Twice cooked corn chowder

Today’s lunch was inspired by a recipe posted on catholicfoodie.com.  Our Apache chilli plant has more chillies than we can give away or use and so we looked for ways to use more than one or two chillies in a dish.  The soup is a revelation and could feature as a starter for our next dinner party or barbecue.

100_7610  100_7611  100_7613

What do I need to make it?

  • 3 ears of corn roasted and shucked
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 10-12 cherry tomatoes (picked fresh from our garden)
  • 10-12 Apache chillies (reduce to taste – also picked from our garden)
  • 2 small capsicums (1 medium green pepper would work just as well)
  • 1 whole garlic pod (roast with skin on)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • 100 ml single cream
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Handful of fresh coriander chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Place tomatoes, chillies, garlic and capsicum in a bowl and drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil to coat all the vegetables.   Then place in a pre heated oven at 200 degree Centigrade for 25-30 minutes till the vegetables begin to char and are roasted.   Remove garlic skins and place with remaining roasted vegetables in a blender and blend to a paste.  Heat pan with remaining olive oil and add chopped onions.   Saute for 5 minutes before adding the paste.   Stir for a couple of minutes before adding the stock cubes and about a litre of water.   Bring to a gentle boil, add the shucked corn, salt and pepper to taste and continue to cook for another 20 minutes on low heat.   Finish the soup with the cream, lemon juice and fresh coriander.

Radish salad

On a blistering summer’s day as today (temperature expected to reach their highest for the year!!) thought it would make sense to have a radish salad for lunch.  Radishes are a naturally cooling food and their pungent flavor is highly regarded in eastern medicine for the ability to decrease excess heat in the body that can build up during the warmer months.  Something I wasn’t aware of was that radishes are supposed to increase one’s appetite and therefore normally eaten at the end of a meal in Eastern cultures.

Radish salad

What do I need to make it?

  • 1 large white radish cut into small pieces
  • 1 green chilli chopped finely
  • Handful of chopped coriander leaves
  • Handful of chopped basil leaves
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Salt & pepper to taste – I used an Indian onion salad seasoning instead

How do I make it?

Put the cut radish in a bowl and add the other ingredients.   Give it a good mix and serve at your next summer barbecue.

Garden fresh – cauliflower soup

Our garden patch of cauliflowers was under attack from worms and caterpillars so we decided to salvage the edible ones to make a hot batch of cauliflower soup tonight.

  100_7465  100_7466  100_7470

What do I need to make it?

  • 1 large cauliflower
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 2 celery sticks chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 sprigs of spring onion (optional)
  • 2 green chillies finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • 50 ml almond milk
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 3 tbsp yogurt
  • 50 gms butter
  • 2 tbsp oilve oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Heat a pan, add butter and olive oil.  Saute the garlic and bay leaves first for a minute before adding the chopped onion, celery and carrot.  Stir for a couple of minute before adding a bit of salt, pepper and garam masala.  Stir for 30 seconds and then add cauliflower florets, stock cubes and about 3 cups of water.   Bring to boil and simmer till the vegetables are cooked.  Remove the bay leaves before putting blending the soup in a liquidizer to a fine puree.  Return to heat and add the almond milk and yogurt – adjust the seasoning and turn off the heat.  Enjoy.

 

Indian comfort food – dhal chawal (lentils with rice)

As the title suggests this is the Indian equivalent to chicken soup.  Ask many an Indian and they will extol the virtues of dhal chawal as most of us were brought up on something similar through our childhood.  Anna and I revert to it as it is one of the simplest dishes to make and thoroughly satisfying and comforting.

100_7342   100_7343

Mixed dhal

What do I need to make it?

  • 1/2 cup tuar dhal
  • 1/4 cup moong dhal
  • 1/4 cup horse gram
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger minced
  • Handful fresh coriander chopped
  • Handful fresh mint leaves chopped
  • Bunch of chives chopped (save 1/4th for garnish)
  • 1 tsp dhania powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • Salt to taste

 For the tempering

  • Pinch of asafoetida
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 4 dry red chilies
  • 2 tbsp clarified butter (ghee)

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Put all ingredients in a vessel and add two cups of water before pressure cooking.    Heat pan, add ghee, asafoetida and dry red chilies and saute for  a minute.  Add the chopped onions and saute for 5 minutes before adding cooked dhal.  Garnish the dish with the remaining chopped chives and serve with boiled rice or pilaf of your choice.

Jeera Peas Pilaf

What do I need to make it?

  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice washed and drained
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 100 gms fresh peas shelled
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 5-6 cloves
  • 4-5 green cardamoms
  • 1 black cardamom
  • Piece of cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp clarified butter (ghee)
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 3

How do I make it?

Heat pan, add ghee and cumin seeds and saute for 30 seconds before adding the remaining dry ingredients.    Saute for a minute and then add sliced onions and cook for a couple of minutes before adding shelled peas and washed rice.  Saute for two to three minutes till rice turns into a white colour before transferring into rice cooker.  Add three cups of water and salt to taste.  Stir the rice when done and serve with dahl.

Mushroom soup

Fall in love with mushrooms again after you make this fresh batch of soup using an assorted range of mushrooms.  Normally I make soup with closed cup mushrooms but this time I went a bit bizerk in the supermarket aisle and picked up five different varieties.   The net result when combined with other soup staples produced a real flavourful bowl of soup.  It really doesn’t matter what type you use but key is to experiment with different varieties.

100_7267   100_7271   100_7273   100_7274

What do I need to make it?

  • 250 gms closed cup mushrooms
  • 250 gms  forestiere mushrooms
  • 100 gms chestnut mushrooms
  • 100 gms wild mushrooms
  • 100 gms Anis mushrooms
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 sprigs of spring onion
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 red chilies
  • 2 pods of garlic
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • 150 ml soured cream
  • Handful chopped tarragon
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Knob of butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Prepare all the vegetables by washing them and chopping them into equal size pieces.    Heat oil and butter in pan and saute garlic for a minute (just want to infuse the flavour into the oil).   Add onion, celery, spring onion, green pepper and chili next and stir for 5-8 minutes.   Then add chopped up mushrooms and reduce heat to medium.   Cook this for another 5-8 minutes and then add 2 stock cubes dissolved in 1 cup of warm water.   Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.   Blitz the soup in a blender and bring it back to boil – adjust the seasoning.   Add the soured cream and garnish with fresh chopped tarragon.

Wild rice pilaf

As Anna and I have reined back on our rice consumption we try and make our weekly treat as interesting as possible.  What started off as a trial in combining flavours together turned out to be a pretty tasty dish which we are sure to repeat in the future.

100_7240

What do I need to make it?

  • 1 1/2 cups of wild rice washed and soaked
  • 1 small onion sliced
  • 1 spring onion chopped
  • 1 red chili chopped
  • 5-6 baby corn cut into bite size pieces
  • 5-6 mushrooms cut into quarters
  • 1/2 cup fresh peas
  • Handful basil leaves chopped
  • Handful coriander leaves chopped
  • 2 tbsp coconut powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 piece of cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp ghee or butter
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Heat ghee in a pan and then add bay leaves, cinnamon and star anise.   Saute for a minute before adding sliced onions, spring onions and red chili.  Saute for a couple of minutes before adding the remaining vegetables.  Cook for five minutes and then add chopped herbs and washed/pre-soaked wild rice.   Stir for a couple of minutes before transferring to an electric cooker.  Add three cups of water, coconut milk powder and then adjust the seasoning.  Serve hot with raita of choice.