Tomato Soup with Gujju Twist

September 4, 2008

Last weekend, J and I went to visit our family. It was a fun time, especially seeing our nieces. But one of the dinner table discussion was VP candidate Sarah Palin for Republican party. Of course such a discussion in our family is an intense one because of the differing opinions. And it seems impossible for us to respect each other’s opinions…it has to be my way or highway! Don’t get me wrong..I love each and everyone of them, but they sure know how to test my love! 😉

But I digress. I did want to talk about Ms. Palin. Has GOP lost its mind? Do they really believe that Hillary Clinton followers will vote for McCain just because of Palin’s gender? None of Hillary’s beliefs will matter just as long as you put a skirt clad figure in front of the public? Especially a female who does not know what a VP does everyday! Huh! that is very interesting. Don’t you think? If you get a chance do see this video from the late night shows. They are hilarious. I am sure you have to take everything with a grain of salt, but this is one huge rock, that you just cannot ignore!

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Anyways, I digress again. After all the eating out and heavy foods, we were just craving something light and hot and fresh. We made the tomato soup that both of us love. As far as tomato soups go, I rarely like the creamier/thicker version. I assume that’s because the soup mom made and the one I have been having for the past 15 years has been of thinner consistency and I could (I think I can but have never tried it!) have bowls and bowls of it. The soup for sure does have a gujju twist to it but I love it and I made J (staunch vegetable hater, especially tomatoes) fall in love with it too. A grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of hot tomato soup = bliss!:-D

Ta

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Recipe: Tomato Soup
(Serves 4)

Ingredients

4 tomatoes
1 cup water
1 green chilli (chopped)
1 small ginger (chopped)
1 tsp jaggery
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
salt per taste
cilantro for garnish

For tempering
1/2 tsp ghee
1/2 tsp oil
2 cloves
1 small stick of cinnamon
1/8 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cumin
3 curry leaves

Method

Score the base of the tomatoes and boil them for approx. 20 mins. or for as long as they are cooked and the skin peel off. Let the tomatoes cool and then puree them using a blender or mixer. Sieve the tomato puree to remove any uncooked parts or skin. Add water to the sieved mix and cook it on medium heat. Add all the ingredients of the soup to it. For tempering, in a small pan, heat ghee and oil together. Once hot, add cloves and cinnamon. Then add the mustard seeds. Once they start crackling, add asafoetida, and other ingredients for tempering. Add the tempering mix to the soup. Be careful as the it will spatter all over. Let the soup cook for another 5-7 mins. Serve it hot with grilled cheese sandwich.

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Twisted Dum Aloo – Maybe?

August 5, 2008

Dum Aloo is my all time favorite dish. The spicy, sweet, creamy sauce with tiny potatoes swimming in it … ahhh! Divine! This is one dish I love cooking despite the effort and time it takes to prepare. I’ve made it a couple of times and every time I made it differently (because I didn’t know better!).

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The recipes that I found for authentic dum aloo required preparing of dum (dough used to seal a clay pot..this style of cooking was introduced by Mughals) and seemed quite time consuming and to tell you the truth, a little bit intimidating for a novice cook like me.  My mother-in-law is currently visiting us and I wanted to make a special meal for her. So, I decided to make dum aloo with the ingredients I had at hand..which of course meant that I cooked it differently than how I have in the past. One thing I did to save some time, was to make three different sauces the night before. So the next day after coming back from work, all I had to do was cook everything together.

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I am so glad that I cooked it differently! Because the sauce was spicy, creamy, with a slight sweetness and tanginess to it (from tomatoes). I think adding the cream to it gave that creamy and sweet texture to the sauce. The potatoes were crispy on the outside and really scrumptious from the sauce they had absorbed. Everyone loved it! From now on, I think I am going to stick to this recipe till I find some other way to cook 🙂

Ta

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Recipe: Dum Aloo
(Serves 4)

Ingredients

6 baby potatoes
1 Tbsp Oil
1 Tbsp red chili powder
1 tsp kitchen king masala
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 Tbsp heavy cream
pinch of asafoetida
Salt per taste

Green sauce
2 green chilies
1 inch sized ginger
3 garlic cloves
1 inch of cinnamon stick
3 cloves
1 cardamom
1 tsp of cumin

Red sauce

4 medium sized tomatoes

White sauce
1 Tbsp oil
1 onion – chopped
1 Tbsp cashews


Method

Boil potatoes (not too soft) and skin them. Place the potatoes on a foil lined cookie sheet and spray them with a tiny bit of oil. Broil them for about 4 mins or till they are crispy on the outside. Be careful to not get them burnt. Turn the potatoes over and broil them for another 3-4 mins. Prick the potatoes with a toothpick or a fork.

For green sauce, mix all the ingredients using a food processor. Add a small amount of water to mix all the ingredients together. For red sauce, boil the tomatoes and cool them. Then puree the tomatoes and strain them for a smooth sauce. For white sauce, saute the onions in 1 tbsp of oil till they are cooked. Let the onions cool and in a food processor puree them along with the cashews.

Heat oil in a pan and add asafoetida. Once the oil is hot, add the green sauce and saute till slightly brown. Add the onion sauce and red sauce. Add all the other dry ingredients (red chili powder, turmeric, kitchen king masala, and salt). Cook the sauce with frequent stirring for another 8-10 mins at medium heat. Now add the cream. Cook for 2-3 mins. Do not boil the sauce. Cook at low to medium heat. Add the potatoes in the sauce and let them simmer for another 4-5 mins. Garnish with some fresh cilantro and serve with jeera rice or parathas!