Showing posts with label Soups and Salads. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Soups and Salads. Show all posts

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mango Salsa

I’m a mango lover and a trip to Kerala in early May seemed to be a brilliant idea as the mango season was still on. The thought of gorging on limited edition mangoes made my mouth watery, you know what I mean, the ones you grow in your or someone else’s backyard, timely picked and ripened with much love and care for perfect texture, color, and smell that even the flies nor you want to be away from them.  

Then confronted by a real life situation of days moving like a breeze, typical of us visitors who pays yearly visit, we started getting acrobatic in scooter to catch up with friends and family and returning back home with those limited edition mangoes and no time to eat them.

Back home, the real deal were Pakistani mangoes. It is a dream of a mango, so sweet and cheap, having a couple of slices will make you think world is indeed a better place to be, and how blessed you are to savor them. I say it is a sweet swap for alphonsa mangoes. 

I skipped my dinners for mango mousse, a mid morning meal for a sweet bowl of yummy yummy fruit salad with some milkmaid to top it, you call it mango smoothie or mango milkshake, I am for it. This salsa has to be the healthiest thing I have done this mango season followed by a Mango Pulissery. I could have dressed a taco shell with mango salsa, and it would have been lovely. But then we are so used to fruit chaats, I ate it all by itself. I never tried pairing it with fish, chicken, or pork and wonder how that would be? For that experience, I cannot stretch my mangoes anymore. My fruit bowl is empty.  

By the by, do you think the topmost caption should be Ode to mangoes rather than a mango salsa?


Chopped mangoes - 1 cup

Chopped ripe tomatoes - 3/4 cup

Chopped capsicum - 1 tsp

Spring onion - 2 tsp

Chilli flakes - 1/4 tsp

Oregano - 1/2 tsp

Salt to taste


In a bowl, combine the mangoes and tomatoes. Lightly mash them with a spoon. Add capsicum, spring onion, chilli flakes, oregano, and salt. Mix well. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Carrot and Orange Soup (Zero Oil)


Onion, chopped - 1 medium

Carrots, peeled and sliced - 3 medium

Vegetable stock - 350 mL

Ginger, peeled and grated - 2 inches

Water - 350 mL

Zest of 1/2 orange

Juice of one orange


Freshly ground black pepper


Pressure cook onion, carrots, ginger and stock till one whistle.  Open the lid, add the water, orange juice and zest to the pressure cooker, bring back to the boil and simmer for another 10 minutes. Remove the cooker from the heat and allow the soup to cool slightly before blending until smooth. Reheat and add salt and black pepper as needed. Serve garnished with herbs of your choice. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Anjum's Anglo-Indian Tomato Soup

As I weed out the troubles,
the more merrier I am in the company of books that I behold.
The learning curve rides me higher to the infinite.
I call it a day when I can put my legs up and a couch to straighten my back, 
and hands to reach for that perfect bowl of soup.

This is just the right soup shouting the Anglo-Indian side of things with correct blend of spices, veggies, and milk. The recipe is a keeper and a crowd pleaser. Can't wait to soup it up next time. 

Don't forget to check on my healthy tomato soup if you are saying no to cornflour and milk


Butter - 1 tbsp

Vegetable Oil - 1 tsp

Bay leaf - 1 large

Carrot, chopped - 1 No. (large)

Celery stalk, chopped  - 1

Onion, chopped - 1 small

Garlic - 2

Ginger - 3/4 inch

Cornflour - 1 tbsp mixed to a paste with some water

Ripe tomatoes, chopped - 650 g

Sugar - 1 tsp

Black pepper - 1 tsp

Salt as required

Milk - 100 mL or Cream - 25 mL

Water - 300 mL

Coriander leaves as garnish

  • Always use ripe red tomatoes for the soup. It makes a big difference. (Nobody wants to drink an ultra sour soup). 
  • Don't forget to use the sugar. It gives a restaurant feel to your tomato soup.
  • If you run out of milk, try small amounts of cream as a substitute. It's just fine.
  • If you are using milk, while pureeing the veggies, run milk and water little by little in the food processor. The exact recipe by Anjum Anand says it gives a double cream texture.


