now with one tablespoon of ghee. Add the eggplant and peas mixture and let it cook uncovered until all the moisture has been absorbed. Stir in between to prevent browning. This might take about 10 minutes. Add the onion paste to the cooked eggplant.

Add half cup of cream to the mixer jar to dislodge any remaining onion paste stuck to the jar. Pour the cream to the curry. Mix everything and cook for another 5 minutes, taste testing and adjusting the seasonings if needed. Serve with some ghee on top if preferred.

baingan_mutter_makhani

Dahi Elaichi Rajma – Red kidney beans with cardamom and yogurt

dahi_rajma3

This is a curry that is coming straight out of the book 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer. When I first took this huge book out of the library, I was disappointed at the lack of pictures. But it didn’t take me long to figure out that the recipes are excellent. I have tried 3-4 recipes from the book and some of them more than once. This easy to make rajma curry has been prepared many times now and I am still surprised at the unique flavor combination of kidney beans with yogurt and cardamom.

Instead of tomatoes, the yogurt brings in the tartness and the cardamom brings in that beautiful, yet light masala flavor. I don’t like using whole cardamom pods so I use only ground cardamom. I wouldn’t use sour yogurt for this recipe as the sourness might overwhelm everything else. Cooking the water off the yogurt is an important part according to the author. This step increases the sharpness of yogurt by letting only the curd pellets remain and be a part of the curry. I am yet to try this with other variety of beans, but I think it would taste equally fabulous.

This is my submission to Cooking from Cookbook Challenge event. Do check out the link to learn more about the event and see who else is participating.

dahi_rajma2

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons ghee/oil
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder or 4 cardamom pods
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder (optional)
  • 2 cups red kidney beans, cooked
  • salt as needed
  • coriander leaves to garnish

Method:

 

Heat 2 tablespoons ghee and saute one chopped or sliced small red onion. If you are using whole cardamom pods, you have to add it in along with the onions. If its ground cardamom, you can add after onion is sauteed. Once the onion turns pink, add one cup of yogurt.

 

Add 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom (I used powder instead of whole pods) and let it cook stirring in between. The water will evaporate leaving yogurt pellets, in about 10 minutes or so.

Add in 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric, 1 teaspoon of garam masala and salt as needed. Add 1.5 cups of water, red kidney beans and bring it to a boil. You can add more water, may be 1/2 cup at a time, if the curry seems to be dry.

Add 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper or red chili powder, if needed. Taste test and adjust seasonings and let the curry cook for about 5-10 minutes on a medium flame. Mash the rajma (red kidney beans) slightly with the back of the ladle if you want it to be little more thicker. Serve with rice or roti.

dahi_rajma1

This is my submission to Cooking from Cookbook Challenge event. Do check out the link to learn more about the event and see who else is participating.

CCC-Logo

Moong Dal Pulao

2moong_dal_pulao

It’s been a while since I visited the virtual world, so starting with baby steps again. I am here with a recipe you can try on weekends when the vegetable supply, as a rule for me, is low. This is like a stylish version of Pongal since the base combinations are moong dal, rice and pepper corns. Instead of being mashed up and lumped all together, here the aim is to bring these base flavors in a pulav style, where each grain is separate.

This recipe  is from Vasantha Moorthy’s Vegetarian Menu Cookbook. The recipe is simple and not very time-consuming compared to the regular Indian cooking. The pulav needs a few masalas, a coconut based ground paste and rice and moong. Its sprinkled liberally with fried onions at the time of serving, which adds a TON of flavor to the dish. I used the  ready-made pack, but you can saute two onions until crisp and mix it into the pulav at the time of serving. I serve this with coconut milk based egg curry , but a simple raita would do as well.

This is my submission to Cooking from Cookbook Challenge event. Do check out the link to learn more about the event and see who else is participating.

3moong_dal_pulao

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/2 cup moong dal
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 6-8 peppercorns
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt as needed
  • 1 cup fried onions (ready-made OR 2 medium onions sliced thin and fried in 4-5 tablespoons ghee until brown)

To grind and make a paste:

  • 3 tablespoons grated coconut
  • 1″ piece ginger
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 2-3 green (or red) chillies
  • a handful of coriander leaves
  • 2 cloves, 1 cardamom, 1″ piece cinnamon*
  • 1 medium onion, diced**

*I used cinnamon powder

**I add it sometimes,depending on the state of my pantry contents

Method:

Wash the dal and rice together. Drain and set aside.

Grind the cococnut, coriander leaves, ginger, garlic, chilies, cinnamon and cloves  with a little water to make a smooth paste. Set aside.

Heat ghee in your pressure cooker or a heavy bottom pan. Add the cloves, cardamom, peppercorns and bay leaf. Add the chili powder and turmeric powder and fry for a few seconds.

Add the masala paste and saute until the raw flavor goes away, about half a minute. The liquid would evaporate, but take care not to burn it.

Add the rice and dal mix. Fry for a minute or so until its coated well with the masala paste.

Add 3 cups of water (we had a total of 1.5 cups of rice and dal mix, so double of that), salt as needed. Pressure cook for 3 minutes if you are using your instant pot. Else cook until the water is absorbed and the rice is done.

At the time of serving, add some roasted cashews and a handful of fried onions. DO NOT skip the fried onions, they add a lot of flavor to the dish. If you donot have ready made fried onions, then cook two very thinly sliced medium onions to 4-5 tablespoons of ghee and fry until the onions are brown and caramelized. Top the pulao with the prepared fried onions.

1moong_dal_pulao

This is my submission to Cooking from Cookbook Challenge event. Do check out the link to learn more about the event and see who else is participating.

CCC-Logo