Hot & Spicy Chilli Paneer

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Hot & Spicy Chilli Paneer  with gravy        

Chilli Paneer with gravy

Chilli Paneer with gravy

I and Arnav love this- Charit is not a big fan of this but for once he joined us for our Sunday treat. I had to learn making this as it is Arnav’s favorite- though I am sure he’d prefer the chicken instead of paneer cubes J

Ingredients (Serves 6)

Ingredients for Chilli Paneer

Ingredients for Chilli Paneer

400 gms. Paneer (Cottage cheese) cut it into medium-sized cubes 
Spring onions chopped fine along with the leaves

2 medium-sized onions, each cut it into four-five pieces as shown
2 large capsicum, cut into slices (Shimla mirch) Usually only the green capsicum is used however I had the yellow and red capsicum handy and used them as well today
2 table-spoon Corn flour (Makai ka aata)
(Additional 3 Tbsp corn flour + 2 Tbsp spoon Maida – needed to coat the paneer if you are deep-frying it)
2 Green chillies, chopped fine
10 Garlic pods (Lahsun) chopped fine and ginger chopped fine
Salt as per taste

Black pepper (Kali mirch) & Red Chilli flakes as per taste

 

                                                                                                                                     Sauces

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4  t spoon Vinegar (sirca) (we like the chilli, so I used the Chili vinegar)
~1 Tbsp  Soya sauce 
~1 Tbsp Tomato sauce/ Ketchup
~ 1 tbsp Hot Chili sauce + Sweet Chili sauce (optional)

Oil for frying

 

 

 

 

Method-

Sauté paneer in 1 Tbsp oil, add black pepper, salt and red chili flakes as per your taste as you shallow fry it on medium heat – this will add flavor to the Paneer

Take a small bowl and add 2 table-spoon corn flour and ~5-6 table-spoon water and mix it well to form a paste- keep this aside.

Take 3 table-spoon of oil in a separate pan and heat it over medium flame. Now add chopped onions to this, sauté for a couple of minutes, add the chopped garlic & ginger, add green chillies, stir and cook for ~ 2 minutes- add capsicum, stir well and cook them until they get half-cooked (~5 minutes) Very important to remember that the veggies for this sauce should not start getting over cooked or stick to the pan- the burnt flavor does not go well here. Now add the spring onions and leaves (set aside half the chopped spring onion leaves for garnishing) Add a tbsp water if you see the vegetables start sticking to the pan.

Now add all the sauces, vinegar, salt to taste and cook on medium heat for 1 minute.

Add over 2 cups of water to the pan and bring the mixture to boil. Once this starts boiling, then, add corn flour paste that we had kept aside. Let the mixture boil again until you get the desired thickness of gravy. Stir in every 1 minute. (Remember the gravy thickens and settles as it cools so get this off the heat at slightly more liquid consistency than desired)

Add paneer pieces to the pan and stir well, put the heat to low and cook for 3-4 mins, stirring every minute. Then, turn off the heat and serve immediately. Garnish with chopped spring onion leaves.

Serve Chili Paneer with Gravy hot with noodles or fried rice.

 In case you are planning to deep fry the paneer- in a medium-sized bowl add 2 tbsp maida, 3 table-spoon (corn flour, the maida adds to the softness, however by itself, maida would crumble in the gravy-  corn flour’s job is to bind this together therefore the corn flour amount should be more than maida)  Add 1 t-spoon salt, tsp vinegar and ginger garlic paste as per your taste- this adds flavor to the paneer which can otherwise taste bland. Add some water and mix them well to form a thick paste, add more water if needed. The thickness of the paste should be such that it can coat paneer cubes properly. Now deep fry the paneer cubes on medium flame.  

Chilli Paneer served with rice

Chilli Paneer served with rice

Delightful Baked Macaroni

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Baked Macaroni

Baked Macaroni

 

Baked Macaroni

This one definitely is not for the calorie conscious, but once in a while it is good to indulge! Like we did recently :-)

Here is how the recipe for baked macaroni goes:

Ingredients-

1  package macaroni (~250 gms)

Butter- 4 Tbsp

All Purpose Flour (Maida)- 4 Tbsp

1 – 1.5 cup milk

1 cup cream

1/2 teaspoon salt

Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

Method

Preheat oven to 250°C – ~ 450°F.

