Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Soup in summer? Yes, I made soup in summer. We had a lot of rain a few weeks back and soup felt good for a change. Red bell peppers, in my opinion, add a ton of flavor to any dish they are used in. Roasted red bell peppers are even better. I love the aroma in the house as they are roasted. And the family loves the end result.


You could add cream to the soup but I prefer to add milk. It adds flavor and is perfect for soup in summer.


You will need (4 servings)
2 red peppers
1 tbsp. butter
1/3 medium onion, prefarably red, but others will work too
1 medium carrot
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsps tomato paste
1 tsp. paprika
1 2/3 cups broth or water
salt and pepper
milk

Roast the bell peppers. I do it on the stove top. I stick a fork in the pepper and place it directly over the heat. I turn it around to char the skin evenly. When done I wrap it in aluminium foil and keep it aside for at least 15 minutes.


Meanwhile, dice the onions. Heat the butter in a pan and add the onions. Saute until cooked and semi transparent.


Unwrap the roasted bell peppers and rub the skin off. It should come off easily.


Leave a few charred pieces of skin on the pepper. It adds a smoky flavor to the soup. Dice the peppers and the carrots.


Add all the ingredients except the milk to the pan.


Bring the mixture to a boil, lower heat and let it simmer until the carrots are cooked.


Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool. Puree in a blender. Return to the pan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and add the milk. Let it simmer without coming to a boil for ab






Enjoy!















This is my entry for week one, day three of BM #66 for the theme 3 Vegetable that are fruit. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#66.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Chickpea Avocado Feta Salad

A few days back I had soaked garbanzo beans without checking to see if I had all the ingredients I normally use to cook them. The next day I was in a bind. I had no time to visit the grocery store and did not have anything else prepped. I had an avocado in the refrigerator and some left over feta cheese. A simple dressing of lime juice, salt, pepper and I had a delicious salad ready.


You will need
2 cups cooked garbanzo beans or chickpea
1 avocado
1/4 cup feta, adjust to taste
salt and pepper to taste
juice of half a lime

If using dry beans, soak overnight and pressure the next day. Discard the cooking water. Peel the avocado and remove the seed. Dice finely. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.


Enjoy!














This is my entry for week one, day one of BM #66 for the theme 3 Vegetables that are fruit. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#66.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Walnut Kale Pesto

Pesto is a green sauce traditionally made with pine nuts, basil and olive oil. Pesto is rich in fat and while a well made sauce is very flavorful it may not always be the preferred choice. If you are looking for an alternative this recipe is for you. I had some left over cottage cheese I trying to use up and needed a sauce to bind it as a filling. The walnut kale pesto worked perfectly.


I would not say the flavor is close but this pesto will work just as well as the traditional pesto recipe. You could add a bunch of basil leaves along with the kale to bring the taste profile closer to that you are used to, but in my family we really like this recipe.

You will need
2 cups Kale leaves
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1 clove garlic
salt to taste

Bring water to a boil in the microwave safe cup. Add the kale leaves to the water and let it sit on the counter top for a few minutes. Drain the water, rinse the leaves in cold water and you are have instant blanched kale. Alternately you could use a pan over a stove top to boil the water.


Add the kale to a food processor along with the other ingredients and pulse until you have the desired consistency.


Use in pizza, pasta or sandwiches.














This is my entry for week one, day one of BM #66 for the theme 3 Vegetables that are fruit. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#66.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Puliyodharai

All of the rice preparations, this is one of my favorites. It brings back childhood memories that I have never been able to place. But it always gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. The tangy flavors of tamarind with the spices makes this rice delicious. I have a version of this rice here but when I saw this post by Valli who blogs at Cooking 4 all seasons, I had to try it.


I stayed true to the recipe except I toned down the heat. It was delicious and everyone loved it. I have made this version several times and it will be my go to version in the future.

