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Friday, February 29, 2008

Navy Bean & Pasta Soup


Navy beans are a small variety of kidney bean; It is also known as the beautiful bean. They are also related to other white beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans. This soup has fire-roasted tomato, which gives it a smoky flavour. Fire-roasted tomatoes are readily available in grocery stores. The sundried tomato has chewy texture and beans give the soup nutty flavour. Perfect with bread stick, dip it and eat it.

Ingredients:-


  • 3 cup Navy Beans, caned
  • 4 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Onions, sliced
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 14 oz can Fire Roasted Tomato, chopped
  • 1 small Carrot, chopped
  • 1 tsp Oregano, dried
  • 1 tsp Tomato Paste
  • 3-1/2 cups Vegetable Stock
  • 3/4 cup dried Small Shell Pasta
  • 1/2 cup Sun Dried Tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped 2 tbsp parmesan cheese, shavings
  • Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste

Method:-
1. Heat oil in pan on medium heat. Add sliced onions with little amount of salt until soft.

2. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, carrots, oregano, sundried tomato. Stir well and leave for 3-4 minutes.

3. Now add beans and vegetable stock. Cover and bring it to the boil and let it simmer for 25 minutes.

4. Add the pasta to the pan, and season with salt and black pepper to taste.

5. Cover the pan and let it simmer for 15 minutes or until pasta is tender but aldente.

6. Add chopped parsley, stir well.

7. Serve hot with parmesan shavings.

If you are planning to serve the soup after some time, plan to cook pasta later and than add them in soup; otherwise, pasta will become too big by soaking all the water.

Enjoy...

This is my entry to AWED :Italiano hosted by Dhivya.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Spicy Kadai Dal


This dal has very good aroma. The wonderful aroma comes from star anise. Star Anise is most popular in Asian cooking, mostly in China. In India, this spice is used in garam masala, biryani masala, dals etc. In China, they use it with soy sauce in meats and poultry dishes. Sometimes, very rarely, chefs use it in sweet dishes.

For this recipe, I used three types of dal with vegetables. Instead of garam masala, I use Kadai masala which is mostly used in sabzis and curries. Sautéed vegetables with Kadai masala and dals gives tasty tour of spices.

Ingredients:-


  • 1/2 cup Toor Dal
  • 1/3 cup Split Moong
  • 1/4 Chana Dal
  • 2 Green Chili, chopped
  • 1 tsp Garlic, chopped
  • 1-1/2 tsp Ginger, grated
  • 1 Small Red Onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 1 Medium Potato, boiled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup cauliflower, cooked and cut into pieces
  • 2 tbsp Green Peas, boiled
  • 2 Medium Tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Red Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tbsp Dhania-Jeera Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Asafetida
  • 1 tsp Kadai Masal
  • 1 tsp Amchur Powder (dry Mango Powder)
  • 2 Star Anise
  • 1 tsp Scallion
  • 3 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 5-6 Curry Leaves
  • 1/2 tsp Red Chili Powder
  • 1 small Red Chili, whole
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • Pinch of Asafetida
  • Salt to taste

Method:-
1. Soak dals for 1 hour. Drain well.

2. Pressure cook dals with genrous amount of water. Whisk lightly after cooked. Chana Dal, eventhough cooked, does not mix completely with other dals, which gives nutty flavor.

3. Heat oil in deep kadai. Add mustard seeds. When they crackle, add cumin seeds, curry leaves. Then turn down the heat. Now add whole red chili, red chili powder, and pinch of Asafetida.

4. Immediately add ginger, garlic, onion, little salt, and let it sauté for 2-3 minutes.

5. Add tomato, turmeric powder, red chili powder, kadai masala, green chili, asafoetida,1 star anise, dhania-jeera powder, and cook on medium heat until tomatoes loosen up and they look like they are part of gravy.

6. Now add red bell pepper, potato, green peas, cauliflower, scallions. Mix well with cooked gravy. Put lid on kadai and leave it for 5 -6 minutes on low heat.

