Roasted Beetroot and Cauliflower Soup
Last year around the same time I made this beautiful roasted beetroot and tomato soup. Roasting beets is the best way to cook them, I believe. Simply wrap them in foil, throw them into a preheated oven and let them cook for about an hour, depending on their size. They seem to retain their colour, flavour and form when roasted. But with cauliflower, I just cook it in water till it’s tender. Another simple soup I had made was this cauliflower soup.
Old Monk Sticky Chilli Chicken
A bottle of Old Monk and chilli garlic paste got me going with this Old Monk sticky chilli chicken. To be honest, it was Nigella Lawson’s tequila lime chicken that made me do it. That’s why you should let me watch her all day every day. Anyway, she did some fiery chicken with tequila and lime. I went a similar way but instead of tequila I had a bottle of Old Monk in the house, so I used that. What goes well with rum? Chilli, lemon and honey. I added coriander stems, ginger and lemon zest in the marinade to give it more punch. It was awesome.
Beetroot Pachadi Recipe
Pachadi is traditionally from Kerala. And as we, southern neighbouring states have adopted and adapted several recipes from one another, we add pachadi to the list. Beetroot pachadi is easily one of my favourite summer side dishes. It’s very close behind the curry leaves thambuli. Anything yoghurt based to beat the heat is a blessing. Since monsoon has officially cracked its way down on us, it’s been great. The heat though is still here. A bowl of rice, some pachadi and some crisps make for a perfect lunch during these days.
Shiitake and Tofu Stir Fry
Yes, the looks like one sad pile of brown things that didn’t belong together. However, they tasted pretty good. And that’s because shiitake is so flavourful, it could lift any boring dish. This was my first time cooking shiitake and I wanted to pair it with something that wouldn’t take away from it. Enter, tofu. Tofu essentially soaks up anything that’s around it. Simply put these two together with some soy, chilli, ginger and garlic. Easy and quick dinner in under 20 mins.
Crushed Cucumber Salad with a Soy Miso Dressing
It’s what you think it is. Cucumber, crushed and served with a dressing. As simple as that. I recently saw someone on I follow and admire on Twitter post her meal which had this cucumber crushed and served on the side. Given how hot it still is in this part of the country, a cucumber salad seemed ideal. Well, I took it to my friend’s place and it was a hit. You can make this is in 5-8 minutes and is a great addition to your dinner.
Kadle Manoli Aajadina / Ivy Gourd and Chickpeas with Coconut
This one’s no different from the beans aajadina I had cooked recently. This one too uses the same coconut mixture in the end to be stirred in. Ivy gourd, from what I’ve seen and eaten around here, is almost always cooked to death. Well, that’s true for most vegetables. Homemade or not, these lovely crisp veggies are often overcooked with so many spices that you won’t know what you’re eating. I guess that’s why many twitch their face when they see these vegetables being served at lunch in the office or at home. Thankfully, I’ve grown up eating vegetables cooked lightly so they retain their colour, shape and original taste.
Roast Chicken with Cherry BBQ Sauce
I think I’ve made a chilli sauce with almost all fruits except papaya. Good lord. Anyway, this one time I bought a big box of cherries and made a really good compote with it and we had great pancakes that Sunday. I saved some to try a savoury sauce. It turned into a BBQ sauce when I added tomato puree, garlic and chilli I guess. The cherry flavour by the end of it was quite mild but overall the sauce tasted slightly fruity and really good. I used this to marinate and brush over some whole chicken legs and used the air fryer to toast them.
Beans Aajadina / Beans Sukka / Beans stir fried with coconut
French beans are one of my favourite vegetables. It cooks fast and works in any form and cuisine. Be it a quick stir fry with salt and pepper or garam masala or in sambar, beans are made a number of ways in India. One of my go to recipes is a sukka. We are more familiar with chicken, mutton and seafood sukka dishes at restaurants. But back home, sukka or as it’s called in Tulu “aajadina”, is a common way of making a side dish with vegetables. Beans, ivy gourd, chickpeas and many other legumes and vegetables are made this style.
Learn how to make zucchini corn fritters that you can pack for lunch the next day. This recipe is very simple to follow, too. Working moms know how difficult it is to prepare dinner, especially when coming from work. I’ve been there before; rushing home after work and thinking of what to prepare for my kids and husband not just for dinner but also for breakfast and lunch the following day. It can be very, very exhausting. Are you the type of mom who would cook 1-2 meals in the evening, so there’s extra food that can be packed for lunch? If so, then you would likely be interested in the zucchini corn fritters recipe that I am to share with you.
Roasted Eggplant with Zaatar and a Tahini Dressing
Eggplant/brinjal/aubergine, call it what you may but it is under appreciated. It’s easy to cook and soaks up all flavours really well. One of my favourite ways of using eggplant is roasting it – on a pan or in the oven. I can’t do the battered and deep fried fritters style because the grease on it makes me queasy. The way I make it, I barely use 2-3 tsp of oil in the pan and then it goes straight into the oven to cook through.