Thursday, 30 October 2014

Grilled Tandoori Paneer in creamy Sauce

Tired of the same usual dishes with Paneer ? Me too... Try this Grilled Tandoori Paneer in rich, creamy sauce. Treat your family and friends with this exotic dish. 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

Ingredients

To Marinate

  • 200 Grams Paneer ( cut into 3 thick slabs)
  • 1 Tablespoon Tandoori masala
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 Teaspoon Olive Oil
  • Salt to taste

For the Masala

  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 bay Leaves
  • 1 green cardamom
  • 1 Black cardamom
  • 1/2 Inch cinnamon stick
  • 3 Cloves
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 2 Medium Onions chopped roughly
  • 1 Tablespoon ginger juliennes
  • 1 Teaspoon Coriander powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Tandoori Masala
  • 1/2 Cup thick curd / plain natural yogurt
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Cream
  • 1 Teaspoon Kasuri Methi
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped cilantro leaves for Garnish

Directions


1. Marinate paneer along with list of ingredients mentioned under 'To Marinate' for 20 to 30 minutes. I used 'Everest' Tandoori masala. You may use homemade tandoori masala.




2. In a microwave safe bowl, add roughly chopped onions and 1/4 cup water. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Cool completely. Drain water and grind onions into smooth paste. Do not add water while grinding
3. In a pan, heat oil for making gravy / masala. When the oil is hot, add cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, green cardamom, black cardamom and fry for couple of seconds
4. Add ginger and fry for a minute
5. Add onion paste we prepared at step number 2 and fry until the paste turns pale brown and oil starts separating from the mixture
6. Add coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, Tandoori Masala along with 1 or 2 tablespoons of water and cook until the water evaporates
7. Keep the flame high and add curd and whisk continuously until the mixture starts boiling
8. Once it comes to boil, simmer and let the masala cook for 5 minutes
9. Season with salt , add 1/2 cup water and cook for 5 more minutes
10. Meanwhile you can grill the paneer. I used my sandwich grill to grill the paneer. Apply oil on the grill plates and place the paneer and grill for 3 to 4 minutes until you get nice char and grill marks on the paneer and the tandoori masala over the paneer is cooked through. Do not overcook paneer, it might turn hard and chewy
11. Remove paneer from the grill and cut them into small squares
12. Add the grilled paneer cubes into the prepared gravy along with fresh cream and crushed kasuri methi
13. Cook for 2 minutes
14. Switch off the flame and garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.
 

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Fish in tomato sauce

A simple fish curry with just few ingredients and easy to make too. Perfect for those lazy days when you don't want to cook anything but craving for some spicy, tasty and flavorful curry. This curry takes less than 30 minutes and best served with steamed rice.
 
 
 

Ingredients

  • 500 Grams Fish Slices / pieces ( I used seabass)
  • 3 Tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 Teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 Teaspoons of fresh ginger juliennes
  • 2 Green Chillies
  • 2 Ripe large tomatoes chopped finely
  • 1 Teaspoon Coriander powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Red chilli powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 Cup thin coconut milk ( optional)
  • Salt to taste

Preparation

1. In a bowl, add 1 cup of hot water. Add tomatoes in hot water and let them remain in hot water for 10 minutes
2. Remove the skin of tomatoes and let them cool completely
3. Add the tomatoes to a food processor / mixie and grind it to fine puree. Set aside
4. If you are using canned tomato puree, you may skip the above 3 steps

Directions

1. In a large pan, heat oil. When the oil is hot, add cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, black peppercorns
2. When the cumin seeds splutter, add ginger juliennes and fry for few seconds
3. Add slit green chillies and fry for few seconds
4. Add coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder along with 2 tablespoons of water and fry until oil separates from the mixture
5. Add tomato puree , season with salt and simmer the mixture for 10 minutes stirring intermittently
6. Once oil separates from the mixture and the raw smell of tomatoes goes off, add 1 cup water , increase the flame to high and bring it boil
7. Let the gravy thicken to the required consistency
8. Add coconut milk and cook for 2 minutes
9. Finally add fish pieces and simmer for 5 minutes or until the fish is cooked through
10. Check the seasoning and garnish with cilantro leaves. Serve hot with steamed rice

 

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Lehsuni ( Garlic ) Sev

Sev is a popular Indian Snack. Crispy, crunchy pieces of  noodles made out of chickpea flour , seasoned with ground pepper, chilli powder. Lehsuni / Garlic sev is a variation of sev flavored with garlic. Best served with evening tea as a munch on snack.


