Tuesday, September 18, 2018

SHAHI PANEER

SHAHI PANEER

My husband and I are fond of paneer (Indian Cottage cheese) which I use quite often at home. You will therefore find many recipes using paneer in this blog. For example, three amongst them are: Methi Paneer,  Achari Paneer, and Paneer Makhmali.

Today's recipe is adapted from Shahi Paneer by Master Chef Vikas Khanna, one of my favourite Chefs.  For making the royal restaurant style dish - Shahi Paneer -  we usually use a lot of butter and cream to get the richness for the dish.

Today's Shahi Paneer is part of the Saffola FitFoodies range of recipes. In this more healthy version,  butter and cream have been avoided without compromising too much on the taste.

I have used the store bought Nilgiris Paneer and not the Low Fat Paneer mentioned in the original recipe. I have also not garnished the dish with chopped cashewnuts.

We tried it out recently and it was delicious!



Ingredients:

  • Paneer, (Indian Cottage Cheese), cut into cubes, 200 grams
  • Saffola Oil, 2 tsp
  • Ginger Garlic Paste, 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon, (Dalchini) 1
  • Yogurt, 2 tbsp ( lightly blended) 
  • Bay Leaf, ( Tej Patta), 1
  • Cloves, (Laung),  2
  • Fresh Tomato Puree, 3 tbsp
  • Water, 2 tsp
  • Dried Fenugreek Leaves, (Kasuri Methi), 2 tsp
  • Almond Cream, 2 tbsp ( 7-8 almonds ground to a paste) 
  • Honey, 1/2 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Cashews, coarsely chopped, for garnish
  • Garam Masala, 1/8 tsp, for garnish
To Be Ground To A Smooth Paste 
  • Tomatoes, chopped, 1 cup
  • Onions, chopped, 1/2 cup
  • Cashews, 1/4 cup ( soaked in water for 10-15 minutes) 
  • Byadgi Dry Red Chillies, 2
  • Water, 2 tbsp

Method:

Heat the pan (without adding any oil) and add the chopped tomatoes, onions and cashews
Add the dry red chillies, 2 tbsp of water,  and cook covered till it gets all the flavours
Take it off the flame and allow it to cool
Transfer to a blender and blend it to make a smooth paste and keep aside

Heat 2 tsp of oil in the pan and when it gets hot add the ginger garlic paste, cinnamon, bay leaf and cloves and saute for half a minute
Add 3 tbsp of fresh tomato puree, 2 tsp of water,  and dried fenugreek leaves
Cook the mixture for a couple of minutes 
To this, add the ground paste prepared earlier  and mix well
Next add the lightly blended 2 tbsp of low fat yogurt and 2 tbsp of almond cream, salt and honey 
Now add the paneer cubes, mix well  and cook uncovered for a few minutes
Lastly, garnish with coarsely chopped cashews and a bit of garam masala



Friday, September 14, 2018

SEPPANKIZHANGU VARUVAL

SEPPANKIZHANGU VARUVAL

Colocasia is commonly available all over India. This is also known as Taro and is called Seppankizhangu in Tamil. In Hindi, it is called arbi and Kesuvinagadde in Kannada. We call this Alvamande in my mother tongue, Konkani.

Dishes from colocasia are made almost all over India. Elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes for Dum Arbi, Arbi Masala Fry, and  Khatti Arbi ka Salan.

This recipe has been adapted from Cheppankizhangu Varuval from the popular website Kannamma Cooks. While Varuval is a Tamil term for a deep fried dish, I was attracted to this particular recipe as it called for pan frying which I preferred over deep frying.

We had this side dish recently and it tasted great!



Ingredients:-

  • Seppankizhangu ( Colocasia), 500 gms
  • Oil, 2-3 tbsp
  • Salt, to taste 
For the Marinade: 
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Chilli Powder, 1 tsp
  • Coriander Powder, 1 tsp
  • Curry Leaves, roughly torn, 2 sprigs
Method:-

Wash the colocasia thoroughly and place in a pressure cooker with adequate water
Pressure cook the colocasia for two whistles. The colocasia should be cooked but take care that it does not get overcooked which will make it mushy. 
Allow the pressure cooker to cool and transfer the cooked colocasia to a plate
Once it is adequately cooled, peel off the skin of the colocasia and cut them into thick roundels and keep aside

In a bowl, mix together the turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder, roughly torn curry leaves and salt adding just the required amount of water to make a thick paste (which is the marinade)
Apply this marinade to evenly coat the colocasia roundels. Take care not to break them in this process
Keep aside and allow this to marinate for about 10 minutes

Heat oil in a wide thick bottomed pan  and when it gets hot on medium flame add the marinated colocasia
Lower the flame and shallow fry the colocasia till they get evenly roasted on both sides
Serve hot with rice and dal or rasam as a side dish.




