Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mattar Paneer

Paneer dishes are always carved for. Esp., I love paneer butter masala and Mattar Paneer. Both of us in our house crave for mattar paneer. This is always part of our party menu or I try to prepare once every month. This is a hit everytime I prepare. 
I do not prepare Paneer at home all the time. I do not get the patience to wait to prepare. Home-made paneer, ofcourse has excellent taste!

You will need:
1 cup Paneer cubed
1 cup Fresh/frozen Peas

For the Gravy:
2 Onions chopped
8 Tomatoes chopped
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Chilli powder
1 tbsp Corriander powder
1 tbsp Cumin powder
1 tbsp Ginger Garlic paste
1 tbsp Cashew pieces
3 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste
3 Cloves, 
3 Cardamom pods, 
1” cinnamon stick, 
2 Bay leaves
1 tsp Cumin seeds
Chopped Coriander
1 tbsp Kasthuri Methi 
1/4 cup Fresh cream

In a saute pan, heat oil and add cashews. Saute it till slightly golden. Now add the chopped onions and saute till soft. Then add the ginger garlic paste and saute for about a minute or until the aroma comes. Add the chopped tomatoes and turmeric powder and cook until tomatoes are soft.
Cool and grind the mixture to a smooth paste. This gravy is rich and creamy. This can be stored and used in couple of days also. You can use this to make any other curry by adding ingredients like vegetables to make Kadai Vegetable, Koftas to make Malai Kofta etc. This gravy is creamy and delicious inspite of the fact it contains no butter. The great taste comes from the slow simmering which brings the flavours together.

Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and whole garam masala. Saute for a minute. Now add the gravy mixture and about 1/2 to 1 cup of water based on the consistency. Stir in cumin, coriander and red chilli powders. Add salt as required. Bring to boil and let simmer for 15 minutes. This thickens the gravy and also blends the spices well. Crush the kasthuri methi in your palm and add it to the gravy. Add the peas and paneer cubes. Simmer for 5 more minutes, stir in the fresh cream. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with rotis.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sev puri - Basket chaat

Basket chat is a long awaited chat that I have been wanting to try. And its our princess 3rd birthday party today. So I did this as a starter, and it was such a hit! Well I got such appreciation and everyone were thankful for preparing this. This is light to start with, and am sure this will be a hit the first time you prepare!

You need

Tostito's Corn scoops - as required
1 cup boiled and mashed potato
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped tomato
1/4 cup Green chutney
1/2 cup Tamarind Chutney
1/2 cup plain yogurt (beaten)  - Add pinch of salt and a tsp of sugar
1/2 cup fine sev
2 tbsp chat masala
1 tsp red chili powder
2 tsp Coriander powder
2 tsp Cumin powder
Salt to taste
Cilantro for garnishing, finely chopped

Take serving plates. Place 7-10 (as per the plate size) corn scoops in each plate. Fill each scoop with little boiled potato followed by onion and tomatoes. Sprinkle salt, cumin powder, coriander powder and chat masala. Add green chutney and tamarind chutney (since I like it spicy, and I prepare the green chutney very spicy - so I prefer only green chutney) to taste.
Then top it with little yogurt. Sprinkle very little chili powder. Garnish with cilantro and sev.
Taste one scoop and sprinkle little salt if required.

Add the wet ingredients just before serving, otherwise the crispness in the scoops goes off. You can always change the dry ingredients sequence, but it should be added first.

Prepare and enjoy the chunky chat before your meal!

I am sending this recipe for the kids delight event hosted by Srivalli

and to Archana for "Fast Food and Fat Food"

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Vegetable Kurma

Indian KURMA is one of the most wanted side dishes that all of us look for...It is very easy to prepare and very less time consuming! Just take some potato, carrot, beans, peas & cauliflower with some masala to it, the side dish is ready to eat. This goes excellent with idiyappam, and ofcourse a good combo with rotis.
The kurma for idiyappam is a spicy and bland combination.
This spice can be altered to your liking depending on your taste buds! It still tastes great!
I make it very spicy, thats what is preferred in my home.
Sundar always looks forward for my kurma. He always prefers this even with rice more than other side dishes. And this gives me more pleasure for preparing kurma. I hope you enjoy this time too like always, sundar!

You need:
Vegetables (carrot, beans,couliflower,green peas,potato) - 2 cups
Onion - 1 big
Tomato- 1 big
Green chilies -5
Ginger -1" piece
Ginger garlic paste - 1 teaspoon
Bay leaf -1
Oil -2 tablespoon
Mustard seeds -1 teaspoon
chilli powder- 1 1/2teaspoon
Coriander powder 1 1/2 teaspoon( add more or less)
Garam masala - 1 teaspoon (preparation link)
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Coconut milk 1/4 cups
Salt to taste

To Grind:
Coconut - 1/2 cup
Cashew nuts - one handful (about 10)
Poppy seeds -1/2 teaspoon
Fennel seeds 1/4 teaspoon
Green chillies - 4

In a heavy saute pan, heat oil and splutter mustard seeds.
Add these spices one by one. Take a min to saute them separately - onions, bay leaf, green chillies , ginger and ginger garlic paste. The add the chopped tomato and saute well.
Make sure not to saute the onion to brown color.
Add the powder ingredients and fry for few mins.
To this add the vegetables, and cook for 4-5 mins. Before the vegetables gets cooked add the coconut milk,salt and enough water and cook the vegetables to your desired consistency, I prefer the vegetables to be cooked nicely.
When this is almost done, or is just 2-3 mins from cooking completely add the finely ground paste (refer TO GRIND ). Let it cook until done. Add a few curry leaves and coriander leaves at the end for a better aroma and taste !!

This goes well with idiyappam, appam, and also with the rotis.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Peanut Sundal

Peanuts are the most favorite in most of the houses. I like the typical boiled and salted peanut which we usually make at home. Right from my childhood with all my cousins, we enjoy this boiled peanuts, peeling off their shells and having the peanuts. It is always great to have a chitchat time along with the peanuts. So, this time I want to try this peanut sundal for a change. 

We always make the peas, chick peas, or green gram for the 9 days of Navarathri. I want to include this one into the 9 days and give a variety, although this is a very common one for many of them.
Some days we forget to soak the peas or others overnight. I make use of this kind of sundal on those days. 

You Need
2 cups Raw peanuts with skin
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp split black gram (urad dal)
4 -5 dried red chillies
1/8-1/4 tsp turmeric
pinch of asafoetida
4-5 curry leaves
1-2 tbsp coconut (I always use frozen)
1/2 - 1/4 cup chopped raw mango
salt to taste

Soak the peanuts for about an hour in water. Now,  boil the peanuts with a pinch of turmeric. I pressure cooked for 3-4 whistles or until soft. It takes to about 30 - 40 mins. Once its cooked to tender, drain off the water and set aside. 
Tamper the mustard seeds. Add the dhal and saute for a while. Add the dried chili and asafoetida and saute for a while. Then add the curry leaves and coconut and saute for about 1/2 a min. Now comes the peanut. Saute for about 2 mins by adding salt. Finally, add the raw mango and turn off. Do not saute for more than a min after adding the mango. 

Serve the simple salad. 

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