14 Comfort food recipes for the monsoon

Keepers of Cool

From hearty soups to fried crunchy delights, these are the dishes to savour when it is pouring outside.

5 g garlic, finely chopped
10 g red onion, finely chopped
30 g mushroom, freshly sliced
pinch of salt
10 ml white wine
10 g white sauce
6 spring roll sheets
20 g Parmesan cheese
15 g pizza sauce
15 g mozzarella cheese, grated
pinch of white pepper

Take a pan and pour a little olive oil. Add garlic and onion and sauté till golden. Add the mushrooms and then toss with a little salt. Instantly add white wine and white sauce. Let the mixture cool down. Take the spring roll sheets and arrange the mushroom filling. Add Parmesan cheese on top and fold into samosas. Similarly drizzle some pizza sauce on the spring roll sheets, add the mushroom filling, top with mozzarella cheese and fold into a samosa. Store the samosas in the freezer for an hour. When needed deep fry till golden brown.

Recipe courtesy: Chef Glyston Gracias, City Chef at Impresario Entertainment and Hospitality Pvt, Social

Four Cheese Mac & Cheese
Serves: 2
5 g sun-dried tomato, chopped
15 ml olive oil
15 ml water
75 g mild cheddar
25 g mature cheddar
25 g gouda
25 g Parmesan
300 ml milk
90 g macaroni (parboiled weight, al dente)

Mix sun-dried tomatoes, water and olive oil in a bowl to rehydrate the tomatoes. Grate all cheeses. Add milk and all the grated cheeses to a pan at room temperature. Turn the heat on to medium. Keep stirring till the cheese and milk combine to make a 4 cheese sauce. Add macaroni and sun-dried tomatoes to the cheese sauce. Serve.

Recipe courtesy: Chef Siddharth Kashyap, The Boston Butt, Bandra (W), Mumbai

Herbed Bacon & Porcini Broth
200 ml vegetable stock
40 g bacon
4 ml olive oil
8 g carrot
8 g zucchini
5 g French beans
4 g porcini mushrooms dust
3 g salt
1 g white pepper powder
3 g fresh thyme
2 g garlic dust

Take water in a stock pot make some vegetable stock with onions, carrots, celery, bay leaves and peppercorns. Boil it for one hour and strain it. Keep side. Take another pan, add bacon and make it crispy. In the same pan heat the olive oil. Add vegetables and herbs and sauté lightly. Add the vegetable stock and cook until it is nicely done. Adjust seasoning. Serve hot with garlic dust sprinkled on top.

Recipe courtesy: Chef Lokesh Jarodia, Executive Chef, Deltin, Daman

Avocado Fritti
400 g ripe avocado
2 eggs
200 g panko breadcrumbs
750 ml oil
100 g dusting flour

Peel the avocados clean. Cut the ripe avocados into long wedges and dust them in some dusting flour. Beat the eggs well in a bowl. Dip each wedge into the beaten eggs and roll the each egg-dipped avocado wedge in panko crumb. Bring some oil to heat and drop each wedge into the oil and deep fry till the wedges are golden brown. Place the wedges on a kitchen towel to drain out any excess oil. Serve the avocado wedges with a scoop of mayonnaise or some garlic- flavoured mayonnaise.

Recipe courtesy: CinCin

Crispy Arbi with Tamarind and Mugri Salad
Serves: 8-10
1 kg​ ​​arbi, peeled and cut into half
8 tbsp ​​​tamarind chutney
chaat masala to taste
salt to taste ​​​
chilli powder to taste ​​​

For the spiced yogurt
2 kg​ hung yoghurt
3 tsp ​​​red chilli powder
sugar to taste ​​
3 tsp cumin powder, toasted
salt to taste ​​​
pepper to taste ​​​

For the mugri salad
1 cup​​​ mugri/rat tail radish/white radish, chopped
4 tbsp ​​​diced tomatoes
½ tsp ​​​green chillies, finely chopped
2 tbsp ​​​diced pickled onion
1 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp ​​​pickling liquid
salt to taste​​​

Fry arbi at 165°C for about 5-8 minutes, till tender. Drain on paper, allow to cool and then smash them to flatten. To make the spiced yoghurt, whisk together the yoghurt with chilli powder, sugar, cumin powder, salt and pepper. Fill the tamarind chutney and spiced yogurt in squeeze bottles and keep refrigerated. When you’re ready to serve, fry the smashed arbi at 180°C, till crispy. Drain on a paper towel and season with salt, chilli powder and chaat masala. Lay the crispy arbi on the bottom of a plate. Drizzle tamarind chutney and spiced yoghurt on top. Mix all the ingredients for the mugri salad and place the salad on top of the arbi. Serve immediately while the arbi is hot and the yogurt is cold.

