Saturday, August 30, 2014

Exciting and beautiful Rome

It has been almost 2 weeks since I posted anything. I had a little vacation to Italy to celebrate my birthday and also as a break for Naveen after a long time. The trip was wonderful and I wanted to write all about it to share that amazing experience.

Until few months ago, the thought of going to Rome for my birthday seemed far-fetched. I was more than happy when Naveen told me that he was going to take me to Italy. My favorite dishes to cook and to eat are always and always have been Pastas. To go to a place where Pasta was invented and to taste the original taste, was a dream come true for me.

The food experience was not really what I had imagined, since 3 days is not enough to see all the places in Rome, let alone sit and eat. I could not take camera every time we went out for a meal, but I managed to get one or two pics of those few mouthwatering dishes. Anyway, the flight got delayed and by the time we reached Rome it was past lunch time. It was 5 when we finally got freshened up and came down for lunch from our apartment "Lili House".

There was a restaurant right next to where we stayed called "RomAntica" and we decided to stop in there. It was quite pricey but we were very tired and weak to walk searching for another restaurant so we decided to chill here. Wine were at reasonable price and they kept the atmosphere romantic.

I took Penne Arrabbiata (Penne Pasta in Arrabbiata sauce) and Naveen ordered Fettuccine with mushroom sauce. Penne Arrabbiata was tasty and mildly spicy. It had little bits of tomatoes, parsley and few red chilli flakes. Fettuccine with mushroom sauce was yummy and delicious. It was tasty and creamy. Fettuccine Pasta was perfectly cooked and mushroom sauce was thick, soft and creamy.

The next 3 days, we were busy roaming around Rome and had to go for Take away pizzas. There were no options for vegetarians with pizzas and we had to stick to Margherita pizza which was the only Vegetarian Pizza available everywhere. Margherita pizza is just a plain flat bread topped with Tomato sauce and cheese. Though I knew that Margherita pizza can be topped with many Vegetables, Margherita pizzas that we bought were dry, plain and bland. We were very disappointed since Naveen is a big fan of Pizzas and makes perfect thin crust yummy pizzas himself at home. I'd say, check where you want to eat in Rome before you go.

We were lucky enough to find a Mushroom and tomato Pizza, but that store was closed for the next two days god knows why. We were very happy when we tasted Pizza Bianca in Roscioli Bakery, it was perfect and mouthwatering. We also dined at Snack Bar Tacito before we left Rome which served beautiful and buttery Gnocchi and perfect delicious Pastas and sandwiches.

We took Hop in- Hop offs to go around Rome and it was easily available every 10 minutes. Rome is one of the most amazing historic cities. It has many of the world's enchanting artistic master pieces and also many ruins of ancient Rome.

We visited Colosseum and Vatican city on the first day. The original Latin name of Colosseum is Amphitheatrum Flavium. The Colosseum was used to host armed combat which entertained the audience in violent confrontations with wild animals, slaves, criminals and other gladiators. Some gladiators volunteered to get appreciation from the audience and increase the level of their social standing. Colosseum could accommodate 87,000 people at once. It is huge and beautiful. Vatican city is the smallest independent state in the world and is ruled by the pope. It is the center of Catholicism and is known world wide. It takes at least 3-4 hours to roam around Colosseum and the same time around Vatican city and Vatican museums. So a whole day was spent in these two beautiful places.

We visited Pantheon, Spanish Steps (Piazza di Spagna), Via Veneto and Trevi Fountain for the next two days. Pantheon is a marvelous monument of Rome. It is dedicated to seven planetary divinities and features gorgeous marble interior. Spanish Steps are a set of steps and is an elegant square. It is surrounded by 18th century buildings and there is a beautiful fountain at the base.

Via Veneto is one of the famous and most expensive shopping streets of Rome. We can only do a window shopping at those gorgeous and extremely pricey outfits. Trevi Fountain is a beautiful fountain in Rome. It is also the most famous fountains in the world. We even stopped for Campo de' Fiori, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill on the way.

