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Cooking up Smiles..Across the Miles


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Paneer Pepper Masala

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Hello everyone and a big thanks for still following me. My last post, SELRES_be1d1d0d-bb5f-40be-8ddb-031cfb02c5ceCarrot CakeSELRES_be1d1d0d-bb5f-40be-8ddb-031cfb02c5ce, is more than one year old now and so is my younger daughter. Life has been so busy that food blogging has taken a back seat for now. My girls make me so crazy but I wouldn’t want it any other way. The happiness kids bring to your life is above anything else and makes it all worth it. I do hope to get back to blogging, just don’t know when that will happen though.

I wasn’t planning on writing this post, which explain why I only have this lousy picture of the dish. I had made this Paneer curry at my elder daughter’s 5th birthday party and when I shared a video of it on my social media, I was flooded with recipe requests and finally decide to take out some time to pen it down. So thank you everyone who pushed me to share the recipe, this post is specially for you all.

Paneer Pepper Masala (Yeah I made up that name) is loosely inspired from the famous Paneer Tikka Masala recipe and is a much quicker version but an absolutely delicious one.  Without wasting any more time, lets head on to the recipe.

Ingredients:

Onion – 2 medium, chopped

Tomatoes – 3 medium, chopped

Garlic – 4 cloves, chopped

Ginger – 1/2 inch stick, chopped

Oil – 4 tbsp., divided

Garam Masala Powder – 1 tsp

Coriander Powder – 1 tsp

Red Chilly Powder – 1/2 tsp

Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp

Cumin Powder – 1/2 tsp

Salt – as per taste

Kasuri Methi Powder – 1 tsp

Heavy Cream – 1/4 cup

Paneer or Indian Cottage Cheese – 500 Gms, cut into cubes

Onion – 1 medium, Halved and layers removed

Green and red pepper – 1 each, cut into cubes

Cilantro Leaves for garnish

Method:

  1. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and add in the chopped ginger and garlic and sauté it for a few minutes. Add in the chopped 2 onions and cook for 7 – 8 minutes till they are nicely cooked.
  2. Now add in the chopped tomatoes and let the whole thing cook for another 5 minutes till the tomatoes are soft and mushy and start leaving oil. Turn off the gas and take it out on a plate to cool down. Finally blend this onion tomato paste in a blender and make a smooth paste and keep aside. You can strain this masala too if you like and have time.
  3. Now in the same pan, add 1 tbsp. oil and add in the cubed layers of onion and sauté it on medium high flame. We are looking to give the onions a nice crisp. Now add in the cubed green and red peppers and do the same. Once, all three are nicely charred, take them off the flame and set aside.
  4. Add the last 1 tsp of oil in the same pan, and sauté the cubed paneer cubes for a few minutes. You can skip this step and just use the paneer as is in the curry.
  5. Now its time to assemble and bring together the final dish. In the same pan, add the onion tomato masala paste we had prepared earlier, and let it cook for a few minutes. Add in all the spices – salt, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and chilly powder. Mix everything well and cook for another minute or so.
  6. Add in the sautéed onion, peppers cubes and paneer to this gravy. Cover and cook everything for 2 -3 minutes on medium flame.
  7. Finally do a taste test to make sure all the spices are as per your preference. You can also add 1 tsp sugar to balance out the spices if you like.
  8. As a last step add the kasuri methi powder and heavy cream. Let it simmer for 2 minutes and turn off the gas.
  9. Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves and serve with your choice of Naan or Rice.
  10. You can also use extra firm tofu instead of paneer. Just make sure to keep it pressed down under a heavy object for at least 30 minutes before cooking. 

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So that’s how I made this paneer dish. Do let me know if you give this a try.

Thanks again for sticking by and reading my blog. I really appreciate that.

Till we chat again, Love..Ritu. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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26 Comments

Paneer Butter Masala..My go to Paneer recipe

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Paneer Butter masala is probably one of the most famous paneer dishes. It is pretty easy to make and tastes delicious. I make it often for my dinner parties and it is always appreciated. My version is inspired from Nisha Madhulika’s recipe. You can enjoy it with either Tandoori Roti, Naan or just with steamed rice. It will taste delicious either ways. I can assure you that.

