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There is another Indian Restaurant in Toronto that we really like, and you’ve probably heard of it because it’s in all the major cities around the world, it’s called Bombay Palace on Jarvis Street. We usually go there for lunch and there are two particular things I love, the carrot pickle and the Aloo Papri Chaat (described as a sweet Medley of crispy wafers chickpeas, potatoes with yogurt-mint chutney dressing). I tried to find as close a recipe as possible to this tangy, sweet and crunchy side, and this one was pretty darn close. I had to make a few changes due to unavailable ingredients, but to be honest, the flavour didn’t suffer for it. I must warn you, it does take a lot of steps.

Aloo Papri Chaat

A delicious mix of sweet and tangy flavours with the crunchy texture of the wafers

Serves 4-6 as a side dish

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Semolina flour
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • 7-8 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 dried apricot
  • 1 small cooked potato, cubed
  • 100 g chick peas
  • 1/2 cup low fat yogurt (if using Greek yogurt, you will need to add milk to achieve the right consistency)
  • 1 chopped green chili
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chaat Masala (see spice mix below)
  • Salt
  • 1 cup peanut oil for frying

Directions:

  1. Make a soft dough with the flour and semolina by adding a little bit of water at a time.
  2. Roll the dough out into a rectangle and cut into bite-sized squares.
  3. Heat the oil to fry the squares and fry them until they puff a little and are golden. Drain oil off and set aside.

Directions for the Tamarind Chutney:

  1. In a small heavy bottom sauce pan, add the tamarind paste and the apricot. Add about 1 cup of hot water to it and heat to a boil until the tamarind paste dissolves and the apricot is mushy. Blend well with an immersion blender. Strain out any hard bits from the tamarind paste.
  2. Add the sugar, chili powder and mix well. Boil until all of the water evaporates and you are left with a thick rich paste.

Ingredients for the Chaat Masala:

Note: the original recipe for Chaat Masala called for Mango Powder which I did not have, and therefore I substituted the apricot into the tamarind mix to replicate the sweet and tangy flavour of the mango powder.

  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp black salt

Directions for the Chaat Masala:

  1. Put all ingredients into a bowl and mix well. If some of the spices are seeds, you will need to grind them well.

Directions for the Yogurt Sauce and assembly:

  1. Whip the yogurt with a whisk until thin and runny (or if it’s Greek Yogurt, add a little milk),
  2. Add  the cubed potatoes, chopped green chili, the chickpeas and a teaspoon or two of the tamarind and mix well (being careful not to break up the potatoes).
  3. Add the bite sized Papri (wafers) and mix gently to coat.
  4. Garnish with Coriander leaves and finely chopped green onions.

A quick shot of the actual serving dish at the dinner party, the lighting sucks as it was already night

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I knew I wanted to make a chilled soup for our dinner party last weekend because it’s been so darn hot (not complaining) and I knew I wanted something a little unexpected than the traditional vichyçoissecucumber, avocado or even gazpachio — although all worthy soups in their own right. On top of it all Barb had posted a lovely asparagus soup recipe with a herb crusted goats cheese ball that really intrigued me. What to do, what to do? Off to the internet I went to find an unusual cold soup; my first stop was Epicurious and as luck would have it, there on the summertime meal feature page on my iPhone was a roasted red pepper and tomato soup. Call it kismet, serendipity or fate, this soup and I were meant to be.

The warm goats cheese ball is a nice surprise in the cold soup

The soup is a lovely balance of sweet red peppers and the acidity and sweetness of oven roasted tomatoes (or, in our case, BBQ roasted). There is a little raw green onion and a smidgen of garlic with a delightful earthy undertone of coriander. I also wanted to incorporate Barb’s goats cheese balls but I wanted a little contrast, so I rolled the goats cheese balls in sesame seeds and lightly fried them to brown the sesame seeds but more importantly, to heat up the goats cheese ball. Yup, I did the ole’ switcheroo and made the soup cold and the balls warm. It was a lovely contrast. JTs only comment was that there could have been more soup.