 



 

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Besan / Chickpea flour
  • 1/4 Cup Rice Flour
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Red chilli powder
  • 1 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic paste
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ajwain
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep frying

Directions


1. In a wok, heat oil for deep frying. Keep the flame low and meanwhile you can prepare the dough
2. In a mixing bowl, add besan, rice flour, baking soda, red chilli powder, ajwain, garlic paste and combine everything
3. Add 1 tablespoon hot oil  in to the mixture and using a spoon mix it
4. Then sprinkle water 1 tablespoon at a time and start mixing. Gradually add water and mix to form a dough
5. I used a murukku press for making sev. Fill the dough in the press and press it in the hot oil
6. Increase the flame to medium and fry the sev until they are golden. Flip sides intermittently to ensure even frying on all sides
7. Once they are crispy and golden, remove from the oil and drain on a kitchen towel
8. Cool completely and store in airtight container
 

Monday, 27 October 2014

Nan-khatai

Nan-Khatai is a sweet , melt in mouth , flaky cookies / biscuits popular in Mumbai. These biscuits are also called as Irani Biscuits and typically served in Irani / Persian style cafes in Mumbai.
 
 

Ingredients 

  • 1.5 Cups of All purpose flour
  • 1/2 Cup Besan / Gram Flour
  • 1 Cup powdered granulated white sugar
  • 1 Cup Ghee / clarified butter
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 5 pods of green cardamom - crushed or coarsely ground 

Directions 

1. In a bowl combine all purpose flour, besan and baking soda
2. In a separate mixing bowl, cream together ghee and sugar using a hand mixer on low speed for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture is creamy and smooth
4. Add the dry ingredients from step number 1 into the wet ingredients and using a spatula mix everything together gently
5. Refrigerate the cookie dough for 20 minutes
6. Preheat the oven to 180C / 350 F
7. Grease and line a cookie sheet
8. Scoop out 1 tablespoon of the dough and make a ball
9. Gently flatten the ball and place it on the cookie sheet
10. Make balls with rest of the dough and arrange them on a sheet leaving space in between
11. Place a pinch of ground cardamom on top of each cookie and press it gently
12. Bake at 180 C for 13 to 15 minutes or until they are golden
13. Remove from the oven and let them cool for 5 minutes in the cookie sheet. Then transfer them to a wire rack and cool completely
14. Serve with tea / coffee
 

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Mutton Dum Biryani

Mom's version of dum biryani with layers of cooked mutton gravy topped with fried onions, fresh herbs and then layered with basmati rice over it with a drizzle of saffron. Mom always covers the pot with dough and then put it on tawa/ iron skillet for dum. However , my way of dum is slightly different. I have a glass stove top and I can not use stove top for dum since the glass might break due to high heat. Altenatively I cover the pot with aluminium foil and put in the oven at low temperature for the steam to develop in.
 
 
 

 

 

Ingredients

To Marinate

  • 500 Grams of mutton
  • 1 Tablespoon Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Red Chilli powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric powder

For the fried Onions

  • 3 Large onions sliced thinly
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable oil to fry onions

For the Biryani 

  • 2 Cups Basmati Rice
  • 3 Tablespoons of Oil
  • 2 Bayleaves
  • 4 Cloves
  • 1 inch Cinnamon piece
  • 2 Green cardamom
  • 2 Black Cardamom
  • 1 Star anise
  • 1/2 Teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 6 Garlic cloves chopped finely
  • 1 inch Ginger piece chopped finely
  • 2 Large onions sliced thinly
  • 2 Large tomatoes chopped finely
  • 2 Tablespoons natural plain yogurt / curd
  • 1 Tablespoon Coriander Powder
  • 2 Teaspoon Red chilli powder
  • 1/2 Cup mint leaves
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 Tablespoon ghee
  • 10 strands of saffron
  • 1 Tablespoon warm milk to soak saffron 

