Thursday, September 27, 2012

Spinach Paneer Rice




Spinach Paneer Rice

This is a simple and tasty one pot meal with spinach/palak and paneer.Spinach with paneer or cheese is a much loved and popular combo and for me,a well made palak paneer is an irresistible, healthy dish. This  meal is filling with rice,healthy greens and the flavor is enhanced by the marinated and sauteed paneer.

You can bring innumerable variations for this rice dish.If you wish you can blanch spinach and blend it to give the rice a rich green color.To marinate the paneer I used a little of tandoori masala.You can add other type of flavorings or just add simply fried paneer.Serve this with raita,pickle and papad.

Ingredients
Basmathi rice cooked- 3 cup

To marinate
 Paneer- 200 gms
Chilly powder- 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder-a pinch
Ginger garlic paste- 1/2 tsp
Garam masala- 1/2 tsp
Kasoori methi powder- a pinch (optional)
Yogurt- 1/3 cup
salt to taste

To saute
Spinach chopped- 2 1/2 - 3 cup
Onion- 1 medium
Garlic cloves-3
Garam masala- 1/3 tsp
Cumin Powder- 1/3 tsp
Pepper powder- a pinch
Salt to taste
lemon juice- 1/2 lemon


Cut paneer into cubes and marinate with the ingredients listed and keep in fridge for about two hours or at least half an hour.

Fry this with little oil till all the sides brown up. You can also bake this in the oven at 350 degree f till both sides get brown
( note: I used the pan fry method and my paneer got crumbled a bit. There was also a bit of moister from the yogurt and so it took about 5 minutes to get it dry and masala to get coated with the paneer. If you want to avoid this use oven method and pls check here and here )

In the same pan heat oil and a little of ghee (optional) and saute garlic followed by onion. Saute till golden brown and add spinach,salt and saute for about a minute or till the spinach is soft and cooked. Add cumin powder,pepper powder, garam masala  and mix in the rice and paneer. Close lid and allow this to heat up a  bit in a very low flame for three to four minutes. Squeeze lemon juice on top and serve with raita  and pickle.


Try this..
Hope you will all enjoy :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Vellarikka Pachadi/Cucumber Pachadi



Vellarikka Pachadi/Cucumber Pachadi

Today's recipe is a simple and refreshing pachadi made with golden cucumber.Mixed with yogurt and seasoning,you have a delicious side dish for rice.

Ingredients
Cucumber- 1 medium sized
Green chilly- 2
Salt to taste

To make a paste
Coconut- 1/2 cup
Cumin- 1/3 tsp
Mustard seeds- 1/3 tsp
Garlic- I clove (optional)

Yogurt- 1 1/2 cup

Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Dry red chilly-2
Curry leaves- a few
Coconut oil- 2 tbs



Cut cucumber into thin small pieces. Cook this along with green chilly, salt and 1/3 cup of water.

Make a fine paste of coconut, cumin,mustard seeds and garlic.Mix this into yogurt and whisk . Pour this to the cooked cucumber and mix well and put it back to stove and simmer in low flame for one till it gets warmed up. Switch off the flame.
Note : do not put in a high heat, Do not heat it too much,otherwise the yogurt will separate.

Heat oil and add mustard seeds and when it splutters add dry red chilly and curry leaves and fry. Add this to the curry and mix well,serve with rice.


Try this,
Hope you will all enjoy!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Gulab Jamun



Gulab Jamun

Gulab jamun needs no introduction. India's most famous dessert and is equally popular in different regions of South Asia.These rose flavored,sugar soaked dumplings is my most favorite dessert. Whenever my parents planned dine out I was quick to suggest hotels which served the best gulab jamuns.. all I would wish for was the end of the meal and the dessert platter to appear... with my favorite gulab jamun  :) Traditionally gulab jamun is made with khoya ( smooth/Chikna khoya). Here I am using mawa powder a super fine variety of milk powder available in Indian grocery store which is a wonderful substitute if khoya is not available.Serve it in warm sugar syrup or with a dollop of ice cream,enjoy!

Ingredients
For the dough
Mawa powder- 1 1/2 cup
Baking soda- 1/4 tsp
Plain flour- 2 tbs
Sooji rava- 1 tsp (optional)
Unsalted butter- 2 tbs
Milk- 4 tbs ( add little by little)

For the syrup
Sugar-2 cup
Water- 1 1/2
a few saffron strands
Black cardamon crushed 3
lemon juice- a few drops
Rose water- 1 1/2 tsp

Oil for frying- 2 cup
 




To make the dough mix together mawa powder,sooji, plain flour and baking soda.
To this add butter and mix and rub to form a crumbly dough. Slowly add milk a tbs at a time and make into a smooth soft dough which does not crumble off. If it crumbles add a little more of milk and knead the dough once again. It will be a slightly sticky dough. Cover and let it rest for fifteen minutes.

Mean while make sugar syrup. Bring water and sugar to a boil and add cardamon powder and a few strands of saffron. Simmer this for about 7-8 minutes till it reduces and attains a syrup consistency, Add lemon juice and rose water and keep this syrup warm so that we can add the fried gulab jamuns directly to it.

