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

Besan Karela (Bitter Gourd)

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Karela or Bitter gourd, a versatile vegetable that’s cooked in so many ways. I learnt making it in a different way today and loved it with hot chapattis. Of course Arnav isn’t yet fond of this vegetable but I am sure he is soon going to love it.

 

Besan Karela

Besan Karela

Here is how I made them today-

Ingredients:

4-6 Bitter Gourds (Karelas) – peeled (optional)

1.5 tbsp Gram Flour (Besan)

2 tsp Coriander Powder (Dhaniya Powder), 1.5 tsp Dry Mango Powder (Amchoor), 1/4 tsp Garam Masala

1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder, Red Chili powder as per taste

1 tsp Cumin seeds (Zeera)

1 tsp Methi dana (Fenugreek seeds) & Saunf (Fennel seeds) each

Salt as per taste

Finely chopped green chilies

~2 tsp ginger paste

Chopped Cilantro

Oil- 1 Tablespoon and for deep frying the bitter gourd or steam for a healthier option

Method

Chopped karelas mixed with salt, vinegar and turmeric powder

Chopped karelas mixed with salt, vinegar and turmeric powder

Wash, drain and scrape the skin of the bitter gourd (scraping is optional). Chop to small pieces.  Add 1/2 tea spoon salt,  1 tsp vinegar and a pinch of turmeric powder mix and leave it aside for 10-15 minutes.  Add a cup of water. Squeeze and remove the water.  This reduces the bitterness. Now you can either deep fry the chopped bitter gourd or steam it- the latter being a healthier option any day.

Once done, heat oil in a pan.  Add cumin seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds.  When is starts spluttering add finely sliced green chilies and ginger paste.  Fry them for a minute or two and now add the gram flour.  Add about a small bowl of water to this and stir so that the ingredients mix and form a paste.

Now add all the spices – as well as salt- (keep it less as we had already added it to the karelas and it absorbs) Keep stirring so that the besan is cooked properly. After 3-4 minutes add the bitter gourd pieces, mix and stir. Since we have already fried or steamed the karelas, it should not take too much time- cook for 7-8 minutes more and done!

Garnish with fresh coriander leaves. Tip : Karelas when cooked properly can be refrigerated for a month :-)

Simple & Delectable, Dahi Alu Sabzi

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Simple & Delectable, Dahi Alu Sabzi (Potatoes in Curd based gravy)

Dahi Alu Sabzi

Dahi Alu Sabzi

It has been a while since I posted…..and it has also been a while since I picked up a new book. Not so good :-(  but I intend to do so soon, in fact I have picked up a book, just need to start reading.

Yesterday was one day when I felt the laziest, I wanted to tune out…no work, no swimming, no driving, no grocery shopping, no looking at Arnav’s home work, no eating out…….almost about to say no cooking but that ain’t an option…..so we made this simple veg curry, using basic ingredients, very less time to cook…and yet it is delicious with hot chapatis. (who ended up doing grocery shopping, driving around- Charit and swimming…Arnav ;-) )

Try this one out and you will be surprised as to how a simple side dish can make a routine lunch a yummylicious one!

Ingredients-

Boiled Potatoes- 3-4 Chopped into medium-sized cubes

Besan (Chickpea Flour) – 1.5 Tbsp

Curd- 250 gms

Ghee/Oil- 1 Tbsp

Cumin Seeds (Jeera)

Salt to taste

Method

Beat the curd and add besan,- add approximately 3-4  cups of water and mix so that this it is uniform. Heat ghee in a sauce pan and add cumin seeds. Once they crackle, add  the curd mixture and stir frequently until it comes to a boil. Let it simmer for 5 minutes. Now add the boiled potatoes to this. Add salt, and let this simmer for ~10 minutes. Dahi Alu is ready!

Serve hot with chapatis. Eat on!

 

Chole Recipe

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Chole (Chickpeas) Recipe (with Anardana)

 

IMG_7179

 

I love Chole Bhature :-) and my brother loves them even more! I still remember the look on his face while eating the Chole Bhatoore Mom would make- he’d never stop until he burst! Back then Mom would treat us to Chole Bathure so often…our special weekend treats and I do the same now! Here is my recipe.

Ingredients-

Chickpeas- 200 gms

Oil

Salt as per taste

Ginger Garlic Paste

Green Chillies Sliced Long (optional)

Bay leaves- 2-3, 2-3 Cardamoms, 1-2 Cinnamon sticks, 3-4 cloves

Cumin seeds, Coriander (Dhania) powder, Amchoor (Dry Mango) Powder, Garam Masala, Chilly Powder, Anardana (Dry Pomegranate Powder)  & Zeera Powder- as per your taste

 

Method -

Soak the cholas (chickpeas) overnight (8-9 hours), next day pressure cook them adding salt and a tea bag. It will take approximately 25-30 minutes until they are soft. Now discard the tea bag.

In a pan heat a Tbsp oil, add, cumin seeds, once they crackle add the bay leaves, black cardamom, cinnamon sticks, cloves and then ginger garlic paste, fry this for a minute and add cut green chillies. After a couple of minutes add all the dry spices, roast them for a minute and add the boiled chickpeas to it. Add little water as required for gravy consistency. Let it simmer on slow for 10-15 minutes.

Take it off the heat and garnish with coriander. We enjoyed it with Kulchas, but they go well with almost any bread and rice as well.