Preparation


1. Marinate mutton pieces for 1 hour along with the list of ingredients mentioned under 'to marinate'
2. In a wok / kadai heat oil for frying onion. When the oil is hot, reduce the flame to medium and add about 1/4 cup of thinly sliced onions and fry until the onions are crispy and golden.  Remove fried onions from oil and drain on a paper towel. Repeat the process and fry rest of the sliced onions in small batches
3. Cook basmati rice : Wash basmati rice in tap water for several times and soak in water for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and remove water from the rice and set aside.  In a large pot, bring 5 cups of water to boil. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil. When the water starts to rolling boil, add rice and let it cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until it is  
4. Soak saffron in warm milk for 15 minutes until the milk changes color to yellow

Direction for making Biryani Masala/ gravy 

1.  In a pan heat 3 Tablespoons of vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add bay leaves, cloves, star anise, black cardamom, cinnamon, green cardamom, black peppercorns. Fry for few seconds
2. Add chopped garlic and ginger and fry until the garlic is light golden
3. Add sliced onions and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and sauté until the onions are translucent
4. Add tomatoes and sauté until the tomatoes are mushy and oil starts separating from the mixture
5. Add coriander powder, red chilli powder along with 2 tablespoon of water and fry on low flame until the water evaporates and oil starts leaving from the mixture
6. Add 2 tablespoons of yogurt and mix it together with the masala
7. Add the marinated mutton pieces and sauté on high flame for 5 to 7 minutes
8. Add 1 cup water, season with salt and let the mutton cook for 20 minutes.  Add more water if required to cook mutton
9. Once the mutton pieces are cooked through and the water evaporates completely. Switch off the flame. Biryani masala is ready. Time to assemble / layer biryani and put it on dum

How to layer biryani 

1. In a non-stick pan ( oven safe) add 1 tablespoon oil and grease the bottom of the pan and sides
2. Add 1/2 cup of the biryani masala we prepared as a bottom most layer in the pan
3. Then add 1/3 portion of the cooked basmati rice on top of the biryani masala
4. Add 1/3 portion of the fried onions on top of the rice
5. Add 1/3 portion of the chopped mint leaves, cilantro leaves, 1/2 teaspoon ghee



6. Now add second layer of biryani masala/ gravy with mutton pieces followed by rice and the followed by a layer of fried onions, mint leaves, cilantro leaves and ghee




7. Once you are done with layering rice and biryani masala sprinkle the saffron soaked milk






8. Cover the pan with aluminium foil on the top


9. Cover with a tight lid

10. Preheat oven to 180 C and keep the biryani pot in the oven and cook for 5 minutes

11. Then reduce the temperature to 150 C and cook the biryani for 20 to 30 minutes until the rice is cooked through and the masala gets blended with rice

12. Once out of the oven, let the pot remain at room temperature for 5 minutes and then open the pan. Be cautious of hot steam from the pan. Use gloves and remove the aluminium foil. Give the rice a nice stir / mix well

13. How to dum biryani on stove top : Place a iron skillet / tawa on the stove and preheat the tawa. Once the tawa is hot, place the biryani pan and let the get heated and let the steam develop inside the pan. Rice and biryani masala will get cooked in the steam and it will get blended together. Let the pan remain on the tawa for 20 to 30 minutes

13. Serve hot with onion raita and baingan ka katta
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Spinach with potatoes

Here is a simple but delicious side with potatoes and spinach. Easy to make and very healthy. Best way to get your kids eat spinach. I love this side as a filling in my sandwich / as a stuffing inside dosa or with roti.
 
 
 
Ryan's Lunch box : Carrot rice, spinach with potatoes, cucumber salad with simple olive oil vinaigrette
 

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup packed spinach ( thaw if frozen )
  • 3 Medium sized potatoes  - peeled, quartered and then sliced thinly
  • 1 Teaspoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 3 crushed Garlic Cloves
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Red chilli powder / chilli flakes
  • a big pinch of Turmeric Powder
  • Salt as required
  • 1/2 Cup water to cook potatoes

Directions

1. In a pan heat 1 Teaspoon oil. When the oil is hot add cumin seeds
2. When they splutter, add crushed garlic cloves and fry until they are crispy. Do not burn garlic
3. Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder and give it a nice stir
4. Add sliced potatoes , season with salt. Add 1/2 cup water and give it a stir
5. Let the potatoes cook for 7 to 8 minutes until they are soft
6. Now add chopped spinach and mix well with the potatoes
7. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of water and let the spinach cook for 5 minutes
8. Switch off the flame. Potatoes with spinach is ready to be served