7. After 5 minutes, add cooked dals with 2 cups of water.

8. Now add salt, amchur powder, remaining 1 star anise, lemon juice and whisk lightly with ladle and bring it to boil. Star anise has very strong flaver so use it appropriately.

9. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve hot.

Enjoy...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Schezuan Kimchi Rice


This is Korean dish. Koreans are proud of their Kimchi. Kimchi means seasonal pickle, usually made from vegetables. Most famous Kimchi comes from whole cabbage. They soak cabbage in salted water for several hours, and when cabbage softens, they season it with garlic powder, ginger, red chili, white vinegar etc. Primarily, Kimchi is served with sea-food, meat, and/or rice. Basically it's a side dish. It's popularity is growing up, and in India, its more famous with those Chinese food stall on the streets. They make Kimchi with their own twist. You can find Kimchi in any Asian grocery store, usually in packed tins.

I made fresh Kimchi for this dish. Usually, store-bought Kimchi are extra sour, but when you make it fresh, to give that sour taste, I had to use extra white vinegar. The sourness of Kimchi can be controlled by quantity of white vinegar.


Ingredients:-

-- For Kimchi

  • 2 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 2 cups Cabbage, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Scallions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Brown Sugar,
  • 1 tsp Schezuan Pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp Red Chili Paste
  • 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1-1/2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 2 tbsp White Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp Ginger, grated
  • Salt to taste


-- For Rice

  • 2 cups Cooked Rice
  • 2 tsp Green Peas, boiled
  • 1 tsp Carrot, grated
  • 2 tbsp Toasted Sesame Seeds
  • 1 tbsp Oil

Method:-

1. Heat Oil in pan. Sauté ginger, garlic for 1-2 minutes. Add chopped cabbage and cook for 3-4 minutes on medium-high heat.

2. Now add carrot, green onion, soy sauce, schezuan pepper powder, brown sugar, salt, red chili paste, white vinegar and cook them for another 3-4 minutes.

3. Now at this point add green peas and red pepper flakes and leave Kimchi on low heat.

4. In the meantime, take another pan and toasted sesame seeds until they are toasted. Keep aside little amount of toasted sesame seeds for garnish.

5. Now add cooked rice and toasted sesame seeds to Kimchi with 1 tbsp oil. Mix well.

6. Try not to break rice. Taste and adjust seasoning before serving.

7. Garnish with sesame seeds and scallions, serve hot.

Enjoy...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Baked Potato Kofta Biryani



Biryani is one of the most famous rice dishes in the world. Not only the taste, it has lots of variety and different fragrances. In India itself, there are more than 25 to 30 different types of biryani available.

Biryani comes from Persian word "biryan," which means "fried or roasted" before cooking. I believe the first ever biryani was made in Lucknow.

The best way to make perfect biryani is by "Dum" or "Cooking in steam". Vegetarian Biryani is called Tahiri Biryani.

I know of a weird way to find if the Biryani is cooked perfectly. Throw handful of it on the floor, and if rice are separated from each other and from vegetables or meat, then it is perfect.

In this dish, it has potato Koftas which are usually used in Pulavs; other than that, its a regular method of cooking Biryani.

Ingredients:-

-- For Kofta


  • 2 medium Potato Boiled potatoes, mashed
  • 2 tbsp All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Green Chili, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Cilantro, chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp Chat Masala
  • 1/2 Lemon Juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for Shallow frying


-- For Gravy

  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Tomatoes, pureed
  • 2 cups Mix Vegetables
  • 1 tsp Ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp Garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp Chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tbsp Biryani Masala
  • 4 tbsp Milk
  • 2 Cloves
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 1 Bay Leave
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 2 tsp Cilantro and Mint, chopped
  • Salt to taste


-- For Rice

  • 1 cup Basmati Rice
  • 2 Cloves
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • Juice from half Lemon
  • 1 tsp Oil
  • Salt to taste

-- Other Ingredients

  • 1/2 tbsp Mint Leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 Cup Milk
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1/4 tsp Cardamom Powder
  • A few strands of Saffron (optional)


-- Prepare Koftas
1. Combine all the ingredients except oil and make Kofta.
2. Shallow fry koftas in a non-stick pan at little oil over medium flame, till both sides are golden brown. Drain and keep aside. Koftas can be deep fried as well.

