April 30, 2018

Zuppa Pomodoro di Toscano (Tuscan Tomato Soup) | Easy Soup recipes

For the last day of the 26-day Street Food Marathon , we are here at Alphabet Z. I was determined not to use any adjective or Zucchini for the Alphabet, so this idea of the soup (as a street food) came from the husband who had soups for over a week while travelling to Italy early this Spring (and mind you, he is NOT a soup person, at all). 

So, he told me that for vegetarians, street cafes serve the best soups, and they are not just filling but come in a variety of forms from light broths to thick stews.

Today's Soup is somewhere in between. I personally wanted to make Zuppa Verdere (which is a vegetable rich soup) or Zuppa Tuscano (a potato-kale based thick soup), but as the little one asked for a tomato based soup, I veered right into it and made just 1 portion (and mildly spiced).

She loved it and wanted me to make it for the elder one too.As I write this, the elder one is at a summer camp, and boy ! , do they grow up so quickly. In a few years, she would be off to college, and the house already looks empty :((

Without much ado, let's get to this semi-thick Zuppa Comodoro di Toscano.  We are major fans of soup at home, and if you are one too (or on the way to controlling diet with large bowls of soup), do check out the following. Who knows, from a non-soup lover, you could just be addicted !!

Also, most vegetarian soups are GF and Vegan (or can be converted into vegan), so it's a huge plus for those on special health requirements too.

Let's get to make today's soup. As with most homemade soups here, I have made use of the pressure cook. You may choose to make it in a crockpot, open pan or choose the IP (Instant Pot) version too.
Adapted from here.

Prep time - 10 mins, Cook time : 10 mins, serves : 1


  • Large, ripe , Red Tomatoes - 2 nos
  • Onion - 1/2 (minced)
  • Garlic - 1 clove (opt.)
  • Olive oil - 1 TBSP
  • Pesto - 1/2 tbsp (I used the Basil Almond vegan pesto)
  • Unsalted Homemade Veg stock  - 1 cup (200 ml) {{you may use veg soup bouillions too, but watch the salt then}}
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cauliflower , carrot and potato - diced (2 TBSP - totally optional)

  1. In a small pressure cooker / pan, add the olive oil. Saute the onions, veggies and garlic till onions turn translucent. Add the tomatoes, salt, veg stock and pressure cook for 2 whistles. Let the pressure come down on its own.
  2. Now add the pesto, pepper and slightly pulverise the tomatoes and cooked veggies. Let it simmer for 2 mins.
  3. Serve hot !

BMLogo Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 87    

April 29, 2018

Yellow Thai Mango Curry with Rice | Vegan and GF

Today’s post is somewhat of a nostalgic post from our trip to a Bangkok a few years ago. We have been quite fond of Thai cuisine and the husband prefers Asian cuisine next to Indian with continental / cheesy dishes coming a distant last.

I don’t share his penchant for Asian but have developed a liking for Thai cuisine in particular probably coz the veggies dishes feature ginger, chillies , pineapple and certain other tropical ingredients.

Like mango for instance.

This dish takes us back to our short trip where , starved for vegetarian food, we had this little little cafe (almost a hand cart) selling this fragrant mango - coconut curry with sticky rice.
Even the rice smelt a tad strange and when I told the vendor so, she said she had used the local sticky rice. 

But having no other go, we downed this rice - curry combo feeling happy to have discovered a bowl of vegetables that finally made sense without any fish / oyster sauce :) I also remember my husband teaching me how to eat with chopsticks & his grin while I struggled to get a hang of that. I had posted some pics from our Bangkok trip here on Thai Mengluck (Thai Basil Seeds drink)

I was browsing through my trip photos album and suddenly this memory from Bangkok popped and I landed on this vegan and GF recipe from Minimalist baker and was one of the first few dishes bookmarked and finalised. I was only waiting for the mango season to begin to make it this week. 

Making some subtle changes, I made a portion just enough for two and my neighbour who I shared this with rather loved the curry - rice combo.

Next time perhaps (& before the mango season melts away), I am sure to make jasmine rice or sticky rice with this. The short grained rice that I served this with fit the bill but I have a feeling it might go well with sticky rice better.

You can play around with most Asian veggies but I used what I had. Having conquered the Thai Green Curry and now this Yellow Thai curry, the next destination is the Red curry which is the husband’s favourite .

