Spinach Soup with Mixed Veggies

So now as I am on a health roll, soups and salads make a very important part of my diet. I keep experimenting with different favours of soups and keep trying mixing and matching the ingredients.

Here is a recipe I tried over the weekend and turned out really good, simple, flavourful and full of goodness.

Spinach Soup with Mixed Vegetables

Ingredients that you will need:

  • Spinach- 250 gms
  • Garlic Cloves- 3-4
  • Olive Oil- 2 Table Spoons
  • Chopped Mix Veggetables- 150 gms( cabbage, carrots, beans, capsicum, corn, peas, cauliflower florets, mushrooms)
  • Vegetable Stalk- 1 litre
  • Corn Starch- 1 Table Spoon
  • Mixed Herbs- 1 Tea Spoon
  • Paprika- 1/2 Tea Spoon
  • Salt to Taste
  • Grated Cheese to Garnish

These ingredients are good enough for 2 large serves

Method

  • Heat 1 table spoon olive oil in a pan and add chopped garlic to it.
  • Saute the garlic for about 2 minutes.
  • Roughly chop the spinach, wash it and then add to the pan.
  • Saute, garlic and spinach, for about 8 minutes, the spinach would be more or less cooked by now. Turn off the gas, and empty the spinach in a bowl and let it cool down.
  • Put the gas again on heat and add 1 table spoon olive oil, take all chopped vegetables and cook them for about 10 minutes on low heat. Cover the pan, and cook for another five minutes.
  • Once the spinach cools down a bit, blend it to a smooth paste with the help of a blender/mixer.
  • Add this spinach paste to the cooked vegetables and stir it for about 2 minutes.
  • Add vegetable stalk, or incase you dont have a stalk ready, add normal water. Bring the soup to a boil.
  • Add spices, and then mix the cornstarch in 2 spoons of water and add to the soup. This will get the soup to a thicker consistency.
  • Let it simmer for another couple of minutes and serve hot garnished with grated cheese.

Do share your feedback in the comments 🙂

Cookout Tips to Impress Your Guests

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It’s summer, and for a lot of us, summer and barbeque cookouts go hand in hand. If you’re planning lots of outdoor dining experiences this season, why not aim to make your cookouts the best yet?

There are lots of simple cookout tips that can elevate your barbeque from ok to AH-MAZING and make the whole process of barbecuing even easier. If you use even just a few of them, you’ll soon get a reputation as the best barbeque in the neighborhood.

Put the Doritos to Good Use

There’s nothing worse than planning to cook burgers on the Barbie, only to find out that you’ve run out of kindling and you’re all going to go hungry after all. But, if you have some Doritos in the kitchen or any chips for that matter, you will be able to go ahead and flame-grill those burgers because, chips, and especially Doritos, make for excellent barbeque kindling, due to their dryness and their high-fat content.

Coat Your Hands

If you love making burgers, and you know that your homemade patties are the best, but you hate having bits of meat stuck to your hands, simply coat them with either a small amount of cold water, or even better a thin layer of vegetable oil, and you’ll bed able to make enough patties to feeds the whole neighbourhood before your hands become a sticky mess in need of a good wash.

Keep Your Meat Moist

If you want your guests to be amazed when they bite into you burgers because of your patties are so succulent and juicy that they basically melt in the mouth, then you really do need to work at keeping the meat moist. This isn’t always easy when you’re outdoors in the heat. Fortunately, the fix is a simple one – just mix a couple of tablespoons of mayo to each pound of ground meat you use will ensure a moist burger and enhance the flavor.

If you’re cooking your meat medium rare and you want it to be perfectly pink in the middle, you could also add an ice chip in butter to the center of the burger, and that will stop it from getting too hot.

Two Temperatures

One of the best tips I was ever given was to heat the barbeque to two different temperatures, one at each side you can do this by only heating up half of the grill. That way, you can move cooked foods to the cool side to finish off without the risk of them burning.

Make Use of Muffin Trays

Barbeques are nothing without condiments, but what do you do when you don’t have enough condiment dishes to meet your needs? Do you just serve your ketchup and mustards in the bottle? No, you don’t. You serve them up in muffin trays, that’s what you do!

Use two Skewers

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If you’re cooking kebabs (and if you aren’t, why not?) Instead of attaching your meats, seafoods and vegetables onto one kebab skewer, use two instead. It stops individual chunks from moving around and getting burnt or unevenly cooked as a result. Just remember to soak your skewers before use if they’re wooden, to avoid setting your lovely food on fire.

