No-Cream Methi Malai Paneer| Methi Paneer

Methi Paneer or Methi Malai Paneer is a delicious North Indian-style gravy, a lovely accompaniment for rotis, naan, parathas and the like. Cottage cheese (paneer) is cooked in a flavourful, rich and creamy gravy with fenugreek greens (methi) in it. In today’s post, allow me to take you through the way I make Methi Paneer.

Methi Paneer or Methi Malai Paneer

A closer look at the Methi Paneer I make

Like most of my recipes, this Methi Paneer recipe too is simple at heart and doesn’t use very fancy ingredients – everything that goes in is commonly found in a typical Indian kitchen. I have tried to keep processed ingredients to a minimum, in an endeavour to keep it healthier. This gravy turns out creamy and delicious, in spite of the fact that I have not used any fresh cream in it. I have used minimal oil in it, too.

This recipe is completely vegetarian and gluten-free, but NOT vegan (plant-based). I have used home-made garam masala and chana masala here, both of which are gluten-free. In case you are using store-bought spice blends, do check the list of ingredients and make sure they align with your dietary requirements.

The Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge

This recipe is brought to you in association with the Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge.

The Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge is run by a group of passionate food bloggers. Every month, the group members share recipes based on a pre-determined theme. The participants are paired up, and each pair exchanges two ingredients secretly, which are then used to prepare a dish that fits into the theme for the month.

The theme this month is ‘Fear Not The Bitter’, suggested by Seema of Mildly Indian. Participants need to showcase recipes made using bitter-tasting ingredients like coffee, bitter gourd, fenugreek leaves and seeds. You guys should absolutely check out the amazing Karele Ka Bharta that Seema has made for the theme!

I was paired with Aruna of Vasu’s Veg Kitchen for the month, and gave the two secret ingredients of ‘tamarind’ and ‘jaggery’. She used them to make this wonderful, wonderful Kakarakaya Pulusu or Andhra-Style Bitter Gourd Gravy! Aruna gave me ‘turmeric’ and ‘fenugreek leaves’ as my secret ingredients, which I went on to use in this Methi Paneer recipe.

Other paneer dishes on my blog

You might also be interested in some other paneer recipes on my blog:

Paneer Butter Masala

Tandoori Paneer Tikka

Beetroot And Paneer Cutlets

Paneer Masala Dosa

Shahi Paneer Matar

Matar Paneer

Paneer Paratha

Palak Paneer

No-Fry Paneer Kofta

Mixed Vegetable And Paneer Dosa

Baked Mango Cheesecake

Orange-Infused Sweet Paneer

How To Make Methi Paneer

Here’s how I go about it.

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

1. A small bunch of fenugreek (methi), about 1 cup when finely chopped

2. 3 medium-sized tomatoes

3. 1 small onion

4. 10-12 almonds

5. A 1-inch piece of ginger

6. 7-8 garlic cloves

7. 200 grams paneer

8. 1/2 tablespoon + 1/2 tablespoon oil

9. 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds

10. Salt to taste

11. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

12. Red chilli powder to taste

13. 1 cup milk or as needed

14. 3/4 tablespoon jaggery powder

15. 2 pinches of garam masala

16. 3/4 teaspoon chana masala


Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Bottom left: Step 3, Above bottom right and bottom right: Step 4

1. Wash the methi leaves thoroughly under running water, to remove any traces of mud from them. Place them in a colander and let all the water drain out. Then, chop up the leaves finely.

2. Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a heavy-bottomed pan, and add in the finely chopped methi. Saute on medium flame for 3-4 minutes or till the leaves wilt and are cooked through. If needed, sprinkle very little water when the leaves are cooking. Take off heat and keep aside when done.

3. Chop the paneer into cubes. Keep aside.

4. Peel the ginger, garlic cloves and onion. Chop roughly. Chop the tomatoes roughly too. Take the chopped ginger, garlic, onion and tomatoes in a mixer jar and add in the almonds. Grind everything together to a smooth paste, without adding any water. Keep aside.

