Healthy seasonal dishes to cook at home
Roma Tomato Soup and Croutons
Rajesh Wadhwa, executive chef
Taj Palace, New Delhi
This is an easy-to-make, light yet wholesome soup recipe that is packed with flavour. The roasting process helps bring out robust flavours, and lends a wonderful, mellow depth to the soup. The recipe requires simple ingredients that we stock in our home kitchens and makes for a delicious, nourishing treat.
- 500 gm peeled tomatoes
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoon tomato puree
- 4 cup stock
- 1½ cup torn crusty bread
- Olive oil
- 2 tablespoon butter
- Preheat oven to 425°C. In a large baking dish, crush tomatoes with hand, scatter garlic cloves, drizzle olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for around 35–40 minutes, tossing the ingredients halfway through, until the garlic softens and tomatoes become jam-like. Once done, using a potato masher or fork, mash to break up the roasted garlic and tomatoes.
- In a large pot, heat oil. Add onion and saute. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the onions soften. Add tomato puree, roasted tomato mixture, stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow the soup to simmer for around 15–20 minutes.
- To prepare the croutons, in another baking sheet, lay out the crusty bread. Drizzle the oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown for around 6–8 minutes. Puree the tomato soup mixture with hand blender or in a mixer grinder in small batches.
- Transfer the soup back into the pot and bring it to a bowl. Adjust the seasoning as desired.
- Serve hot, topped with butter and croutons.
Baked Prawn Sesame Toast
This appetiser is a healthy twist to the classic Chinese dish which is generally fried but we have baked the dish to reduce the calorie-count and can be made with multi-grain bread or brown bread as per choice.
Prep time : 30 min
Cooking time : 10 min
Serves : 4
- 200 gm prawns C grade, peeled and cleaned
- 10 gm ginger chopped
- 10 gm garlic chopped
- 1 egg
- 5 gm breakfast sugar
- 5 gm salt
- 3 gm white pepper powder
- 3 ml light soy sauce
- 10 ml oyster sauce
- 5 gm broth powder
- 20 gm butter
- 5 ml Chinese wine
- 30 gm spring onion green chop
- 4 pieces brown jumbo bread slices
- 5 ml sesame oil
- 80 gm sesame seeds
- Clean the prawns and chop them very fine with a chopper or use food processor to make a coarse paste.
- Wash and clean vegetables. Finely chop the ginger, garlic and spring onion and keep aside to be used for making a mixture.
- Take a bowl. Put the prawn mix, add chopped ginger, garlic, spring onion, egg white, sugar, soy sauce, salt, white pepper, melted butter, oyster sauce, Chinese wine, broth powder and mix very well so that all ingredients mix well. Cover and chill for 30 minute.
- Brush the bread with sesame oil and spread the prawn mixture on top of it. Brush the beaten egg carefully on top of the prawn mix and then sprinkle sesame seeds on it all over.
- Pre-heat the combi oven at 200 degree or use salamander for baking the bread. Pre-heated oven will take 8 to 10 min to cook and gives a golden colour to sesame seeds.
- Cut the sides of the bread and then cut them into rectangles or triangles as per your choice.
- Serve hot with sweet chilli sauce or sriracha sauce.
- You can use any white wine for this dish if Chinese wine not available, wine brings a distinct and enhanced flavour from prawns when mixed together and it brings that little acidity and sweetness which is required in the dish.
- Don’t churn the prawn mixture too much in food processor. It will get cooked because of its own heat.
Spicy Cabbage & Chicken Salad
Vikramjit Roy, founder and executive chef, Hello Panda
Perfect fresh and crunchy salad for the summers which has the right protein and enough spice oomph!
For the dressing
- 2 small, fresh red chili
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1⁄2 tsp sugar
- a pinch of salt
- 6 tbsp white vinegar
- 3 tbsp fish sauce (optional)
For the chicken
- 1 boneless, skinless whole chicken breast
- 1 small red onion, peeled and very thinly sliced
- 3⁄4 cup white vinegar
- 1⁄2 small cabbage, very thinly sliced into long strips
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and julienned
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander and mint, finely chopped
- For the dressing: Crush chilles, garlic, sugar, and salt into a fragrant, rough paste with a mortar and pestle. Scrape paste into a small bowl, then stir in vinegar and fish sauce (optional). Set dressing aside.
- For the chicken: Put chicken in a medium pan, add enough water to cover by 1”, then bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and gently simmer, partially covered, until chicken is just cooked through, 10–15 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool. Tear chicken into small strips, discarding any cartilage or fatty pieces. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, put onions and white vinegar in a large bowl. Set aside to marinate for 15 minutes, then drain. Add cabbage, carrots, reserved chicken, and fish sauce (optional) to onions and toss together. Shortly before serving, toss to mix well, and adjust seasonings to taste. The salad will wilt slightly.
Beetroot, mushroom and avocado salad
Siddhartha Sankar Sarmah executive chef, Holiday Inn, Mayur Vihar, Noida
This leafy vegetables salad is definitely recommended for its healthy quotient.
- 4 medium mushrooms
- 1/4 lemon juice
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped
- 20 gm baby spinach
- 20 gm pre-cooked beets, chopped
- 1 ripe avocado, thinly sliced
- Salt and crushed pepper for taste
On a large rimmed baking sheet, spray non-stick cooking spray on mushrooms and sprinkle half teaspoon salt on it; roast at 450°F for 20 minutes or until tender. Whisk lemon juice, olive oil, shallot and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper; toss half with baby spinach, rocket leaves and beets. Divide among serving plates. Top with avocados and mushrooms thinly sliced. Serve with remaining dressing on the side.
Insalata di legumi
Ivan Chieregatti, executive chef, Hyatt Regency, Delhi
A healthy high fibre salad, Insalata Di Legumi is packed with proteins, it is a hearty salad, perfect for the warmer months. Fresh and full of flavour, it is a vibrant and satisfying meal.
Ingredients: (serves 4)
- 100 gm barley
- 100 gm black lentil
- 300 gm tomato sauce
- 300 gm pumpkin roasted
- 20 leaves basil leaf
- 30 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tomatoes blanched
- 100 gm celery
- 100 gm carrot
- 100 gm green zucchini
- 10 gm salt
- 4 gm pepper crushed
- 3 gm chilli flakes
- 5 gm chopped garlic
- Mix cress
- Soak the barley overnight before cooking. Take water and salt in a pot. Add barley and cook for 10 minutes.
- Then add lentils and cook for 20 more minutes.
- Drain water and keep aside to cool down.
- Cut zucchini into brunoises after removing the seeds, similarly cut carrot, celery and tomato. Blanch the vegetables separately in salted water and immediately cool down in iced water to preserve the colour. Drain and keep in the fridge. Heat a pan and add olive oil, chopped garlic and chilli and cook till medium golden in colour, add tomato sauce and reduce the heat to cook for few minutes. Keep it aside.
- In a large pan, add olive oil with the rest of chopped garlic, add the lentil and barley, season with salt and pepper and reduce the flame, add few spoons of water during the cooking process to absorb the flavour.
- Now add now zucchini, carrot and celery, cook for few minutes more until the consistency is right enough. In a tray season the pumpkin (with or without skin as per your choice) with salt, pepper and olive oil.
- Put it in the oven with some herbs and roast for about 35–40 minutes until it is cooked.
- In a serving plate, put the tomato sauce, using a square mould, add all the vegetables together and press it all a little bit to give a nice shape even after removing the mould.
- Garnish with baked pumpkin, herbs and few drops of extra virgin olive oil.