Chilled Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
with Warm Sesame Crusted Goats Cheese Balls

Recipe adapted from Epicurious

Ingredients:

Serves 8 small bowls (125mL or 1/2 cup) or 4 large dinner sized bowls (250mL or 1 cup)

  • 4 red bell peppers, roasted on the BBQ (or oven), seeded and skinned
  • 3 medium plum tomatoes, cut into 1 cm thick slices and roasted on the BBQ
  • 1/4 red chili pepper, roasted on the BBQ (or oven), seeded and skinned
  • 1 green onion
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • water to achieve desired thickness
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar (check for sweetness, and omit if the soup is sweet enough)

Goats Cheese balls ingredients:

  • 10 g (about 1 1/2 tsps) goats cheese per ball (I did one per serving)
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds per ball
  • non-stick cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and blitz with the immersion blender until smooth, adding water until the desired consistency is achieved. You can use chicken stock or vegetable stock, but it’s not necessary as there is a already a plethora of flavours going on.
  2. Strain soup through a fine sieve. Don’t skip this step as it does ensure a very velvety soup without the addition of cream or butter. Refrigerate until serving. (the soup actually gets better if made one day and served the next).
  3. Roll the goats cheese into nice round balls and coat evenly with the sesame seeds (I used black and white). Heat a cast iron pan, spray with non-stick spray and gently fry the balls at medium temperature — you want to brown the sesame seeds and heat the ball through, you don’t want to melt the ball. Brown all sides evenly.
  4. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and carefully place one (or more) balls onto the soup. My soup was thick enough that the balls did not sink. Serve immediately.

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I thought my cold was over and done with…I was left with a few sniffles, but certainly not bad considering it started in Morocco. Sunday it returned with a vengeance! It is everything a head cold is supposed to be, annoying, noisy and gross! So here I am, week 2 since we’ve been back and I’m sick as a dog, AND I have to drag my sorry butt into work because we are so busy, I cannot let my friend (boss) and clients down. Fortunately I have a wonderful husband who has totally looked after me since the sniffles returned. It’s been strictly soup and JT makes enough for me to have a lunch the next day! Tonight’s dinner was Chanterelle Mushroom Soup, a variation from Epicurious (he has kindly made a healthier version for us!) and it was so delicious, I had to write about it. This soup is a light mushroomy broth and the chanterelles give it some sweetness. If you’re really hungry, you could add some dumplings, or even egg drop noodles.

Chanterelle Mushroom Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 3 cups Chanterelle mushrooms coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups button mushrooms coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 tablespoons brandy
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in large pot over medium-high heat, add onions and sauté until golden.
  2. Add all mushrooms and sauté until mushrooms begin to brown lightly.
  3. Stir in stock.
  4. Add brandy, stir 30 seconds and bring soup to boil.
  5. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley.

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This soup was part of a five-course dinner we made for a good friend who recently suffered a heart attack. The theme was heathy, healthy, healthy!

Chilled Cucumber Soup

Serves 4 (1/2 cup servings each)

Ingredients for the Soup:

  • 1 large English cucumber, washed but unpeeled, roughly chopped or grated
  • 4 shallots, peeled and diced finely
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 cup low sodium stock, either chicken or vegetable
  • 1 cup fat free unflavoured yogurt (or buttermilk)
  • Splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Non-stick spray

Ingredients for the Cilantro Oil:

  • 4 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
  • Pinch of sea salt

Directions for the Soup:

  1. Make this a day or two in advance to allow flavours to combine.
  2. Heat a cast iron pan and spray with non-stick spray lightly.
  3. Sauté shallots until translucent, add the garlic and stir just until you smell it. Remove from heat immediately. Allow to cool completely.
  4. Add cucumbers to a deep bowl, add cooled onion, garlic and yogurt and start blending with an immersion blender. Add stock little by little until the desired consistency is achieved.
  5. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Store in refrigerator for up to 3 days. Stir well before serving.

Directions for the Cilantro oil:

  1. Mix both oil, cilantro and pinch of salt.
  2. Mash cilantro gently with the back of a spoon (I used my gorgeous olive wood mortal and pestle from Provence). Set aside at room temperature until ready to serve.
  3. Pour cucumber soup into serving bowls, drizzle with the cilantro oil, serve chilled.

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