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
- 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
- Paneer/ Cottage Cheese preferred homemade OR 1 Large & 1 Small packet
- 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
- 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
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.)
Remove bowl from microwave and let the steam shoo itself away- let it sit for a while. Puree. Set aside.
For the Kadai/Wok :
Dry roast All the ingredients till they get a little light brown and throw a fragrance in the entire kitchen
Leave them alone. Once a tad cool, make a fine powder of them. Fresh Masala to add to Palak Paneer -ready.
Puree: Onion+ Garlic+ Ginger/aadu/adrak+ Cilantro/Kothmeer + green chilli.
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
Add the Puree : Onion+ Garlic+ Ginger/aadu/adrak+ Cilantro/Kothmeer + green chilli.
Lower the gas flame to lowest.
Allow the Puree to brown
Add tomato paste
Add the roasted masala
Stie well till the oil is released from sides
Add the Cubed Paneer/cottage cheese
Here add salt for the Paneer/cottage cheese.
Add 1 tbsp. of cream- this will keep the paneer soft and give it a pleasant fragrance
Let the Paneer/cottage cheese brown a little
Add Spinach puree.
Add another 1tbsp. of cream
TASTE & adjust salt.
Cover th Wok til the excess water evaporates.
Transfer to the serving bowl
Make a nice Cream Swirl
READY TO EAT.
When #Auckland weather wasn’t deciding between the rain and sun, “yeah/
Preprep= ◆finely chop 10 cloves garlic◆ not too fine cut 2 large red onions, ◆2 fine chop green
●1tsp each of whole Cumin &
●add 3 pinches asafoetida. (Optional) but it has its own value addition
●add finely chopped garlic & green
●add chopped onions.
●keep stirring till light brown.
●add 1 tsp. Turmeric
●add #mymix #cumincoriander powder
●add chopped coriander
●add pre-cooked/#leftover 2-3 cups #rice
●add salt to taste
●cover and let it work on its
●uncover, mix, adjust taste if required,
●serve right away, let it do the sizzle s in your mouth.
(Btw feel free to leave a message through my contact form or dm me on Instagram if you desire to obtain #mymix #cumincorianderpiwder)
●add 3tbsp oil of choice – I used #SesameOil
●chop 6 cloves Garlic & add to oil
●saute till light brown
●add 2 pinches asafoetida (optional) – but makes a difference if added
●add 2 tsp #turmericpowder
●add 2tbsp #mymix #coriandercuminpowder (for #mymix, if in NZ do not hesitate to get in touch through my contact page or dm me on Instagram )
●Half tsp. Red chilli powder (optional) but elevates flavour if added
3 large aubergines cut & cubed to Half inch pieces,
1 cup fresh/frozen green peas
1Large packet #BabySpinach leaves washed and drained
●Salt to taste
●gently toss with a wooden spatula
●cover &cook till done.
●toss and stir just once in between
●chk taste, adjust salt if required
◆serve hot with Chapati, roti, rice, or Pita.
