It had been so hot in Singapore in summer that anything hot was anathema and so I was looking for some cold soups I could make ahead of time. I wanted to make a cold Gazpacho soup, but then realised I didn’t have all the ingredients with me. So I improvised and made this soup. It was well-received, though S didn’t like it. I also realised that BB didn’t like it cold, so I heated it and he liked it then. But this can be made and served both cold and warm.
Gazpacho Inspired Tomato Corn Soup
8-10 medium-sized red tomatoes
1 small cup of frozen sweet corn
4-5 cloves of garlic
inch piece ginger
1 medium-sized onion
2-3 green chillies
2 tbsp (or more) extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Defrost the corn and cook it in the microwave for about 6-8 minutes, or until it becomes tender
Chop the tomatoes and keep them aside
Peel the garlic and the ginger and keep aside. Chop the green chillies and keep them aside.
Peel and chop the onions and keep them aside.
Drain the sweet corn and in a blender, blend the tomatoes, sweet corn, onion, green chillies, ginger, and garlic. Blend first into a chunky paste and then add in the olive oil and blend to a fine paste. You may add some water if you need it while blending.
Using a strainer, strain the soup into a pan and reblend till everything is a fine paste.
Add salt and pepper and if you want, you can pop this in the fridge and have it as a cold soup.
If you like BB didn’t like the raw taste, add some water and boil the soup till it starts to come to a nice rolling boil and let it boil for about 5-8 minutes or until the raw taste goes away.
Drink it hot or cold, either way, it is delicious!
I had some frozen Methi lying in my fridge and was thinking about how to use it when am idea popped into my head and would not leave. So last week, I decided to try something and just hoped for the best. Luckily for me, the recipe turned out fine and was actually quite good, if I may say so. So here’s the latest experiment from my kitchen.
Methi Makkai Matar or Fenugreek leaves, Sweet Corn and Peas in a Gravy
1 small cup frozen or fresh methi leaves
1 cup frozen or fresh sweet corn
1 cup frozen or fresh green peas
2 medium sized onions
2 medium sized tomatoes, chppped
5-6 pods of garlic, peeled
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
3-4 red chillies (I used the small ones, you can also use green chillies)
10 pieces of whole cashew nuts
10 pieces of almonds
4-6 tbsp yoghurt
4 pieces of clove
4 pieces of cardamom
1.5 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp ajwain or carom seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
Salt to taste
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
4-5 tsp oil
Defrost the frozen vegetables (if using) and lightly cook them in a microwave till they are soft.
If you don’t have access to a microwave, then pour boiling water over the frozen corn and peas for 20 minutes, drain and keep aside. Let the frozen methi defrost and keep aside.
If you are using fresh methi, pluck and chop the leaves and keep aside.
Slice the onions and keep aside. Roughly chop the tomatoes and keep aside. Peel the ginger and garlic and keep aside.
In a pan, heat about 3-4 tsp of oil and when the oil warms, add the sliced onions and let it brown. We want the onions to caramelise and become brown.
When the onions are about 80% brown, move the onions to the sides of the pan and in the same oil, add the whole spices – 1 tsp cumin seeds, coriander seeds, carom seeds, cloves and cardamom and let them pop.
Then add the garlic and ginger and sauté for a minute. Then add the chopped onions and let the tomatoes cook and become pulpy. Switch off the gas and let it cool. Move this to a blender and when fully cool, blend to a smooth paste, adding water if needed.
In the same pan, add the balance oil and heat it. When the oil warms, add the remaining cumin seeds and let it pop.
Then add the methi leaves and stir for a few minutes. After that, add the corn and peas and salt to taste.
Cover and cook until the vegetables are almost done, stirring often.
When the vegetables are almost done, add the blended paste and stir.
Add some water to thin (but not too much) and then the spice powders – turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder and coriander powder.
In the same blender, whisk the yoghurt well and add it to the gravy.
Check for seasoning and add what’s missing.
Add the garam masala powder and let it boil on a low to medium flame for 5 minutes
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with an Indian bread or even plain rice.
Another Navratri sundal recipe. This one came about serendipitously. I actually wanted to make something sweet that day but became late to make the offering so thought of making something with sweet corn. I made it like any sundal, but changed it up a bit. It also makes a very healthy salad or as a side for your main meal. S loved it so much that he made me make it again the next day.
Sweet Corn Sundal
2 cups frozen sweet corn
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp broken urad dal
1/2 tsp white sesame seeds
1/4 cup grated coconut
1/8 tsp asafoetida powder
3-4 curry leaves
1 tsp green chilli paste
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
Boil the sweet corn in a microwave for 5-10 minutes seasoned with some salt until the corn is soft and cooked.
