Thursday, March 27, 2014

Mutter Paneer

"Mutter Paneer"

Mutter Paneer is a very popular paneer dish and is quite often prepared at home. A delicious preparation of green peas and paneer simmered in an onion and tomato based gravy.
There are various recipes of Mutter paneer, but this one is how my mom prepares and there is nothing fancy about it. A simple homemade dish which goes well with roti, paratha or just plain steamed rice. A comforting food indeed....

Ingredients

Paneer, Cottage Cheese, cubed - 250 grams
Green peas - 1 cup
Onion - 1 medium +1 small
Ginger - 2 cm
Garlic - 2-3 cloves (fat ones)
Tomato, pureed - 2 medium
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 teaspoon
Cumin powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Black pepper powder - 1/4th teaspoon
Garam masala powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Oil - 3 tablespoon

Oil for deep frying paneer

Method

Finely chop the small onion.

Grind onion ginger and garlic in a blender, to a smooth paste. Add the red chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander and black pepper powder to the ginger garlic and onion paste, add a tablespoon of water and make a masala paste, keep aside.



Heat oil in a kadhai, and fry the paneer cubes till light golden brown, drain and keep aside on absorbent paper.




Reduce oil from the kadhai, until 3 tablespoon. Add chopped onion and fry till it turns slightly golden brown. Add the masala paste and fry for 3-4 minutes add tomato puree and fry for 4-5 minutes until the oil starts leaving the sides.





Add green peas along with salt, mix well, add 1/4th cup of water bring it to boil, reduce the flame to medium, cover and cook stirring occasionally until the peas become tender.



Once the peas are tender add the fried paneer cubes, mix well, add around one and half cups of water and bring the gravy to a boil, add garam masala mix well and cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat, add the freshly chopped green coriander, mix well and turn off the heat.





Serve hot along with chapati, paratha, naan or rice.


Enjoy :)

SERVES - 4

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Garlic And Cheese Stuffed Bread


"Garlic and Cheese Stuffed Bread"
Garlic and cheese Stuffed Bread flavored with dry basil, its just yum....Simple and easy to make with the goodness  of gooey mozzarella and cheddar cheese serves as a perfect appetizer too....or just have it along with a bowl of fresh salad.

Ingredients

For the bread
All Purpose flour (Maida) - 1 cup
Dry Yeast - 1 teaspoon  (approx 5gms)
Sugar - 1 tablespoon (approx -15 gms)
Salt - 1 teaspoon (approx - 5 gms)
Water, lukewarm - 1/2 cup (approx-100 ml)
Olive oil - 2 tablespoon

For the stuffing
Mozzarella cheese, shredded - 1/4 th cup
Cheddar cheese, shredded - 3/4 cup
Dry basil - 1 teaspoon
Garlic powder - 1/2 teaspoon

Method

Add sugar to lukewarm water, when almost dissolved add the dry yeast and let the yeast proof until frothy.


In a large bowl add the All purpose flour and salt and 1 tablespoon oil, mix well and add the ready yeast mixture and make a dough.



Put the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a moist muslin cloth or you could also cover with cling film. Keep the dough in a moist place to rise for 45 minutes.




Apply some olive onto your palm and punch down the dough, cover with cling film and allow it rise again for 30 minutes.

In a mixing bowl place the cheese along with dry 3/4th teaspoon of basil and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. Mix well and divide it into two equal parts. Keep aside 1/4th teaspoon of dry basil for dusting.



Punch down the dough.
Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured board and roll it into a 8 inch diameter disk approximately 1/3rd of an inch thick.
Sprinkle half the circle with one part of the cheese mixture, fold over the other half of the circle to cover the cheese, Press and seal close the sides with your finger.



Slice the dough at 1 inch intervals, sprinkle some dry basil on top. repeat the same process for the remaining dough.



Pre- heat the oven at 190 degree Celsius or 375 degree Fahrenheit. Place the ready dough in the pre heated oven and let it bake for 14- 16  minutes.


Once done the crust will have a golden brown colour.
Brush the bread with olive oil and let it cool over wire rack.

Enjoy :)

Note :

Do not worry if the dough is a bit sticky as we would need flour to roll out the dough.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Aloor Dom (Spicy potato curry)

"Aloor Dom"
"Aloor Dom" is a tangy and spicy potato curry usually served as a side dish along with Luchi . Its a staple vegetarian dish from Bengal. Originally "Aloo Dum"or "Dum Aloo" is  a Kashmiri Dish but its very popular in West Bengal, here it gets a distinctive taste or the  Bengali touch as its cooked in Mustard oil. Aloor Dom as its commonly known in Bengal is one of the most popular Sunday Morning Breakfast. Well I enjoy it anytime be it breakfast lunch or dinner :).

Every household has their own recipe, this one according to me is the easiest and also quick to make.

Ingredients

Potato, boiled - 5 medium
Tomato, pureed - 1 medium
Onion - 1 medium
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Green chillies - 2
Whole cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Asafoetida - 1/4 th teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin powder - 1 teaspoon
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Garam masala powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Mustard Oil - 3 tablespoon
Fresh grreen coriander, chopped - 3-4 tablespoon

Method

Peal and and cut the boiled potatoes into quarters.

Chop the tomatoes roughly and puree it.

Grind the onion and ginger into a fine paste. To this paste add red chilli powder, turmeric powder and cumin powder and  keep aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of Mustard oil in a kadhai and saute the potatoes on medium flame till lightly brown. Drain and keep aside.