The teeny tiny thing that irritated our stay in Rome was that heat. It was unbearable and dehydrating. Almost all the places were crowded except for the park around Pantheon. It was cool, clean, quite empty and was the perfect place for us to stop by and have our packed snacks now and then.

When the day came for us to leave this beautiful city, we were already thinking when we would be visiting Rome again. When we boarded our return flight at Ciampino Airport, we had a vague mixed feeling of recharged, satisfied and energetic bliss. The flight reached Oslo on time and the city welcomed us with a calm cold weather. The only thought that was running in my mind was "No matter where you go, all journeys eventually end in the same place, Home"

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Badam Katli/Almond barfi

A lip smacking and tasty dessert for any occasion. Badam katli just like Kaju katli, is loved by all age groups.

Badam katli is one of my favorite sweets and the main reason being that it has very less added fat. You can increase/decrease the sugar quantity as per your taste and hence you can play with the calories. Almonds being one of the world's healthiest foods, is also the healthiest of all nuts. Some of the benefits include:

* Reduces the risk of heart disease: Almonds reduce the level of cholesterol in the body in turn reducing the risk of heart attacks.
 * Protects against Diabetes and cardiovascular diseases: High content of antioxidants in almonds are the reason why they help to protect against diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
* Protects artery walls from damage: Flavanoids in almond skin along with vitamin E helps to protect artery walls from damage.
* Helps lose weight: Almonds are high in mono-saturated fats. This healthy fat helps to lose weight effectively.
* Reduces blood-sugar level: Flavanoids found in almond skin with antioxidants help reduce blood sugar level in the body.
* Provide good brain function: Almonds contain riboflavin and L-carnitine which are the nutrients that boost brain activity and reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

Any nuts, when kept in moderation helps our body to heal, gain energy and keep us beautiful inside and outside. Have them roasted, spread on bread, added to salad or as a dessert, nuts give the best nutrition!

Nutritional Information  (Approx) (per serving)
Energy  66 Calories
Fat 5 %
Carbohydrates 3 %
Dietary Fiber 2 %
Sodium 1 %
Vitamin A 25 %
Vitamin C 0 %
Calcium  21 %
Iron  0 %
Protein 1.5 Grams
Sugar 7 Grams

Badam/Almonds 150 grams
Water 3/4 cup
Sugar 1/2 cup
Cardamom powder 1/2 teaspoon
Ghee/butter to grease the plate

* Wash and soak Almonds in warm water for 10 minutes.
* Drain water and peel the skin off almonds.

* Heat a frying pan and add peeled almonds. Fry for 2-3 minutes. take off the heat and let it cool
* In a pot, mix water and sugar. Bring it to boil.
* Meanwhile, powder the almonds to a fine powder.

* Add the powdered almonds, cardamom powder and mix well. Simmer the flame and keep stirring till the mixture becomes thick.
* Once the mixture reaches a soft and thick consistency (When the mixture completely stops sticking to the bottom), remove from heat and let it cool.
* Grease a plate with butter/ghee and pat the mixture thinly. Let the mixture cool completely. Cut the barfi to your desired share and serve, enjoy!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Urad Dal Rice

Urad Dal Rice is a healthy and nutrient Rice variety, mildly spiced and filling. You can make this Urad Dal Rice with very few ingredients and is good for a lunch box.

I tasted Urad Dal rice in one of my Friend's place and it was made using Black Urad dal. If I said the rice was "Heavenly", it will not make justice to the taste. I sometimes get this uncontrollable craving for Rice that I go to make a spiced rice and have it right away. Recently Naveen bought a huge pack of Urad Dal for his Dosa batter. I am not a fan of Dosas myself but I knew I could make that Urad dal rice with the white urad dal Naveen bought home.

I asked for the recipe and instantly got it. I made this Urad Dal Rice and I have got to say, it tasted just like the one that my friend's mom made.

