Mexican black bean tortilla soup


Hola everyone! How is winter season treating you all?

I am  pretty sure you all are keeping yourself warm with lots of hot chocolate, chai and soups. Today I am sharing recipe of a healthy and filling soup to kick start 2019 on a healthy note. This Mexican black bean tortilla soup is just what you need for cold nights. Its comforting, spicy and packed with vegetables and beans.


I am a big fan of Mexican cuisine. Its spicy, sour and tangy! Speaking of Mexican cuisine, tacos are my ultimate comfort food and these Mexican bean tacos with pico di gallo are so good that I can have them everyday. I highly recommend trying them.

Mexican cuisine incorporates lot of smoky elements in the recipes like char grilled dried chilies, onions,jalapenos and tomatoes for salsa and soups. I have used charred tomatoes and chilies in this soup which add such a good depth of flavor and make the soup really smoky.


This soup is tangy, smoky, spicy all at the same time and packed with nutrition. Don't even get me started on how easy and quick it is to put together. Soups like these are my favorite , hearty and enough as a meal on its own for lunch/dinner.

I personally like finishing the soup with some sharp cheddar which increases the flavor even more but you can totally skip it make this soup vegan. Crushed tortilla chips lend a wonderful crunch and texture in the soup. This soup is so yum that you won't be able to stop yourself from re-filling the bowl!


Diet: Vegetarian
Type: Appetizer/Main course

Serving size : 5-6 portions


Ingredients


2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3-4 cloves garlic- chopped

2 medium onion- finely chopped

1/4th cup finely chopped cabbage

1/4th cup finely chopped carrot

4-5 whole tomatoes

2-3 dried red chilies 

½ cup boiled corn

1 cup boiled kidney beans

1 tsp cumin powder

2 tsp oregano

2-3 Tbsp tomato ketchup

½ tsp Tobasco

7-8 chopped jalapeno slices (pickled)

Salt

1 tsp black pepper powder

 

Garnishes

Coriander

Grated cheese- Cheddar/Regular processed cheese (Amul)

Chopped onion

Tortilla chips

Avocado

 

Method


Roast chilies lightly over open flame and take off heat till they become fragrant. Soak these charred chilies in warm water and set aside.


Next, roast tomatoes too till they are slightly charred and keep aside.

 

Heat oil in a non-stick deep pan and add garlic. Next, add onions and cook they are slightly brown in color.

 

Now add chopped cabbage and carrot, season with salt and pepper and cook covered with a lid till vegetables are slightly cooked.

 

Discard seeds of chilies. Roughly chop tomatoes and and blitz with chilies and add this  tomato-chili puree in the pan. Add cumin powder, oregano, ketchup, chopped jalapenos and cook for 5-10 minutes on low heat.

 

Next add boiled corn and kidney beans along with 3 cups of water/stock. Simmer the soup and then cook covered with a lid on medium heat for 10 minutes.

 

Finish the soup with Tobasco sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning.

 

Garnish the soup with tortilla chips, grated cheese,chopped onion and coriander before serving. 



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French onion soup

Season of soups is here! There's nothing better than a big bowl of comforting and hot soup on a cold night and if it's hearty and filling then even better as you can skip the effort of making dinner.

But first I have to make an announcement! I have started conducting cooking workshops and the response of both of my workshops has been amazing. Theme of my first workshop was Instant party food and second's was Healthy Soups and Salads and I am so glad that all of the participants loved the recipes and had such nice things to say after trying the recipes at their home.

If you are interested in participating, do follow my pages on Facebook and Instagram to stay updated on future workshop announcements to register.

OK, coming back to this soup!


French onion soup is a a classic soup made by slowly caramelising onion with butter till they are brown and naturally sweet. Its an ultimate comfort soup which is eaten with a thick slice of toasted bread with melted cheese on it.

Its a very easy and delicious soup using few ingredients. Highlight of this recipe is slowly caramelising the onions and stirring from time to time to make the most flavourful French onion soup. Traditionally beef stock is used in this recipe but I have used vegetable stock which you can easily make at home or buy stock cubes/stock from market.