Heat the remaining oil in the same kadhai used to saute the potatoes, add whole cumin seed, one it starts releasing the aroma add the asafoetida, followed by the onion and ginger and masala paste. Fry for 3-4 minutes.



Once the raw smell of the masalas have disappeared add the tomato purree along with salt. Cook until oil starts leaving the sides of the kadhai.




Add the sauteed potatoes and mix well, add a cup of water, bring it to a boil, add the garam masala powder,broken green chillies. Mix well and cook.





Once the curry comes to a boil add the chopped coriander mix well, reduce the heat cover and cook until it is left with a thick gravy.


 Serve hot along with Luchi.

Note:
Please refer to below link for Luchi recipe
http://notesonspicy.blogspot.ae/2014/03/luchi-bengali-puri.html

Monday, March 17, 2014

Luchi (Bengali puri)

"Luchi"
Luchi is just simple Bengali puri which is made with All Purpose Flour or Maida.

Ingredients

All Purpose flour (Maida) - 2 cups
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
Sugar - 1/2 teaspoon
Ghee / Cooking oil - 2 tablespoon
Water
Oil for deep frying

Method

Place all the dry ingredients in a dry ingredients and mix well. Add oil or ghee and mix well until the flour and oil resembles breadcrumbs.


Gradually add water to the mixture and make smooth dough. We need a smooth and soft dough but not a sticky one. Luchi's do not come out nice if the dough is soggy, hence you need to be really careful.


Divide the dough into 18 equal portions and make small balls. Roll out each ball into uniform discs, approximately 4-5 inches in diameter. Do not use flour to roll the luchi, instead use a few drops of oil so the luchi does not stick to the rolling pin.



Heat oil in a kadhai or a deep frying pan, one hot carefully slide the luchi into the oil. Using a flat spatula or slotted spoon gently push down the luchi and hold for a few seconds, release the spoon once it starts puffing, once the luchi puffs up turn and fry the other side for 10 seconds or so.


Drain the luchi with the help of a slotted spoon. Repeat the process for the remaining dough.


Serve hot along with Aloor Dum.

Note

To test the right temperature of the oil jut drop a small piece of dough into the oil, if it puffs up immediately then the oil is perfect to start frying the luchi.
The most important factor in making perfectly puffed luchi is the temperature of the oil in which you are frying, hence you meed to control the temperature by increasing or decreasing the flame.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Dry fruits stuffed Dahi Vada

"Dry fruits stuffed Dahi Vada"
Dahi Vadas or Dahi Bhallas are a very popular chaat across India. These are basically deep fried split black lentil dumplings, dunked in cool thick yogurt, garnished with red chill powder along with roasted cumin powder, garnished with fresh coriander and served with a tangy tamarind chutney.

Since I was preparing these for Holi....an Indian festival if colours, I have done a variation by stuffing the vadas with chopped nuts and raisins.

Ingredients

Urad Dal (Black split lentil) - 1 cup
Asafoetida - a pinch
Cashew nuts, chopped - 10-12 pieces
Raisins - 25-30
Oil to deep fry the vadas
Salt to taste

For Garnish

Dahi / Yogurt - 3 cups
Imli ki chutney - 1/2 th cup
Red chilli powder  - 1 teaspoon
Roasted cumin seeds - 1 tablespoon
Blacksalt -1/2 teaspoon
Freshly chopped green coriander - 2 tablespoon
Pomagranate seeds - 2 tablespoon (optional)

Method

Soak Urad dal in water for 3-4 hours. Drain and grind into a smooth batter using very little water.




Transfer into a mixing bowl and add the asafoetida salt and whisk, whisk the lentil paste well rotating your hand in a circular motion in one direction, this helps the batter becomes fluffy so we can get soft Vadas.


Heat oil in a kadhai,

Wet your palms and place a lime sized dollop of the lentil paste on your left hand, flatten it to form a 2  - 2.5 inch disc, place few pieces of chopped nuts and  raisins on the flatten disc, wet your right hand again and place a little bit of paste over the nuts to cover and seal well. Repeat the same process to make vadas of the remaining batter.




Carefully slide the vada into the hot oil, fry until golden brown. Drain and soak vadas in cold water.



In a large mixing bowl place the yougurt and whisk well so that theree are no lumps in it. Squeeze the vadas between your palm to remove any excess water. Place the vadas in the whisked yougurt for 10 minutes before serving.



Arrange the dunked vadas on the serving bowl, Pour the remaining yogurt over the vadas. Garnish with red chilli powder, roasted cumin powder, black salt, Imli ki chutney , chopped green coriander and pomegranate seeds.


Enjoy.

Notes:

To make soft and fluffy vadas whisk the lentil paste really well...I prefer using my hand as it is the best :), however you could use a cake beater or else a fork. Please ensure you beat in one direction only.
Soak the vadas in water for almost 30-45 minutes before serving, as when we fry the vadas they are really crunchy but when we make dahi vadas we want them to be really soft and the best vadas are those which just melt into your mouth.
You could also prepare the vadas a day in advance and keep it in the fridge, in that case to get soft vadas I usually soak them in warm water for 45 -60 minutes and then soak them in chilled yogurt.
I have made stuffed vadas but if you want to make plain vadas then just eliminate the step and make plain vadas, alternatively you could mix the nuts and  raisins in the batter and make the vadas. However you make them plain or stuffed I'm sure they will turn out yummy.