Monday, April 20, 2009

Lentil Soup

1 cup lentils or any dal, preferably with skin
1 tbs. ghee
3 cups water
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, sliced
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp. fresh cumin powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper powder
salt to taste
lemon juice to taste

Wash lentils and boil with water in pressure cooker for 4 minutes after full pressure is reached. Open the cooker as soon as possible and add the tomatoes, carrot, and 3/4 of the onion. Replace lid to retain flavors and allow to cool; then blend all ingredients together. In a separate pan, heat ghee and sauté remaining onion. When onion is soft, add cumin, pepper, and salt. Pour into the lentil mixture. If it is too thick, add a little water. Serve hot with a few drops of lemon juice.

Mixed Vegetable Soup

2 tomatoes, chopped
1 large potato, diced
1 large carrot, diced

1/2 cup green beans, chopped
1/2 cup green peas
1 large turnip, chopped
1/4 cup chopped cauliflower pieces
1/4 cup shredded cabbage
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. sweet basil
1/2 tsp. black pepper powder
1 small piece ginger, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cups water
salt and butter to taste
1/2 cup fresh coconut milk (optional, for creamy soup)

Put the tomatoes and 2 cups of water through a blender and strain. Place remaining ingredients, along with the blended tomato, in the pressure cooker. Cook for 3 minutes after full pressure is reached. Add a small amount of fresh butter and serve hot.

To make into a creamy soup, don't blend tomatoes separately but cook them instead in the pressure cooker with other vegetables. When cooked, put all ingredients through the blender. Then return mixture to the pressure cooker and add 1/2 cup fresh coconut milk. Mix thoroughly but do not boil.

Carrot-Cheese Salad

2 cups grated carrots
1 cup soft paneer
2 tbs. chopped coriander leaves
2 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 tsp. black pepper powder
1/2 tsp. salt a few tender cabbage or lettuce leaves

Mix the grated carrot and coriander leaves with pepper and salt. Place a dollup of this mixture on individual lettuce or cabbage leaves and top with cottage cheese. Place a few tomato wedges on side of dish and serve. This simple recipe is healthy and rich in proteins and calcium.

Fruit-Nut Salad

1 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup shredded cabbage
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup diced apples
1 tbs. grated orange rind
1 orange, peeled and segmented
1 tsp. roasted cumin powder

Toss the vegetables, fruit, and nuts together and place them on a platter. Sprinkle them with some cumin powder and arrange orange segments around the edge of platter. Sesame salt can also be used instead of cumin powder. To make sesame salt, dry roast sesame seeds in a frying pan until lightly browned. Add salt and put through electric grinder. Keep sesame salt in an air-tight bottle and use for salads, just like cumin powder. This recipe is very useful in summer, as it is rich in proteins and is easily digestible.