Sunday, September 9, 2018

PANEER HYDERABADI

PANEER HYDERABADI

In most parts of India, you will find that paneer or Indian Cottage Cheese is a popular ingredient in vegetarian cooking. We too have paneer fairly often in our house. There are so many dishes one can make using paneer. For example, elsewhere in this blog you will find recipes for Paneer Pulao, Chatakedar Paneer, and Kadhai Paneer with Bellpepper.

Today's dish is paneer done in the Hyderabadi style and is adapted from a YouTube video Paneer Hyderabadi from Spice Eats. Don't be intimidated by the long list of ingredients required, it is well worth the effort!

I tried this out recently using Kitchen King Masala instead of Garam Masala Powder and reducing the overall oil required from 5 tbsp to 3 tbsp to suit my requirements.

We loved this dish with hot rotis.






Ingredients:-

  • Paneer (Cottage Cheese), 200 grams,
  • Dahi ( Curds),  2 tbsp
  • Malai ( Cream) , 2 tbsp
  • Whole Garam Masala ( Black Cardamom 1, Green Cardamom 4, Cloves 4 and Cinnamon 2 pieces of 1 ")
  • Jeera (Cumin) Powder, 1 tsp
  • Coriander Powder, 1 tsp
  • Haldi ( Turmeric) Powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Chilli Powder, 1 tsp or to taste
  • Garam Masala Powder/Kitchen King Masala, 1/4 tsp
  • Kasuri Methi,(Dried Fenugreek Leaves),  crushed, 1 tsp
  • Green Chilli, finely chopped, 1
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 1 tbsp + 2 tbsp
To Be Ground Into A Paste
  • Palak ( Spinach) a small bunch, roughly chopped
  • Dhania Patta ( Coriander Leaves), a small bunch, roughly chopped
  • Green Chillies, roughly chopped, 2
  • Medium Sized Onion, sliced, 1
  • Small Sized Tomatoes, roughly chopped,  2
  • Adrak (Ginger), chopped, 1 " piece
  • Lahsun ( Garlic Cloves), peeled and chopped, 7

Method:-

Cut the paneer into even sized cubes and keep aside
Beat the fresh curds and keep aside
Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a non-stick pan and when it gets hot on medium flame add the sliced onion and saute till it becomes soft
Add the chopped ginger, garlic and green chillies and fry for 1 minute
Next add the chopped tomatoes and cook till they become mushy
Add the spinach and cook till it wilts and becomes soft
Next add the coriander leaves and mix well
Switch off the gas and allow this to cool
Transfer to a blender jar and grind to a smooth paste without adding any water
Keep aside
In the same pan, add the remaining 2 tbsp of oil and when it gets hot add the Black Cardamom, Green Cardamom, Cloves and Cinnamon which make up the Whole Garam Masala
Saute for a few seconds (only to give the oil a nice flavour) and remove the Whole Garam Masala
To the flavoured oil, add the finely chopped green chilly followed by the freshly ground paste and mix well
Cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat till the paste changes colour and switch off the gas
Add the beaten curds and the cream
Mix well and cook on low flame for a couple of minutes till the oil separates
Add the spice powders (cumin, coriander, turmeric and chilli powders) and salt to taste
Mix well and cook for a couple of minutes
Now add the the paneer cubes,  mix gently and cook for a couple of minutes so that the paneer is well blended with the masala
Add the Garam Masala Powder/Kitchen King Masala and cook for a couple of minutes
Lastly add the crushed Kasuri Methi, mix well and let it simmer for a few minutes
Serve hot with rotis or rice




Wednesday, September 5, 2018

CURD RICE

CURD RICE

While checking the blog posts recently, I realised that I had not yet posted one of the most popular yet easy to make rice items, which is Curd Rice. It is made all over South India as comfort food being called Mosaranna in Kannada, Thayir Sadam in Tamil, and Daddojanam in Telugu.

 It is often used as standard fare for a tiffin or lunch box or for travel. In most houses, curd rice is served as the last item of the meal. It is also considered good for digestion.

