Recipes: Gazpacho Inspired Tomato Corn Soup

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

Ingredients:

  • 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

Method:

  • 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!

Recipes: No Onion, No Garlic Tomato Peanut Chutney

During Navratri, I don’t use onions and garlic in my cooking. My cooking during those 10 days is more satvic in nature and so it sometimes becomes a challenge to figure out recipes to make which don’t incorporate the two almost essential ingredients in Indian cooking. Though, if I am to be completly honest, tambram cooking generally does not use the two ingredients. But we were getting bored of traditional recipes and so I tried this recipe which was an experiment of sorts. It did come out quite nice and was a good accompaniment to not only idlis and dosais, but also as a substitute to sandwich chutneys.

No Onion, No Garlic Tomato Peanut Chutney

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 5-6 fresh red chillies (you can also use green chillies if you don’t have access to red chillies)
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida powder
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp oil
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • Heat oil in a pan and when warm, add the mustard seeds and let them pop.
  • Then add the turmeric powder, asafoetida powder and stir for a couple of seconds.
  • Next, add the curry leaves and red chillies and stir till the chillies start to brown and the curry leaves become crisp.
  • Now add the roasted peanuts and stir well. Then add the chopped tomatoes and some salt and stir well. Keep stirring the tomatoes occasionally until the tomatoes cook and turn mushy.
  • Remove from the flame and cool completely. When cool, blend into a fine paste and serve as an accompaniment to idlis and dosai.

Recipes: Tomato Onion Chutney

The other day while making dinner, I realised I needed to make some kind of chutney to go with dosa or adai. I didn’t want to make one with coconut which is what is traditionally made for these dishes since I didn’t have enough coconut on hand to make it, so came up with this tomato onion chutney which was super yummy!

Tomato Onion Chutney

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium-sized onions, chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 7-8 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp broken urad dal
  • 1 tsp roasted Bengal gram
  • 1 tsp seedless tamarind (If using tamarind paste, you can use about 1/2 tsp)
  • 6-8 dried red chillies (more or less depending on spice tolerance)
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp grated jaggery (can omit or substitute with brown sugar)
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • Heat the oil in a pan and when warm add the mustard seeds and let it pop.
  • Next, add the urad dal and Bengal gram dal and stir for a couple of seconds.
  • Now add the dried red chillies and stir for a few seconds. Then add the sesame seeds and give it a good stir.
  • Then add the tamarind and stir for a few seconds.
  • Now add the garlic and let it saute for a minute and then add the onions. Let the onions become translucent.
  • Once the onions are translucent, add the tomatoes and stir until the tomatoes become mushy and cooked. You can also add in a pinch of salt to help this process. At the point add the jaggery if using.
  • Switch off the gas and let the mixture cool completely before grinding it to a fine paste. Add salt while blending and adjust as per your taste. You can add a bit of water while blending if you feel the need.

Recipes: Tomato Carrot Capsicum Soup

Last weekend, S wanted a light lunch as I was planning to make pizza for dinner. When I probed further, S said he wanted a carrot and tomato soup. So I went online and searched a few sites and then came up with this version. It is a keeper and a winner! It kept well and we finished it the next day.

Tomato Carrot Capsicum Soup

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium-sized tomatoes
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 large red capsicum, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1-inch piece of  ginger, chopped
  • 2 dried red chillies (optional)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • In a large pan or pressure cooker, heat the oil and when it heats, add the cumin seeds and fennel seeds and let it splutter.
  • When the seeds splutter, add the onions, ginger and garlic and let them brown.
  • When the onions brown, add the carrots and stir for a couple of minutes.
  • Make a small cross at the top of the tomato (where the stalk is) and put the whole tomatoes into the cooker or pan.
  • If using a pressure cooker, cover and cook for 3 whistles. If using a pan, cover and cook until the vegetables are completely cooked.
  • When cool, remove the tomatoes carefully and peel the skin and return it back to the pan.
  • Using a handheld blender, blend the cooked vegetables to a smooth paste. If you don’t have a handheld blender, then transfer to a normal blender, blend it and return it back to the pan.
  • Heat the pan again and thin it with water as needed. Season with salt and pepper according to taste.
  • Serve hot with bread croutons.

Recipes: Peanut Tomato Chutney

I am a huge fan of chutneys, believing that these really add something to your meal. I also believe that chutneys are very versatile, going well with full Indian meals as an accompaniment and you can also slather them on a slice of bread for a quick snack or even use them for lunch box ideas for your children or even yourself!

I usually have some chutney or the other in the fridge and I was looking for ideas to extend my chutney repertoire when I chanced upon the Andhra style Peanut and Tomato chutney. The recipe intrigued me and so I decided to tweak it a bit to make it my own (as I am usually wont to do). It was a surprise hit and a definite keeper. I made it slightly spicier than usual, so do keep that in mind when you make it yourself.

This is also a no-onion, no-garlic recipe, so it’s good for days when you don’t add these ingredients to your food!

Tomato Peanut Chutney

Ingredients:

  • 6-7 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup raw peanuts
  • 7-8 fresh red chillies (can substitute with dried red chillies also)
  • 1-inch piece of ginger
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tsp white sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp gingelly oil
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida powder
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • Chop the tomatoes, ginger and red chillies and keep aside
  • If using dried chillies, soak them in warm water for 10 minutes, drain and keep aside.
  • Heat gingelly oil in a pan and when warm, add the mustard seeds
  • When the seeds pop, add the fenugreek seeds and the sesame seeds and let them pop.
  • When the seeds pop, add the peanuts and stir till the peanuts start popping and the skin starts to split.
  • Then add the chopped tomatoes, chillies and ginger and season with salt and asafoetida and let them cook until the tomatoes become mushy.
  • Switch off the gas and let it cool completely.
  • Blend into a smooth chutney using as little water as possible.
  • This goes very well with idlis, dosa, adai, rotis and even bread.