Top left and right: Steps 5 and 6, Centre left and right: Steps 7 and 8, Bottom left and right: Steps 9

5. Now, we will start preparing the Methi Paneer. Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the cumin seeds and let them stay in for a couple of seconds.

6. Add the tomato-onion puree we prepared earlier to the pan. Turn the flame down to medium. Mix well. Cook on medium flame for 4-5 minutes or till the raw smell of the puree goes away completely. Stir intermittently. The puree would have thickened up by this time.

7. At this stage, add in the salt, red chilli powder and turmeric powder.

8. Add in the jaggery powder.

9. Still keeping the flame at medium, add the milk at this stage, along with about 1/2 cup of water. Add the garam masala and chana masala. Taste the gravy and adjust salt and red chilli powder if needed. Mix well and cook on medium flame for about a minute.

Top left and right: Steps 10 and 11, Bottom right: Step 11, Bottom left: The Methi Paneer, ready to serve

10. Now, add in the cooked methi leaves. Keep the flame at medium. Adjust water if needed. Mix well. Cook on medium flame for 2 minutes.

11. Now add in the paneer cubes. Cook on medium flame for 3-4 minutes, stirring intermittently. Switch off gas when all the ingredients are well integrated together, but the gravy is still a bit on the runny side. Your Methi Paneer is ready – it will thicken further in a few minutes. Serve hot with rotis or parathas.

Tips & Tricks

1. Use soft, good-quality paneer and very fresh methi, for best results. I usually use the paneer from Akshayakalpa or Milky Mist (not sponsored). I’m guessing kasoori methi can be used in place of the fresh greens I have used here, but I have never tried that.

2. Do not use more than the specified amount of fenugreek greens, otherwise the gravy might turn bitter.

3. I have used boiled and cooled full-fat milk from Nandini, here. I haven’t tried making this with vegan milk, and am not sure if it would work.

4. I have used almonds here, to thicken the gravy and make it creamy. You may use cashewnuts instead, or a mix of cashewnuts and almonds.

5. I like adding a bit of jaggery to my gravies, to give it a light hint of sweetness and round off the other flavours beautifully. I would not suggest skipping it.

6. I have used a mix of garam masala and chana masala here – I love the flavour this combination imparts to North Indian gravies. You may use either one of these spice blends instead, too. Since home-made masala is quite strong, you need to use very little – just a couple of pinches of garam masala and about 3/4 teaspoon of chana masala is enough. If you are using store-bought spice blends, you might need to use a little more.

7. I do not blanch the tomatoes or saute them with the onions, before pureeing them.

8. I add the paneer cubes directly into the gravy, without deep-frying them. You may fry them if you prefer.

9. Do not cook the gravy for too long after adding in the paneer – 3-4 minutes is good. Overcooking may cause the paneer to become hard and rubbery.

10. The Methi Paneer gravy thickens up in a few minutes after it is made. Remember to switch off the gas when the gravy is well-cooked but it is still a bit on the runnier side.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me in your comments!


Basil Cream Sauce Pasta| Pasta In Basil Cream Sauce

Pasta In Basil Cream Sauce is a delectable way to enjoy pasta, the beloved of many. It makes for a great change from the usual pasta cooked in white sauce or red sauce. It is creamy and decadent, a real treat to the senses with the fragrance of fresh basil. Today, I am going to share with you all the recipe for Pasta In Basil Cream Sauce, the way I make it.

Pasta In Basil Cream Sauce or Basil Cream Sauce Pasta

A closer look at Pasta In Basil Cream Sauce

As the name suggests, Pasta In Basil Cream Sauce or Basil Cream Sauce Pasta refers to pasta cooked in a creamy basil sauce. However, there is no actual cream used in my version. I have used very little cheese here, too.