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu / Steamed lentil balls in spicy tangy gravy

 
 

 

Ingredients

For the lentil balls ( Yield : 10 )

  • 1/2 Cup Toor Dal
  • 1/2 Cup Channa dal
  • 5 Dry red chillies
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Fennel Seeds
  • 6 shallots / sambar onions chopped finely ( use 1/2 cup finely chopped onions if you do not have shallots)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh coconut bits
  • 1 Teaspoon chopped cilantro leaves
  • 4 Fresh mint leaves
  • Salt to taste

For the Gravy

  • 2 Tablespoon Vegetable oil / Sesame seed oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1 Sprig of curry leaves
  • 4 Garlic cloves - crushed
  • 1 Medium sized onion chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots ( if you do not have shallots, use onions instead)
  • 1 Large tomato chopped finely
  • 2 Tablespoons of Coriander powder
  • 1 and 1/2 Teaspoon of red chilli powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 Cup Tamarind extract or 2 Teaspoon of thick tamarind pulp
  • 1/4 Cup fresh coconut slices + 1/2 teaspoon of fennel seeds
  • Salt to taste

Directions

Steam Lentil balls

1. Soak toor dal and channa dal together in tap water for 1 hour
2. Drain water completely and add them to a food processor
3. Add fennel seeds, dry red chillies to the food processor
4. Grind dal, fennel seeds, red chillies together to coarse paste. Do not add water while grinding
5. Remove 2 tablespoons of this ground dal paste and place it in a small bowl and set aside. We will be using this in the gravy
6. Add finely chopped shallots, fresh coconut bits, finely chopped cilantro leaves , mint leaves and season with salt
7. Make small sized balls out of this lentil mixture. I measured one tablespoon of batter to make one ball. I was able to make 10 balls out of the lentil mixture. Set aside
8. Grease a idly plate / steamer and steam lentil balls for 3 to 4 minutes. Do not over do it. they will turn hard if you over cook /steam the balls

Before Steaming

 
After Steaming:


9. Let them cool completely

Prepare the gravy

1. In a pan, heat vegetable oil
2. When the oil is hot, add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add fenugreek seeds and cumin seeds
3. Fry them until the fenugreek seeds turns light golden
4. Add curry leaves and fry until they are crispy
5. Add the garlic cloves and fry until the garlic is nice golden
6. Then add the shallots and onions along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and fry until the onions are translucent
7. Add tomatoes and fry until the oil starts leaving from the mixture
8. Add coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder along with 2 tablespoon of water and fry for 2 to 3 minutes until the raw smell of the masala goes off
9. Add tamarind extract , 1 cup water and season with salt and let the gravy cook for 15 to 20 minutes
10. Meanwhile, grind the coconut slices along with fennel seeds , 1/4 cup water into a fine paste
11. Once the gravy is cooked for 15 to 20 minutes and thickened, add the coconut paste along with the 2 tablespoons of lentils paste we reserved from step number 5 of the 'steam lentil balls' and give it a nice stir
12. Let the gravy cook for 5 minutes
13. Finally gently slide in the steamed lentil balls into the gravy and cook for 3 to 4 minutes


14. Switch off the flame and close the pan with a lid for 10 minutes. Let the lentil balls soak the gravy and plum up
15. Serve hot with rice and papad
 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Carrot and Raisins Raitha

Raitha / Raita is an Indian dip / accompaniment made with yogurt. Raitha is served along with biryani / pilaff / flavored rice and hot curries. I usually make red onion raitha to serve with pilaff, but kids don't eat red onion raitha since it has raw onions. This carrot and raisins raitha is kids friendly. Carrots give a nice crunch and raisins add sweetness. I did not add any chillies since I was serving this for my kids. However you can add green chillies according to your taste.