I have already shared a Cilantro Paneer recipe with you guys. You can find it here, just in case you missed it.

Here is how I make this lip smacking delight 😛

Ingredients:

Butter – 2 tbsp

Fresh Paneer – 250 grams

Tomatoes – 3, medium

Ginger – 1 inch piece

Green chilly – 2, optional, to taste

Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp

Red Chilly Powder – 1/4 tsp

Garam Masala powder – 1/2 tsp

Coriander & Cumin Powder – 1/2 tsp

Salt to taste

Kasoori Methi Powder or Dry Fenugreek Leaves powder – 1 tsp

Sugar – 1/2 tsp, optional

Fresh Cream – 1/2 cup

Water – 1/2 cup

Chopped cilantro leaves for garnish

Method:

  1. Cut paneer into small cubes and keep it soaked in warm water until ready to use. This ensures your paneer will stay soft in the gravy. You can skip this step if you are using fresh home made paneer.
  2. In a blender, make a smooth paste of the tomatoes, ginger and green chilly. Add some water, if needed. I recommend straining this puree through a strainer to get a silky smooth gravy.
  3. Heat the butter in a pan and add this tomato puree. Allow it to cook for a few minutes till you see some butter separating from the masala.
  4. Now add in the dry spices – salt, turmeric, red chilly powder, coriander and cumin powder and the sugar. Mix well. Add  1/2 cup of water and let it come to a boil.
  5. Add fenugreek leaves powder and garam masala powder to the gravy. Finally add in the paneer cubes and mix everything well. Cover and cook for a few minutes.
  6. Finally, mix in the cream, cook for another minute and turn off the flame.
  7. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve hot with your choice of Indian bread or rice.

😀

So that was the super easy and super delicious recipe of my version of Paneer Butter Masala.

Do give this a try and let me know if you like it.

Thanks for stopping by.

Love,

Ritu. 🙂


17 Comments

Dhaniya or Cilantro Paneer..Go Green.

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Paneer or Indian cottage cheese is a novelty for the vegetarians. It is widely loved by all age groups due to its varied uses. You can make appetizers, dry sabji or mouth watering curries with it and not to forget some very delicious desserts. A Paneer dish is a must when I am cooking some Indian cuisine for my guests.

Here is an interesting twist to the regular Paneer curries. Its flavored with cilantro leaves and brings a beautiful green color to your platter. And not to mention, its absolutely delicious. 😛

Lets cook up some greeny delight

Ingredients:

Paneer or Indian Cottage Cheese – 500 Grams

Chopped Cilantro leaves – 3/4 cup (Feel free to use some chopped stems as well here, so much better than throwing them away)

Green Chilies – 2, optional, to taste

Garlic – 3 cloves

Ginger – 1/2 inch stick

Oil – 2 tbsp.

Onion – 2 medium, Finely grated or pureed

tomatoes – 3 medium, pureed

Ginger Garlic paste – 2 tsp

Red Chilly Powder – 1 tsp, more or less per your spice levels

Coriander Powder – 1 tsp

Cumin Powder – 1/2 tsp

Garam Masala Powder – 1/2 tsp

Salt to taste

Fenugreek leaves powder or kasoori methi – 1 tsp

Cardamom Powder – 1/4 tsp

Cream – 1/2 cup

Procedure:

  1. If you are using fresh homemade paneer, cut it into small cubes and keep aside. You can also fry the paneer cubes if you like. I did not fry it. If you just took out the paneer from the fridge, cut the pieces and put them in a bowl of warm water until ready to use. That will ensure softer paneer cubes in your curry.
  2. Blend together the chopped cilantro, green chilies, garlic cloves and ginger to a fine paste and keep aside. Add some water if needed.
  3. Heat oil in a large pan and add in the ginger garlic paste and cook for a minute. Add in the finely grated onions and let it cook for at least 5 minutes till the onions are nicely browned.
  4. Mix in the tomato puree and cook till you see some oil separating from the tomatoes. Should take another 3 – 4 minutes.
  5. Its time to add in the cilantro leaves paste and mix everything well.
  6. Lets season our curry with salt, red chilly powder, coriander and cumin powder, mix well and add about 1/2 cup of water.
  7. Once, the water comes to boil, add in the paneer cubes and let it cook for a few more minutes. Add in the garam masala powder, the fenugreek leaves powder and the cardamom powder. These spices are added towards the end to retain their fragrance.
  8. Finally mix in the cream and switch off the gas.
  9. Garnish with a spring of cilantro and serve hot with your favorite Indian bread or rice.