Heat the oil in a pan and when it warms up, add the mustard seeds and let it crackle. Then add the urad dal and sesame seeds and stir for a while till the urad dal turns a golden brown colour and the sesame seeds start to pop. Don’t let them turn black.
Add the asafoetida and curry leaves and let the curry leaves become crisp.
Now add the green chilli paste and stir for a few minutes. Then pour in the cooked corn and let it stir for 2-3 minutes.
Check for seasoning at this point. If you are making this as an offering, then no tasting, please.
Drizzle the lemon juice and the grated coconut and switch off the flame.
Over the weekend, I brought some frozen sweet corn without realising that I already had some at home. So earlier this week, I decided to try a dry sweet corn curry. This was really simple and took me less than 15 minutes to make, start to finish.
Sweet Corn and Capsicum Curry
1 cup frozen sweet corn
1 large green capsicum
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp dried fenugreek powder (optional)
1 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
Chopped coriander leaves to garnish
Cook the sweet corn in the microwave until it becomes soft. Then drain the water and keep aside.
Chop the capsicum into small pieces and keep aside.
Heat oil and when it warms up, add the cumin and fennel seeds one at a time and give it a good stir.
Then add the chopped capsicum and stir for a few minutes till it starts to soften.
Then add the defrosted corn and stir for a while. Add in the spices – salt, red chilli powder and cumin powder and let the capsicum and corn, cook. When it is almost cooked, add in 1/4 tsp garam masala and let the spices mix well.
Crush the fenugreek leaves in the palm of your hand and sprinkle it over the corn and capsicum. Switch off the gas, add a dash of lemon juice and some coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or a flatbread.
I made this version a no onion, no garlic one since Navratri is almost here.
You can make this with onions and ginger and garlic by adding grated or minced ginger and garlic in the initial stage when you add the cumin seeds and onions after that but before the capsicum.
You can also use dried mango powder or amchoor powder instead of lemon juice. If using amchoor powder, add it when you add the spices. You can also use a combination of both, but adjust depending on how sour you need the dish to be.
Now that I am at home these days, I try to cook something different each day, especially since BB & GG are having school holidays.
Today, instead of a dal, rice, vegetable combo, I decided to make some pulao. Digging through the freezer, I found some frozen fenugreek or methi as it’s called in Hindi along with frozen sweetcorn and I had the perfect pulao to make! The slight bitterness of the fenugreek pairs perfectly with the slight sweetness of sweetcorn and this dish comes together in no time!
Methi Corn Pulao
1 cup frozen methi (fenugreek)
1.5 cups frozen sweetcorn
1 onion, sliced lengthwise thinly
3 cups basmati rice, soaked in water for a minimum of 20 minutes
2 bay leaves
3 cups water
1 tsp cumin seed powder
1 inch piece ginger, julienned
3-4 green chillies, cut into big pieces
1 tsp ghee or oil
salt to taste
Defrost the methi and sweetcorn and keep aside.
Slice the onions lengthwise and keep aside.
Drain the water from the basmati rice and keep aside.
In a pan, warm 1 tsp ghee or oil and when the ghee is warm, add the cumin seeds and let it splutter.
When the cumin seeds start popping, add the dry masalas – bay leaves, cloves and cardamom one by one and stir for a few seconds.
Next add the ginger and green chillies and stir them for a few seconds.
Add the cashewnuts and let it start browning. Make sure you don’t burn the cashewnuts.
Next add the onions and let it become translucent.
Once the onions have cooked and become translucent, add the defrosted methi and let it cook for a while. The methi will slightly shivel up.
At this point, add the sweetcorn and some salt and let it cook. Cook for approximately 5 mins and then add the rice.
Stir well and let the spices get incorporated well and switch off the gas.
Pour this mixture into a rice cooker and add the water. Check for salt and add more if needed.
Depending on your rice cooker, it should take approximately 30-40 minutes to cook. Once it is done, switch off the cooker and let it sit for a while. Then fluff it up using a fork.
If you don’t have a rice cooker, you can also cook on the stove. At the point when the rice, methi and corn is cooked, add the water and check for salt. Then keep an eye on the dish as the rice cooks. This should take around 15-20 minutes. If you feel the water is not enough, add a bit more to let the rice cook.
Delicious corn methi pulao is ready! I served it with a mixed vegetable in a yoghurt sauce (recipe coming soon)