In a non-stick pan, heat the butter and oil. Add bay leaf and fry for 20 seconds. Now add chopped onion, carrot, celery, garlic and ginger. Close the lid and cook them well. (Don't forget to open the lid and stir in between). Now add the cornflour paste and stir for 1 minute. Add the chopped tomatoes, salt, sugar, and black pepper. Cook till the tomatoes are all mashed up. Now cook the mixture for another 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Allow it to cool and then transfer it to a blender along with water. Once it is pureed, transfer it back to the pan and return to boil. Switch off the stove. While still hot, add cream and stir well. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with breads of your choice. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Beet Salad

Beetroot - 1 big
Onion - 1 small

Coriander leaves chopped - 2 tbsp
Salt as needed

Salad dressing
Lemon - 1/2 of one
Olive oil - 1 capful

Cook beetroot in a pressure cooker until 1 whistle. Drain any water. Slice beetroots and onions in half moons. Toss this with lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. Finally, garnish with coriander leaves. Serve chilled.

Note: After cooking beetroots, transfer them to a bowl of chilled water. This will keep beetroot crisp. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Kanji soup with trio of dals

There is something immensely satisfying about this soup that makes you want to reach out for a second helping. Excellent for winters with right balance of flavors to keep you warm and give you one of a kind Ayurvedic experience.

This is a Granny recipe and is very much précised (not my Granz, hey, she is in heaven) and cooking this is a proof of how meticulously she had spun the recipe with love.

Of course, Grannies are smart and should be ……….. they can’t be wrong, they have lived and seen life waaaay more than you and I can imagine.

So here goes my kisses and hugs to the unknown author of Kanji soup recipe – you made my mornings happy, tummy full, and gratifying with always more on the table.

This used to be my life saver congee recipe with less ingredients before this Kanji Soup arrived.  If you felt my last recipe was way too bland for your palate, then this could be the one for you. 

So are you ready with your soup ladle to pour some extra soup for your loved ones. If so, stock up your pantry before heading to heat up your soup pot aka pressure cooker here. 

Ingredients 1
Cracked wheat - 100 gm
 Raw rice  - 50gm
 Moong dal - 50gm
 Urad dal - 50gm
 Toor dal  - 50gm 

Ingredients 2
Garlic cloves (small) - 10 nos
Chopped pearl onions/kunjulli  - 5 nos
Chopped ginger - 1 inch piece
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 /4 tsp
Pepper powder  - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds -1  1 /2 tsp

Ingredients 3

3) Ground coconut paste - 1 /2 of a coconut    Salt as needed

Assemble all the ingredients. Wash and clean ingredients 1 and place them in a pressure cooker.
Now add rest of the ingredients 2 as shown above.  Add enough water. Cook until one whistle, then lower the flame and cook for 5 more minutes.  Switch off the stove. After 15 minutes , open the pressure cooker and add ground coconut,  salt and water as needed.  Now keep  in low flame for 5 minutes. Kanji soup is ready. Serve hot or else it will become too thick (will lose the soup consistency).

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Smoked salmon salad

Rocket leaves - A small bunch
Smoked salmon - 1/2 of a packet
Avocado - 1
Almond shavings - 1 tbsp

Olive oil - 2 tbsp or according to your taste levels
juice of 1 lemon

Combine all the ingredients. Pour the salad dressing. Serve along with thick lemon wedges. This makes a nice stuffing for sandwiches minus the rocket leaves with a dash of pepper powder.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Soyabean salad

Soyabean grain - 1 cup
Tomato - 1 medium
Lebanese cucumber - 1
Capsicum - 1/4 
Coriander leaves

Chaat masala - 1 tsp
Olive oil - 1 tsp

Soak soyabean grain for 6-8 hrs. Pressure cook soyabean along with salt till one whistle. Keep them aside. Chop tomato, cucumber, capsicum, and coriander leaves. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Add chat masala and olive oil before serving.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Fattoush salad

Memories came rushing as I chopped my way to Fattoush salad. This used to be a regular in our work canteen salad spreads. I used to eat this day in and day out so much so that  towards the end I couldn't stand the sight of it. But after a break, again I have fallen in love with the same. 

This bread salad is choke full of nutrients and much needed if you are looking for a veggie break.

Have you tried fried pita? It is really tasty with a hint of sumac, if you can get hold of one in Middle Eastern shops. 

Pita bread - 1 round
Lettuce - 7 big leaves
Cherry tomatoes - 6
Radishes - 6
Parsley - 1/2 cup
Mint - 1/4 cup
Cucumber - 1
Sumac - 1 tbsp or according to your taste.
Peppers (optional)

Garlic mashed - 1 clove
Olive oil - 3 tbsp or more 
Lemon juice - 1 small lime

Fry pita in olive oil. Alternatively you can toast. Set aside.
Chop all the veggies. Prepare the dressing. Now plate the salad and sprinkle over the fried pita breaking them into pieces and sumac. Pour the dressing and you are done with your peasant salad.   

