Thursday, December 26, 2013

Curried Butternut squash Basil soup

On a cold evening, our bellies were craving for some hot soup. I quickly scanned my kitchen resources and came up with an idea to make 'butternut squash soup'. Butternut squash, always remained an 'untouchable' in my refrigerator- the least preferred vegetable in my family. Hence, I picked few other veggies to make the soup palatable. I chose fresh basil leaves and curry powder to flavor the soup. I avoided oil/ butter for health reasons. I thoroughly enjoyed brainstorming this soup recipe and felt more content seeing my family relish the soup.

Butternut squash, cubed- 2 cups
Carrot, sliced - 1/3 cup
Tomato - 1
Asparagus, chopped- 1/4 cup
Red bell pepper, chopped- 1/4 cup
Celery, finely chopped- 2 tablespoon
Basil leaves- 6
Vegetable broth/ water - 2 cups
Curry powder- 1/4 teaspoon
Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Combine all the chopped veggies in a steamer. Add basil leaves when the veggies are half cooked. Cook them until tender. Do not overcook them!

Remove from heat and cool them.

Blend the steamed veggies with 2 cups of vegetable broth or warm water, salt, black pepper and curry powder.

If you prefer it piping hot then pour it into a pot and heat them to desired temperature.

Roast the veggies in oil or butter instead of steaming them.
Garnish with whipped cream/ sour cream

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Toasted Almond Broccoli Soup

Today I am here to share a simple, tasty and healthy soup recipe- without using oil or butter. I adopted this recipe from a recipe book that came along with my new blender. As I was scanning through the recipes, the almond broccoli soup caught my attention. I quickly rushed through the details and was excited to make it immediately. The original recipe had zucchinis; I omitted it due to lack of resource. I have never tasted or tried soups with toasted nuts- trust me! this soup was awesome(with the roasted almond flavour).

Almonds- 1/3 cup
Broccoli florets - 4 cups
Vegetable broth- 3 cups
salt and black pepper to taste

  • Steam the broccoli florets and set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Blend the almonds in a blender for 30 seconds and toast them in the oven for 5 minutes or until it turns golden brown.
  • Leave 2 tablespoons of almond meal for garnishing; bring all the ingredients together in a blender and grind them to a smooth consistency.
  • Garnish with the toasted almond meal.
* Dry roasting on a low flame would be an alternative to toasting in oven. Saute them frequently for even toasting.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Basil Pesto Pasta

Basil Pesto sauce
Basil, fresh- 1 cup tightly packed
Pine nuts/ walnuts- 1/4 cup
Grapeseed oil- 1/4 cup
Lemon juice- 1/2 tablespoon
salt to taste
black pepper to taste

Basil Pesto Pasta
Pasta, uncooked- 1 cup
Sun Dried tomatoes- 2 tablespoon, finely chopped
frozen green peas- 1/2 cup
salt to taste
grated Parmesan cheese- 1/4 cup
grapeseed oil- 1 tablespoon
Milk- 1/8 cup (optional)
Pine nuts, to garnish- 1/8 cup (optional)


Basil Pesto sauce:

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend it to a smooth paste.
  • If  you are using walnuts, either chop them before blending or pulse the walnuts first and then bleand it with the remaining ingredients.

Basil Pesto Pasta:

  • Boil water in a pot and cook the pasta a la dente with a tablespoon of olive oil and salt.
  • Drain the pasta and retain 1 cup of the pasta stock.
  • Heat a pan. Add the pesto sauce and pasta stock to make the sauce creamy.
  • Add the cooked pasta, frozen peas, sun dried tomatoes and milk(optional).
  • Cook for 5-10 minutes on a medium flame.
  • Turn off the heat and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and pinenuts.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Veg Frankie / Kati Roll

Frankie also commonly known as Kati Roll nowadays is a very popular street food which originated from Kolkata. Normally in the beginning a kati kebab was stuffed in a paratha and served but over the years there have been many variations in the preparation of the stuffing. Today, there are a variety of filling rolled up in any kind of Indian flatbread and is being called a kati roll. The recipe below provides a stuffing with Aloo (potato) and Paneer (Cottage Cheese).

