Palak Paneer

I hate blanching. I like to utilise the ingredient or food item optimally.

Thus, microwaved the spinach/Palak, Pureed onion, garlic & ginger

I avoid using readymade masalas as much as possible. I believe that lesser I use the masalas out of a packet, the more authentic the taste. I will clarify: here the smoothness of cream blended with the spinach / palak cascades on the tongue right from the first morsel, roasted spices are all the way fragrant, right from the first to the last morsel..ooohhhh so earthy and such clarity in  tastes… and abundance all the way.

I try and make fresh masalas by roasting spices on the spot – fresh for the recipe which is being cooked

Puree and use ALL of the spinach/palak- no sieving for removing fibres. Believe me, it still gives “just like the restaurant” feel and taste

I DO use cream

I believe eating happens in three steps. The first is with the eyes – if it looks good it will taste good. Second with the aroma. Three with mouth and Five, most important-with MIND.

It is important to satiate the Body hunger and Mind hunger – Both

Eating should be a pleasure and so should the act of preparing it

I see it this way: if I am successful in avoiding at least one restaurant meal then small luxuries added into a home cooked meal goes a long way

Example: using cream, ghee, a dollop of butter, freshly roasted and ground spices… besides all of it is seriously fresh

Well…now the recipe… PALAK PANEER- from my kitchen

Palak Paneer
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Indian-Vegetarian
Ingredients
  • Ingredients:
  • 4 bundles Fresh spinach - washed, strained and drained
  • ½ bundle Methi / fenugreek leaves washed well
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 nos. medium Onions
  • 8/10 buds Garlic cloves peeled
  • 1or 2 Green Chillies
  • Fresh Ginger/ Adrak / aadu as thick and big as first 2 fingers put together
  • 1/2 bundle Cilantro / Coriander / Kothmir/Hara Dhania - washed and finely chopped -washed well
  • 1 tsp. Tomato paste / puree
  • Powdered Roasted Masala
  • Pureed Spinach
For the Microwaving
  • Paneer/ Cottage Cheese preferred homemade OR 1 Large & 1 Small packet
  • salt
  • 1 Tbsp Oil + Ghee + 1/2 Tbsp. Half
  • 3 Tbsp. Cream or by preference fresh or packaged
  • 1 tsp. Mustard seeds / Rai I like the black grain's contrast against the spinachy green but optional
  • 2 tsp Cumin seeds / Jeera
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder it does change the green color a tad bit optional
For Roasted Masala
  • 2 tsp. Cumin seeds / Jeera
  • 1/2 tsp Methi / fenugreek leaves If no fresh Methi/fenugreek seeds (half)&/or kasuri methi 2tsps.
  • 4 nos. Cloves/laung/laving
  • 8 nos. Green cardamom/elaichi
  • 6 nos. Black Peppercorns/ mari
  • 1 stick Cinnamon/ taj/ dalchini - size of a little finger
Instructions
  1. FOR microwaving.

  2. In a microwave-safe large bowl add a cup of water. Dump all the greens: Spinach/Palak & Methi/fenugreek leaves. I prepared this in peak summer so no methi leaves had to make do with seeds... was out of kasuri methi too. Microwave on a high for 7 minutes. (my microwave takes 7minutes.)
  3. Remove bowl from microwave and let the steam shoo itself away- let it sit for a while. Puree. Set aside.
  4. For the Kadai/Wok :

