These will have to be the softest chickpeas ever. They are par boiled then baked in a slow oven for 2.5 hours. The dish is served either hot, warm or cold – it will make a meal in itself with a little feta and a green salad or some cooked greens. The recipe is adapted from Ikaria, by my favourite Greek cookbook author, Diane Kochilas. It is a dish that can be made at any time of the year.
There is a thing about some of the soups of South India – they can be like hot drinks rather than the way we might think of soups. We treat them as hearty, warming dishes to be eaten by the bowlful. Contrast this with flavoursome but not highly spiced hot beverages. There is nothing like them anywhere else – they are neither like the tangy and highly spiced rasam, nor like the North Indian shorba. Some of the soups take influence from other parts of Asia, some from the English and French lighter soups and some from the soups of Portugal. These type of Indian soups are not common, but are also not rare.
I like to call it a “shot” of soup, often no more than a quarter of a cup. And it is often served after the meal, in a way that we might serve coffee. Relaxing over a shot of soup. What a delightful way to include more vegetables in our lives!
This recipe is a quick and easy tomato soup, in the Indian style. A hot beverage if you like. And totally delicious. While sugar is added to give the sweet-sour taste, it can be omitted and we often leave it out.
Also note that more Western style soups are becoming more and more popular across India as people turn their hand to cooking other cuisines.
This is such a delightful accompaniment to Fried Upma.
Winter comes, and suddenly we are looking for sauces of all sorts to make soup out of, add to lentil braises, vegetable stews, gratins, dipping sauces, and other dishes. Luckily I make several of these each Autumn so that they are frozen in zip lock bags, ready for the first Wintery dish that needs them.
Some of these sauces are the sort of sauce that you put on your (vegetarian) bangers and mash or over your BBQ’d veggies and patties. Most of these sauces are fine for that use, but the other purpose of these sauces is to add flavour to dishes, or form the base for soups, other sauces, and dipping sauces for snacks.
Enjoy these 7 or so different Tomato Sauce recipes. And don’t forget that you can pre-make these in Autumn when the tomatoes are at their best, and freeze them for those cold rainy days.
In Autumn, tomatoes are cheap and great quality, often more flavoursome than Summer tomatoes. Locally I can buy large bags of them very cheaply. It is a perfect time to freeze tomatoes for use during winter. And in times of trouble, such as these crazy days of 2020, it is useful to have tomatoes that you can use without having to leave the house to shop.
We normally keep this post over on our Sister Site, Heat in the Kitchen, but today we are reproducing it here, just in case it is helpful for people mostly limited to home.
France is full of sauces. If you are going to categorise French food broadly, you might say – meat, sauce, butter, baked goods. It is pretty accurate – one of my comprehensive books on French cooking contains 2 salads (and some vegetable recipes). To be fair, the salads can be the base for many variations. And to be more than fair, I have spent time working in France so know that there is a large variety of salads. But, yes, meat is the focus.
So, with a love of French food, we pick and choose from amongst the cuisine, and make to our vegetarian style.
This is a beautiful version of a Tomato Sauce – one to add to our many tomato sauces – and, like the others, it freezes very well. Similar to many French recipes, there is a base sauce, beautiful on its own, and a few variations of sauce that can be made with the addition of one or two more ingredients.
My thinking about broths or stocks for soups has changed over the years. Once I regularly made vegetable stock from off-cuts and peelings, supplemented by chopped vegetables to get the right balance. I made loads of light Asian style broths and more layered all-in stocks for soups, risottos, and the like. There were miso based stocks, SE Asian coconut-curried stocks and Indian flavoured stocks. Keeping them in the freezer meant that they were always at hand.
Don’t get me wrong, I still use these regularly, but more often I use a different technique.
A new approach
No matter what, vegetable stocks are still “light” when compared to the earthy groundedness and depth of flavour of non-vegetable stocks. So, after pondering this for some time, I began to make stocks that included such treasures as bay leaves (European, Indian and/or West Indian), juniper berries, brown cardamom pods, cumin seeds or powder, coriander seeds or powder, black peppercorns and allspice berries. What a difference these made.
Again over time – some years – miso began to make an appearance in my Continue reading “Indian Spicy Tomato Soup”
In avocado season they pile our fruit bowl high – we are such lovers of them. Honestly we can eat them straight out of their shell. In Summer we make cold avocado soups, all year round we mash and spread them, and they pile into our seasonal salads.
Our snack today is a guacamole type mix with a spicy tomato salsa on the side, and some thick sour cream. We have some great bread from the local baker, and we crisped it in an oven that was still hot from roasting brussels sprouts! It is better than fresh bread for this mix, but you can also toast or grill the bread, or use crackers or corn chips. Whatever floats your boat.
By the late 1990’s I was beginning to cook Indian food or at least attempting to make a fair representation of some dishes. Many of my early attempts came from Goa as that was my first port of call on my first trip to India. Later I expanded my love of Indian food to Tamil cuisine and South Indian in general.
Saar is similar to the Tamil dish Rasam, but with Goan twists. The recipe is from Tasty Morsels; Goan Food Ingredients and Preparation by Maria de Lourdes Bravo Da Costa Rodrigues. I picked it up on one of my early trips to Goa. It is like the Green and Gold of Goan Cuisine. I love to look through the book and remember my many visits to Goa over the years. I adore exploring the different areas of Goa, away from the tourist attractions, and dive into the different cultures. There were many times I travelled with a friend on his motorbike, exploring off-road areas and little-known beaches, as well as the local food markets, food stalls and tiny shops. Sleeping in thatched huts, eating at restaurants right on the beach, talking to women on the beach picking up inhabited shells to cook with rice. The smell of morning fires ready for cooking the day’s meals, the pink sands on the beaches, the sunsets, spice farms, hills, temples, music. Oh, Goa – I miss you!
Tickle My Senses has a wonderful description of Saar.
Well, saar needs to be eaten in the right way for maximum pleasure. Pour the piping hot tomato saar over your rice (for me the rice has to be swimming in the saar) then using your finger tips coat the rice with the piping hot saar, making sure you do not burn yourself ! then scoop mouthfuls of this delicious mixture into your mouth, accompanied with fried foods and vegetable. When all is done, lift up the plate to your lips and drink off any remaining saar, the orphaned bits can be polished off by licking your fingers….slurpp!!!
Note the Portuguese name of the author – there are at least 3 distinct cuisines in Goa – that heavily influenced by the Catholic Portuguese cuisine which is also non-vegetarian, that of the Hindu Goans which is more vegetarian and more traditionally South Indian. Finally there is the Muslim cuisine from the Muslim invaders and immigrants over the years.
Often Saar is described as a soup, which is a misnomer. While it is a thin but strongly flavoured broth, traditionally it is not eaten with a spoon from a bowl. See the description of Saar on the sidebar here. It really does capture the essence of Saar and Rasam.
We have a lovely collection of rasam recipes that we have put together as a collection. You can see the collection here.
This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. You can see more of the Retro Recipes series, our vegetarian recipes from that first blog.
Sometimes we forget that simplest is bestest.
Elizabeth David is the best source of simple but utterly delicious salads. I love to read her books, and today I have taken the liberty of reproducing some of her beautiful salads.
Similar posts include 30 Great Salads for Early Summer.
We can never have enough pachadi and raita. Cooling and refreshing, they are prefect on a hot Summer’s day. Tasty and delicious, they are an excellent way to include yoghurt in your diet and to include another vegetable in your daily mix of food. Indian food is an excellent vehicle for including more veg in your meals than you ever thought possible.