Shahi Paneer

So the word Shahi is Indo-Persian term for royal(rather the royal court) and Indian cuisine has so many recipes that have roots in the royal kitchens during the Mughal period.Being one of the center stage of spice trade the royal chefs invented,acquired and improvised delicacies using rich ingredients that were easily available in that age.

Spices are synonymous with the word exotic around the world and thus are the recipes which embrace them. Shahi paneer is a decadent curry using cashewnut paste as its thickening agent.The nutty flavor amalgamates with the spice of the cinnamon,cloves and nutmeg in this recipe.A wonderful curry to enjoy with herby flatbreads,naans or even pulao.

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Ingredients:
Paneer(cottage cheese):250gm,diced
Green capsicum:2,diced
Potato:1,diced
Tomatoes:3,chopped
Onion:1,chopped
Cashewnut paste:2 tbsp
Ginger paste:1/2 tsp
Garlic:3 cloves,paste,1/2 tsp
Green chilli paste:1/2 tsp
Tomato puree:2 tbsp
Garam masala:3 tsp
Cloves:3
Cinnamon stick:1/2 inch
Salt to taste
Paprika:2 tsp
Turmeric powder:1 tsp
Coriander powder:1/2 tsp
2 tbsp oil

For Garnishing:
Coriander leaves:1 sprig

Method:
Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan,add the cinnamon stick and cloves.When the cinnamon turns darker after frying add the onions and saute till they turn transluscent.When the onions turn golden brown add the ginger, garlic and chilli paste, mix well.To this add the capsicum and potato and cook until the spice mix exudes oil in the sides of the pan.
By this time the potatoes should be tender.Add the tomatoes and the tomato puree and mix well.Stir for 5-6 minutes.Add salt,dry spices and cashewnut paste to this.Now add half a cup of water to the pan and let it simmer for 6-7 minutes until the gravy thickens.
Just before serving add the diced cottage cheese into the gravy.Mix and garnish with coriander.Serve with naan and a side of raita with it.

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Okra Yogurt Curry

Bhindi is the Hindi vernacular for Okra and is used in a variety of curries in the subcontinent.This particular curry has its roots in Rajasthan and surrounding areas in India which uses hung curd as its base and is filled with spices.Yogurt curries are delicious and yet healthy in summers in tropical countries.

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Okra Yogurt Curry

Ingredients:

Okra:20,sliced into pieces 2cm wide

Onion:1 medium

Olive oil or canola oil: 2 tbsp

Dried red chilli: 2 pieces torn into halves

Mustard seeds: 1 tsp

Cumin seeds:1 tsp

Asfoetida: 1 pinch

Dried coriander powder: 1 1/2 tsp

Dried cumin powder:Β 1 1/2 tsp

Red chilli powder: 1 tsp (I added 2 tsp but you can vary it according to how much heat you want in the dish)

Turmeric powder:1/2 tsp

Hung curd or yogurt :1 cup

Salt

Curry leaves: about 20 whole leaves

Method:

1. In a saucepan add oil and fry the okra pieces until tender for 4-5 minutes.Sprinkle salt while frying.Set the fried okra aside on a kitchen tissue to soak the excess oil.

2. Now in a glass bowl add the yogurt,cumin and coriander powder,red chilli powder,turmeric powder and salt.Mix together.Add a tablespoon of water to thin the mixture.

3.Return to the saucepan now.Add oil and to it add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds first.The moment the mustard seeds start sputtering add the dried red chillis,curry leaves and asfoetida.To the tempering mix add the yogurt-spice mix.

4. Let the mixture cook on medium heat until it starts bubbling.At that time add the fried okra to it and stir.Stir for 2-3 minutes before serving hot with rice or naan.

 

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