  5. Dry roast All the ingredients till they get a little light brown and throw a fragrance in the entire kitchen
  6. Leave them alone. Once a tad cool, make a fine powder of them. Fresh Masala to add to Palak Paneer -ready.
  7. METHOD:
  8. Puree: Onion+ Garlic+ Ginger/aadu/adrak+ Cilantro/Kothmeer + green chilli.
  9. On a high flame place the NON_STICK Kadai/ Wok Pour Oil + ghee Once heated lower the flame to medium Add Rai/Mustard+ Jeera/cumin. Allow to nicely crackle
  10. Add the Puree : Onion+ Garlic+ Ginger/aadu/adrak+ Cilantro/Kothmeer + green chilli.
  11. Lower the gas flame to lowest.
  12. Allow the Puree to brown
  13. Add tomato paste
  14. Add the roasted masala
  15. Stie well till the oil is released from sides
  16. Add the Cubed Paneer/cottage cheese
  17. Here add salt for the Paneer/cottage cheese.
  18. Add 1 tbsp. of cream- this will keep the paneer soft and give it a pleasant fragrance
  19. Let the Paneer/cottage cheese brown a little
  20. Add Spinach puree.
  21. Add another 1tbsp. of cream
  22. TASTE & adjust salt.
  23. Cover th Wok til the excess water evaporates.
  24. Transfer to the serving bowl
  25. Make a nice Cream Swirl
  26. READY TO EAT.

Quick Onion Tomato Sambar


Watch the video of this recipe on our Youtube channel and subscribe

Quick Onion Tomato Sambar
A simple, quick onion tomato sambar recipe for a South Indian lentil preparation - Sambar. Can be had with plain rice. Pressure cooker compatible. Can be had with plain rice. Veggies like Okra, carrots, radish, eggplants, potatoes or pumpkin can also be used to make a veggie sambar.
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Indian-Vegetarian, South Indian
Servings: 6 Servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tsp. Cow's Ghee/ Clarified butter
  • 1 tsp. Sesame oil
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek / Methi Seeds
  • 1 tsp. Mustard seeds / Rai
  • 1 tsp. Asafoetida
  • 1 tsp. Turmeric powder
  • 1 Green Chillies
  • 20 curry leaves
  • 1 Onions Medium sized, roughly chopped
  • 2 Tomatoes Medium sized, finely chopped
  • ½ cup Tuver Dal / Pigeon Peas lentils-washed thrice
  • 3 Cups water
  • 1 Tsp. Tamarind Paste
  • 2 Tsp. Jaggery- optional or to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. Sambar Masala
  • salt
  • 1 Tsp. Tamarind Paste
  • 2 Tsp. Jaggery-
  • 1 Tbsp. Sambar Masala
  • ½ Tsp. Rasam Powder.
Instructions
  1. Put the pressure cooker on a medium flame Pour the oil and allow to heat-not smoke. Add Methi/fenugreek seeds & Mustard seeds. Allow to crackle.
  2. Add Asafoetida, Turmeric, chilly and curry leaves - let crackle on low heat. Avoid charring/burning
  3. Add roughly chopped onion. Saute till translucent Add tomatoes.
  4. You Can Add diced veggies of choice - pumpkin, Okra, carrot, Aubergine, radish
  5. Add 1 Tbsp. Sambar Masala Add. Half Tsp. Rasam Powder
  6. Add 3 Cups water. Add Salt- to taste Add 1 Tsp. Tamarind Paste. Add 2 Tsp. Jaggery(optional or to taste)
  7. Mix well.
  8. Add Tuver Dal/Pigeon Peas(lentils)
  9. Put the Cooker to pressure till minimum 3 whistles
  10. Taste. Adjust Taste. Serve with plain rice