Khichdi is one of the most popular Gujarati dishes and is usually made with a combination of lentils and rice cooked together. Adding in a few veggies and spices makes it a delectable recipe
- 1 cup Frozen Mixed veggies – Corn, Carrots, Peas and Beans
- 8-10 Broccoli Florets
- 1 Medium sized Potatoes – Chopped and soaked
- 2 Medium sized Onions – roughly cut
- 12-15 curry leaves
- 2 Green Chillies slit lengthwise
- 4 dried red chillies
- 1 small stick Cinnamon/ taj/ dalchini
- 8-10 Black Peppercorns/ mari
- 1 Cloves/laung/laving
- ¼ cup Tuver Dal / Pigeon Peas (Split pigeon peas – Washed and soaked for 15 mins
- 1 cup long grain basmati rice – Washed and soaked for 15 mins
- 1 tbsp Sesame oil
- 2½ tbsp Cow's Ghee/ Clarified butter
- 1¼ tsp Asafoetida
- 1½ tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
- salt - to taste
- 3 cups water
Put a pressure cooker on the flame and let it heat for a while
Roast the dry spices for a few seconds
Add Sesame oil and ensure that all the spices are coated in the oil
On a medium flame allow to heat till the ghee melts completely
Add the mustard seeds
Add the cumin seeds
Add the red chillies once you hear the popping sound
Crush the curry leaves in your hand and add them
Add the chopped onions
Give the mixture a Good whisk
Add the Turmeric
Add the chopped Potato
Add the Broccoli florets
Add the frozen mixed veggies
Add the red chilli powder
Add Salt to taste
Once the veggies start softening, add the rice and split pigeon peas mixture
Stir the mixture well
Stir the mixture well
Cover the Pressure cooker and allow for two whistles
After the pressure cooker cools down, the khichdi is ready
Enjoy with Papad and Yoghurt
I decided to put up this recipe as an afterthought. I have put up Tuver Dal, Sambar, Mung beans curry and Kadhi and some curries as well and Plain rice is usually something that goes well with these Dals and Kadhi. This was one of my first posts on my blog along with Tuver Dal back in 2011.
I put in Ghee in the Rice bowl itself for a simple reason. If Ghee is carried on the Table, the quantity eaten would be blasphemous. But this way I not only manage to coat every Rice grain with Ghee and at the same time control the tempting dollops. 🙂
My family is not Ghee deprived 🙂
My aim in uploading basic recipes is to highlight a simple fact. Indian kitchens are never out of certain basics like rice, lentils, wheat flour, dry spices like cinnamon, cloves, pepper.., ginger, garlic, chillies-green or dried, salt, sugar, jaggery, Ghee, oil etc. Aren’t these enough to come up with a simple meal of Dal-rice, curd-rice or a simple Alu/potato subzi and Roti ?
- 1 cup Rice Washed thrice- for quantity be your own judge
- 2 tsps. Cow's Ghee/ Clarified butter
- 3 cups water to the proportion of RICE: WATER = 1 : 3
In a microwavable bowl, place the required quantity of the fragrant grains.
With every wash drain the water from the bowl. Wash the Rice thrice to remove all sorts of smells and residues.
Add fresh / sweet water to the proportion of RICE: WATER=1:3
Add 2 tsps. (you are free to add more if you like) Ghee.
Put the Bowl in the microwave for anywhere between 15 to 20 mins.
Check rice. If There is water at the bowl's base continue for 2-3 mins. more.
Microwaved rice is ready.
When there is a will there is always a meal and a smiling family! A home-cooked meal is MY deal 🙂
HAPPY COOKING & Cook at home with Cook-at-home
A superb balanced blend of sweet and sour, this Tuver dal (Split pigeon peas) has been made fun of by many a non gujarati as a sweet dal. When the well-blended aroma of ingredients like asafoetida, mustard seeds, whole red chillies, fresh green chillies, fresh curry leaves being tempered in peanut or sesame oil, silently penetrate the deep recesses of your nostrils, you can’t wait to put the ghee drizzled spoonful of dal in your mouth. A humble meal of the ghee drizzled dal and plain rice is a nostalgic memory that every adult carries with every “Dal chawal” meal. The well balanced blend of the sweet and the sour tastes in the dal is the uncrowned queen of any Gujarati household. A gujarati thali shall always remain incomplete without this “Tuver ni Dal”. There is a belief in Gujarat that one who has a good, tasty dal shall enjoy a fortunate day. This is the position that Gujaratis give the Tuver dal in their meals and lives
Below I have listed the recipe in three steps which is the way it is made in Gujarati homes all over the world almost daily.
Watch a video of this Gujarati Tuver Dal on our Youtube channel and subscribe.
