Roasted Green Tomato- Basil Soup


Many times I feel like I have hit a dead end with blogging. I don’t feel motivated enough to write a post. Once in a while the clouds clear and I feel I must force myself to at least document what new discoveries I discovered, just for myself.

Today is one such day. Hope there will be many more days like these.

We( my husband and I) decided to try a week of soup for dinner. Everyday a new Soup. Last week it was a week of Salads. I must say that was fun. Our New Years resolution has been to stay healthy. This was a start.

So I found some lovely unripe green tomatoes at my local Indian grocery store. I found a recipe for a Roasted Green Tomato soup in Food and Wine magazine.

Turns out that I like The tartness of the green tomatoes much better than the sweetness of the ripe tomatoes in soup. It’s a nice mild tartness that goes perfectly well with the heavenly Basil flavor.

Here is the original recipe from Food and Wine magazine.

I used the original ingredients and recipe. Okay, I skipped the garlic, substituted olive oil for butter and did not have thyme, but it still tasted absolutely delightful.

I served it with some homemade Foccacia bread, as I did not have sourdough.


INGREDIENTS

2 pounds ripe green tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon unsalted butter(skipped)

1 yellow onion, about 1 cup, coarsely chopped

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

3 vegetable stock

3/4 cup fresh basil leaves, packed

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

To Make-

Preheat the oven to 400°. Toss together 2 pounds of green tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400°. Toss together 2 pounds of green tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes.

In an eight-quart stockpot over medium heat, add the onions with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook until the onions have slightly caramelized, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle in the crushed red pepper flakes and stir to combine, about 1 minute. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes and stock to the pot and bring to a boil. When soup comes to a full boil, toss in the fresh basil leaves and wilt over medium heat and simmer for about 8 minutes. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth, ensuring that the basil leaves are entirely pureed into soup. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.

Serve hot with warm bread



Bettada Nellikayi( Amla) Chutney

It’s that time of the year when Amlas are in season. I had never seen such beautiful, huge fruit while growing up in Bangalore.  Nowadays with the Ayurveda fad catching on here, every street corner has carts with these fruit. 

I picked up a bottle of Thokku from the famous Subbamma Store in Gandhi Bazaar. ‘Terrible’ is a kind word to use for what it was. 

It’s ridiculously easy to make a Chutney out of Amla. The chutney can be mixed with hot rice and ghee and eaten. Or it can be used to make a good Chitranna. 

INGREDIENTS:

  1. Amla- 5 big ones, grated
  2. Byadgi chilies- about 8
  3. Methi seeds- 1 Tsp
  4. Turmeric powder- 1/2 Tsp
  5. Asafetida- 1/4 Tsp
  6. Oil- 2 Tsp
  7. Salt to taste

METHOD:

Grate the Amla and keep aside. Sauté the chilies and methi seeds without oil, till the methi seed start changing color. Remove from heat and keep aside. 

Take oil in the same pan. Add the asafetida. Add the grated Amla and sauté till it starts changing color. Add the turmeric powder and sauté for a couple of minute more. Add salt. 

Grind all the sautéed ingredients together without water. Check for seasoning and adjust salt if needed. 


To make Chitranna: 

INGREDIENTS:

  1. Amla chutney- as needed
  2. Cooked rice- 2 cups
  3. Oil-2 TBSP
  4. Peanuts- optional 
  5. Curry leaves- 1 sprig
  6. Mustard seeds- 1/2 Tsp
  7. Channa Dal- 1 Tsp
  8. Urad Dal- 1 Tsp
  9. Asafetida- a pinch
  10. Fresh grated coconut- 2 TBSP
  11. Salt if needed

Fry the peanuts in the oil till crisp and remove from the oil. Make a tempering of the mustard seeds, dals, asafetida and curry leaves in the same oil. Add the Amla chutney. Mix well with the oil. Add the rice and mix well. 

Add the peanuts and coconut. 

Carambola(Star fruit) Gojju and Saaru


It’s been ages since I wrote a post on this blog. Even though I’ve been in Bangalore for the past 3 months, it’s been impossible to find the motivation to try and write anything. After several days of storing this picture as a draft, I thought it would be good to post a recipe today. 

I had not tasted Carambola in Bangalore, even though it’s a tropical fruit and available in abundance. They are called ‘Kommarke HaNNu’ in my house. I recently discovered that they are also called ‘Kamala Drakshi’. 

Though they are a great source of vitamin C, the ones I got were extremely sour. There was no way of eating them as a fruit in their natural state. Since a had several, I decided to try cook them into something sour and sweet. 

Carambola already have a very mild pineapple flavor. They made an excellent gojju and a very flavorful rasam, which would make an wonderful drink in cold winters or for a lazy dinner. 

To make the Gojju- 

INGREDIENTS:

  1. 1 Carambola fruit- dived into 1/2 inch pieces
  2. Gojju powder- recipe Here– 2 TBSP
  3. Jaggery – 2 TBSP or to taste
  4. Tamarind paste- 1 heaped Tsp or juice from a lemon sized ball. 
  5. Salt to taste
  6. Turmeric powder- 1/8 Tsp
  7. Mustard seeds- 1/4 Tsp
  8. Asafetida- a pinch
  9. Curry leaves- about  10
  10. Sunflower oil( or any neutral smelling oil)- 3 TBSP
  11. Water- 2 cups

Method: 

Make a tempering of the mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafetida in the oil. Add the Carambola pieces and sauté till they start getting soft and start changing color. Add a cup of water and the turmeric powder. Cook for a minute or two. Bring to a boil and add the remaining ingredients. 

Boil till the Gojju thickens and adjust the seasoning. I prefer a thicker Gojju to serve with Ragi mudde, so I add a little more Gojju powder. The amount can be adjusted as per thickness required. 

To make the Rasam( Saaru):

Make sure the Carambola is sour. 

  1. 1 Carambola cut into small pieces
  2. Coconut oil- 1 TBSP for seasoning
  3. 1 green chili- slit
  4. A few curry leaves
  5. Salt – to taste
  6. Jeera- 1/2 Tsp
  7. Asafetida- a pinch
  8. Jaggery- a small piece( optional) 
  9. Water- 3 cups

Method: 

 Add the Carambola pieces to the water and add the salt the salt. Cook the Carambola in the water till it’s completely soft and mushy. I used a hand mixer to mush up the pieces completely, so that they integrated well in the water. Add the jaggery if needed. 

Make a tempering of the jeera, asafetida, curry leaves and green chili in the coconut oil. Add to the rasam. 

Serve hot with rice or on its own as a drink.