Posts Tagged ‘Vegetarian’

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!

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Yesterday, when we were just sitting and thinking what to make for dinner or should we go out to eat. Then hubby dear suggested to make some aloo paratha. Hubby loves any kind of stuffed paratha especially aloo paratha. Paratha with some yogurt and pickle…ahh, sounds bliss to me too!

But then I didn’t wanted to make same plain stuffed paratha. Hence this idea came into my mind to use some mint leaves and cucumber. Cucumber, why?? I saw my dear friend adding grated cucumber to thalipeeth (will have that recipe for you soon) which I liked. So I kneaded the dough with this two ingredients. As this was my first attempt, adding mint leaves to the paratha, I wasn’t sure about the end result. But as soon as I made one paratha and give it my son and saw him eating I Knew it must be really good and then followed his comment, ‘yummy mama’. Incidently that is the only word he knows to say after having some food, well I will take it.. 🙂  . But really the parathas were so good that you can eat just as is without any pickle or yogurt on side.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated seedless cucumber
  • 2  1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 2 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 inch ginger grated
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds plus 1 more tablespoon for sprinkling
  • 2 green chillies( you can adjust according to your taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil

For potato filling:

  • 1 medium Idaho potato
  • 2 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 1 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 cup chopped white onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried mango powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oil
  • salt to taste

Method:

  • In a large mixing bowl combine flour with yogurt, grated cucumber, garlic, green chilli, ginger, sesame seeds, turmeric powder, coriander powder and olive oil. Knead it into a soft dough by adding little water. Once done keep the dough aside covered for 30 minutes or so.
  • Meanwhile pressure cook potato, peel and mash the same.
  • Heat oil over medium high heat, add onions, garlic, green chillies. Cook for 2 minutes. Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and salt to taste and cook for another 1 minutes or until the raw smell of the spices disappears.
  • Add the mashed potatoes and mango powder to the masala and mix well and keep it aside.
  • Divide the dough into ball-sized portions and roll between your hands till they are smooth and without cracks.
  • Take this ball sized dough and make a small pouch to fill the stuffing and gently close the pouch by joining all the sides together.
  • Press this stuffed pouch in between your palms to flatten it,  and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top and roll it into circle about 5-6 inch in diameter.
  • Heat the griddle and fry the paratha by glazing the oil on the surface of the paratha. Repeat this for the other side of paratha too.
  • The paratha is done when both the side is golden brown.
  • Serve  with yogurt and pickles of your choice.

Memorial day weekend was full of fun, we were visiting our friends place in Ohio for a week. Our memorial day started early friday and we reached there around midnight. Even after a long drive as soon as we saw them we all were fully charged and ready for a long night talk. Even my two-year old does not wanted go to bed. We chatted the whole night almost till the sunrise. Then on memorial day we went for a day trip to an island in Lake Erie and enjoyed day of fun and jet skiing.

Weekend is over and after coming home it was so difficult to go in kitchen and cook something. My friend had made incredibly delicious dishes every day and pampering us with everything. It was like I have visited home and eating all delicious foods made by my mom… Just bliss!!

I still have not cooked anything so far, this dish is one that I made earlier.

Stuffed pepper or more precisely in Indian term Bharva mirch is one of my all time comfort dish, hubby loves this too. This is another one of those dish which looks like they take a lot of time and effort to put together but it is very easy. There are different variation to this recipes but traditionally this is stuffed with mashed potatoes which is seasoned with some indian spices and herbs. And you’ve got yourself a perfect, healthy and delicious side dish to serve along with roti or rice.