Nutritional Information  (Approx) (per serving)
Energy  103 Calories
Fat 4 %
Carbohydrates 12.9 %
Dietary Fiber 2.1 %
Sodium 1.9 %
Vitamin A 0 %
Vitamin C 1.6 %
Calcium  0.5 %
Iron  1.4 %
Protein 2.3 Grams
Sugar 0.3 Grams

Urad dal 3/4 cup
Rice 1/2 cup
Oil 2 teaspoons
Mustard seeds 1 Teaspoon
Cumin seeds 1 Teaspoon
Bay leaf 1
Onion chopped 1
Green chillies 3
Water 1&1/2 cups
Salt to taste
Lemon juice 1 Teaspoon
Coriander leaves  to garnish

* Soak Urad dal in water for 25-30 minutes. In a Pot or pressure cooker, heat oil and add mustad and cumin seeds. Fry till the mustard seeds starts to splutter. Add bay leaf and fry.
* Add chopped onion and green chillies. Fry till onion looks transparent. Drain and add Urda dal and Rice. Mix and fry for 5 minutes.

* Add water, salt and lemon juice and bring it to boil. If using pressure cooker, cook for 2 whistles and remove from heat. If using a pot, cook till the rice and dal is completely cooked.
* Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Veggie Burger

A perfect time pass and filling Burger for any time of the day. This burger recipe from scratch is very easy and best homemade burgers you will ever taste.

As soon as my little brother and I said  "Burger", my dad used to shout at us saying we eat unhealthy food all the time and burgers are fast food that will make us get fat. We used to laugh and eat it anyway until one day we saw the video about how they make buns for burgers. To tell you the truth, that was the last time I ate buns from bakeries and stores.

Naveen likes Burgers and loves even more if it is homemade. I used to make them at home in Bangalore. It had been quite some time since I made burgers. So, for last weekend's lunch, I made these amazing and yummy Burgers with wheat flour, veggies and without cheese. It was a healthy version which even my pappa would have enjoyed. You can see how good the nutritional value of this Burger is below. I could not help but share the recipe.

Nutritional Information  (Approx) (per serving)
Energy  225 Calories
Fat 5 %
Carbohydrates 13 %
Dietary Fiber 33 %
Sodium 5 %
Vitamin A 48 %
Vitamin C 39 %
Calcium  12 %
Iron  31 %
Protein 12.3 Grams
Sugar 3.3 Grams

Ingredients : for Burger Buns
Milk 1 cup divided
Sugar  1 teaspoon
Active dry yeast 1 teaspoon
Wheat flour 2 cups
Sesame seeds 1 teaspoon

Ingredients : for Burger Patties
Potatoes 2 small
Peas cooked 1/2 cup
Kabuli chana/Chickpea cooked 1/2 cup
Gram flour 2 teaspoons
Chilli powder as per taste
Turmeric powder a pinch
Salt as per taste
Garam masala  1 teaspoon
Oil 2 tablespoons

Ingredients : To assemble Burger
Onions sliced thinly 1 small
Tomato sliced thinly 1 small
Lettuce (optional) a leaf
Mayonnaise/ ketchup  As per taste

 * Mix half cup of warm milk, sugar and yeast in  a bowl and keep it in a warm place so that the yeast can get active.
* Sift and mix wheat flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture and milk to make it a dough of Roti dough consistency. Add water if needed.
Knead for 2-3 minutes and place the dough in an oil coated bowl. Keep the bowl in a warm place for 2 hours.

* Once the dough has risen to twice it's size, punch and knead the dough for a minute.Make 2 balls out of it and place on the baking dish.
* Let the dough balls stay in warm place for 15-20 minutes. Brush the dough with milk, sprinkle some white sesame seeds and bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees.
* Let the buns cool completely before cutting them to half. My buns broke a little probably because I preheated oven too much.

* Meanwhile, boil and peel potatoes, mash them along with cooked peas, chana/kabuli chana, Gram flour, chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and garam masala. 
* Add water just enough to bind the veggies together. 
* Heat a frying pan and smear the pan with little oil. Flatten the veggie dough and place them on the pan. Fry the patties on both size till they are cooked evenly.