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So there is an interesting way to cook the good old paneer. I hope you will give it a try and me know your thoughts.

Thanks so much for reading.

Love,

Ritu. 🙂


13 Comments

Punjabi Chole..A north Indian delight

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Everyone loves chole in my house. It is a gravy preparation made with chick peas or garbanzo beans that are spiced up and best enjoyed with naan or bhature. It is a famous breakfast item but seriously can be enjoyed anytime of the day. Many people have requested for my chole recipe and I am so glad to finally pen it down. Do give it a try, I am sure you will love it. 🙂

Here is how I make it.

Ingredients:

Chole or Chick Peas – 1 cup

Dried Amla – 2 or 3 pieces

Tea Bags – 2

Onion – 1 medium, finely chopped

Tomatoes – 2 medium, finely chopped

Garlic cloves – 3, finely chopped

Ginger – 1/2 inch, finely shredded

Oil – 2 tbsp.

Chole Masala – 1 tbsp.

Coriander Powder – 1 tbsp.

Pomegranate seeds powder – 1 tsp

Dry Mango Powder – 1 tsp

Red Chilly Powder – 1tsp

Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp

Salt to taste

Cumin Seeds – 1 tbsp

Bay Leaf – 1 medium

Cinnamon Stick – 1/2 inch

Cloves – 2

Black pepper Corns – 3

Black whole Cardamom – 1

Water – as needed

For final tempering

Ghee or clarified butter – 1 tbsp.

Ginger juliennes – 1 tbsp.

Green chilies – 2, slit

For Garnish:

Chopped cilantro leaves

Onion – finely chopped

lemon – cut into quarters

Method:

  1. Soak the chole overnight in water or for at least for 6 – 8 hours.
  2. Pressure cook the chole with amla, tea bags, salt and enough water until soft. This should take about 30 minutes. The tea bags give the chole a nice black color. Just make sure to discard the amla and tea bags after pressure cooking the Chole. 
  3. While that is happening, lets make the masalas. Dry roast the following spices – Bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and black pepper corns. Keep stirring until fragrant. Once done, let it cool down and grind to a fine powder.
  4. In a large pan, add the oil and let it heat up.  Add in the cumin seeds and let it crackle. Now add the ginger and garlic and let it cook for a min till lightly brown.
  5. Add the chopped onions and let it cook for about 5 minutes till they are cooked through and translucent. Finally mix in the chopped tomatoes and cook till they ooze out some oil. That’s when you know its done.
  6. Its time to add in all the dry spices – the powdered garam masala, chole masala, coriander powder, pomegranate seed powder, dry mango powder, red chilly powder, turmeric and salt. Remember that we have already salted the chole while pressure cooking. Add some water to make sure the dry spices do not burn. Mix well.
  7. Now add the pressure cooked chole to this masala and about 1.5 cups of the water in which we had boiled the chole. Cover and let it cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Once, all the flavors have blended through, take about 1/2 cup of the chole from that gravy and mash it well and add it back to the chole. This helps to thicken up the gravy as well as flavor it. Let it boil for another few minutes.
  9. Finally do a taste test to make sure its per your preference.
  10. For the final tempering, heat ghee in a small pan and add in the ginger juliennes and slit green chilies. Let it cook for a minute and add this to the chole gravy. Mix it well and turn off the flame. Cover it for a few minutes for the flavors to blend in.
  11. Finally garnish it with chopped cilantro leaves and enjoy it with your favorite naan, bhature or puri with a side of chopped onions and lemon wedges.

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So that is how I make my chole. You can also top it with some tamarind chutney and that takes it to an another level. 😀

Do give it a try and let me know. Thanks so much for reading.

See you soon.

Love,

Ritu. 🙂