Preparation Time: 10 min

Cooking Time: 20 min
Makes: 6 frankies

For Paratha:

Maida – 1 cup
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Oil – 1 tbsp
Potato – 1 small, boiled, peeled and grated
Warm Water – 1 or 2 tbsp, as needed
Oil – enough to drizzle
Little Maida Flour for dusting

For Filling:

Paneer – 100 gms
Potatoes – 2 small, boiled, peeled and grated
Salt – 1/2 tsp or to taste
Coriander Powder / Dhaniya Powder – 1/2 tbsp
Garam Masala – 1/2 tsp
Amchoor Powder (Dry Mango Powder) – 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 tsp
Oil – 1 tbsp
Green Chillies – finely chopped, to taste
Cabbage and Capsicum– cut to thin strips, as needed
Cilantro – finely chopped, as needed
Lemon/Lime Juice – to taste

Method (for Paratha)

1. In a bowl, mix the Maida Flour and the Salt together.
2. Add 1 tbsp of oil and rub it into the Flour. It is important that the oil is completely mixed well with the flour.
3. Add in the Potatoes and again press and mix.
4. Add 1 tbsp of Warm Water and press to make the dough. This is a very important step in making perfect dough so do not add water in haste. Add them 1 spoon at a time and slowly mix until you get a stiff dough.
5. Drizzle and coat the dough ball with Oil, cover and allow it to rest for 15 min.
6. After 15 min., knead once more, and divide the dough into 6 equal parts.
7. Heat a Tawa/Skillet on medium heat till it is nice and hot.
8. Take one part of the dough and roll onto a smooth ball and press between your palms to form a disc.
9. Dip the disc in some additional maida flour and roll into a roti.
10. Make the roti a little thinner than a chapati as the Maida tends to shrink.
11. Once rolled out, place on the hot Tawa.
12. Move the roti just a bit to avoid sticking to the tawa.
13. Allow the color to change just a bit and some bubbles to appear.
14. Flip the Roti once that happens and allow it to cook on the other side for just a couple of minutes.
15. Increase the flame to the highest and using tongs, place the Roti on the flame.
16. Allow it to balloon up.
17. Take off the flame and keep in an insulated container till ready to make the rolls.

Method (for filling):

1. Crumble the Paneer and add in the Potatoes.
2. Mix but be gentle not to make a paste of the mixture.
3. Add in the spice – Salt, Coriander Powder, Amchur, Garam Masala & Red Chili Powder.
4. Mix again to ensure that the spices don’t clump up to one area and are well distributed.
5. Heat Oil in a non-stick pan or a kadhai.
6. Add in finely chopped Green Chillies and then the cabbage and capsicum and fry till golden brown. Add salt to taste based on the amount of cabbage and capsicum. Then add Potatoes and Paneer mixture.
7. Mix gently and allow the filling to get heated all the way through for just a couple of minutes.
8. Once hot, turn off the stove/flame and add in finely chopped Cilantro.
9. Squeeze Lemon or Lime juice to taste and give it one final mix.
10. Transfer to a bowl to allow the mixture to cool down to make cylindrical rolls to fill in the roti.


1. Place the Roti flat.
2. Place the Filling Roll on the chutney side and start rolling.
3. Roll on the clean side and secure with a toothpick.
4. Serve hot.


To make it for kids, add some cheese and serve with ketchup.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Blueberry's Cooking: Orange,Strawberry Mocktail

Blueberry's Cooking: Orange,Strawberry Mocktail: Orange – 1 big Strawberry – 4 numbers Fresh mint leaves – 4 numbers Lime juice – 2tsp Sugar – 1tbsp (or 2) Ice cubes (optiona...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Vegan gluten free corn pasta in tomato sauce

Here goes the recipe for gluten free corn fusilli in homade tomato sauce.

Tomato paste- 2 cans
Gluten free corn fusilli Pasta- 1 lb
sliced olives- 1 small can (1/3 cup)
green bell pepper- ⅓ cup
red sweet mini peppers- 4
corn- ⅓ cup
sliced pickled jalapenos- 5-6
chilli sauce- 1 tsp
dried basil- ½ tsp
dried oregano- ¼ tsp
black pepper powder- ½ tsp
hing - 1 pinch
salt to taste
grapeseed oil- 2tbsp


Boil 5 quarts of water. Add pasta, salt, 1tbsp of oil and cooked a la dente. Drain the cooked pasta and set aside. 

Make the paste into tomato sauce consistency by adding water.

Heat oil in a pan. Add a pinch of hing. Add the veggies and fry for 2 minutes. 

Add the tomato sauce, salt, dried basil, oregano, chilli sauce, black pepper and allow it to boil for 5 minutes. Simmer and add the olives and jalapenoes. 

Serve the pasta with hot tangy tomato sauce.