-- Prepare Gravy
1. Heat oil in a pan and sauté the onion till they are translucent.
2. Add tomato puree, ginger, garlic, turmeric, and chili powder and cook till the oil
separates.
3. Add garam masala and biryani masala, and sauté for further 2 minutes.
4. Add all vegetables and cook for 3-4 minutes.
4. Add milk and salt. Mix well. Keep aside.

-- Prepare Rice
1. Clean and wash the rice.
2. In a large pan, add rice, cloves, bay leaves, salt, lemon juice, oil and 2 cups of
water.
3. Bring it to a boil and cook the rice is al dente (thoda kaccha). Keep aside.

Method:-
1. In a greased baking pan, spread the half the rice to form one even layer.
2. Arrange the Koftas over the rice. Keep aside some Koftas for garnish.
3. Spoon the gravy on top and sprinkle the mint leaves.
4. Spread another layer of rice.
5. In another pan, combine the milk, butter, cardamom powder, and saffron, and bring
to a boil.
6. Pour over the layered biryani.
7. Cover with a tight lid/aluminium foil, and bake in a pre-heated oven at 325 degree
for 25-30 minutes.
8. Serve hot. For the best side dish with Biryani, fry some onion rings and garnish it
with cilantro, mint leaves, and Kofta.

Enjoy...

Monday, February 25, 2008

Dal Dhokli


This is traditional Gujarati dish. The beauty of this dish is that you can have three different tastes, sweet, savory, and spicy. It’s up to the maker to make one prominent as he/she pleases, as all three would taste equally good. I like mine spicy. From the culinary point of view, I think Dal Dhokli can be termed as wheat pasta in spicy thick lentil soup or it could be categorized as Gujarati Stew. Lentils have good protein, and it’s healthy because only place where oil is used is in tadka.

Ingredients:-
-- For Dal


  • 1 cup Toor dal
  • 1 Tomato, chopped
  • 10-12 peanuts
  • 3 Green Chilies, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Tamarind Juice
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Red Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tbsp Dhania - Jeera powder
  • 1 tbsp Jaggery
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1-1/2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 tbsp Coconut, grated
  • 1/2 tsp Sesame Seeds
  • Salt to taste

-- For Tadka

  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Methi seeds/Fenugreek seeds
  • 2-3 Red Chili, dry
  • 5-6 Curry Leaves
  • A pinch of Asafetida

-- For Dhokli

  • 1 cup Wheat Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Water for dough


Method:-
1. Wash toor dal, and cook it in pressure cooker with peanuts and tomato.

2. In the mean time, add wheat flour, salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder in a bowl and mix well. Add oil and knead the flour.

3. Wisk cooked dal lightly with 2 cups of water. Make sure that peanuts are intact. Add little more water if it’s too thick. Please keep in mind that it will become even more thick after the dhokli is added.

4. Heat oil in deep vessel. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When they crackle, add methi seeds, curry leaves, asafetida, and red chili.

5. Add dal into the tadka. Add green chilies and tamarind juice. You can use Kokum instead of tamarind juice.

6. Also add jaggery, salt, red chili powder, dhania-jeera powder, turmeric, lemon juice, garam masala, and cilantro, coconut, seaseme seed. Let it get heated up.

7. Roll out very thin rotis of the dough. Cut it into 2 inch strips and then cut each strip into diamond shaped pieces.

8. When Dal is boiling, add all the diamond-shaped pieces to Dal one by one. Keep the flame high all the time so the Dal actively bubbling. This will prevent the dhoklis to stick to each other.

