All posts filed under: Soup/Salads

Mombasa Kachri Bateta

Mombasa Kachri Bateta

I’ve always strived to be a great cook like my grandfathers. My parents tell me their Gujarati and East African classics like Mombasa-Style Daal Kachori, Jalebi Paratha, gathia were inspiring. Their tips and tricks are recalled in the conversations of our extended family with a joy that I cannot even describe. I wish they’d have been here long enough for me to watch them at work. Someone who had the pleasure of spending many hours in the kitchen with my Bapuji (paternal grandfather) was my wonderful aunt in Mombasa, Kenya. She’s an incredibly-talented cook with an edible garden I could only dream of. Packed with mangoes, coconuts, bananas, tree tomatoes and herbs, she’s an expert at cooking everything from Gujarati classics, to East African staples. When I visited their family home last year, I was treated to it all and my word was it dreamy. One of the dishes she cooked up was this Mombasa Kachri Bateta – a light potato stew with sour green mangoes, topped with coconut fresh from the garden and fried …

Daal Makhani Recipe

Daal Makhani

Comfort food doesn’t get any better than a bowl of piping hot, creamy, spicy lentils topped with crispy onions, fried green chillies and crunchy fried spinach. Urad, or black gram lentils are a staple in Indian homes and are used for making a variety of dishes from simple daals to elaborate Masala Dosa. They’re packed with protein and have a heartier texture than mung beans. Because of their tougher texture, they need to be cooked thoroughly to extract as much of their creamy starchiness as possible. I find the easiest way to do this is to soak the urad daal overnight and cook them using a pressure cooker – something you’ll find in every Indian home, rather than it being just an alien contraption collecting dust in the back of your Nan’s cupboard. Growing up, I was reared on Gujarati Urad Daal rather than the richer Punjabi version of black gram lentils more popular on restaurant menus around the globe. We were taught that eating urad daal every Saturday (the holy day of Hanuman, the …

Mango and Courgette Salad with Jaggery-Lime Dressing

Mango and Courgette Salad with Jaggery-Lime Dressing

There are some ingredients in Indian cooking which attract gasps and sighs whenever they’re mentioned. Take ghee for example; no, it’s not good for you – but is a tablespoon of ghee in a curry for four really much worse than a dollop of butter on a jacket potato for lunch, or pouring cream over a freshly-baked crumble for dessert? Taboo ingredients like ghee receive bad press even in Indian households, and with good reason. Although I do have one rule: both biryani and paratha are not complete without ghee. Just don’t eat them every day. Gettin’ jaggery with it Jaggery (gor/unrefined cane sugar) is another one of these ingredients. Just like putting too many sugars in your tea, using jaggery in everyday cooking isn’t advisable. However when those hunger pangs hit, the deep, caramel flavour of this sugar is just.so.satisfying and an exciting treat once in a while. If you can’t find jaggery in the shops, you can substitute it with palm sugar or dark brown sugar. However, if possible, try to bag yourself …

coconut-noodle

Curried Coconut Noodle Soup

   I’ve always been one to get excited when a great big parcel gets delivered to the house. Itching to get my paws on the contents, I rip at packages, chipping nail varnish and not batting an eyelid over it – very strange behaviour. Recently, the lovely people over at Pataks sent me some sample jars of their curry sauces – Tikka Masala, Phal and Vindaloo (which had unfortunately broken during transit even though they had packaged them up well). Spying the package on the doorstep, I pounced on it, desperate to find out what was inside.   I don’t usually use store-bought curry pastes or sauces, especially Indian ones but I was intrigued to find out how they worked, anticipating that I’d have to make many alterations to suit my taste. This was definitely not the case.   Phal, the jar which I was most drawn to, was adorned with several chilli images indicating it was going to be super spicy – just how I like it. And of course, there’s no better way …

mung-bhaat

Gujarati Mung Bhaat- Mung Bean and Rice Soup

Join me in a moment of nostalgia with my recipe for a classic Gujarati Mung Bean Soup. This is nothing like my playful recipe for Spinach and Mung Bean Soup – it’s an untweaked and deliciously traditional soup loved by the Gujarati peoples. Can you believe I didn’t stray from the recipe?   Did you know? Many Indians consider the mung bean to bring luck and so it is used in rituals and offered to the Gods along with grains of raw rice. Like most Gujarati recipes, every family has its own secret version of this mung bean soup, with probably the only similarity across all variations being that it’s always, always served with rice. The rice is boiled separately from the mung bean soup and usually mixed in just before serving. Check out my tips on how to cook perfect basmati rice. I topped mine with sweet, golden onions and fresh coriander. You can also stir in a spoonful of creamy natural yogurt for a mild tang. If you’re feeling lazy and are craving …

chilled-berry-soup-fi

Chilled Sunshine Berry Soup

Are you ready to be transported to a world of fresh, sweet flavours? First, come with me on a strawberry picking adventure… Watch out for the nettles   … And bugs!   And don’t pick the green ones. No, we’re not talking fingers up noses. Although, I wouldn’t advise that either   Shall we chill?     Chilled soups: They linger like loiterers, typed upon dog-eared menus in questionable restaurants. Surely this cannot be true? When I first saw a similar recipe in Kurma Dasa’s Great Vegetarian Dishes, I thought to myself, ‘how is a chilled soup any different to umm… Fruit juice?!’ I hear echoes of you asking me the same question. So, this distinction is imperative to our exploration of chilled fruit soups- which, by the way, are refreshing and delicious. It’s not that I’m biased or anything. Our fruit soup is sweet, but not fruit juice sweet, smoothie sweet or even preserve sweet. That would be sacrilege. It is slightly sweet, made silky smooth with cornflour, and finished on a slightly savoury …

