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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Tortilla de Patatas

Lately I have been cooking more and blogging less.So quite a lot of recipes need to be updated for fellow readers.This version of tortilla de patatas is thin crust,light and delightfully tasteful for meals.

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Tortilla de Patatas

Ingredients:

Potato:2,sliced thinly using a mandoline

Onion:1.sliced thinly using a mandoline

Eggs:2,beaten

Paprika:1/2 tsp

Cumin powder:1 tsp

Black pepper:1 1/2 tsp,ground

Salt

Extra virgin olive oil:3 tbsp

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Method:

Wash the sliced potatoes in running water until there is no more frothing.Put 2 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet,let the oily surface shimmer and then add the potatoes and onions to it.Fry them until the potatoes are almost tender.We do not want them to be overcooked since they are going to go into the skillet again with the eggs.Sprinkle some salt and stir until the onions are translucent. Set aside the potato-onion mix on kitchen towel to drain the excess oil.Meanwhile in a small bowl,beat the eggs,add the paprika,cumin powder,salt and black pepper powder and beat until the spices are mixed evenly.Go back to the skillet and pour the remaining oil in it. Arrange the potato and onion slices neatly in the skillet to form an even layer of about an inch thick.Pour the beaten egg mixture on the top of it.Even out the surface using the spatula.Let the eggs cook for 2-3 minutes.You can put a lid on the skillet to cook the eggs faster but I have a habit of watching the eggs cook on their own.Let them breathe you know 🙂

Place the serving plate on the skillet and flip it over so that the omelette comes on the serving plate.Serve with roasted tomatoes or just plain.

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Himalayan Noodle Soup

Soups are cleansers.They are really the detoxifiers for any season.Whether hot or cold,soups are delightful bowls of goodness and freshness.The key is fresh ingredients and clear broth.Tibetan and Bhutanese cuisines are rich in hearty soups like the Thukpa.So I made a vegetarian version of thukpa for today’s breakfast.

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Himalayan Noodle Soup

Ingredients:

Vegetable broth:2 cups,strained through a muslin cloth

Flat rice noddles:150 grams

Onion:1 medium,chopped

Green bell pepper:1,julienned

Carrot:1/2,julienned

Ginger:1 1/2 inch,julienned

Garlic:2 cloves,chopped

Green chillis:1/4 inch ,chopped finely

Tomato:1/2 sliced

Black pepper:1/2 tsp

Red chilli pepper flakes:1/2 tsp

Salt

Olive oil:1/2 tbsp

Coriander leaves:For garnish

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Method:

In a pot heat the oil and add the onion,carrots,ginger,garlic,bell pepper and saute it until tender.Add salt and red chilli flakes to it.Now add the warm broth to the pot and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes.Meanwhile in a large pot of boiling water add the rice noodles and let it cook al dente. With a wooden ladle pour out the soup into deep bowls.Now add handful of the noodles to it.Sprinkle with ground black pepper and add fresh sliced tomato to it.Serve it immediately.In the hot broth the tomatoes become pliable and wonderful to eat.That is the beauty of soups.

I enjoyed the soup with the Lord of The Rings movie marathon today.Happy Weekend everybody!

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Lentil Burger with Mint Yogurt Dressing and Semolina Onion Rings

Summer to me means lots of lemonade and fresh mint.And cool yogurt.So for today’s breakfast there was healthy lentil burger patties and a cool mint yogurt dressing that went with the onion rings too.

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Lentil Burger with Mint Yogurt Dressing and Semolina Onion Rings

Ingredients:

For the burger patty:

Lentils:1 cup,soaked overnight and boiled

Red chilli powder:1/2 tsp

Coriander and cumin powder:1/2 tsp

Salt

Cornflour:1 tbsp

Dried mango powder:1 tsp

Green chillis:1/2 inch,chopped finely

For Burger Assembly:

Onion: 2-3 slices

Tomato:1-2 slices

Coriander leaves:1 sprig,whole

Bread slices:2,slightly toasted

Egg:1,at room temperature

For the Mint Yogurt Dressing:

Mint leaves:2 sprigs,chopped

Yogurt:1/2 cup

Black pepper:1/2 tsp,ground

Green chillis:1/2 inch,chopped finely

Salt

For Semolina Onion Rings:

Onions: 2 big,sliced into 1/4 inch thickness

All-purpose flour:1/4 cup

Semolina:1/2 cup

Baking soda:1/2 tsp

Red chilli powder:1/2 tsp

Dried mango powder:1/2 tsp

Milk:Enough to make the batter

Salt

Canola oil for frying

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Method:

1.In a bowl mix the boiled lentils with spices,seasoning and green chillis.Mash well using hand and make a patty.Roll the patty in cornflour to cover all the sides.Meanwhile get the batter ready for the onion rings.In a bowl mix the semolina,flour,spices,salt and baking soda.In this add the milk slowly to incorporate all the dry ingredients.Dip the sliced onion rings in it and set aside.

