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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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42 Comments

Oats Dhokla..A healthy delight

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A big hello to all of you. I am so excited the spring will be here soon. With the New England weather, you can’t really predict much but at least with all the Easter stuff floating around, it makes both me and my daughter very happy. She is looking forward to all the egg hunting and I can’t wait for some warmer days and outdoor activities. We have been lucky enough to have a reasonably warm winter this year and are really looking forward to a  gorgeous summer ahead. How is the weather like at your end..?

Healthy is my favorite kind of food. I do enjoy eating all the junk and the not so good for you desserts but they make me so guilty afterwards. Dang. So not worth it. 😦 I am therefore always on the lookout for healthy recipes – oats, quinoa, kale, chia seeds are some of the most frequent ingredients used in my kitchen. I have been cooking with oats a lot off lately and this dhokla or steamed cake recipe was as healthy as it was delicious. 🙂

Without wasting any more time, lets make this yummy treat..

Ingredients:

Oats – 3/4 cup, dry roast and make a powder – will yield 1/2 cup oats flour

Sooji or Semolina – 1/2 cup

Yogurt – 1/2 cup

Ginger and  green chilly paste – 1/2 tsp

Chopped Spinach or grated carrots – 1/2 cup (Use your choice of veggies)

Salt to taste

Lemon Juice – 1 tbsp.

Sugar – 1 tbsp.

Eno Fruit Salt – 1 tsp

Water – 1/4 cup, use as needed

Oil – 1 tbsp.

Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp

Curry leaves – a few

Chopped Cilantro for garnish

Method:

  1. In a bowl mix together the oats flour, sooji, yogurt, salt, lemon juice, sugar, ginger and green chilly paste. Add water as needed to make a smooth batter of pouring consistency. Let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Now mix in the spinach and give it a good stir. Add some more water if needed. The batter should be of pouring consistency but not too thick or thin.
  3. Get your steamer ready or boil some water in a large pot or cooker. If steaming in the cooker, do not use the whistle.
  4. Grease a 7 inch dish and keep it ready.
  5. Once the water comes to boil, add in the eno fruit salt to the dhokla mix and give it a gentle mix, making sure not to over mix.
  6. Pour the dhokla mix in the greased dish and let it steam on medium flame for at least 15 – 20 minutes till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. While the dhokla is steaming, we can prepare our tempering.
  8. Heat oil in a pan and add in the mustard seeds. Allow them to splutter. Throw in the curry leaves and once they crackle, switch off the flame.
  9. Once the dhokla is ready, pour this tempering over it and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.
  10. Finally, cut your dhokla pieces and serve with your favorite chutney. Enjoy this healthy snack.

….

So here is how I made this healthy and delicious dhokla. Do let me know if you try this out.

Thanks for stopping by. See you soon.

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. 🙂

 

 

 

 


42 Comments

Malai Chum Chum..A delicious Bengali dessert

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Hello everyone. Today I am sharing my husband’s favorite dessert. I had made it for Diwali (Yeah, in Novemeber, 2015) and this was sitting in my draft for ages. It was high time I published it. It is a popular Bengali dessert that is made with Paneer or Indian cottage cheese. I was happy to finally get it right after a lot of failed attempts. I would like to give the credit for this success to my blogger friend Garima at Cafe Garima. Her no fail Rasgulla recipe is the best one around. Her tips and tricks have helped me make some delicous rasgullas, ras malali and of course this amazing chum chum. Thank you Garima. Do check out her blog..she is truely a dessert queen. 🙂

Without wasting any time, let’s make some Malai Chum Chum

Ingredients:

2% milk – 4 cups (You can use whole milk if you like)

Lemon Juice or Vinegar – 2 tbsp

Sugar – 1.5 cups

Water – 4 cups

Orange food color – a few drops, optional

Mawa (khoya) – 1/4 cup, grated (You can also use sweetend condensed milk for stuffing, skip the sugar)

Sugar – 1 tsp

Cardamom Powder – 1/4 tsp

Sliced pistachio and dessicated coconut for garnish

Method:

  1. Boil 4 cups of milk in a heavy bottomed pan. Once it comes to boil, remove it from the flame. Wait for 2 minutes and then add the lemon juice. Keep stirring continously. The milk will start to curdle and you will notice a green whey. Add some ice cubes and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  2. Place a muslin cloth in a strainer over another bowl and pour over this curdled milk to separate the whey and paneer or chenna. Rinse it well with a few glasses of cold water. This is important to remove the lemony flavor and smell from the paneer.
  3. Tie the chenna in the muslin cloth and squeeze it gently to remove all the excess water. Hang this tied Chenna for about 20 minutes to get rid of all the excess water. This step is very important as any water residue in cheena will cause the chenna balls to break when they are boiled in sugar syrup.
  4. Once the chenna is dry and crumbly, take it out in a plate. To know your chenna is ready for use, take a small portion of this and knead it well for a minute. If you are able to make a ball of it, its ready to use.
  5. Add few drops of orange color to the chenna and knead it well with your palm till you get a good dough. Stop when it starts to leave out some fat or grease on your hands. Thats when you know its done. 10 minutes is a good estimate.
  6. Divide this doough into 10 equal parts or more if you want smaller pieces. Take a portion and make an oval shaped patty with it. Make sure not to make them quite big as they will increase in size when boiled.
  7. Now take a heavy bottomed pan and bring 4 cups of water and the sugar to boil. Once the sugar syrup has come to a boil, drop in the chenna balls, reduce the flame to a medium, cover and cook it for 7 – 8 minutes.
  8. Flip the balls after 8 minutes and cook for another 5 minutes. They are usually done in a total cooking time of 12 – 15 minutes.
  9. Once they are done, transfer them to another bowl and let them cool down to room tempearture. We will stuff them only after they are cold to touch.
  10. To make the stuffing, mix together the grated mawa, sugar and the cardamom powder. You can also stuff these with some sweetened condensed milk if you don’t have mawa.
  11. Once the chum chum have cooled down, cut it horizontaly, very gently so that it opens up like a burger and add a layer of the mawa stuffing. Close it back and do the same with all the pieces. Make sure to handle the chum chum pieces very carefully here.
  12. Finally, roll these chum chum in dessicated coconut and sprinkle some sliced pistachios. Let them chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. Enjoy.

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So here is how i made this delicious and beautiful dessert. Do let me know if you try this out.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Love,

Ritu. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


45 Comments

Microwave Pedas (or Milk Fudge)..Quick & Easy..Ready in 15 Minutes

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I cannot believe I am writing my 50th blog post. When I started this blog a few months ago, (First Post) I did not think I would go past 15 posts, but thanks to all the encouragement from friends and family, here I am still sharing some thoughts and some recipes 🙂 I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of my readers and friends from the blogging world that I have met and connected through my blogging journey. I owe this to you. Thanks for sticking out with me. I really appreciate and value each one of you. 🙂

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For today’s post I am sharing a very easy Indian dessert – Pedas. The traditional method of making Peda is a lengthy process but this is a super easy recipe that’s done in the microwave and is ready to gobble in flat 15 minutes. I recently had to take some Indian dessert to my daughter’s school and this is what I made for her class. It pretty much resembled a milk fudge and was well liked by her non-Indian friends. But my favorite part is how quickly they get ready. So next time you need a quick dessert, try them out. Diwali is almost here and if you are still haven’t made anything, these last minute Pedas are here to your rescue.

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Lets make them together 😀

Ingredients:

Instant Dry Milk Powder – 2 cups

Sweetened Condensed Milk (Milkmaid) – 14 0z can or 395 ml

Unsalted butter or ghee – 8 tbsp. or 1/2 cup

Cardamom Powder – 1 tsp

Garnish – Colored Powdered Sugar and Cranberries (Feel free to use raisins, almonds, pistachios etc.)

Procedure:

  1. Take a microwave safe bowl and melt the butter or ghee.
  2. Next add in the milk powder and condensed milk and mix really well.
  3. My microwave power is 1100 watts. Microwave the mixture for 1 minute, uncovered. Take it out, stir and microwave it for another minute.
  4. After the second minute of cooking, take it out and mix everything well, add in the cardamom powder and put this back in the microwave but this time just for 30 seconds. We need to closely monitor the texture of the Pedas. You do not want them to dry out and at the same out they need to reach a consistency where you can form balls.
  5. After 2.30 minutes of total cooking, take a small portion in your hand and see if you can roll it like a ball. If not, microwave it for another 30 seconds. Since all microwave ovens work differently, you need to check it accordingly.
  6. Finally, mix it really well and let it cool down for a few minutes till they are still warm but being able to form into balls.
  7. Lightly grease your hands and take a small pinch of this mixture and try to form a crack free ball. Flatten it a little to give it the Peda shape and keep aside.
  8. Similarly shape all the Pedas, acting quickly before the mixture cools down. You should be able to get at least 25 Pedas from this recipe, depending on the size.
  9. Dip each of the Pedas in colored powdered sugar and place a cranberry on top. Or use your choice of garnish. 
  10. Let them cool down completely before storing them in an air tight container in the refrigerator. They are best enjoyed at room temperature.

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So that is how easy these are. I hope you will give them a try and let me know if you like them.

I wish everyone celebrating a very happy and prosperous Diwali. Indulge and Enjoy.

Thanks for stopping by.

Love,

Ritu. 🙂


31 Comments

Mango Coconut Ladoo

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How is everyone doing..? My daughter turned three today. Still feels like yesterday we brought her home from the hospital. Its amazing how time flies. We celebrated her birthday today with all her favorite foods – black forest cake, pizza, noodles and of course jalebis. She was all smiles and that is all that mattered. Mommy its my birthday, I am a big girl now…That is all I heard all day today. I wish her all the happiness in the world. My little princess is growing up so fast. 🙂

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Mango is a family favorite fruit and we thoroughly enjoy its short lived presence in our part of the world. I make a lot of dishes with mango as both my husband and daughter loves it. These mango coconut ladoos were born as a result of an experiment and I am so glad I made them cause they turned out delicious. I have used ready made mango pulp here but fresh mangoes are best, when available.

