Peas in a Pod

Back to blogging after a really long time but life is such… when other thing took over, writing surely had taken a back seat for me. But now am back again and will do a detailed blog post on things which I tried cooking or eating out over the last couple of weeks!!

So this blog post is pretty special, I got a chance to make few recipes using ingredients from Shop for Change Fair Trade, an NGO that was founded in 2009 with a mission to harness the power of Indian markets to improve the livelihoods of poor farmers across India via trade, not aid.

Shop for Change is India’s first and only Fair Trade label. Cotton is the first fair trade certified product where they have partnered with leading brands such as Color Plus (Raymond), Shoppers Stop, Mother Earth, Anita Dongre and innovative brands like No Nasties, Do U Speak Green etc…They are doing some commendable work in this field.

They also have a range of exclusive food products such as chocolate cashew, organic vanilla powder, Chamomile tea, various Herb blends, wild forest honey – all sourced directly from small farmer groups. With festive season around these products are wonderful gifting options. One of the gifting ideas is one can club these various spices and make special box or a hamper. They have a variety of herb blends, mace, all spice mix, oregano etc which can be combined into a lovely spice box.

This week I got cooking with these amazing products hence am going to do a series of Three recipes which are perfect to be served for Diwali party or any occasion using these products.

For my first recipe am going to use the black peppercorns from fair trade. These peppercorns are sourced from Varanashi Organic. They are wonderfully aromatic and very good quality. So I decided to make a green peas soup garnished with crispy cottage cheese and freshly ground pepper from Fair Trade which can be served as a perfect starter.

This recipe is easy to make one pot soup, its has wonderful flavors of the Indian spices the pepper here provides the perfect kick and the lovely green color is very inviting also kind of comfort food… A healthy option as it has no added cream,Etc. Serve warm with choice of any assorted bread and herb butter.

GREEN PEAS SOUP

3 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic crushed
2 green chilies, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
3 tablespoons sunflower oil/butter
2 bay leaves
1 medium onion, chopped
4 1/2 cups vegetable stock or water
3 1/2 cups fresh or frozen peas
sea salt to taste
a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
handful of fresh mint leaves, chopped

Freshly ground pepper

Pan-fried paneer for garnish

Puree the ginger, garlic, chilies, cumin with some water into a paste. Set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add the oil/butter. When hot, add the bay leaves and sauté for a couple of seconds. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes, until it pink in color, Then Add the garlic-ginger paste, and cook for another minute. Add the stock, stir well, and bring to a boil. Then add the peas. Simmer until cooked through maybe for 8-10 mins.

Once off the heat let is cool. Remove the bay leaves, add salt, and puree well with a hand blender. Check the seasoning and consistency and if you require thinning it one can add more stock. Top it with lemon juice, some cumin, mint leaves, and pan-fried paneer or cheese of your choice.

Serve hot

(Adapted from 101 cookbooks.com)

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