Tomato, Beetroot and Carrot soup

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Growing up, I remember eating tomato soup made by my mom frequently in winters. She would also make it for holiday parties and it was a great way to start the first course. A beautiful red soup with rich creamy texture was often served with her homemade croutons!

Very recently after tasting tomato soup at different places I realized hers has a different flavor and color. When I asked her for the recipe I found out that she adds carrots and beetroots to them which explains the beautiful color and the texture too! This super healthy soup is very appetizing with its sweet and tangy flavors, mildly spiced with wonderful aroma.

Tomatoes are packed full of beneficial nutrients and antioxidants and are a rich source of vitamins A and C and folic acid. Beetroots are an excellent source of folic acid and a very good source of fiber, manganese and potassium.  Carrots are a particularly good source of beta-carotene, fiber, vitamin K, potassium and antioxidants!

 

Here is a step by step recipe:

Wash tomatoes, Beetroot and carrots

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Peel and chop the carrots and beetroot.  Cut the tomatoes in half.

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Pressure cook all 3 vegetables with a small cinnamon stick for 10 mins.

Optionally, you can also cook them in a crock pot or a regular pot on stove stop with 1 cup of water.

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Let the boiled vegetables cool down. Remove the cinnamon stick and the skin from the tomatoes. Puree the rest and strain to remove any seeds from the tomatoes.

Mix corn starch to half cup of water and add it to the tomato puree. Stir well.

Heat ghee in a medium pot. Add cumin seeds and once they begin to sizzle turn off the heat and slowly add the puree.

Add sugar, salt, red chili powder and fresh ground pepper to taste. Bring it to boil on medium high heat stirring few times.

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Recipe:

Prep time: 5 mins  Cooking time:25 mins    Total time: 30 mins

Ingredients:

5 ripe tomatoes
2 carrots
1 small beetroot
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp ghee
1/4th tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp red chili powder
1/4th tsp fresh pepper
salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Peel and chop the carrots and beetroot.  Cut the tomatoes in half.
  2. Pressure cook all 3 vegetables with the cinnamon stick for 10 mins.
  3. Cool down boiled vegetables. Discard the cinnamon stick and the skin from the tomatoes.
  4. Puree the rest in a blender.
  5. Strain and discard any seeds from the tomatoes.
  6. Mix corn starch in 1/2 cup of water and Add it to the tomato puree. Stir well.
  7. Heat 1 tablespoon ghee a medium pot. Add cumin seeds and once they begin to sizzle turn off the heat and carefully pour the puree in the pot.
  8. Add sugar, salt, red chili powder and fresh ground pepper to taste.
  9. Bring to boil on medium high heat stirring few times.

Serve hot with some garlic croutons!

Enjoy!

 

 

Stuffed Baby Eggplant

This spicy and earthy stuffed baby eggplant recipe is easy to make and full of flavor. If you like eggplant like I do, you will love this recipe. It is my mom’s  non-traditional stuffed eggplant recipe that does not require any sauteing of onions or the spices and yet comes out so flavorful!

Eggplant also known as  Brinjal in India is  very good source of dietary fiber,  potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B-6, and phytonutrient
contents that support heart health.

Here is a step by step recipe:

Wash and trim extra stem from the baby eggplants leaving about half an inch of the stem.

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Make 2 vertical cross slits going almost the end.

For the stuffing – Finely chop or grate onion, ginger, garlic. Add red chili powder, turmeric, garam masala, coriander and cumin powder, fresh coconut, brown sugar and salt in a bowl.

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Mix all the stuffing ingredients well and stuff them in the eggplants.

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Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. Once they splutter gently line all the eggplants in the pan. Sprinkle any remaining stuffing on top. Cook covered on medium heat for 5 mins

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Turn the eggplants over, mixing gently and cook covered for another 5 mins.

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Turn off the heat and let them sit for another 5 mins. They will cook further with the steam. Garnish with Cilantro!

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Recipe:

Prep time: 5 mins  Cooking time:15 mins    Total time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

6-8 small baby eggplants
1 medium onion grated or finely chopped
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp grated garlic
1 tbsp fresh grated coconut
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp coriander and cumin powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp jaggery/brown sugar
1 table spoon oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
cilantro to garnish
salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Wash and trim extra stem from the baby eggplants leaving about half an inch of the stem. Make 2 vertical cross slits going almost the end.
  2.  Stuffing – Mix grated onion, ginger, garlic, red chili powder, turmeric, garam masala, coriander and cumin powder, fresh coconut, brown sugar and salt in a bowl. Mix all the stuffing ingredients well and stuff them in the eggplants.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. Once they splutter gently line all the eggplants in the pan. Sprinkle any remaining stuffing on top. Cook covered on medium heat for 5 mins.
  4. Turn the eggplants over, mixing gently and cook covered for another 5 mins.
  5. Turn off the heat and let them sit for another 5 mins. They will cook further with the steam. Garnish with Cilantro!

Serve with Hot Parathas!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Homemade Ghee

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I love ghee! Ghee is a staple in traditional Indian cooking and Ayurveda.  It enriches the food with its nuttier flavor and rich golden color. I use it in curries, daals, parathas, baking, frying and Indian desserts!

Ghee is essentially clarified butter that is cooked a bit longer until the clarified butter is golden and the milk solids at the bottom are light golden brown. It has a very high smoke point making it an excellent replacement for refined Oils.

When made from high quality butter, it is a great source of fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin K and is great for teeth, hair, skin and nails.

Ghee is made from butter but since the milk solids and impurities have been removed, most people who are lactose or casein intolerant have no issue with ghee.

All you need to make ghee is  good quality unsalted butter. I like to use grass fed  kerrygold unsalted butter. I always make a big batch that usually goes for 4-6 weeks!

Continue reading “Homemade Ghee”

Ginger Chai

I love my Chai but I especially enjoy it on a cold day! It is my favorite pick-me up drink and gives me a quick boost of energy. I love my tea with various spices but there is so much freshness and aroma to the ginger tea.

Ginger aids digestion, improves circulation, boosts the immune system and reduces inflammation which is helpful for people suffering from arthritis. It offers antioxidant support, and some research has also shown that ginger can help fight cancer cells. Ginger is readily available and has a long shelf life. It is one of my must-have ingredients in the refrigerator!

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Ginger Chai

 

Here is how I make it:

Bring 3/4th cup of water to boil in a small pot.

Add 1 teabag (I love Tetley classic black tea).

Add 1tsp of peeled and grated fresh ginger.

Bring it to boil and simmer for 2 mins.

Add 1/4th cup of  skim or low fat milk.

Bring it to boil once more.

Filter using a strainer.

You can add sugar or honey for desired sweetness!

Enjoy HOT!