Nourishing Masoor Dal for the New Mom. Easy tasty split red lentils and beans to facilitate lactation. Nutritious, high in protein and minerals, easy to digest
I fell in foodie love with these pretty pale green Patty Pan Squash when I visited the Union Square Greenmarket in New York City last week. I paired them with green capsicum in a Patty Pan Squash Mint Soup, and added mint and fresh orange juice for flavour and cumin and pepper powder for a touch of spice. Lovely purple edible hyacinth flowers again from the Greenmarket made a colourful garnish.
The soup is very easy to make. The patty pan squash were a little firmer than zucchini squash but cooked as quickly. Preparation for making the Patty Pan Squash Mint Soup didn’t take much time or effort, as the squash can be cooked with the rind on, and you can slice it in minutes. The green onion, sweet pepper and patty pan squash all contributed to the slight sweetness of the soup, so I may add a little cayenne pepper the next time I make it (there is going to be next time for sure!)
The Greenmarket was an interesting place to visit. Farmers from around NYC had brought their fresh and mostly organic produce for sale and the stalls were full of colourful heirloom tomatoes, many varieties of greens, squash, eggplant and carrots of different hues. I picked up the green patty pan squash from the D’Attolico Organic Farms Stall, as well as some zucchini flowers which Clarici at the stall very kindly packed with ice so they could remain fresh (almost) till I reached back home to Connecticut that evening. The hyacinths were from the many different edible flowers in the Windfall Farms stall. I wish now that I had also bought the purple Passion Flowers, they would have added oomph to any dish!
The Patty Pan Squash Mint Soup is both refreshing and healthy and doesn’t need much to be done to it once you have sliced the vegetables. Most squash soup recipes that I checked online used yogurt, but I didn’t do that as it might have made the soup bland.
Much of the nutrients in this squash, Vitamin A and C, magnesium, folic acid and potassium are said to be found in the peel (rind), and as the rind is soft and cooks easily, it is healthier not to peel it. Choose young (baby) squash as the seeds would be soft and need not be removed when slicing.
There are different options you can choose for the garnish. I had fresh edible flowers and mint leaves, but would otherwise have toasted almonds and slivered them for garnish, with basil leaves. A pistou of olive oil, parsley and scallions would make for an interesting garnish. Or just make this easy Basil oil from my recipe – it would complement the soft flavours of this soup.
Link to Recipe for Homemade Basil Oil
If you liked this recipe, you may like to try out:
This recipe has appeared first on the blog Tangy Tales when fellow Food Blogger Aparna Parinam asked if I would do a Guest Post on her blog. I had been experimenting with different rasams, all using my homemade rasam powder, and looking at the fresh sliced pineapples on sale at my local grocers, I thought it high time I made the Festive Pineapple Rasam.
The rasam is the South Indian staple and every home has its own favourite recipe. My everyday recipe for Tomato Rasam is with the homemade Rasam Powder from my Mom’s traditional recipe. I sometimes stray from the narrow path and make rasams that are different and equally delicious. Like the Lemon Thyme Rasam (recipe link below). This Festive Pineapple Rasam however is now a special favourite and everyone at home loved it when I made it a couple of weeks ago. My granddaughter Tamma, like most children, is very fond of pineapple and was delighted to find some in the savoury rasam for lunch.
The sweet and tangy tastes of the festive Pineapple Rasam, surprisingly go with each other. I had fresh juicy tomatoes and chunks of pineapple that my daughter had got for me from the store. Pineapples are not easy to peel and slice, and one is never sure if they are ripe and sweet, so its nice to be able to get them already sliced or diced. I prefer them in rings as that makes the slices uniform in thickness and become easier to cook, however as they were available in chunks, I only had to slice the chunks into even sized pieces.
As I had written in blog post in Tangy Tales, the festive Pineapple Rasam is a great favourite in wedding lunches at Chennai as it brings a touch of the exotic to the regular sambar and rasams that are served in the traditional ‘ellai pottu’ or banana leaf lunch. It is also a popular item on the menu of the restaurants run by Hotel Saravana Bhavan, the large chain of vegetarian restaurants which have several branches in India as well as in many countries in the world.