I start by making a regular white sauce (with whole wheat flour and milk), to which I add my home-made Peanut Basil Pesto. This combination gives the pasta a creamy, rich finish, without actually having to use any fresh cream. There are a few other ingredients I add in, too, to suit my family’s tastebuds.

Like I was saying earlier, this is one delicious pasta dish, a delight to indulge in. It’s a family favourite! I wouldn’t say this is the healthiest thing ever, but I would still consider this a relatively healthy dish because I make all the components at home. I can control the quality and quantity of every single thing that goes into it.

#PastaPlease theme at Foodie Monday Blog Hop

I am sharing this recipe in association with the Foodie Monday Blog Hop.

The Foodie Monday Blog Hop is a group of passionate food bloggers who share recipes based on a pre-determined theme, every Monday. It was my turn to suggest the theme this week, and I chose #PastaPlease. Group members will be showcasing recipes for different types of pasta, as part of the theme.

I already have a few pasta recipes on my blog, like this Two-Sauce Pasta made using home-made Basil And Pumpkin Seed Pesto, this beautiful Pasta Arrabiatta, Spaghetti Aglio Olio, Beetroot Pasta Salad and Indian-Style Pasta Stir-Fry. For this week’s theme, I decided to share this Basil Cream Sauce Pasta, which I make frequently but have never had a chance to write about on the blog.

How to make Basil Cream Sauce Pasta

Here is how I make it.

Ingredients (serves 3):

1. 2 cups pasta

2. Salt to taste

3. 1 teaspoon + 1/2 tablespoon olive oil

4. 5-6 cloves of garlic

5. 2 tablespoons wheat flour

6. 2 cups of milk

7. 2 tablespoons basil pesto + some more, as needed for garnishing

8. 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup

9. 1 tablespoon red chilli sauce

10. Freshly cracked black pepper, as needed (optional)

11. Dried Italian herbs, as needed for garnishing


Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Bottom right and left: Step 3
  1. Cook the pasta as per the instructions on the package. I took 5 cups of water in a heavy-bottomed pan, placed it on high flame, and allowed it to come to a boil. Then I added in 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon of olive oil, along with the 2 cups of pasta. After this, I reduced the flame to medium and let the pasta cook for 5-6 minutes or till it reached the al dente stage – cooked through but not overly mushy, with some crunch still left in it.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, peel the garlic cloves and chop them finely. Keep ready.
  3. When the pasta is cooked al dente, drain out the water using a colander. You may reserve the pasta cooking water for later use. Run cold water over the cooked pasta immediately, to stop it from cooking further. Let it rest undisturbed for a while and allow all the water to drain out of it.
Top left: Step 4, Top right and below top right: Step 5, Bottom right and left: Steps 6 and 7

4. Now, we will start preparing the Basil Cream Sauce Pasta. For this, heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a dry, clean pan. Drop in the chopped garlic. Saute for a few seconds till the garlic turns aromatic.

5. At this stage, turn the flame down to medium and add in the wheat flour. Saute on medium flame for a couple of minutes or till the wheat flour turns fragrant and attains the consistency of wet sand. Take care to ensure that the flour does not burn.

6. Now, add the milk to the pan, little by little, stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Keep the flame still at medium. Mix well. Cook for about 2 minutes or till the milk starts thickening.

7. Add in salt to taste.

Top left and right, Centre left: Step 8, Centre right: Step 9, Bottom left and right: Step 10 and 11

8. Add in the freshly cracked black pepper, followed by the basil pesto, tomato ketchup and red chilli sauce. Mix well. Taste and adjust salt, the pesto and spiciness. Constantly stirring, cook on medium flame for a minute or so until the mixture thickens up well – your basil cream sauce is ready.

9. Add in the pasta at this stage. Mix gently but well, coating the pasta evenly with the pesto cream sauce. Let everything cook together on medium flame for a minute more, then switch off the gas.

