PALAK PANEER | COTTAGE CHEESE IN SPINACH GRAVY

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INGREDIENTS:
1 Bunch Spinach Leaves
5-6 Cashew Nuts
1 Green Chilli
1/2 Tsp Sugar
2 Tomatoes
1 Inch Ginger
4 Garlic Cloves
1 Tbsp Oil
1 Bay Leaf (Tej Patta)
2 Onions
1 Tsp Coriander Powder
1 Tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
1 Tsp Kasoori Methi
1 Tsp Garam Masala
250 Grams Cottage Cheese (Paneer)
1 Tsp Ghee
2 Garlic Cloves (Tempering)
1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder (Tempering)
Salt to Taste
Water

  • Grind Tomatoes, Ginger and Garlic into a thick paste. No need to add water. Keep this Red Paste aside.
  • In a wide pan, add Cashew Nuts, Green Chilli and Sugar along with enough water and keep it on high to boil. Sugar helps reduce the bitterness of Spinach leaves.
  • Switch off flame once the water comes to a boil.
  • Add washed and cleaned Spinach leaves and blanch until the leaves wilt. Should take a minute.
  • Transfer the contents on a sieve and pour ice and cold water over this. This helps to retain the vibrant green colour of the leaves.
  • Once the mixture cools down, grind into a smooth Green Paste.
  • In a wide pan, heat oil and add a Bay Leaf. I’ve used Mustard Oil.
  • Now add Onions, very finely chopped. I used a Chopper. You can chop using a knife or grind it roughly in a mixer.
  • Brown them evenly by stirring.
  • Now add the Red Paste you made earlier.
  • Also add salt to help the Tomato paste cook faster.
  • Keep stirring and cook for a few minutes.
  • Now add Coriander Powder and Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder and mix well.
  • Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Crush Kasoori Methi between your palms and add this to the gravy along with Garam Masala.
  • Now add the Green Paste you prepared with Spinach and mix well.
  • Add water depending on how thick you prefer. You can add more water if you are serving with Rice and a thicket consistency if serving with Roti/Naan.
  • Cover and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Now add fresh Paneer, washed and diced and mix well. You can alternatively lightly shallow fry them in butter and add to this.
  • Cover and cook for a few more minutes and switch off flame.
  • For the tempering, heat some ghee and add chopped Garlic Cloves to this. Once they brown, switch off flame and add Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder. Mix and pour this over the Palak Paneer Gravy.
  • Serve this hot with Roti/Paratha/Naan/Rice.
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Blanched Spinach Leaves, cooling down
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Finely chopped Onions
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Bay leaf in Mustard oil
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Sauteing Onions
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Red Paste
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Vibrant Green Paste
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Preparing the masala
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Adding the Green Palak paste to the masala.
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Diced Cottage Cheese
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Tempering
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Thick Palak Paneer gravy
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Served hot with Rotis

CAULIFLOWER SABJI | GOBI MASALA – RESTAURANT STYLE

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INGREDIENTS:
1 Small Cauliflower
Water
Salt to taste
3 Tbsp Oil
1 Large Onion
2 Large Tomatoes
3 Dry Kashmiri/Bedgi Red Chillis
4-5 Large Garlic Cloves
1 Inch Ginger

10 Cashew Nuts
1 Tbsp Poppy Seeds (Khas Khas)
1/4 Cup Hot Water
1 Tsp Ghee
1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
1Tsp Turmeric Powder
1 Tsp Coriander Powder
1 Tsp Cumin Powder
1 Tsp Kitchen King/Garam Masala
1/2 Cup Green Peas (Optional)
1/2 Cup Water
Salt to Taste
1 Tsp Kasoori Methi
1 Tsp Fresh Cream (Optional)
1/4 Cup Coriander Leaves

METHOD:

  • In a bowl, add the Cashew Nuts and Poppy Seeds with Hot water and keep aside for 30 minutes. Later grind this into a smooth paste and keep aside.
  • Separate the Cauliflower florets and wash them well. Soak them in water for a few minutes.
  • In the meantime, boil water in a deep vessel and add salt.
  • To this add the washed Cauliflower florets and blanch them for 5 minutes.
  • Drain the water and transfer them to a plate.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add the blanched Cauliflower florets and sauté for 5-7 minutes until you see brown spots appearing on the surface.
  • Take them out on a plate.
  • In the leftover oil, add items coloured in Red in the ingredients section and sauté them until they all cook well.
  • Once the mixture cools down, transfer this to a mixer and grind into a smooth paste.
  • Now in the same pan, add 1 Tsp Ghee.
  • Splutter Cumin Seeds.
  • Now add the paste you just ground and cook until you see oil separating from the masala.
  • Now add the spice powders mentioned in the ingredients list marked in Green. Mix well and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Now add the Cashew Khas Khas paste to this and mix well.
  • Add salt and water.
  • You can add frozen Green Peas if you want to. You can also use the fresh ones but boil them before adding to the masala. Green peas are optional.
  • Also add the bleached and sautéed cauliflower florets.
  • Cover and cook on low-medium flame for 5-7 minutes.
  • Now add Garam Masala Powder
  • Add Kasoori Methi after crushing them between your palms.
  • Add fresh cream. This is optional.
  • Mix everything well.
  • Garnish with freshly chopped Coriander Leaves.
  • Serve hot with Naan / Roti.
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Masala to be ground into a smooth paste
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Cashew & Poppy Seeds paste
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Red Masala
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Serve hot with Rotis/Naan

SPICY CHUNKY GREEN CHUTNEY

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When I don’t have coriander leaves or have very little, I make this spicy chutney.

