Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Kadai Paneer

One of the simplest, quickest and tastiest dish that is prepared using very few ingredients that are almost readily available at every home.

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

Kadai Masala:
  • 2 Cloves
  • 2 tbsp Coriander Seeds
  • 1 tbsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 Dry Red Chilli
  • 1 inch Cinnamon 
  • 5-6 Black Peppercorns
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seeds
For Onion Tomato Masala:
  • 2 Onion cut lengthwise
  • 1 Tomato roughly cut
For Gravy:
  • 1 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 2 Green Chilies cut lengthwise
  • 1 Onion cut in squares  
  • 1 Capsicum cut in squares ( You may use any colour capsicum of your choice)
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 2 tbsp Cream or Homemade Malai
  • 150 gms Paneer cut in Cubes
  • 1 tsp Tomato Sauce (Optional)
  • 1 tbsp Amchur Powder ( Raw Mango Powder)
  • Water to cook 
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2 tbsp Oil for cooking

For Kadai Masala:

  • Dry roast the whole spices mentioned above for the Kadai Masala till they release their aroma, ie approx 3 minutes on a medium flame.
  • Once roasted transfer the spices onto a plate and let them cool to room temperature.
  • In a blender add the above cooled spices and grind to a powder.
  • Kadai Masala is ready.
For Onion Tomato Masala:

  • In a pan heat 1tspn of oil and add onions (julliene cut) and saute till translucent, add chopped tomato and saute till both onion and tomatoes are cooked. Switch off the flame and let this mixture cool to room temperature.
  • Once this onion tomato mixture comes to room temperature, blend it along with 1tbsp of amchur powder to a fine paste. Add a teaspoon of water if required while blending.
For Gravy:

  • In a pan/kadai heat oil, add green chilies along with ginger garlic paste. Saute till raw smell of ginger garlic fades away.
  • Add onions and capsicum cut in squares and saute for 2 minutes. Now add the onion tomato masala paste and mix well. Add red chilli powder, kadai masala which we prepared along with a teaspoon of tomato sauce and mix well.
  • Add water as per the consistency of  gravy required and cook this masala till oil starts separating from the mixture.
  • Add salt and cream, check for seasoning. Add the paneer cubes and mix very gently taking care that the paneer pieces do not break. 
  • Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes.Stir occasionally.
  • Kadai Paneer is ready.
  • While serving drizzle cream on top and serve with Nan or Paratha.

Tip: You can make this kadai masala in advance and keep it in an airtight container for almost 3 months and use it when needed.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Cabbage Pakoda (Fritters)

Cabbage pakodas! An awsome tasty snack for that laid-back afternoon with a hot sip of Chai. 

Ingredients:  (Serves 3)
  • 150 gms Cabbage 
  • 1 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste 
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder 

  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder 
  • 2 Green Chilles finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Cilantro (Coriander Leaves)
  • Pinc of Hing (Asafeotida)
  • 3 tbsp Besan (Cheakpea Flour)
  • 2 tbsp Rice Flour 
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4th tsp Sugar (Optional)
  •  Oil for frying.
  • In a mixing bowl add roughly choped cabbage, ginger garlic paste, cumin powder, coriander powder, green chilles, cilantro, a pinch of asafoetida, salt and sugar. Sugar is used just to enhance the taste.
  • Mix all the ingredients. 
  • Add besan and rice flour gradually.
  • Due to salt cabbage will leave sufficient amount water which will be needed to bind the pakoda mixture. So without adding any extra water first, mix all the ingredients.
  • Incase your batter is too dry then add little water as per required.
  • In another pan heat oil for frying. When the oil is hot take a spoonful of hot oil and add to the pakoda mixture to give that extra crunch to the pakodas and mix it well.
  • Drop the pakodas into hot oil and deep fry till pakodas are golden brown.
  • Serve with your favourite chutney or sauce. 
Note:  Fry these pakodas on low to medium heat.

Tip:  1). If you want to avoid deep frying then adjust the consistency of the batter and make small tikkis and shallow fry. 

2). You can also add extra vegetables if desire.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Sambar - Lentil Based Vegetable Stew

Sambar, also spelt sambhar, is a lentil-based vegetable stew. Sweet, Spicy and tangy this nutritious dal is cooked along with many different vegetables and is so versatile that a South Indian Meal is almost incomplete without it.

Ingredients: (Serves 4)
  • 2 Cups turdal / tuvar / arhar / split pigeon peas
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 2-3 Dry Red Chilies
  • 1 tsp  Cumin Seeds
  • 1/4th tsp Methi (Fenugreek Seeds)
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder  
  • 1/2 tsp Hing (Asafoetida)
  • 5-6 Curry Leaves
  • 2 tsp Red Chili Powder
  • 1 Big Onion finely chopped
  • 2 Tomatoes finely chopped
  • 2 Egg plants cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 Drumsticks cut into finger size pieces
  • 100 gms Red Pumpkin cut into bite size pieces
  • 100 gms Dudhi (Bottle Guard) cut into bite size pieces   
  • 4 tsp Sambar Masala
  • 7-8 tsp Tamarind Pulp or as per the sourness you prefer
  • 1 tbsp Jaggery or as per your preference
  • 2 1/2 Cups of Water approximately
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp Coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp Oil   
  • Wash & pressure cook turdal till 4-5 whistle.
  • In a sauce pan heat oil, add mustard seeds and dry red chillies.  Once the mustard seeds crackle add curry leaves, methi (fenugreek seeds), cumin seeds, hing (asafoetida), turmeric powder, red chili powder. Saute for 30 seconds and add finely chopped onion and tomatoes. 
  • Once the onions become translucent add the chopped vegetables ie Egg Plant, Red Pumpkin, Dudhi (Bottle Guard), Drumstick and mix well.
  • Now add sambar powder, (I normally use Everest Samabar Masala), tamarind juice, jaggery and salt. 
  • Add 2 cups of water and cook the vegetables till they are half done.When vegetables are half cooked add the boiled dal to this mixture & mix well. 
  • Now let the dal boil along with all the vegetables for about 20-25 minutes on low to medium flame. Stir occasionally. Check for the seasoning. 
  • Once all the vegetables are perfectly cooked in the dal, switch off the flame and sprinkle finely choped coriander leaves.
  • Sambar is ready.
  • Serve hot with any South Indian dishes or with rice.
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