10. Gently mix in the dried Italian herbs. Your Basil Cream Sauce Pasta is ready.

11. Transfer the pasta into serving bowls. Serve immediately, topped with some more of the basil pesto.

Tips & Tricks

  1. I have used shell-shaped pasta from Bambino here, which is made using durum wheat. You can use any type of pasta that you prefer.
  2. You may use refined flour (maida) instead of the wheat flour I have used here.
  3. I have used Heinz tomato ketchup and Ching’s red chilli sauce here. You may use any other brands of sauces that you prefer, instead.
  4. If you feel the spiciness from the red chilli sauce is enough, you may skip using the black pepper. I did use some black pepper, though. If you are using black pepper, I would highly recommend using it freshly cracked rather than a pre-packaged powdered version.
  5. I have used home-made basil pesto here. However, you may use a store-bought version to save some time. Also, you can use any other variety of pesto instead.
  6. I have used boiled and cooled full-fat milk from Nandini here, to make the pasta sauce. I have not tried making this with vegan milk, so I’m not sure how that works. The pesto I have used here is not vegan either.
  7. Adjust the quantities of pesto, black pepper, tomato ketchup and red chilli sauce as per personal taste preferences.
  8. Be careful while adding salt to the pasta sauce. Remember that the pasta has already been cooked with some salt. There is also some amount of salt in the pesto, as well as in the tomato ketchup and red chilli sauce.
  9. Do remember to cook the pasta al dente i.e. till it is cooked through but not mushy, still with a bit of a crunch to it. Remember that it will cook further in the sauce.
  10. This Basil Cream Sauce Pasta is best served immediately after making it. If you need to wait for some time before serving it, there are chances that the pasta might get very thick. In that case, heat it up with a splash of milk to make it runny again.
  11. You may use some fresh cream to make the pasta more flavourful and creamy. However, I have not used any here.
  12. Olive oil works best in the making of pesto and pasta. I have used extra virgin olive oil from Borges in both the pasta and the pesto.
  13. I like the light tang that the tomato ketchup and red chilli sauce add to the pasta. If you feel these ingredients have no place in a pasta dish, please do feel free to leave them out.
  14. Add the salt, tomato ketchup and red chilli sauce to the pan only after the milk has thickened up a bit. This will help keep the milk from splitting.
  15. You may add some grated cheese to the pasta too, if you prefer. I haven’t, because the pesto already contains some amount of cheese.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Peanut Basil Pesto| Basil Pesto With Peanuts

Today, I am going to share with you all my recipe for Peanut Basil Pesto. This is pesto with a twist, a deviation from the traditional version, but every bit just as fragrant and flavourful.

Peanut Basil Pesto or Basil Pesto With Peanuts

What is Pesto?

Pesto is a kind of sauce of Italian origin, made using basil leaves. Basil is traditionally crushed in a mortar and pestle, along with garlic, pine nuts, olive oil and a hard cheese like Parmesan or Pecorino. The result is this free-flowing coarsely crushed sauce that is invitingly fresh and fragrant and absolutely delicious. I have also read about Italian families using a sickle-shaped chopper (called a ‘mezzaluna’) to make pesto, in place of the mortar and pestle.

Over time, as pesto love began to spread far and wide, many different variations emerged. Different herbs began to replace the basil, like coriander and parsley and mint. Other ingredients started replacing the pine nuts – almonds, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, walnuts, etc.

Pesto goes beautifully in pasta and on pizza, in sandwiches and bruschetta, in salads and noodles. I love how multi-faceted it is, in terms of the ingredients that can go into it, as well as the variety of dishes it can go into. Just a little bit of pesto can add a whole new depth of flavour to a dish!

