Archive for the ‘Dinner’ Category

Pindi Channa/Chick peas saute in Indian spices

Pindi Channa/Chick peas saute in Indian spices

We ate this delicious dish of chhole at my sister-in-law’s place , when we were visiting home early this year. Obviously, I asked her for the recipe. It was a simple recipe, using our usual ingredients – garlic, ginger and some indian spices all cooked together with chhole. She served this pindi channa with hot pooris, all puffed up and straight out from the kadai along with fresh homemade dahi(yogurt) and punjabi mango pickle -a typical punjabi breakfast.

I always admire her cooking skills. She loves cooking and make flavorful and delicious dishes in matter of minutes. Whenever she is around, I don’t worry about food or making dishes. She takes care of everything so smoothly and deliciously.

Pindi Channa

Pindi Channa

Ingredients:

For boiling chickpeas:

  • 1 1/2 cups of dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • 1 tea bag
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 black cardamoms
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 star anise
  • salt to taste

For tadka:

  • 2 tbsp extra light olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 green chill, defined and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 2 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 2 tbsp  chhole masala
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste

Method:

  • Soak dried chick peas overnight in enough water to cover the legumes.
  • Drain the soaked chickpeas and rinse it once or twice. Add enough water to cover it by an inch and add all the spices along with the tea bag. Pressure cook for 2-3 whistles or cook in a salted water until the chick peas is soft and tender.
  • Once done, drain all the water from chana and discard the whole spices and keep it aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds, bay leaves and let it get brown, add the ginger garlic paste and fry along for a minute. Add rest of the spices and cook for 3-4 minutes without burning the masala.
  • Add the boiled chickpeas and stir well so that everything is evenly coated with masala. Let it cook for 5 minutes and remove from heat. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and chopped onions. Serve along with poori, paratha or just as a snack, in either way it’s delicious!
Pindi Channa

Pindi Channa

Saag Pulao

Saag Pulao

We went to blueberry picking, something I have been looking forward to do this summer.This way we are getting the freshest fruits at its peak, and nothing beats the flavor of a juicy, sun-ripened berries right off the plant, right?

We picked a pound of blueberries and 2 pints of blackberries. We probably should have gotten more, which I always think after buying the stuff and riding back home.We already ate half a pint of blueberries riding back home, and the rest, I think my going to make muffins and will also use in making smoothies. We loved the farm, it was so beautiful and scenic – covered in various fruits and vegetable gardens. Now I know from where to pick apples this fall..The best part was for my little one, who was happy to see little and big chickens out there. He didn’t want to pick any berries, just wanted to sit and talk to the chickens..:)

In the evening, I did not have the mood to cook something elaborate and made this quick and easy saag pulao for dinner.

Remember my Makke De Roti/Sarsoon da Saag post, I had some cooked saag left to use, so made this pulao with that. Alternatively you can use spinach leaves,blanch the spinach leaves in a boiling water for 4-5 minutes and drain immediately and immerse in a bowl of ice water.Squeeze out the excess water, and puree it in blender until smooth. And then use. Use about 1 1/2 cups of spinach leaves.

We had this pulao with yogurt, papads and onion salad on the side – one good comforting meal. So, here’s what I did to make this easy, delicious one pot meal.

Saag Pulao

Saag Pulao

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice
  • 3/4  cup cooked greens/saag
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 no’s black cardamom
  • 3 no’s cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies, devined and chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 10-12 whole cashew nuts. lightly roasted in oil
  • 2 tbsp light olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • water to cook the rice
Method:
  • Wash rice in several changes of tap water, drain and keep it aside for 20-30 minutes.
  • Heat oil on medium heat in cooker. When the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds, bay leaves, caradmom, cloves, cinnamon and star anise. Saute them first until lightly golden brown.
  •  Then add chopped onions, followed by green chillies, ginger-garlic paste and sauté until onions start to brown.
  •  Now add the saag, turmeric powder, gram masala powder, salt to taste and cook for 4-5 minutes on medium heat.
  •  To this sautéed masala, add the drained basmati rice and water. Season the rice with salt and stir the whole thing well. Cover the lid and cook for 1 whistle. Wait till the pressure releases, open the lid and gently mix the rice using a fork and add the roasted cashews.
  •  Serve with yogurt, papad and pickle on side. Enjoy!
Saag Pulao

Saag Pulao

Moth Sprout Beans Curry

Posted: July 22, 2011 by incidentalcooksuman in Curries, Dal/Lentils soup, Dinner, Indian Food
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Moth sprout beans curry was very often made in our home.The one thing I like about this sabzi does not need any special ingredients.Once you plan the sprouting routine in advance it’s a easiest meal to put together, so it’s perfect  for those days when you don’t feel like having any veggies. I have adapted my mom’s recipe here which is super simple and extremely delicious. Mom used to make this sabzi with different sprouted beans like green moong beans, white and green dried-sprouted peas and whatever she can think of… 🙂 . Really you can use any kind of sprouted beans or combination of all. It’s all up to you to make it delicious and healthy at the same time.