Ingredients:

For stuffing:

  • 1 large Idaho potato
  • 3 medium-sized green bell peppers
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  •  1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  •  1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  •  2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  •  2 tablespoon white onion
  • 1 green chilli finely chopped
  •  1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  •  1 teaspoon coriander powder
  •  1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  •  1/4 teaspoon raw mango powder
  •  handful of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  •  Salt to taste

For Masala:

  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
  • salt to taste

Method:

  • Wash the green peppers well and pat dry with paper towel. Cut the tops off. Remove the seeds and membranes inside and make a hollow.Keep all cleaned peppers aside for later use.
  • Wash the potatoes and then boil till soft. Peel, mash roughly and keep aside for later use.
  • Heat oil in a pan on medium heat, add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and cook till spluttering stops. Now add  chopped onions, green chillies and garlic and fry till the onions turns light golden.
  • Now add turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder garam masala powder and fry for 1 minute. Add the mashed potato and mix well to blend with all the spices. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Turn off the fire, add dried mango powder and salt to taste and mix well. This will be our potato stuffing . Cool of the mixture before stuffing the peppers.
  •  Fill each green pepper to the top with the mashed potato mix. Press down and top up to ensure they are well filled.
    Heat the remaining cooking oil in a pan on a low flame. Add  the onions, garlic, green chillies and cook until the onions are soft.
  • Add crushed tomatoes, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder, cumin powder and cook for 4-5 minutes. Place the stuffed bell peppers in the pan on the masala and cook them covered on medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  •  Turn them to sides in-between so that they could get brown on all sides. Place the peppers on a serving dish carefully and drop the rest of the masala on top of it to serve.
  •  Serve this scrumptious dish along with roti..

Enjoy!!

Pesto

Posted: May 25, 2011 by incidentalcooksuman in Italian, Pasta
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Recently, we have been to farmers market and there I saw some fresh and beautiful basil leaves which was very difficult to pass by. Hence even without thinking of any recipe I have decided to buy two bunches of those fresh herbs. It was so fresh that I was in love with the sweet and pungent smell of the leaves. Immediately after coming home,I started looking for some recipes with it. Then thought the best way to use both the bunches would be making some pesto.

The word pesto derives from the Italian for pestle, pestello. Pesto is a versatile sauce, can be made in different ways using different ingredients. Traditionally it is made with basil leaves and olive oil using a mortar and pestle. I have had a pesto pasta long time ago in one of Italian restaurant. Ever since then, I wanted to make some  at home. To my surprise, this is the easiest and versatile sauce to make. You can pair this with any kind of pasta and make a light and fresh meal anytime. Also, pesto can be used in marination for veggies, fish and chicken dishes.

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  •  1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  •  2 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
  •  2 tablespoon toasted walnuts
  •  3 cloves garlic
  •  1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  •  freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method:

  • In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the pine nuts, walnuts, garlic and process for 1 minute or so.
  •  Add the fresh herbs, parmesan cheese and run until it’s a thick paste.
  •  Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the paste leaves the sides of the bowl and looks like a thick sauce.
  •  Serve, or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin-film of olive oil on top.

Kundri Rice

Posted: May 20, 2011 by incidentalcooksuman in Indian Food
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Everyone’s loves one pot meal and I am not an exception. I am always in search of delicious and easy one pot meal with minimal ingredients. So, recently while blog hopping, I came across this delicious tendali bhaat on Cinnamon n Chillies which I have bookmarked. Tendali (Ivy gourd) or Kundri is one of the most favorite veggie in our home which is very simple to make and have wonderful taste. I had a friend staying with us last week, she gave me this idea as well to make this delicious tendali rice. In a weeks time I have already made this twice and hence you can imagine how easy and tasty it is:

Ingredients:

  • 2  1/2 cups cooked basmati rice
  • 1/2 pound kundri/ivy gourd, slit in four pieces, length wise
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced
  • 4 green chillies, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 3 tablespoon tamarind pulp
  • 1/4 cup  peanuts
  • 2 tablespoon Channa dal, soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil plus 1/2 teaspoon

Method:

  • In a pan, heat one teaspoon of oil, add peanuts, fry them until they turn light brown. Remove from the pan to a plate, keep them aside.
  • In the same pan, heat another 2 tablespoon of oil over medium high heat, add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds pop, add the green chillies, soaked Channa dal and sliced onions. Stir fry until onions are lightly brown.
  •  Add the turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, garam masala powder with salt, stir.  Let it cook on medium heat for a couple of minutes.
  •  Then add the kundri/tenali/ivy gourd to the onion masala mixture. Stir and cover until the ivy gourd is cooked, but crisp.
  •  Add the tamarind pulp, stir to mix well , cover the pan and cook  until all the tamarind pulp is absorbed by the veggies.
  •  Now add the cooked basmati rice and fried peanuts to the pan and gently mix everything together.
  • Take off the heat and serve hot.