Bring a pot of water to boil. Add macaroni in it drain & rinse according to package directions; set aside.

Now melt butter in a saucepan. Add flour mixed with salt and pepper, using a whisk to stir until well blended. Pour milk and cream in gradually; stirring constantly. Boil it for 3-5 minutes (stirring constantly). Reduce heat and cook 10 minutes as you stir it.

Add shredded cheese gradually and let it simmer an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese melts.

Take it off heat. Add macaroni to this. Now transfer macaroni to a buttered baking dish.

Bake for 20 minutes until the top is golden brown. Serve with Garlic Sticks or Buttered toast.

You can add olive oil with butter.

If you like garlic flavor or veggies, you can heat additional butter in a separate saucepan and add garlic paste, fry it and add veggies to this and cook them. You can add this to the cooked pasta and sauce in the baking dish.

Simple & Delectable Pizza

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Pizza- Quick to make!

Pizza is ready!

Pizza is ready!

 

Let me start by wishing everyone a very Happy Independence Day! I had a very nice time attending the Flag Hoisting ceremony at my son’s school. It is amazing to see these young kids render the National Song so melodiously and remember our freedom fighters. Love you guys!

Now over to the Pizza….back in the times, Mom used to make Pizzas for me and Bro, she still does….:-) and those pizzas were our special treat. We’d be so excited about a ‘Pizza Party’. She’d make the sauce at home and the pizza base too. I am not half as good as her…so  I get the base from the super market and well sauce…..and well with a lot of cheese and some seasoning, sauce is optional.

We make the pizza in a very simple way, it comes out so delicious, try it and you’d go for it again and again!

Ingredients & Method

Pizza Base (Thin Crust)

Onion, Capsicums, Tomatoes – finely chopped. Mix these in a bowl and add salt as per taste.

Garlic finely chopped (optional) add to the above mixture.

Pizza Seasoning- Oregano

Mozzarella or Processed Cheese

Ghee (Clarified Butter)- 1-2 tsp per pizza

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Spread some ghee on the pizza base. Now spread the mixed vegetables evenly over this. Grate the cheese generously :-)

Heat the oven to 225 C and place the pizzas for twenty minutes. Done!

Tips:

You can have additional topping of your choice- you can zucchini, chicken tikka, chicken sausages, paneer cubes (cottage cheese)  or pepperoni.

If you don’t have pizza base at home, you can also use Bread- Brown Bread or any other bread of your choice….comes out equally delicious.

And the most important thing- the man in your house can make this simple pizza himself, ask him to do it for you, in my case, I don’t have to ask, my man makes them perfect!

Time for Alu (Potato) Sandwich

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Had a long long break!  Am back with these simple sandwiches that I have grown up on. Found them (read “ate them”) everywhere….home, school canteen, college canteen and now road side chaat stalls restaurants….

This one never fails! simple and pleasing and adding just 2 ingredients black salt and chaat masala, these sandwiches will sure make your taste buds jump in triumph!

Boil 4 medium size potatoes; chop coriander, green chilies (optional) add salt as per taste, black salt and zeera (cumin powder) Mash and mix and your stuffing is ready.

Spread ghee/butter on both sides of the 2 slices of brown bread and now spread the potato stuffing on one of these slices. Place the other slice on top of this and toast this. Once ready sprinkle a bit of chaat masala on the bread and you snack on!

Made for a perfect lazy Saturday morning breakfast!

The Delightful White Sauce Pasta!

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Arnav Enjoying his Pasta!

Arnav Enjoying his Pasta!

Pasta in white sauce is my favorite lunch at work- I have it when I want to pamper myself.  Having said that, it is Arnav’s and Charit’s favorite too. I always feel guilty when I have something that Arnav loves and he is not around to enjoy it- he loves his food and is always open to trying new things- which is a blessing!

I remember when I was in hostel my Mom used to say this, “We made custard pudding and missed you.” I did not understand it as much as I do it now! A Mom is a Mom is a MOM!

