Archive for February 2015

Masala Oolong Tea   2 comments

Some time back, while visiting Northern Thailand, I happened to purchase some high quality local Oolong Tea from near the Vietnam Border. It has been a delicious company to me all this time and never fails to brew an amazing cup (or cups I should say, since the same leaves can be used to brew tea almost 6-7 times, and each cup is great if not better!). Oolong is a variety of tea in between Greens & Blacks, oxidised anywhere between 2-80% which retains its natural sweetness and provides an amazing finish on the palate, which greens with their earthy flavours sometimes fail to.

You would mostly hear of Masala Chai (Spiced Indian Tea) prepared with Milky Black or Green Teas, but I wanted to try out something different and see how Oolong responds to that. Here is a recipe I perfected over the weekend with a pleasing combination of natural sweeteners and light spices and I should say, you can’t have just one 🙂

Serves 2

-:Ingredients:-

2 large cups Water
1 tsp Oolong Tea Leaves
2 Cloves
1 Green Cardamom Pod (opened)
2-3 whole Black Peppercorns
¼ inch piece of Mulethi (Licorice Root)
½ inch piece of Ginger
¼ tsp dried Tulsi Leaves (Holy Basil)
¼ tsp Sugarfree (or ½ tsp Sugar)

-: Recipe :-

  1. Place water in a pan, add all the solid spices & sugar and bring to a boil.
  2. Take off heat, add the Oolong Tea leaves and cover the pan to let the tea brew for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Pour hot & enjoy a great cup of sweet & spicy Oolong Tea 🙂

-: Tips :-

  • The Oolong Tea leaves can be brewed for 6-7 times, each time giving a great cup of tea. You can keep the leaves in fridge after making this tea and use them to brew another 2-3 cups the same day.
  • The inherent sweetness of Oolong, accentuated with that of Mulethi, gives it a very nice taste. Use sugar sparingly, only to take it to the level of sweetness that just allows you to savour the flavours in fullness.

Spicy Oolong Tea

Posted February 9, 2015 by Rahul in Recipes

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Tangy Cream of Cauliflower Soup   2 comments

Cauliflower Soup is quite a delicious comfort soup and I wanted to prepare some for a lazy lunch avoiding all the standard starch of potatoes & heaviness of cream & dollops of butter. It also gave me the best opportunity to enjoy some of the amazing Blackburn Wheat Bread I sourced during the weekend from one of the best bakeries in Seattle – ‘Macrina Bakery‘. This recipe below is a tangy take with an Indian twist on the popular cream of cauliflower soup which I believe you will certainly find delicious & crunchy on the palate. Its healthy too, if that matters 🙂

Serves 2

-:Ingredients:-

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 cups Vegetable Stock
½ tsp Butter
1 tsp Parmesan Cheese (crumbled)
1 tsp Milk Powder
½ tsp dried Sage
1 tsp freshly chopped Cilantro (or ½ tsp dried Cilantro)
¼ tsp crushed Pepper
¼ tsp Paprika Powder (or more to taste)
Pinch of Garam Masala
Pinch of Caraway Seeds (Ajwain) (Optional)
¼ tsp Cumin Powder (Jeera Powder)
¼ tsp dried Mango Powder (Amchoor)
Rock Salt to taste
—————————–
½ head large Cauliflower (coarsely chopped)
2 stalks Celery (diced)
½ medium Green Capsicum (coarsely chopped)
½ medium Onion (coarsely chopped)
½ cup American Corn
3-4 sticks Asparagus (cut in 1 inch pieces)
2-3 cloves Garlic (minced)
Handful of Green leaves (Arugula, Baby Spinach, Chard, Kale, Mizuna, etc.)

-: Recipe :-

  1. In a nonstick pan, heat Olive Oil & Butter and add Garlic & Onion. Add crushed Pepper & Paprika and saute for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add Celery & Capsicum and saute for 4-5 minutes, after which add Cauliflower, Corn, Green Leaves, Sage, Cilantro, Garam Masala, Cumin Powder & Mango Powder.
  3. Mix for a couple of minutes and add the vegetable stock with Rock Salt to taste (½ tsp or more).
  4. Once it starts boiling, cover and simmer for 15 minutes till the cauliflower gets a bit soft.
  5. In the mean time, stir fry the Asparagus cuts in another pan with a pinch of Caraway Seeds and keep aside.
  6. Take the simmering soup mixture off the heat and add in Parmesan Cheese and Milk Powder.
  7. Roughly puree in a blender to maintain some bite. Mix in the asparagus and check for spices/seasoning.
  8. Garnish with crunchy caramelised onions & sprinkle some spicy seasoning mix. Serve with whole wheat multi-grain bread to Enjoy the Ultimate Experience 🙂

-: Tips :-

  • Milk Powder adds the creaminess to this soup. If you would use whole milk instead, reduce the vegetable stock quantity by similar amount to balance water and check for the salt/spices accordingly.
  • Avoid using any soft cheeses in the soup since it will make it sticky. Dried crumbly cheeses like Parmesan or Pecorino Romano are the best for this.

Tangy Cream of Cauliflower Soup

Posted February 9, 2015 by Rahul in Indian, Recipes

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