9. Boil Dal Dhokli on high flame for 4-5 minutes. You can add little water any time if too thick.

10. Serve bubbling HOT with lemon on side.

Enjoy...

This is my entry to Priti and Purva's Rakhi – Thread of Love event.

Gnocchi With Orange Sauce




This is authentic Italian dish. Freshly home-made potato Gnocchi are delicious. Gnocchi is Italian name for variety of dumplings. Italians make Gnocchi from potato, semolina, wheat flour, bread crumbs etc; and they serve it with different kinds of sauces. Gnocchi can be made without eggs using whole milk ricotta cheese. If it's loose, add little flour to make dough-like consistency.

Marinara sauce is very popular with this dish, but sometime store-bought marinara is very sour, so use home-made tomato sauce, recipe included. The orange sauce has this home-made mariana with touch of cream, which creates sparkling orange color.

Ingredients:-
-- For Gnochhi


  • 1 lb Baking Potato, cut in 3-4 pieces
  • 1 tsp Water
  • 3 tbsp Butter or Margarine
  • 1 small Egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup All-Purpose Flour

-- Orange Sauce

  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Shallots, Chopped
  • 2 Garlic Clove
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 1/2 cup can Tomato Sauce
  • 8 oz can Tomatoes, Chopped
  • 2 tbsp Basil, Chopped
  • 6 tbsp Red Wine
  • 1 tsp Superfine Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste

-- For Garnish

  • Parmesan Cheese
  • red chili flakes
  • Fresh Basil Springs

Method:-

1. Cook potatoes with their skin in a pan of boiling salted water for 20 to 30 minutes. Drain well and press through a sieve into a bowl.

2. Add the butter or margarine, egg, and some flour to the potatoes, mixing well.

3. Sprinkle a little flour on flat surface, like chopping board. Transfer the mixture to the surface, gradually knead with remaining flour to form a soft dough.

4. With floured hands, roll the dough into thin rope, and cut the rope into quarter-inch pieces.

5. Press the center of the dumpling with your finger, drawing the two-sides towards you to form the Gnochhi shape. Cover the Gnocchi with a cloth and put it away.

6. Heat the oil for the sauce in a pan and sauté the chopped shallots for 5 minutes.

7. Add garlic, tomato paste, chopped tomatoes,tomato sauce, basil, oregano, red wine, sugar, salt, and pepper.

8. Bring it to boil and then let it simmer for 20 minutes.

9. In the meantime, boil salted water in a deep pan. Add dumplings to it. Cook them for 2-3 minutes or until they rise up to the top. Drain well.

10. Add drained dumplings to the sauce pan. Before adding the dumplings to the pan, mix heavy cream in sauce. Make sure not to heat the cream much.

11. Garnish with basil, red chili flakes, and Parmesan cheese. Serve hot.

Enjoy...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Corn Pakora


This is great afternoon snack. Its very easy to make and incredible in taste. Its very hard to find white corn in US. Usually, local ranch markets have fresh white corn on a cob. This can also be made with yellow corn, but it will have a little sweet taste which can be compensated using extra masala mixture.

Ingredients:-


  • 2 cups White Corn kernels
  • 4-5 tbsp Gram flour
  • 1 tbsp Garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp Ginger, grated
  • 2 tsp Green Chili, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Chat Masala
  • 2 tbsp Red Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tbsp Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Black Pepper
  • Asafoetida, pinch
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying

-- Masala Mixture

  • 1 tsp Red Chili
  • 1 tsp chat Maasala
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper

Method:-
1. Keep aside half cup of corn. Add 1-1/2 cup whitel corn, green chilli, half garlic and ginger, salt, into the blender. Add around 1 tsp of water and make paste.

2. In a small bowl, mix red chilli powder, chat masala, and black pepper and keep aside for masala mixture.

3. In bowl mix gram flour, corn paste, 1 tbsp chat masala, 1 tbsp red chilli powder, turmeric, asafoetida, remaining corn kernels, chopped cilantro, remaining garlic and ginger, 1 tbsp oil.

