December 30, 2020

Thai Coconut Noodle Veg Soup ~ Gluten Free, Vegan Asian Noodle Soup with Vegetables

As the readers of this blog would know by now, we are huge fans of soup. While we have our personal favourites, we also love to experiment quite a bit when it comes to soups. What better time to taste a new soup than an indulgent chilly weekend, right ? This Thai inspired Coconut Noodle soup filled with veggies was a hit at home considering we are not fans of coconut milk at all. I used the light coconut milk (2nd extract) for this soup, but if you like you could use a mix of 1st and 2nd extract or even blend coconut cream + 2nd extract to make this soup.

The place where we live doesn't have any defined "Winter" weather but we enjoy the slight dip in the mercury running from Mid-Nov to mid-jan . Priya gave us the "Hot Pot" theme for this edition of Secret Cooking Challenge and my paired blogger Archana gave me Coconut Milk and Ginger as secret Ingredients to make this Aromatic Thai Coconut Noodle Soup. Check out Archana's blog to see what she has come up with the ingredients - Chill Flakes and Garlic that I gave her.




Click here for 21 varieties of easy, flavourful soups you can make at home with basic pantry essentials

Warming spices / aromatics like Ginger and Crushed Black pepper add to the oomph of this broth. This can be had as a soup or a whole meal by itself. I have used my homemade veg stock to add heaps of flavour into this , but you can use plain filtered water too. Addition of noodles is optional, but as we had this as a complete meal WITH some veg momos, noodles added a lot of meatiness to make the entire meal hearty and healthy.  Let's get to the recipe now.

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Thai Coconut Noodle Soup - Vegan and Gluten Free

Prep time - 20 mins, Cook time - 20 mins, Serves - 3 generously 

What you need:

  • Homemade Veg Stock - 300 ml
  • Thin Coconut Milk - 150 ml
  • Olive oil - 2 tbsp
  • Mixed veggies - 100 grams (I used 50 grams Zucchini, 4 tbsp Coloured Peppers, minced french beans 1 tsp , 1/2 peeled Potato)
  • Mixed herbs - 1 tsp
  • Chilli flakes - 1 tsp
  • Bay leaf - 1 no (skip if your broth has this already, like mine did)
  • Garlic - 1 TBSP (finely minced)
  • Shallots - 2 TBSP (optional)
  • Ginger grated - 1 TBSP
  • Crushed Black pepper - 1 tsp
  • Salt - to taste (adjust accordingly if the stock has salt already)
  • Cooked Noodles - 100 grams ( I used GF Rice Noodles)
  • Cherry tomatoes - 6 to 8 (split use)

PIN THIS 21 soup link collection for your ready reference. 

How to:

  • Cook Noodles as per packet instructions, drain and reserve with a dash of olive oil.
  • In a pressure pan / soup pot, add olive oil. Saute garlic, ginger, shallots and bay leaf with a pinch of salt. add half of the halved cherry tomatoes, let them blister a bit. Now add in the mixed veggies and saute them well. Add the veg stock / Veg broth, crushed pepper and pressure cook for 1 whistle (or cook till the veggies are slightly softened , yet have a bite, if using an open pot).  
  • Once the pressure dies down, add the chilli flakes and remaining cherry tomatoes. Adjust salt and spice and add the cooked and drained noodles. Let it simmer for 3-4 min. Add the coconut milk and let it simmer for 1 more min.  
  • Switch off the flame and serve it hot. 




December 3, 2020

How to make Avarekaalu Upma | Hyacinth Beans and Semolina Upma Recipe | ಅವರೆಕಾಯಿ ಉಪ್ಪಿಟ್ಟು

Come December, and we eagerly look forward to Hyacinth Beans, fondly called "AvarekaaLu" in Kannada or "Mochai" in Tamil or "Anapakaya" in Telugu. Hailing from Bangalore, we make a LOT of dishes using this seasonal produce - be it Upma with Broken Rice, Usli (Sundal) Kootu, Akki Rotti (flattened GF Flatbread), Huli / Saaru (Sambhar)  and so many other yummy dishes. 




A kind of Chiwda is also made with these beans (blanched, deep fried and seasoned with salt and spices), and that's another lip-smacking delicacy. The best beans are found in South Karnataka between10-15th December when it's called "Sogadu" (aromatic oil fragrance that these beans release). As I don't have access to that variety, I have made do with what I get locally here. 




See Notes below for more details. 

Notes: 

  1. Today's Upma is made with Semolina, and we make this Upma multiple times during the season. It's taste is quite different from the Upma made with Broken Rice and hyacinth beans. But both taste equally good.
  2. Hyacinth beans also have a high cellulose content which helps in IBS while adding protein and fibre aiding in good gut. 
  3. Usually Onions are not added to this hyacinth beans Upma and I have not used it as well. If you need please go ahead and use it.
  4. If you want to make this 100% vegan, simply skip the ghee and proceed. 

Let's get to the recipe now:

Prep time - 20 mins, Cook time - 15 mins ; Serves - 2~3 generously

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What you need:

  • Semolina / Bombay Rawa / Rava - 300 grams**
  • Oil - 3 TBSP
  • Salt - to taste
  • Hyacinth Bean / Avarekaalu - 100 grams
  • Tempering : Mustard seeds 1 tsp, Urad Dal  + 1- 2 sprigs of curry leaves
  • Cashew nuts - 1 tsp (broken) - optional but recommended (skip for nut allergy)
  • Grated ginger - 1.5 tsp
  • Asafoetida - a generous pinch (simply skip for GF)
  • Minced green chillies - 3- 4  (adjust spice)
  • Grated coconut - 4 tsp (optional but highly recommended)
  • Ghee - 1 tsp (skip for vegan)
  • Garnish - chopped coriander leaves 1 tsp + Lemon juice (opt.) 1/2 tsp
** You can use Jowar / Sorghum Rava also here with varying results.


Method:
  1. Dry Roast rava / Sooji / Semolina in a pan for 3-4 mins on a low flame till a nice aroma wafts out - keep a watch on burning. Meanwhile boil the hyacinth beans in slightly salted water for 20-25 mins (or pressure cook with 200 ml water + a pinch of salt for 2 whistles) till soft but not mushy. Drain the water and retain the same.  
  2. If using roasted rava, skip this above step, but still go ahead and warm it slightly for 20-30 seconds. 
  3. Cool the rava in a large plate.
  4. In a kadai / Non stick pan, heat oil. Add the tempering ingredients. Once the urad dal has turned golden brown, tip in the cashew nuts, asafoetida (if using), ginger and green chillies. 
  5. Now add the cooked beans, cooked water (2.5 times the rava measured) and bring to a boil. Add all the ghee, salt and half of the grated coconut at this stage. 
  6. When. the water comes to rolling boil. add the roasted rava / Semolina and on a medium flame, keep mixing till the water is incorporated and there are no lumps in the Upma. 
  7. Cook Covered for 8-10 mins on low-medium flame. 
  8. Fluff it up once done. Finish with chopped coriander, remaining coconut and mix well. Add lemon juice if using. 
  9. Serve hot as it is. This Upma is quite spicy so it doesn't need any chutney / side dish although serving a chutney alongside is totally optional.  

If you chance upon this beans this season, do try out this Upma. I have explained it with step by step pictures in the collage above as it goes to A-Z Recipe Challenge where every month we take a new ingredient alphabetically that we cook with. This edition I feature S For Semolina as my key ingredient. 

 


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