Tag Archives: indian

Simplified Palak Paneer

I’ve been meaning to post this for atleast a month..while I was still fasting for Shravan.
Finally, I had the perfect opportunity to publish this post yesterday for all my fasting friends, until I realised that my images were “missing”.

This morning I found my fourth memory card in the depths of my boot…*ashamed*. I am SURE there are a few ungodly things hiding in the dark corners of my car…I am really hoping to resolve my car-storage issues this week!

I am totally bored with potatoes, moriyo (samo) and sabudana ( sago/tapioca). It reminds me of tasteless mush that I often ate on fasting days while growing up. It takes a skilled cook to actually make those dishes taste anything but bland! ( Yes, I know…fasting is not meant to be tasty!)

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I made this healthy, delicious Palak Paneer on Ekadashi some time ago.

Ingredients: Preparation Time: 10 minutes if you are really slow :p Otherwise 5. Cooking Time: 10 minutes

A big bag ( 250ish grams) of fresh baby spinach.. sorry, I don’t measure these kinds of things. I judge according to how many people I need to feed;)….just being honest!
1.5 cups cubed paneer.
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp green chilli
1/2 cup cashew nuts
1 tsp salt ( more, or less..to your taste!)
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tsp khas khas ( white/opium poppy seeds)
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1.5 tsp dhana jeeru ( ground cumin + coriander)
1 tsp red chilli
1 tsp taj masala ( cassia/cinnamon powder)

2 tablespoons of reduced fat fresh cream

Method:
Wash and spin the spinach. Make sure there is MINIMAL water/moisture left on the leaves before you continue.
Blitz in a food processor until a fine consistency is achieved. I like to stop JUST before it turns into a puree. You can add a tablespoon or so of water to help the process.

In a deep frying pan or a wok, heat the olive oil. Add the cumin, khas khas ,chilli and ginger until you can hear that delicious sizzling sound. Add the cashew nuts and fry until golden. I love to add a little extra! Add the mint leaves and fry for about half a minute.

Stir in the spinach. Add the remaining spices, and simmer on medium-high heat for 7 minutes.
Add the paneer, then reduce the heat and add salt and fresh cream. Simmer for 3 minutes.

My sister made these VERY healthy , gluten free bhakhris (flat bread) made with Rajigra flour, to go with this delicious palak paneer. I promise to add her recipe soon.

I know sometimes ingredients are difficult to find. Use vegetable oil or butter if you’re out of olive oil.
Use ricotta cheese, or even haloumi cheese for a nice change, if you can’t get your hands on paneer.
It was such a refreshing change from the usual potato-heavy dishes eaten on Ekadashi.
Serve hot, with a squeeze of lemon!

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Yoghurt Brinjal Curry

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When I was a child I really hated brinjals.
I specifically hated the way my mum and granny would sneak slimy, squishy blocks of brinjal into our evening vegetable shaak.
At the time we lived in a flat. Every day,I resented not having a dog.I envied the kids on tv and in comic books,who would sneak their unwanted dinner under the table to feed their pets!

I owe it to the Italians for inventing Melanzane Parmigiana – the dish that changed my life! I can’t quite remember when I first tasted it, but credit must be given to that life changing moment!

We often cook brinjal in a tomato based sauce. I found this recipe in an old recipe journal and decided to give it a try. You should too!

Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes
Ingredients: (serves 4)

500g of small ,long brinjals ( try to make sure they’re not very seedy!)
500ml plain yoghurt
1.5 tsp red chilli powder ( or 2 whole dry Kashmiri chillies)
1 tsp finely grated ginger
2 tsp ajmo (aniseed)
1 tbsp ghee
1 tbsp olive oil

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Method:

Halve the brinjals lengthwise, and rub with olive oil.
Now when it comes to actually cooking them, you have a few options. I must admit I cheated by using my air-fryer for 10 minutes in order to avoid using oil. Alternatively, shallow fry the brinjals after you fry the spices, until the skin is wrinkly, or grill in the oven for 10-15minutes.

In a shallow pan,heat the ghee over a low flame. When the ghee has melted, add the ajmo. Once the ajmo is sizzling, add the ginger and chilli. Sauté the brinjals in the spice mixture for a few minutes.

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Once the brinjal is cooked, stir in the yogurt and cook on a very low flame, for just about a few minutes until just before it begins to boil. Add salt to taste.
Do this very carefully – there is nothing worse than split yoghurt!

Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot with rotli!

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Tandoori Style Baked Mushrooms

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This is an interesting take on our regular Portobellini mushrooms ( simple white button mushrooms can also be used) , and is the perfect side dish if you’re looking an update on everyday Indian flavours that we usually don’t associate with mushrooms.

Preparation time: 5 minutes , and then 30 minutes to marinade.

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4):

1 punnet Portobellini mushrooms

3 tbsp plain yoghurt/dahi

1.5 tbsp fresh cream

1 tbsp chickpea flour

1 tsp olive oil

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp fresh green chilli

1/2 tsp fresh ginger

2 tbsp chopped fresh mint

1 tbsp choppred fresh coriander

1/2 tsp jeeru ( cumin powder)

1/4 tsp paprika

1/2 cup cheddar cheese

Salt to taste

Whip up:

Wash the mushrooms and keep side. ( Just specifying this for those of you who don’t believe that this is an important step!  Have you SEEN the dirt on some mushrooms??)

Whip the yoghurt and cream together until you form a slightly thick consistency. Fold in the chickpea flour. Add the remaining spices and olive oil and cheese.

Marinade the mushrooms in this mixture for 30 minutes.

Scoop into a shallow baking dish, and sprinkle with a little bit of extra cheese or Parmesan.

Bake at 180 degrees for 15 minutes, until the mushrooms appear to be roasted, and the cheese is a crispy golden brown.

I bet these would taste even better over the braai!

Enjoy!

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