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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. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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.

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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. 🙂