Like with any other dish, curd rice is made in different forms to suit one's taste. Some add milk while others prefer just curds without any milk. In my house, we don't mash it too much but many prefer it totally mashed. The garnish is traditionally done with coriander leaves but these days adding pomegranate, grated carrot or green seedless grapes is considered quite acceptable.

Do remember that white rice when cooked yields about three times the quantity. So the 1/2 cup of rice used in this recipe when cooked will yield 1 and 1/2 cups of cooked rice.

It is advisable to use fresh curds to make curd rice. However, the curds must be adequately sour. Be aware that if the curds are too sour, it will adversely affect the taste of the curd rice.

The moisture in the curd rice tends to get absorbed.  If this happens and it becomes too dry, you may like to get the consistency you desire by adding more curds or milk.




Ingredients:

  • Rice, uncooked, 1/2 cup
  • Curds, 1 to 1 and 1/4 cup
  • Milk, 1/4 cup
  • Green Chillies, finely chopped, 1-2
  • Mustard Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Urad Dal, (Black Gram Dal), 1 tsp
  • Ginger, finely chopped, 1 tsp
  • Curry Leaves, chopped, a few
  • Coriander Leaves, finely chopped, 1 tbsp, for garnish
  • Pomegranate Arils, for garnish
  • Oil, 2 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
Method:

Wash the rice and and cook it in a pressure cooker adding 1 and 1/2 cups of water ( three times the quantity of rice)
If you prefer the rice to be more soft, you should add 1/2 cup of water more
Cook for  4-5 whistles or till the rice is done
Allow the cooker to cool and remove the cooked rice
While the rice is still hot, mash it with the back of a spoon
Once it is sufficiently cooled, add the curds and mix
Next add the milk and mix once again
Add the finely chopped green chillies and salt to taste and mix the curd rice well making sure there are no lumps
Heat oil in a pan and when it gets hot on medium heat add the mustard seeds and when they splutter add the urad dal
Saute till the dal changes colour
Next add the finely chopped ginger and the chopped curry leaves and saute for a few seconds
Pour this seasoning on the curd rice and mix well
Finally, garnish with pomegranate arils and finely chopped coriander leaves
Serve with pickle





Saturday, September 1, 2018

PANEER CAPSICUM STIR FRY

PANEER CAPSICUM STIR FRY

We use paneer (Indian cottage cheese) quite often in my house. I go in for store bought paneer and do not make this at home.

Elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes for some yummy starters such as Paneer Tikka Kathi Rolls, Garlicky Chilli Paneer, and Chatakedar Paneer.

Today's recipe is for a stir fry made with paneer and capsicum ( bell pepper) which can be made very easily and quickly. It is a time saver and makes for a much sought after starter.

This can be also be served as a side dish. We had this as a side dish yesterday and later I used what was left as a filling for grilled sandwiches and it tasted great! Today's recipe has been adapted from Paneer Capsicum Stir Fry by the legendary Tarlaji Dalal.




Ingredients:-
  • Paneer (Cottage Cheese), 200 grams 
  • Capsicum/Bell Pepper, small-sized, 1
  • Garlic Paste, 1 tsp
  • Chilli Paste, 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander Seeds, coarsely crushed, 1 tsp
  • Green Chillies, 1 or 2
  • Ginger, chopped, 1/2 tsp
  • Tomato, medium- sized, 1 
  • Kasuri Methi, (Dried Fenugreek Leaves), 1/4 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 1 tbsp
  • Coriander Leaves, 1 tbsp, for garnish

Method:-

Cut the paneer into even sized cubes
Cut the capsicum into thin slices
Finely chop the green chillies, tomato and coriander leaves
In a non-stick kadhai, heat the oil and when it gets hot add the garlic paste and saute on medium flame for a few seconds till you get a nice aroma 
Add the capsicum slices, chilli paste,  and crushed coriander seeds and saute on low flame for 1 minute
Next add the chopped green chillies, chopped ginger and saute again for a few seconds
Add the chopped tomato, mix well and cook on medium flame for 2 minutes  
Add the kasuri methi and salt to taste and mix well
Cook on medium flame for 1 minute
Now add the paneer cubes, and mix them taking care that they don't break and cook for 1 more minute on medium flame 
Finally, garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves
Serve hot as a starter or as a side dish


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

RICE RAVA UNDI

RICE RAVA UNDI

Undi ( also written as "Oondi") is a popular breakfast/snack item prepared in my home district of Dakshina Kannada in the State of Karnataka. It is made either with a batter of rice or with a batter of rice rava ( also known as idli rava). It is a versatile item that can be made for breakfast or as an evening snack and it can be served with chutney, a sweet syrup or with pickles. So you have a wide choice already to choose from.

