By Kavita Shyam
Feeling lazy to step out to a fancy restaurant or dreading summer stomach infections on eating out. Fret not! We have plenty of easy, nutritious, summery recipes for you to prepare at home. Celebrate the season with these award-winning recipes from our expert chef.
Celebrated chef, Shipra Khanna, winner of MasterChef India season 2 a culinary patron gives us four amazing recipes which are great for summer season, especially when seasoned with goodness of summer fruits and veggies.
1.Avocado and Lime Cream Soup
Shipra says, “Avocado is good for the skin and the taste buds. Avocados are slightly high in fat but their fiber content helps in burning fat too. They are known as Mother Nature’s moisturizers and help reduce signs of aging, regulate blood sugar and promote eye health.”
Ingredients for 6 servings 4 ripe avocados ½ cup fresh mint leaves 3 green chilies, seeded and chopped 2 tsp salt 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper ¼ cup vegetable stock 1 cup whipping cream 2 tbsp lime juice Garnish 6-7 fresh mint leaves Accompaniment Tortilla Chips Method Cut the avocados and discard the seeds.
Scoop the flesh into a food processor. Add the mint leaves, green chilies, salt, pepper and stock and blend, till smooth. Press the purée through a strainer into a bowl to remove all lumps. Stir in the cream and lime juice and adjust seasoning. Keep in the refrigerator to chill. Garnish with mint leaves and serve chilled with tortilla chips.
2. Coconut Sticky Rice with Mango
Shipra says, “What better country than India to replicate those flavors! We have an abundance of luscious mangoes, coconut and rice. The only thing you need to ensure to get the flavor right is to use the best mango you can.”
Ingredients for 3-4 servings 1 cup long-grained rice, washed and soaked in water overnight 1 fresh medium-sized coconut, sliced 400 ml thick coconut milk ¼ cup sugar 2-3 star anise 1 large, ripe table mango, peeled and sliced
Method Drain the rice, rinse it once and put it in a large pan with 1¼ cups of water.
Put the pan on high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. Put a tava or griddle on low to medium heat. When hot, roast the coconut slices on both sides, till light golden. Place the coconut milk, sugar and star anise in another pan. Add the rice and cook on moderate heat, stirring continuously for about 25 minutes, till it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Spoon the rice into dessert bowls and garnish with the mango and roasted coconut slices.
3. Baked Veggies In a Bun
½ cup peas (boiled)
1 carrot (finely chopped)
3-4 beans (finely chopped and boiled)
1/4th cup corn
½ cup spinach (finely chopped)
Salt and pepper to taste
FOR THE WHITE SAUCE
½ cup flour
100gms processed cheese (grated)
6 burger buns 3”diameter (scooped from the center leaving the base intact)
1. Pre heat oven at 150 degrees.
2. Heat a pan, add butter, and after it melts add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Then add flour and cook for a minute.
3. Take it off flame, and then add milk, salt and pepper stirring continuously to avoid lumps.
4. Add all the vegetables and cheese to this and mix well.
5. Put these vegetables in the hollow center of the bun.
6. Bake at 200 degrees, till the top is golden in color approx.5-7 minutes and serve
4.Spinach and Cheese Quenelle
Shipra adds, “This recipe is a modern twist to the age-old palak paneer. “
Ingredients for 2-3 servings Quenelles 1 litre milk Juice of 1 lemon 1 egg 2 tbsp cream ½ tsp salt Gravy 100 gms spinach, chopped and blanched 1 tbsp butter 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 tsp salt ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper Method For the quenelles, bring the milk to a boil in a pan on high heat.
When it boils squeeze in the lemon juice and keep stirring, till the milk splits completely. Drain through a strainer lined with muslin cloth. Set aside for 15 minutes for the cheese to drain completely. Blend the cheese till it is smooth. Add the egg and cream and blend again, till smooth. Mix in the salt and shape into quenelles (see Tips below).
Steam the quenelles for 4-5 minutes. Drain and keep warm. For the gravy, blanch the spinach in plenty of boiling salted water for 30 seconds. Drain and refresh in cold water. Drain again and set aside. Melt the butter in a pan on moderate heat. Sauté the garlic, till fragrant. Add the spinach to the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Remove and purée to a smooth paste in a blender. The purée should have the consistency of a semi-thick sauce. To serve, spoon the spinach on to a serving dish. Arrange the cheese quenelles on top and serve hot.
Tips to shape the perfect quenelle:
Use two spoons of the same size. The size of the spoon determines the size of the quenelles. With a spoon in each hand, scoop a generous amount of the ingredient you want to quenelle into it. Gently press the curve of the second spoon against the first, scooping the contents from it into the second spoon.
Transfer the quenelle back to the first spoon in the same manner. This creates a smooth, rounded surface. Keep scooping back and forth till you have a smooth oval shape. With some products like ice creams, mousses and creams, you’ll need to work fast as the heat in your kitchen will affect the shape of the quenelle.
Depending on what you’re shaping, it may help to dip the spoons in warm water between each scoop. Quenelles should ideally be made immediately before serving, but if you’re careful they may hold their shape for a short while either in the refrigerator or the freezer (depending on the ingredient).