* Cut the buns into half and slice the tomatoes and onions.
* Assemble the Burger placing the patty on the lower bottom of the bun. Top the patty with onion and tomato slices followed by a lettuce leaf. Generously spread mayonnaise or ketchup and place the top part of bun.
* Enjoy with your loved ones =D>  

* You can add or skip any veggies to the patty.
* The ingredients quantity I have mentioned is only for 2 buns so please feel free to modify the recipe as per your desired quantity.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Indian Independence day special: Tri-colored bread

Thousands laid down their lives so that we can enjoy independence to this day. Remembering all those fighters and their sacrifice, let's celebrate freedom and years of prosperity and peace. With this dish, I wish Happy Independence day to all Indians!

I made this bread that represents our beautiful National Flag. It is one of the best patriotic snacks for our kids as a surprise to give them a merry Independence day.

Nutritional Information  (Approx) (per serving)
Energy  130 Calories
Fat 1 %
Carbohydrates 9 %
Dietary Fiber 4 %
Sodium 14 %
Vitamin A 0 %
Vitamin C 0 %
Calcium  0 %
Iron  0 %
Protein 5 Grams
Sugar 2 Grams

Plain flour 1&1/2 cup
Wheat flour 1&1/2 cup
Salt 1 teaspoon
Milk 1 cup divided
Sugar 1 teaspoon
Active dry yeast 1 teaspoon
Tomato Puree 2 teaspoons
Tomato chopped 1 small
Coriander leaves 1/2 cup
Green chillies chopped (optional) 3 or 4
Onion chopped  1 small

* Mix warm milk, sugar and yeast in  a bowl and keep it in a warm place so that the yeast can get active.
* Sift and mix wheat flour, plain flour and salt. Divide the flour into 3 parts and add tomato puree to one of the portions.
* Add yeast mixture and water to form a dough. Knead for 2-3 minutes and place the dough in an oil coated bowl. Keep the bowl in a warm place for 2 hours.

* Add ground coriander and yeast mixture to another portion of flour. Add water to form a dough. Knead for 2-3 minutes and place the dough in an oil coated bowl. Keep the bowl in a warm place for 2 hours.
* For the third portion of flour, add milk to form the dough. Knead for 2-3 minutes and place the dough in an oil coated bowl. Keep the bowl in a warm place for 2 hours.

* Add finely chopped green chillies/coriander leaves to the green dough, chopped onion to white dough and chopped tomato to the tomato dough.
* Mix and knead the dough. This is optional and you can skip it if you wish.
* Dust and Roll the dough separately and pile them on top of each other. Place the tomato dough and top it with white dough followed by coriander and chilli dough.

* Roll the dough tightly to look like a pound bread. Brush with milk and bake it in a Pre-heated oven for 35-40 minutes.
* Once baked, let it cool and cut it to slices. Serve hot with or without ketchup.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Karela/Bitter gourd Chutney powder

Karela/Bitter gourd Chutney powder goes great with Hot rice, Idlis and Dosa. The combination of Copra , bitter gourd and chillies is tempting spicy and blissfully tasty. It takes very little time to prepare but can be saved for months.

Naveen loves bitter gourd so last time he went to get Vegetables, he bought home 2 kgs of bitter gourd!! he said he could see them in the Market after a very long time. I sat wondering what on earth can I do with so many. :-? My mum gave this amazing idea and when I executed it, the result was a surprise. Guess what? I could eat this chutney powder without anything to go with it. \:D/ It also tastes wonderful with hot rice and a dollop ghee, it was heavenly!

I have already listed all the health benefits of bitter gourd in my post for Stuffed Karela (Bitter gourd) curry. It does not hurt to list it again though, so here goes the list anyway.

* Bitter gourd juice purifies blood from the toxins and also helps to cure boils and itching on skin due to infections.
* It is a remedy for cholera in it's initial stages.
* Bitter gourd contains a compound that lower the blood sugar levels and hence the perfect vegetable for people with Diabetes. It improves the glucose tolerance without increasing Blood insulin levels.
* It also improves the stamina level of your body if consumed regularly in turn increasing your body's resistance against infections.
* Bitter gourd is also known to cure some respiratory disorders.

