Minestrone Soup

I am fortunate to stay next to a hotel management institute (NITHM Hyderabad). They have recently started cooking classes on Saturdays and I got to attend the basics of Italian cooking class. The classes were well conducted and I got some good recipes to try. Made this soup on a windy evening and it was the perfect comfort food one could have asked for.

Minestrone Soup


  1. For this recipe all the veggies need to be cut with the Brunoise cut. Cut 1 cup of cabbage, 1/2  red capsicum and 1/2 yellow capsicum, 10 beans and 1 small carrot into cuboid pieces.
  2. In a deep bottomed vessel, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil. When hot, add 4-5 cloves of finely chopped garlic and saute. 
  3. When the garlic is sauteed add 1 medium sized finely chopped onion and saute till the onion is pink and translucent.
  4. Now add cabbage, beans and carrot and capsicum and saute for 5 mins till they are all well coated with oil.
  5. Add 2 finely chopped tomatoes (deseed and then cut into cubes) and saute well till the tomatoes are soft. Add 1 tbsp of tomato paste.
  6. Add 2 fistfuls of macaroni pasta and 2-3 cups of water to cover all the vegetables and the pasta.
  7. Add pepper, salt according to taste and a pinch of sugar.
  8. Mix well and let it cook till the pasta is cooked. Adjust water and spices according to the consistency you want.
  9. Make cheese pesto balls with grated parmesan cheese and finely chopped basil. Add this to the soup just before serving.

Grate some parmesan cheese over the hot soup bowl before serving
Ambe Hummane(also called Ambe Upkari) has been a regular affair in the summers for ages. It is a typical Konkani dish and I wonder if mango is cooked this way in any other cuisine.This dish is made from the smaller mangoes which can only be eaten by sucking out the flesh(called ghonto in Konkani).

This summer I stored some of these mangoes after deskinning them in the freezer. They were perfect even after 4 months and tasted just like fresh mangoes.

While trying to write this blog entry, I tried to think of how can I name this Konkani dish in English and I think the English name I came up with just doesnt give the essence of this dish..anyone has a better suggestion??please leave a comment

Ripe Mango Gravy (Ambe Hummane)

1. Remove the skins of around 8 mangoes and squeeze out any pulp from the skins.

2. Heat 2 tsp oil in a pan. When hot add 1 tsp mustard seeds. When they start spluttering, add 1 tsp urad dal. Add 1 green chilli, 2-3 red chillies slit in half, 10-15 curry leaves and saute till the urad dal is slightly reddish in color. 
2. Now add the mangoes and 1 cup water. Add 1 tsp jaggery (you can add more if your mangoes are not sweet), 1/2 tsp salt.
3.  Close the lid and cook for a good 10 mins on low flame.

4. You can garnish with some grated coconut and serve this as a side dish.

We have a lot of Tulu friends and this is one dish I love in their cuisine. Very elaborate dish but is so good that I dont mind spending the extra time in kitchen to cook it.

Cooked it recently for one special set of friends who love Mangalorean cuisine. 

Chicken Sukka - Dry Spicy Chicken with Coconut (Tulu Style)


  1. Clean and cut 1 kg chicken pieces into cube sized pieces along with the bone and keep aside.
  2. In a pressure cooker, take 2 tbsp oil and heat. When hot, add 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp jeera seeds and when they splutter add 5/6 sprigs of curry leaves. The curry leaves give a distinct flavor to this dish and hence feel free to go heavy on them
  3. Now after sauteeing it for 2-3 mins, add 1 finely chopped onion and some salt. Saute the onion till it is pinkish in color.
  4. Now add the chicken and saute it well. 
  5. As the chicken is cooking, dry roast 1 tsp coriander seeds, 7-8 dried red chillies, 10 pepper corns, 5-6 garlic pods, 1 inch dalchini, 1/2 tsp jeera, 4-5 cloves, 1/2 tsp khus khus(poppy seeds) with 2 tsp of onion and 2 tsp of grated coconut till the aroma of the spices fills up your kitchen. Let this cook for some time and then grind it to a coarse paste in the grinder.
  6. Add this to the chicken, mix well  and pressure cook it for 1 whistle. Pressure cooking though not the best way to cook meat, is the easiest and hence I took this option. You can just cover the pan with a lid and cook for 15-20 mins till chicken is cooked. Adjust the water according to the consistency you want. I like it to have some gravy so that it goes well with chapatis.
  7. Now again dry roast, 1 cup grated coconut, pinch of haldi and 5-6 pods of garlic and 1/2 tsp jeera till coconut is slightly brown. Grind this to a coarse paste
  8. Add it to the chicken when chicken is almost done. Mix well and cook for 3-4 mins with lid on. You can add some more curry leaves for additional flavors.
  9. You can serve this with chappatis, hot neer dosas or in this case we made Rice Rotis (Tandlachi Bhakri). Here is the recipe of these awesome Rice Rotis 

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