Type: Appetiser
Diet: Vegetarian
Serving: 3-4 people

Ingredients

2 cups thinly sliced onion
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tsp sugar
2-3 finely chopped cloves of garlic
3 Tsp plain flour
5-6 cups vegetable stock
1 Tsp black pepper powder
2 dried bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme
Bread
Cheese - (Cheddar/Mozzarella/Parmesan)

Method

In a deep dish pan, heat butter and add sliced onions. Season with salt and add sugar.

Cook onions on medium heat and keep stirring from time to time until they are brown and soft.


Once the onions are caramelised, add garlic and cook it for 2-3 minutes. Then add flour and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes.

Next, add vegetable stock, salt, bay leaves, dried thyme and black pepper powder.

Once the soup comes to boil, cover with a lid and let it cook on low heat for 15 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, slice loaf bread and top slices with grated cheese and toast in oven till bread is crisp and cheese has melted.

Taste the soup and adjust seasoning. You can add tiny amount of any vinegar or lemon juice to enhance the taste even more.

Serve the soup in serving bowl and place the cheese toasts on top of the soup right before serving.

Make sure to break the cheese toast with the spoon and have along with the soup.




If you try the recipe, don't forget to leave a comment. Also do take a picture and tag #fascinatingfoodworld on Instagram.


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Some more soup recipes you can try














Egg-less Christmas desserts

Merry Christmas you all!

Festive season is around the corner and I have compiled some indulgent and delicious desserts from the blog to spread some X-mas cheer and happiness. All the recipes are egg-less and extremely easy to make so even if you haven't baked a cake before, don't worry I have got you covered with these fail-proof tried and tested recipes.



1. Ultimate Chocolate cake

I can't begin to tell how many times I have made this cake! Once you try this cake, I guarantee that you will be making it repeatedly. Its easy, egg-less, moist, chocolatey and delicious.



2. Dark chocolate truffles

These little balls are made with chocolate and cream and hardly needs any preparation or effort. These chocolate truffles to be made in this cold weather, sets beautifully and you can coat them in tons of different things like crushed almonds, walnuts, pistachios, rose petals, match powder. These will be perfect for holiday gifting too. Needs to be refrigerated




This romantic cake will steal your heart. While most of the red velvet cake recipes call for using cream cheese frosting, this nutella buttercream is my spin which goes really well with this red velvet cake. Its super-moist and indulgent.



 4. Caramel fingers

Just look at these caramel fingers! One bite and you won't be able to stop at just one. So So good with biscuity base +caramel + dark chocolate! It just melts in mouth.


5. Double Chocolate banana bread

This recipe is perfect if you have over-ripe or excess of bananas in the house. Because bananas are so sweet, I have added very little extra sugar in this cake thus making it naturally sweet. This banana bread is moist, fudgey and insanely chocolatey! Stays good for 3-4 days



6. Strawberry and almond meal cake with orange icing

With strawberries in season, this gorgeous and easy cake is perfect for Christmas baking. Orange icing perfectly compliments this strawberry cake.



7. Fruit and nut chocolate bark

These chocolate barks are my favourite. Studded with nuts of your choice, you can customise these chocolate barks the way you want. Ideal for gifting, these stay good for 10-15 days in an air-tight container.




Who doesn't love a cupcake! These dark chocolate cupcakes are egg-less and just melts in mouth. Stays good in refrigerator for 3-4 days.



9. No bake chocolate tart

This is my top favourite dessert. Extremely easy to make, this chocolate tart is ideal to feed large no. of people as it hardly requires any effort. Silky smooth chocolate filling goes really well with salty biscuit-y crust.




This is a one bowl recipe and makes the most delicious batch of dark chocolate and walnut brownies. These are ideal for gifting and stays good without refrigeration in an air-tight container for 3- 4 days.





