Roasted Purple Carrots Soup

Mint and Fenugreek flavored Roasted Purple Carrots Soup

Roasted Purple Carrot soup with mint and fenugreek

Soups were never made at home, growing up. The only soup that I grew up accustomed to, was a tomato soup served with croutons ordered on a rare visit to a North Indian style restaurant. It is amusing that we South Indians love to eat North Indian food when eating out and I hear it is vice-versa up north. Whatever the case, soups were not a norm. Over the years, especially more so after I began blogging, soups started to kind of grow on me and my kitchen started to see more of simmering soup pots, then on. Squashes, Apples, Pasta and Vegetables, Barley and Celery, Tomato, Spinach and Carrots – the list of vegetables that have been my soup experiment guinea pigs, is not quite bad considering my aforementioned background.

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Sprouted Mung and Pomegranate Salad + Magazine subscriptions {10} GIVEAWAY

Sprouted Mung and Pomegranate Salad with grated coconut and Pink salt

mung sprouts pom salad

I know. The entire blogging world is displaying cakes, cookies and desserts of the best kinds and here I chose to speak about a salad, right? But lately, this is what I have been making a lot of, thanks to pomegranates being available in the stores in truck loads. Besides, Mr. K (that’s one of his endearments) loves when I pack this salad for his lunch. Handy lunch according to him, along with a bottle of protein shake to wash it down with. BTW, quite a many years back, this salad was on my wedding menu as well. That’s a food memory story I promise to share another day.

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Sprouted Green Gram and Pear salad

This is less of a recipe and more of a combination of healthful ingredients, inspired by a feta cheese and field greens salad that I ate a couple of weeks back at a friend’s wedding.
Being the cheese hater that I am (pardon me cheese lovers!), I adapted it to suit my taste by swapping cheese with my favorite sprouted green grams and including pear, the autumn fruit.

I find sprouting – every aspect of it from cleansing the seeds, to draining the excess water, to wrapping it in wet cloth, to providing the right environment, to be deeply satisfying, almost meditative.
There’s something so magical about sprouting where in we get to witness nature’s most basic visual proof of life and a symbolic of the circle of life in its simplest everyday form..
Through germination,  a dried legume acquires such superior nutritional qualities that it transforms itself into a wonder food of sorts in just a matter of couple of days.
No wonder then, sprouting increases the protein content of green grams (or pulses in general), which propels them to come very close to a complete protein as compared to what they are otherwise. It also reduces their flatulence causing properties and are better digested when compared to their raw form. Sprouts contain much chlorophyll and are best consumed fresh than cooked.
You see why sprouts would make an excellent addition to your diet?
May be this is the reason why in most parts of South India,  green gram is the legume of choice introduced as the first of solid foods in the form of cereal for babies.
One of my other favorite uses of green gram is in ground form – it is an excellent natural soap for face and body which keeps skin soft and supple without any dryness. For the same reason, it is used for bathing just born babies and yes, I have used it for my little girl too!
Spiced pecans and cranberries give this salad a much-needed twist from the usual. Tartness of the cranberries, freshness and crunch of the sprouts, spicy bite of the pecans and mellow sweetness from pear along with lemon juice and spices makes this salad quite unique. With pecans and pears, this salad screams ‘autumn’ from the rooftop.
Pomegranates  are in season, so you could experiment with the red rubies as well. Alfalfa might make a great substitute too, I’ll have to try it next time..
How do you like to eat your sprouts?

Sprouted green gram and Pear salad with spiced pecans and cranberries Recipe

Printable Recipe

Things you’ll need:
  • 1/2 cup green gram
  • 1 bartlette pear, sliced thin
  • 1 carrot, julienne grated
  • 2 tbsp pecans
  • 2 tbsp cranberries
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • ground black pepper
  • paprika
  • red chilli flakes
  • sea salt
  • cilantro
How it’s done:
Wash the green gram well and soak overnight in plenty of water. Next morning, drain the water and wrap the soaked green gram in wet paper towels or soft cotton/cheese cloth. Keep it in a big bowl, cover and let sit in a draft free area (neither chill nor hot) for a day or two until well sprouted.
To roast the pecans, microwave in 30 sec intervals for about 2 mins and let cool. Once crisp, add a drop of oil, paprika and salt to taste and toss to coat well. I prefer to crush the sea salt in a mortar and pestle as it is slightly coarse.
For the dressing, whisk in equal quantities (or to your taste) of lemon juice and EVOO along with ground black pepper and red chilli flakes.
Toss everything together with the dressing, salt, roasted spiced pecans, cranberries and serve immediately.
Sprouted green gram stays well for up to 4-5 days when refrigerated

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Pasta and Vegetables Soup

Guest Post

You know how casual random acts can lead to nice things? For instance, casual browsing on Foodgawker brought me to pause at  these Egyptian Date Crescents that I instantly fell in love with for, I hardly find eggless pastry based desserts that easily. This blog hopping then led to twitter connection.

In the words of Penny de Los Santos whose workshop I recently attended and have been catching myself quoting only her quotes ever since, “Facebook is for those you already know and twitter is for those who you want to know“. Well said.

What are tweets meant for? And that is how I got to know Lynn (@LynnLawandi on twitter) was looking out for someone to guest post while she is moving in and out of condos. Happy to help I was and so was Lynn and that is how this special post has come alive. Lynn has quite a few egg-less desserts like Good old-fashioned Apple Pie, Pear Caramel Ice cream, Plum Tarte Tatin to name a few. So be sure to check her blog.

Over the years, reasons might have changed, but Summer has remained very dear to me. During the pre-teen years, summer was all about a precious vacation with my parents, the only solid three-month long time I would get to spend with them during the entire year. Summers those days were carefree, irrespective of how scorching the sun decided to be. Strolling through mango and guava orchards occasionally helping myself to a few, in a small village in a remote corner of the Karnataka map then seemed like the best way to spend the afternoons. Those were the good old days.

Golden memories are seldom remade. But we sure can create new ones so they turn golden as the years roll. Amidst such teeny whims and fancies this year among all others, summer is special to me for reasons green. My interest in gardening peaked out of the blue off late and the balcony container garden that I expanded during early spring of this year has started showing prolific results. I’m excited more than I can word(ex)press about growing my own herbs – parsley flat and curled, chives, thyme or mint. A realization however late it might seem is yet so true – there’s no greater satisfaction than growing your own silly garden.

The best produce is one that we harvest from our own gardens tended with our very own hands. No supermarket produce stands tall in front of it.

So, now when I want some of the herbs that I normally don’t frequently use but still need occasionally, all I have to do is step out of the door wide open to the balcony and feel the joy abound.

Similar is the joy of cooking with farmer’s market fresh vegetables.

Given the fresh vegetables and herbs, I couldn’t miss thinking about making a hearty pasta and vegetable soup. Since the day I accidentally made this once, I must’ve made it umpteen times and yet never really came to think of sharing with you.

So, it felt like the right time to introduce this recipe to you through this guest post for Lynn.

Please join me at Lynn Lawandi’s to read more about what she’s having!

You can also go straight to the Printable Recipe

Come join SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by KitchenAidRed Star Yeast and Le Creuset.

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