What goes into my Peanut Basil Pesto

Making pesto is the first thing most people think of when they can lay their hands on fresh basil, and that includes me. It is not very often that I get gorgeous, sweet-smelling basil leaves here in Bangalore, though that is fast changing with the advent of players like Deep Rooted, Atom A Day Fresh and Namdhari’s (not sponsored). More often than not, I end up making pesto with the basil, experimenting with the ingredients to find the flavour combination that works the best for my family and me. This Peanut Basil Pesto is the result of one such experiment – one that turned out hugely successful, a very delicious thing that became a fast favourite with everyone at home. Also, do check out the Basil And Pumpkin Seed Pesto that I had shared a while back.

Like I was saying earlier, this Peanut Basil Pesto is a spin on the traditional version. It is made with basil leaves, but with roasted peanuts taking the place of pinenuts (which are super expensive and not very easy to find in India). I have used an Indian not-very-expensive variety of cheese here (hard Cheddar). Along with the garlic cloves and extra virgin olive oil that goes into pesto traditionally, I have also used a green chilly and some lemon juice to spruce it up. I am not claiming this is an authentic recipe for pesto, but a sort of Indianised version that works well for me. I make it in a mixer, and not in a mortar and pestle as is done traditionally.

How to make Peanut Basil Pesto

Here is how I make it. The process is rather simple and takes hardly a few minutes to complete. However, it is a flavour bomb for sure, an absolute pleasure to the senses.

Ingredients (yields about 1 cup of pesto):

1. 2 tightly packed cups fresh Italian basil leaves

2. 1 cube of cheese

3. Salt to taste

4. 1/4 cup peanuts

5. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

6. 1 green chilly or as per taste

7. 5-6 cloves of garlic

8. Juice of 1/2 lemon or as needed


Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Bottom right and left: Steps 3 and 4

1. Wash the basil thoroughly under running water. Place in a colander and let all the water drain out.

2. In the meantime, dry roast the peanuts in a heavy-bottomed pan on medium flame for 5-6 minutes or till they get crisp. They will start browning by this time and some of them will start cracking. Switch off gas at this stage. Transfer the roasted peanuts to a plate and allow them to cool down completely.

3. Peel the garlic cloves. Chop the green chilly roughly. Keep ready.

4. Take the washed and drained basil leaves in a mixer jar. Add in the garlic cloves and chopped green chilly. Chop the cheese cube into small pieces and add to the mixer jar too.

Top left and right: Steps 5 and 6, Bottom right and left: Steps 7 and 8

5. Add the roasted and cooled peanuts to the mixer jar, along with salt to taste.

6. Add in a little olive oil.

7. Add in the lemon juice.

8. Grind together for a couple of seconds, then stop the mixer. Scrape down the sides of the mixer jar, add some more olive oil, mix up the ingredients, then grind again for a couple of seconds. Repeat this process, adding olive oil little by little, and slowly grinding the ingredients to a slightly coarse texture. Your Peanut Basil Pesto is ready. Fill it up in a clean, air-tight, dry bottle and use as needed.

Tips & Tricks

1. Use very fresh basil leaves, for best results. I got mine from Deep Rooted, a Bangalore-based farm that delivers very fresh produce. I absolutely love ordering from them.

2. Use good-quality extra virgin olive oil and cheese for a great-tasting pesto. Use a hard variety of cheese, like Parmesan, otherwise the pesto will turn out lumpy. I have used Borges Extra Virgin Olive Oil and hard Cheddar cheese from Dlecta, here. I have used a small cube of cheese here, which I cut out of the large block I bought.

3. Be careful while adding in the salt. Remember that there is some salt content in the cheese as well.

4. Make sure the peanuts are roasted well before using them in the pesto. Take care to ensure that they do not burn.

5. The roasted peanuts should be completely cool before using them in making the pesto.

6. Adjust the quantity of green chillies and lemon juice as per personal taste preferences.

7. Store this Peanut Basil Pesto in a refrigerator, and remove using a clean and dry spoon only. You can use the pesto as needed in noodles, sandwiches, salads, bruschetta, pasta and the likes. When refrigerated and used hygienically, the pesto is best used within 3-4 days of making.

