Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pumpkin and Carrot Soup

I've been lazy, very very lazy with posting on the blog. We've had people over for dinner almost every alternate day for the past two weeks, I did really cook a lot, but the prepping, cooking, hosting and cleaning after has been tiring and really got to me after a point. And what's suffered most is my blog - I just didn't have the energy to click pictures and post.

pumpkin and lemon grass soup

Here, the long spell of rains finally seem to be slowing down and its started getting pretty warm again, as we gear up for the second summer, like one wasn't enough !
The drastic change in temperatures has taken a toll on most kids and they are sniffling and coughing thru it all. Made this for a rare guest-free dinner last week. A warm comforting soup with lemon grass to really soothe the cold and cough.

I've always wanted to try a rost pumpkin soup, but always remembered too late and there was never any time for the roasting. So I've just pureed the steamed pumpkins and carrots and added some spices and lemon grass to make this really quick and simple soup

Pumpkin and Carrot Soup

What you need -

3 cups peeled and chopped pumpkin
1 cup peeled and chopped carrot
1/2" piece ginger, julienned
3-4 cloves of garlic
4 stalks lemon grass
1/2 tsp oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp crushed pepper
1 tsp red chilli flakes
1 tsp chopped celery or coriander leaves

What you do with it -

Steam the chopped pumpkin and carrots in a steamer or just cook till its just done in a microwave or stove top
Heat the oil in a small pan and add the garlic pods
Add the steamed vegetables to this
Heat for 2-3 mins and allow it to cool
Blend to a smooth paste and add the lemon grass stalks and ginger juliennes
Bring to a slow boil, adding salt and pepper
Sprinkle chilli flakes and chopped celery / coriander leaves and serve hot
Great way to calm the sore throat and rid yourself of the cold

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Beet and Chocolate Brownies

Remember the Groovy Gourmets I told you about a couple of months back ? Every month, we make something based on the selected theme. Made the grape focaccia, vegan coffee panna cotta for this earlier. Well, I missed out the last two months of posting, but am back now. This week's theme was brownies, with a twist, not just the regular chocolate ones.

beet and choco brownies

I've read a lot about beet and chocolate cakes and though I was a bit apprehensive, I wanted to try brownies with beet puree. We love beets at home and cook quite a bit with it, but beets in something sweet was really something new.
The colour was a pretty dark pink and the taste was really good. I added a bit of butterscotch chips and some almond flour and this gave it a really nice texture.

If you like the idea of sneaking in some veggies in your brownies, give this a try. It isn't easy to figure out the beet in this, lesser calories than a regular brownie and tastes yum !

Beet and Chocolate Brownies

What you need -

3/4 cup APF / maida
2 tsps ground almond flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cooked beets
1/2 cup grated dark chocolate
2 tbsp butter (at room temperature)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butterscotch chips
a pinch of salt

What you do with it -

Line an 8" square pan with baking sheet / butter paper. Allow the sides of the paper to fall over the edges, makes it easier to remove the brownies later
Grease the baking sheet / butter paper
Pre heat the oven at 180 C
Sift the flour, salt and baking powder. Add the almond flour to this and keep aside
Heat the grated chocolate in microwave safe bowl, in 15 second intervals
Peel the cooked beets and make a puree
To this puree, add the butter, melted chocolate and sugar and whisk till the sugar is dissolved completely
Add the butterscotch chips to the flour and then add the flour to the beet puree
Add the batter to the pan and bake for about 35 mins
Cool, pull the paper up from the edges
Cut into 1.5" squares
Sprinkle with icing sugar if you like

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Thai-style mushrooms

The last week has been really bad for me. I was down with a really bad stomach infection and before I could recover completely, I was down with a bad cough and cold. Its been raining almost everyday and thats made it more gloomy all around.
I was living off khichdi and bland food and all that good and cooling for the stomach.
Like you can imagine, I have been craving for something more interesting on my plate.

thai style mushrooms2

I had a little Thai red curry paste remaining from a batch that I made for a red Thai curry a while back. It was too little for a curry but the flavour of this paste is so good, I couldn't let it go waste, so I decided to use it with mushrooms

This dish comes about really fast if you have the Thai curry paste ready. Steamed rice, green curry and these mushrooms and my taste buds were alive and kicking again !

What you need -

15-20 button mushrooms
1 red capsicum
a few basil leaves
1 tbsp Thai red curry paste
1 tbsp coconut milk
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp oil
2-3 pods garlic
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
salt to taste

What you do with it -

Clean and quarter the mushrooms
Chop the red capsicum into pieces
Tear up the basil leaves with your hand
Heat oil in a pan. Add the chopped garlic and red curry paste
Fry for a minute or two
Add the capsicum pieces and fry for another minute
Add the mushrooms and allow it to cook a bit
Add in the coconut milk, basil leaves, salt, pepper and sugar and stir 2-3 times over high heat
Don't over cook the mushrooms. It should be done in less than 5 mins
Garnish with basil leaves. Serve hot


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