Yield : 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 finely grated carrot
  • 15 raisins
  • 2/3 cup of plain yogurt / curd
  • a  big pinch of salt
  • a pinch of roasted cumin powder
  • a pinch of granulated white sugar
  • chopped cilantro leaves for garnish

Directions

1. Soak raisins in hot water for 10 minutes until they plum up
2. Add yogurt in a bowl and whisk it until it is smooth
3. Add salt, cumin powder, sugar and using a spoon mix it with curd
4. Now add 3/4 of the quantity of grated carrots, soaked raisins into the yogurt and fold gently
5. Transfer the yogurt to the serving bowl. Top it off with rest of the grated carrots. Sprinkle cilantro leaves on top and serve


 

Cauliflower and Green Peas Stir Fry

Cauliflower and green peas are my kid's favourite veggies. This side is so easy to make and my kids just love it. It is mildly spiced , cauliflower is crispy and crunchy and green peas add little bit of sweetness to the dish. I added paneer also to the side since Ryan wanted a paneer dish for his lunch box. You can skip adding paneer.
 
 


Ingredients
  • 2 Cups Cauliflower Florets
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Green Peas ( thaw if frozen )
  • 10 to 15 Paneer cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable Oil / Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Urad Dal
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Fennel Seeds
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning / dried mixed herbs
  • 5 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 Teaspoon Red Chilli Powder ( you can use ground pepper if you do not have red chilli powder)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1 Large onion sliced
  • Salt as required
  • Chopped cilantro leaves for garnish

Preparation :

1. In a large pot bring plenty of water to boil. Season with salt. When the water start boiling, add a pinch of turmeric powder to the water and then add the cauliflower florets and green peas. Blanch them for 2 to 3 minutes until they are just cooked. Do not overcook cauliflower. Drain them and transfer the veggies to a bowl. Set aside
Alternatively, you can blanch cauliflower and green peas in microwave. Add the florets and green peas in a microwave safe bowl, add 1/4 cup water , season with salt. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Drain water and transfer the veggies to a bowl. Set aside

Directions

1. In a pan heat oil on medium flame. When the oil is hot , add mustard seeds. When they pop, add urad dal. Wait for the dal to turn golden. Then add cumin seeds , fennel seeds and sauté for few seconds. Then add Italian seasoning and fry for few seconds
2. Add sliced onion and salt. When the onion is soft, add chilli powder.
Give it a good stir.

3. Now add previously blanched cauliflower and green peas and mix everything together. Add 1/4 water and let the veggies get cooked. Keep the flame high.
4. Once all water is evaporated, reduce the flame to lowest setting and let the cauliflower get roasted for 5 mins.

5. Finally add paneer cubes and mix
6. Switch off flame and garnish with chopped mint leaves and cilantro leaves. Serve hot as a side to steamed rice

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Chicken Curry

A delicious and mildly spicy Chicken Curry with juicy pieces of chicken slow cooked in onion and tomato gravy. Best served with naan / pilaff / dosa.
 
 

 

 

Ingredients

To Marinate the Chicken ( atleast an hour)

  • 500 Grams Chicken pieces with bone (skinless)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Salt to taste

For the Gravy

  • 3 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Medium onions finely chopped
  • 1Tablespoon Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 2 Medium Tomato pureed
  • 1 Tablespoon coriander Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped cilantro leaves for Garnish 

To Dry roast and Grind

  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1 Inch Cinnamon Stick
  • 3 Cloves
  • 1 Teaspoon Fennel Seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon Poppy Seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons of grated fresh coconut

Directions 

1. Marinate chicken pieces along with the list of ingredients mentioned under 'To Marinate the Chicken' for 1 hour
2. In a non-stick pan, dry roast all the ingredients listed ( except poppy seeds ) on medium flame for 2 to 3 minutes or until you smell nice aroma of spices and the coconut is nice golden. Finally add poppy seeds and roast it quickly for few seconds and switch off the flame. Set aside to cool completely
3. Once cooled , grind it to fine paste along with 1/4 cup of water in a food processor or mixer grinder
4. In a pan, heat 3 Tablespoon Oil. When the oil is hot, add onions and fry until the onions are translucent
5. Then add ginger garlic paste and sauté until the raw smell disappears
6. Add tomato puree and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture comes together and oil starts leaving from the mixture
7. Add coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder along with 2 tablespoons of water and sauté for couple of minutes
8. Now add marinated chicken pieces , salt to taste and fry on high flame for 3 to 4 minutes
9. Add 1/2 cup water and cover the pan with lid and reduce the flame to medium or low
10. Cook the chicken for 20 to 30 minutes or until the chicken is almost done
11. Finally add the ground spice mix we prepared at step number 3 and mix it
12. Cook for 5 more minutes until chicken is completely cooked through
13. garnish with chopped cilantro leaves and serve with roti / naan / flavoured rice

Mushroom and Cheese Omelette

Extremely delicious, easy to make , Hearty and healthy omelette with button mushrooms and cheese. I love mushroom omelettes with a slice of whole grain toast and hot coffee. It's one my favourite thing to order for breakfast / brunch. You can add a handful of spinach along with mushrooms for a healthier version. Feel free to swap in your favourite mushrooms for button mushrooms.