Add fried pita before serving or they will go soggy. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Guacamole - The Mexican dip

Love me or hate me, but don't kill my spirits so that I can't rise and shine another day.
If you are sensitive like me, or have gone through some traumatic experiences, I'm sure the phrases above have popped in your head at one point or another.

Though I'm a very sensitive person, God has filled in me an amazing bounce-me-back power. In short, nothing can dullen my spirits for long. The secret perhaps lies in the happy childhood that my parents gave me.

When you are all hurt and feel like you can't move past the hurt, yet have to feed your figures. What you do? 

Try my Mexicana Way!!!

1. Stop for a moment, take a deep breath, then say "cancel" to the happenings (really give it a quit). Here practice is the keyword. Overtime with practice you will say bye to stale things in life more easily. 

2. The making of this dip transforms me to a happy chef again. I don't know clearly if the squishing or squashing of avocados or the magical colours of green, yellow, and red involved give me the zen experience. Slowly but surely it brings a healing effect in me. 

Have your friends over for small talks with a bowl of tortilla chips and guacamole. I'm sure you will be heading to kitchen in no time, wanting to make more, forgetting the bitter experiences you have gone through.  

Give it a try. Did I nourish your body and soul with the power of avocados, let me know....

Ripe avocado - 2
Onion small sized, chopped - 1/2 of a onion
Tomato, chopped - 1/2 of a tomato, seeds removed
Lemon juice - 1/2 of a lemon
Garlic - 1 clove
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves chopped - 2 tbsp
Green chilli chopped - 1, seeds removed

Reserve half of an avocado by cutting it into chunks. Scoop out rest of the avocados and mash them. Add onion, garlic, lemon juice, pepper powder, coriander leaves, and green chilli and mash them. Add tomato and reserved chunks of avocado (don't mash them all up, some chunks of avocados should stay there). Garnish with unflavored tortilla chips and some chopped tomatoes.

I am linking this to event conducted by My Food treasures @ and Erivum puliyam @

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Chicken Manchow soup

The heatwaves have started to calm down. Early signs of changing seasons in the form of seasonal flu is in air. Was caught up with a viral and ended up with popping sinuses and runny nose. Felt like bed was my sole companion in the world. Even the sweet sound of my Abbey seemed like screeching. There were no chicken or tomato soup to feed me..... but hey..... managed with our ever so popular buddy known for trying times - a bowl of Maggie noodles, frozen peas, and store bought dosa batter.

The taste buds went to sleep, so do I. Barely fed myself to take the medications.

Now that I am up and active, what better way to pep up my dull spirits than a hot spicy soup.

If you love spicy soup like me, then no doubt this one is for you.

Chopped carrot - 2 tbsp
Chopped beans - 2 tbsp
Chopped mushrooms - 2 tbsp
Cooked chicken chopped - 2 tbsp
Chopped garlic - 2 tbsp
Chopped ginger - 2 tbsp
Chopped green chilli - 2 tsp
Chopped Coriander leaves - 4 tbsp
Chicken stock - 4 cups
Salt to taste
Soya sauce - 2 tsp
Chilli sauce - 2 tsp
Pepper powder - according to your spice levels
Cornflour dissolved in water - 1 tbsp
White vinegar - 2 tsp
Egg whipped - 2 tbsp

Cook chicken along with salt and pepper powder. Chop and keep them aside.

Heat oil in a pot, add chopped garlic and ginger. Add green chillies, beans, carrots, mushrooms, coriander leaves, and cooked chicken. Allow it to boil. Add soya sauce, chilli sauce, white vinegar at this point. Now add pepper powder, whipped egg, cornflour dissolved in water. Once it is well blended, switch off the heat and drink hot.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Greek salad

How I wish I was in Santorini eating their world famous salata – Greek Salad.  I just want to know how authentic Greek salad tastes. Considering the debt crisis in Greece and priorities of my life, it is a very bad idea to get there….. so have to wait just like I waited for feta cheese. Well, for now, time travel is the only possibility.

Loved watching “The sisterhood of the traveling pants” some years ago, but can’t forget the white washed buildings with blue backdrop of sea. My love for Greece took a new turn when I watched "Mamma Mia" and its picturesque surroundings. Lucky fellas who have been there …… indeed lucky. 

