Coconut peanut noodles


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Coconut peanut noodles in a soup or rather soupy peanut noodles to be more precise. But what’s in a name, any noodle in this broth would taste as fabulous, which is the gorgeous alchemy of cooking. It’s really about how different ingredients marry each other to form something so deliciously splendid that you’re left licking the contents of the bowl to the last ceramic whiff.

There are Thai tones to this dish, what with the astringent uplifting bouquet of lemongrass that harmonizes ever so perfectly with the moody mellowness of coconut milk and peanut butter, it is strictly speaking not exactly Thai as globally Asian. It tends to borrow and makes something of its own and that’s really the beauty of home cooking.

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What’s really great about this noodle bowl is that it came into existence simply out of necessity to get rid of forgotten bits of vegetables and shrimps languishing about in the vegetable drawer and freezer. There are mushrooms, broccoli, peppers, spring onions, lemongrass, garlic, coconut milk, peanut butter, shrimps, dried red chillies (also the name of this blog), soy sauce and water. Phew. And really, you could omit or add anything to your liking. If I happened to have some other vegetables this lineup would look a bit different.

 

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also some noodles. Use whatever noodles you fancy. I’m using some sweet potato starch noodles.

 

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We begin rather ceremoniously with a bit of vegetable chopping.

 

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followed by lemongrass smashing, and this step is important because it starts releasing all the flavours that stay compacted in this stem of wonders.

 

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saute sliced green onions (mostly the white part) and garlic in oil.

 

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throw in the chillies

 

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once a wall of fragrance hits your face, throw in chopped mushrooms and keep sauteing

 

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and a bit of salt

 

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in the meanwhile start cooking your noodles in boiling water.

 

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throw in the smashed lemongrass and cook for about a minute

 

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after which we pour in some water. Let it come to a gentle simmer

 

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and add coconut milk.

 

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let the flavours mingle and come to a simmer

 

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add in peanut butter

 

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and soy sauce

 

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stir everything together and we are greeted with this gorgeous fawn coloured broth that smells of heaven. Cover and let it come to a bubble

 

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Like so

 

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Finally, add shrimps

 

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and vegetables. Cover and cook until it comes to a boil.

 

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Finally, turn off the heat and fish out whatever remains of lemongrass. It has done its job. By now your kitchen is exploding into aromatic pops.

 

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Place cooked noodles in a bowl and pour over the peanut coconut soup

 

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garnish with spring onion greens or coriander.

 

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and serve hot!


Ingredients

Noodles of your choice: 1 packet or 1 nest

Chopped vegetables: 60g (1 cup)

Assorted mushrooms: 150g (2 cups)

Shrimps (optional): 70g (1/2 cup)

Coconut milk: 200mls (3/4 cup)

Water: 200mls (3/4 cup)

Peanut butter : 2 heaped tbsps (1/4 cup)

Garlic: 2 cloves

Spring onions: 2-3

Dried red chillies (optional): 2-3

lemon grass: 1 stalk

soy sauce: 4 tbsps

Oil: 1 tbsp



Recipe instructions:

cook noodles and reserve cooked noodles into a bowl.

Chop vegetables, green onions and garlic into bite sized pieces.

Smash the lemongrass stalk to release its oils.

Heat oil in a wok and add white part of green onions and garlic and saute until fragrant. Add dried red chillies and saute for a few more seconds and add in the mushrooms, lemongrass and cook for a minute. Add in salt and water and let it come to a light simmer.

Add coconut milk and let it come to a slight simmer again, after which add in peanut butter and soya sauce. Stir to combine and make sure peanut butter doesn’t settle in a lump. Cover and let it bubble, finally adding in the shrimps and chopped vegetables. Cover  and let bubble again.

Once it’s come to a boil, turn off the gas and fish out lemongrass stalk.

Pour peanut coconut broth over cooked noodles. Garnish with greens of spring onion or coriander and  serve hot.

Minestrone di zucca aka Pumpkin Soup


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Well, I think it sounds better in Italian than a plain old pumpkin soup…If you’re freezing your butt in your part of the world as well, then I think this is the best recipe to salvation.  Apparently !!!! this freezing weather has sort of motivated us to hit the gym more frequently than ever, simply because piles of warm clothing can’t act as a ruse forever..winters act as a catalyst to pile on the pounds as well.. which is why I came under a lot of pressure to cook something tasty and healthy.. we all know if it’s healthy it ain’t gonna be very tasty.. come on admit it.. So anyways.. I was going through all my recipe’s, my cook books and the internet looking for all the healthy/tasty recipe’s, which is when I stumbled on this recipe for ‘pumpkin soup’ by Ritu Dalmia. It’s in her cook book ‘Italian Khana’ and well, I gave it a try…… to a roaring success.. My husband couldn’t get enough of it, and since that day I’ve made this more than a dozen times.. You have to make this to believe it..

