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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. 

…………
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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36 Comments

Cheese stuffed turkey meatballs..A slow cooker version

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A big hello.  Hope everyone is enjoying the warmer weather and looking forward to a gorgeous summer. Unless of course if you are in India, its a little bit too hot this year, as I have heard. Hope the rains bring some much needed relief soon. As for us, we are so ready for summer. 🙂

Sorry for missing in action for so long. I have not really been cooking much these days. There is however an exciting news coming up. Watch this space for more details.

Due to short of energy and time on hand, I have been experimenting a lot with my slow cooker these days. Besides trying a lot of Indian curries, I have also made some chicken, chili, meatballs etc. in this wonderful pot and have been more than pleased. 😀

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For today’s post, I am making some cheese stuffed meatballs in my slow cooker. You can definitely bake them too. Check the notes below to know how. Without further delay, lets move on to the recipe.

Ingredients:

Ground Turkey – 1 pound (feel free to use your favorite meat)

Bread Crumbs – 1 cup

Egg – 1

Mozzarella Cheese Sticks (String Cheese) – 4 (Or use any cubed hard cheese of your choice)

Garlic – 1 tsp, minced

Italian Seasoning – 1 tbsp.

Black pepper – 1/2 tsp

Salt to taste

Marinara Sauce & Boiled Spaghetti – as needed

Chopped Parsley – for garnish

Method:

  1. Cut each cheese sticks in about 6 pieces and freeze them for about 20 minutes.
  2. In the meanwhile, take a mixing bowl and add in the ground meat, egg, bread crumbs, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Mix everything very well.
  3. Now take out the cheese from the freezer. Scoop out a little bit of this meat mixture and roll it into a ball. Now push inside a cheese cube in the center of the ball and roll it again to seal the cheese inside the meat balls. Repeat the same with all the meatballs.
  4. Grease the inside of your slow cooker and add some marinara sauce at the bottom. Now place the meatballs in a single line. Top with more marinara sauce and stack the remaining meatballs as needed. Top with some more sauce to cover the meatballs.
  5. Cook this on low for about 4 hours or on high for 2 hours. The meat should no longer be pink.
  6. Finally, serve it with some boiled spaghetti and garnish it with chopped parsley. Dig in.

Notes:

  • If you would like to bake the meatballs, just place them on a greased baking dish and bake in a preheat oven at 400 F for 20 minutes.
  • You can also make the meatballs ahead of time and freeze them. Cook them as needed.

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So here is how I made this delicious and cheesy meatballs.

Thanks for stopping by at my page. Do let me know if you try this out.

Love,

Ritu. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


24 Comments

One Pot Skinny Alfredo Pasta

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Are you looking for a quick dinner that is ready in less than 20 minutes. True to its name, this pasta cooks all in one pot with its sauce and is ready to eat in half the time you will take to make it the traditional way.


Also, no butter or cream used here. Cheese – optional. Quick, easy and healthy.
You can’t beat that. 🙂

Ingredients: 
Whole milk – 1 1/2 cup
Water or broth – 1 1/2 cup
Uncooked pasta – 8 oz, use any pasta of your choice. I have used fettuccini here
Olive oil – 1 tbsp
Garlic cloves – 3, minced
Onion – 1 small, chopped
Red pepper – 1/2 chopped
Spinach leaves – 1/2 cup chopped
Salt to taste
Black pepper 1/2 tsp
Red chilly flakes – as desired, optional
Parmesan cheese – 1/3 cup, optional. I did not add.

Method:
1. Heat oil in a large skillet and add the minced garlic and onion. Cook them for a few minutes.
2. Add in the red pepper and spinach and cook for a minute.
3. Next add in the milk, water, salt and pepper and let it just come to a simmer.
4. Break the pasta and add it to the boiling milk mixture. Mix gently and let the pasta cook for about 10 minutes at medium low, stirring every few minutes.
5. Cook just until the pasta is tender and switch off the flame.
6. Finally add in the chilly flakes and Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

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Enjoy this quick and healthy one pot version of your favorite pasta.

Thanks for stopping by. Do let me know if you try it.

 

Love,

Ritu 🙂


37 Comments

Quinoa and Lentil Dosa/Crepes

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Hello..How is everyone doing..?? Would you believe me if I told you that this super crispy and delicious Dosa is made with Quinoa and Lentils. Yeah its like a power house of protein. I was impressed when I saw this recipe at Sonal’s blog. She always makes delicious and healthy stuff and everything I have tried from her blog has been a success. I knew I had to try this. And I am so glad I made them cause they turned out so good. You do not miss the rice at all and I love how healthy they are. Thank you so much Sonal for such a fabulous recipe. I will surely be making this again. 🙂

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I have followed her recipe to the T without any changes and they came out just perfect. Hop on to her blog right now, if you want to make these super healthy and yummy dosas. Here is the recipe link – Quinoa and Dal Dosa.

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Also, if you are looking to try some more Quinoa dishes, don’t forget to check out this warm and healthy Vegetarian Quinoa Chili and these delicious Quinoa and Kale Patties.

Thank you so much for stopping by. Do let me know if you try these.

See you again soon.