Heat 2 cups of oil in a deep pan.Keep in low medium temperature.

Grease your hands with a little ghee or butter. Take small portions of the dough and roll into small gooseberry size balls. It will puff up into golf sized balls when you fry in oil. Roll with palms by pressing and releasing pressure until it becomes  smooth balls without cracks.

Drop these balls in batches into medium hot oil. The ball will first remain in the bottom of the pan with small bubbles coming up from its sides and then will rise and float in the oil and start turning around by itself. At this stage use a spoon and gently help turning round and round till all sides brown up evenly. Fry each batch in low medium flame (if the heat is high the outside will get browned up but the inside will remain uncooked) for about 5-6 minutes. Drain and drop into the hot sugar syrup. Allow this to rest for about two hours and then serve.



Try this
Hope you will all enjoy!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Chemmeen Kovakka Thoran/ Prawns Ivy Gourd Thoran



Chemmeen Kovakka Thoran

Kovakka/tindora/ivy Gourd thoran is a simple and quick side dish for rice. I admit that, I am not a great fan of this veggie.But spice it up a bit and add some prawns into it,this dish tastes delicious. My kid is a picky eater, but he also loved this thoran.You can also make this thoran without adding prawns.Try this ,you will surely love it

Ingredients
Kovakka/Tindora chopped- 3 cup
Prawns- 1/2 lb
Shallots-4-5
Coconut grated-1/2 cup
Turmeric powder- 1/3 tsp
Chilly powder- 1/2 tsp
Garam masala- 1/3 tsp (optional)
Garlic - 3 -4 cloves
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves- a few


Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When they splutter add curry leaves and sliced onion and saute till they change color. Add prawns and saute till its turns pale. Next add the tindora/kovakka and salt and sprinkle a few drops of water. Don't need to add too much water,it will get cooked in its own water.Cover and cook till the veggies is soft and and no water remaining.
In a blender make a course mixture of coconut,turmeric powder,chilly powder and garlic. Add this to the cooked veggie and prawns and stir fry in medium for about a minute. Sprinkle garam masala and a add a few fresh curry leaves, saute little more and switch off the flame. Serve as a side dish with rice.

Try this,
Hope you will all enjoy.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Ultimate Chocolate Cream Cheese Cookies for Baking Partners


Today's recipe is a cookie- Baking Partners second challenge post. Our first post was Julia Child's Chocolate Almond Cake. Baking partners created by Swathi is a lovely group and I am happy to be part of it.This months theme is very interesting with three types of cookies and the partners could select one. I selected this one because my kid love chocolate chips cookies. If you wish to know more about the group check here.

I selected the recipe Ultimate Chocolate Cream Cheese Cookies from Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. This recipe was suggested by our baking partner Tina . Thanks Tina for this wonderful recipe. This chocolate cream cheese cookie is irresistible. You got to try this to believe it,yes.. they are THAT good,chewy and melt in mouth cookie, and has a wonderful texture. I first planned to reduce the recipe in half as this cookie has small shelf life, but finally I decided to stick to the original recipe..glad I did so :). The remaining cookies I placed in a tight container and put it in the fridge.So whenever my kid asked for the cookie, I just put it into the micro-wave for a few seconds and it tasted just like the freshly baked ones. Here are the ingredients..



Ingredients
All purpose flour -2 ¼ cups (255g)
Unsweetened cocoa powder -¼ cup (32g)
Baking soda -2 tsp
Salt- 1/2 tsp
Unsalted Butter (softened)-( 2 sticks 226 g)
Cream cheese- 4 oz.  (113g)
( bring it to room temperature)
Sugar- Granulated - 1 cup (200 g)
Brown Sugar- 1/2 cup (110 g)
(I used the ordinary,use dark brown sugar
for better results)
Egg-2 large
Heavy Cream- 2tbs
Vanilla  extract- 1 tsp
Bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled-3 oz. (85 g)
Semi-sweet chocolate chips-8 oz. (225g)



In a microwave safe bowl place chopped bittersweet chocolate and micro wave for 30 seconds. Mix and put it back for another ten seconds. Take out and whisk till it is smooth and allow to cool.
In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients flour with the cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Sift and keep aside. Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer combine the butter, cream cheese,granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the eggs, heavy cream and vanilla until blended. At low speed, beat in the dry ingredients. Add the melted chocolate and chocolate chips and beat just until incorporated. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for at least 15 minutes or up to 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Scoop heaping tablespoons of cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheets, give two inch space between each cookie. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cookies are just set; shift the baking sheets for top to bottom and rotate front to back half way through. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.




Happy Baking!



