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Where There is a Fare, There Need Not Be Fire

Published: 12th September 2015 10:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th September 2015 11:20 PM   |  A+A-

Where There

There are times when you crave something delicious yet dread to go near the stove or the oven to cook it. It’s the perfect paradoxical situation which many, especially those who spend 12-gruelling hours in the office, have to face on an absurdly regular basis. This is when no-cook food comes to the rescue. As the name suggests, it needs no cooking and no slaving in front of a stove. It’s like, you need not bake the cake and can have it too.

However, no-cook food is not something new. Gazpacho, the Spanish soup, is perhaps the most well known in this genre. Usually with a creamy tomato base and lots of vegetables, this soup is served cold. Even in India, there are so many options when it comes to no-cook food. Raita, a yoghurt-based side dish with vegetables, is a perfect complement to biryani, parantha and rice. In Assam, there is a variety of rice called kumol sauol (soft rice) which needs no cooking—all one does is soak it in water overnight and eat it with curd and jaggery.

But when it comes to making desserts, is it possible to create a cheesecake or a brownie without baking or cooking involved? Yes. We bring to you two recipes—Gazpacho and Cheesecake—that can be made without sweating hours in the kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 5 large ripe tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1⁄2onion
  • 1 capsicum
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1⁄2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup virgin olive oil
  • 4 slices of bread

Method

  • Soak the slices of bread in water till they turn soft. Once soaked, squeeze out the water from the bread and keep it aside
  • Deseed the tomatoes and cut into small pieces. Blend in a food processor for a minute
  • Peel cucumber and cut into small pieces. Add to the blender with the tomato puree
  • Add rest of the vegetables, spices, oil and soaked bread to the tomato and cucumber mixture and blend till it turns creamy. Add salt and check for seasoning and adjust accordingly
  • Pour it in a bowl and let it chill for a couple of hours
  • It tastes best when cold

LEMON CHEESECAKE

LEMON CHEESECAKE.jpgIngredients

  • 15 digestive biscuits, crushed
  • 1/2 tablespoon soft brown sugar
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 250g tub mascarpone cheese
  • 200 ml single cream
  • 400 am condensed milk
  • 3 lemons, zested and juiced

Method

  • Stir together the digestive biscuits, soft brown sugar, and melted butter. Empty into a 23cm springform cake tin (use a smaller tin if you want a thicker base) and press out level. Leave to chill in the fridge
  • Mix together the mascarpone cheese, single cream, condensed milk and lemon zest. Slowly add the lemon juice to the mix small amount at a time. Use an electric mixer and these ingredients for 10 minutes. The longer you mix, the thicker the topping gets in the bowl
  • Pour the mixture into the chilled base, then return to the fridge for a few hours for it to set
  • Serve chilled
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