4. Fry corn pakora on medium-to-high heat.

5. Sprinkle masala mixture on each batch of fried pakoras.


Enjoy...

Creamy Tandoori Mushroom

This is my husband's favorite dish. It has two different kinds of mushrooms. Everyone knows about white button mushrooms, which is blend in taste. This dish also has Italian crimini mushroom, known as Italian brown mushrooms, which has more flavor. Tandoori masala gives wonderful flavor to these mushrooms. Crimini mushrooms can be eaten raw or cooked, and can be substituted for white mushrooms in any recipe. Before using mushrooms, clean them gently with a brush or cloth towel. Use Crimini mushrooms right away, however you can store the white button mushroom. When buying crimini mushrooms, select mushrooms that are intact and firm.

Ingredients:-

  • 1 pack Crimini mushroom, thick slices
  • 1/2 pack White Button Mushrooms, thick slices
  • 1 cup Whole Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Corn Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Kasuri Methi
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Butter
  • 1/4 cup Green Peas (thawed)
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

For Tandoori Paste:-

  • 2 Red Chili, whole
  • 1 Green Chili,small whole
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 5 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 tbsp Ginger
  • 2 tbsp Dhania-Jeera Powder
  • Cilantro, chopped for garnish
  • 1 tbsp Tandoori Masala


Method:-

1. Ground ingredients for tandoori paste in blender with little water.
2. Heat oil in non-stick pan. Add ground paste and kasuri methi, green peas and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
3. Dissolve corn flour in to 2 tbsp milk. Heavy cream can also be used to make extra thick.
4. Add mushrooms, corn flour-milk for 5 minutes till the mixture coats the mushrooms. Add Salt and black pepper.
5. After 5 minutes add remaining milk, chopped cilantro, and cook for another 2-3 minutes on low heat.
6. Take 1 tsp butter and add little corn flour, mix well, and add on top on mushroom. When butter is dissolved, mix one time only.
7. Serve Hot with lemon.

Enjoy...

Dal Tadka



This is authentic Indian dal recipe. It is known for its strong tadka. It is very good with chapatis or rice. This is my mom's recipe. She doesn't use Tamarind paste and Garam Masala. That's my little touch. Shahi Bawarchis used to serve this to their emperors. This dal is made with two Indian lentils. Its very good for digestive system.

Ingredients:-


  • 3/4 cup Toor Dal(arhar dal)
  • 1/4 cup Yellow moong dal
  • 1 cup Tomato, Chopped
  • 1 tbsp Green chili, Chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Tamarind Paste (store bought)
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tbsp Dhania Jeera Powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic, Chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger, Grated
  • 3/4 cup Onion, Sliced
  • 1/2 tsp Hing
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • Salt to taste.

-- For Tadka

  • 1 tbsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • Pinch of Asafeotida
  • 3-4 Curry Leaves
  • 1 Red Chili, Whole
  • 1/2 tsp Red Chili Powder

-- For Garnish

  • Chopped Mint leaves And Cilantro


Method:-
1. Clean, wash and soak Dals For 30 min. Then drain it with strainer.

2. Add tomatoes, turmeric, salt and 3-1/2 cups of water and pressure cook till the mixture is tender. Whisk the mixture a little bit.

3. Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan and add mustard and cumin seeds, red chili and curry leaves.

4. When the seeds crackle, add red chili powder, garlic, ginger, green chili, dhania-jeera powder, garam masala, asafoetida, and onions. Let it sauté till the onions turn golden brown.

5. Sprinkle about 1 tbsp water over it to prevent the onions from burning.

6. Mix tamarind paste, cooked dal mixture, and 1 cup of water. Bring it to boil. Add lemon juice.

6. Serve hot. Garnish with cilantro and mint leaves.

Enjoy...