- ½ cup Tuver Dal / Pigeon Peas
- 2½ cups water
- salt - to taste
- 4 pinches Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Cumin-coriander powder / Dhania Jeera powder
- 1 tbsp Jaggery- or to taste
- 1 tbsp Ginger paste or to taste
- 1 tsp Chilli Paste or to taste
- 4-5 nos curry leaves
- 1 in Tomatoes Chopped (optional) - many don't like tomatoes in the dal but my family loves them
- ½ tbsp Oil of choice I used sesame oil
- 1 stick Cinnamon/ taj/ dalchini
- 2 pieces Cloves/laung/laving
- 1 tsp Fenugreek / Methi Seeds
- 1 tsp Mustard seeds / Rai
- 3-4 pinches Asafoetida -or half tsp if you like the taste
- 4-5 nos curry leaves
- 1 whole red chillies
- Fresh Lemon juice to taste
Wash the Dal/ lentils in sweet/fresh water- Thrice.
Add the water, turmeric and the coriander cumin powder
Pressure cook on a medium flame for at least 2-3 whistles or till the Daal is nice, soft and mushy.
Transfer it to an open mouthed vessel for further process of STEP 2.
Add ALL the above-mentioned ingredients OF STEP 2 to the pressure cooked dal.
On a slow flame give the dal a good boil.
Take some on your palm or a small spoon to taste. Adjust ingredients. 🙂
Hey, good food NEVER comes on the table without being first tasted in the kitchen!
The Gas flame should be on medium to low or the oil and the ingredients in it shall char. In a separate tiny "wok", pour the oil. For added flavour to the Dal you can do a 50-50 on ghee+ oil.
Add Cinnamon and cloves
Add Rai/Mustard and let it crackle merrily.
Allow the oil to heat and soak in the flavour of the spices.
Once the cinnamon and cloves start "dancing" add Methi/Fenugreek seed. Let it brown gently. Immediately it shall release a bitter aroma.
Immediately add Hing/Asafoetida and Curry leaves + Whole Red Chilly.
Pour the Step 3 Medley over the Boiled Dal and hear a happy sizzle.
If you have Coriander leaves throw some chopped in the Vessel with the boiled Dal.
By pouring the "Vaghaar" over the floating chopped coriander leaves, you retain the green colour of the leaves for quite some time.
Squeeze the lemon juice.
Give a healthy gentle boil on a low flame to the seasoned Daal. Taste and adjust ingredients especially the lime, salt and the sweetness.
Transfer to a serving vessel and on serve on the table!
This dal and plain rice are a great meal combo
- 1 Cup white flour or maida. I used half 'n' half of self raising and normal
- 1 cup Cow's Ghee/ Clarified butter clarified butter- very slightly warmed
- 1 Cup Finely powdered sugar
- 1/4 Cup Besan /chana atta/ Chikpea flour
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- 1/2 tbsp. Semolina
- 2 tsp Green cardamom/elaichi or manually powdered 8-10 cardamom pods
- 2-3 pinches Saffron -optional
Mix - Ghee/clarified butter, cardamom powder, saffron (optional) & sugar till frothy
Add white flour, chikpea ( besan) flour, semolina, baking powder. Combine all.
Let the nankhatai mix rest for an hour or two.
Before beginning to scoop, turn on the oven at 250 degrees to preheat.
On a greased baking tray or baking sheet, scoop with an ice cream scoop to form small roundels
Once the scoops are laid out on the tray for baking, reduce the temperature to 200 or 250 degrees
Bake undisturbed for 15 minutes
Check, if still a tad undone bake till done.
Ready to be served or stored.
In one of the old Gujarati recipe book that I have, the proportion of semolina was same as chickpea flour. That had spoilt my batch when I had first attempted this recipe. For the fear of Nankhatais not turning out right, I have used semolina simply for peace of my mind.
This is a slightly modified recipe, you can make your own additions and subtractions.
If you ask, butter instead of ghee? Then I prefer pure ghee to butter any day because ghee has it's own health value and gives an unbeatable taste to Nankhatais.