Mom makes one drier version and one with plenty of gravy. Usually she serves the drier version  for sunday breakfast with jam, butter and bread. It is healthy, full of protein and has a high nutritional value. I like both the version. Gravy one is served hot with roti for lunch or dinner. It is really hard to believe that sometimes some simple dishes are so delicious and addictive that you can’t stop eating it. Whenever mom makes this and if I am at home I will start tasting this one bowl at time. Make this for yourself and enjoy a hearty bowl of healthy bliss dinner!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups matki or moth beans,  sprouted
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 1-inch ginger, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 potato, diced
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoon fresh grated coconut
  • handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • To sprout, soak the moth/matki beans overnight in plenty of water. Next day, drain the water, rinse the beans and keep all the beans in a clean cotton cloth and tie the cloth lightly. Keep it in warm place under a basket or any heavy dish. Don’t let the cloth dry, spray water to supply moisture necessary for sprout growth. Usually within a day, you will see nice, long sprouts appears. Before using this for sabzi wash sprouts thoroughly through running water.
  • Grind together sesame seeds and half of the chopped onions to a fine paste.
  • Heat the oil in a pressure cooker or in any large sauce pan with a lid. Add cumin seeds and dried red chillies and wait for them to get lightly brown.
  • Add chopped onions, crushed ginger-garlic, green chillies, onion-sesame paste and cook until onions are translucent.
  • Add tomatoes, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder, red chilli powder and salt to taste and cook covered until the oil separates.
  • Add the potatoes and cook covered for 5-6 minutes.
  • Add the sprouted  moth/matki beans and cook covered until the beans are tender but not mushy about 20-25 minutes or so.
  • Add the grated coconut and cook for another 1 or 2 minutes.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves, some onions and lemon.
  • Serve piping hot and enjoy  this with roti.

Palak Paneer

Posted: July 18, 2011 by incidentalcooksuman in Curries, Dinner, Indian Food
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Growing up I was not a big fan of green leafy vegetable. But now being a mom I have to eat this veggies in order for my son to obtain the taste and liking for the same.  And I think I also started liking this veggies as an adult. Hubby loves spinach and our recent trip to farmer’s market and with the amount of fresh spinach I brought, brings me to this dish.

Palak Paneer is again the most famous vegetarian dish. Palak is nothing but the hindi term for spinach and paneer is soft Indian cottage cheese. This rich and healthy delicacy consists of small soft paneer cubes cooked in palak based gravy and some indian masala. I don’t have to tell you how healthy it is, if you are on diet this is the best guilt free dish to enjoy.I like to make my own paneer but you are most welcome to get the same from Indian grocery store.

Like most Indian recipes, there are different ways to make a single dish. Palak paneer traditionally made with heavy cream and butter/ghee. But I have made this little more healthy and didn’t use any cream or butter. This recipe is easy, simple and yet nutritious.

Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer

Ingredients:

  • 2 bunches of Palak (spinach)
  • 1 1/2 cups paneer, cut in small cubes
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon crushed tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 green chillies
  • 1 inch fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon tawa masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried mango powder (amchur powder)
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt to taste
Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer

Method:

  • Blanch the spinach leaves in a large pot of boiling salted water for 2 minutes only. Drain immediately and immerse in a bowl of ice water.
  • Squeeze out the excess water, and churn it in a blender until smooth and fine puree is obtained. Though water is not needed but if it does add it in small quantities. Once done keep it aside.
  • In a pestle, crush garlic, ginger and green chillies to a fine paste.
  • Heat oil in a pan and fry the cubed paneer until lightly golden brown on all the sides. Remove from pan and keep it on paper towel until needed.
  • In the same pan add the remaining two tablespoon of oil, add cumin seeds and let it get brown.
  • Add chopped onions followed by garlic-ginger-green chilli paste and little salt and cook until the onions are translucent.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, garam masala, tawa masala and salt. Cook covered for 5-6 minutes on low flame.
  • Now add palak puree to the pan and little water for gravy like consistency and cook covered for 10-12 minutes more.
  • In the end before switching of the flame add fried paneer, amchur powder and mix well. Cook for 1 minute or so.
  • Serve hot with roti and enjoy!

Making dal in our home is day-to-day affair. Everyday in the afternoon, mom will make dal chawal and some sabzi for lunch. And after coming from school we used to have this meal. While working, when I used to get home for dinner, I have to have some dal chawal to complete my meal. Dal makhani is an exotic version of simple dal dish. Whenever we used to have some guests at home, this will surely be on the menu. Its something different than usual dals.

Usually dal makhani is made with whole urad dal but mom also combines small kidney beans and channa dal to make this. obviously I am going to follow the same recipe which  always taste wonderful with hot rotis and rice.