 Till then keep watching this space and check out today's recipe :)

Prep time - 20 Mins ; cook time - 15 Mins ( serves 2~3)

For the curry , you would need-

  • Veggies - 2 cups (I used a mix of cabbage, zucchini, baby corn, broccoli, bell peppers, shallots, carrots) - all equally cut
  • Thin coconut milk - 1 cup (btw would prefer 1/2 cup thick milk next time)
  • Ripe , sweet mango cubes- 2/3 cup
  • Peanut oil - 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
  • Coconut sugar / palm sugar - 1 tbsp
  • Thai green chillies - 1 no
  • Lemon juice - 2 Tbsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Red chilli Thai paste - 1 tsp
  • Roasted , salted cashews - 8 to 10 nos.
  • Minced ginger and garlic - 1/2 tsp each

  1. In a wok, heat oil. Sauté shallots, ginger garlic till onions slightly turn translucent.
  2. Add all the veggies, turmeric , salt and sauté till they are cooked 2/3 of the way yet have a bite
  3. Now to this add 1/4 cup of water, kepis manas, red Thai paste, palm sugar , chillies and slightly simmer till veggies are almost cooked.
  4. Now lower the flame , add the mangoes, coconut milk and simmer for 2-3 Mins.
  5. Finish with roasted cashews and lemon juice 
  6. Serve hot with any sticky rice or steamed white / brown rice.

 Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 87

April 28, 2018

Xnipec Salsa (Jain version) | Mexican Dip

We are almost at the end of 26-day Blogging Marathon, and I have chosen Street food as a theme. While I had a lot of Cantonese veg and vegan options for the Alphabet X, something drew me to this ultra delicious Mayan dip named Xnipec Salsa

Xnipec is a super spicy Salsa, and we used pickled Jalapeños instead of Herbanaro. It is Mayan for Dog's Nose or Dog's Snout. The salsa is pretty spicy so probably it refers to the nose turning red or sweat like a Dog's nose 

I had made this along with the Jain Taco Bhel when I caught up with my friend recently.
And therefore, although the original recipe had onions, I couldn't add as my friend is a staunch Jain. 

However, the other ingredients simply made up for the onion and we didn't miss it at all. This is a quick dip and can go great with Veg Crudites, Nachos, Potato Wafers or even as a spread for Quesadilla or Burritos.

Other Dips you may enjoy are:

Chilli Cinnamon Almond Dip
Tomato Mint Coriander Chutney (Salsa) | Vegan,GF (oil free too)
Tomato Thokku (tomato pickle)
Vegan Almond Basil Pesto | Vegan and GF
Beetroot Hummus | GF, Vegan 
Muhammara with a twist !!
Papaya Ginger Lime Relish
Baba Ganoush

Let's get to today's easy peasy but truly delicious dip.
Adapted from Genius Kitchen.

Prep time - 15 mins, Zero Cook, Standing time - 15 mins
Serves : 2

Chopped Tomato - 1 cup (I slightly pureed them chunky along with the Jalapeños)
Chopped Jalapeños (or any other spicy chillies) - 2 Tbsp (adjust to taste)
Chopped Onions - 1/4 C (I didn't add)
Fresh Orange Juice - 1/2 cup
Salt and pepper - to taste (optional - I didn't add)

Mix all the ingredients, give a standing time of 15 mins (preferably chilled).
Serve with Nachos or any crudités (I am guessing it would go well with our desi Roasted Papad too :p)

BMLogo Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 87    

April 27, 2018

Wholewheat Thin Crust Pizza from scratch | Pizza varieties

How can one possibly have a 26-day Street Food Marathon without a Pizza ? One of the most popular street foods (and actually any-time food at home :p), I have already put up several pizzas already (and most with Wholewheat base too). 

But this is special as I have made it with a pizza pan that my husband gifted me this year. It came with a huge promise of making the base more crusty and boy, did it deliver !! I made three different toppings (out of which two were thin crust and the remaining was deep pan variety), and all 3 pizzas vanished between mine and the neighbour's kids in a jiffy. I also have a version with the Lodge Cast Iron , so watch this space for more !

As I have a HUGE pizza lover in the elder kid, I am sure this pizza pan is sure to be used more often. Let's move to check out the thin crust pizzas today. I have my own Wholewheat Pizza base, but for a change I used Sally's recipe and it turned out fabulous. 

Wholewheat flour doesn't rise as much as All Purpose Flour yet we like the nuttiness that it provides. 

IMHO, I reckon that once you are used to Wholewheat bases, the commercial pizzas don't appeal (and neither are they value for money). 