Flavor Your Meat with Wood

No, I’m not telling you to add wood chips to your ground beef! But, using wood will add bags of flavor to your burgers and make them stand out from the competition. What you need to do is use planks of wood on the grill instead of metal. They will keep the food safely away from the flames and add a woody, smoky flavor to the food. Different woods have different flavors, so you might want to experiment a bit before you throw a cookout for the whole block, but most people find cherry wood to be very pleasant. If you’re interested, you can buy wooden planks for barbecuing at http://www.outdoorgourmet.com/plank-grilling-cooking/wholesale-grilling-planks.These planks are reusable, so they’ll help you to perfectly flavor your barbeque food for the whole summer and perhaps for many summers beyond

Season with a Salt Block

I’m going to say three words that will change your life – well the barbecuing aspect of it anyway – forever: Himalayan salt block. If you don’t know what Himalayan salt is it’s that pink salt that you often see in whole food stores. Bought in a block, it is hands down one of the best things to cook barbeque food over. Skip, the usual seasoning and just lay your meat down on a salt block over an outdoor stove (gas or electric) and you will be rewarded with the tenders, juiciest most flavorful meat you’ve ever eaten in your life guaranteed.

Lots of Lemons

If you’re having a barbeque, then you most certainly should not forget to pick up some fresh starts at www.Citarella.com/shop/lobsters-shrimp, and when you have that wonderfully fresh seafood delivered to your door, you simply must cook it over lemons. Just slice up a few of the citrus fruits and put them on top of your fish, lobster and shrimps it cooks for an end product that manages to be sweet, smoky and slightly sour all at once. Your guests will be shunning the burgers for the shrimp if you do.

Alternatively, you can make a simple marinade by combining olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic and marinating your seafood in that for a few minutes before cooking.

Spray Some Apple Juice

Apple juice isn’t just for drinking. In fact, it is perfect for barbecuing. If you spray your grill with apple juice every so often, and you do the same to your meat too, it will be browner, more tender and all round more appetizing. It sounds a bit odd, but trust me it works really well.

Brick Your Chick

We all love to eat chicken especially when it has been chargrilled to perfection, but actually cooking chicken on the barbeque can be quite difficult because of its irregular shape. Chicken is rarely the same uniform thickness, and this means that when one part is cooked, the rest might not be or it could be. A very simple hack to solve this problem involves nothing more than a brick and a sheet of aluminum foil. Wrap the brick in foil and use it to press down the chicken until it is one completely even. Then, leave the brick on top of the chicken as you cook it. The meat will be more crispy and tender than any of yore previous efforts.

Make Pizza

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Most people don’t expect to be served up freshly cooked pizza at the cookout. Sure, they might expect to see some pre-cut slices of cold pizza, but fresh, molten hot pizza – that’s something you don’t often see at a barbeque. So, why not exceed your guests’ expectations by serving them up a freshly grilled pizza? It’s really easy to do. Just check out http://ourbestbites.com/2009/06/tutorial-bbq-grilled-pizza/ for instructions. You can thank me for the tip later!

Make Veggie Parcels

Of course, not all of your guests are going to be meat eaters, and even if they are, it’s always good to serve up some veggies to healthy things up a bit, but what to cook? Vegetable parcels, that’s what. They’re so easy that they’ll take up very little of your time and because they’re cooked in foil, there’s no risk of them being contaminated by meat and fish juices.

To create delicious veggie parcels, just chop up and combine mushrooms, peppers, zucchini, corn on the cob, garlic, and sweet potato. Suasion with herbs and salt and toss on the barbeque for between five and ten minutes.

Serve Up Smoked Salt

While you’re grilling up burgers, fish kebabs and sausages on the barbeque, why not use that time to create your own smoked salt too? It tastes amazing, and you can use it to add that smoky barbequed flavor to dishes that have never been anywhere near the grill. All you have to do is light the grill, fill a pan with your favorite salt, and any other herbs you fancy and place the pan directly on the grill. It’s a good idea to use a nice smoky wood like cherry or apple to give the salt the most flavor, but you can use anything you like to get the desired flavor and ensure that you always have a smoky condiment on hand when you have a hankering for barbeque and no time to grill.

Soak Don’t Scrub

The worst thing about hosting a cookout is the clean up that comes afterwards. Luckily, I have the answer to that problem – don’t do it. If you use paper plates and disposable cups, knives, and forks, and you soak your grill in a solution of ammonia once it’s cooled, you’ll hardly have to clean anything up at all, and you can well and truly enjoy your summer evenings!

Are you a grilling or queen? What are your top tips for hosting the best cookout and producing the best barbeque food in the the neighborhood?

 

Koshur Saal @Holiday Inn, Mayur Vihar- Celebrating Kashmiri Cuisine!