Veg Manchurian


You can watch this Recipe on our Youtube Channel here

Veg Manchurian
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 
This recipe can be made from the readily available frozen veggies and the shredded veggie mixes available in supermarkets.
Cuisine: Indo-Chinese
Ingredients
For the Dumplings
  • 2 cups shredded veggies beetroot, cabbage, green beans, carrot, capsicum, onion and spring onions. Before using the shredded veggies for dumplings set aside about half a cup to add to the Manchurian sauce later
  • 1 cup Corn flour
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 2 tbsp Dark Soya Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp Ginger Garlic paste or quantity to taste
  • 2 tbsp Red and green chilli paste - to taste
  • 1 tbsp crushed black peppercorn powder
  • salt Soy sauce does have salt
  • 3 tbsp Corn flour
For the Sauce
  • 3-4 cups water room temperature
  • 3 tbsp Dark Soya Sauce
  • 3 tbsp Tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbsp Hot sauce
  • 3-4 Green Chillies – finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp Ginger paste
  • 2 tsp crushed pepper powder
  • 1 Spring onion – finely chopped – set aside for seasoning
  • 2 tsp Oil of choice oil of choice – preferably Sesame oil or Peanut oil
  • 2 tsp crushed pepper powder
  • 1 Spring onion – finely chopped – set aside for seasoning
  • 2 tsp Oil of choice – preferably Sesame oil or Peanut oil
Instructions
  1. Method (For the dumplings) Mix all the ingredient to form a tight dough Bind well without adding any water Roll into balls
  2. Deep fry, shallow fry or air fry till crisp and set aside.
  3. Method (For the Sauce) In a bowl, mix ingredients 1 to 5 into a smooth fluid mix and set aside In a heated wok, pour the oil and add ginger and garlic paste till they turn pink. Add the chopped chillies and crushed pepper
  4. Add the half cup of shredded veggies which were set aside earlier
  5. Add the liquid mix and give it a boil Keep stirring to avoid starchy lumps. Once the mixture starts glazing, add the dumplings.
  6. Add water if required. Add Salt to taste if required Give it a roaring boil letting the dumplings absorb the flavours Taste. Adjust
  7. Transfer to serving bowl, garnish with finely chopped spring onions Enjoy with a bowl of rice or noodles!
Recipe Notes

Kadhi

See the Video of this recipe on our YouTube Channel

Kadhi
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
Gujarati Kadhi: A no-nonsense instant solace incarnate! Made from Chickpea flour, yogurt and a few spices.
Course: Accompaniment
Cuisine: Gujarati, Indian-Vegetarian
Servings: 3 People
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Buttermilk/Laban Use thick buttermilk - sourness by choice or 1.5 cups curd/yogurt/dahi
  • 1 cup water for curd/yogurt/dahi - use 2.5 cups
  • 2 Tbsps. Besan /chana atta/ Chikpea flour
  • salt
  • 1 tbsp Jaggery- monitor as per liking of sourness in the Kadhi
  • 1 piece Fresh Ginger/ Adrak / aadu peeled, washed and grated
  • 15-20 leaves curry leaves
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Cilantro / Coriander / Kothmir/Hara Dhania - washed and finely chopped
  • 2 Green Chillies washed and slit vertically
  • 1 Big dry Red chilli
  • 12-15 Black Peppercorns/ mari
  • 1 Cinnamon/ taj/ dalchini about 2 inches long
  • 2 tsp. Fenugreek / Methi Seeds
  • 2 tsp. Mustard seeds / Rai
  • 2 tsp. Cumin seeds / Jeera
  • 1/2 tsp Asafoetida
  • 1 Tbsp. Cow's Ghee/ Clarified butter
Instructions
  1. In the bowl mix ingredients number 3,4,5,6
  2. Whisk well, Transfer to a wok On a low flame stirring frequently put the wok
  3. Add a some 7-8 curry leaves, a little grated ginger, 1 green chilli & 3-4 pinches of Coriander
  4. Add jaggery
  5. Let the Kadhi come to a good happy boil Kadhi boils over like milk
  6. Keep stirring frequently or the kadhi will boil over and jagger shall stick to bottom & burn. Put the wok by the side once the kadhi come to a boil
  7. In a small pan or a convenient vessel over a low flame, put 1Tbsp. Cow's Ghee/ Clarified butter
  8. immediately add the cinnamon stick, pepper corns allow the ghee to melt
  9. add fenugreek/ methi seeds
  10. add 2 tsp. Raai/mustard seeds,2 tsp. Cumin/Jeera let all crackle add the asafoetida
  11. Add rest of the ginger, chillies, cilantro & curry leaves saute well, stirring till a beautiful aroma wafts in kitchen
  12. Add the previously put aside mixture to the tempering and allow to boil for a few minutes
Recipe Notes

Care should be taken to avoid all the spices going"black". If the heat is too intense, remove from flame and let the spices release their flavors. Transfer "all" of it to the kadhi in the wok Put kadhi again on a slow flame to give one more boil over and cover

Plain rice goes well with Kadhi. Kadhi is also an excellent accompaniment with Veggie Pulao