Yield : 1 Serving

Ingredients

  • 2 Large Eggs ( for a healthier omelette, try two egg whites with one whole egg)
  • 1 Teaspoon milk / cream ( optional )
  • 1 Tablespoon butter / vegetable oil
  • 6 Button mushrooms halved / quartered
  • 1 small sized onion sliced thinly
  • 1/2 Teaspoon mixed dry herbs ( I used thyme and oregano)
  • a big pinch of red chilli flakes / freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of grated cheddar cheese
  • Chopped parsley / cilantro leaves for garnish
  • salt to taste

Directions


1. In a pan , add 1/2 tablespoon of butter. When the butter melts, add the dried herbs and give it a stir
2. Add the sliced onions and fry for 30 seconds
3. Place the mushroom on the pan with cut side down and sprinkle a pinch of salt
4. Reduce the flame to low and let the onions and mushrooms get caramelized , brown and oozing with liquid 
5. Transfer the mushroom , onion mixture to a bowl and set aside
6. In a separate bowl, add eggs , cream or milk, 1 tablespoon of cheese, salt. Keep the remaining cheese to top it off the  omelette. Using a fork, beat the eggs until they are fluffy with air bubbles
7. Heat 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a pan. When the butter melts, pour the egg mixture we prepared at step number 6. Leave the eggs and let it cook until the bottom is set and the top is still partially uncooked
8. Spread / place the mushroom mixture we prepared at step number 5 on half side of the omelette
9. Sprinkle with red chilli flakes, chopped cilantro leaves, remaining cheese
10. Now fold the eggs in half and let it cook for few seconds until the cheese inside melts and the omelette turns nice golden underneath
11. Serve immediately with toast and coffee

Monday, 13 October 2014

Spinach with garlic and lentils

Spinach cooked with lentils , flavored with garlic is a nutrition packed side. A healthy stir fry that's rich in protein and iron and tastes very delicious.
 

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup packed spinach chopped ( thaw if frozen )
  • 1/4 Cup Yellow Moong Dal ( soak dal in regular tap water for 15 minutes)
  • 6 Shallots chopped finely
  • 1 Teaspoon vegetable Oil / sesame seed oil ( I love sesame seed oil with spinach, however you can use vegetable oil or canola oil)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 3 crushed Garlic Cloves
  • 2 dried Red Chillies / half teaspoons of red chilli flakes
  • a big pinch of Turmeric Powder ( optional)
  • Salt as required
  • 1 Tablespoon shredded coconut ( optional )
  • 1/4 Cup water

Directions

1. In a pan heat 1 Teaspoon oil. When the oil is hot add cumin seeds
2. When they splutter, add crushed garlic cloves and fry until they are crispy. Do not burn garlic
3. Add broken red chilli / red chilli flakes and fry for few seconds
4. Add soaked moong dal and 1/4 cup water and give it a stir
5. Add turmeric powder and season with salt. Let the dal cook for 10 minutes until it is soft. Do not over cook dal, dal should be soft but firm
6. Now add chopped spinach and mix it with dal
7. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of water and let the spinach cook for 5 minutes
8. Then add the shredded coconut and give it a stir, spinach is ready to be served
9. Switch off the flame

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Punjabi Samosa

Samosa is a popular street food in India. It is a fried savoury dish with potato filling and a crispy outer fried pastry covering.
 
Here is a 'no fail' recipe for the perfectly crispy outer covering of the samosa that stays crispy for hours. The filling is flavoured with dried pomegranate seeds and amchur powder. 
 
Traditionally samosas are served with green chutney and saunth chutney. I served them with hot chai as a evening snack. 
 