2.In a skillet pour around 3 tbsp of oil and heat on medium heat.Place the lentil patties in it and let it fry for 3 minutes on each side.When the faces are golden brown take off the patties and place them on kitchen tissue to soak extra oil.In the same skillet pour some more oil and add the onion rings from the batter.Fry them on each side for 1-2 minutes until golden brown.

3.In the meantime place a pot of water for boiling while you make the yogurt dressing.As soon as the water starts bubbling around the sides of the pot,crack the egg and pour it into the water.For a runny yolk let it poach for 2 minutes tops and for a hard-boiled yolk make it 4 minutes.

4.In a small bowl add yogurt,mint leaves paste,salt,black pepper and crushed  green chillis.Whip it well until smooth consistency.You can increase the yogurt or mint amount according to your preference.I like it with more minty taste.

5.Now time to assemble the burger.Place the patty on a slice of bread.Drizzle the mint dressing on top lavishly.Place the onion and tomatoes on top and garnish with coriander leaves.On top add the poached egg and season with salt.Add the onion rings as a side to the burger along with the mint yogurt dressing as a dip for the rings.

The tangy yogurt is a nice compliment to the lentil patty and semolina adds a nice crunch to the onion rings.

Oh and Happy Easter Everyone!

 

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: 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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Homemade Veggie Delight Pizza

Summer is here but that doesn’t stop me from churning out recipes including loads of vegetables.And pizza is really a good excuse for having veggies you normally wouldn’t have say in salads.I made two different types of pizza this morning.One was without cheese since Dad and my Aunt really don’t eat dairy products.Here am sharing the cheese version.

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Ingredients:

For the dough:

2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

For the sauce:

1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato puree
1 large-sized onion, chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley

For topping:

1 1/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup chopped green and yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup kalamata olives
1/2 cup sliced cherry tomatoes

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Method:

1.Firstly take the yeast and soak in warm water(not boiling) until it froths and starts becoming creamy.Set it aside.

2.Sift flour and 1 teaspoon salt into a large bowl. Mix egg and oil into dry ingredients; stir in yeast mixture. When dough has pulled together, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, then place dough in bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a light cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

3.Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (235 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.Take a saucepan and cook and stir diced tomatoes, tomato puree, onion, 1 tablespoon oregano, garlic, onion powder, 1 teaspoon salt,dried parsley and black pepper over medium heat. Cook until sauce has thickened and tomatoes are tender.

4.Punch down dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Use a knife to divide dough into two equal pieces–do not tear.Form dough into circles(mine were about 8 inches wide), and place onto prepared baking sheet. Spoon tomato sauce over dough. Sprinkle with 1 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese; top with green and yellow bell pepper, onion,kalamata olives,cherry tomatoes sliced.Sprinkle dried parsley on top and drizzle tabasco sauce(yes! I did this and it was way too hot and spicy).Sprinkle 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese over top.

5.Bake in preheated oven until crust is browned and crisp and cheese has bubbled and melted, 20 to 25 minutes.Take pizza out of the oven and sprinkle oregano and red chilli flakes before serving hot.

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Cherry Tomatoes,Caramelized Onions and Pepper Cheese Bruschetta

Italian antipasto has an interesting history.Today bruschetta and crostini are fancy terms we use and interpret and improvise to our imagination but their origin goes back as far as the 15th century.Toasted bread rubbed with garlic and topped with olive oil and seasoning.Truth is food is at its best when there are few and fewer ingredients.It always was and will be.

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Cherry Tomatoes,Caramelized Onions and Pepper Cheese Bruschetta

Ingredients:

Baguette slices :3

Cherry tomatoes: 4 to 5,sliced

Pepper cheese spread

Onion:1 medium,sliced

Olive oil

Black pepper: 1tsp ground

Sugar: A pinch

Salt

Method:

Toast the baguette slices in oven and sprinkle olive oil on top of them.In a pan heat olive oil and add the sliced onions and saute turning the heat low.Add salt and sugar to it and keep stirring.Do not let them sit otherwise they will burn.The onions should be golden brown when caramelized.Turn the heat off.On the baguette slices spread the red pepper cheese spread(I got it from the store the other day and kept myself from eating half of it..it is that good!) first.

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Next put the caramelized onions on top of it.Season with black pepper.Lastly arrange the tomato slices neatly in rows.They look adorable and lovely.Summery breakfast is ready.

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As a matter of fact it might be the best thing I cooked this season.Fresh and a thousand flavors burst in your mouth after the first crunchy spicy bite you have.

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