Category Archives: Salads

Barley Carrot Soup | Barley salad |Healthy soup recipe

Soup takes me back to the piping hot tomato soup in paper cups that used to be served during our 3 day long train journey to Bombay. My uncles lived there and we used to be so excited, waiting for the train to reach the destination yet enjoying every bit of the journey too. Me and my brother would sit close to the window seat, watching trees, fields and mountains pass by, counting the number of bogies in goods trains while waiting for food hawkers to come, to buy their snacks. 😍

Among them, tomato soup used to be sold early in the morning and I specially would wake up early for it (sacrificing my precious sleep for that delicious soup πŸ˜…). As soon as they started calling out, soup.. soup.. I would wake up my father asking him to buy one for me (spoiling his sleep too 😬). But the feel of drinking that tasty hot soup while looking outside the window of the train, enjoying nature come alive early in the morning with the background music of birds chirping, is something which can’t be replicated at all. Which is why even after so many years, it is as fresh in my memory. ❀️

After that, if there is any soup I loved, it is my mother’s tomato soup. I can never forget how lovingly she made it and we used to enjoy it together in small steel bowls with mickey mouse spoons (😍) sitting together chatting away (major missing 😭).

It is the same recipe that I am sharing today but have included barley in it too. Barley was brought home by my husband as he wanted me to taste it after eating it in his company “canteen” (as he calls it but it is no less than a restaurant which offers so many delicious options in the buffet). He said soup and salad with it tastes delicious and I looked through few recipes on how to cook it and combined it with Amma’s soup recipe.

It tasted really good and I loved the soft texture of Barley. Funniest part is when I made the soup for the first time and was serving my son, he asked me what was in the other bowl too. I said salad. He asked me to mix both in his bowl. I told him that’s not the way to eat it but he still was confident he wanted to eat it that way. πŸ˜… So I gave in and served him exactly that way. (Tip to survive motherhood: Give in if it’s safe to do before tantrums start. 🀣)

And he could not stop saying “Amma, yummy!!” with every bite while I was very surprised at this weird combo. πŸ™„ Then, when we tried it, it was delicious for real. πŸ˜„ The bite of cucumber, carrots and onion gave a great texture as well as flavour to the soup. Since then, we have been eating this soup the same way. πŸ˜€ Huge credits to my two year old boy for showing us the right way to enjoy this soup. 😍

Sorry for the super long write up. Did not realise how lengthy this turned out to be but don’t feel like cutting it short too. You can always skip if it bores you. 😁 Hope you all try this healthy, filling and tasty soup. Happy and healthy cooking!! Happy winters too. The best time to enjoy soup! ❀️

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { Serves 4 }

1/2 Cup Barley (I make both soup and salad using this measure)

1/2 a large Carrot (about 1/2 Cup chopped)

1 medium sized Tomato

1 small sized Onion

Red chilli powder to taste

Salt to taste

Step by step recipe:

1. Wash barley well and soak in about three times water overnight or for 6 to 8 hours. This makes barley soft and aids in digestion too.

2. Then drain water from it and add to a pressure cooker. Add water a little above the level of barley (about 2 cm) and pressure cook till soft. It takes me 1 whistle on high flame and then reduce to medium flame and keeping for 10 mins. It gives me perfectly cooked barley.

3. At this point, I remove 1/2 Cup of this cooked barley and add to my salad (will share the recipe of that in the notes towards the end of the recipe.) It leaves me with 1 Cup of cooked barley. Just add chopped carrot, onion and tomato along with 1/2 Cup water.

4. Pressure cook for about 3 whistles on high flame or cook till the carrots turns soft. Allow it to cool.

5. After it cools down, puree it in a mixer. Leave some cooked barley without pureeing as it gives a wonderful bite to the soup. I leave about 1/2 Cup of cooked barley.

6. Now add the blended puree back into the pressure cooker and add red chilli powder and salt. Also add water to make it into your desired consistency. Bring to a boil and cook for about two mins. Soup is ready! Garnish with Coriander leaves. Serve with croutons or bread sticks.

Notes:

* You can garnish with butter, cream or pepper or anything you like. I make it very basic as my kids love it this way.

* My son enjoys this soup along with salad in one bowl. It makes for a tasty and filling snack or a meal in itself.

* For the barley salad, add finely chopped cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, carrots, coriander leaves and green chillies (optional) in a bowl. Add cooked barley with salt, pepper powder and lemon juice. Mix well.

* Barley absorbs a lot of water when pressure cooked. So add atleast about 2 cm level of water more while pressure cooking it.

* I soak Barley when I remember. Drain the water after 8 hours and refrigerate. This lasts well for couple of days. So when I need to make it, I already have the soaked barley. So can make both the soup and salad instantly.

