29 June, 2020
With the onset of Monsoon and the continuing pandemic issue, it is important to pay attention to our diet. It is advisable to have some immunity-boosting foods, to try and keep ourselves as safe and healthy as possible. One of the best ways to build our immunity is to have some soups daily.
Soups are highly recommended for seniors as they are highly nutritious, easy to make as well as a digest; they work as an appetiser and are great to keep you warm in the Monsoons. Try out these different soups as they are highly beneficial, in more than ways than one.
Thoroughly wash and chop the spinach, and pressure cook for two whistles, and leave it to cool. In a pan, saute the onions, garlic, and cloves with the ghee till the onions turn slightly brown. Add the cinnamon powder and sauté for another two minutes and take off the flame. Once this is cooled, add it to a mixer along with the boiled spinach, and blend to smooth paste. You may sieve this paste to ensure no residues of any sort are left behind. Transfer this paste to a wide pan, add in the required amount of salt and pepper and bring it to a boil. You may adjust the quantity of water depending on the thickness you want for the soup. If you like it slightly spicy (teekha), then you may add the chilli powder while boiling. Serve this hit by adding a dollop of butter on top.
Note: While boiling the palak, you may also add vegetables like carrot, tomato, bottle gourd, kohlrabi, etc. to make it more nutritious. In such a case, it is good to sieve the soup before boiling.
The South Indian rasam
In a pan, dry roast the red chillies, peppercorns, cumin, curry leaves and garlic pods. Coarse grind these in a mixer when cooled and set aside the mixture. Heat oil in a kadai, and add chopped tomatoes, haldi and salt and cook it with two glasses of water. When tomatoes are slightly cooked, add the tamarind pulp and continue to simmer for another few minutes, till tomatoes are fully cooked. Now, blend in the ground masala, and simmer undercover for another five to seven minutes.
For the tempering, heat oil in a pan, add the mustard seeds, and when they splutter, add the hing, and a few curry leaves and bits of one red chilli (optional). Garnish this with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot any time. Ideally, it can be served before lunch as an appetiser.
Heat a pan and add the butter/oil. Then add the onions/spring onions and sauté it for a few minutes, till translucent. Now, add the ginger and continue to sauté till the raw smell goes away. If you love the garlic flavour, you could add ginger garlic paste at this step. Next, add the chopped vegetables in the order of cooking. E.g. Cauliflower, mushrooms and potatoes may take slightly longer to cook than cabbage and beans.
Add three cups of water, salt and cover and cook on low flame till the veggies are cooked just right; neither too soft, nor raw. When the soup simmers, blend in pepper powder and simmer for another two minutes. This can be served hot as is or with a dollop of butter. You may also garnish this with chopped spring onions or celery. If you like some spices, you could add some cinnamon/clove powder while sautéing the onions.
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