25 February 2009

Pumpkin Patties

Pumpkin is a versatile vegetable that can be boiled, steamed, roasted or even baked. Even the flowers, seeds and tender skin of the pumpkin is edible. Pumpkin is a good source of vitamin C, magnesium, fiber, potassium and other minerals, protein and essential fatty acids. Pumpkin is ideal for those who watch their weight as it is low in calories. Consuming pumpkin is an idea way to keep away worm infections, prevent cataracts and keep kidney and gall bladder problems at bay. The beta-carotene in pumkins are excellent anti-oxidants. Read mre about the benefits here.

How do you feed pumpkin to pumpkin-hating, unsuspecting guinea pigs? Like this. :)

You need:

2 cups pumpkin cubed and cooked
1 large potato boiled and grated
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp coriander leaves finely chopped
salt to taste
3-4 tbsp cornflour or plain flour or a mix of both

Mash the cooked pumpkin and add the remaining ingredients to it. Mix to form a thick dough-like consistency. Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry small patties of the pumpkin mixture till done on both sides. Serve hot with sauce or chutney.

For more ideas check out these recipes at Asha's Aroma.

11 February 2009

Revisiting the old: Carrot Halva

Carrots are a goldmine of nutrients. No other vegetable or fruit contains as much carotene as carrots, which the body converts to vitamin A. This is a truly versatile vegetable and an excellent source of vitamins B and C as well as calcium pectate, an extraordinary pectin fibre that has been found to have cholesterol-lowering properties. The carrot is an herbaceous plant containing about 87% water, rich in mineral salts and vitamins (B,C,D,E). Raw carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A and potassium; they contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, thiamine, folic acid, and magnesium. Cooked carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A, a good source of potassium, and contain vitamin B6, copper, folic acid, and magnesium. The high level of beta-carotene is very important and gives carrots their distinctive orange colour. Carrots also contain, in smaller amounts, essential oils, carbohydrates and nitrogenous composites. They are well-known for their sweetening, antianaemic, healing, diuretic, remineralizing and sedative properties. (More info here.)
Before the last red carrots of the season vanished from the markets, we relished some (more!) carrot halva - probably the last of the year. I make this delicious halva as many times as I can over the few months when I can grab these red, juicy carrots. Check out the recipe here and enjoy the halva!

4 February 2009

Red Bell Pepper Soup

I had my eyes on Sig's Red bell pepper soup and was completely floored when I tried it. Grilling the bell peppers and the touch of curry powder enhances the flavour of the soup incredibly. Try it and enjoy the sweetness of the peppers, sourness of the tomatoes and spices, all in one hot bowl of soup!

You need:

2 large red bell peppers
2 large tomatoes peeled and chopped
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 1/2 cups water or stock
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sliced shallots/onions
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp curry powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

For the garnish:
Thinly sliced green onions
Garlic croutons

Grill the bell peppers turning them on and off till the skin starts to turn black for about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove and cool for 10 minutes. Peel, remove the seeds and chop. Heat oil in a large enough saucepan and add the shallots/onions and garlic. Cook till the shallots/onions start to soften. Add the chopped bell peppers, tomatoes, red chilli powder, curry powder and cook for about 10 minutes stirring frequently. Add the water/stock and milk and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 20-25 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and into a smooth liquid. Stir in the lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Serve hot in individual bowls and garnish with garlic croutons, sliced green onions and a dollop of cream.