Category Archives: recipe

Comforting Fig and Corn Salad with Basil

What could be a better start to the evening than a comforting and wholesome fig and corn salad garnished with fresh basil leaves. My sister has a farm close to chandigarh and I had to visit her today for some work. She insisted that I pick some figs to take back home. I really must thank her, because the figs were beautifully ripe, succulent and juicy, and immensely inviting in their deep purple colour. Along with these I also plucked some fresh basil leaves and the idea to make a tasty salad had already popped in my head. The result was just as I expected- worthy of sharing the recipe! God bless my sister.

The dictionary defines a salad as something that is served cold. But over a period of time the concept of a salad seems to have evolved and we can have salads that can be devoured warm as well as cold. This particular salad tastes great when it is warm! Besides being tasty and super quick to make its very healthy and packed with nutrition. Its a delicious salad to perk up your summer evening. So, here goes the recipe!

Warm Fig and Corn Salad with Basil  (Serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion chopped into small pieces
  • 3 or 4 cloves of garlic chopped
  •  4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 and 1/2 cup of juicy corn kernels
  • 1 large carrot peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 5 figs, halved or quartered ( or more if you like)
  • About ten to fifteen basil leaves
  • Fresh coriander leaves
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp red chilli powder
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • Balsamic vinegar

Method:

Heat the olive oil in a pan, but don’t let it overheat. add the garlic

Comforting fig and corn salad with basil
Comforting fig and corn salad with basil

and saute for half a minute. Now add the chopped onion and continue to stir fry till they become translucent and just begin to caramelize. Add carrots and corn kernels (The corn kernels can be pre- cooked in a microwave with 2 tsp water on high for about 1 minute). Stir fry  for about 1 minute more. Transfer the veggies  to the serving plate. Now place the halved figs flat side down in the same pan. Add a few more drops of olive oil. cook for 1 minute and turn the sides and cook for 30 seconds more. Transfer to serving plate. Drizzle some honey over the figs. Garnish with fresh basil and balsamic  vinegar. Enjoy!

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Easy, Healthy and Yum- Tomato Soup!

Come November and winter is just round the corner.

“October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and faces.”
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Well, the winter is not so harsh in the Indian subcontinent,but yes, it has started to become slightly cold in the northern parts of India.and we are rather enjoying this weather. With the slight chill comes the desire for warm and comforting food as evening descends. What could be better than a simmering bowl of tomato soup?

Ingredients:

1 kg ripe tomatoes roughly chopped

3 medium size onions sliced

4 to 5 cloves of garlic

1/2 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp black pepper powder

2 pieces of cloves (optional)

1 tbs butter (optional)

1 tbs cornflour

Salt to taste

Method:

Boil all the ingredients in 5 cups water (pressure cook if possible for up to 4 whistles), till the tomatoes are soft and the skins begin to peel off.Decant the liquid in another container with the help of a large sieve with medium sized perforations.Mash the tomatoes now trapped within the sieve so that the pulp and juice passes into the rest of the liquid, leaving the seeds and skins behind. Discard them. Put the soup back on the flame to cook for a few more minutes.To thicken the soup, 1 tbs of cornflour dissolved in a little water can be added. Alternatively,a trick is to add 2 tbs of thick Knorr or Maggi tomato soup powder .It adds to the flavour and makes it more delicious! Lastly add a knob of butter and voila, soup is ready to serve! Garnish with fresh celery or coriander.Cottage cheese pieces added to the soup taste great too!  Serve with bread sticks.

Pancakes with Honey Cinnamon Sauce

Delicious, soft ,fluffy pancakes always make my mouth water. In the recipe that i share below i have replaced all purpose flour with wheat flour as it is comparatively a healthier option. Adding a spoonful of oats could further enhance the nutritive value.The recipe inspiration is from BBC food which always has foolproof recipes, but I have tweaked it to my suitability and added the honey cinnamon sauce.The dish is wholesome and healthy. Ideally a breakfast food, but honestly I don’t mind eating pancakes as dessert too!

Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat flour —- 1/2 cup
  • Milk                       —- 1/2 cup
  • Egg                       —- 1 large
  • Castor sugar         —- 2 tbs
  • Salt                        —- 1/2 tsp
  • Baking powder       —- 1 tsp
  • Melted butter          —- 2 tbs

Method: 

Sift all the dry ingredients together and keep aside. Whisk together the milk ,egg and gradually add the melted butter.Finally mix the dry and the wet ingredients while beating lightly with a fork. Leave the mixture to rest for 2 minutes. Now heat a nonstick pan and smear a knob of  butter over it. Pour a ladle full of the mixture on the pan and let cook. Holes will appear on its surface. Flip the side and cook till lightly brown.Make a stack of the pancakes.

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Honey Cinnamon Syrup:

Ingredients-

  • Honey —-3/4 cup
  • butter —- 1/2 cup
  • Ground cinnamon —- 1/2  tsp

Heat all the above ingredients over a low flame till warm and the butter gets melted.Don’t overheat but keep it warm.

Serve the pancakes with the dripping honey cinnamon syrup and slices of caramelized apples or fresh cut strawberries.

There are so many variations that can be made to the basic recipe. As an Indian twist try addind some aniseed (saunf) to the pancake batter.It has an amazing flavour and the pancakes taste almost like ‘Meetha Pura’- a local Indian dish. Meetha means sweet and pura is anything of batter consistency that is pan fried. Follow my blog for more — if you like this post. See you 🙂

Pumpkin Halwa (pudding)

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When I got a call from my sister, asking if I wanted some more pumpkins from her farm, I flatly refused, saying I had cooked enough savoury dishes already from the vegetable. But then she gave me the idea of making ‘pumpkin halwa’! It sound quite interesting, and I decided to make the pudding as it was the festive season in India . Moreover, Halloween was also just round the corner.It is a popular Halloween tradition to make soups and desserts from pumpkins. So, I thought that I must give this dish a try and believe me the result was a mouth  watering dish worth blogging about! I used a medium sized green pumpkin for the dish, but you can also experiment with yellow pumpkin.So here goes the recipe.

Pumpkin Halwa

Ingredients:

  • Pumpkin (about 1 kg )     – peeled and cut into medium sized pieces
  • Pure desi ghee (clarified butter)–1 cup
  • Suji (semolina)                                      — 1 cup
  • Sugar                                                         —  1 cup  or more as per taste
  • Green cardamom                               — seeds of 4 cardamoms ground
  • Almonds and raisins                          — a handful
  • Saffron (kesar)                                      — 1/4 tsp

Method: Boil the chopped pieces of pumpkin preferably in a pressure cooker for about ten minutes (2 whistles ) after the steam 853201048_53b1774e57_z  starts to issue out of the nozzle. Don’t put any water as the pumpkin has enough water of its own. If you do not have a pressure cooker then boil the pumpkin in very little water in a saucepan till it becomes soft. Drain all excess water and mash it with the help of an electric mixer-blender. Mix the saffron and keep aside. Meanwhile heat the ghee in a wok, add the semolina and keep on roasting it till it becomes a light golden brown and the fragrance fills the room. You must keep stirring so that it does not get burnt.Now add the pumpkin puree, raisins and the sugar. The mixture will start to thicken. add cardamom powder.This could take only about 5 minutes or lesser. Mix well and remove from  gas. Garnish with almond slivers and serve hot.

This post is in response to NaBloPoMo