Posted in Recipes, Soups

Makhlouta – Lebanese Mixed Bean Soup !

Makhlouta/Makhluta translated to mixed in Lebanese Arabic, so in its simplest meaning, Makhlouta is a soup or a bean casserole of sorts, of mixed beans and grains. Traditionally made in the mountains in the winter, it is easy to make, versatile and in most ways fuss free. It is also cooked and consumed in Lent when devouts abstain from meat.Another tiny trivia that gleamed when I dug up a little bit on this soup was that, it is also prepared at the end of the winters, to use up the tiny portions of beans leftover to prevent them from spoiling as the weather get warmer and before the new harvest comes in.  In any way, when I stumbled upon the recipe, it sounded so hearty and satisfying, I knew I was going to make it for my soup nights. It is typically a mix of 5-7 beans and grains and everyone uses whatever is available in the pantry.

Makhlouta / Makhluta – Lebanese Mixed Bean Soup – soup 22 of #100happysoups ! I will confess, the soup turned out to be much less fancy than it's name, when I first stumbled upon it on a blog. In all ways, it is probably a cousin of our humble misal but even more simply spiced and seasoned than misal to tell you the truth. Makhlouta / Makhluta literally translates to "mixed" in Lebanese Arabic and this soup is essentially a mix of 5-7 beans and a grain or two of choice that are soaked for 8-10 hours before being simmered into a soup with seasoning. One blog says that this soup was made in olden days to use up the leftover beans at the end of winter and before the spring harvest so that the old stock doesn't go waste. Another blog calls it a dish consumed in Lent when the devout fast and abstain for meat. In any way, I liked the idea and promptly decided to make it. I have used barley as the grain but whole wheat grains, broken wheat or even brown rice works. The beans I used were Chickpeas / Garbanzo, Kidney Beans, Whole Red Lentils ( Masoor ), Red Double Beans, and Whole Black Lentils ( Urad ). They cooked until soft and simmered with sautéed onions, salt, pepper and cumin. A squeeze of lemon and a handful of parsley ( I used coriander ) and it is done. It is hearty, it is tasty ( no I am not saying this for the sake of it, it was yum!! ) and it is easy to make. I should probably remember that we Indians don't own a copyright to simple things like mixed beans. The recipe is up on the blog to wake it up from hibernation! 😁 #makhlouta #makhluta #mixedbeansoup #lebanese #srujans100happysoups #vegetarian #beansoup #indianfoodiye #nammabengaluru #nammabengalurufoodie #bangaloreigers #igersbangalore #myblr #sobangalore #trellfood #trelltalebangalore #foodtalkbangalore #foodtalkindia #goodfoodindia #indiancuisine #buzzfeedindia

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Posted in Indo-Chinese, Recipes, Soups

Lemon Coriander Soup ~ Your fall back option for the day when your diet plans are, well … in Soup!

Lemon coriander soup is an extremely light and fragrant oriental soup. And since we have started doing Soup Nights once in a week, that is, have just soups for dinner that night, I am always looking for various soup recipes. And when I found this one, I was attracted to it like a moth. The only problem was it wasn’t very hearty. Perfect as an appetiser, but since we are having it as meal, I just decided to throw in a few vegetables to make it more fulfilling.

Lemon Coriander Mushroom Soup ~ Soup 11 of #100happysoups! Mushrooms and carrot is optional. You may exclude them if serving simply as an appetizer. Add other vegetables if you intend to serve it as meal in itself. Recipe: 2 tbsp oil 1/2 sliced button mushrooms 1 small carrot, finely chopped 3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 4-5 stalks of lemongrass stalks, tied into a bunch with a thread 1 chilli, deseeded and finely chopped Juice of 1 small lemon, adjust as per your preference About 3 cups Water/Stock 1/2 tsp pepper/to taste Salt to taste 2 tbsp cornstarch Handful of finely chopped coriander Method: Heat oil in a deep saucepan. Add garlic, chilli, carrot and mushroom. Saute till soft. Season with salt and pepper. Add the budle of lemon grass and stock and bring it to a boil. Dissolve cornstarch in a few tbsp of water and add to the soup. Simmer till it thickens a bit. Take it off the heat, add lemon juice and coriander leaves. Cover and it stand for a couple of minutes. Discard the bundle of lemongrass stalks. Adjust seasoning if needed. Warm gently before serving. #soupnight #lemon #mushroom #coriander #whatsfordinner #whatsonmyplate #soup #healthyfoodporn #vegan #vegetarian #dairyfree #plantbased #igers #hotsoup #comfortfood #lemongrass #lemoncoriandersoup #indochinese #souprecipes #lowcaloriesoups #mealsunder500calories

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Posted in Recipes, Soups

Carrot, Tomato and Basil Soup

There is a faint nip in the air in the early mornings here in Bangalore. The skies are back in their white and azure dress code. And the markets are beginning to see the presence of some good quality vegetables after the seasonal monsoon slump. The tomatoes have gotten very cheap. Its probably a good time to start researching for new recipes and soups, me thinks! 🙂 And on the same note, tonight I made the lovely carrot and tomatoes soup. When this was getting cooked my kitchen was filled with the aroma of basil and garlic, one of my favorite aromas! I am not going to go into a preachy mode and give a sermon on nutritional benefits of carrots, but I would say this, it’s a good, tasty way to include more carrots in your diet!

