Category Archives: Soups & Salad

Green Salad

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The week has  started and for no reason I am feeling a quite lazy. Just do not feel like lunching today. So maybe …. a quick salad and some left over soup for myself.

This salad is easy and pretty quick, so I do it this way. Also the dressing adds a great taste to it. Here we go…

Ingredients:

  • Cucumber – 1
  • Carrot – 1
  • Celery – 1/2
  • Lettuce – 1 leaf
  • Tomatoes – 1/2
  • Grapes – 1/4 cup
  • Olive oil – 1 tsp (optional)
  • Salad dressing – as required
  • Salt, pepper and sugar – to taste and garnish

Method:

  • Roughly chop all the ingredients and mix in a bowl.
  • Add 1  tsp olive oil, salt, pepper and sugar to taste.
  • Add salad dressing (any kind) and mix well.
  • Note: The combination and the amount is completely as per your preference. Instead of chopping you can slice them as well.

Musur Dal / Red Lentil Soup

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Dal or Pulses – a very significant source of protein, is a part of the daily Indian meal. There are variety of dals (refer to the Glossary section for further reference) and lots of variations in their cooking (mainly in their tempering). I will try to highlight a few of them in this post.

Ingredients:

  • Musur Dal – 1 cup
  • Salt – to taste
  • Sugar – optional and to taste
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Ginger paste -
  • Garlic cloves
  • Slit green chillies
  • Tomatoes -
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4th tsp
  • Oil/Butter/Ghee – 1 tbsp + for garnishing
  • Water
  • Chopped coriander leaves – for garnishing.

Method:

Note: It is quicker and easier to use a pressure cooker to boil the lentils.

  • Wash the dal thoroughly, and pressure cook (or boil) it with 2-3 cups of water, salt, garlic cloves and green chillies. (You can add the tomatoes at this stage or later). Simmer until the dal is cooked, which in my case is 5-6 whistles, but can vary.
  • This step is called tempering. Heat oil in a pan, add the cumin seeds and let it sizzle.
  • Add ginger paste, turmeric powder, and tomatoes (if not added in the pressure cooker).
  • Add the boiled lentils and mix well.Add more water if required as per the desired consistency.
  • Check and adjust salt and add sugar if required.
  • Garnish with 1 cube of butter or 1 tsp of ghee and chopped coriander leaves.

Variations:

  • While tempering, add some onions with or without ginger and garlic. (It is not always necessary to use ginger and garlic).
  • Add a pinch of asafoetida while tempering.
  • Temper with mustard seeds, curry leaves and a pinch of asafoetida.
  • Use any other dal (lentil) or a combination of dal to get varied flavors.
  • Use Panchforon or Panch Puran for tempering.

Spinach Soup

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Last week, suddenly, we realised that we should focus a bit on some healthy food and have small meals at frequent intervals rather than having large meals at one time. That obviously brought in lots of greens, fruits, salads and soups to our food menu. And hence this posting of a spinach soup… tasty and easy to make.

Go healthy – Go green !

Ingredients:

  • Spinach – 4 bunches or 1 packet
  • Onion, chopped – 1 medium
  • Garlic Cloves, chopped -5
  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Bay leaf – 1
  • Peppercorns – 6-8
  • Vegetable stock – 2 cups (optional)
  • Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
  • White pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Skimmed milk (or else normal milk) – 1/2 to 1 cup
  • Butter – to garnish (optional)

Method:

  • Clean the spinach, wash thoroughly, first with warm water and then with cold water and roughly chop.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add bay leaf, peppercorns, chopped onion and garlic. Saute till the onions becomes soft and translucent.
  • Add the chopped spinach, mix well and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Cool the mixture, remove the bay leaf and puree the mixture in a blender to a fine consistency.
  • Once done, boil vegetable stock (if not available use water), add the puree, cumin powder, salt (to taste) and white pepper powder.
  • Mix well and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add milk and cook for another 5 minutes to the desired consistency.
  • Garnish with a square cube of butter (if desired) and serve with tortilla chips.

Note:

  • Black pepper powder can also be used instead of white pepper. Check here for further reference.
  • Those having high uric acid should avoid eating spinach as it contains naturally-occurring substances called purines which can be broken down to form uric acid, hence increasing the level in the body.