Love Served Daily

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. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


34 Comments

Kutchi Dabeli Recipe..Indian style burger..Another favorite street food.

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In continuation with my love for Indian street food and Gujarati cuisine, I am making some Dabeli today. It is a delicious Indian street food that originated in Kutch, Gujarat. Spicy potato mixture is placed between Buns and topped with chutney, pomegranate seeds, peanuts and sev.

Dabeli is one of my favorite street food. I have such fond memories of my father treating me with this delicacy. When I moved out of India, I dearly missed eating all the street food, especially Dabeli. So I finally decided to try it at home, and I am so glad I did as its super easy if you have everything handy. Do give it a try and I am sure you will like it.

Lets make some delicious Dabeli…:P

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Ingredients:

For Dabeli masala – you can also use store bought – use 1.5 tbsp. or make your own as below

Whole Red chilly – 1

Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp

Corainder Seeds – 1 tsp

Cloves – 2

Black pepper – 4

Cinnamon Stick – 1/2 inch

For Potato stuffing:

Boiled and mashed potato – 1.5 cups

Oil – 1.5 tbsp.

Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp

Tamarind Chutney – 2 tbsp.

Salt to taste

Water – 1/2 cup

To Serve:

Buns or Pav – 4

Butter to toast the Pav – 2 tbsp

Roasted Peanuts – 1/4 cup

Sev – 1/4 cup

Pomegranate seeds – 1/4 cup

Chopped onions – 1 small

Sweet tamarind Chutney – 3 tbsp.

Red Chilly Garlic Chutney – 3 tbsp. (Can substitute this with mint & cilantro chutney)

Method:

  1. Lets start with making the Dabeli masala. Skip this step if you have the store bought masala readily available. Roast all the ingredients listed under Dabeli masala until fragrant and then grind to a fine powder. Use as in the recipe.
  2. To make the potato filling, heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds. Once the seeds crackle, add the potatoes, Dabeli masala, salt and tamarind chutney. Mix everything well.
  3. Now add 1/2 cup of water and let it come to a boil. Mix everything well and let it cook for a few minutes until the filling is like a thick paste.
  4. Slice the buns in half and toast them with butter till they are nice and crispy. I make my own buns using this amazing recipe at Shital’s Kitchen. Check it out here.
  5. To assemble, apply some tamarind chutney on one side of the bun and the garlic or mint chutney on the other bun.
  6. Take some potato filling and place it on one of the bun slices. Top it with some chopped onions, chopped cilantro leaves, peanuts, pomegranate seeds and sev. Close with the other Bun slice.
  7. Garnish with some more sev and chopped cilantro leaves. Enjoy

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So that is how I made one of my favorite street food and relished some good old days. See how I have served it on a newspaper, just like they do in India 😉

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

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Love,

Ritu. 🙂


10 Comments

Vegetarian Quinoa Chili…A warm bowl of comfort

IMG_1119We are officially into spring in our part of the country. But the low temperatures, rainy days and gloomy weather hardly makes it feel anything like spring here. I was in the mood for something warm, spicy and delicious. I really wanted to make some samosas but then I thought about my missed workouts for the whole of last week, and changed my mind. 😛

I needed something healthy. And then I came across a Chili recipe on Pinterest. It was perfect. Warm, comforting, healthy and looked absolutely delicious. I knew I was making this.

Chili, also known as Chili con carne, refers to a spicy stew made with chilly peppers, meat, beans and tomatoes. Its a one pot meal, perfect for games days. But really can be enjoyed anytime of the year. I tried to make it vegetarian (Chili sin carne) and added quinoa for the protein. Another option would be soya granules or you can use your choice of ground meat.

Here is how I made it.

Ingredients:

Quinoa – 1 cup, cooked as per package instructions

Oil – 1 and 1/2 tbsp.

Onion – 1 medium, chopped

Garlic – 4 cloves, minced

Ginger – 1 tbsp., minced

Jalapenos – to taste

Green pepper – 1 large, chopped

Carrot – 1 large, chopped

Zucchini – 1 large. chopped

Frozen corn – 1 cup

Tomatoes – 2 large, pureed or diced small (you can also use two 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes instead)

Tomato Sauce – 1 can, 15 Oz

Black beans – 1 can, 15 Oz, rinsed and drained (Or you can pressure cook 2/3 cup of beans at home)

Kidney beans – 1 can, 15 Oz, rinsed and drained (Or you can pressure cook 2/3 cup of beans at home)

Cumin Powder – 1.5 tsp

Kashmiri Red Chilly powder – 1 tsp (or use Paprika)

Vegetable broth or water – 2 cups, or more if needed

Salt and pepper to taste

Lemon juice – 1.5 tbsp.