 

Ingredients

For Samosa

  • 1 and 1/4 Cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 and 1/2 Tablespoons of butter
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ajwain or carom seeds
  • water to knead the dough

For the filling

  • 3 Medium sized potatoes
  • 1/4 Cup green peas
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon finely chopped ginger
  • 1/2 Teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Amchur powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon garam masala ( original recipe calls for Punjabi garam masala. But I used the regular garam masala)
  • 1 Teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon dried pomegranate seeds
  • 10 Cashew nuts ( optional)
  • 5 Raisins ( optional)

Directions

1. Boil potatoes along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt until they are cooked through and easy to mash them. Drain water and let them cool
2. In a microwave safe bowl, add green peas along with 1 teaspoon of water and a pinch of salt and microwave on high for 1 minute. Drain water and set them aside
3. Prepare the samosa dough : In a large mixing bowl, add flour, ghee , salt and ajwain seeds. Using hands, combine everything together until the mixture resembles crumbs
4. Then start adding water little at a time and mix the dough until it comes together as a hard dough. The dough should not be soft like we knead for chapathi or roti. It should be harder than chapathi dough. Hence it is recommended to add water little at a time and bring together the dough with just enough water
5. Cover the dough with a wet kitchen towel and set aside
6. In a pan, dry roast coriander seeds and dried pomegranate seeds until you smell the aroma of roasted coriander seeds. Remove from the pan and cool. Then grind it to coarse powder
7. Prepare the filling : In a pan, heat vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add cashew nuts and fry on low flame until the nuts are nice golden. Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen towel. Then fry raisins in the same pan and fry until they plum up. remove from oil and drain them on a kitchen towel
8. Add cumin seeds in the remaining oil. When they splutter, add ginger and fry for few seconds
9. Then add the mashed potatoes and give it a stir
10. Then add coriander powder, amchur powder, red chilli powder, garam masala and mix everything well
11. Add coarsely ground coriander and pomegranate powder and mix well. Season with salt
12. Add par boiled green peas , fried cashew nuts, raisins and mix it with the potato mixture. Samosa filling is ready
13. Shape the samosa : After 45 minutes, knead the dough once and divide them into 4 equal sized balls about a large lemon size. Roll each ball into a large thin circle. The rolled pastry should not be very thick and nor thin. If it is thick, it will not fried through and will be raw inside. If it is too thin, the filling might burst out while you deep fry                      
  a. Using a pizza cutter, cut through the center of the rolled samosa pastry

                           

                          

b. Work with one cut portion. On the straight edge of the pastry apply water with your fingertips. This is done to seal the dough. Now Hold the two edges of the watered side with your hands and bring them together to form a cone. Press gently through the watered edge to seal the cone

                        


c. Now you will a have cone to work with. Keep the cone in the rolling board and using a spoon fill the cone with  1 and 1/2 tablespoon of the potato filling we previously made

                                

                              

                             


d. We need to seal the mouth of this cone. For that , apply water around the circumference of the open cone mouth and press it gently to seal. Set aside

                               


                               

12. Follow the instructions and make samosa with the rest of the dough balls

                              


14. Once the samosas are done cover them with wet cloth , otherwise they might dry

15. Frying the samosas : It is very important to fry the samosas in appropriate oil temperature to get nice flaky golden crust. Heat oil in a pan / wok for deep frying the samosa. You need at least 3 inches of oil in the pan. 
16. When the oil gets warm,  gently slide in 2 samosas in the oil. Oil should be just warm and keep the flame on low. Oil should not be Hot. 
17. Once you drop the samosa in warm oil, you can notice bubbles starting to rise around the samosa edges. This is the right temperature
18. Fry the samosas in low flame for 5 minutes. Then increase the flame to medium and fry them for 10 minutes flipping sides once in a while. Let the samosas get fried on its own for 10 minutes. Do not rush through or disturb them
19. once they are nice golden, remove from oil and drain on kitchen towel
20. Fry remaining samosas in a batch of two
21. Serve hot with Green Chutney and imli chutney or with ketchup. 

Friday, 10 October 2014

Chocolate Almond Lassi - Single Serving

Lassi is a popular yogurt based drink. Traditional lassi is a blend of yogurt, sugar, rose water, cardamom. Chocolate lassi is a lassi that contain melted chocolate, almonds, nutella. This Amazing yogurt chocolate smoothie is so light, cooling and tastes delicious !
 