You will need
For the spice powder
1/2 tsp oil
1 tbsp. urad dal
2 tbsp. channa dal
1 dry red chili pepper
1 tsp. black pepper, whole
1/2 tsp. fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds

For the tamarind paste
2 tsp. oil
1 tsp. urad dal
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 red chili pepper
1 tsp. channa dal
1/4 tsp. fenugreek seeds
1/4 tsp. asafoetida
3-4 curry leaves
handful of cashews
2 tsp. peanuts
1 tbsp. tamarind extract
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
salt to taste

For the rice
2 cups brown rice
2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 tbsp. oil

Wash the rice and drain the water. Keep aside for 15 minutes. Add 4 cups of water to the rice and bring to a boil. Cover and lower the heat to medium. Cook for about 15 minutes or until the water has evaporated and the rice is cooked through. Turn off the heat.

While the rice is cooking heat another pan for the spice powder. Add the oil and roast the ingredients for the spice powder. Turn off the heat and spices cool. Grind to a fine powder and keep aside until needed.

Next prepare the tamarind paste. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the remaining ingredients except the last three on the list. When they sizzle add the tamarind extract, 1 cup of water, the turmeric powder and salt. Bring to a boil and lower the heat. Allow the mixture to thicken. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool.




To put it all together, add fresh ground black pepper, oil and the tamarind paste to the cooked rice.








Enjoy!













This is my entry for week four, day three of BM #65 for the theme Bookmarked. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#65.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Spicy Green Bell Pepper Side

As soon as I saw this recipe I knew I was going to try it. It was one of those that use a special spice powder and all the ingredients in the powder screamed - delicious. So here is my version of a spicy green bell pepper side.


I found this recipe on Pavani's blog. I stayed fairly true to the recipe except I cut down on the number of dried red chili peppers. 

You will need
For the spice powder
1 tbsp. channa dal
1/2 tbsp. urad dal
1 tbsp. coriander seeds
1 dry red chili pepper
1 tsp. tamarind paste
salt to taste

2 medium preferably, thin skinned green bell peppers
All of the spice powder above
2 tbsp yogurt, sour
1 tbsp oil, I used olive oil
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
3-4 curry leaves (I did not use any)
salt to taste

Roast the first four ingredients for the spice powder until they start to turn color. Turn off heat and allow to cool. Add the remaining ingredients and grind to a powder. Keep aside until needed.


Rinse and dice the green bell pepper. In a bowl add the yogurt and the diced bell pepper. Keep aside for 10 minutes.


Heat a pan with the oil. Add the mustard seeds. When they crackle add the cumin seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves. Add the yogurt and bell pepper mixture and salt. Add a tablespoon of water. Cook covered until the bell pepper is cooked through, but not mushy. Add the spice powder. Cover, and cook on low heat for a couple of minutes.


Turn off the heat.



Enjoy!













This is my entry for week four, day one of BM #65 for the theme Bookmarked. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#65.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Green Beans and Coconut

Green beans is a regularly featured vegetable on my menu and I am always thinking of different ways to cook them. I have a few different preparations on this space already. But the urge to try something different is always there. While I was trying to come up with something, I remembered bookmarking this recipe from Sandhya's blog. She blogs at My Cooking Journey and has a lot of traditional recipes.


I bookmarked this recipe as it showcases a very different method of cooking beans from the one I normally use. I then forgot all about the bookmark until today. I followed the original recipe and the end result was great. The beans were tender and flavorful.

You will need
1 cup beans, diced finely
3 tbsp. mung dal
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dal / split black gram
1 dried red chili pepper
1/4 tsp. asafoetida
3-4 curry leaves
1 tsp. sugar
4 tbsp. shredded coconut
salt to taste

Place the beans and mung dal in a pan. Fill the pan with water until the beans are submerged. Bring the water to a boil and then let it simmer on medium low heat until the beans are tender but do not lose their crunch. During the last couple minutes add salt. Turn off the heat and drain the water.


Heat oil on a pan and add the mustard, urad dal/black gram, red chili pepper, curry leaves (I omitted these as I did not have any) and asafoetida. When the mustard seeds crackle add the drained beans and mung dal. Mix well and let it cook. Add the sugar and continue to cook until the beans dry out. Add the coconut. Mix well and turn off the heat.


