Sardinian Fennel, Chickpea & Tomato Soup#SoupSwappers

This month for Soup Swappers our Host of the month Camilla M. Mann , asked us create and share some soups that feature the darlings of Spring. Think fennel, peas, and whatever tickles your fancy. 
Made my first every fennel soup.. a Sardinain one and fell in love with fennel.  Thanks Camilla for choosing this wonderful theme, it's a delight to be part of this wonderful group of soup swappers which pushes us to try and make different cuisines.

This soup serves 4 as a complete healthy meal, we had  it as  our dinner.  Soup is so tasty and very satisfying, the fennel, chickpeas add different textures to it.


1 Cups Dried Chickpeas
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 White Onion - chopped
1 Big Clove Garlic - finely chopped
2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley - chopped
1 Bulb Fennel - sliced
2 Tablespoons Fresh Fennel fronds - finely chopped
1 Medium  Potato

200 Grams Tomato Puree

1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
Salt and 
 Freshly Ground Black Pepper as per taste
6 Cups  Water
2 Chicken Stock cubes
1 Cup Mini pasta -I used a mini Macaroni pasta
For Garnishing 

1/2 Tablespoon Fresh Fennel fronds - finely chopped
1/4 Cup coarsely grated or shredded Cheese - optional


Wash and soak the chickpeas in water for at least 4 - 6 hours . Then pressure cook it with 1/2 teaspoon salt and water one inch above the chickpeas on high flame for one whistles then on low flame for 10 minutes. After soaking this makes 2 cups of cooked chickpeas.   When the cooker cools, open it and take 1/4 cup of chickpeas and mash it with a potato masher, keep aside.
Boil the potato till half done.  Peel and diced it into small cubes, keep it aside.
Boil the pasta till 3/4 done and keep aside.
Remove the stalks and fronds of the fennel, core it and thinly slice it. Keep aside.

In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the onion, garlic, and sliced fennel bulb,  cook gently, 
stirring occasionally until they are light pink or starts to caramelize, about 5 minutes.
 Now  add the  parsley, fennel fronds and potato and saute for  5 minutes. 
Add the tomato puree , sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste , pepper, stock cubes and chickpeas along with stock and water.  
Stir well, cover, and cook for 25 to 30 minutes over medium low heat.

After half an hour the stock will reduce  a little (ie. 2 cups ) and the chickpeas will absorb the flavor of the fennel.  
Now add the pasta and the mashed chickpeas, taste for salt, and continue to simmer, uncovered, until the pasta is just tender. 
Serve this hot with finely chopped fennel fronds and a dash of pepper powder.  Enjoy.

We loved the soup a lot,  without the cheese. The broth is so  flavorful.  
Had a bowl of it remaining the next day the pasta had swelled  up so much,  added more water, since the pasta  had absorbed so much liquid and it tasted ever more yum.
My Notes:

I have added 1/2 teaspoon sugar to the soup, to cut the sour taste that the puree sometimes has.
Many of the recipes that I read had added cheese,  which I did not add, loved this without cheese, it was healthy, low in calorie and  yum.

Can make this Vegetarian and Vegan add vegetable stock or stock cube.
Lables : Soup, Fennel, Chickpea, Tomato, Sardinia, Italy, Healthy, Soup Swappers, Gluten free, Continental Cuisine
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Camarones Empanizados Con Coco y Salsa De Mango#FishFriday

Camarones Empanizados Con Coco y Salsa De Mango it means Fried Breaded Shrimps In Coconut Served With Mango Sauce.  This is a must try recipe,  yummy to have as a starter.  
It’s time for me to post my fish recipe for #FishFridayFoodies and for April, the topic is all about Latin American Fish Recipes and our Host is Sue.
For the Marination
8 Cleaned Large Shrimp - tail in tact
1/2 Teaspoon Black pepper powder
1/2 Teaspoon Chilly Flakes
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
Salt to taste 
Other Ingredients 
1 Egg 
1 Cup Seasoned All Purpose Flour
1/4 Cup Shredded Coconut
1/4 Cup Dry Bread Crumbs
Oil - As required for deep Frying
For the Mango Sauce  