So, we had two thin Crust pizzas - one for my little one and her friend with just cheese and Tomatoes, one with Olives - Onions - bell peppers and the last was a Deep Pan variety with extra Cheese and fiercely spicy for my elder one with Jalapeños, Olives and a lot of other stuff that she likes :-)

So do check out the pics and choose what you liked :-) Do let me know what kind of vegetarian toppings you / your family prefers :)

Other Pizza varieties on this blog so far -
Ingredients for Wholewheat pizza base (fully adapted from Sally's recipe)
  • Wholewheat flour - 3.25 cups + 1 TBSP (I used fresh stone ground Chakkiwalla Atta, not Ashirwad)
  • Sugar - 1 tsp
  • Yeast - 15 g (1 TBSP)
  • Warm water - 1.5 cups ( you may need more of less depending on the quality of the flour)
  • Olive Oil - 1.5 T (original recipe called for 1 T) + 1 tsp (to brush the crust)
  • Honey - 1 T (I didn't use as I wanted to make it a vegan base)
  • Salt - 1/2 ~1/3 tsp
  • Red chilli flakes + garlic powder - 1 tsp (I added this , was not in the original recipe)
  • Vital Wheat Gluten - 3 tsp (optional.)

How to make the dough:
  1. In a kitchen aid stand mixer bowl or any other bowl you are using, Proof the yeast (even if its instant, I still proof it) in warm water + sugar. 
  2. Once it bubbles, whisk in the salt, spice powders, honey (if using), gluten and the flour. 
  3. Mix the flour well in the liquid mixture and let it stand covered for 15-20 mins (this helps in gluten formation). 
  4. Now knead well (adding any little additional warm water or flour or oil as required), till you get a smooth and springy dough.
  5. Place it in a well oiled container with a damp cloth. I kept it in a food grade plastic container with a tight lid. Let it rise till doubled (takes about 2 hours in normal temperature).
  6. Punch it down lightly once risen. Turn the oven on, and let the dough rise by the time the toppings are ready.

To assemble and bake:
  1. Spray the pizza pan with cooking spray. divide the dough into 3 portions (My pizza pan was 25 cms, so the above dough makes 2 medium sized 12 inch or three 25-inch pizzas.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 230C for about 15 mins.
  3. Keep the toppings, grated cheese ready.
  4. Spread one portion  gently into the greased pizza pan directly. 
  5. Top with the pizza sauce, the toppings , any spice powders, and the cheese
  6. Bake for 15-17 mins (keep an eye after 13th min) and gently demould the pizza from the pan using ONLY a silicon or wooden spatula.
  7. Cut and serve warm
 Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 87

April 26, 2018

Veg Triple Decker Club Sandwich | How to make Veg Club Sandwich | Street Food

Vegetable Club Sandwich was one sandwich that I first ate when I settled in Mumbai. Till then, eating sandwiches used to happen only at home, and perhaps on weekends when mom needed a break from the usual tiffin-packing and hurried breakfast schedules that dominated our lives.

When I further discovered Mumbai street food, Sandwiches and Dosas are a zillion in combos of fusion with each one of them ranging from the ultra simple to containing elements that you would have thought never could go together, but they do, in a strange kind of way :) {{ PS - think Schezwan Mysore Masala Dosa !! yeah :-)) }}

So, while I wanted to feature Vada Pav (the quintessential Mumbai street food), I figured it was already posted (although the low- cal version). So, here with the Vegetarian Triple Decker Club Sandwich, we move with our Street Food Marathon with Alphabet V.  

 I have omitted serving Coleslaw with this as non of us at home really prefer any Mayo at home. But don’t skimp on the cheese (unless you are vegan) and the potato wafers (unless you are dieting, and therefore no need to eat the sandwich at all :))

Other (Mumbai+) street foods

I used white bread, but you could go with brown or multigrain or pretty much anything else that catches your fancy.  Street food is all about variety and customisation at the same time, so hope you enjoyed the journey here so far :)

Other Sandwiches that may catch your fancy -

Prep time - 15 mins, Grill time - 10 mins ; Serves : 2

White bread - 6 slices
Melted butter - 2 TBSP (or as preferred)
Green Sandwich Chutney - as required
Chaat masala - as needed
Cheese Slices - as needed
Boiled potato slices, Beet slices, Cabbage leaves, Tomato slices, Cucumber slices - all as needed 

To serve with : Potato wafers and / or Coleslaw

Butter the slices well. Apply green chutney on the buttered slices, stack the slices with any order of the veggies and cheese your prefer. Typically Club sandwiches are triple decker with alternating layers of cheese and veggies.
Lightly grease a tava / skillet / grill and grill them till crisp but not too crusty and hard.
Slice diagonally or as required and push in a toothpick to hold the layers together.  