* Adding more carrot or onions can make the soup very thick and sweet. So if you are not a fan of sweet soups, you can reduce the amount of both.

* Don’t add all the barley while pureeing. Save half of it as it gives a good bite to the soup.

* The soup thickens as you keep it. So if you are making ahead, you might need to add little water to bring it to desired consistency.

* These are the other soups that I make regularly.

# Narangi Shorba (Orange flavoured Pumpkin soup )

# Easy Cream of Mushroom soup

Carrot Kismuri | Konkani style salad

Most days, our dinner is just ukde pej (matta rice cooked soft, eaten with its gruel) and couple of accompaniments to go with it. As much as it may seem from my posts that I cook a lot, our daily meals are very simple and basic.

One of the reason why I don’t (or rather can’t) cook elaborate meals are my kids who hardly give me time in the kitchen (I know it’s hard to believe πŸ˜€). My son pulls my dress (he literally roams around behind me with his fingers clutching my dress πŸ˜‚ #fevicolkajod πŸ˜…) asking me to play football with him while my daughter who loves colouring asks me to draw something for her to colour (One is making me a footballer and the other, an artist 😬😬).

But my time passes very well and both the activities are so good to calm the mind. Never knew drawing is such a stress reliever. And about football, try playing it with a two year old who knows only to laugh when you kick the ball. It’s such precious source of happiness that I can’t thank God enough for blessing me with both of them. ❀️

And on days when they don’t leave me to cook at all, this carrot kismuri or Konkani style salad is our accompaniment for the day. Very quick to make, hardly taking 10 mins and tastes heavenly with pej and some pickle to go with it. The kids love it very much which makes it a perfect side dish for busy days.

Hope you all try and love it too. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

2 large Carrots, peeled and grated (about 2 Cups grated carrots)

3 Green chillies or to taste

1/4 Cup freshly grated Coconut

3 Tbsp finely chopped Coriander leaves

Juice from 1 1/2 Indian lemons

Salt to taste

For seasoning:

1 tsp Coconut oil

1/2 tsp Mustard seeds

A pinch of Hing or asafoetida

One sprig of curry leaves

Step by step recipe:

1. Take the grated carrots in a large mixing bowl. Add grated coconut, green chillies, salt and lemon juice.

2. Now heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds, add Hing and curry leaves. Fry till curry leaves turn crisp. Pour seasoning over the carrots. Mix everything well. Done!

3. It’s really that simple. Serve along with white rice and rasam or matta rice gruel with some pickle. Trust me, it tastes delicious!

Notes:

* You can add finely chopped onions to this too but I skip as after a while, it starts smelling. If made without onions, I can make even couple of hours beforehand and keep at room temperature.

* Some people add a tsp of Urad dal to the seasoning but I prefer only mustard seeds in it.

* If you add soaked moong dal and cucumbers to this, it becomes Kosambari which is another accompaniment that I make regularly. You can check the recipe here.

Moong dal Kosambari | Konkani style seasoned salad

Click on the image to save the recipe on Pinterest.

I have been blogging continually for a week now and my readers must be wondering what kind of energy has got into me πŸ˜…. Actually I realized how much time I was wasting in overthinking and felt it was best if I deviate my time towards something productive. So here I am with my son sleeping in my arms completing his evening sleep while I am blogging with my favorite songs in the background on spotify instead of random browsing or feeding my moody thoughts (which are sometimes too much to handle for the sensitive me 😬).

This kosambari is my favorite accompaniment to our rice meals. It is quick to assemble, very healthy with protein rich moong dal and tastes yummy too. People from Karnataka and Konkanis know this as they have grown up eating it at home, in temples and even in weddings.

There are many variations but this is how I make kosambari. It can beat any exotic salad in terms of taste and I am sure will won’t be able to stop eating it. It’s a favorite of my family and I have to make a huge bowl of it. Even then I hardly get to eat couple of spoons of it (my son comes when I eat my dinner and finishes off my share of the kosambari too πŸ˜‚).

Hope those who don’t know will try and love it. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

1/4 Cup Moong dal

3 English cucumbers ( I use them as Indian ones are rarely available here)

1 Carrot, peeled and grated

3 Green chillies or to taste

3 Tbsp freshly grated coconut

Juice of one Indian lemon

Salt to taste

For seasoning:

1 tsp Coconut oil

1 tsp Mustard seeds

Few curry leaves

A pinch of Hing powder

Step by step recipe:

1. Soak moong dal in almost double the amount of water for about 30 to 45 mins. It will swell in size and when you bite, there will be no rawness in it. Then you can use it. Meanwhile, also wash well and chop cucumbers. Add cucumbers, grated carrot, green chillies and grated coconut in a mixing bowl.

