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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Live to eat or eat to live! (Ishita)

It’s getting colder day by day. Winter is when I love to indulge in soups and bakes. Below are some recipes that have been sourced from the internet by my sis-in-law who’s a very good cook and passed on to me via my mom who of course tried these out successfully and made one such family reunion many years ago so memorable! Nothing beats having a scrumptious home cooked meal with friends and family!!

I’ve picked out my favourites below and looked up links for the same. There are two soup recipes (one a veggie delight and the other a very delicious non-veg soup!) and finally a bake which tastes as good as it sounds :P … ENJOY!

Spicy Tomato & Cilantro (coriander/dhania leaves) Soup (Serves: 4)


- 1 ½ pounds tomatoes
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 scallions (spring onions) chopped
- 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
- ½ tsp crushed garlic
- 1 tsp crushed black pepper
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (dhania/coriander leaves)
- 3 cups water
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp light cream to serve


To peel the tomatoes, plunge them into very hot water, using a spoon lift them almost at once. The skin should now peel off quickly and easily. Once this is done, chop the tomatoes roughly.

In a medium size saucepan, heat the oil. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf and chopped scallions (spring onions) and for a few minutes till soft and translucent, but not brown.

Add the salt, crushed garlic, pepper and fresh chopped cilantro (coriander/dhania leaves) to the tomato mixture. Stir in the water.

Bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, dissolve the cornstarch in a little cold water, set aside.

Remove the soup from the heat and pour through a strainer placed over a bowl. Discard the strained vegetables.

Return the soup to the pan, add the cornstarch mixture and stir over low heat for about 3 minutes till thick. Pour into soup bowls and serve with a swirl of cream!

Shrimp & Corn Soup (Serves: 4)

There are a lot of links on google for this recipe. Each one slightly different from the other of course…you can look up some others or simply try this one below which we tried out at home :)


- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely minced
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 3 cups fish stock
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cups shelled cooked small shrimp
- 1 ½ cups whole corn kernels
- 1 ½ tsp chopped fresh dill/thyme (herbs…I’ve used dried ones too)
- Hot pepper sauce
- ½ cup light cream
- Salt to taste


Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pan. Add the onion and cook over low heat for 8-10 minutes until soft.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium size saucepan. Add the flour & cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring. Stir in the stock and milk, bring to a boil and cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently.

Cut each shrimp into 2-3 pieces. Add to the onion with the corn kernels & dill/thyme and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Stir the sauce mixture into the shrimp and corn mixture. Remove 2 cups of the soup and puree in a blender. Return it to the rest of the soup in the pan and stir well. Season with the salt and pepper and hot pepper sauce to taste.

Add the cream and stir to blend. Heat the soup almost to boiling point, stirring frequently

Ladle into soup bowls, serve hot garnished with sprigs of dill.

This last recipe is also a tried and tested one. Comes out yummy and is ideal for a winter meal. It’s also listed in this site - which is where I think my sis-in-law got it from :)

Paneer (Cottage cheese) Casserole Bake

Making time: 45 minutesServes:
Shelf life: Few hours ahead of requirement.


- 200 Gms Paneer (cottage cheese) sliced into thin horizontal slabs or grated.
- 1 tbsp. grated paneer
- 2 potatoes, boiled, peeled and thinly sliced rounds
- 1 large capsicum (Green bell pepper), sliced into thin strips
- 1 ½ cups thick white sauce
- 2 sliced bread ground to crumbs
- 2 crushed green chillies
- 1 finely chopped spring onion
- 1 tsp black pepper powder
- ½ tsp sugar
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp. butter

For the white sauce –

- 2 tbsp plain flour
- ½ tbsp butter
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 1 tbsp grated cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste

Method for the white sauce –

Dry roast flour in a heavy pan, remove, and keep aside to cool. Mix cooled flour in a little milk till smooth and no lumps remain. Heat milk in a pan and add butter. Add milk and flour paste, cheese, salt and pepper. Stir continuously till it boils. Let it boil till the mixture has a thick sauce like consistency, then remove from heat and set aside.

Method for the Casserole Bake -

Grease and oven proof casserole generously with butter. Place a layer of potato slices to cover the bottom. Sprinkle salt, pepper, sugar and ½ tbsp of white sauce.

Place over it a layer of paneer slabs and season it as done for the potato layer. Repeat layering till potato and paneer is used up.

Now sprinkle the capsicum and repeat seasoning.

Mix the spring onions and green chillies in the remaining sauce and pour over the capsicum to cover fully.

Sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 250 degrees for 20 minutes or till top layer is golden brown.

Happy Feasting!!!


  1. I love a good soup anytime of the year :) tnxx Ish!

    I'm gonna experiment with this one cos it sounds DIVINE :)


  2. I love Tomato soup :)) yum yum ... thanks for sharing ish :))

    I am learning cooking from last 15 days !!

  3. Hi,Ishi..thanks for the tomato soup recipe..quite a,err,yummy post,this one.:)

  4. ishi yaaar... I toh duno how to cook even wid a receipe.... :(

    lekin yummy ones yaar... kuch toh khila de.. ;)


  5. great snakes!!! i woke up this morning that i'm gonna try my luck in the kitchen this weekend and there u r with this post....
    cool.. i'll go ahead with it!!
    now, i got a question.... instead of shrimp if i use chicken?? and how should teh chicken be dressed?? chopped or boneless or wot????
    don't have an oven else would have tried that out too!!!!

  6. I think i have to try paneer caserole bake :D *slurp* *slurp*