11. Whole wheat-olive oil Banana-nutella swirl cake

Wouldn't you love a healthy cake made with whole wheat flour which tastes as delicious as the regular cake made with refined flour? And the bonus is it's made with olive oil with natural sweetness of bananas and tiny bit of nutella. I can't tell you moist and moreish it is! Try it to believe what I am saying!


12.  Strawberry brownie Christmas trifle

Nothing says Christmas better than this bright and vibrant trifle. Fudgey brownie, smooth chocolate ganache and fresh strawberries are layered together to make this instant trifle dessert. You can even use store bought brownie in this recipe but I recommend my homemade Brownie recipe.

Rose and coconut water lemonade


I have a thing for pretty drinks. I know I just shared this amazing Orange and ginger masala lemonade but I really wanted to share this gorgeous drink too before Diwali. I think drinks are perfect for festive entertaining and it's always better to present something with a special touch rather than just handing over juice out of a box.

Speaking of Diwali, I have compiled 21 Easy Diwali recipes which you can make both for guests and family members. The compilation consists of welcome drinks, desserts, appetisers and you must check it out.


A touch of rose water adds a beautiful and subtle floral flavour to this sweet lemonade which pairs really well with coconut water. This drink is light, naturally sweet, aromatic and refreshing. Addition of rose petals in this drink makes this drink even more prettier!

This lemonade is

Pretty + naturally sweet + hydrating + healthy and has just the right amount of tang.


I seriously haven't come across a drink before which is so delicious yet so easy. All you have to do is add all the ingredients in a pitcher, mix and chill for one hour before serving. In case you haven't used rose water before in any drink then I highly recommend trying this drink.This is for the first time that I have added rose water in a drink and I know from now on, I am going to be using it often.


Simple, delicious and refreshing drink with a subtle hint of floral aroma. Tastes best when chilled!

Type: Beverage/Drink
Diet: Vegetarian
Serving: Makes 3 glasses

Ingredients

3 cups Coconut water
1 Tsp honey
1 Tsp lemon juice
1+ 1/2 tsp rose water
Rose petals

Method

Add coconut water in a pitcher.

Add honey, lemon juice, rose water and mix well with coconut water.

Next add rose petals in the pitcher and chill for at-least one hour and serve cold.



If you try this drink,don't forget to take a picture or leave a comment and tag #fascinatingfoodworld on Instagram.


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Instant Chocolate and date ladoos


Diwali is just a week away! It's the biggest festival of India and the zeal with which it's celebrated all over India is really amazing.

No festival in India is complete without sweets and there are just too many of sweets during Diwali which are just irresistible. Food brings people together and our heritage has given us so many different recipes to share with everyone. Every household has it's own special snacks and sweets which are prepared a week in advance. My mom always made Nariyal ki barfi, Besan ki barfi and papdi at home for papdi chat. There's nothing better than treating guests to handmade treats!


Today I am sharing recipe of these delicious and fudge-y Instant Chocolate and date ladoos which are perfect for welcoming guests and even better if you want to make something personalised for gifting. You guys are going to love these!

One bite and these ladoos will remind you of a cake-y and fudge-y brownie. I mean really, they are unbelievable. They are absolutely gluten free and naturally sweet with just little bit of honey.
Made with goodness of dates, walnuts, almonds and oats, these ladoos are indulgent, chocolatey and super healthy.

The base of these ladoos are dates which have to be cooked to get them caramelised and soft so that they act as a binding agent.


How cool it would be if you eat a rich and moist chocolate ladoo and don't  feel guilty after eating it! Well, your guests are going to exactly feel that. And might I add that unlike most ladoos, they are not laden with ghee. I have just added 2 Tbsp to bind everything together.

They are perfect anytime of the day as a healthy and wholesome snack too. They will pack really well in your kid's and husband's lunch box too for evening snack. Once I start eating them, I usually gobble down like 4 of them together. I keep a batch of it ready at home to satisfy my sweet tooth whenever I want, they are such an amazing dessert.