Enjoy!!

I think every one is familiar with samosa, one of the most loved and enjoyed snack of every Indian. Chaat is a street food very popular in India, there are different types of chaat. Basically chaat is a plate of savoury snack which has a base of some fried dough top with chutney and some other ingredients and masala. The common ingredients in the chaat is yogurt, tamarind chutney, green chutney, chaat masala, red chilli powder, kala namak, red chilli powder and some greens to garnish the plate. Chaat is something you can’t say no to, the name itself makes you crave for it.

Last week when we were dinning out in one of the indian restaurant, hubby ordered samosa chaat as an appetizer and it was not as good as it should be. Hence without any second thought I made this and the verdict was amazingly delicious. You can decide just looking at the pics how amazing it was!

Samosa (Click here for the recipe)

Chhole Masala Gravy ( Click here for the recipe)

Samosa Chaat

Samosa Chaat

To serve:

  • 6 samosas
  • Chhole Masala Gravy
  • Tamarind date chutney
  • Mint chutney
  • Chaat masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon black salt/kala namak
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 2 green chillies chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup yogurt and salt beaten
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup fine sev
  • Dried cranberries for garnishing
Samosa Chaat

Samosa Chaat

Method:

  • Take a serving plate, place two samosa on it, mash or poke the same lightly.
  • Pour a ladle full of chhole masala on top of samosa. Add chopped tomatoes, green chillies and onions on top.
  • Drizzle a teaspoon of mint chutney and sweet tamarind date chutney and yogurt on top of this.
  • Sprinkle black salt, red chilli powder and chaat masala.
  • Garnish with chopped mint leaves, cilantro leaves, dried cranberries and sev.
  • Serve hot!
Samosa Chaat

Samosa Chaat

Dal Pulao

Posted: May 9, 2011 by incidentalcooksuman in Indian Food
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Since childhood my body is programmed in such a way that I need to have rice once in a day. If I don’t have rice once, it feels like I didn’t had anything to eat and will start craving for some. Whenever we used to travel and after reaching home, the only food you want to have is simple dal chawal(rice).  Atleast this happens to everyone in my house.
Sometimes I don’t feel like cooking from the scratch but still wanted to have something simple which requires not much cooking and still satisfy my palate. For those days this one pot meal is perfectly fits in the menu.  This dish is simple pulao with orange lentil and some veggies. You can add or omit whatever you have in your hand and make this.Hence made this version of pulao which is truly satisfying and delicious at the same time.
Dal Pulao

Dal Pulao

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1/4 cup masoor dal
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper+green bell pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon corinader powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • salt to taste
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
Dal Pulao

Dal Pulao

Method:

  • Heat oil in a deep skillet, add cumin seeds and let it get brown.
  • Add onions, garlic, bay leaves, green chillies and cook until onions turns slight brown in color.
  • Add tomatoes, turmeric powder, carrots, coriander powder, garam masala powder and salt to taste. Cover the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Wash rice and dal together for 2-3 times in running water and then add it to the pan and mix everything together.
  • Add 2 cups of water, cover the pan and cook on medium heat untl the rice is done and all the water is evaporated.
  • In between the half way of cooking rice, add chopped pepper to the pan and mix everything and cook.
  • Once done, uncover the pan and fluff it with fork and serve hot with raita and pickle of your choice. Enjoy!!
Dal Pulao

Dal Pulao