2. When the moong dal is soaked, drain water from it completely and add to this along with salt.. Also heat oil in a pan, splutter mustard seeds and fry curry leaves slightly in it. Add Hing powder too. Then pour the seasoning over this.

3. Finally add lemon juice and mix well.

4. Serve with rice meals or enjoy as it is.

Note:

* Make sure to soak the moong dal well. When you taste and see by 30 mins, you will know whether it has rawness or can be eaten. If you feel it’s still raw, soak for more time. Anyhow, by maximum one hour, it will swell well and will be ready to be added to the salad.

* You can make this with cucumber alone or carrot alone but I love mixing both as it gives a good flavour and looks good too.

* Goes well as an accompaniment with rice and rasam.

Click on the image to save the recipe on Pinterest.

Vaingana Bajji | Konkani style mashed brinjal

After my last post of Vastad rotti (pan fried version of Mangalore Buns), I was reminded of another Konkani delicacy which I used to literally beg my grandmother to make. It is this Vaingana bhajji. She used to make with green brinjals (or gulla in Konkani/Kannada) and it tasted so heavenly that I could eat it as it is without rice.

Since we hardly get green brinjals here, I use purple ones for making Bajji. Also traditionally, the brinjal is roasted over gas or wood fire and then mashed after removing skin. If you have the option, then you can do it too. But since we have an electric cooking range, I boil it in water and mash it. My grandmother did this way too and as Amma says, this is much easier (mothers always want less work for their kids and Amma told me to try this way 😁). Life became easier after that and Bajji became our regular dish when we got fresh brinjals.

We love simple meals and this is an accompaniment which is very flavorful yet very basic. Hope you all try and love it too. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

1 large Purple Brinjal or 2 medium sized Green Brinjal or 3 small purple brinjals (about 2 cups chopped)

1 medium sized Onion, finely chopped

2 to 3 green chillies, finely chopped

1/2 tsp Hing or Asafoetida powder

2 tsp Tamarind paste

1 Tbsp Coconut Oil

Salt to taste

3 Tbsp chopped coriander leaves

Step by step recipe:

1. Take chopped brinjals in a vessel.

2. Add little water and cook till it turns very soft. Water should be absorbed too.

3. Mash the brinjal very well using a masher.

4. Now add chopped onions, green chillies, tamarind pulp, hing, salt and coconut oil.

I have used pink salt or rock salt or kaala namak here. Hence the colour pink.

5. Mix well and garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve immediately as an accomplishment with rice meals.

Notes:

* I have made it with all varieties of brinjals and it tastes great with any variety of them.

* Traditionally bhajji is made by roasted over gas or wood fire but my grandmother made this version too and I make this because I don’t have gas stove here (nor wood fire πŸ˜…).

* Don’t add a lot of water while cooking the brinjals and make sure the water is absorbed well and brinjal is cooked well too.

* You can skip onions if following satvik diet but onions does add a wonderful bite.

* I usually make this with our Matta rice congee and it tastes heavenly with it.

* With white rice and rasam, bhajji makes an excellent accompaniment.

Mixed bean salad

We love salads with our meal. My kids specially love them. Dinner time is less hassle free when salad is available as they finish off without any fuss. So I make different varieties of salads everyday.

Since we are vegetarians, our protein comes from pulses and beans. So it is important to include them in our diet. And what better way that this salad. Also, love how gorgeous it looks. Mixed beans give a wonderful bite and is an amazing accompaniment to the meal.

I love eating this salad in itself too. Makes for an excellent snack option. Hope you all like this idea. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp Kidney beans/ Rajma

2 Tbsp Pigeon peas/ Black eyed beans/Lobia

2 Tbsp White or black Chana/ chickpeas

1 medium sized Onion

1 medium sized Tomato

2 green chillies

1 tsp Chat masala

Salt to taste

2 Tbsp coriander leaves

Juice of half a lemon

Step by step recipe:

1. Wash well and soak the beans for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.

2. Pressure cook it together till it turns soft. Cool and refrigerate. Use when making salad.

Note: Kidney beans and chickpeas take the same time to cook. Pigeon peas cook quickly but still does not mash when cooked along with the other beans.

3. To the cooked mixed beans, add finely chopped onions, tomatoes, green chillies, coriander leaves, chat masala and salt.

4. Squeeze lemon juice, mix well and you are done.

5. Serve freshly made salad with your meal or make this a meal in itself.

Notes:

* You can also add moong sprouts to this salad.

* I sometimes add cucumber too.

* Green chillies are optional if making for kids. You can add a pinch of black pepper powder instead.

* Serve immediately after mixing onions in it as it will start smelling if kept for long.

* You can soak and cook the beans. Refrigerate and use when required.