Garnish – Chopped cilantro, shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole or chopped avocado – use per your preference

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Method:

  1. If you are not using the cans of beans, soak your choice of beans overnight, pressure cook them until soft and use them as in the recipe.
  2. Cook the quinoa as per package instructions and fluff it with a fork.
  3. Take a large pot and heat the oil. Once hot, add the minced garlic and ginger. Sautee them for just about a minute and add the onions and jalapenos and cook till the onions are nicely brown, about 3 minutes.
  4. Its time to add in the vegetables – give the peppers and carrots a head start and add the zucchini and corn after another 2 minutes.
  5. Once the vegetables are cooked half way through, add the pureed tomatoes and the tomato sauce. Mix well. Let it cook for a few minutes.
  6. Stir in the quinoa and the beans and add all the seasonings – salt, pepper, chilly powder and cumin powder.
  7. Mix everything well and add in the 2 cup of broth or water.
  8. Let it come to a boil, lower the flame and let it cook for another 30 minutes. Make sure to sir in between.
  9. Add more water if needed. Let it cook well till all flavors are well combined and everything looks “happily married” 😀
  10. Do a final taste test to make sure its per your preference. Pour in the lemon juice and switch off the flame.
  11. Garnish it with chopped cilantro, some shredded cheese, diced avocado or guacamole with a big dollop of sour cream.
  12. Pour yourself a big bowl of this warm and comforting chili and dig in.

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You can serve the chili with some tortilla chips, corn bread or with some rice. Either way it tastes delicious. 😛

The rainy weather doesn’t feel so bad after all.

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

Love,

Ritu 🙂


6 Comments

Pav Bhaji..A favorite Indian street food

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India is hugely popular for its street food. Pav Bhaji, Golgappe, Vada Pav, Chole Kulche, Bhel Puri and the list goes on. Each region has its own specialty. When I moved out of India, I dearly missed those delicacies. Because seriously eating the same food in a restaurant is not half the fun as eating it on the streets. Yesterday I had a sudden craving for some delicious Indian street food. Having a fridge full of veggies made the choice easier. I decided to make some Pav bhaji.

Pav Bhaji originated in Maharashtra but is now popular all over India. There are various methods to make this but the basic remains the same. Mashed vegetables and potatoes are seasoned with onion, tomatoes and pav bhaji masala. This is known as Bhaji and is served with toasted bread, called Pav. A lot of butter goes into the authentic preparation of this dish but I like to keep it light due to personal preferences. Here is how I make it.

Ingredients:

Potatoes – 4 medium

Green Pepper/Capsicum – 1 medium, finely chopped

Carrots – 2

Cauliflower – 1/2 small (I have also substituted this with half a cabbage, tastes equally good)

Green peas – 1/2 cup

Beetroot – 1 small (It gives a beautiful red color)

Onion – 2 medium, finely chopped

Tomatoes – 4 medium, finely chopped

Garlic gloves – 5, minced

Ginger – 1 inch piece, minced

Butter – 2 Tbsp (or more if you like)

Green chilies – 2 chopped

Pav Bhaji Masala – 2.5 Tablespoon (Or more if you like it spicy)

Salt to taste

Kashmiri red chilly powder – 1/2 tsp (gives a good color)

Lemons – 2

Water – 1 cup, as required

Cilantro for garnish

Method:

  1. Pressure cook potatoes, carrots, cauliflower and beetroot till they are soft and mushy. Should take about 15 minutes. Once done, mash them well with a potato masher or the back of a spoon.
  2. In a large pan or kadai, melt the butter and add the garlic and ginger. Once the two get some color add in the chopped onions and cook them till they get a nice brown color. Add in the chopped green pepper and green chilies and cook for another 3 minutes.
  3. Its time to add in the tomatoes and cook them till they leave some oil. Add in the salt, red chilly powder and the pav bhaji masala. Mix everything well.
  4. Finally, add the mashed and pressure cooked veggies and the green peas to the masala and mix everything. Add in water a little at a time and let it cook covered till it reaches the desired consistency.
  5. Do a final taste test, add in the chopped cilantro, drizzle some lemon juice and serve hot with a dollop of butter.
  6. To prep the Pav, heat some butter in a pan. Cut the Pav horizontally and heat them till they get nice and crispy.
  7. Enjoy your pav bhaji with some chopped onions and lemon wedges.

 

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So go ahead and make some Pav Bhaji and enjoy a taste of India right in your home. And make sure to eat lots of street food in your next India trip, if your stomach allows it. 🙂

Notes:

If you do not get Pav in your area, you can make your own by following this recipe at Shital’s Kitchen. Thanks to her I make my own now, and they always come out wonderful. Here is how she makes them:

http://shitals-kitchen.blogspot.com/2014/03/pav-bread.html

My home cooked Pav following her awesome recipe.

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