Dal Makhani

Dal Makhani

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup whole urad dal
  • 3 tablespoon small kidney beans/Rajma
  • 2 tablespoon bengal gram(Channa dal)
  • 2 whole dried red chillies
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 3 tablespoon crushed tomato
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 2 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
Dal Makhani

Dal Makhani

Method:

  • Soak all of the lentils (urad, rajma and channa dal) in water for 6 hours, or preferably overnight.
  • Drain the water and pressure cook the lentils in about 2 cups of water, salt to taste for 3 whistles.
  • Let the pressure cooker cool down and then open the lid, see if the rajma is soft and cooked throughly.Mash the lentils lightly with the back of a ladle.
  • Heat oil in a pan over medium high heat, add cumin seeds, red chilli and  when they begin to change color, add chopped onion, garlic, ginger and green chillies and saute until the onions are translucent.
  • Add crushed tomatoes, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder, salt to taste and cook for 3-4 minutes more.
  • Add the cooked dal along with the cooking liquid. Add some water if the dal is too thick.
  • Cook on low heat for about 2-3 minutes. Add the cream and mix everything.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves to serve.
Dal Makhani

Dal Makhani

Paneer Jalfrezi

Posted: May 4, 2011 by incidentalcooksuman in Curries, Dinner, Indian Food
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Jalfrezi dish has its origins in Bengal region of India at the time of the British Raj. The name comes indirectly from Bengali jhāl, spicy food, and Urdu parhezī, suitable for a diet.  Jalfrezi is not a dish it is a popular cooking method. It even has made into Oxford English dictionary.

Jalfrezi is a medium spiced, stir fried dish cooked with veggies, tomato-based sauce and some spices. This is also very popular dish served in every Indian restaurants back home.You can enjoy this with any kind of Indian bread or with rice.

I never cooked with paneer much, but recently I have tried Paneer Makhanwala which hubby and my son enjoyed a lot. So, again I made some fresh paneer the other day and was thinking what else can I make with this. And then hubby said do we have peppers, we can make paneer jalfrezi with this. And I always have colored peppers in my fridge, hence made this for our dinner and needless to say we loved this with some ajwain parathas. My son loved both peppers and paneer, so this is perfect for his portion of  healthy veggies and paneer is excellent source of protein. WIN…WIN… 🙂

Paneer Jalfrezi

Paneer Jalfrezi

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups paneer, cubed
  • 1/4 cup orange bell pepper, cut in big chunks
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, cut in big chunks
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut in big chunks
  • 1/2  red onion, cut in big chunks
  • 1 large white onion, grated or puree
  • 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1  1/2 teaspoon chilli garlic sauce
  • 1 teaspoon tandoori masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt to taste
Paneer Jalfrezi

Paneer Jalfrezi

Method:

  • Heat oil in a pan over medium high heat, carefully add onions and cook until it slightly turns brown in color.
  • Add chilli garlic sauce, crushed tomatoes, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder, tandoori masala and salt to taste. Cook on medium heat for about 5-6 minutes.
  • Once you see the oil separates out from the sauce, add all the peppers and onion and stir fry for 3-4 minutes.
  • Then add paneer and lightly mix everything together.
  • Serve hot with paratha or roti. Enjoy!!
Paneer Jalfrezi

Paneer Jalfrezi

Naan

Posted: April 29, 2011 by incidentalcooksuman in Bread, Dinner, Indian Food
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Naan is a thick flat indian bread, which is cooked in a tandoor. Tandoor is a clay oven used in cooking and baking, this commonly used in South and middle eastern Asian countries. The heat for tandoor is traditionally generated by a charcoal fire or wood fire, inside the tandoor itself and the food is cooked exposing to live-fire. It really gives a wonderful and rustic smell to the food.

Naan is typically made by mixing all-purpose flour with salt, yeast culture and yogurt to make a smooth, elastic dough. Every Indian restaurants serves this flat bread with different exotic side dishes.

Naan

Naan

I wanted to make naan at home since long, but some or the other way it didn’t happen. So, when I saw this posting at Soma’s blog, I couldn’t resist any further.. Hence decided to make some naan for ourselves.

Naan

Naan

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 warm water
  • 1 teaspoon dry active yeast
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 1/2 tablespoon thick yogurt

Method:

  •  Mix active dry yeast and honey in lukewarm water and let it sit for 5-7 minutes or until the mixture becomes frothy.
  •  Add salt and baking soda to the flour and mix well. Add the oil and yogurt  to the flour and combine everything together.After incorporating the ingredients you will have a crumbly dough.
  •  Now slowly add the water/yeast mixture and knead the dough until it is smooth and soft. Coat a big bowl with olive oil, drop in the dough, and turn it to oil it all over. Seal the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour.
  •  Punch down the risen dough and knead briefly. Gently press and stretch it into an evenly flat round and divide the dough into 5 equal triangles.
  •  Brush the top slightly with oil and keep aside to rise once again.
  •  When you ready to serve, heat a heavy bottom flat pan over high heat.Roll each slice in triangle-shaped bread and brush one side with water and place the water side down on to the skillet.
  • Cover with a lid immediately. You will see the top of the naan bubbling because of the steam getting gathering inside. After a minute or so, flip naan to other side and let it cook for few seconds and then with help of tongs expose the side to direct flame and cook for half a second or so or until you get some desired burned flames marks.
  • Brush butter on the naan and sprinkle some nigella seeds and finely chopped cilantro leaves on top.  Keep it in a foil lined with kitchen towel. Cover the foil and follow the same method to complete the rest of the slices.
  • Serve hot with  dish of your choice. Enjoy!!
Naan

Naan