8. You can keep the Peanut Basil Pesto as coarse or smooth as you prefer. I keep it just slightly coarse.

9. Grind the pesto in intervals, as stated above, rather than at one go. This will result in a free-flowing pesto that is not lumpy.

10. With the pesto being exposed to air, it can turn a darker green in colour from the bright shade it is when freshly ground. This is perfectly normal, and the pesto can still be safely consumed, without any loss in fragrance or taste – unless there is noticeable odour to it, which means it has gone off and shouldn’t be consumed any more.

11. The above Peanut Basil Pesto recipe is completely vegetarian, but not vegetarian (plant-based) due to the use of cheese. I have not tried out a vegan version of this pesto, and I’m not sure how it works.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Idli Upma| Leftover Idli Usili

Idli Upma is a delicious breakfast dish made using idlis, quite a common sight in a South Indian household. Whenever there are idlis left over, they are usually crumbled up and stir-fried along with a few spices and condiments – that’s Idli Upma, also known as Idli Usili, for you. Mind you, it’s quite a lovely thing to have!

Idlis are considered to be among the healthiest foods ever, and they have thousands of fans the world over. I am not a huge idli lover, though – I mean, I do eat idlis if I don’t have a choice, but that’s about it. It is not my first preference of food; it never has been. 🙂 (Yes, Tamilians who aren’t ardent lovers of idlis do exist!). If faced with the prospect of having to make idlis, I would rather convert them into Idli Upma or this delectable Idli Masala with loads of veggies.

Idli Upma or Idli Usili

#LeftoverKaMakeover At Foodie Monday Blog Hop

This recipe is brought to you in association with the Foodie Monday Blog Hop.

The Foodie Monday Blog Hop is a group of passionate food bloggers who share recipes based on a pre-determined theme, every Monday. The theme this week is #LeftoverKaMakeover, wherein participants are sharing ways to give a new avatar to leftover food. I couldn’t think of anything better than this Idli Upma to fit the theme.

Poonam, talented chef and the author of Annapurna, was the one who suggested the theme for this Monday. Her blog is a treasure trove of traditional Maharashtrian recipes, interesting recipes from around the world, and some really beautiful healthy bakes. Her Rajma Kebabs (made from leftover Rajma Masala) and Gulgule (sweet fritters made using sugar syrup leftover after making Rasgulla or Gulab Jamun) are absolutely brilliant! So is her Chilli Paratha, made from leftover parathas or chapatis.

How to make Idli Upma| Leftover Idli Usili

Idli Upma or Idli Usili has several variations, with different families making it in slightly different ways. Here, I have shared the way we make it in our family, with finely chopped onions, some home-made Dosa Milagai Podi (often also referred to as ‘gunpowder’) and a bit of jaggery.

Ingredients (serves 2-3):

1. 8-10 leftover idlis
2. 1 large onion

3. 3-4 green chillies

4. 2 sprigs of curry leaves

5. 1/2 tablespoon oil

6. 3/4 teaspoon mustard seeds

7. 2 pinches of asafoetida

8. Salt to taste

9. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

10. 2 tablespoons Dosa Milagai Podi or to taste

11. 1/2 tablespoon jaggery or to taste (optional)

12. Red chilli powder to taste (optional)

13. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander


Top left: Step 1, Top right and centre left: Step 2, Centre right: Step 3, Bottom left and right: Step 4

1. Peel the onion and chop finely. Slit the green chillies length-wise. Keep aside.

2. Take the leftover idlis in a large bowl. Crumble them up nicely.

3. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the mustard seeds and allow them to sputter. Add the asafoetida, slit green chillies and curry leaves. Let these ingredients stay in for a few seconds.

4. Add the chopped onion to the pan at this stage. Turn the flame down to medium. Saute on medium flame till the onions are cooked and start browning.