Serve immediately 
 Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 87   

April 25, 2018

Udon Veg Stir Fry | How to make spicy Udon Stir Fry | Vegan

In our endeavor to feature Asian Veg cuisine frequently at home, I made this especially for the not-so-noodle-loving elder kid at home and she surprised me by going for the second helping :) it’s another matter that her bestie was at home that day for lunch so perhaps she didn’t want to create a fuss. But this is a real good vegetarian stir fry that’s a rage in most Asian countries, where eating-on-the-fly is a given and ramen bowls and soups and noodle stir fries like these are very much part of the street food culture.

The good thing Is this noodle stir fry is as customizable as you need it to be -vegan, gluten free, soy free, kosher, with eggs, without eggs, with or without shredded soya chunks or even add a bit of any protein to make it a filling meal.The only thing I would recommend strongly not to sub is the Sambal Oelek —a spicy 🌶 red chilli paste that’s so typical of these stir fries.

And I am glad I used store bought coz considering the popularity of these noodles vanishing, I am sure this condiment would be used again. But if you don’t have access to this, any spicy Asian chilly paste incl sriracha etc may be used but the taste will definitely vary.

Let’s get to make this. Hope you are following the street food series here at the 26-day A-Z Street Food Marathon on this blog so far. 

Day 1 Amiri Khaman (Gujarat)
Day 2 Badam Makha (Kolkata)
Day 3 Churros (Mexican)
Day 4 Dabeli (Gujarat)
Day 5 Esquites (Mexican)
Day 6 Fruit Kulfi (Kolkata)

Day 7 Galouti Kebab (Lucknow)
Day 8 Hyderabadi Mirchi Bajji
Day 9 Idly Chilly (Tamilnadu)
Day 10 Jalebi with Poha (Indori special)
Day 11 Khara bhath (Karnataka)
Day 12 Lucknowi veg Biryani

Day 13 Mango Mastani (Pune special)
Day 14 Nachos with Salsa (Mexican)
Day 15 Oats Chaat (Fusion)
Day 16 Papdi Corn Chaat (Mumbai)
Day 17 -to be posted-
Day 18 Rabdi (UP)

Day 19 Shahi Tukda (Lucknow)
Day 20 Tacos Bhel - Jain Style

Let's get to make this quick to make under-20 minutes meal. you may simply halve / double / triple the recipe. Mine is moderately spiced, you may spice it up as required. 

Adapted from here.

I used dry Udon noodles so needed a little more time to cook. If you are using Soft Udon Noodles, you just need to soak them in water prior to cooking, drain and use as per packet instructions.

Prep time - 10 mins, cook time - 10 mins , serves - 2

  • Udon Noodles (dry) - 100 gms
  • Peanut oil - 2 tsp
  • Chopped onions - 1 medum
  • Minced garlic, ginger - 1/2 tsp each
  • Salt - to taste (check and add)
  • Chopped veggies - for stir fry - 1 cup ( I used cabbage, juilenned carrots, broccoli)
  • Sauce :
  • Sambal Oelek - 2 tsp (or to taste)
  • Vinegar - 1/2 Tbsp
  • Brown sugar - 1 Tbsp
  • Minced chillies - 1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Sesame oil - 2 tbsp


  • Roasted sesame seeds
  • Spring onion greens


  • Cook noodle as per pack instructions. Drain and keep aside. 
  • Mix all ingreidents for sauce and keep ready.
  • In a wok, heat oil, add the onions, garlic ginger, veggies and saute till onion lightly caramelises and veggies are al dente. Do this on a high flame to get a slightly charred, yet pleasant aroma from the veggies.
  • Now add the sauce, boiled noodles . toss again on high flame.
  • Serve immediately with the toppings.

 Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 87

April 24, 2018

Tacos Bhel (Jain Style) | How to make Tacos Bhel

Tacos Bhel came by in a jiffy. I had bought Taco Shells earlier last week to make something else, but unfortunately all the shells were broken. As with the Khakhra Channa Bhel, I thought of assembling a quick snack for a tea catch-up with a Jain friend along with her little toddler.