kadhi

Gujarati-Style Mango Buttermilk Kadhi

Summer may not have graced the UK yet, but it has made a secret appearance in my kitchen. Yesterday I was given a huge box of Alphonso mangoes which are now filling my house with a beautifully sweet and fruity aroma. So with mangoes abundant, what was I to cook? I was scouring my favourite blogs on a mission to seek out an innovative recipe using perfectly ripe mangoes. I was thrilled when I found a South Indian recipe for Mampazha Pulissery by Namitha from Collaborative Curry. Not only did the fruity recipe sound delicious, but the pictures were so striking that I had to rush to the kitchen and feed my curiosity more or less immediately. I admit that I’m a bit of a recipe mutineer, and I almost never follow instructions to the letter *slaps wrist*. As mouth-watering as Namitha’s recipe sounded, I had to incorporate aspects of the traditional Gujarati way of making Kadhi into the recipe. Kadhi is the Gujarati name for the almost-sacred buttermilk soup loved by every Gujarati I …

Spinach and Mung Bean Soup

Secretly Decadent Spinach and Mung Bean Soup

A little twist on an old Gujarati classic   Iron-rich foods are essential for vegetarians who without it, may feel constantly lethargic, tired and run-down. I speak not from formal education in food nutrition, but from experience. We all need iron in our diets to keep us strong like Popeye (Popeye, if you’re reading this, I have an inkling that you will LOVE it!) Since having iron-deficiency problems, spinach has been my number one best friend. Although I’ve been eating mung bean soup since I was a child, I was never really a fan of it (perhaps because it was a staple in the house and I probably got bored with it). I eat mung beans now because I finally realised how good they are for my health. So here is an iron-packed soup that is both rich in vitamins and flavour, that even I, (a former arch enemy of the cute lil mung bean) enjoy to the max!   Growing up, I never had mung bean soup pureed; the beans were simply served whole in …

Simple Gujarati Daal

This recipe was requested by Katrina via Ask Sanjana and it is my pleasure to share with you all, my old skool recipe for Gujarati daal. The beauty of Gujarati daal is that it is thinner and therefore lighter than your usual daal, yet also packed full of flavour. It is super important that the daal is hot, sweet and sour (almost in the same way that Thai food is… which perhaps explains my borderline-obsessive love of the Thai cuisine). As you make this daal, please bear the hot, sweet and sour rule in mind and add chilli, sugar and lemon accordingly and as required. I’ve done my best in recording my measurements of these ingredients here as Katrina mentioned that measurements were a little hazy when she used other recipes. I assure you that if you just remember the hot, sweet and sour rule you will serve perfect Gujarati ‘daarbhaat’ (daal and rice- rice recipe here) every time! Ingredients(serves 4) 1 ½ cups oily split pigeon peas (toor or tuver daal)6 cups water 2 green chillies, …

Daal… But Not as you Know it!

Here I come with another traditional Gujarati recipe for you! When I was little I was totally obsessed with pasta, I could have eaten it day in and day out. So, to satisfy my cravings for pasta my mum used to make this dish for the family. It is a simple Gujarati daal with a little twist- dhokri! Dhokri come in all forms, shapes and sizes (I will go into a little more detail about this later- using some recipes to illustrate to you what I mean!) However, for the purpose of this recipe, ‘dhokri’ simply refers to a type of Indian pasta made with chickpea flour, self raising flour and spices- delicious! This warming daal is a self-contained meal for a lazy day, but also teams up perfectly with plain rice for a special dinner with your family and friends. I could eat it anytime of the day- the soft, spicy dhokri soaked in hot, sour daal along with delicate, sweet bursts of green peas is for me, the epitome of comfort food. So …

Peas and Paneer Kadhi (Indian Yogurt Soup)

Kadhi is a soup I learned to cook when I was around thirteen years old and I have learned to love making it. The process is so practical that cooking it totally relaxes me. My version of kadhi is a souped up (hehe) version of traditional Gujarati kadhi as I decided to add peas, paneer and onions to make it more substantial. This is something my Nana Bapu (maternal grandfather) used to do when he made kadhi- minus the paneer. So definitely feel free to add whichever vegetables you like to this! I totally love paneer so couldn’t resist shallow frying some and adding it, but it is really up to you what you choose to put into your kadhi. The Punjabi version of kadhi is traditionally thicker than the Gujarati and it is eaten with pakora. My version is a lighter alternative and is great with fluffy basmati rice, dry mung bean curry (recipe coming soon) and chapattis. Or just on its own!Ingredients 4 cups plain natural yogurt¼ cup chickpea flour (besan)5 cups water1 …

Spiced Baby Zucchini Soup

This quick spicy zucchini/courgette soup is my second recipe to you during this squash and gourd season. It can be a light and healthy lunch all by itself or a hearty, delicious dinner when teamed with crusty bread. I like to add plenty of vegetables to my soups because it is a great way to incorporate a variety of vitamins into a meal (without much hassle!) I use cumin and star anise to flavour this dish as I believe they impart a delicate taste upon the broth, without overpowering the baby vegetables. This recipe serves five people (or four hungry people!) Ingredients800g pureed tomatoes160g baby zucchinis, sliced into rounds1 cup diced mixed baby vegetables of your choice1 tbsp ginger, minced1 clove garlic, crushed½ cup onion, chopped1 red chilli, chopped (optional) 3 cups vegetable stock1 tbsp clarified butter (replace with olive oil for vegans)2 tsp cumin 2 pieces star anise 8 curry leaves (sweet neem patti) ¼ tsp asafoetida 2 tsp black pepper2 tsp sugarSalt to taste¼ cup coriander, chopped Method1. Heat the clarified butter in …