Recipe courtesy: The Bombay Canteen

Slow Roast Plum Tomato and Basil Soup
150 g ripe tomato, cut in half
20 ml olive oil
10 g onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 g black peppercorn
10 g carrot, chopped
5 g leeks, chopped
5 g celery, chopped
30 g tomato puree
200 ml vegetable stock
10 g lemongrass, crushed (optional)
salt to taste
sugar to taste
5 g basil

Place the tomatoes on a tray and drizzle some of the olive oil on top. Place in a pre-heated oven at 160°C for 25 minutes, or till the skins lift off the flesh. Remove from oven and discard the skins. Roughly chop the roasted tomato. In a heavy bottom stock pot, heat olive oil. Add the bay leaves, chopped onions, peppercorn, carrot, celery, and leeks. Cook till soft. Add the roasted tomato, tomato puree, vegetable stock and slow cook the tomato base for 15 minutes. Turn off the gas, add the crushed lemongrass and let it steep for about 5 minutes. Strain the tomato soup base and adjust seasoning. Serve hot, with hand-torn basil leaves.

Recipe courtesy: Chef Jaydeep Mukherjee, Brand Head - Smoke House Deli, Bandra (W), Mumbai

Monsoon Pan-fried Mutton Cutlets
½ tsp coriander seeds
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin
3 cloves
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup refined oil
15 garlic cloves
1 medium ginger knob, chopped
4 green chillies
salt to taste
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp chilli powder
500 ml water
500 g minced mutton
2 potatoes, boiled
a small bunch of fresh coriander
½ lime
½ cup flour
2 eggs
rawa for crumbing

In a pan, dry roast coriander seeds, cinnamon, black pepper, cumin and cloves. Then pound them together with a mortar and pestle. Transfer this garam masala into a small cup. Sauté one finely chopped onion and refined oil in a pan. Pound garlic, ginger, green chillies and salt in a mortar and pestle. Add them to the pan and sauté together. Add powder spices like turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt and sauté. Add water to the pan and mix well. Add mutton mince, the fresh garam masala and salt, and sauté the mix till cooked. Transfer the mix into a bowl and add 2 mashed potatoes, green chillies, fresh coriander and half a lime. Mix well and shape into cutlets. Pick three wide plates for cutlet binders. In the first plate place half a cup of flour. In the second plate break open two eggs and mix them well. In third plate add seasoned rawa. Coat the cutlets with flour, dip them in the egg and then coat them with the seasoned rawa. Keep them in the fridge for 20 minutes. Then shallow fry the cutlets in refined oil. Serve with green chutney and garnished with slice of lemon and red chilly.

Recipes courtesy: Chef Rohan, Radio Bar

Beet Bora with Kasundi
250 g beetroot
75 g potatoes
75 g carrots
75 g peanuts
5 g chilli powder
5 g turmeric powder
2 g garam masala powder
50 g fresh coconut
5 g fennel
10 g ginger garlic paste
salt to taste
pepper to taste
100 g breadcrumbs

Boil beetroot, potatoes, and carrots and chop in to small pieces. Sauté beetroot and carrots in oil. Add peanuts, chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala, fresh coconut, fennel, ginger garlic paste, and seasoning. Cool this mixture and add mashed potatoes. Mix well and shape into cylindrical forms. Crumb with breadcrumbs and deep fry in hot oil. Serve with kasundi.

Recipe courtesy: Chef Ranjan Rajani, Executive Chef, Hotel Sahara Star

Spicy Mushroom Soup
15 ml soya sauce
mirin to taste, depending upon the spice level
5 ml sake
20 g shitake mushrooms
20 g shimeji mushrooms
20 g bottom mushrooms
salt to taste
green onion for garnishing

Add soya sauce, mirin, sake and some water to a medium saucepan and bring it to boil. Then, reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the shitake, shimeji and bottom mushrooms to the mix to make a mushroom broth. Add salt and bring the mix to a boil for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer for 6 minutes. Pour it in to a soup bowl and garnish with green onions.

Recipe courtesy: Chef James Biaka, Executive Chef, Happy Thai, Worli, Mumbai

Jalapeños Murgh Tandoori Tikka
240 g chicken leg, boneless
10 g garlic
10 g ginger
6 g salt
15g jalapeños
5 g black pepper
10 g garam masala
5 g cumin powder
5 g cardamom powder
5 g ginger powder
10 g chaat masala
3 g black salt
10 ml mustard oil
150 g hung yoghurt
30 g lemon juice
10 g butter
30 g mint chutney

Wash the boneless chicken legs, remove all the moisture and cut each leg into four pieces. Marinate the chicken in ginger garlic paste and salt. Keep it in the chiller for two hours. Then add chopped jalapenos, all the dry masala powders, salt, pepper, mustard oil, hung curd and lemon juice. Keep the marinated chicken in the fridge for four more hours for a better taste. Then take it out and arrange the pieces on skewers. Cook it in the tandoor at 300°C. Baste the pieces with butter just when they are almost done. Cook well and serve hot with green chutney and laccha onion salad.

