Thursday, August 17, 2006

A corny breakfast soup

You may wonder how soup figures in breakfast. I still do...

But my MIL being here, and she being used to eating this as part of a hearty breakfast, I don't argue. Would ya??

This is a light but hearty soup. It can be made in 15 min and you can make this a light, fall supper too. I liked this soup a whole lot and with so much corn, in season, I make it in summer.

Corn soup Indian style

2-3 ears fresh corn, kernels removed from cob
1 large onion, chopped
1 inch piece ginger, finely chopped
1 large tomato, kept whole
1 green chili, optional (depending on sweetness of corn)

Place all in a pressure pan with 1 cup water. Cook for 2 whistles. Open and remove skin from the whole tomato. Strain all the solids from the stock with slotted spoon (you don't have to be a perfectionist here). Grind all the solids including ginger, tomato etc. Grind solids into a smooth paste. Add the paste to the stock and add 2 cups of water. Adjust salt if needed and bring to a boil. It should be thinner than chowder. Serve with some black pepper and a sprinkling of kasoori methi on top.

Methi gives a very special taste to this soup. Do try to use it. Ginger is also a great flavor with the corn. The fresher your corn, the less sweet it will be. If you do not care for sweet corn type of soup like me, get fresh corn on the cobs for this. If you have some old corn in the fridge, then the starch would have turned into sugars and so it will be on the sweet side. So do use a chili or two.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Mixed vegetable chutney

My posts have been so sporadic recently mainly because of my new job. A lot of cooking has been going on since my MIL is here. Everyday dishes and special occasion dishes are being prepared but I have had very little time to photograph or write about it.

Mixed vegetable chutney is MIL's recipe. It is an excellent way to clean-up the refrigerator's contents. Although I am a big fan of coconut chutney, it tends to be heavy and we hardly get any coconuts here that can taste as great as the ones in South India. A little bit of this and that and there, you have made this tasty chutney.

Mixed vegetable chutney or thogaiyal

1/2 cup grated carrots
1 medium onion, diced
1 tomato or green tomato, chopped
2 red chilies
2 green chilies
4-5 chunks of green pepper, diced fine
1 small zucchini, peeled and diced
1 inch ginger, peeled and chopped
1 T Urad dal
2 T grated coconut or powdered coconut
1/2 tsp mustard seeds

Heat a tsp of oil. Add red chilies, urad dal and mustard seeds and let mustard pop. Now add the onions, ginger and all the vegetables except tomato and saute until carrot, zucchini and peppers soften. Now add the tomato and saute 1 min more. Lastly add coconut and turn off heat.

Grind with little tamarind paste (1/8 tsp) and salt into a thick paste. Season with urad dal and mustard.

This also goes great mixed with rice. Of course, it is a great combo with dosa and chappatis.