Try this
Hope you will all enjoy!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pazha Manga Curry/ Sweet Mango Curry



Pazha manga curry is a sweet and spicy curry made with ripe sweet mangoes.It is extremely flavorful  dish and if you are lucky to get Kerala  naatu manga, chandrakaran,Kotturkonam or moovandan variety of mangoes,you should give this recipe a try.You may wonder, if it is ripe why not just eat it. But when ever I get ripe mangoes I cannot help remembering mango season in Kerala and aroma of different mango dishes that my mom and grandmother make ; from salted mangoes, pickles and sun dried mangoes to manga meen curry and from pulishery and pachadi to mambazham pradham there is a such wide variety of mouthwatering dishes...

Now coming back to this recipe  it is a traditional dish of Kerala and if you are a fan of mangoes you will relish this dish. It is a coconut based curry and is slightly different from mambazham pulisherry. It goes well with rice.

Ingredients
Ripe mango- 2 medium sized
Green chilly slit- 2
Chilly powder- 1/3 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/3 tsp
Salt to taste
Jaggery- 1 tbs (optional)

To make a paste
Coconut grated- 1 1/3 cup
Cumin-a pinch
Shallots/pearl onion- 3-4
garlic -2 pod

Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves- 2 springs
Shallots finely chopped- 1
Dry red chilly- 2
Coconut oil- 3 tbs



Cut mangoes into cubes. If you are getting the small variety  then you can just peel it and use as a whole.
In a pot mix mangoes,slit chilly, salt,turmeric and chilly powder and half cup of water cook till mangoes are tender.  Add jaggery and mix well.
Make a fine paste of coconut,cumin, garlic and shallots and mix this to the cooked mangoes. Simmer in low flame for about two minutes. Do not allow it to boil and switch off the flame.
Heat coconut oil in pan. Add mustard seeds and when they splutter add sliced shallots, dry red chilly and curry leaves and allow to get slightly brown. Pour this over the curry,mix and cover with a lid till it is ready to be served.

Try this,
Hope you will all enjoy!



Friday, September 7, 2012

Pomegranate Granita



Pomegranate Granita

Pomegranate Granita is a super simple dessert to make. It is refreshing, sweet, tart icy dessert and best for those hot summer days.I am addicted to granita's as a afternoon summer treat.This one with pomegranate and a touch of ginger-citrus flavor has a super cooling effect just like an ice cream and you can enjoy without adding the extra calories.Try it,you will surely love it.

Ingredients
Pomegranate juice- 2 cup
(Squeeze and strain or use store brought one)
Lemon juice- 1/2
Ginger juice- 1 tsp
Sugar- 1/4 cup
(add according to your taste)



In a bowl mix in pomegranate juice,lemon juice,sugar and ginger juice.  Pour into a shallow freezer dish and freeze for 2 hours. Take it out after two hours and using a fork scrap it so that it does not freeze into one block.Put it back in the freezer and after a couple of hours scrap again into large crystals and scoop into a bowl and serve immediately.



Hope you will all enjoy!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fish Manchurian


Fish Manchurian

Today's dish is a simple version of the  Indo Chinese recipe-Fish Manchurian.Fish Manchurian is a popular dish in Indian restaurants and sea food lovers who wish  a change in flavor and taste should definitely give this a try . It is a simple recipe,marinated fish is dipped in batter and deep fried and finally mixed with sauces.I used Cubanelle peppers a variety of sweet pepper in this recipe and it had a unique flavor. This is a dry version so it can be served as an appetizer/starter or as a side dish with fried rice.

Ingredients
To marinate
Fish- 1 1/2 lb
(I used King fish)
Pepper powder- 1/4 tsp
Ginger- garlic paste- 2 tsp

Chilly paste- 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice- a few drops

For the batter
Egg-1
Corn starch- 2 tbs
Flour- 1/3 cup
Pepper powder- a  pinch
salt- a pinch

To Saute
Onion - 1medium chopped
Cubanelle peppers- 1/2 cup
(or green chilly slit lengthwise 4-5)
Garlic- 3-4 pods
Soya sauce- 2 tbs
Dark soya sauce- a few drops
Chilly garlic sauce- 1 tsp
Rice Vinegar- 1 tsp
Tomato sauce- 2 tbs
sugar- a pinch
Chicken or vegetable stock- 1/3 cup
corn starch- 1/2 tsp
Oil to fry



Cut boneless fish into medium sized cubes. Marinate with pepper powder,lemon juice,chilly paste and ginger-garlic paste and keep aside for 10 minutes,
Mix together, corn starch, flour,a pinch of pepper powder, salt and egg and 1/3 cup of water to make a batter. Make a batter which is not thin or too thick.
Dip the fish in the batter and deep fry the fish in medium hot oil till it is golden brown. Drain on paper towels and  keep aside.
Heat a pan and add 2 -3 tsp of oil. When it is hot add minced garlic and saute for a minute,followed by cubed onions and pepper/chilly. Saute for two minutes. Add fried fish and saute. Mix sauces,sugar and vinegar in the chicken/vegetable stock along with corn starch and pour over the fish and mix well and allow this to come together and coat the fish. If you you want more gravy add little more of chicken stock. Serve as a appetizer/starter or with fried rice.

Try this
Hope you will all enjoy.

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