Carrot, Tomato and Basil Soup ~ Soup 10 of #100happysoups ! Ingredients: 3 medium sized carrots, peeled and cut into large cubes 2 medium sized tomatoes, washed 2 tbsp olive oil, 4 cloves of garlic, one large handful of fresh basil, finely chopped 1 tbsp sugar, adjust and add a bit more if the tomatoes are extremely tart, 1 tsp salt, adjust as per taste 1/2 tsp pepper powder, 1/4 tsp cumin powder Method: Take the carrot cubes in a deep sauce pan. Make two perpendicular slits on the tomatoes at the stem end. This will make removing the skin easier. Place them in the pan too. Add just enough water to cover the carrots and tomatoes say about 2 cups. Put the pan on a medium heat on the stove and cook till the carrots are slightly translucent/look soft and the tomatoes look just mushy. Take it off the flame and strain the water into a bowl and reserve the water for later use. Let the vegetables cool slightly. Once they cool down a bit, peel the tomatoes and puree both carrots and tomatoes in a food processor till absolutely smooth. If you wish, you may sieve the resultant purée. Heat the same pan after wiping dry with a cloth. Add olive oil and once it is just hot, add the garlic. Once the garlic is golden, add the chopped basil and give everything a good stir. After a minute or so, add the puree. Season with sugar, salt, pepper and cumin. Let it come to a boil. Turn the heat to simmer and let it bubble till the red color slightly deepens, about another 5 minutes or so. Mix corn flour in a some water, 3-4 tbsp in a small bowl and stir it well to form a smooth paste. Add to the soup. Heat it for an another minute or so and then switch the flame off. Spoon into soup bowls and serve hot. If you wish you may add croutons and garnish with more basil. #soupnight #soupdinner #healthyfoodporn #carrot #tomato #basil #soup #dairyfree #meatfree #paleo #vegan #lowcarb #lowfat #vscocam #vscofood #instagood #food52 #cleaneating #mealplanning #soulfood #foodstagram #veggiegoodness #dinner #homemadefood #weightwatchersindia #whatsfordinner #whatsonmyplate

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Posted in Recipes, Soups

Spinach and Baby Corn Soup a.k.a Palak Makai ka Shorba!

Some things from your childhood are deeply imbibed in your psyche. Particularly the ones that leave behind a nasty aftertaste. I mean, literally. I was among those scores of kids how hated, absolutely hated spinach. I dreaded dinner times when I knew it was going to be palak paneer on the menu. I never really overcame that. Then, my loving mom helped me a bit, making a lovely biryani from spinach puree which helped me overcome my aversion spinach. That was it, me and my relationship with spinach, till I started cooking on my own. Still  scarred, I never really ventured out of my comfort zone of spinach and rice, till, as a young wife, I started managing my own kitchen and pantry. You know, the initial years, when you are too enthusiastic to cook healthy and tasty, both at the same time. After a lot of trials and tribulations, some success and many failures, a lot of crying and lot of soothing by your husband dearest, a lot of tantrums and few gained pounds later, there comes a stage when you get desperate. Utter desperate to try something other that the tiny spectrum of vegetables the two of you like. Peeking out of my comfort zone, the first thing that I tried was a curry with spinach, sweet corn kernels and onions. It was amazzzz…ing, to say the least. Now, I am a bit enthusiastic, not totally cured of the phobia, but more open to err.. spinach, I would say. 🙂

So here is to my newly acquired openness!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped spinach (palak)
  • 100 gms sliced baby corn
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cornflour (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil or butter
  • 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 4 cups approx. basic vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

  1. Dissolve the cornflour, if using, in ½ cup of basic vegetable stock and keep aside. Otherwise, regale in laziness, like I did! 😉
  2. Heat the oil in a deep non-stick pan, add the garlic and sauté on a medium flame for 1 minute. Let the fragrance spread! If you are attracted to beautiful looking soups, reserve some of the browned garlic for garnishing.
  3. Add the baby corn and spinach and sauté on a medium flame for 2 minutes. Don’t move away from the stove, unless you want a brown soup and not green!
  4. Allow it to cool completely and then blend it in a mixer to a smooth purée. Or be ready to have all your kitchen walls splattered with the green slurry!
  5. Transfer the purée back to the pan and add the salt and pepper. Mix well and bring to a boil, while stirring occasionally. Let the plot, ermm…, the soup thicken!
  6. Add the stock and the cornflour-stock mixture if using, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 3 to 4 minutes, while stirring continuously. Too much of stirring, I know!
  7. Serve hot, garnished with the toasted garlic! Enjoy!