The aromatic and flavoursome festive Pineapple Rasam is easy to make though it needs a little more effort when compared to the regular tomato rasam. It can be made without rasam powder, using only ground pepper and cumin, but I like the more robust version below, with homemade traditional rasam powder. If you are buying rasam powder, try to get a South Indian brand as it is likely to be more authentic. And do follow the steps below to get the real taste of the rasam.
The making of the festive Pineapple Rasam is different in some ways from the traditional rasam as we need to prepare the tempering separately and also puree the pineapple as well as the tomato to different consistencies, before they are added to the boiling rasam. There are several steps, however each of them is easy and it is worth the while when your family tastes this unusual rasam.
Some Kitchen Tips for making festive Pineapple Rasam:
- Th rasam should be made and served when hot and fresh. Reheating can impact the flavours and its not advisable to keep in the fridge for later use and reheat. If you are not going to serve it as soon as it is made, you could keep the rasam as well as the tempering ready, without adding the pineapple puree. When you need to serve the rasam, add the puree to the rasam, boil it for about 30 seconds, add fresh coriander leaves and then the tempering. last of all. You would then be able to serve it freshly made.
- I use home made Rasam powder in this recipe as it gives flavour and authentic ‘rasam taste’. As I said earlier, you could substitute it with fresh ground pepper and cumin seeds (increase the volume of pepper and cumin in the recipe by 1 teaspoon). However in my experience, the festive Pineapple rasam tastes best with rasam powder.
- The measurements used in this recipe are based on 1 standard cup = 250 ml
The recipe below is laid out in stages to make it easier to understand and follow. However the tempering could be made while the rasam is boiling, to save time.
Other Rasam recipes on the blog, including Rasam Powder:
Home made Rasam Powder
Easy, quick Rotini Pasta in Garlicky Burst Cherry Tomato Sauce made from colourful, juicy cherry tomatoes, garlic, fresh basil and whole wheat spirally pasta
A foodie’s happiest times are when the berries are all around in abundance, gorgeously coloured: sapphire blueberries, startling pink strawberries, ruby red cherries, like jewels waiting to be snatched off the shelves in the grocery store or the farmers market. Deep red cherries are the hero of this so easy to make Cherry Compote Yogurt Parfait with Granola. It won me lots of brownie points at home.
This recipe uses fresh Cherry compote, and I have given the link for the recipe below. I have included the time for making the Cherry Compote in the estimated time for this recipe, though the parfait itself takes only 5 minutes to put together, while the cherry compote, though easy to make, takes 15 minutes or so for the cherries and the syrup to reach the right consistency for a compote. The time consuming part is for pitting the cherries and I have provided 10 minutes for this as I sliced the cherries into two and dug out the pits. It would take slightly less time and effort with a cherry pitter.
Click here for my Recipe for the Easy Homemade Cherry Compote used in this delicious Cherry Compote Yogurt Parfait with Granola. The Compote may be prepared ahead and frozen in small packs, and the required quantity be taken out for adding to the parfait.
Quantities in the recipe for the parfait are only indicative, you may change the same according to taste. The cocoa powder is of course the secret ingredient to make the parfait really special. Use a nice sweet honey to the yogurt. I had a bottle of First Agro Farms organic unprocessed white Kashmir honey that I had brought with me fromIndia and this enhanced the flavours of the parfait.
Some variations to the recipe for Cherry Compote Yogurt Parfait with Granola:
- The Parfait may be frozen after preparation, and served just like ice-cream. (It is even more delicious when frozen!)
- Add finely chopped nuts instead of granola – chopped green pistachio would go well with the cherry compote.
- Make as many layers of fresh cherry and granola as you wish, between layers of yogurt.
- Substitute finely minced dark chocolate for the cocoa powder.
- Plain yogurt or those with your preferred flavour may be substituted for the banana yogurt in this recipe, though banana would be the best as it lets the flavour of the cherries shine through.
Here are some more recipes for you to try:
Easy Homemade Cherry Compote of fresh dark red cherries flavoured with cinnamon and vanilla. Add some to ice cream and parfaits, drizzle on desserts or pancakes, make a sandwich!