 

Moong Daal Vadi and Alu Sabzi

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Moon Daal Vadi & Alu Sabzi

Moon Daal Vadi & Alu Sabzi

Moong Dal Vadis are very popular in north India, Mom used to make the Vadis at home, but Moms are  Moms and here is to both my Mom & Mom in Law- you guys are awesome! Happy Mother’s Day to both of you!

Charit picked these Vadis up, they are his favorite and there is no way I was going wrong with this one on a Sunday!

Ingredients-

Moong Daal Vadiya – 100 – 125 grams

Potatoes- 2- chopped medium size

2 tbsp ghee/ oil as preferred

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 Onions- Chopped/puree (Preferable Puree)

Ginger paste- 1 tsp; 6 – 7 garlic cloves paste,

1 medium size tomatoes Chopped/puree (Preferable Puree)

Chili powder to taste

1 tsp garam masala;  2-3 tsp coriander powder;

Salt to taste

Curd- 1 tbsp

Chopped Corriander

Method-

In a pan take a Tbsp oil, heat it and fry the vadis until they are golden brown. This is must or else might not stay crisp once pressure cooked.

To make the tadka, heat the ghee or oil in a heavy pan until hot, and add cumin seeds- once they crackle add the pureed onions and sauté them until they are golden brown and fried properly, this will take about 10-15 minutes. Now add the garlic and ginger paste and fry for another five to ten minutes. You can add a tbsp water if the gravy starts sticking to the pan at any point.

Now add the pureed tomatoes and stir for about fifteen minutes until the tomato is soft and cooked.  Also add – the chili powder, coriander powder,  & garam masala when you are adding the tomato puree. Stir and let it cook for approximately 15 minutes. Now add the beaten curd followed by salt.  Add little water for the gravy, bring this to boil . Next, transfer this to a pressure cooker and add the moong vadi and chopped potatoes. Bring it to boil and cook it until whistle 4-5 times. Add the cream and garnish with chopped coriander.

There you are!  Serve with hot Chapattis, Parathas, Rice  or any bread of your choice.

Kashmiri Dum Aloo

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Kashmiri Dum Aloo- – Baby potatoes cooked in yogurt gravy with masalas.

 

Kashmiri Dum Aloo

Ingredients-

Baby potatoes (you can use small potatoes as well)- 18 to 20

Oil to deep frying

Mustard Oil- 2 Tbsp

Cumin seeds- 2 teaspoon

Clove Powder or 3-4 cloves

Cardamom- 3-4

Asafoetida- a pinch

Ginger Paste-   2 tsp

Whisked Curd – 2 Cups

Kashmiri red chilli powder – 3 tsp or as per taste

Cumin powder –  1-2 teaspoon

Coriander powder- 1 tablespoon

Fennel seed (saunf) powder- 1 tablespoon

Turmeric powder- 1 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Garam masala powder  1 teaspoon

Fresh coriander leaves – chopped

Method-

Peel, wash and prick potatoes all over with the help of a fork. Now soak them in salted water for twenty minutes. Drain and wipe dry. Heat sufficient oil for deep frying in a saucepan and deep-fry the potatoes on medium heat till they are golden brown. Drain on paper towels and keep aside.

Heat mustard oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds, cloves, cardamom seeds and asafoetida and cook on medium heat till the cumin seeds crackle and change colour. Add ginger paste and sauté for a minute. Add a little water and stir. Add whisked curd. Now add red chilli powder, garam masala, fennel seed powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and a little water and stir. Let it cook for 5 minutes. Add fried potatoes and stir to mix well. Add little water and cover with a lid and cook for another 10 minutes. Add more water if required and salt (salt towards end). Take off the cover, simmer for five minutes or till the potatoes absorb the gravy. Remove from heat and garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve hot with Chapatis (Indian bread) or Naan (Tandoor-roasted Indian bread)

Spicy Usal

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Usal with Gravy

Usal Served with Chapatti and Sev

Usal Served with Chapatti and Sev

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Usal is a sprout based fiery dish. It can be dry or made with gravy. Amazingly flavorful, one can have it with Poha, Chapattis, Rice or Pooris.

One of the best things to eat in Indore is ‘Usal Pohe’ and it has been a long time since I had it ….so when my husband kept on mentioning how he enjoyed Usal Poha on one of his recent trips to Indore…I ended up craving for ‘usal’ No worries, there is always a work around- I tried making it at home- with gravy. We enjoyed it with Chapattis this time & next time it is going to be Usal Poha!

Easy and quick to make, here is what it takes-

Ingredients:

Sprouts: 250 ms

Cottage Cheese- 150 gms- cut into cubes

2-3 medium sized onions finely chopped

2 tomatoes finely chopped.

Ginger Garlic paste- 2 tsp

Coriander Seeds- 3 tsp- Crushed

Chili powder- as per taste, though this dish can use more of it

Garam Masala- 1.5 tsp

Salt to taste

Oil- 2 Tbsp (This dish uses more oil- you can use lesser if you prefer that)

Cumin seeds (Zeera) 1 tsp

Chopped Coriander

Method

Pressure cook the sprout beans until cooked (3 whistles approx.)

In a sauce pan, add oil, add the cumin seeds, once they splutter, add the onions, fry them until they turn transparent and now add the ginger garlic paste. Fry on slow for 5-10 minutes until the onions are golden brown. Now add the finely chopped tomatoes and the spices. Fry for another 7-8 minutes until the tomatoes are cooked not add the steamed sprouts with the broth/stock and additional water for gravy. Add the Paneer cubes.

Let this simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish with chopped coriander. Serve with hot Chapattis or Poori or Poha! If you have sev at home, Usal and sev go very well together.

Enjoy!

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