Thursday, July 16, 2015

Fakesoupa | Comfort Greek Style

Come rains and I think about soups. Nothing can beat the comfort provided by soups on rainy night. Though tomato is a regular favourite, I try to make something or other always. This time is the Greek style lentil soup - "Fakes" soup adapted from Souvlaki For the Soul. An easy to make simple yet perfect with brown lentils, basic stock and spices and drizzle of red wine vinegar and Olive oil to round it off.

Whole Brown Lentils (whole masoor dal): 1.25 cups
Onion: 1 finely chopped ~ 1 cup
Carrot: 1 finely chopped ~ 1 cup +
Garlic: 3 medium cloves finely chopped

Dried Bay Leaves:1-2 big leaves or 1 tsp as per taste
Dried Oregano: 2 tsp

Water: 4 cups +  as needed

Tomato Puree : 1 cup 
Tomato Paste : 1 tbsp

Salt & Pepper: as per taste

Red Wine Vinegar + Extra Virgin olive oil: for drizzling
Parsley: for garnish (optional)

In a deep pan saute onion, garlic and carrot in little olive oil till transparent.

Stir in the picked, washed and drained lentils. Add in the rest of the ingredients except oil and vinegar and bring to boil on medium heat.

Reduce to simmer and let it cook for 30 minutes or more until the lentils are cooked yet the teexture is to our taste and the flavours mingled well. 

Serve garnished with red wine vinegar and extra evoo and fresh parsley.

If you find the time too much, you can use precooked lentils and add them to the onions and thus reduce the cooking time. If you don't have tomato paste, then add more tomato puree based on your tanginess quotient.

Greek oregano is much preferred in this though you can go for the regular Italian one like I did. Taste will be slightly different in this case. But still the soup was great and we lapped it up. 

You can play around the ingredients and add small pasta, potatoes, choice of herbs etc.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Workaholic's Hot Chocolate | GoodBye to Chilly Weather

The moment it rains, I make sure I enjoy a cuppa of Hot Chocolate either spiced white hot chocolate or the French style Chocolat Chaud. This time I thought I will do it differently as I saw a thicker version by Paula Deen.

A custardy hot chocolate.... I had never heard of custard being added to hot chocolate.Ofcourse the taste was awesome as they compliment each other. But I was taken aback by the thickness of the chocolate drink. Its very filling too and I skipped my next meal after drinking a cuppa. No wonder its called a workaholic's hot chocolate -- you can keep ooooonnnnnn working for a long time without even taking a snack break.

The original recipe involved making a custard from scratch with eggs and milk, I went for the easier eggless way using custard powder. 


Vanilla Custard :1 cup or more prepared using vanilla custard powder with 1 and 1/4 cup as per instructions given in the packet. 
Semi sweet/milk/dark chocolate: 2 tbsp + grated
Hot milk: 1 cup +

Prepare the custard , take it off heat and stir in the chocolate grated or chopped. Make sure it completely dissolves and you get a smooth mixture. To this add in the additional 1 cup of milk or more if too thick. 

Serve warm in cups garnished with marshmallows, more cocoa, grated chocolate or cinnamon.
You can add any spices while making the custard or your choice of flavours.I bet you can't have more than a cup at a time, but you'll end up making it again and again.

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