 
 
 
 
 


Yield : Single serving

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup chilled plain natural yogurt / curd
  • 2 Tablespoon milk chocolate chunks / dark chocolate chunks
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Cream ( I used low fat amul fresh cream with 25 % fat content)
  • 1 Tablespoon Nutella spread
  • 4 roasted Almonds
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of cardamom powder ( optional. I like my lassi with a hint of cardamom. You can skip adding cardamom)
  • Sugar as per your taste ( I did not add any sugar at all. Sweetness from nutella and milk chocolate was good enough for me; How ever you can add sugar according to your taste)

Directions

1. In a microwave safe bowl, mix together chocolate chunks and fresh cream. Microwave on high in the intervals of 30 seconds and stir until the chocolate melts completely. Let the melted chocolate cool completely
2. Add chilled yogurt in a blender. Add melted chocolate, nutella, almonds, salt , cardamom powder and blend everything together until the drink is fluffy and the chocolate is mixed well with the yogurt. You can also add few ice cubes while blending. My yogurt was super chill , hence I didn't add ice cubes
3. Add sugar if required
4. Serve once topped off with finely shredded chocolate

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Apple Crumb Muffins

Apple Crumb Muffins - delicious and moist apple and cinnamon muffins topped with brown butter oats crumble. And these are eggless too. The crumble is the best part...it is crispy, bursting with buttery brown sugar and packed with cinnamon flavor. Perfect for breakfast or as a dessert. I served them as after school snack.
 
 


 
Yield : 8 Muffins
 

Ingredients

For the topping

  • 1/2 Cup packed brown sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons of All purpose flour / maida
  • 2 Tablespoons rolled oats
  • 1/4 Cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 Teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon salt

For the apple and cinnamon muffins

Dry ingredients

  • 1 and 1/4 cups of all purpose flour / maida
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 Cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/3 Cup unsalted butter at  room temperature
  • 3/4 Cup plain natural yogurt / curd
  • 1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Apple peeled, cored and diced

Directions

Preheat the oven to 180C / 350 F. Grease a muffin pan and set aside

1. Prepare the topping : In a bowl , add butter, brown sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon, salt and combine everything. Set aside
2. Prepare the dry ingredients : In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside
3. Prepare the wet ingredients : In a large mixing bowl, add brown sugar and granulated white sugar, butter and using a hand mixer beat for 2 minutes or until the mixture is fluffy. Add yogurt and using a spoon mix it with the butter and sugar mixture. Then add vanilla extract and stir in
4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture in three additions and using the hand mixer blend it until it is well combined
5 Finally fold in diced apple
6. Using a spoon or ice cream scoop, add the batter the greased muffin pan. Spread the brown butter and oats topping on the top
7. Bake at 180 C for 35 minutes, until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean and the topping is nice crispy
8. Remove the muffin pan from the oven and let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes
9. Then transfer the muffins to a wire rack and cool completely


 

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Home remedy for Cough and chest congestion

The next time you have an annoying cough and chest congestion, take my advice and try this natural remedy before you reach for the cough syrup. Turmeric powder, cloves, cardamom mixed in honey. Mix it up with warm milk or just eat/ drink it plain.

 
 
 

Dosage :

1 Teaspoon of this paste twice everyday. This paste tastes bitter. But since this is made of all natural ingredients and helps fight cough and congestion, you can just swallow it quickly like any other medicine. It tastes better with warm milk. you can mix 1 teaspoon of this paste in warm milk and then drink it up.

Disclaimer :

I am not a medical professional, nor a doctor. This home remedy has been tried and tested at my home. However , using this remedy should be 'your' personal decision. Always seek medical help when needed.
 
Recipe Author: Reem Khan on one of the FB groups
 

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon Turmeric powder
  • 4 Tablespoons honey
  • 4 Cloves
  • 4 Cardamom 

Directions  

1. In a bowl, mix together turmeric and honey

                                                     

                                                     


                                                      



2. In a pan,  Dry roast cardamom and cloves for few seconds on low flame

                                      


3. Cool cloves and cardamom. Then grind them together in a spice grinder to fine powder
4. Add this cardamom and cloves powder to the turmeric and honey mixture

                                                    


5. Mix everything together

                                                    


6.You can mix 1 teaspoon of this mixture with 1 cup of warm milk and drink twice everyday.