Carrot Ginger Soup

What do you do when your stomach is rumbling and it is not quite dinner time yet and you want to eat something healthy? Make soup of course! Tired of heating store-bought organic soups, I decided to make this easy soup as a healthy snack. This one I learnt from sis and has become a favorite in my family.

Ingredients : Serves 2

Carrots : 3-4 medium-sized.

1 teaspoon grated ginger

1 clove of garlic

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind

2 sprigs of mint

1 cup of milk or vegetable stock

Salt and Pepper for seasoning

For a fast and easy method, cut the carrots into 1/2 inch pieces and pressure cook them. Once cool, transfer to a blender, add the garlic, 1 spring of mint, ginger, lemon rind and milk. Grind to a smooth paste. Transfer the contents to a vessel and heat the soup till it starts bubbling. Add salt and pepper to taste. For added flavor, you can add a blob of butter to the soup or you can use creme fraiche as garnish just before serving. I added a bit of grated parmesan on top!

Alternately, you can saute some onions and carrots and let this boil in the stock and then blend it with the rest of the ingredients. But I like it quick and easy so I skipped this step.

Adai Dosa/ Bele Dose/ Savoury multi-grain Indian Crepes

Call it by whatever name, adai dose is one tasty and nutritious breakfasts and easy to make. It doesn’t need to be fermented unlike other dosas.  Strangely enough I used to dislike this while growing up.  It is now a regular feature in my breakfast repertoire!

Ingredients : Serves 4-5

3/4 cup Toor dal

1 and 1/4 cup rice

1 handful of urad dal

1 handful of chana dal

1/4″ piece of ginger

Pinch of asafoetida/hing

1 cup chopped coriander/cilantro

4-5 dry red chillies

Salt to taste

Wash all the grains thoroughly and  let them soak in water for about 3-4 hours. Grind this mixture into smooth batter along with the ginger, red chillies and asafoetida. Let the batter sit for around 4-5 hours or overnight. This doesn’t ferment unlike the regular dosa batter.

Add salt and coriander just before making the dosas and mix well. The consistency of the batter is the same as dosa batter or it should be dropping consistency.

Heat a gridle and pour  about 1 and half ladles of the batter and spread it evenly. Spray oil around the edges. Cover and cook for a minute. Flip the dosa and cook on the other side.

Serve dosas with chutney or chutney power and ghee!

Fruit Chaat

There are very few recipes that make zesty appetizers as well as delightful desserts and this is one such simple and healthy one. With low glycemic index fruits, pro digestive ingredients such as cumin, mint and healthy nuts to add some crunch, one couldn’t ask for more.
This is a recipe that my friends and I used to love eating from a humble little shop on a rundown street near our medical college in the hot days of summer. The original version only had freshly diced fruits with a dash of salt and pepper on it, but nonetheless tickled our taste buds!! I have tried to improvise it with some more fresh ingredients,usually available at most of our homes all the time.
Fruits, any of your choice…to keep it colorful and juicy, I used red grapes, chunks of pineapple, watermelon, banana, green apple, orange. You can also add papaya, kiwi fruit, peaches etc…
Dressing :
Fresh mint leaves- handful
Fresh ginger 1″ grated
Fresh lemon 1/2
Fresh ground pepper 1/2 tsp
Fresh cumin powder 1/2 tsp
Black salt powder or chaat masala 1 tsp
Orange juice 1/2 cup, about 4 oz
Toss these ingredients into a small blender/food processor and grind them into a paste by adding a little bit of orange juice ( instead of water) each time, until you reach a dripping consistency. If you want to do it the traditional mortar-pestel way, that works great too.
Drizzle the dressing over the cut fruits evenly and gently toss them so all fruits are well coated with the dressing. Refrigerate immediately for about an hour. For added crunchy nutty taste and texture, garnish with walnuts and roasted salted almonds!
Makes a great starter or the perfect end to a delicious meal.
Tip: You can sprinkle the chaat masala and black salt right before you serve so the fruits don’t lose all their juicy water content to the excess salt.

Lentil Soup/Jeera-Milagu Rasam/ Kattina Saaru/

This is an ultimate comfort food especially if you have a sore throat. You can drink this straight or eat it along with rice. Best thing for clearing out nose congestions! The pepper and ginger give the rasam heat and flavour. The tempering of  jeera makes it so fragrant and completes the dish! I made this today for lunch along with some green gram chundal/palya. Yummy!

Ingredients : Serves 2-3

1 cup toor dal pressure cooked

2-3 green chillies, slit

2-3 curry leaves

1 lemon

1/2 tea spoon of freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon of grated ginger

1/2 teaspoon of jeera/ cumin

1/2 teaspoon mustard

1 teaspoon ghee/ clarified butter or oil

2 cups of water.

A few sprigs of cilantro

Place the dal and 2 cups of water and green chillies in a vessel and bring it to boil.  Let it simmer for about 10 minutes, until the dal breaks down and mixes with water. To this add the pepper, ginger, curry leaves and cilantro. After it simmers for a couple of minutes, turn off the heat and add the juice from one lemon.

Heat the ghee/oil in a small pan and add mustard and cumin seeds. Wait till the jeera turns a golden brown color. Add this tempering to the rasam. Serve piping hot with rice or serve it as a soup.