Thursday, 2 July 2009

Italian Bean and Pasta Soup

I made this soup to go with garlic bread for dinner last night and we loved it so much that I thought I would share with you all. The soup was light and quite filling. And do you want to know where I got the recipe from? The wrap of willow Butter!!Yeah, I have the habit of collecting the recipes from anywhere and everywhere. I always take the grocery booklets from the groceries everytime because they contain many recipes and I thought they were nice. Now my collection has become so big, and I really dont know what to do! My husband sometimes comment that I'm like a mouse bringing all the mess and waste to home......Aaaah....but I am sure there are many ladies out there like me, crazy about collecting recipes, and keep flipping them over again and again and still never get bored of it, isn't it?!!!

1 tbs butter
2 medium carrots thinly sliced (1 cup)
1 medium onion sliced thin (1/2 cup)
2 large cloves garlic,chopped
1/2 large tomato (1/3 cup)
1 tsp tomato puree
400 can Red Kidney Beans drained and washed (1 1/3 cup)
3/4 cup frozen green peas
2 chicken Stock cube (I used Maggi)
1500 mls water
75 gms pasta shapes, I used fusilli (1 cup)
salt and pepper to season (I dint add salt, since stock cube is quite salty)

1. Heat a sauce pan, melt butter and add onions, garlic and carrots. Stir and cook gently for about 5 minutes and add tomato and tomato puree and saute until tomato is soft.
2. Add beans, peas and stock cube and boiled water and cook for 10 minutes.
3. Add the pasta shapes and cook for another 7 minutes or until the pasta is cooked. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.

Kalathappam/ kalthappam (Unsweetened)

Kalathappam is a rice cake and is one of the famous speciality of Muslim cuisines in Kerala. There are two kinds of Kalthappam. One is sweet version which uses sugar or jaggery to sweeten, and the other one is unsweetened one which is normally eaten with curries. It is commonly made in Malabar regions (Im not sure about other regions of Kerala,sorry) as an evening snack (sweet one) or for dinner or breakfast with any spicy curries. I was googling for the recipe of kalthappam without sugar and I found none!!! The other day I soaked some rice to make Neypathal or neypathiri which are fried rice pan cakes which requires quite lot of time and effort. And since my little one was sick, I prepared this kalthapam which just takes few minutes to prepare. We just have to pour the whole batter in the sauce pan and cook them. The cooking time may differ depending on the saucepan and the heat used. Anyways, here is a tasty recipe for the Kalthappam(unsweetened one), that would make an easy dinner or breakfast.

2 cups long grain rice (pachari)
1 cup Cooked rice (same rice as above)
2 cups water
1/2 tbs salt
1 tsp Fennel seeds (perumjeerakam)
1/2 cup freshly grated coconut
1 large onion, cut in chunks
2 tbs thinly sliced and chopped onion
1/2 medium size onion chopped
4 tbs oil

1. Soak rice for about 4-6 hours.
2. Grind it along with cooked rice, fennel seeds and 1 large onion by adding 2 cups of water into a smooth grainless batter.You might need to do this in two batches.
3. Add salt,coconut,1/2 chopped onion and mix well using a spatula until well combined.
4. Heat a medium size saucepan (I used a nonstick sauce pan of 9" Diameter, you can use one with 10" as well) to a medium low heat. Add oil and add in the 2 tbs chopped onion. When the onions starts turning golden, add the batter prepared earlier to this slowly. You can see all the oil and onions has moved to the top.
5.COVER and cook the kalthappam until the batter is set completely. It will take about 45 minutes-1 hour depending on the heat and the kind of saucepan used. Let it cool slightly. Flip the kalthappam over. For that, place any plate on top of the dish and holding the plate firmly, tip the kalthappam on it. Slide it back into the saucepan with the upper white part of the kalthappam to go facing down and the lower golden part facing up. Cook for another 10-15 minutes until you get a golden and crispy coating . This flipping is just done to get a golden crispy layer all over the kalthappam. You don't have to flip it over,if you dont want the crispy layer. It will be cooked if the batter is set completely.
This can be had along with or Malabar fish curry, Chemmeen Muringavaal curry, Malabar chicken curry etc for dinner or even with sugar. Some times we have it for brunch along with the above said curries or sugar.
The addition of chopped onions and coconut is really optional. It really enhances the taste, But you dont have to add, if you dont like them.
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