Monday, October 20, 2014

Palak Paneer - Paint your menu green

The palak paneer  is a traditional Indian dish where paneer(cottage cheese) is cooked in a spinach (palak) puree and mildly seasoned with Indian spices.



The palak paneer is not one that I make very regularly. When a choice of paneer recipes come up then the paneer makhani manages to win hands down each time(probably because of the colour appealing to my daughter:). Occasionally its the paneer burji, so this time decided that as a way to add more greens to the daily diet the palak paneer had to be brought on. It was a winner and managed to get my daughter too to eat it happily.

Ingredients for palak paneer
Palak - 2 cups (or 1 bunch - blanched and pureed)
Paneer - 250 gms
Green chillies - 2 to 3 (as per your taste)
Onion - 1 (finely chopped)
Ginger garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
Yogurt - 3 to 4 tbsp (well beaten)
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 /2 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp
Whole cummin seeds(jeera) - 1/2 tsp
Hing or asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 2 tsp
Salt- to taste
Water - 1 cup

Method for making palak paneer
1- Rinse and clean the palak leaves.
2 - Boil water in a vessel. Switch off gas and add the palak(spinach) leaves without the stem. Blanch for 2 to 3 leaves. Take out show under running water to stop the cooking process. Run in the blender alongwith the green chillies and ginger garlic paste adding 1/2 a cup of water to get a smooth puree.
3- Take a pan, add the oil. Now add the cummin seeds and hing. When it begins to splutter add the finely chopped onions and saute till the onions turn soft and translucent. Now add the spinach puree and cook for 3-4 minutes(in an open pan on slow fire). Add the red chilli powder, coriander powder, salt and garam masala powder and stir. Add the paneer and water and let simmer till the paneer is well-cooked.
4- Add the beaten yogurt, stir and switch off gas. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Transfer into a serving dish and serve with rotis, naan or chapati.





Check out the other paneer recipes from my paneer event

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Dal Makhani - a traditional Indian delicacy from the State of Punjab

Dal Makhani is a favourite at home, in fact we really enjoy the dishes of the Punjabi cuisine. The Dal Makhani, Naan and Chicken Tikka/Butter Chicken is on the menu when we decide to have an Indian meal at a restaurant. Have been making the dal makhani at home for many years now trying to tweak the ingredients and also get the right texture like it is made in the restaurants and yes, get it approved by my food taster:). So finally here is my version of the dal makhani that is a hit at home and will make again. :)

Ingredients for Dal Makhani
Urad dal (sabut) (with the black covering) - 1 cup
Rajma/Kidney Beans - 1 /4 cup
Onion - 1 big (finely chopped)
Tomatoes - 3 medium sized (pureed)
Garlic - 1 tsp minced
Ginger - 1" (juliennes)
Kashmiri Chilli Powder - 1 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Coriander powder - 1 /2 tsp
Jeera/Cummin powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp
Butter - 1 tbsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Cream / Well beaten curd - 4 to 5 tbsp ( you may also add about 1/2 cup milk)



Method for making Dal Makhani:
1- Pressure cook the urad dal and rajma in the pressure cooker for approximately 20 minutes with 3 cups of water and salt.
2- Take a pan and add the butter and oil. Now add in the minced garlic, ginger juliennes and chopped onions. Saute for 3-4 minutes till the raw smell of garlic disappears and the onions turn soft. Now add the pureed tomatoes and cook. Add the Kashmiri chilli powder, coriander powder and jeera powder and saute (at this stage you may add 3 to 4 tbsp of water so that the masala does not get burnt).
3-Saute till the tomatoes are cooked and the oil starts oozing from the sides of the masala indicating that it is cooked.
4- Add in the cooked dal and rajma and stir. Add the garam masala powder(I used Badshah brand garam masala powder) and chopped coriander leaves and stir. Add 1/2 to 1 cup water. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes on low flame. Open adjust the seasoning.
4- Now add the cream and stir( I prefer to keep it low calorie and skip the cream, instead I add 1/2 cup milk or 4 to 5 tbsp of well beaten yoghurt).
5- Switch off and serve hot with rotis, naan or any other Indian bread.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Pasta in White Sauce With Mushrooms Tomato and Capsicum

This pasta was a part of our lunch last week. For all who are regular here definitely know by now how the pasta in all its varied flavours and tastes(a little soft corner for the pasta in white sauce thought) is a favourite with the daughter and so the endeavour to try out new variations each time. Dal rice two days in a stretch and the happiness quotient coming to the table seems to be dipping at a fast pace and so a meal like this which is sheer happiness and polished off in no time is a great idea both for her and me. Fast to cook and good to eat with veggies and nutrition thrown in keeps me happy and she is thrilled at finding pasta on the lunch menu. It is a total win-win situation. This has come to be favourite. Here is my pasta in white sauce with mushrooms tomato and capsicum. For those who want to make a few more additions, you may add strips of chicken and corn too.


Ingredients
For the White Sauce :
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp maida/all purpose flour
2 cups milk



For the Pasta :
Pasta - 100 gms (boiled and strained)
Tomato - 1 medium sized chopped into small pieces
Capsicum - 1 medium chopped into small pieces
Salt - to taste
Pepper - 1tsp
Garlic - 1 tsp (minced)
Oil - 1 tbsp
Oregano (dried) - 1/2 tsp
Mushrooms - 5 to 6 chopped fine or to the size of your choice



Method:
1- Boil Pasta in enough water with some salt. When done strain and wash thoroughly under cold running water. Keep aside.
2- Take a pan and add the butter and oil. Add the minced garlic and saute for a minute till the raw smell of garlic disappears. Now add the chopped tomato and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chopped capsicum amd mushrooms and saute till all the water content of the mushrooms dry up completely.
3- Now add the 2 tbsp of maida and saute for a minute or two. Add the milk little by little and keep stirring. Make sure to add the milk little by little or else you may have lumps forming that will spoil the complete texture of your white sauce.
4- Add in the oregano, salt and pepper. Adjust seasoning. Let boil till the white sauce thickens and is of the desired consistency. Do not let it thicken too much as white sauce will thicken on its own too as it rests.
Switch off gas and transfer to a serving dish. Serve hot. You may add your choice of sides to add to your meal.

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