Archives for posts with tag: pumpkin

Soups are brilliant for these cold winter months fastly approaching here and I although I didn’t used to much of a soup fan, that rapidly diminished when I realized how easily they could be made. Growing up mostly on Indian food, granted we have many soup/daals, I used to find some Western dishes daunting, especially soup. I’m not sure why, guess it was just down to the way it came in the tins and looked so foreign to me and from tasting some pretty bland attempts. That of course changed when I realized it is the simple hand blender that can make soup out of anything. Although nothing beats a Heinz tomato soup, I do enjoying making my own variations and last time I was sick I actually looked forward to making some nice soups to make me feel better and blitzed every meal.

This is a lovely wholesome soup, and even though you could easily use vegetable stock cubes, I chose to put my own selection of veg in with the pumpkin and lentils and it tasted perfect. Another thing with growing up on Indian food, in my house anyway, is the way I was brought up on very little packets and cans of instant food. Indian food is surprisingly easy to make with fresh ingredients and even now with other dishes I make, I like to add as little as I can of pre-packaged food which is full of additives and preservatives. Of course we all need a helping hand so I don’t rule them out completely, it’s just I prefer to cook without them. This of course means food can look different and taste different, but being creative and putting in a little more effort is always worth it I think.

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Yes, Autumn is here in Japan. The fake red and orange leaves in convenience stores, Pumpkin flavored HaagenDazs, the sweet smell of the Kinmokusei tree flower.. and of course the real trees and lovely Autumn feeling.

Heaps of different mushrooms, pumpkin and lots of great other food is abundant and after a walk in the mountains last weekend and picking up some really fresh Shitake mushrooms, I made this colorful rice night.

Actually the rice was from the day before which made making this even easier and a great accompaniment to some Mung Daal Soup.

Some pumpkin to steam in a small pot and in a large frying pan, heated some olive oil – quite generous so it could coat the rice. Threw in some cumin, added some finely chopped garlic and sliced green chillis, chopped and added half a red onion, thinly sliced and added a big handful of Shitake mushrooms and okra. When the pumpkin was soft, after about 5 mins left it to cool. Added salt and turmeric powder to the frying pan and mixed in the rice. Chopped and stirred in the pumpkin and a final big stir on a high heat until all yellow from the turmeric and it was ready in about 10 minutes.

Need: 2 cups pre-cooked rice, half red onion, about a sixth of a pumpkin, 8-10 okra, 4 garlic cloves, handful shitake mushrooms, 2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 2/3 fresh green chillis

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