So I cook this white sauce pasta often at home and it is always a hit with my little Arnavi and Charit.  You can always change the vegetable mix that goes with it- add garlic if you like the flavor, chicken sausages too- suit yourself! Use a lot of veggies – broccoli, mushrooms…corn!

Warning- Calorie Count not allowed!

Pasta in White Sauce

Pasta in White Sauce

Ingredients (Serves 4)

Pasta (of your choice) – 250 gms

Oil- ½ Tbsp to 1 Tbsp

Butter- 1 Tbsp

All Purpose Flour (Maida) or Corn flour- 1Tbsp

1 Big Onion- Sliced into Thin Long wedges

1 Carrot- Sliced into Thin Long wedges

6-7 Beans- Sliced into Thin Long wedges

Green Peas- 1Tbsp

White Cream- 1.5 Cups or more as desired

1 Cheese Cube grated

Salt to taste

Oregano for seasoning/Pepper to taste

Red Chili Flakes – optional (I don’t add pepper and red chili flakes)

Method-

Pasta

Boil the pasta as per the packet directions- add a pinch of salt and half tbsp oil to the water while boiling. Once the pasta is boiled- drain the hot water and run the pasta under cold water.

Sauce

Heat the butter in a Sauce Pan. If you wish to add garlic paste, add now and stir for a couple of minutes. Add the Maida/flour and stir. Stir the Maida/Flour only for a minute and now add milk to this- stir continuously so that no lumps are formed.  Once it boils, add Salt, Oregano/Pepper and red chili flakes. Let the mixture thicken, add white cream and bring this mixture to boil. Add grated Cheese and stir. Take it off the heat. The Sauce is ready.

Veggies.

Take a little oil in the Sauce Pan and add onions, sir and let them turn golden brown. Add carrot, and beans, peas and other veggies. Stir and cover the lid for five minutes. Add salt as per taste. Take the veggies off the heat once they are cooked. Don’t overcook the veggies – you will like them slightly crunchy in Pasta.

Veggies like Carrot, peas can be boiled with the pasta too.

Now place the sauce on heat and add cook veggies and pasta to it. Stir mix gently- add more cream/cheese to garnish and serve hot with a soup of your choice!

Suji Idli

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Suji Idlis served with Coconut Chutney

Suji Idlis

Healthy, Delicious and Instant Idlis- No planning, no soaking, no grinding, no fermenting!

We love South Indian food and often have Idlis and Dosas over the week end. Here is a quick recipe for Suji Idlis my Mom makes. The combination of Suji and veggies make a perfect and healthy breakfast. I added some boiled corn to my son’s share of Idlis and he loved them all the more.

You can use any vegetable of your choice. I had these chopped capsicums “left over” from the previous night pizza party and this was a perfect way to utilize them.

Ingredients-

(Makes approximately 10 Idlis)
1 Cup Suji (Semolina)
1 Cup Curd
1 tsp Baking Soda
Boiled Peas and Corn Half Cup (optional)
1 Carrot grated
1/2 Cup Cabbage chopped
Capsicum- Half Cup sliced (green, yellow and red- optional again)
1 Onion chopped fine
1/2 Green Chilies Chopped fine
1 Bunch Coriander chopped fine
1 Tbsp Oil
Mustard seeds (Rai) 1tsp
Salt to taste
1 tsp Urad Dal and Chana Dal

Idli Batter

Idli Batter

Method-

Heat the oil in a sauce pan and add the mustard seeds, once they splutter add the urad dal and chana dal. Add onions to this, fry them till they turn brown, and now add the capsicum and green chilies. Roast this for a minute and then add shredded carrot and cabbage. Now add the suji (semolina) to it. Roast it till the suji starts changing color and releases its aroma. Take it off the heat.

Please note that all vegetables can be added later too with the curd (without frying) My husband likes them to be slightly fired so I do it this way. So if you like you can just avoid frying veggies in the above.
Beat the curd; add 1/4 Cup water or more as required. Add this to the above. Add the boiled peas and corn and Baking Soda. Add salt and mix well.