2 Tablespoons Sugar
2 Tablespoons Vinegar
Pulp of 2 Mangoes
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
Crushed Red Chilly powder to taste

To prepare the Mango Sauce

Peel the mangoes and pulse it  in the blender to get a smooth pulp. Melt the sugar in a small deep pan until it has a light amber color. Carefully add the vinegar and cover it immediately, so that it does not splash, as soon as it evaporates, add the mango pulp. Cook over low heat until thick and season with salt and red chilly powder to taste. Remove it on to a serving bowl and keep it in the refrigerator to chill. This has to be served cold.
For the Shrimps
Mix the shredded Coconut and bread crumbs well, keep aside. 
Peel the shrimp, de vein them from the back, leaving only the tail to hold them.  Marinate them in the given ingredients and keep aside for 15 minutes.
Coat each shrimp with the seasoned flour mixture. Place them in a sieve and shake it a little to remove the excess flour. 
Beat the eggs in a bowl with a balloon whisk until they are fluffy. Then dip each in the beaten egg and shake it a little to remove excess egg coating. Then dredge them in the shredded coconut bread crumbs mix and press very well so that they are well coated to the shrimp. Repeat these steps until you have breaded all the shrimp. 
Refrigerate the shrimp for at least 1 hour before frying.(If the shrimps are not cold, they will drop the coconut when they are fried, so it is VERY important that you refrigerate them for at least 1 hour ! I kept them overnight!!)
Now that the  shrimps are very cold, its time to fry them.  Heat enough oil , in a deep frying pan and fry the just 2 shrimps at a time in the oil for about 3 - 4 minutes, or until golden brown.  (Flip the side of the shrimp in the oil only once) Once they are ready, remove them from the oil and place them on paper towels so that the towels absorb the excess oil.
Serve the Shrimps with the mango sauce! Enjoy!!! 
Labels :  Shrimps, Prawns, Mexico, Mexican, Latin American, Fried Shrimps, Coconut, Starters, Seafood/Fish, Fish Friday, Mango Sauce, Jams & Sauces, 

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Eggless Gulkand Bundt Cake#BundtBakers

For this month the theme is "Flowers" Event for Bundt Bakers  our Host is Wendy Klik.  Made this cake for my friends birthday and frosted it with Gulkand Mousse.  This cake we had for dessert.

200 Grams All Purpose Flour
250 Ml Plain Yogurt
165  Grams Granulated Sugar 
1/2 tsp Baking soda 
1.1/4 tsp Baking powder
2 Tablespoons Heaped Gulkand
1 Tablespoon Rose Petals

125 Ml Vegetable Oil
1 Teaspoon Rose Essence

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. 
Grease a bundt pan  well. Keep aside
Sieve flour and add the gulkand keep aside.
Add rose petals and mix well.
Cream sugar and curd until sugar completely dissolves. Add baking powder, baking soda to the creamed mixture and mix well.   Leave aside for 5 mins and you can see the bubbles appearing. Now add vanilla essence,cooking oil and mix well.

Slowly add flour little  at a time and blend with wet ingredients. Beat well with a whisk until creamy and thick.
Pour the batter to the  bundt pan and bake in preheated oven a for 30-35 minutes or till a tooth pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. 
Allow the cake to cool down for 10 minutes, then invert.