If you are currently celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi and need a quick and delicious treat, this is for you.

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Recipe inspired from here

Lets make some yummy ladoos

Ingredients:

Desiccated or dry coconut – 2 cups

Mango Pulp – 1 cup

Clarified Butter or Ghee – 1 tbsp.

Condensed Milk – 1/2 cup

Cardamom powder – 1 tsp

Dry coconut – 1/4 cup, for rolling

Method:

  1. Take a non stick pan and heat up the ghee. Now add the 2 cups of dry coconut and roast it well for 2 minutes, on low flame, stirring continuously. You can also use fresh grated coconut in this recipe. Just make sure to cook it till it gets fairly dry.
  2. Now add mango pulp and mix well. Keep stirring it until the mixture has dried up to a great extent.
  3. Its time to add in the condensed milk. Make sure the flame is low throughout. Keep cooking till the mixture dries up completely. It should not be sticky. To test if its done, take a small piece of the mixture and let it rest for a few minutes. Try to roll it into a ball. If you are able to form a ladoo, its ready. It took me about 10 minutes to reach that stage. You are looking for a dough like consistency.
  4. Finally, add in the cardamom powder, mix well and turn off the flame.
  5. Let the whole mixture cool down a bit to make sure you can make balls out of this.
  6. Make small round balls and roll it in dry coconut powder. That’s it. Your delicious mango coconut ladoos are ready.
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Do let me know if you try them out.
Thanks so much for stopping by.
Love,
Ritu. 🙂


25 Comments

Tandoori Chicken..Indian style barbecue chicken

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An old post, updated with new pics…still so delicious 🙂

I can’t believe summer is almost over. The nights are starting to get a little colder now which means Fall is on it way. I love the fall season as it makes everything around so beautiful. It just makes saying good bye to summer so much easier. End of summer also means end of picnics, beaches, barbecues and grills. And just in case you are looking to make something special before the summer ends, here is a perfect Indian style barbecue chicken aka Tandoori chicken for you.

Tandoori chicken is probably one of the most famous Indian dishes. Chicken is marinated with yogurt and spices and finally roasted in a tandoor or clay oven at a very high temperature. You can make it on the grill or also in your oven. It is pretty easy to put together and makes for a great party or picnic appetizer. You can also turn this into an entrée by cooking the tandoori pieces in a gravy, called Butter Chicken, another very famous Indian curry.

For this tandoori chicken preparation, I am using the same tandoori masala as used in my Whole Tandoori Cauliflower preparation, but you can most certainly use store bought tandoori masala here.

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Lets make some delicious Tandoori Chicken

Ingredients:

Chicken Drumsticks – 3 pounds or about 1.5 kgs, 10 pieces (feel free to use a whole chicken here and cut into pieces)

Thick yogurt – 1.5 cup

Lemon Juice – 4 tbsp.

Red Chilly Powder – 2.5 tsp, preferably Kashmiri red chilly powder

Salt to taste

Ginger Garlic Paste – 2 tbsp.

Oil – 2 tbsp., more for basting the chicken, as needed

Tandoori Masala* – 3 tbsp., (more or less, as per your spice preference)

Red food color – 1 tsp, optional

Onion rings and lemon wedges – serve on the side

Method:

  1. Make cuts in your chicken pieces on both sides and keep aside. Mix together lemon juice, salt and the chilly powder and apply it well inside the chicken cuts. This ensures your tandoori chicken is well flavored inside out. Let it rest for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, mix together the yogurt, ginger garlic paste and the tandoori masala. Now coat the drumsticks well in this second marinade. Finally drizzle 2 tbsp. oil on top and mix well. The oil helps the marinade to stick to the chicken.
  3. A zip lock works best here. Just transfer the marinade and chicken pieces to a zip lock, mix well and let it rest in the fridge for as long as you can, preferably overnight.
  4. Once you are ready to cook, preheat your oven to 400F. Line a baking dish with foil. You can also place some vegetables like peppers or onion at the bottom and then place your drumsticks over it which helps air to circulate and cooks the chicken better. A rack over your baking pan would work too.
  5. Cook the chicken for 30 minutes, turning midway and applying cooking oil as needed. Once the chicken is almost done, turn on the broil or grill mode and cook for a few minutes to get a beautiful color and crisp to your chicken.
  6. Serve it hot with some onion rings and lemon wedges. A little chat masala sprinkled on top would add a lot of flavor to this lip smacking appetizer.

*Notes:

Tandoori Masala Recipe

Red Chilly Powder – 1 tsp

Coriander Seeds – 1 tsp

Cumin Seeds – 2 tsp

Nutmeg Powder – 1/2 tsp

Black pepper Corns – 1 tsp

Whole Cloves – 1 tsp

Cinnamon Stick – 1 inch piece

Paprika – 1 tsp

Red color – 1/4 tsp (optional)

Roast all these spices in a pan for a few minutes until fragrant and ground to a fine powder. Use as needed.

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So there was my recipe to make this delicious tandoori chicken. I hope you will give this a try and let me know if you like it.

Thanks for stopping by.

Love,

Ritu. 🙂