I had read in one of the glossy magazines about this salad as a teenager. Set forth to make it ….. but was utterly disappointed when I found feta cheese was not available in my part of the world. So skipped the idea altogether …When I found feta is easily available in my new home country, my happiness knew no bounds. I associated feta to Greek salad immediately, which was in the back of my DIY wish list.

2 large tomatoes, cut into irregular wedges
1/2 Cucumber, peeled, deseeded, then roughly chopped
1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced
4 Kalamata olives
Feta cheese (go stingy on them, as they are super salty, use it crushed)

Salad dressing
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp of olive oil
1/2 of a lemon
1/4 tsp of pepper

Place all the ingredients in a bowl. Pour the salad dressing. Serve them with bread and kebabs.

Opinions: Try adding romaine lettuce, bell peppers, etc., if you like. It can cut down the saltiness of the olives and feta. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Chilled Spanish Gazpacho/Cold soup

Does a cold soup exist? They sure do.

Growing up, I used to religiously watch Planet food and its lovely host Padmalakshmi. Padma requires a special mention for her ongoing works on endometriosis. Kudos to her. 

I was fascinated to hear about cold soup, gazpacho from their series on Spain. Andalusians use bread in their soup! It was a shocking discovery for someone whose knowledge of soups were limited to hot steaming chicken clear soup.

All these years I never thought it's worth a try, considered it yucky, but when I tried it ...... boy ..... it was shockingly tasty. I found myself overdosing on the soup for almost a week.

Lessons learned:- should never label something yucky until you taste it. Same like never judge anything by its cover.

Recipe source: Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa cookbook

1 Persian cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled
2 Red bell peppers, cored and seeded
4 plum tomatoes
1/4 of a small red onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups tomato juice
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt as needed
1 teaspoon pepper powder

Chop cucumber, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions. Blend them into a coarse paste (Use blender carefully so that you don't end up with a puree). Pour them into a large bowl and mix them with minced garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Serve chilled. Enjoy the soupy drink with some croutons!

It stays fresh for a week in the fridge.

linking this to the event conducted by My Food treasures @ and Erivum puliyum.@

Thursday, June 7, 2012

How to make croutons for soups and salads

Always always use stale bread to make croutons. It is not only a sure way to clean the kitchen island from bread going stale, but also tastes much better.

These are ready made source of carbohydrates, which comes handy on a lazy day, can be stored in airtight containers or zip lock bags.

When making croutons, always make a little more than you want for a recipe, so that next time you can throw a salad meal in a jiffy.

Open the crouton containers, some salad greens, throw some cherry tomatoes, and here you go ..... munching on them (what a lovely way to have your greens and a light meal which is filling in itself)


1. Pour olive oil in a saute pan.
2. Toss olive oil with whole wheat bread cubes until they are well coated.
3. Check the croutons to see if they are crisp and golden brown in color.

Again as I say, if you are not counting on your calories, make croutons with butter for that rich taste. 

How to make healthy tomato Soup

I always tried to recreate at home the tomato soup, which I devoured once at a restaurant named Bimbis. I missed that taste then and there and couldn't do the same. Always craved for the real taste I had there. I never knew taste buds were so sharp until one day it was recreated again by my husband from Umi Abdullah's book. It was an instant WOW and ever since it has been a FAMILY FAVORITE.

I made twists and turns to make it more healthier to watch my waistline. I could almost get the same taste when I replaced butter with olive oil, white bread with brown bread, etc.

If you are not calorie conscious or feeding the soup to your kids, sure you can have that blob of butter and cream to make it rich and even more tastier.

                                                                Healthy tomato soup


Ripe tomatoes (roughly chopped) - 500 gms

Carrot (roughly chopped) -1

Potato (roughly chopped) -1 

Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp

Sugar - 1 tsp

Croutons made of 2 bread slices (use whole wheat bread)

Olive oil to fry croutons

Salt as needed

Goodness of vegetables

Variety of vegetables in different colors


Pressure cook tomatoes, potato, carrot, salt in 1 cup of water for 1 whistle. After releasing the pressure, blend well (use hand blender if you have one). Now add some water to make it the desired consistency. I usually add 2-3 cups of water. Now add pepper powder, sugar, salt if required and boil for another 6 minutes. Serve hot with whole wheat croutons.

Note: Add croutons only while serving, otherwise it can go soggy. 

A bowl of goodness

I am sending this to Deep @


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