Today's recipe is for Undi made with rice rava. I use the store bought Vijay Idli Rava.
I chose this method as it saves times and can be made faster than the ones with a rice batter. In the  case of rice batter you would need to first soak the rice for three hours or so and then grind it to make a batter.

I usually use a ratio of 1: 2 for the rice rava to water proportion.

The quantities mentioned in the recipe below yielded about 28 undis.

Today's Rice Rava Undi is served with Losne Chutney.




 Ingredients:
  • Rice Rava/Idli Rava, 2 cups
  • Fresh Coconut Gratings, 3/4 cup
  • Water, 4 cups 
  • Mustard Seeds, 1 tsp 
  • Urad Dal, (Black Gram Dal) 1 tsp 
  • Methi (Fenugreek) Seeds, 1/2 tsp 
  • Coconut Oil, 2 tbsp
  • Salt, to taste
Method:

Heat oil in a thick bottomed kadhai and when it gets hot on medium heat add the mustard seeds. When they splutter add the urad dal and saute till they change colour
Add the methi seeds and saute till they become a little golden brown
To this, add 4 cups of water and salt to taste and bring it to a boil
Now add the fresh coconut gratings and mix well
Next add the rice rava little by little, and stir continuously so that it does not form lumps or stick to the bottom of the kadhai
Cook on medium heat till the water evaporates and the mixture thickens and leaves the sides of the kadhai forming a dough
Transfer the dough to a plate and allow it to cool
Once it is sufficiently cool to handle, wet your hands and using your fingers, pinch enough of the dough to form a small dumpling (undi) and then make a depression in the centre of the undi
(As seen in the accompanying picture, in a undi this is only a depression and not a hole like in a medu vada or a doughnut)




Make the dumplings one after the other using all the dough
In a steamer, steam the dumplings for about 15 minutes on medium heat 
Switch off the gas, wait for the steamer to cool and gently remove the undis without breaking them to a serving bowl
Serve hot with either chutney, sweet jaggery syrup or pickle





Thursday, August 23, 2018

TINDORA MASALA

TINDORA MASALA

A commonly available vegetable in India is ivy gourd which is called Tindora in Hindi, Tendle in my mother tongue Konkani and Thondekayi in Kannada. I make dishes using ivy gourd quite often so elsewhere in this blog you will find recipes for dishes such as Tendle Talasani, Tindora Coconut Stir Fry, and Stuffed Tindora Masala.

Today's recipe has been adapted from Tindora Masala in Bethica's Kitchen Flavours.

I tried it out recently and it was very tasty as a side dish which went well with our meal of rice and dal.




Ingredients:-

  • Tindora (Ivy Gourd), slit length wise, 500 grams
  • Large sized Onion, chopped, 1
  • Garlic Cloves, chopped, 2-3
  • Mustard Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Hing, (Asafoetida Powder), 1/4 tsp
  • Curry Leaves, a sprig
  • Byadgi Red Chillies, 4-5
  • Coriander Seeds, 1 tbsp
  • Cumin Seeds, 1 tsp
  • Til  ( Sesame Seeds) , 1 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/4 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 1 and 1/2 tbsp
  • Lime Juice, 1 tbsp
Method:


Wash and place the sliced tindora in a vessel without adding any water
Place this vessel in a pressure cooker with the required quantity of water
Keep the tindora uncovered and close the lid of the cooker and pressure cook for 3-4 whistles or till they are done
When the pressure cooker cools, remove the cooked tindora
Dry roast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, red chillies and sesame seeds
Once it cools, in a small mixer jar grind this to a coarse powder and keep aside
Heat oil in a thick bottomed kadhai and when it gets hot add the mustard seeds and when they splutter add the asafoetida and curry leaves and saute for a few seconds
To this, add the chopped onion and garlic and saute till it turns slightly golden in colour
Now add the steam cooked tindora, turmeric powder and salt to taste and cook covered for 4-5 minutes stirring from time to time
Next add the coarsely ground spice powder, mix well so that the spice powder is well blended with the tindora and cook uncovered for a couple of minutes
Lastly, add the lime juice and mix once again
Serve hot as a side dish