Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Roasted bell pepper and carrot soup

I've never liked the rainy season. As a kid, July was always the month when school would be in full swing after the initial excitement of a new class and the fresh smell of new textbooks would have faded. The roads would be muddy and the scooters and autorickshaws would splash the muddy waters around. Noses would stuff up and vicks would be your best friend. There were some upsides to the whole thing as well, like playing in the rain with little paper boats, running inside the house, taking a warm shower and sipping on some hot soup as your hair dries. A few days back the nasty Bangalore non monsoon (because it does not really rain)took a toll on the husband and me, unleashing its most dreaded adverse effect, the viral infection on us. This hearty carrot soup was like a blessing as we struggled to stay up.

2 medium carrots
1/2 a red bell pepper
1/2 an onion, chopped
5-6 pods of garlic
500 ml of chicken /lamb /veggie stock
3 big basil leaves
olive oil for frying onions
salt and pepper to taste

To garnish
grated cheese
freshly ground pepper
a dash of balsamic vinegar

Grate and chop carrots into 1/2 inch cubesRoast a bell pepper on open flame till the skin turns black, let it cool. Remove the skin and seeds and chop.

In a cooking vessel, fry the onions till translucent, crush the garlic and add. Add the carrots and stir for a minute.

Add the stock and basil and let it cook till the carrots soften. Add bell pepper right at the end.

Remove the basil leaves from the pot and blend the soup with a hand blender.Add salt and pepper.Serve with a dash of balsamic vinegar, crushed pepper and cheese This is my entry for the Lets Cook Soup Event.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Chocolate chip cookies

My mother in law loves cookies, so this mother's day I decided to surprise her with this simple recipe. These cookies are chewy and highly addictive, we finished up the whole batch over tea!

  • 2 ½ cups plus all-purpose flour/maida
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 12 tablesppoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 ½ cups chocolate chips ( you can break a frozen chocolate bar into bits too)

Melt the butter in the microwave. In a mixing bowl add the butter along with the sugars.
Add eggs, yolks and vanilla and blend by using a hand blender for about 10-20 secs

Add the dry ingredients slowly. Fold in the mixture. Add the chips and continue folding.

Roll the mixture in to a ball, it is not required to knead the dough.

Cover with cling wrap and place the mixture in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 150. Place the mixture as lemon sized balls on a flat baking tray greased with butter. The dough balls are more like blobs which need not have a smooth outer surface. Be sure to place them about 1 inch apart.
Let the cookies bake for 10-13 mins, they should seem slightly underdone as they continue to cook for a few mins more once out of the oven.

Cool for 20 mins and enjoy.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Kathi rolls

Ramadan Kareem. The holy month is here, a time for prayer, reflection and togetherness. As much feasting as fasting. Every Ramadan I struggle not just with waking up early for seheri but also with trying to come up with non fried decent tasting iftar snacks. Over the years the husband and I have become increasingly averse to the idea of deep frying anything, though we enjoy the occasional samosa or vada, it's not some thing that we naturally gravitate towards in our cooking. So kathi rolls which are essentially a meat / veggie filled spicy wrap makes for a great snack post a whole day of fasting. My husband is a total sandwich and wrap guy who loves rolling his roti sabzi also into a wrap before eating, so this dish won his approval hands down.

Kathi rolls probably originated in Calcutta, but are hugely popular here in Bangalore as well. The most common fillings are chicken, paneer and egg. It can be modified as per one's personal taste, I like egg in mine and since my hubby hates raw onion, I stir fry the onions before adding them.

The kathi roll essentially consists of the roti, any maida based roti works well, roomali or the frozen layered malaysian paratha. I made my own roti using equal parts of maida and atta, they turned out to be quite soft and not rubbery.Next, comes the filling as I said it's per your taste. You can do kebabs or stir fried meat. Can use bite size pieces or shreds.Onions laced with a nice spicy green chutney finishes this tasty snack quite well.


I did not measure out the quantity of flour but just used 1:1 wheat flour and maida/ all purpose flour
salt to taste
1 table spoon oil and water for kneading
3 - 4 table spoons of ajwain (caron seeds) and zeera(cumin seeds) coarsely ground in a mortar and pestle

3-4 eggs beaten with a teaspoon of salt added

1/2 kg boneless chicken cut into nbite size pieces
1 table spoon ginger and garlic paste
a pinch of turnericpowder
1 teaspoon dhanya (coriander seeds)powder
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
juice of a lemon
oil for frying
salt to taste

1 1/2 cup of onion, bell peppers and carrots cut into strips
5-6 green chillies slit and deseeded

Green chutney
I do not have exact proportions but these are the ingredients that I use for making the chutney- mint leaves , coriander/cilantro leaves, garlic,green chillies, salt, lemon juice and zeera powder

The prep can the done a little in advance and ideally the rolls should be put together just before eating, street food style. I, however made these 2-3 hours in advance and rolled them in aluminum foil and they stayed pretty good. The key is to use a roti that does not become soggy or rubbery, the filling should have no water and the chutney should be added at end just before serving.


Add oil in a pan and add the ginger garlic paste stir for a minute or two
Add the chicken and cook for 5-7 mins.
Add the spice powders and cook till the water from the chicken dries up
Add the lemon juice.

In a separate pan stir fry the veggie strips and green chillies with salt red chilli powder.


Knead the dough with oil and water until its soft.
Take small lemon sized ball, flatten, add the zeera ajwain mix on in and roll it chapati style.

Make the green chutney by blending all the ingredients in a hand mixer.

Take a flat non stick pan, add oil and about 3-4 table spoons of egg (equivalent to that of a small omlette) once the sides of the egg curl up and it begins to cook place the roti on it. Turn the roti in the pan around to ensure that the egg coats the roti and is completely cooked.

Place the roti on a flat surface and put in the filling meat and veggies.

Pour in the chutney.

Roll and seal with a toothpick.

I've never taken part in a blog event, but I came across this ramadan food festival over at this blog while scouring for iftar recipes. I don't know how hyderabadi is my recipe but here goes my entry for the The Hyderabadi Ramadan Food Festival 2012.