I have made chutney powder out of a kilogram of Bitter gourds. Please feel free to modify the recipe as per the quantity of bitter gourds you are using. The chutney powder tastes better if it is spicy but you can change the quantity of chillies as per your taste.

Nutritional Information  (Approx) (per serving)
Energy  64 Calories
Fat 6 %
Carbohydrates 1 %
Dietary Fiber 0 %
Sodium 1 %
Vitamin A 0 %
Vitamin C 0 %
Calcium  0 %
Iron  0 %
Protein 3 Grams
Sugar 0 Grams

Bitter Gourds 1 Kilogram
Tamarind 1 lemon size deseeded
Red chillies 8 or more
Copra 1 cup
Asafoetida/Hing 1/4 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Coconut Oil 2 teaspoons

* Deseed and  grate the bitter gourds. You can chop them finely but I am not sure if the chutney powder will come out dry enough.
* Spread the grated  bitter gourds on a plate lined with aluminium foil or just a plastic cover and keep it under the sun for at least an hour. The shortcut to this step is to bake without oil for an hour at 100 degrees. This step is done to decrease the moisture of the grated bitter gourds.
* You can skip this step if you are preparing less quantity that can be used in 2 or 3 days.

* Make small pieces of tamarind, heat a frying pan and fry tamarind pieces and let it cool. In the same frying pan, fry copra, red chillies and asafoetida.
* Let them cool and grind to a coarse powder.
* Heat the frying pan again, add the dried bitter gourd and fry till the aroma starts.

* Simmer the flame, add ground powder and salt and mix well. Fry under low flame for 10-15 minutes.
* Take off the heat and let the chutney powder cool.
* Transfer chutney powder to an air tight container and enjoy!

Linking to: Full Scoops: First Blog Anniversary Giveaway!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Cauliflower Fritters

Nothing warms up a cold evening better than a plate of hot crispy fritters. Cauliflower Fritters are pan fried with very less oil so, these are healthy fritters! These fritters can be made within 10 minutes and you can serve them as a snack for a cold evening or as a tasty starter for lunch/dinner.

Cauliflower is called as a Super food not without reason. It is filled with goodness and can also be replaced with potatoes for most of the potato dishes. Some of the health benefits of cauliflower include:

Low in calories: Yes, this is the first thing I check about food. 100 grams of cauliflower contains only 25 calories. Whats more, it contains 0 cholesterol!

Nutritional information: 100 grams of cauliflower contains 8% potassium, 8% dietary fiber, 3% protein, 80% Vitamin c and 10% Vitamin B-6. It is also high in manganese making it a rich source of antioxidants.

Prevents cancer: Cauliflower contains sulfur- containing phytonutrients called glucosinolates and thiocyanates. They cleanse the body and kill cancer causing cells. Cauliflower consumed with  turmeric is also known to keep our body away from Colon cancer, prostrate cancer, cervical and ovarian cancers.

Strengthens heart: The anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of cauliflower helps to improve blood circulation and maintaining healthy blood vessels. Cauliflower contains Allicin, a chemical which reduces the risk of strokes.

Brain-booster: The Vitamin-B called Choline present in cauliflower boosts brain cell development  and protects against toxins.

Weight loss: Less in calories, rich in nutrients, rich in dietary fiber, Cauliflower is also the next high source of Vitamin C to Citrus fruits. Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant which is important for weight loss. It has no startch content and makes the best vegetable for weight loss that can be eaten in unlimited quantities.

Whew! #:-S that was quite a list, I still could not include all the benefits. Oh yes, there are a lot more benefits of cauliflower but I better stop listing so that I can start off with the recipe.