For the Glukand Mousse check the recipe here , the only addition is 1 tablespoon  each of Gulkand and Rose Petals

Labels :  Bundt,  Cakes, Bundt Bakers, Flowers, Eggless, Gulkand, Rose Petals, Mousse

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Strawberry Vanilla Bean Tea Cakes from Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice
Violets Bundt Cake from Paty Co. Candy bar The Blurb Plain text: #BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about BundtBakers, can be found on our home page. HTML: #BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about BundtBakers, can be found on our home page


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Homemade Delicious Szechwan Sauce

This is my version of the schezwan or szechuan sauce or as some refer to as chutney, a famous and much sought sauce of Chinese cuisine. This sauce is famous for street food's like, momo's chinese bhel, chicken lollipops, spring rolls, fried rice , stir fried veggies, chicken & noodles etc. This can be used as a dipping sauce for spring rolls or any other starters. 
To make this, have used dry Kashmiri red chillies and since they are less spicy compared with other variety of chillies,  to bring down the spiciness of this fiery sauce also to give it an awesome color. However, you can use combination of any dry spicy chillies of your liking. But I would suggest that you use more of Kashmiri red chillies in making this sauce. You must definitely try this mouth watering Homemade Delicious Szechwan Sauce which is  also preservatives and color free.
1/3 cup Sesame Oil
15 + 15 Cloves Garlic - finely chopped
20 Dry Kashmiri Red Chilies
1 Tablespoon Soy sauce
1/4 Cup Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Tomato ketchup
2 Tablespoons Hot Chilli Garlic Sauce
1 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
1 Teaspoon Chinese Salt / Ajinomoto  - optional

Soak the red chilles in 1/4 cup vinegar and boiled water for an hour or two.  If you do have time to soak them  then boil them till they soften.  When cooled de-seed them.  
Grind the chillies with 15 garlic cloves and soy sauce to a fine paste without adding any water.   If required add a tablespoon of vinegar to grind it.
Heat oil in a pan, add garlic, saute for a second only, do not brown the garlic.  Add the ground paste with the remaining ingredients. Saute on a low flame till it comes to a boil. Taste for salt and sugar add accordingly to your taste.
Switch off the flame and let it cool. Once the sauce has completely cooled down, transfer to an airtight container/ sterilized bottle and store in the refrigerator for up to 15 days with an inch layer of oil on top or better still freeze it since it does not turn hard and icy. There is not need to thaw each time you want to use, just slice a part of it with a knife and use accordingly.
My Notes :
I have not added ajinomoto in the sauce.
You can use vegetable oil if you do not have sesame oil, the only difference is that sesame oil gives a nice nutty flavor to the sauce.

Labels :  Szechwan Sauce, Jams & Sauces, Chinese, Indo Chinese, Delicious, Homemade, Preservatives free, Color free, Dipping Sauce

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Creamy Asparagus Pasta#Improv

Making a asparagus cream  puree out of the stalks means that every spoonful of pasta will have a delicious taste of asparagus, yummy and delicious. 

For this month's Event for Improv Cooking Challenge, Hosted by Nichole Little, the theme is Asparagus & Cream.
Serves 2

6 Asparagus
1/2 Cup Fresh Cream / Single Cream
2 Whole Garlic Cloves
2 Tablespoon Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper powder
1 Cup Heaped Macaroni  Pasta
Salt to taste
Butter as required


To prepare the asparagus, cut off and discard the woody ends, then neatly cut the tips away from the stalks. Keep the tips and stalks separate. 

In a small saucepan add half a teaspoon of butter add garlic saute it for a minute then add the cream and heat till bubbles begin to appear at the sides of the pan. Take off the heat, set the pan aside.

Cook the stalks in boiling salted water for about 5 to 7 minutes until tender, drain, then tip into the cream with the grated Parmesan. Blitz it in a small blender or with a hand blender until smooth.

Cook the pasta according to packet instructions, then throw in the tips 2 minutes before the end of cooking time. 

In a big skillet  heat  a teaspoon of butter add the pasta, red chilly flakes and toss it for a minute now add the blended cream, toss till the pasta is coated with cream.  
Divide into individual serving  bowls, top with grated cheese, a sprinkle of black pepper and serve.  Enjoy ...

Labels : Fresh Cream, Asparagus, Garlic, Pasta, Healthy, Delicious, Improv Cooking Challenge,Vegetarian 

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