Instant chocolate and date ladoos - Fudgy, chocolatey, rich, moist and perfect as a dessert/healthy snack. These ladoos will be amazing as a sweet treat for welcome guests this Diwali

Type: Dessert/Healthy Snack
Diet: Vegetarian/Gluten-free
Seving: Makes 12-15 ladoos/balls

Ingredients

1 cup pitted dates- chopped
1/2 cup walnut- ground
1/4th cup oats- powdered
1/4th cup almonds- ground
2 Tbsp ghee
2 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1+1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp sesame seeds

Method

Add chopped dates in a pan and cook on medium heat till they become soft and mushy. Break them down with a help of wooden spoon.

Bring the burner down to low heat and add honey and ghee. Incorporate into dates properly.

Turn off the gas.

Next tip in powdered oats, ground almonds and walnuts. Also add sesame seeds, vanilla essence and cocoa powder.

Mix everything properly.

Rolling the ladoos

You have to make sure that the mixture is still warm otherwise ladoos won't come together.

Start making ladoos by taking about 1 Tablespoon amount and carefully form into balls. The mixture will be little fragile so use the warmth of your hands to gently roll them into balls. 

Mixture will make about 12-15 balls/ladoos.

Store in an air-tight container and refrigerate. Ladoos should be fine in fridge for about 10 days.



If you try this recipe,don't forget to take a picture or leave a comment and tag #fascinatingfoodworld on Instagram.


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More festive recipes you can try this Diwali









Orange and ginger masala lemonade


It's almost Diwali time and I come bearing the most refreshing and delicious Orange and ginger Masala lemonade.

Sweet, sour, citrus-y, gingery, minty and subtly spiced with Indian spices like rock salt, cumin powder and chat masala. Its the perfect welcome drink for your guests this festive season. I guarantee that you are going to find it really amazing!


Its that time of the year which marks the onset of winter season. Days are getting shorter and I can already feel the change in the air the mornings. Orange season is finally here and they are at their sweetest best right now. Glorious! I couldn't resist myself from trying this lemonade.

If you have been following my blog, you'd know that I love lemonades. Though Mango chilli lemonade is one of my favourite and one of the highest viewed recipe on blog, this orange and ginger lemonade has become my hot fav too!


This lemonade starts by making a simple orange syrup. Orange juice, grated ginger and sugar is simmered on low heat till flavour is concentrated and then strained to get a fine syrup. Once syrup is cooled, it can be used to make lemonade and soda. You just have to add little syrup and some spices to a glass of water. Serve with mint and soaked chia seeds/basil seeds with a chat masala rim for more deliciousness.

Ginger adds such a beautiful flavour in the syrup. This drink is really a celebration of oranges and pairs well with appetisers like Bruschetta bar, Mexican beans tacos with salsa, Pasta salad, Vegetable tikka and Paneer Schezwan frankie.


Delicious Orange and ginger masala lemonade subtly spiced with cumin powder, rock salt and chat masala. Perfect as a welcome drink this festive season!

Type: Beverage
Serving: Makes about 5 glasses

Ingredients

1 cup fresh orange juice
1/4th cup sugar
1 tbsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp chat masala
1 tsp jeera powder
1/2 tsp black salt
1 tsp lemon juice
mint leaves
Soaked basil seeds/chia seeds

For rim

1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp chat masala

Method

Add fresh orange juice, sugar and grated ginger to a medium saucepan and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.

Once cooled, strain the syrup. Mix chat masala, cumin powder, lemon juice and rock salt in syrup.

To make the lemonade, rub a lemon wedge along the edges of glass and dip in salt and chat masala mixture.

Now add about 3 Tbsp syrup to the glass along with soaked basil seeds, fresh mint and few ice cubes. Pour water and mix. Taste and add more syrup according to your liking.

Serve immediately.


If you try this drink,don't forget to take a picture or leave a comment and tag #fascinatingfoodworld on Instagram and #nishbes on Twitter.


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