GG had been on this Hallyu craze recently and wanted to eat Bingsu at a newly opened shop at the food court near our home. I accompanied her and BB. All I did was take a few bites from them but came down with a sore throat almost immediately! My solution was to make a traditional pepper rasam to which I added some ginger, both which are good for throats. You can also have this as a soothing soup when you are sick or when it is cold and rainy outside.
Ginger Pepper Rasam
- 1 cup Toor dal, washed and cooked till it is soft and mushy
- 1 small lime sized tamarind, soaked in hot water for 20-30 minutes and then the juice extracted
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 2-3 dried red chillies
- 1-inch piece of ginger
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 4-5 curry leaves
- 1/4 tsp asafoetida
- 1/4 tsp jaggery (optional)
- Salt to taste
- Coriander leaves to garnish
- Blend together the peppercorns, dried red chillies, ginger and 1 tsp cumin seeds with 1 tomato into a smooth paste and keep aside.
- Smoosh the tamarind and drain the water into a pot along with the cooked dal.
- Chop the other tomato into quarters or eights and drop it into the pan.
- Boil for a while till the raw smell of the tamarind goes away, around 5-7 minutes.
- Now add the blended paste along with salt and jaggery and let it boil till the tomatoes are completely cooked. Switch off the gas and start the tempering.
- In a smaller pan, heat the ghee and when hot, add the mustard and balance cumin seeds. When they pop, add the curry leaves and asafoetida and stir before pouring it into the rasam.
- Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot as an accompaniment to rice or as a soup
- If you don’t have jaggery, you can use sugar instead or even omit it completely.
- If you don’t have tamarind, you can either use 1 tbsp tamarind paste (which you can get at any Indian store) or use lemon juice. If using lemon juice, add it according to taste at the very end, just before serving.
- If you are planning to have this as a soup, omit the dal and follow the rest of the recipe.
Last week faced with an almost bare fridge and a family who didn’t want the usual lunch options, I was confused about making lunch. Then I remembered some organic fusilli that S had bought some time back and decided to make a simple Pasta salad. To go with that, I decided to put together the last bits of carrots and sweet potatoes I had and made a soup. The soup was a resounding success. BB loved it so much that he didn’t want dinner, but just had the soup again (this is notable because he does not like carrots nor sweet potatoes!)
Carrot Sweet Potato Soup
- 3 carrots, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 2 onions, chopped
- 5-6 pods of garlic
- 1-inch piece of ginger, chopped
- 4-5 fresh red chilli, chopped
- 2 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Water or stock as required
- Ground pepper (optional)
- In a large pan, heat the olive oil and when warm, add the garlic and fry till slightly golden brown. Then add the ginger and red chilli and fry for a few minutes.
- Add the onions and fry for a while, letting it become translucent.
- Now add the dry spices – salt, red chilli powder, cumin powder and coriander powder and fry for a few minutes.
- Then add the chopped carrots and sweet potatoes and saute till they are completely cooked. If needed, add water as required.
- Cool completely and blend to fine paste either using an immersion blender or a conventional blender. Pour back into the pan and bring it to a boil.
- Serve hot with croutons and some freshly ground pepper.
Over the weekend, GG fell sick with a sore throat as she had been busy in school with rehearsing for the Singapore Youth Festival as well as rehearsals where she was emceeing an event in school. So on Saturday evening, she asked for some soup as well as rasam to soothe her throat.
I checked recipes for soups, but nothing really looked exciting, so then I decided to combine a rasam which is meant to soothe an illness and make it into a soup. I called this a rasam masquerading as a soup! This had all the goodness of all ingredients good for you and was spicy and yum!
- 1 small lime sized ball of tamarind or 2 tsp tamarind paste
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 3-4 dried red chillies
- 1-2 tsp black peppercorns
- 4-5 garlic pods
- 1-2 inch piece of ginger
- 1 medium sized tomato
- 1/4 tsp asafoetida
- 1 tsp ghee
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 3-4 curry leaves
- In a large bowl, cover the tamarind with warm water and keep aside for 20-30 minutes. When the pulp is soft, squeeze it and get all the tartness out of it. Discard the pulp and strain the water and keep aside. Add this to a pan and add 2 cups of water (more or less depending on how sour you like it to be). If using tamarind paste add it to around 2 cups of water in a pan and keep aside.
- In a blender, blend the garlic, ginger, tomato, peppercorns, dried red chillies and cumin seeds to a smooth paste and keep aside.
- Heat the tamarind water and add salt and half the asafoetida and let it boil for a while till the raw smell of the tamarind goes away.
- When the liquid is nicely boiling and the raw smell has gone, add the blended paste and stir well. Add salt if needed and let it boil for another 7 minutes. If it’s too thick, add a bit of water and when it starts to boil again, remove from the flame.
- This step is optional. In a smaller pan, heat the ghee and when warm, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves plus the balance asafoetida. When it pops, pour it over the soup.
- Enjoy the hot, spicy and garlicky soup!
I love minestrone soup. This is my to-go soup when I am in a soupy mood. This is very easy to make and is virtually fat-free with the wholesome goodness of vegetables & beans.
I made this soup on Sunday and BB just loved it. He ate it with almost everything I cooked this weekend.
- A handful of dry kidney beans, soaked overnight and pressure cooked till soft
- Half cup each of chopped vegetables ( you can use any combination, I used a combination of carrots, green peppers, cabbage, spinach and potatoes). Just avoid vegetables like ladies fingers etc which turn to mush when boiled
- 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
- 1-2 tsps of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 handful of macaroni (I used fusili)
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- Half a tin of tomato paste
- Seasoning like Italian herbs, salt, red chilli powder, cumin seed powder
Heat the EVOO and put the chopped garlic in and let it brown slightly. Then add the onions and saute till it turns translucent. After that add the chopped vegetables and saute it for a while. Add the kidney beans and the seasoning now and turn it around a couple of times to mix it well. Next add the tomatoes and the tomato paste and add about a cup of water and let it boil. Once the soup comes to a boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer till the vegetables are almost cooked. This should be around 20 minutes. When the vegetables are almost cooked, throw in the macaroni and let it cook till al dente. Check for taste and take it off the gas. If at this point, you feel the soup is too thick, add in some water before you check for seasoning. Enjoy…