Nutritional Information  (Approx) (per serving)
Energy  22 Calories
Fat 3 %
Carbohydrates 2 %
Dietary Fiber 8 %
Sodium 26 %
Vitamin A 1 %
Vitamin C 58 %
Calcium  4 %
Iron  3 %
Protein 3 Grams
Sugar 1.9 Grams

[Makes 8 fritters]
Grated cauliflower 2 cups
Wheat flour 2 tablespooons
Cumin seeds 1 teaspoon
Egg(optional) 1
Chilli powder 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Oil to fry
Water(if not using egg) enough to make a batter

* Combine all the ingredients except oil to make a thick batter . If not adding egg, add just enough water to hold the mixture together.Check seasoning after the mix.
* Heat a frying pan and add little oil. Drop the batter and flatten them like thin pancakes so that they cook through.
* Flip over and cook till then turn golden brown. Serve hot with ketchup or chutney.

* You can also deep fry the fritters for more crispiness.
* Egg is optional but tastes better. You can replace egg with a mashed small potato.
* Some recipes replace wheat flour with Besan (gram flour). It is entirely your choice but actually makes no difference in texture or taste of fritters.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Coffee cake with Flour frosting

Light, fluffy, aromatic and yummy is how you can describe this Coffee cake. The cake is covered by a layer of no-butter chocolate Ganache and topped with Flour frosting and the filling is no-butter chocolate Ganache. The cake is coffee flavored and blends perfectly with chocolate and the frosting. Do not let the pics deceive you, It tastes quite opposite to what it looks like.

You may be wondering about "Flour frosting" but trust me, this is the easiest frosting you will ever make. There is nothing that can go wrong with this frosting and you will not even need cream. This cake with no-butter chocolate and no- cream frosting is lesser in calories and tasted amazing. The moment Naveen tasted this, he gave a big thumbs up and I felt as though I rule the world.

It was Naveen's Birthday on August 1 and I wanted to bake a cake. This is the first Birthday cake I ever made. Because of my "Being healthy" craze, I do not bake a lot of cakes. Buying a piece of cake and getting a cheat meal over with it, always sounds good for me. However, Birthday is no good without a Birthday cake right? I knew you would agree with me.

I had to plan for recipe for my first Cake. Well, everybody does chocolate cake and I had to make something different. Coffee is Naveen's favorite flavor so I planned for Coffee cake. Now, to think about frosting, chocolate frosting will be great but what is new about that? Long time ago, I had heard that you can make frosting out of flour. I flipped through pages of my cookbook but no recipe for flour frosting. I called my friend in Delhi who is obsessed with baking and got the recipe.

I was quite excited about this frosting though skeptical and it turned out to be very soft. It is great for anything! cakes, cup cakes, cookies.. you name it! Oh yea, I forgot to tell you about the chocolate filling. I made it just as a backup for the flour frosting, if didn't work out. It is a simple no-butter chocolate Ganache. The recipe may look very lengthy but believe me, If I can do it, anybody can do it. It is that easy! That was a lot of talk, wasn't it?  I will start off with the recipe right away.

Ingredients [For a 6 inch cake]
(I made 2 cakes. You can double the quantity if you plan to make only 1)
Plain flour/Sifted flour 1 cup
Instant coffee powder 2 teaspoons
Baking powder 2 teaspoons
Baking soda/fruit salt 1 teaspoon/2 teaspoons
Egg 1
Butter 2 tablespoons
Milk 1/2 cup
Sugar 1/2 cup
Vanilla essence 1/4 teaspoon

* Beat egg, butter, milk and sugar using mixer or a blender, then add Vanilla essence.
* In a separate bowl, Sieve and mix the dry ingredients; Flour, Coffee powder, baking powder and Fruit salt.
* Add the mixed dry ingredients to egg mixture and mix well.
* Pour the batter in a lined and oiled cake mold. Preheat oven to 360 F and bake the cake at 180 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Make sure to insert a fork or tooth pick to check if cake is cooked evenly.

* I made 2 batches of cake so that I can fill them in the middle and make it a layer cake. You can modify it the way you like.