Top left and right: Steps 5 and 6, Centre left and right: Steps 7 and 8, Bottom left: Step 9, Bottom right: Idli Upma, ready and served hot

5. Add the crumbled idlis to the pan at this stage. Turn the flame down to low-medium.

6. Add in salt to taste, turmeric powder and red chilli powder (if using).

7. Add in the Dosa Milagai Podi and jaggery powder (if using). Mix well.

8. Stirring intermittently, let everything cook together at low-medium flame for about 2 minutes. Switch off gas.

9. Mix in the finely chopped coriander. Your Idli Upma is ready. Serve hot, on its own or with a simple coconut chutney.

Is this Idli Upma vegan and gluten-free?

The above recipe is completely vegetarian and vegan, suited to those following a plant-based diet. It is not, however, gluten-free because of the use of asafoetida. The Dosa Milagai Podi I have used here also contains asafoetida. Most commercial Indian brands of asafoetida do contain wheat flour to a greater or lesser extent and are, therefore, best avoided when one is following a gluten-free diet. If you want to make the Idli Upma gluten-free, skip the asafoetida used in the tempering and use a gluten-free version of Dosa Milagai Podi.

Tips & Tricks

1. Leftover idlis that are a day old are best for making this Usili, as opposed to fresh ones. Cold, leftover idlis that have been at room temperature for at least 8-10 hours are easier to crumble than fresh ones, the crumbs are more even and the Usili tastes better. In case you want to use idlis cooked on the same day , keep them in the fridge for a couple of hours before starting to make the Usili. They will crumble more readily.

2. I have used home-made idlis here, which are typically smaller than those available in a restaurant. If you are using restaurant-bought idlis, you might want to use a couple less than the quantity suggested in the above recipe.

3. Be careful while adding the salt. The idlis contain some salt already, as does the Dosa Milagai Podi I have used here.

4. I have used home-made Dosa Milagai Podi here. You may use a store-bought version instead, too.

5. The home-made Dosa Milagai Podi I use is moderately hot and contains some amount of jaggery. So, I use some red chilli powder to balance the heat – if the Dosa Milagai Podi you are using is spicy enough, you may do away with the red chilli powder completely. Similarly, using the jaggery powder is optional too.

6. I prefer using sesame oil (‘nalla ennai‘ in Tamil) to make this leftover Idli Usili. However, if you don’t have it, you may use any other oil of your preference.

7. My mom adds a dash of lemon juice to this Idli Upma, once it is ready and the gas has been switched off. I mostly skip this bit.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Broccoli Almond Soup| Broccoli Soup

Broccoli Almond Soup is a creamy, comforting soup that is high on flavour. It is a great way to consume the nutrient-rich broccoli, I think. My version of the soup is easy to make, requires only a handful of common ingredients, and turns out absolutely delicious if I may say so myself. There’s no cream or flour used, nor any fancy ingredients, but the soup is decadent nonetheless. Full of the natural flavour of broccoli and almonds, this soup is something you must definitely try out.

Broccoli Almond Soup

We have tried out Broccoli Almond Soup at several restaurants and absolutely loved it. When the bub started asking for it recently, I tried to recreate it at home and succeeded after a couple of trials. I must say, it was indeed restaurant-style taste-wise. The bub liked it and so did the extended family, so I’m chuffed. It is just perfect for the chilly weather we are having in Bangalore these days, and quite filling too. Today, I am going to share with you all the way I make this Broccoli Almond Soup.

What goes into my Broccoli Almond Soup?

There is broccoli going into the soup, of course, and then there are almonds. I add some onion and garlic for added flavour. There is a little milk used too which, along with the almonds, contribute towards the creamy texture of the soup.

Salt and freshly cracked black pepper are the seasonings used here. I also like to add in a little jaggery to round off the other flavours, but you may skip it if you don’t prefer it.

Other Broccoli Recipes On My Blog

As a family, we are quite fond of broccoli and use it in a lot of dishes.

You might want to check out the Broccoli, Green Chana & Peas Tikki and Broccoli Paratha that I make with the veggie.

