Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Minestrone Soup - My version

Data Input:Beans : 2 cups (Kidney Beans, Lima Beans, or any other variety u like; I used Kidney Beans, Lima beans, Black beans)
Pasta : ½ cup
Veggies : Celery, Zucchini, Bell Peppers (Carrot & Potato if you like, I dint use)
Diced Onion : 1 Cup
Tomatoes : 1 Cup (if no tomatoes available, go for Tomato Sauce or Salsa)
Basil : 1 tsp
Thyme : 1 tsp
Oregano : 1 tsp
Parsley : 1 tsp
Garlic : 4 Cloves
Crushed Red Pepper , Jalapeno Peppers(pickled also fine) : according to ur spice star
Olive oil : 5 tsp
Salt : Desired quantity

Program Execution:• Soak the Beans overnight & Pressure Cook them with little more water (Don’t drain the water)
• Cook Pasta & drain it
• In a Pan, add olive oil ; once it is hot add Garlic and fry for a minute
• Add Onions, Tomatoes, and all the herbs (Basil, Thyme, Oregano, Parsley), fry for few minutes
• Add the Veggies; fry for couple of minutes
• Add cooked beans, Salt, Crushed Pepper or Jalapeno Pepper
• Bring it to boil , stir it , add Pasta and close with the lid.
• Simmer it for 30-45 mins

Output:Yahoooooooooooo! Yummy soup ready to enjoy !

I made this soup for "Chilli Soup Contest" conducted for raising money for Food Bank in my Office. Can u believe it? This soup won the contest!

I was very glad seeing the results of the contest as
"Congratulations to Priya Muthaiyan who won the soup contest!"
I received a cute Halloween lantern light as the prize.

Heartfelt Thanks to my DH who helped in cutting all the vegetables and tasting the soup.
Also Thanks to my dear friends in workplace who all encouraged me in making the soup.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Paneer Masala

My DH is a great fan of North Indian dishes, though we are from core South. He preferred Naan & Paneer gravy for dinner and its been more than a week since I promised him that I'll make.. I can't postpone anymore.. So I am getting ready to prepare Paneer Masala. I am not that great when it comes to North style dishes.. But still I tried. 


Paneer ------------------>500 gms cut into cubes
Onion--------------------->1.5 cups, diced
Capsicum----------------->2 cups cubed(Mixed colors)
Green Chillies------------>3 Slitted
Chilli Powder------------>1 tsp
Dhania Powder--------->1 tsp
Turmeric----------------->1 tsp
Ginger Garlic Paste---->1 tsp
Salt------------------------>As desired
Garam Masala---------->1/2 tsp
Cilantro------------------>1/4 cup chopped
Mustard Seeds--------->1.5 tsp
Jeera --------------------->1 tsp
Yogurt Mix                         
Yogurt---------------------->1/2 cup
Black Pepper Powder--->1 tsp
Chilli Powder-------------->1 tsp
Salt-------------------------->As needed

  • Shallow fry the Paneer cubes until lightly browned stirring occasionally , add them to the Yogurt Mix and Marinate them for at least 1/2 hour                              
  • In the same pan, heat oil ,fry onions and Tomatoes. Grind it to a paste.                 
  • Now add oil in the pan, followed by Mustard seeds, Jeera. Let it crackle.                              
  • Then add Ginger Garlic paste, Turmeric, Green Chillies, add Capsicum , fry for few minutes                         
  • Add the Onion - Tomato paste, chilli powder, Dhania Powder, Salt. Cook till oil comes out                            
  • Add water if needed and simmer for 10 minutes.                            
  • Finally add the marinated Yogurt Mix and Garam Masala. When the bubbles starts coming up, switch off the stove, else the yogurt will curdle.                           
  • Garnish with Cilantro                     
  • Serve with Chappati, Naan or Rice
It came out so tasty, even my DD liked it. My DH also enjoyed it with Naan and I had it with Rice, because I don't like Naan :-(

Monday, November 8, 2010

Walnut Chutney

Many of us wonder what do with Walnuts other than using it in Trail mix or Cereals. It doesn’t taste that great if eaten alone, but I like it though.
This is my all time favorite and it goes well with rice as 'Thovaiyal' or as Chutney for Idli, Dosai. It is so simple and easy. I got this receipe from my dear Aunty & Uncle living in California. 


Walnuts------------------->2 cups
Onion --------------------->1/2 Sliced
Green Chilli--------------->6
Ginger--------------------->2 inch
Garlic---------------------->2 (Optional)
Cilantro------------------->Half bunch
Salt------------------------->As desired
Olive Oil------------------->4 tsp

·         Make powder out of Walnuts in Pulse mode (of Mixie) and keep it aside                             
·         Grind rest of the ingredients to make a paste                    
·         Now add the powdered Walnut , sometimes because of the oil it might turn as hard butter instead of powder.                
·         If the chutney is for Idly or Dosai, water can be added; otherwise grind everything to make 'Thovaiyal'                  

You don't believe, it will be very delicious, much similar to coconut chutney.            
Another variation could be fry the Onions, Tomatoes, Green chillies if you don't like the raw smell