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 Cup Coriander Leaves
1 Tomato
10 Garlic Cloves, Peeled
4-5 Green Chillis
1 Piece Tamarind
Salt

METHOD:

  • If you don’t have Coriander Leaves, you can substitute with Mint Leaves / Capsicum / Ginger / Onions / Tomatoes.
  • Add all the items in the ingredient list with a little water and grind into a chunky paste.
  • Serve this with fried snacks!
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MIX LENTIL DAL

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INGREDIENTS:
1/4 Cup Whole Masoor
1/4 Cup Toor dal
1/4 Cup Chana dal
1/4 Cup Urad dal
Salt as per taste

TEMPERING:
1 Tbsp Ghee
1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
1 Tsp Turmeric Powder
1 Tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
1/2 Tsp Asafetida (Hing)

METHOD:

  • Wash the dals until the water runs clear and soak for 10-15 minutes.
  • Drain the water and add this to the Pressure cooker with a little salt and enough water.
  • Give one whistle on high flame and 2-3 whistles on low-medium flame. Switch off
  • Open when the steam escapes. You don’t need to blend the dal into a smooth paste. Just mix with a spoon and check if they are cooked. If not you can give another whistle or two.
  • Now in a heavy bottom pan or Tadka Kadhai, heat Ghee.
  • Splutter Cumin Seeds. Switch off flame.
  • Add the Turmeric Powder, Chilli Powder and Asafoetida Powder. Mix well and add this to the cooked Dal.
  • Your dal is ready! Serve with Naan, Roti, Toasted Bread, Baati or Rice!

STEAMED MAKAI AATA/ MAIZE FLOUR DHOKLA

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I had an unopened packet of Makai/Maize/Yellow Corn Flour/Aata/Meal. I found this recipe online and decided to try for breakfast. Maize Flour is gluten free too! Such a guilt-free treat this was, I ended up eating too many! The end result felt more like Baati than Dhokla. But I loved it nevertheless. I paired this with a spicy green chutney, mix lentil dal, a dollop of ghee and a dash of lemon juice!

INGREDIENTS:
500 grams Makai Aata (Yellow Maize Flour)
2 Tsp Mustard Seeds
2 Tsp Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
2 Tsp Fennel Seeds (Saunf)
2 Tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
2 Tsp Turmeric Powder
2 Tsp Coriander Powder
1 Tsp Baking Soda
2 Green Chillis, Finely Chopped
1 Inch Grated Ginger (Optional)
1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Coriander Leaves (Optional)
Salt to taste
1 Cup Green Peas, Crushed
Water

TEMPERING:
2 Tbsp Oil
2 Tsp Mustard Seeds
2 Tsp Cumin Seeds
1 Green Chilli (Optional)
1 String Curry Leaves (Optional)

METHOD:

  • In a large mixing bowl, add the maize flour.
  • To this add all the items mentioned in the ingredients list, except water. I didn’t add Coriander leaves and ginger. So you can skip ingredients you don’t have.
  • Now add water little at a time, while kneading the dough. So 500 grams measured around 4 cups with my teacup. And I used around 3.5 cups of water.
  • The consistency of the dough should be soft and malleable just like Roti dough.
  • Divide the dough into equal balls. You can size them, the way you prefer. I made big enough to fit my one rack of Idli stand. The rest I cooked in boiling water. I’ll explain both ways.
  • So once you have the portions ready, flatten each dough ball like a super thick disc and make a hole in the center with your finger. Just like Medu Vada but just half way. You can check pictures below to help better understand.
  • Now I tried making this using the steamer method as well as the boiling method.
  • For the Steamer Method, add water in your steamer. I used my Idli cooker. I placed one empty stand first and then on the stand above it, I placed my 4 big dough balls after greasing the moulds. Close the steamer lid and a on high flame, steam for 15 minutes. Take them out and let them cool.
  • For the Boiling Method, add water in a deep wide pan. Depending on the width of your pan, add the dough balls carefully. Let them boil and cook on a high flame for 5-6 minutes. When they start floating on top, you’ll know they are cooked and you can switch off the flame. Transfer them onto a plate and let them cool and dry for sometime.
  • Both methods gave the same result. I preferred the boiling method since it takes lesser amount of time and I can fit in more without the hassle of using a lot of utensils.
  • Now in a wide pan, heat oil and splutter the ingredients mentioned in the Tempering section.
  • Add the steamed/boiled dough balls and sauté them on a low flame, flipping multiple times to evenly roast both sides.
  • Transfer them to a plate and serve with Chutney and Dal.
  • Check the recipe for Spicy Green Chutney and Mix Dal!
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Frozen Green Peas
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Spices to flavour the dough
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Crushed Green Peas
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Malleable Dough consistency
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Big Dough ball with a hole half way through the center.
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Steamer Method using the Idli steamer
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Hot Water Boiling Method
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Drain all the excess water & keep aside to dry and cool down.
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Shallow frying till it browns both sides
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Nicely covered in Tempering
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I could make 10 balls like these
Served with Spicy Chutney
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Served with Dal, Chutney & Lemon Juice
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Happy, healthy bite!

