Welcoming winter

hellowinterIt’s that time of the year, again! Winter is slowly setting in and there is plenty of winter produce available already in my city. Bright, green leafy vegetables, colourful fruits and fresh herbs. Winter is also the time when my city, Ahmedabad, hosts many food and music festivals.

Winter is the best season to gorge on a variety of Indian delicacies, which also hold nutritional properties. From undhiyu paired with hot puri to sarson-da-saag paired with makki-di-roti, from hot rasam to sweet gajar-ka-halwa, from bajra-methi theplas with homemade white butter to the spicy thotha paired with bread. Winter is also the time when a variety of delicious side dishes come out of the kitchen. Among the most popular ones are aathela amba haldar (pickled yellow turmeric), green garlic chutney, sliced radishes, garlic-chilli chutney, white butter, mint chutney, roasted or fried green chillies, etc.

Winter is also the time for both clear or rich soups and salads because the produce is so fresh around this time of the year. So, last night, I made creamy roasted pumpkin soup and paired it with a very easy-to-make stir fried paneer and vegetables.

Processed with Moldiv
Processed with Moldiv

Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients:
Pumpkin, sliced – 500 gm
Garlic – half-a-clove, peeled
Olive Oil – 2 tsp
Stock or Water
Cream/full fat milk – 3 tsp
Salt & Pepper

Method:
Heat oil and add sliced pumpkins with salt. Pot roast it till the sides catch a lovely golden brown colour. You can also roast it in the oven at 220 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Remove and pressure cook till two whistles. Keep aside till it cools down. In the same pan, roast garlic till it gets a light brown colour but should not burn.

In a blender, mix together roasted garlic and pumpkin and blend till it is of a creamy texture. Put the mixture back on the stove, add stock or water, according to the desired consistency. It should still be creamy. Before removing from the stove, add a pinch of pepper. Serve medium-hot, garnished with fresh cream or full fat milk.

Stir-fried Paneer and Vegetables

Ingredients:
Paneer (marinated with a pinch of salt, turmeric,
coriander-chilli powder) – 250 gm
Grated cabbage, carrot, spring onion and green garlic – 50 gm each
Soya sauce – 1 tsp
Green chilli sauce – 1 tsp
Ground Pepper
Olive oil – 1 tsp

Method:
In a pan, heat oil and saute the marinated paneer. Transfer into the serving bowl. In the same pan, add vegetables, stir fry for 1 minute and add the sauces and pepper. I do not add salt again as the sauces contain salt. Stir again. Add on top of the paneer, mix well and serve hot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Veg Clear Soup

hot and healthy

So, I have been away from the blog for almost a month now. For the beautiful reason that my childhood friend Ragi Pillai was getting married. The wedding was as special as my dear friend and my partner in innocent crimes during school and college 🙂 Am back from the wedding and the vacation with truckloads of happy memories, one of them being planning a diet chart for my bestie…

Rags had started having soups, salads and fruits for dinner a month before the D-day. Sharing with all the would-be brides an easy, low cal, nutritious clear soup recipe to make you look fit and glowing on your special day…dedicated to the most amazing, gutsy, beautiful, intelligent and loving girl…love u Rags! ❤

Veg Clear Soup

Fresh vegetables floating in clear stock

Ingredients

Following vegetables 1/4 cup each:

Carrots chopped

Spring Onions chopped

French Beans chopped

Lettuce (Use cabbage if you are fine with the taste)

Button Mushrooms cut into halves

Green Peas

Green Chillies (optional) chopped

Soy Sauce

Salt to taste

Pepper

Tabasco

1 tsp Oil

Method:

In a medium-sized pan, boil all the vegetables till tender. Drain vegetables and keep the stock for further use. In another pan, heat oil, add the vegetables and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, soy sauce, salt, pepper and 2-3 drops of tabasco.  Simmer for 5 minutes. Serve hot.