Grease the Idli Mould. And pour the batter suitable (about 1.5 tbsp) in each idli slot. Place the Idli Mould in cooker and steam for ten minutes. If you are using a microwave, set it for seven minutes.
Serve this with Dhania (Coriander) Chutney, or Dosa Chutney or Sambhar. You will love them.

You can add curry leaves, cashews, grated ginger, potatoes, and shredded coconut too for variety and flavor.

Suji Idlis with Corn and other veggies for Arnav

Suji Idlis with Corn and other veggies for Arnav

Pav Bhaji

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Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji

We had some friends coming over at a short notice- I did not have the time for making an elaborate dinner for them.  Charit suggested Pav Bhaji and so we made that.  It brought back a lot of memories…

Here is the recipe-

Ingredients:

Bhaji-

Oil/Ghee- Half Cup

Onions                                                 3 finely chopped

Tomatoes                                           3 finely chopped

Potatoes                                             4 boiled and mashed

Peas                                                     1 cup (Boiled and mashed)

Carrot                                                  1/2 cup chopped (Boiled and mashed)

Beans                                                    1/2 cup chopped (Boiled and mashed)

Cabbage                                              1/2 cup chopped finely (Boiled and mashed)

Capsicum                                            1/2 cup chopped finely

Cauliflower                                        1 cup chopped finely (Boiled and mashed)

Ginger paste                                      1′ inch piece

Garlic paste                                        8-10 cloves

Green chilies                                     2-3 finely chopped

Masala Powders

Turmeric 1 tsp

Zeera (Cumin Seeds) – 1 tsp

Dhania Powder                 (Coriander powder)       3 tsp

Jeera Powder (Cumin Powder)                                1 tsp

Chili powder                                                                    as per taste

Pav bhaji masala                                                           5 tsp

Salt                                                                                      Acc to taste

Chopped Coriander                                                     for garnishing

Lemon juice                                                                   2 tsp

Pav (Buns) Halved as required

Butter –                                2 Tbsp

Method-

Heat Ghee in a saucepan and add cumin seeds to it.  Once they crackle the chopped onions.  Now add the ginger and garlic paste.  Sauté for 5- 7 minutes till the onions start turning transparent.  Now add the chopped tomatoes + the green chilies and after 2-3 minutes when the tomatoes turn soft, add the chopped capsicum, fry for a couple of minutes and now add the mashed boiled veggies.  Add the masala powders (as well as salt) mentioned above and stir.  Let the bhaji cook at medium flame as you stir and mash the vegetables with a spatula as you stir.  Add half the butter now and keep the rest for garnishing while serving.

Once the gravy is thick and vegetables evenly mashed, add the lemon juice and mix well.  Now garnish with chopped coriander and butter.

For the Pav, slit them horizontally leaving them attached on one end.  Apply quantity of butter as desired and place them on a sauce pan until golden brown.

Serve the hot Pav Bhaji with lemon wedges and chopped onions.

Strawberry Shake- Yummy and simple to make

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Arnav enjoying his Strawberry Shake

Arnav enjoying his Strawberry Shake

Strawberry Shake-

Arnav is not very fond of milk, so I have to keep on coming up with ways to make it interesting for him.  These days he loves to have Strawberry shake and we join him too!  It is refreshing and tastes awesome.  As you can see from the picture, he could not resist taking a sip when I was trying to take a photo for the blog.

Ingredients (2 Servings)-

10-12 hulled (leaves/stem removed) Strawberries

2 Cups Milk

2 Tbsp Ice cream (I use Vanilla)

Sugar as per taste

Method-

Put all the ingredients in a blender, cover the lid and blend for a minute- until smooth.  The Strawberry shake is ready, pour it in a glass, and enjoy!

Today is very special!

It is Mom-Dad’s Anniversary, here is wishing them the very best in life!

Parle Biscuit Cake- Quick easy and delicious

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Parle Biscuit Cake- Made in cooker

Parle Biscuit Cake

Parle Biscuit Cake- Made in a Pressure Cooker

Parle G Biscuits- I love them with tea and once in a while Arnav joins me to enjoy this treat.  I remember our pet dog Cheeku used to love these biscuits and I would treat him to my share of biscuits too. It was nice to have Cheeku around when we were growing up…to play with him after coming back from school and take him for walks…to bursting into peals of laughter when he scared strangers (now that is not kind I know, but who said we were perfect!).  I hope one day I can bring in a Labrador pup for Arnav ….it is good Arnav can’t read it out here or else he would insist on having one right now…right here.