Recipe courtesy: Chef Lokesh Jarodia, Executive Chef, Deltin, Daman

Crispy Corn in Plum Sauce
360 ml water
350 g plum sauce
500 g red chilli, chopped
sugar to taste
salt to taste
150 g spring onions
200 g red bell pepper, chopped
200 g yellow bell pepper, chopped
200 g green bell pepper, chopped
3 tbsp oil
120 g corn
120 g chilli paste
pepper to taste
oil for drying

Take 20 ml of water in a wok, add 2 tablespoons of ready-made plum sauce, chopped fresh red chillies, sugar and salt. Sauté, and then add the spring onions and chopped bell peppers. Boil the corn in the remaining water. Remove from the water once cooked, add chilli paste, salt and pepper, and mix well. Then coat the corn with cornflour and deep fry. Next, toss the corn with plum sauce mix and serve.

Recipe courtesy: Pink Panther

Paleo Coconut & Seafood Broth
15 ml oil
5 g garlic
15 g onion
30 g mushroom
5 g red chilli
30 g prawns
50 g basa fish
25 g squid
150 ml fish stock
10 g coconut milk powder
10 g arrowroot powder
1 kaffir lime leaf
5 ml lime juice
5 g coriander leaves
salt to taste

In a warm pan add oil, garlic and onion; sauté till translucent. Add mushrooms, slit red chilli, prawns, basa and squid. Cook for about a minute. Then add fish stock and bring it to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer and finish the soup with coconut milk powder, arrowroot powder, kaffir lime, lime juice and coriander. Adjust seasoning and serve warm.

Recipe courtesy: Chef Jaydeep Mukherjee, Brand Head - Smoke House Deli, Bandra (W), Mumbai

Sweet Potato Dangar
Serves: 6

Sweet potato mixture
3 tbsp sunflower oil
¾ cup onions, finely chopped
½ tsp turmeric powder
1.5 tsp garam masala
½ kg sweet potato, baked in an oven till soft, skin peeled
¼ cup poi saag, blanched in hot water
2 tbsp coriander leaves, finely cut
1 tsp black sesame
1 tsp white sesame
salt to taste
¼ cup all purpose flour
½ cup water
1 cup semolina
¼ cup rice flour
oil to fry

Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan on a medium flame. Add onions and sauté till translucent. Add in the powdered spices and let them bloom. Mash the baked sweet potato and add to it the chopped poi saag leaves, coriander, black sesame, white sesame, and spice sautéed onions. Combine gently to form a homogenous mixture and season with salt. Shape in to tikkis of 25 g each and reserve in a cool place. In a bowl mix all purpose flour and water to make a batter. Season with salt. Combine the semolina and rice flour in a shallow tray with lofted sides. Dip the tikkis in the batter and coat with the semolina rice flour mix. Reserve in a cool space for at least 1 hour. Heat oil in a kadai/ frying pan on medium heat. Sprinkle some left over batter to check the temperature; if it rises quickly after touching the base your oil is ready to go. Add in the tikkis and fry a few at once. Drain on a kitchen towel and serve hot with chutney and kachumber.

Raw mango chutney
1 cup coriander
¼ cup raw mango, roughly cut
2-3 pcs green chilli, medium sized
½ tsp chaat masala
½ cup sunflower seed oil
salt to season
sugar to taste

In a large blender jar, grind together coriander, roughly cut raw mango, green chillies and chaat masala. Once the mixture starts to form into a paste, start adding sunflower seed oil little by little from a height till it starts forming into a smooth fluffy paste. Season with salt and sugar. Refrigerate for a while and serve with hot tikkis.

½ cup onions, finely chopped
½ cup deseeded tomatoes, finely chopped
½ tsp green chillies, chopped
½ cup raw mango, finely chopped
1 lemon cut in half
salt to season
sugar to taste

Mix all chopped ingredients in a mixing bowl. Squeeze the juice of one lemon and season with salt. Add sugar to balance. Sprinkle this mixture over the tikkis and serve along with the chutney.

Recipe courtesy: O Pedro

Kandal Sundal
Serves: 2
½ cup brown channa/kondaikadalai
1½ tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp urad dal
2 red chillies
pinch of hing
few curry leaves
salt to taste
¼ cup grated coconut

Wash and soak kala channa overnight or for 6 to 7 hours. Pressure cook with a little water and salt for 3 whistles or until soft. Once the pressure is released, open the cooker. If there is water in the channa, drain it and keep it aside. Heat oil in a pan/kadai, add mustard seeds, when it splutters add urad dal. When the dal turns golden brown, add red chillies, hing and curry leaves. Sauté for a second and add the cooked channa without water. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until it is well coated with the seasoning. Add salt if needed. Then add grated coconut, mix well and remove from flame.

Recipe courtesy: Thangabali