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bwahaha..okay let’s be serious..

Ingredients

adapted from Minestrone di zucca | Pumpkin soup |Verona | – Ritu Dalmia’s Italian Khana

500 gms pumpkin peeled and cubed

1 large onion chopped

1 clove garlic minced

1 lt chicken stock/vegetable stock or just plain ol’ water

1 tbsp olive oil (the original recipe calls for 75 gms butter, but I adapted this to make a healthier version)

300 mls low-fat milk (use whole milk if you like)

1 pinch grated nutmeg

grated parmesan (optional)

salt & pepper to season

1/2 tsp paprika & 1/4 tsp chilly flakes (my addition. leave them out if you want)

Season the pumpkin cubes with salt, drizzle a bit of olive oil, place in a baking tray and roast in preheated oven at 200℃ for 20-25 minutes.

In a large saucepan, heat the oil and cook the onions till pink and add the garlic. and cook for another minute. Add the roasted pumpkin and stock or water and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool a little.

In a blender puree the soup till it’s all reached a smooth consistency.

Pout back into the pan with the milk and heat again, seasoning with salt pepper, nutmeg and chillies if you’re using..

Ennjjjooyyy !!!!!

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Okay, here’s another picture..

Warm vegetable soup for the soul


Summer’s are all gone, they’re over.. Pulling something out of the fridge is a chore, and I feel hungry all the time.. yup the winters are on their way and it’s by far the best reason to be in my kitchen.. so cozy.. so warm.

this soup came as an epiphany, when I realized it was too late for breakfast and too early for lunch and I wanted to eat something very filling, yet not very tedious.. something comforting but not at the expense of screwing my waistline.. This soup is the perfect fix and easily manageable with a medley of vegetables and top notch taste.. You’ll actually feel proud of downing more than the required amount of greens.. aah the guilt free feeling of eating something hearty..

the ingredients line up is mostly greens, but you can use whichever vegetables you like.. I have bock choy (I’m in love with them as of now), spring onions, lettuce, heaped teaspoon of cornflour, 2 red chillies chopped, 2 fat cloves of garlic, 1/2 inch cube of ginger, 1 long long green chilly, 300 mls water, black pepper, soya sauce, vinegar and of course salt.. I didn’t use any since the soya sauce was more than sufficient.. & yes 2 tsps oil.

Not very artistic, but here is a clear view of all the chopped greens. I think I just tore off the lettuce with my bare hands.. such was my ferocity ( I was watching hulk while cooking this .. sorry !!)

and now we start.. first in were the chillies.. the red and the green

the ginger & the garlic follow.. this is the most fabulous aroma ever.. This was a great meal

Stir ’em together and breathe in deep.. mmm

in goes the black pepper, sprinkle liberally.

followed by the vinegar.. a nice & generous splash

a healthy dose of soya sauce

we now proceed with the vegetables..

It was at this point that I seriously thought I should have used a bigger pot or pan.. but ok.. what is life without a few risks??

can you imagine the concentration I was putting in while stirring this without spilling anything outside and watching Hulk at the same time.. which reminds me ‘how hot is Edward Norton??’ say.. I think it was watching the green man that prompted me to make this soup in the first place.. hmm anyways..

See.. can you see all of it coming together? I was finally able to combine them all without much spillage..

isn’t this the prettiest? Once it’s all combined, just sprinkle the cornglour all over and mix it well in.

add in water because it’s a soup.. you can also ad in your favourite stock.. no problem at all.

I also added in 1/2 tsp of sugar, just to balance out the taste.. it doesn’t sweeten the soup at all. Just gives it a very nice undertone.

We’re almost done.. just cover it and let cook for 5 minutes or so.. I promise this is going to be the best brunch soup ever.

Uncover for a moment.. look at it boiling, smell in deep and admire for a while

This is it.. it’s done.. it was so pretty I had tears of joy.. every bite is so full of flavors. If you want it as a complete meal, I suggest add in some boiled noodles ,or chunks of ham or leftover chicken.. This was such a good meal, my impatience resulted in a burnt tongue, a t-shirt with soya stains and the most memorable Hulk movie ever.

Have fun with this recipe.. !! Enjoy.