VEGGIES WITH RICE / TOP RAMEN NOODLES

Want to include vegetables in your meal but tired of eating the same thing over and over again? Well mix in a little noodle or rice and you will look forward for meal time to enjoy this delicious bowl of goodness!

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INGREDIENTS:
1 Tsp Oil
2 Tsp Sesame Seeds
4-5 Broccoli Florets
3 Button Mushrooms
2-3 Baby Corn
1 Inch Zucchini
1 Orange Carrot
1/2 Packet Top Ramen or 1 Cup Cooked Rice
1 Tsp Chings Schezwan Chutney
1 Tsp Dark Soy
1 Pinch Sugar
Salt to taste
1/2 Cup Water

METHOD:

  • Heat oil in a pan. I used Olive oil.
  • Splutter Sesame Seeds.
  • Add the vegetables that take longer to cook first.
  • So I added the chopped Carrots first, then the Baby Corn followed by Zucchini, Mushrooms and lastly Broccoli. You can also add chopped Tomatoes, Bell Peppers or even finely chopped Cabbage. I don’t like my veggies soft and prefer al dente, so I don’t cook for a long time.
  • If you are making this with leftover rice or cooked rice, add this to the veggies. Add Soy Sauce & Schezwan Sauce. Add Sugar and Salt to balance the taste. You don’t need to add water to this. Just mix well. I had an extra masala packet of Yippi Noodles. So I used this as well. You can add Pepper Powder or any other Spice. Mix this well and enjoy!
  • If you are making this with noodles, you can use Top Ramen Curry or Fiery Chilli Noodles.
  • I used half of the noodles and masala since I was making just one bowl for myself. I also wanted to incorporate more veggies in my diet and very little noodles just for the taste bit. The other half of noodles and masala I used the next day.
  • So, add the masala from the packet to the veggies. Mix well.
  • Break and add the noodles to this and mix again.
  • Now add water depending on how soupy you want your noodles. Your veggies may cook further so don’t overcook in the previous step. Cover and cook until the noodles soften.
  • Add Schezwan Sauce, Soy Sauce and Salt depending on how much water you’ve added.
  • If you don’t have any masala, add Soy Sauce, Schezwan Sauce, Pepper Powder and Ginger Garlic Paste instead and create a nice soupy broth for your noodles.
  • There’s nothing else left to do, except enjoy your veggie bowl!
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Noodles with Veggies (Schezwan & Soy Sauce Flavour)
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Noodles with Veggies (Fiery Chilli Flavour)
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Rice with Veggies (Tandoori Masala)
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Soupy Noodles with Veggies
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Noodles with Veggies (Curry Flavour)
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Rice with Vegetables (Schezwan & Soy Sauce)

CURD RICE

INGREDIENTS:
4 Cups Cooked Rice
3 Cups Yogurt
1/4 Cup Water
1 Tbsp Ghee
1 Tsp Mustard Seeds
1 Dry Red Chilli / Fresh Green Chilli
1 String Curry Leaves
1 Tsp Asafoetida Powder (Hing)
1 Tsp Urad Dal
1 Tsp Chana Dal
1 Tsp Grated Ginger
Fresh Pomegranate Seeds (Optional)
Salt to taste

METHOD:

  • First cook rice. You can check the pressure cooker method for Basmati Rice here!
  • If you are eating the Curd Rice immediately, add the Yogurt and water as per the consistency you prefer. If you are planning to eat this later, you can prepare the tempered rice first, and add the Yogurt mix later. So let’s prepare the tempering first.
  • In a heavy bottom pan or tempering bowl, heat Ghee.
  • Splutter Mustard Seeds.
  • Lower the flame and add the Urad Dal & Chana Dal and sauté till it changes colour. Don’t burn.
  • Break the Red Chilli or Slit the Green Chilli and add to this. Switch off flame if the temperature is too high.
  • Add chopped Curry leaves, Grated Ginger and Asafoetida Powder.
  • Add this mixture to the rice along with salt and mix well.
  • Smoothen Yogurt in a bowl by stirring with a spoon continuously in a clockwise direction.
  • Whenever you are ready to eat, heat the rice once again and then add the Yogurt. Add water if you prefer a thinner consistency. I don’t prefer heating post adding Yogurt. Add salt if required.
  • Garnish with some fresh pomegranate seeds and serve hot with Bharwan Karela, Achaar, Fried Chillis, Papadam or any spicy sabji!
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