This Gujarati-style Broccoli Fulavar Nu Shaak turns out absolutely delectable, as do this Broccoli Masala Dosa and this Broccoli & Baby Corn Khichdi.

I also love using broccoli in Khao Suey and Thai dishes like Vegetarian Thai Penang Curry, Tom Yum Vegetable Soup, Green Curry and Yellow Curry.

Broccoli Almond Soup Recipe

Here is how I go about making this soup.

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

1. A small-sized head of broccoli, about one heaped cup when chopped

2. 1 small onion

3. 5-6 cloves of garlic

4. 10 almonds

5. 1/2 tablespoon oil

6. 1/2 cup milk

7. Salt to taste

8. Coarsely ground black pepper, to taste

9. 1 teaspoon jaggery powder or to taste (optional)


Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Centre left and right: Step 3 and 4, Bottom left: Step 5, Bottom right: The broccoli is sauteed and ready

1. Wash the broccoli thoroughly, then chop it up fine. You can even use the tender stalks in the soup. Keep the chopped broccoli aside.

2. Peel the onion and chop roughly. Peel the garlic cloves. Keep aside.

3. Heat a heavy-bottomed pan, then add in the almonds and reduce the flame to medium. Roast the almonds on medium flame for 3-4 minutes, for them to become crisp and delicious. Make sure they do not burn. Transfer the roasted almonds to a plate and allow them to cool down completely.

4. Now, heat the oil in the same pan we used earlier. Add in the garlic cloves and the chopped onion. Reduce the flame down to medium. Saute on medium flame for a minute.

5. Add the chopped broccoli to the pan, along with a bit of salt. Continue cook on medium flame for 3-4 minutes or till the broccoli is cooked but still retains a little crunch. Switch off gas and allow the broccoli to cool down completely.

Top left and right, below top right: Step 6, Bottom right: Step 7, Bottom left: Step 8

6. When completely cool, transfer the cooked onion, garlic and broccoli to a mixer jar. Add in the roasted almonds and milk. Grind everything together to a smooth puree.

7. Transfer the puree to the same pan we used earlier. Wash out the mixer with about 1/2 cup of water and add it to the pan too. Mix well and place on high flame.

8. Add in 1 more cup of water or as needed to adjust the consistency of the soup. Also add in salt to taste.

Left and top right: Step 9, Bottom right: Step 10

9. Add in coarsely ground black pepper to taste, along with jaggery (if using). Mix well.

10. Cook on high flame till the mixture comes to a boil, 2-3 minutes. Stir intermittently.

11. Now, reduce the flame to medium. Taste and adjust water, salt or pepper as needed. Simmer for 1-2 minutes more, then switch off gas. Your Broccoli Almond Soup is ready – serve hot.

Tips & Tricks

1. Use a fresh, firm head of broccoli that’s green rather than yellowing. Loose florets indicate that the broccoli is ageing.

2. I have used olive oil for sauteeing the vegetables here. You can use any oil of your preference.

3. If the vegetables get too dry while sauteeing, you may sprinkle some water to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

4. Adjust the amount of water you use, depending upon the consistency of the soup that you require. I have used 1-1/2 cups of water in total.

5. I have used Nandini full-cream milk here. It added a nice creamy texture to the soup, along with the almonds.

6. I have used almonds here to make the soup creamy and add to its flavour. You can use cashewnuts instead, but almonds go better with the broccoli.

7. As stated above, tender stalks of broccoli can also be used in the soup, along with the florets.

8. Freshly cracked black pepper goes beautifully in this soup. If you don’t have it, you may use black pepper powder instead.

9. You may skip the jaggery if you do not prefer using it. However, I personally feel using a little bit of jaggery adds a lovely taste to the soup.

10. The above recipe for Broccoli Almond Soup is completely vegetarian and gluten-free. It is not vegan (plant-based) because of the use of milk. I have not tried making this with dairy-free milk, so I’m not sure how that would work.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!