Italian Aaloo Paratha


This is a unique dish. It is Indian aaloo paratha, made with heavy Italian touch. Its really a marriage of two different cuisine. The filling is prepared using common Italian herbs. The dough, however, is prepared with our Indian wheat flour. This dish can be eaten as weekend's late breakfast or heavy afternoon snack. Be sure serve hot for that wonderful melted cheese aroma.

Ingredients:-

-- For Dough


  • 2-1/2 cups of Wheat Flour
  • 2 tbsp All-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp black-pepper
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste

--For Filling

  • 2 medium Boiled Potato, grated
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 1-1/2 tbsp Chopped Black Olives
  • 1-1/2 tbsp Red Chopped Bell Pepper
  • 2 Chopped Garlic Cloves
  • 1 cup Shredded Fontina Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 tbsp Sour Cream
  • 1-1/2 tbsp mix Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp Red Chili Flakes
  • 2-3 tbsp Marinara Sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste


Method:-

1. Knead semi-soft wheat dough and keep aside.
2. Take large bowl and mix all filling ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings.
3. Make paratha, like regular aaloo paratha.
4. Sprinkle sliced olives, parmesan cheese, and chopped basil on each hot paratha.
4. Serve hot with warm marinara sauce on side. If not a Marinara sauce fan, use the same recipe with either Pesto or Alfredo sauce.


Enjoy...

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Orzo Pasta Salad



Orzo is a type of pasta which looks like a long-grain rice, only thicker. Usually, it is served with different kind of grilled vegetables and meat, for children with cheese and cream, and it is little heavy. My idea behind this salad is to use the taste of this pasta in a lighter way. This dish only has around 90 calories per serving without any artificial ingredients, and lemon and honey together usually never go wrong.


Ingredients:-

-- For Salad


  • 1 cup Orzo Pasta
  • 10 Olives, cut in half
  • 10 Cheery Tomatoes, cut into half
  • 1 tsp Dried Cranberries
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Almond, slivered
  • Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped

-- For Vinaigrette

  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 4 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano
  • Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste

Method:-

1. Cook orzo pasta in lightly-salted boiling water for 8-9 minutes or until just al dente. Drain pasta and place in a large bowl. Mix olives, cheery tomatoes, dried cranberries, basil and slivered almonds into cooked orzo pasta with 1 tbsp olive oil.

2. In blender, add lemon juice, honey, olive oil, oregano, salt, and black pepper. This is the Vinaigrette. (You can use any kind of vinegar like balsamic, red wine, etc. instead of lemon juice)

3. Transfer the pasta salad to a serving dish and pour vinaigrette according to your taste.

Enjoy...

This is my entry to AWED :Italiano hosted by Dhivya.

Lima Bean and Mint Soup



Lima beans are also known as butter beans, because of their starchy yet buttery texture. Also, lima beans are high in fiber. This soup has a wonderful combination of lima beans and cumin powder with mint for freshness and yogurt for savory kick. It is healthy and hearty. It is perfect if you want to skip a meal and not feel hungry.

Ingredients:-


  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Red Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 Potatoes small, diced
  • 1 lb Lima Beans, thawed
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 3-1/2 cup Vegetable Stock or Plain Water
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Mint, chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste

-- For Garnish:-

  • Plain Yogurt
  • Fresh Mint springs
  • Fresh Cilantro

Method:-

1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 4-5 minutes, until softened.

2. Add the potatoes and let them cook for 5 minutes, keep stirring.

3. Add beans, water or stock, salt, and black pepper into the pan. Stir the mixture. Cover the pan and let it simmer for 30 minutes or until the beans and potatoes are tender.

4. Remove few vegetables with ladle and set aside. Place the remainder of the soup in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

5. Return the soup to a pan and add the vegetables which were kept aside. Add chopped mint, cumin powder. Stir well and reheat gently. Taste and adjust seasoning.

6. Transfer the soup to a warmed serving bowls, garnish with swirls of yogurt, cilantro, and mint springs.

There you have it, delicious and healthy soup.

Enjoy...