Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Lemon Coriander Soup

Source: Sanjeev Kapoor

The Christmas holidays is the one time of the year I really look forward to. With my mom, sister, and I all in the same house, food somehow ends up being the center of our activities :-) My mom wanted to try my pineapple fried rice, so I decided to make this soup as a nice pairing. Since we had been eating so much, I decided to make a light soup which was not cream based.

  • 1/2 bunch Coriander leaves
  • 1 medium Onion, chopped
  • 1 medium Spring onion bulb, chopped
  • 1 inch piece Ginger grated
  • 6 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Gram flour (besan)
  • 4.5 cups Vegetable stock
  • 1/4 head of Cabbage, chopped
  • 1 medium Carrot, cubed
  • 10-12 Black peppercorns, crushed
  • 3-4 Green Chilies, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Lemon juice- 2 tablespoons or more to taste
  1. Heat 2 Tablespoons oil in a pot
  2. Add onion, spring onion bulb, ginger, garlic, green chilies and saute till translucent
  3. Add gram flour and continue to saute till you get a nice aroma
  4. Add vegetable stock, coriander stems, cabbage and carrot cubes and bring to a boil
  5. Add crushed peppercorns and continue to boil
  6. Add half of the chopped coriander leaves and cook for five to ten minutes
  7. Strain and keep aside cooked vegetables (you won't be eating these)
  8. Heat the strained soup
  9. Add salt, lemon juice and bring to a boil again
  10. Season with the remaining chopped coriander leaves. Add more lemon juice, coriander, salt to taste.
Kuty's Twist
The original recipe did not call for green chilies. I made this with 5 green chilies and it ended up VERY spicy, so please add the green chilies with caution :-)

I also thought that straining the vegetables was a very odd step. I understand why we should take out the cabbage, carrots, and coriander stems, since this soup is meant to be a clear simple soup. Unfortunately straining also takes out the onions, ginger, and garlic. What I ended up doing is straining about 3/4 of the vegetables, so it ended up being a vegetable lemon coriander soup. Something I may try next time is setting aside the onion, ginger, garlic, and green chilies once they are sauteed, then adding the vegetables and broth til the soup boils, then removing the vegetables and re-adding the ginger, garlic, and green chilies. I am still curious to know what this tastes like without adding the carrots and cabbage. Does the soup really need it? If you try it, please let me know!
The original recipe called for 2 tablespoons of coriander, which I did not feel was enough. I also wasn't able to chop the coriander very finely, so I just chopped it in the blender. I kept adding coriander and tasting the soup until it tasted right.
This is perfect for a cold snowy Christmas Day in the house. Enjoy! :-)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Panchavati Pongal

Source: Kuty's Kreations!

The hubby and I recently took a much needed vacation to the beautiful NZ. The food was absolutely amazing and we had no problems finding vegetarian food. However, after eating such rich foods and after a long flight I was craving a nice hot and hearty wholesome meal. As soon as we came back I wanted to make ven pongal, which is one of the easiest South Indian meals one can make and is the ultimate comfort food. (It is similar to kichadi.) Normally it is made with moong dal, but of course with my luck I had only a few tablespoons left of it. So I thought, why not create a new recipe with whatever I have? And so came about panchavati pongal!

  • 3/4 cup of dhal (Make a mix of moong dhal, urad dhal, tuvar dhal, masoor dhal, channa dhal)
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 15 peppercorns
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
  • Handful of cashew nuts pieces
  • Dash of hing
  1. Soak rice and dhal for 20-30 mins (optional step)
  2. Rinse dhal and rice well
  3. Add rice, dhal, 5 cups water, hing, and ginger to pressure cooker. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles. This really depends on your pressure cooker. It should come out nice and mushy. If it did not come out mushy continue to cook it (add water if necessary). If it is too watery, continue to cook it until some water boils off.
  4. Temper cumin seeds, crushed peppercorns, cashew nuts, ghee, curry leaves.
  5. Add tempering and salt to taste to the rice/ dhal mixture. Add more pepper and salt as needed. I like my pongal with a lot of pepper.
Kuty's Twist
Like I said, ven pongal is normally made with just moong dhal. You can probably try this with any type of dhal.

This is usually served with chutney or gotsu (an eggplant/ tomato stew). I make my pongal with a lot of pepper kick and am quite happy just eating it plain or with yogurt. :-)

If you have leftovers, I would advise microwaving it with some added water to get back that mushy consistency.

On a side note, it's quite funny how your tastes change as you grow up. I used to HATE eating pongal as a child, especially when it was made with whole peppercorns. Now I can't get enough of it! :-)