Enjoy as a side with either poli/chapati or rice and dal.













This is my entry for week four, day two of BM #65 for the theme Bookmarked. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#65.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Paneer Pesto Pull Apart Rolls

Today I present pull apart rolls. This is another shape I saw on Pinterest and had to try. It is really easy once you figure out what to fill the bread with. I had made a paneer pesto filling for the pull apart bread I posted two days ago. I used the same filling here. I used only whole wheat flour and no butter or eggs so the bread lacks the shine or the brown color. But it is very flavorful with the addition of sourdough starter.



You will need
For the Dough
200 gm white whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur)
130 gm water
100 gm fed sourdough starter
6 gm salt

For the filling
3 1/2 oz paneer
1/4 cup pesto sauce
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. butter, melted at room temperature
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients for the dough and keep aside, covered, for 15 minutes. Uncover, stretch and fold the dough over itself. Turn and repeat until you have gone all around the bowl. Cover and keep aside for another 15 minutes. Repeat the stretch and fold method another 2-3 times. Then let the dough rise for 2-5 hours depending upon the season. In very warm weather you might want to keep the dough in the refrigerator.

Shred the paneer and saute over a little of the oil. When partially cooked, take it off the heat, and keep it on a paper towel to remove the moisture. Combine with the pesto. Add salt and pepper to taste. Keep aside until needed. In a separate bowl mix the oil, butter and the spices. Keep aside refrigerated until needed.
Preheat the oven to 450 F. Flour a working surface and using a rolling pin roll the dough on it into a large rectangle. Sprinkle the prepared filling leaving an edge of an inch on one of the long sides.


Starting at one of the longer edges roll the dough tightly along with the filling to get a thick roll.


Place the roll on parchment paper in a baking sheet. Using a sharp knife cut the roll about an inch from the edge of the roll. Do not cut it all the way through. Repeat about an inch away from the first cut.


Cut at an interval of about an inch all the way along the roll making sure you do not cut all the way through.


Now roll the cut dough to one side, alternating with every cut as in the picture below.


Bake for 25-30 minutes until the bread is cooked through. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool it completely.


Enjoy!













This is my entry for week three, day three of BM #65 for the theme Pull Apart Bread. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#65.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Cinnamon Sunburst Pull Apart Bread

I made this bread a couple weeks after my daughter returned from college for summer. She wanted something sweet. I wanted to try this shape ever since I saw this shape on Pinterest. I really liked the layering and filling in between. I have a few bread shaped with layers but I loved this sunburst shape. I made three layers for this bread and used a cinnamon sugar filling. My daughter did it justice and finished it as dessert over a couple of days.


You will need
For the Dough
200 gm white whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur)
130 gm water
100 gm fed sourdough starter
6 gm salt

For the filling
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

In a bowl mix the ingredients for the dough to form a ball. Cover and keep aside for 15 minutes. Uncover, stretch and fold the dough over itself. Turn the bowl and repeat. Keep stretching and folding over turning the bowl slightly every time. Repeat until you have turned the bowl around itself once. Cover and keep aside for 15 and then repeat. Do it 2 more times.

Cover and allow to rise for 4-5 hours. Then transfer the dough to a work surface and divide into three equal portions. Using a rolling pin roll into a disc a little bigger than a CD. Repeat with the remaining portions.

Preheat oven to 450 F. Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Evenly sprinkle half of the mixture on one of the discs of dough. Place the second disc over the first. Now evenly sprinkle the remaining sugar mixture evenly over the second disc. Place the third disc over the second. Roll the discs out together to allow them to stick to each other. Mark the center with edge of a spoon or small bowl but do not cut through the dough. Move the dough on to parchment paper.


Now cut the dough as shown below to the edge of the etched circle.


Twist each of the cur portion 2 or 3 times and place it back on the parchment paper.


Repeat with all the portions. Allow it to rest for 15-20 minutes. Brush with milk.


Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the bread is cooked through. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool.


Enjoy!













This is my entry for week three, day two of BM #65 for the theme Pull Apart Bread. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#65.