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If there is a searing summer, then a torrential monsoon will follow. This kind of weather also manages to work up quite an appetite. At the same time, we are also finicky about eating out during the monsoons. The best thing to do is to whip up something for yourself at home, sit by the window and enjoy the rains while basking in the glory of the dish that you have prepared. The dark skies and heavy clouds make us lazier than ever so you don’t want to make something that is too complicated or involves too much preparation. The good thing about this is that more often than not, the simplest dishes are the best ones. Just have a look at these three things that are sure to put you in the right monsoon spirit and satiate your hunger on days when it is pouring cats and dogs outside:

 

Soups: Soups are a palpable choice for rainy days. A bowl of hot soup on a chilly rainy day is what bliss really is about. Besides the comforting factor, soups are also great for you because they are highly nutritious and easy to make. The best part about homemade soups is that you can alter the soup to your preference and taste. Whether you are making a Chinese soup, international stew or an Indian shorba, soups give you ample freedom to tweak the recipes. You can also use a number of side dishes like vegetable sticks, croutons, bread sticks and salads, etc. and make a complete meal out of it.

 

One dish meals: When I think of rainy days and one dish meals, the first dish that comes to my mind is laksa. Laksa is originally a Malaysian noodle and coconut milk based stew. The spice from the chilli paste and the sweetness from the coconut milk offers a perfect balance of flavours for a stormy monsoon day. Whether you dish it up with prawns, chicken, beancurd or just about a healthy set of veggies, all of them are equally delicious. You can also make rice and vegetable casseroles or the all-time hit kadhi chawal. These are minimum effort-maximum satisfaction dishes, which is all you need for monsoons.

 

Pakoras: It will be unfair while talking about monsoon treats and not mentioning pakoras, also called bhajiyas in some parts of the country. While deep-fried, hot onion and potato pakoras are a classic, it is time to move on and explore more different types of pakoras as well. For example, something like chawal ke pakore which can be made using left over rice or a paneer sandwich pakora or even a pasta pakora. One thing that comes along with the joy of eating pakoras is the guilt for cheating on your diet. The solution to this is baking instead of deep-frying. Try baking pakoras with an assurance that they will be as tasty as the deep-fried ones and obviously a lot healthier. Have them with a hot cup of green tea with honey instead of the masala chai with sugar and you can wave a good-bye to all of the guilt associated with pakoras and chai.

 

 


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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.