So, she's off onions (obviously) but also a vegan.Although I wanted to use grated cheese, she couldnt have this with cheese. Both she and her kid loved this low spice snack a lot :)

So, let not the bhel featured here limit you, You could add any thing that catches your fancy - cheese, crumbled paneer, refried beans, guacamole, onions, sev, boiled potatoes, tamarind chutneys or pretty much anything. You may aso add some murmura (puffed rice) like a typical Mumbaiyya Bhel Puri - the options are literally endless.

Your movie nights / Super Bowl / television binge watching just took a healthy twist with this dish :-))

So, lets get to make this super quick Tacos Bhel (did I mention its made in under 5 mins Zero cook snack)


  • Taco Shells - 8 to 10
  • Corn - fresh or boiled - 1/4 cup
  • Tomatoes - 1 medium (deseeded and chopped)
  • Chillies - 1 medium (chopped) - optional
  • Bell Pepper - 1/2 medium
  • Chaat masala and black salt - to taste
  • Lemon juice - 1/2 tsp
  • Crushed Tacos - a handful.

How to make and assemble
Mix all ingredients except Taco shells, stuff inside the whole Taco shells and serve immediately.
PS : As I had all the shells broken, we used them as canapes to top the quick bhel on top :)

 Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 87

April 23, 2018

Shahi Tukra | Shahi Tukda | How to make Shahi Tukda

Last week we saw how Rabdi was made the traditional way. Today we have another sweet that’s usually made during Bakrid or Diwali and is a delicacy. Shahi Tukda is a dish of pure delight .

Resembling its close cousin Double ka Meetha (or perhaps twinning it with another name :)), Shahi means Royal, Tukda referring to piece of bread. There is an interesting link on how the name of Shahi Tukra evolved , perhaps from the Persians adapted by the Mughals. 

Again if you have the Rabdi ready, this can be put together for a party or potluck in minutes.
To make it richer, this dish is usually topped with Malai and / or fry fruits. However do assemble close to the serving time to prevent it from getting soggy.

This is the final week of the A-Z Street Foods Blogging Marathon

Hope you have been enjoying the ride with the following dishes so far this month on this blog :

Day 1 Amiri Khaman (Gujarat)
Day 2 Badam Makha (Kolkata)
Day 3 Churros (Mexican)
Day 4 Dabeli (Gujarat)
Day 5 Esquites (Mexican)
Day 6 Fruit Kulfi (Kolkata)
Day 7 Galouti Kebab (Lucknow)
Day 8 Hyderabadi Mirchi Bajji
Day 9 Idly Chilly
Day 10 Jalebi (with Poha) - Indori special
Day 11 Khara bhath
Day 12 Lucknowi veg Biryani
Day 13 Mango Mastani
Day 14 Nachos with Salsa
Day 15 Oats Chaat
Day 16 Papdi Corn Chaat
Day 17- to be posted-
Day 18 Rabdi
Day 19 Shahi Tukda

Prep time - 10 Mins, cook time -10 Mins , serves : 4
  • 8 bread slices (i prefer brown bread) - sliced diagonally
  • Sugar - 1/4 cup (adjust to taste)
  • Cardamom powder - 1/8 tsp
  • Oil / ghee - for shallow frying (I used the former) - you may deep fry too
  • Rabdi - to top (as required)
  • Saffron stands and chopped nuts - as required

  1. Dissolve the sugar in just enough water for it to immerse in, boil and make a one-string consistency. Add cardamom powder, stir wel and keep aside in a shallow bowl
  2. Cut the bread slices (you may trim the edges if necessary) ,Toast the slices till light crispy, then shallow fry in 1-3 tsp of oil or ghee till golden on both sides.
  3. To assemble:
  4. Dip the shallow fried bread slices in the sugar solution and immediately take them out onto a wired rack with a plate beneath to catch any drips.
  5. Arrange the soaked slices on a plate, top with Rabdi and more malai if you wish.
  6. Garnish with chopped nuts and saffron and serve immediately
  • Some people make this skipping the sugar syrup completely and only dunking the deep fried bread in condensed milk / Rabdi. Either way it is a delicacy. I got this recipe from a friend in Lucknow. 
  • Bread can be deep fried or shallow fried. I first dry roasted it and then shallow fried in a few tsp of oil to get a golden brown. It was perfect
  • If the syrup is thick, you may a few TBSP of boiled and cooled milk to thin it out and then dunk the slices in the sweetened milky sauce :)

 Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 87
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