For Flour frosting

[Makes 1/2 cup of frosting]
Flour 3 tablespoons
Milk 1/2 cup
Butter 2 tablespoons
Sugar 1/2 cup
Vanilla essence 1/2 teaspoon

 * Mix Milk, flour and sugar and heat the mixture in a low flame. Keep stirring and do not let it boil. Cook for 10 minutes or till the flour smell is gone. The mixture will be smooth in texture.
* Take off the heat, add Vanilla essence. Let the mixture cool and chill it in refrigerator.
* Take out the chilled frosting and blend it with butter  in high speed for a minute. The flour frosting is ready.
* Chill the frosting till it is time to assemble the cake.

For Chocolate Ganache

[Makes 1/2 cup of ganache]
Milk a little less than 1/2 cup
Sugar 2 tablespoons or more
Chocolate chips 1/2 cup

* For chocolate Ganache, Mix milk and sugar in a pot and heat it in low flame. once the sugar is completely dissolved, take off the heat and then add chocolate chips. Mix well and refrigerate it.

To Assemble the cake:

* Let the cakes cool completely before cutting off the top. Take a long sharp knife and cut the top carefully.
* Place the first cake on the plate in which you choose to assemble and pour chocolate ganache. Using a table knife, coat the filling evenly.
* Place the other cake upside down on the filling carefully.

 * You can frost your cake however you wish. I coated chocolate ganache on the top and then poured flour frosting on top of it. Then, using a knife, I could draw flowers on the frosting be dipping the knife on left over chocolate ganache.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Creamy Carrot Soup

Creamy Carrot soup is a perfect starter for a cold rainy day meal. This soup is one of the easiest and tastes delicious.

I always keep a pack of carrots in my refrigerator as back up. They stay fresh for long time, longer than most of the other vegetables. Carrots are also the most versatile vegetable since you can make both sweet and savory dishes out of it. My mum once made carrot kheer and the thought of it makes me drool even to this day.  =P~

Needless to say, Carrots are one of the healthiest of vegetables. They improve our eyesight and cleanse our body. Chew a raw carrot everyday and you will see your teeth and gums getting stronger and healthy. They also prevent heart diseases, give beautiful glowing skin and also is a powerful anti-septic. A carrot a day also slows down the ageing of skin. All these benefits by munching a carrot and it is all in that crunch! ;;) If you see the nutritional value of this soup, you can find it is high in Vitamins and minerals. It is a lot less in calories too. 

I should have published this post a long time ago, but postponed it thinking it was way too simple for a dish. But then, I saw a post in FB that said "Sometimes, Simple ingredients make great food". So, here I am , posting a recipe for simple yet lip smacking soup. By the way, I had absolutely no intention of preparing a carrot soup before I started preparing it. I had prepared Spicy Flat buns and had no idea what to prepare to go with it. When I rummaged for the Vegetables, I found a neglected pack of carrots, but they were still fresh. I modified my own recipe for Pumpkin/Squash soup and made this yummy carrot soup.

We are a family of spicy food lovers and so I had to add few green chillies while blending. I have not included it in the recipe simply because I felt that you might find it strange. Please feel free to modify the recipe as per your taste. Serve and enjoy the soup hot.

Nutritional Information  (Approx) (per serving)
Energy  67 Calories
Fat 1 %
Carbohydrates 4 %
Dietary Fiber 11 %
Sodium 25 %
Vitamin A 19 %
Vitamin C 10 %
Calcium  4 %
Iron  3 %
Protein 4.3 Grams
Sugar 4.4 Grams

[makes 2 servings]
Carrots 3 large
Butter/Olive oil 2 teaspoons
Onion chopped 1 small
Milk 2 cups
Salt to taste
Pepper powder 1 teaspoon
Water (Optional) 1/2 cup 

* Chop carrots into bite size pieces. Heat butter in a frying pan, add chopped carrots and mix well to coat butter on every piece. 
*Fry for 5-6 minutes and then add onion. fry for another minute in high flame.
* Add milk and bring the mixture to boil. Simmer the flame and cook it covered for 5 minutes.

* If the raw smell of onion is gone after cooking for 5 minutes, remove it from flame and let it cool.
* Add salt and pepper and blend it to a smooth soup. Add water if you want to reduce the thickness of soup. Bring it to boil for a minute and take off the heat.
* Serve hot with Bread or toast. 

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