There is nothing better than a serving of chilled gazpacho to cut the heat and feel refreshed.
It is usually served as a soup, but I prefer to serve it in small quantities in glasses or shot glasses as a drink.
And unlike soft drinks, lemonades and lassis, a gazpacho is sugar free, wonderfully nourishing and delicately flavoured and not all like one of those oh-so-healthy, hard-to-swallow veggie smoothies.
My fitness and outdoors-loving, psychiatrist elder sister, Dr Shribala made this splendid recipe on a hot summer day in Los Angeles. It was a gourmet pick-me-up.
She uses Anaheim peppers. I have offered the closest Indian equivalent.
Jijji's Gazpacho Shots
- 1 large Bhavnagri mirchi, seeds removed (please see the note below)
- 1 kg ripe tomatoes
- 1 red onion, roughly chopped
- 2-3 pods garlic
- ½ green skinned cucumber, preferable, or ½ a regular cucumber, peeled
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp sherry vinegar, available online
- ¼ cup or more extra virgin olive oil
- Chilled filtered or boiled or mineral water
- Tabasco to taste
- Grind the tomatoes, mirchi, onion, garlic, cucumber to a smooth puree with no added water.
- Then add the salt, vinegar and enough olive oil so when you blend further the gazpacho turns creamy and smooth and is not watery.
- If the mirchi was not spicy add Tabasco per taste.
- Refrigerate till very chilled like and 3-4 hours or more.
- Before serving adjust seasoning and add a tiny bit of chilled water if too thick.
Serve in little shot glasses or small glasses.
Note: Bhavnagri chillies are large, fat long chillies that are generally less spicy than regular chillies used in cooking.
Mango, ripe or unripe, makes a nice addition. Or/and celery, Worcestershire sauce, a pinch of sugar. You may want to garnish with chives.
Pineapple is a lovely ingredient for gazpacho. Replace the tomatoes with a full, quite raw, less sweet pineapple.
Gazpacho can also be turned into a cocktail. Line the rim of a margarita glass with tajin powder (available online) and spike the gazpacho with a little vodka or tequila and maybe some kiwi syrup mixer.
For a Jain version, skip onion and garlic and add ginger powder, 1 tbsp chopped celery and a handful of parsley.