Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Pumpkin Soup - A Baby Friendly Soup for one and all

PUMPKIN SOUP
My youngest grand daughter was three months old when we visited her at Portland during the Pumpkin Fest season. We cooked pumpkins every other day and enjoyed many spicy as well as sweet dishes ranging from Sambar to Halwa making the best use of the season. My little grand daughter's happy face as she relished the simple Pumpkin Soup with a click of her tongue after every spoonful will always remain fresh in my mind.

                                                                      
INGREDIENTS
Pumpkin - 1 Small ( To make 4 cups when chopped )
Fresh ginger ( finely chopped ) - 1 tsp
Garlic - ( Peeled and chopped ) -1 tsp
Salt  - 1 tsp
Pepper powder - 1/4 tsp
Cinnamon ( Optional ) - 1'' piece
Olive oil or Sesame oil - 1 tbsp
METHOD 
1. Wash, peel and chop Pumpkin into cubes.

                                                                             
2. Heat oil  - I like using Sesame oil - add cinnamon, ginger and garlic and saute till it emanates a pleasant aroma.
3. Stir in the Pumpkin cubes and roast for two or three minutes till a few pieces acquire reddish brown patches here and there.

                                                                             
4. Cover the pumpkin cubes with water and cook on medium flame till the vegetable becomes mushy.

                                                                                  
5. Remove the cinnamon stick after the vegetable cools down , and blend the mushy pumpkin adding enough water depending on the consistency required. I added 5 cups of water to obtain a thick soup.
6. Add salt and cook the thick soup and switch off flame when it is about to boil.

                                                                                 
Garnish with a dash of pepper powder and the Baby Friendly Pumpkin Soup is ready to serve.

                                                                     
Garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds for older children and adults.

                                                                                 
 The crunch you get now and then lends an interesting texture to the smooth and silky thick soup.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Bengaluru Baragu Idlies - Proso Millet Idlies

BENGALURU BARAGU IDLY 
Idlies  are making news headlines around the world. Food delivery platforms have rated Idly as the most ordered breakfast food in India  according to a survey. Bengaluru gets the honour of being the Idly capital of India as it is the top Idly ordering city in the country !
 Millets - the ancient food grains - have gained popularity because of the nutritional and health benefits they offer to the health and fitness conscious people of today. Karnataka is one of the leading producers and consumers of Millets in India, and is heading towards becoming the Millet Capital of India.
 The nutritious protein rich BENGALURU BARAGU IDLY gets its name inspired by the above stated facts.

                                                              
INGREDIENTS


Proso Millet / Baragu - 3 cups
Split black gram dal   - 1 cup
Beaten rice - 2 tbsps
Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp
Bengal gram dal - 1 tbsp
Salt - 1 1/2 tsp
Sugar - 1/2 tsp
METHOD
1. Wash the Millets, Black gram dal, Beaten rice, Bengal gram dal and Fenugreek seeds together and soak them for two hours.

                                                                                                  
2. Drain and grind the soaked ingredients adding enough water to make a smooth and fluffy batter.
3. Add salt and sugar to the batter and mix thoroughly using your hand.

                                                                                              
4. Cover and leave the batter overnight in a warm place.
5. The batter will ferment and double up in the morning.

                                                                                               
6. If the batter is too thick, add little water to give it a flowing consistency.
7. Grease the Idly moulds, pour one ladle of batter into each pit and steam the Idlies for 15 minutes in a pressure cooker without the weight.
Allow the Bengaluru Baragu Idlies to set for about 10 minutes and then remove them from the Idly plates.

                                                                                        
Enjoy the nutty aroma and relish the hot and soft Bengaluru Baragu Idlies with Podi, Chutney and Sambar.

                                                                                                     
The same batter can be used to prepare delicious BARAGU DOSAS too.