Koshur Saal, truly meaning authentic and quick Kashmiri Recipes was also the name given to the Kashmiri Food Festival hosted by Holiday Inn, Mayur Vihar at one of their restaurants Cafe on 3. Along with the executive Chef Suprabhath Roychowdhury, Mrs Rajni Jinsi, a home chef discovered be Suprabhath, brought to us a specially curated Cuisine of Kashmiri Pandits (1st to 12th Feb). Rajni is a home chef and has mastered the skills of Kashmiri Cuisine because of her background, she hails from the land of Kashmir and belongs to a Kashmiri Pandit Family. In her early years of age, she showed keen interest in cooking under the influence of her mother. Kashmiri Pandit’s basically all Saraswat Brahmins are followers of Shiva, and refrain from using onions, garlic and tomatoes while cooking. Now to come up with a mouth watering dishes inspite of not using onions, garlic and tomatoes is a big task and Rajni emerged as true winner in the same. She not only prepared the authentic Kashmiri Cuisine but also paid attention to the minutest details and made the whole foodie experience so flavoursome.

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There was an extensive spread starting with the Live Counter which offered the Kabargah, a signature dish of flattened lamb ribs deep fried. Simply awesome.
The other dishes were Gadh Pakoir, Aloo Mondi And Nadru Tikki. All deep fried and delicious quite similar to the pakoras we have. There was that supremely delicious Gucchi Shorba along with the starters.

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The main course offered Neni Yakhni, lamb braised in yoghurt gravy, Murgh Kailya, chicken in a typical Kashmiri yellow curry
Mujh Gadh, fresh river fish curry with radish. Lyodur Chaman, cottage cheese cooked in Kashmiri yellow curry, Choek Wangan, Moej kailya, Nadur Yakh, Dama Oluv, Haak, Rajmah goagj, Baatha, Steamed Rice, Modur Polav, a sweet rice pilaf rich in dry fruits. To accompany were a variety of breads Sheermal, Laws se, Tillwurr, Katlam, Ghee Roti, Baqarkhan, Kulchae.

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To sum up the cuisine it was simply mouthwatering authentic Kashmiri Pandit food at its best.
Desserts was another excellent offering of the day, Firun, Rice n Milk pudding, Shufta, an exotic dessert of dry fruits honey and saffron, Simply Superb. Also on offer were Shier Chay and Kehwah.

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I really thank Holiday Inn, Mayur Vihar to host such a beautiful festival and discover gems like Rajni Jinsi who not only showcase their love for food and their culture but also showcase what the woman of India can do independently. The food was of superlative quality though it may take sometime to develop taste buds for the same, but it should definitely be given a shot, its totally worth it.

A must try for food lovers.


Cafe on 3 - Holiday Inn Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tasteful Thursdays- Bhujeli Kaleji, a Parsi Delight by Master Chef Kaizad Patel

Bhujeli Kaleji is a typical way of making chicken or sheep liver. It was one of the very popular Parsi dishes and is savoured by a lot. Its simple yet full of taste. Do try it out and I am sure you will love it and this recipe coming from Kaizad makes it 100% authentic.

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Ingredients:


200 gms chicken or goat liver


½ tsp coriander seed


½ tsp turmeric poweder


½ inch piece of ginger


6 cloves garlic


6 peppercorns


2 green chillies


1 bunch coriander leaves


Salt


1 tbsp oil


Ground the above ingredients into a masala


Method:


Remove the thin skin off the liver (goat). Wash and cut the liver into small pieces. Mix it in the ground masala, salt and oil and keep overnight, or for at least 4 hours. Stick the pieces on skewers. Light a coal fire, see that the flames have subsides. Barbeque each skewered stick with liver over the fire for about 5 minutes each until tender.


Nutrition Fact: Each serving provides about 109 calories, 10.3g proteins, 1.0g carbohydrates, 6.3g fat.

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About Chef Kaizad


Being brought up in a Parsi Caterers family, Chef Kaizad says he always knew someday he would always take up this family business. He have always had a different approach on views and always wanted to exceed expectations. This has been his drive and what keeps him going. Upon completing catering college, He joined the Ratan Tata Institute, Mumbai, as he wanted to broaden his horizon on Parsi food. He came across interesting people who shared their views on Parsi food. After completing almost a year; He joined the Oberoi Hotel’s, Mumbai and worked his way up the hierarchy. After his 3 ½ year employment with the Oberoi Hotel’s, he decided to go and study further in Culinary Arts. He joined the Scottsdale Culinary Institute, which is affiliated with “ Le Cordon Bleu”. He joined the Ritz Carlton, San Francisco as an intern and upon completing his internship, he was hired and trained by the Ritz Carlton values, which changed his life, truly. On his return to India he decided to take over his family business as he felt the need to revamp the image of the business without changing the core values of the community and the business, which were instilled into him. He always looks at a glass full and not the other way around. He has just begun his journey as a Caterer (for the last 10 years) and has a long way to go…..

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