I saw this recipe on FoodLyrics.com and fell for the idea…simple, quick, easy and what I liked the most about it was the ingredients were handy.It tastes good and the texture is fine too.  I followed the recipe and instructions that Deepa mentioned, I just added a little milk powder and milk cream, and here it goes-

Ingredients-

Parle G Biscuit powdered- 2 Cups

Grounded Sugar- 1 Cup (or lesser as per taste)

Vanilla Essence- 1 tsp

Baking Powder- 1 tsp

Milk- 1 Cup

Milk Powder- 1 Tbsp (optional)

Milk Cream- 1/2 Tbsp (optional)

Method-

In a bowl take powdered biscuits, add the sugar, milk powder and baking powder and mix.  Now add the Vanilla essence, Milk, and milk cream.  Whisk properly until the mixture is smooth. Add the dry fruits.  Now transfer this batter into an 8 inch round baking tin.

Place the tin in the pressure cooker.  Remove the gasket/ring of the cooker.  Keep the whistle on and bake the cake.  Like Deepa has suggested- the first five minutes on high flame and then 15 to 20 minutes on medium flame. Remove the lid to check if the cake is baked.  You can check by inserting a knife/skewer to see if it is baked.

It takes slightly more time for the cake to bake from center, so as Deepa suggests keep the lid on of the cooker even after you take it off the heat.  The steam helps to bake the cake from the center.

Remember-

Don’t put any water in the cooker

The cake batter should not be too liquid- change the milk/sugar content as per the amount of powdered biscuits.

Take the ring/gasket out of the pressure cooker while baking the cake.

It tasted very nice and we loved it!  Thanks again Deepa for this quick, easy and delicious recipe.

Why is today so special?

Leena and Kishore are our close friends and this cake is for their kids Saveer and Soni…they turn five today, I remember the first time I saw them, Soni a few hours old was looking  all  around, alert and active, Saveer was sleeping calmly. Here is wishing them happiness and good health! You rock guys!

Here is their picture as on 31  December 2005 (their first New Year Party), Arnav was 5 months and they were ten months.

Arnav Saveer Soni- First New year Party!

Arnav, Saveer & Soni- First New Year Party!

 

Chawal Rajma (Rice and Red kidney bean curry)

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Rajma (Red Bean Curry)

Rajma

Rajma

This one brings a big smile on my bro’s face and Arnav’s face too.  However Charit is not very fond of it. As he is away I made it for myself and Arnav. We enjoyed our meal.

Ingredients-

1 Cup Rajma (Red Kidney Beans) soaked overnight

1 tsp Ginger grated

1 Big Onion- Chopped or pureed

1 Tomato- Chopped or pureed

Jeera (Cumin seeds) – 1 tsp

A Pinch of Haldi (Turmeric Powder)

Green Chillies- 2 Slit vertically (optional)

Red Chilli Powder as per taste

Salt as per taste

Garam Masala – 1/2 tsp

Chopped Coriander

1/2 Tbsp Butter/Milk Cream (optional)

1 Tbsp Oil

A couple of Bay leaves

Method-

Soak the Rama for 6 hours or overnight.  Pressure cook them until they are soft and cooked.  This can take up to half an hour.

Take oil in a pan and heat it.  Add cumin seeds, after a minute add bay leaf.  Add onion paste (or chopped onions) and turmeric powder.  Sauté this for five minutes and then add ginger paste and green chilies.  Keep stirring this so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.  Let this cook until the paste is light brown (approximately ten minutes) now add the tomato paste (or chopped tomatoes) and butter or milk cream.  Cook and stir until the oil starts separating from the gravy.  Add garam masala, salt and red chilli powder.  Add the cooked rajma.  Cover the pan and let the gravy cook for five minutes.
Garnish with chopped coriander and rajma is ready to be served.

You can serve it with hot chapatti, naan, bread, jeera rice.

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