Much Love,

Ritu. 🙂

 

 

 

 


26 Comments

Chinese Style Tilapia..A sweet & sour Fish recipe

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Hello everyone. I can’t believe I haven’t written anything in over two weeks now. I have been on a constant “Lazy Mode” these days, which by the way is one of my favorite moods 😉 Who wants to stand in the kitchen when you can get comfy on the couch, read a book, sip some soup and enjoy the lazy winter days. It sounds so exciting as I write it down, I want to put down my laptop and go back on the couch. 🙂

But before I do that, here is an easy weeknight dinner option for you. It gets ready in less than 30 minutes so you can continue enjoying the lazy winters. I have made this with Tilapia but use your favorite kind of fish. It can be served with some steamed vegetables or fried brown rice like I did. And while the fish bakes, you can get the accompaniment ready, which means dinner on the table soon.

Recipe inspired from here

Lets get cooking…

Ingredients:

Tilapia Fillets – 4

Garlic Cloves – 2, finely chopped

Ginger – 1 inch, grated

Soy Sauce – 2 tbsp.

Honey – 4 tbsp.

Vinegar – 1 tbsp.

Sriracha or any hot chili sauce – 1 tsp

Apple Sauce – 2 tbsp., (Optional)

Sesame Oil – 2 tbsp.

Salt and Black pepper – to taste

For garnish – finely chopped cilantro and sesame seeds

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Season the fish with salt and pepper and leave aside.
  3. Mix the rest of the ingredients, except garnish, and form a sauce to coat the fish. You can also dip the fillets in the sauce and let it refrigerate for 30 minutes if you have the time.
  4. Now take an oven proof dish and place the four fillets in four pieces of foil to make a package. This method really makes a nice and juicy fish as it cooks and steams in its own juices.
  5. Distribute the sauce evenly over all the four fillets and fold each piece of foil to make a packet and then seal the edge of each packet, crimping it tightly.
  6. Bake the fish for 15 – 20 minutes. You know the fish is done when it easily flakes with a fork.
  7. If you like a little caramelized top of the fish, open the packets and broil/grill it for 2 minutes.
  8. Garnish the fish with some chopped cilantro and sesame seeds. Enjoy this delicious Asian style fish with your choice of veggies and rice.

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So that is how I made this super easy and delicious fish.

Do let me know if you give this a try. Thanks for stopping by.

Love,

Ritu. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 


18 Comments

Baked Chicken Nargisi Kofta..Indian Scotch eggs

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Hello there. Sorry for being away for so long. We just came back from a trip to the Niagara Falls in Canada. It is undoubtedly the best fall in the world. Here is a picture of the beauty. If you have never been there, I highly recommend it. 🙂

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Today I am sharing some Chicken Nargisi Kofta with you, or Indian scotch eggs. It is made by coating hard boiled eggs with minced meat and then deep frying them. These koftas are then added to a delicious gravy and the result is a treat you don’t want to miss. So just like the Niagara Falls above, this is one of a kind and definitely a must try. 😛

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Here is how I made it:

Ingredients:

For the Kofta

Hard Boiled Eggs – 6

Minced chicken – 1 pound (Use your choice of meat)

Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp.

Roasted Chickpea flour – 1/2 cup

Red Chilly powder – 1 tsp

Salt to taste

Mint Leaves – 1/2 cup, made into a paste, optional

For the curry

Oil – 1 tbsp

Onion – 1 medium, finely chopped

Tomatoes – 2 medium, pureed

Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp

Cashew nut paste – 1/4 cup

Cumin Seeds – 1/4 tsp

Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp

Red Chilly Powder – 1 tsp

Garam Masala Powder – 1.5 tsp

Salt to taste

Water – 1/2 cup

Cilantro leaves – for garnish

Procedure:

  1. Hard boil the eggs, peel and keep aside.
  2. In your minced chicken, add in the ginger garlic paste, roasted besan or chickpea flour, red chilly powder, salt and the mint paste. You can totally skip the mint if you don’t like the taste. Make a smooth paste of this mixture.
  3. Wet your hands and gently coat the eggs with this minced meat mixture making sure an even coating on all sides.
  4. These eggs are usually fried but I baked them instead to make a healthier version. You can definitely fry them. To bake them, preheat your oven to 400F and bake them for about 30 minutes, turning sides midway.
  5. While the eggs are baking, we can make the gravy. Heat oil in a pan and add in the cumin seeds.
  6. Once, the cumin seeds crackle, add the ginger garlic paste and let it cook for a minute. Now add the finely chopped onions and let them cook till they get a beautiful brown color, about 5 minutes.
  7. Its time to add in the tomato puree now. Some people also like to use yogurt for the gravy. You can add half cup of yogurt in place of the tomatoes if you like. Cook the tomato puree till you see some oil oozing out from it.
  8. Once the onion tomato masala is ready add in all the dry spices – salt, red chilly powder, turmeric and the garam masala. Mix well.
  9. Finally, add in the cashew nut paste and about half cup of water. Mix everything well and let it come to a boil. Cook for a few minutes.
  10. Now gently slide in the egg koftas in the gravy, making sure not to break them. Cover and cook for about 2 minutes.
  11. Finally, garnish with some chopped cilantro leaves and serve hot with your choice of Indian Bread or rice.

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So that is how I made this delightful dish. It looks beautiful when you cut the koftas and the eggs inside are such a pleasant surprise. I hope you will give this a try.

Thanks for stopping by.

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. 🙂