Sunday, 19 June 2016

Barley Vegetable Soup Recipe

Long back a friend of mine took me to an organic store near her house. The goods were moderately priced unlike the other organic store that sold the same goods three to four times higher! So the blogger in me got way too excited and I picked up a whole range of organic grains and millets and happily lugged it back home.

I made use of them for a week and the enthusiasm waned and the packets of millets and grains lay forgotten in different boxes in the pantry.

One fine day when I was taking an inventory of the things in the pantry, these forgotten packages popped up and I felt so guilty for not using them up.

Each day or once in two days I made a dish with those ingredients and managed to finish off almost all the stuffs that I had purchased except Barley. I tried to think of something good to cook and the idea of including it in soups came to being.

I added some vegetables and some lentils to make it more nourishing.This was my dinner with paneer -capsicum stuffed rolls. When I was having this bowl of soup,it tempted Lil Angel so much that she too had it with me.So this is definitely kid approved!!

This soup goes to Blogging Marathon #65, Week 3 ,Day 3 and also for  Srivalli's kid's delight event that Archana is hosting this month with the theme - Soups and Salads .

I used:

Barley pearls - 1/2 cup
Homemade Vegetable broth - 2 cups
Nigella seeds /kalonji - a pinch
Ginger and garlic ,grated-1/4 teaspoon each
Finely chopped carrot and beans-1/2 cup
Soaked channa - 1/4 cup
Tomato puree- 1 cup
Sambar powder/ red chili powder- 1/2 teaspoon / adjust to taste
Oregani-1/4 teaspoon
Oil-1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
A few mint leaves to garnish

Soak barley in plenty of water for 1/2 an hour. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add the nigella seeds. After a few seconds add onion, ginger and garlic and saute till the onion is soft.Next put in the chopped vegetables and channa, tomato puree.

Add the vegetable stock, drained barley,salt and sambar powder.When it starts to boil, close the pressure cooker and pressure cook ffor 20 minutes or till the barley is cooked completely.

Once the pressure releases, check the consistency. If it is too thick add some more vegetable stock / water and simmer. Add oregano ,mix well and remove from heat.

Serve hot garnished with a few mint leaves.

  • You can use water / soup seasoning cubes instead of vegetable stock.
  • Red chili flakes / freshly cracked pepper/ red chili powder/ garam masala can be used instead of sambar powder.
  • Oregano is optional.
  • Add vegetables that you have / as available. 
  • If left for sometime, it thickens up. In that case , add water / stock and heat once again.
  • The cooking time depends on the variety of barley.  So adjust the timing accordingly.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#65

Bon Appetit....

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Quick Paneer Pulao Recipe

The quest for a quick and healthy lunch box dish for the kids led me to this recipe from Sanjeev Kapoor's 'Panner' cookbook. It is a simple rice preparation that is so easy to prepare especially on a hurried  morning.

The original recipe has just paneer cubes but I have added some vegetables to add to the nutrition and color to the dish.Since the kids are a huge fan of paneer, this was a hit.

I used:

Basmati rice- 1 cup
Carrot and beans , chopped- 1/4 cup
Paneer - a small block
Bay leaf- 1
Shahjeera- 1/8 teaspoon
Cloves- 2
Cinnamon- a small piece
Salt to taste
Ghee- 1 teaspoon
Crispy Fried shallot- to garnish
Coriander leaves to garnish

Soak the basmati rice in water for 15 minutes. Drain and keep aside.

Cut the paneer into thin slabs and shallow fry on a tawa using a teaspoon of oil, till both sides are golden brown. Don't cook too much as it will become rubbery.Chop and keep aside.

Heat ghee in a pressure cooker and add the shahjeera, bayleaf, cloves and cinnamon and wait till shahjeera crackles a bit.

Add the vegetables and saute for a minute. Add the drained basmati rice and saute for a minute. Add water - the quantity that you usually use to cook basmati rice, salt and let it come to a boil. Pressure cook for 8- 10 minutes or till done.

Once the pressure releases naturally, add the paneer cubes, reserving a few for garnish. Gently mix in and cover and leave aside for a few minutes. Serve garnished with reserved paneer cubes, fried shallots and coriander leaves.

A raita and some crisps are the best sides for this simple pulao...

  • I have shallow fried the panner as a slab instead of frying small cubes . This way is very easy and there is no need to turn each piece around to get it evenly browned. Saves time.
  • You can use chopped onion and ginger- garlic paste after adding the whole spices. I have skipped it.
  • Regular rice can be used instead of basmati rice
  • Chopped cauliflower,potato, peas, etc can be added.
  • You can add garam masala / pepper powder after adding water to add some heat to the dish.
  • Oil can be used instead of ghee.
  • Tofu can replace paneer.

This post joins June,Week 3, CCC #33, Cooking from Cookbook Challenge Group.

Bon Appetit...

Pineapple Raita Recipe

This summer was so bad that we just could not tolerate the heat.I hated going into the kitchen and still worst we all lost our appetite !!!

We chose this time to indulge in a wide range of milkshakes and juices to cool our system and add some nourishment as well.

The kids, like me, love anything that has yogurt in it.So when the milkshakes turned a little boring, we turned towards homemade flavored yogurts and raitas.When half a pineapple was discovered in the fridge, I decided to make this simple raita that we all enjoyed.

This post is for Srivalli's kid's delight event that Archana is hosting this month with the theme - Soups and Salads .In her announcement post, Archana has mentioned one of the varieties of serving salads to be- Side salads, to accompany the main course as a side dish. Since raita is a generally seved as a side with a rice based dish / roti, I think this will be apt for her theme.

This dish goes to Blogging Marathon #65, Week 3 ,Day 2 where I have chosen soups and salads as the theme.

I used:

Yogurt - 2 cups
Pineapple- 1/2 a small one,chopped
Pomegranate Arils - a handful
Chaat masala - to taste
Salt to taste
Red chili powder- to taste
Roasted cumin powder- to taste
Coriander leaves to garnish

  1. Whisk yogurt with salt, cumin powder, chili powder.
  2. Add the chopped pineapple and pomegranate arils,reserving a little of both for garnishing.
  3. Chill till ready to serve.
  4. Just before serving garnish with the remaining pineapple pieces, pomegranate arils, a pinch each of red chili powder, cumin powder and coriander leaves

  • Adding pomegranate arils is optional. I have used it here to add color to the dish
  • A little sugar can be whisked into the yogurt if the pineapple is a little tart.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#65

Bon Appetit....