Thursday, 6 August 2015

Cream of Mushroom Soup

The more colourful your food the more nutrition it carries. This is something that we have been reading quite often these days. Dietitians and nutritionists advice of bringing more colour to our dinner table. So then how does mushroom make it to the kitchen and ultimately to our plates? Well, this is an exception. Mushrooms may be lacking the bright colours but is still packed with a whole lot of nutrition. The benefits of mushroom are many.

We all know that the sun is only source of vitamin D and this vitamin is vital for calcium absorption. We need not go into the benefits of calcium here. The only bother source of vitamin D is the egg yolk. Though a source of a vital vitamin the yolk cannot consumed in large quantities. And what about the vegans? They are completely dependent upon the sun for their daily dose of the D vitamin. This is where mushroom comes in to the rescue.
Mushroom is the only vegan source for vitamin D and that means that it holds a pretty important position in our diet. This exclusive property of the humble fungi is enough to make it a regular part of the diet.

Besides the important vitamin D mushrooms are also a good source of selenium, potassium, iron, copper, phosphorus and dietary fibre. They are also known to give the body an immunity boost.

So why not cook up a mushroom storm in the form of a creamy soup. But hold on, this soup though creamy, does not contain cream. The taste and aroma are splendid.

Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • Onion sliced - 1
  • Mushrooms chopped - 200 gm
  • Milk - 1 cup
  • Water - 1 cup
  • Olive oil - 2 tablespoons 
  • Refined flour - 1 tablespoon 
  • Bay leaf - 1
  • Cinnamon - 1 inch stick
  • Pepper - 4 whole
  • Salt as per taste 


Heat oil in a large, thick bottom dish. Add the bay leaf, pepper and cinnamon. Add the onion and cook till pink.
Add the mushrooms and cook till it gives off water.
Add the flour and cook further. The flour should not smell raw and the mix should look slightly thickening.
Add the milk and water and bring to a boil.
Allow to boil for approximately 10 minute.
Let the soup cool. We have not yet added the salt.
Remove the bay leaf and cinnamon.

When cool blend in a blender.
Put the vessel back on the fire and give the soup one final boil.
Turn off heat and add salt. Add freshly ground pepper and dry parsley or any other herb of your choice.

The herbs you add a matter of personal choice. You can even add finely chopped onion greens and parboiled carrots to give a bit of crunch to the soup.

I have also tried substituting the refined flour with a tablespoon or two of rolled oats. The results are equally good. 

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Multigrain Digestive Biscuits

Every morning starts with a cup of tea and a couple of digestive biscuits. I find these biscuits to be light and just the perfect match for the morning cup. This is time when I do not like to eat much but at the same time have something to go with my tea. Tea alone does tend to cause problems with the digestive system.

Different brands have come up with their own versions of digestive biscuits and each one has its takers. I too stick to a particular brand but every glance at the ingredient list leaves me feeling confused and a little wary. Do I know what I am eating?

Since I am already into a bit of baking stuff trying out a digestive biscuit did interest me. I looked up quite a few recipes as well and finally came up with one of my own. These homemade multigrain biscuits are packed with the goodness of whole wheat, rice, oats and a touch of flax seeds. There are no additives and no such ingredient that I cannot pronounce or identify. 

And not to forget the sugar which is well within my control.

Using milk instead of water to knead the dough gives a boost to the nutrition quotient.

So let us make some super easy homemade digestive biscuits right away! With the given ingredient list you will get a rather small batch. You can multiply as per your need.

·         Refined flour: ¼ cup
·         Whole wheat flour: ½ cup
·         Rolled oats: 2 tbsps
·         Rice flour: 1 tbsp
·         Flax seeds (roasted and ground): 1 tsp
·         Ghee: 3 tbsp
·         Sugar: ¼ cup
·         Salt: a small pinch
·         Baking powder: ½ tsp
·         Milk to kneed

In a large bowl, sieve together refined flour, whole wheat flour, rice flour, salt and baking powder.

Add the rolled oats and flax seed powder.

Add the ghee to the dry ingredients. Rub between hands to get a grainy texture.

When well mixed make a well in the center and pour a little milk. Start kneading.

Your dough should neither be too hard nor too soft. It will be a bit crumbly but that is fine.

Tear away a handful of dough and make a ball. Roll out the dough to a thickness of approximately one centimeter. Using a cookie cutter cut circles and place on a cookie sheet.

Bake in preheated oven as 180 degrees Celsius for 15-20 minutes. When done let them rest in the oven for a couple of minutes before removing the tray.

Allow to cool and store in an airtight container.