A non-spicy, healthy, full of refreshing veggies rice dish made from the long-grained Basmati rice, potatoes, carrots, chick peas. Microwave compatible
- A Microwave safe bowl
- 3.5 -4 Cups water
- salt to taste
- 1-2 Cups Chick Peas pre-boiled or canned, also known as Kabuli chana
- Handful Green Beans washed and cut to small pieces
- 2 Medium sized Carrots cleaned washed and cut to small pieces
- 1 Medium Potatoes washed peeled and cut to small pieces
- 1.5 cups long grain basmati rice washed well & soaked- keep aside
- A Large Non-stick WOK
- 2 Tbsps. Cow's Ghee/ Clarified butter Cow's Ghee/ or quantity to liking
- 1 tsp. Sesame oil adding a little oil to ghee stops the ghee from burning
- 1 tsp. Cumin seeds / Jeera
- 1 tsp. Mustard seeds / Rai
- 3 Green Chillies slit vertically, non-spicy, we don't want chilli rice!
- 1 Cup Cilantro / Coriander / Kothmir/Hara Dhania - washed and finely chopped also known as Kothmir/Hara Dhania - washed and finely chopped
- 7-8 Shallots peeled, washed & cut
- 2 BellPeppers/ Capsicum- washed washed, very large, deseeded & cut to small pieces
- 2 Garlic cloves crushed and chopped
- 1 Onions medium size, peeled, washed & cut
- 1 Onions medium size, peeled, washed & cut
- 2 BellPeppers/ Capsicum- washed very large, deseeded & cut to small pieces
Method (For the Microwave) In the microwave safe bowl, drain water & throw in the rice Add rest of the ingredients. Add salt to taste.
Add 3.5 -4 Cups Water. Microwave till done.
My microwave on a high power took 22 minutes.
Once done remove from microwave & let cool.
FOR THE WOK:- While the rice was in the Microwave I finished rest of the cutting/chopping
Place the wok on a low flame Let it heat well Add 1tsp. Cumin/ Jeera ,1 tsp. Mustard seeds/ Raai NOW add Cow's Ghee/ Clarified butter or quantity to liking & sesame oil let crackle
add onions saute till transluscent
Add Cilantro/Coriander/Kothmir/Hara Dhania, BellPeppers/ Capsicum & green Chillies Saute till the onions turn a fine pink- not brown
Add the microwaved rice,
taste salt, adjust
Mix well & plate well Feel the veggies taste individually although its a medley
- 1/2 Cup Green Mung beans washed well, overnight soaking works best
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup Curds/ yogurt- Plain and unflavored OR 1.5 cups Buttermilk
- 3 Tbsp. Besan /chana atta/ Chikpea flour besan
- salt to taste
- Jaggery- OR Sugar to taste
- 3 Tsp. Oil of choice
- 2 stick Cinnamon/ taj/ dalchini
- 3-4 Black Peppercorns/ mari
- 1 piece Fresh Ginger/ Adrak / aadu crushed
- 2 tsp. Cumin seeds / Jeera
- 3 Pinches Asafoetida
- 3-4 Cloves/laung/laving
- Green Chillies to liking
- 1/2 tsp. Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp. Fenugreek / Methi Seeds
- 2 tsp. Mustard seeds / Rai
- 8-10 curry leaves
- A Whisk
- Pressure Cooker
On MEDIUM flame put the pressure cooker Pour OIL
Put cloves, pepper corns, cinnamon and Allow to crackle
lower Gas flame, Add Methi, Mustard & Jeera Allow to crackle
Add Asafoetida, Curry Leaves, Green Chilli & crushed piece of Ginger
Add Turmeric and immediately add green Mung, Curd, Chikpea flour & Water Whisk vigorously to dissolve Chikpea flour lumps Add Salt & Jaggery Whisk again
Pressure cook with pressure up to 3-4 whistles if Mung soaked overnight Taste & adjust taste by adding jaggery and / or salt
Curried Mung beans and Steaming hot Plain rice are a great meal combo on a winter evening or after a long day in the office