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Oil -1 tbsp
Onion - 1(chopped)
Celery sticks - 2 (thinly sliced)
Garlic cloves - 2-3 (crushed)
Leeks - 2 (thinly sliced)
Red kidney or mixed beans - 425 gms can
Vegetable stock -  600 ml
Jar of pimientos - 400 gms
Tomato puree - 3-4 tbsp
Pasta shapes  -115 gms
French bread - 4 pieces
Pesto sauce -1 tbsp
Baby corn - 115 gms (halved)
Broccoli and cauliflower florets - 50 gms each
Tabasco sauce - few drops to taste
Salt and ground black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 200 C.
  • Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion, celery, garlic and leeks over a medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Drain the beans and add them to the pan with the vegetable stock.
  • Bring to the boil, then lower the heat.
  • Cover the pan and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, puree all the pimientos with a little of their liquid and add to the pan.
  • Stir in the tomato puree and pasta shapes and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, make the pesto croutons.
  • Spread the french bread with the pesto sauce and bake for about 10 minutes, or until crisp.
  • When the pasta is just cooked, add the baby corn, broccoli and cauliflower florets to the soup and stir in Tabasco sauce and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Heat through for 2-3 minutes and serve at once with the pesto croutons.

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Dondakaya Masala (Gherkins Masala) curry

Dondakayalu - 250gms
Onions - 2
Oil - 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1tsp
Tamarind juice - 2 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4tsp
Salt to taste

For Masala paste:
Peanuts -1 tbsp, Red Chillies - 3 no.'s, Gingely seeds - 1tbsp, Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp, coconut powder - 1tbsp,  cumin seeds - 1 tsp

Cut the onions into small pieces. Slit the dondakayalu into 4 long pieces. Dry roast all the masala ingredients and grind to make fine powder. Heat the oil add jeera when it crackles add onions. Fry onions for 5 minutes add dondakayalu, turmeric and salt. Cook for another 5 minutes the add the masala powder, tamarind juice and some water. Cook the curry till the oil floats. This curry goes well with rice and roti.