Monthly Archives: July 2013

In a hotel for a few days – moving to a diff state

Sorry guys will be taking a break from cooking for a few days as I am in the process of moving. Can’t wait to set up and be back in my own kitchen again. More recipes to come! 🙂

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Saag Paneer – Spinach with Cottage Cheese

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Ingredients:
1 chopped Onion
2-3 chopped Tomatoes
1 pack of Frozen Spinach
1 pack of Paneer (I use Nanak brand) cut into cubes (you can use the fried paneer as well).
3 chopped Green Chilies
¼ tsp of Cumin Seeds
½ tsp of Ginger and Garlic Paste
½ tsp of Red Chili Powder
¼ tsp of Cumin Powder
¼ tsp of Coriander Powder
¼ tsp of Turmeric Powder

¼ tsp of Garam Masala
Salt to Taste
1- 2 tbs of Cream (Optional)
2 tbs of Oil

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Method:
Defrost the frozen Spinach in the microwave.
In a pan add the oil and Cumin seeds. Let the seeds sputter.
Add the chopped Onions and coo till translucent.
Add the chopped Tomatoes and cook till soft.
Add the Green Chilies.
Add the Ginger and Garlic paste and cook till raw smell disappears.
Add the Spinach and mix well.
Cook for a couple of minutes and transfer the spinach mix to a food processor and puree. (This step is optional)
Place the puree mixture back in the pan and cook for a few minutes.
Add the remaining spices and cook for a few minutes.
Add the Paneer pieces and cook for a few minutes.
Add the salt to taste and mix well be careful not to break the pieces.
Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, till the mixture is well absorbed of the spices and salt.
Add the cream.
Serve Hot.

Do not cover the spinach while cooking, as it will change the color of the spinach from bright green to a darker green.

Happy Eating 🙂

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Spinach Vada Pakoras

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Ingredients:
1 cup Urad Dal (Soaked overnight)
½ an Onion
1 Carrot
½ cup Spinach
½ cup Cilantro
2 – 3 Green Chilies
¼ tsp Red Chili Powder
Salt to Taste
½ cup water

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Method:
In a food processor grind the Urad dal, adding very little water.
Less than ½ cup of water, it shouldn’t end up watery, we want a paste like consistency.
Add the chopped vegetables and mix in with the paste well.
Let it sit for a couple of hours.
Take 1 tbs of the mixture and add it to the hot oil to deep fry.

Eat hot with Mint or Coconut Chutney.

Serve as a side item.

Happy eating ☺

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Ganji (Kanji – Rice Porridge)

So this is a lot like Khichidi (wet Khichidi) a mix of rice and dal. It’s easy to digest and can be made spicy or not based on your individual preference.

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Ingredients:
2 tbs Oil
1/4 tsp Cumin Seeds
2-3 Bay Leaves
3 Cloves
4-6 Peppercorns
1 Cinnamon Stick
1/2 an Onion chopped (you can use a whole)
1-2 Tomatoes chopped
2 Green Chilies
1 cup Minced Meat (Optional)
1/2 tsp Ginger and Garlic Paste (if you are using meat add 1 tsp)
1 cup Rice
1/2 cup Moong Dal (Golden Gram Lentil)
1/4 tsp of Red Chili Powder
1/4 tsp of Turmeric Powder
1/4 tsp of Cumin Powder
1/4 tsp of Coriander Powder
5-6 cups of Water
Salt to taste
1 tbs of Lemon Juice
A pinch of Kasoori Methi (Fenugreek Leaves)
Mint leaves and Cilantro leaves for Garnish

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Method:
In a Pressure Cooker add the Oil, Cumin Seeds, Bay Leaves, Peppercorn, Cloves and the Cinnamon Stick.
Once the seeds start sputtering add the chopped Onions fry till Golden brown.
Add the chopped tomatoes and cook till they become soft.
Add the Green Chilies and Ginger, Garlic paste.
Cook for a minute.
Add the meat now if using and let it cook for a few minutes.
Add the rice and dal and mix well.
Add the spices (Red Chili, Turmeric, Cumin and Coriander powder).
Cook for a few minute while stirring as you don’t want the rice to get stuck on the bottom.
Add 3 cups of water and salt.
Close the pressure cooker lid and cook on high for 3 whistles.
Lower the flame to low and set aside for 5-10 minutes.
Turn off flame and let the steam escape on its own.
When you open the pressure cooker lid the rice dal mix will be done.

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Mix it will to make it pasty.
Add another 2-3 cups of water as per your desire.
Extra salt.
Crush the Kasoori Methi in your palms and add it.
Add the lemon juice.
Mix well and bring to boil.
Garnish with Mint leaves and Cilantro leaves.
Serve hot in a bowl with side item.

I like to add a spoon of Mint Chutney to my dish before eating as it gives it a nice kick in flavor. I find it too bland without it.

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Ramadan 2013

So Ramadan (a month of fasting from Sunrise to Sunset has started this month) and like in most South Indian households (Chennai specifically), we eat a lot of Ganji (Kanji, Congee, Rice Porridge). With some side items… Today was our first iftar (Time to eat at Sunset) and I made ganji along with some Spinach Vada Pakoras and Parmesan Crusted Tandoori Chicken. Ganji is going to be a staple for the rest of this month however my side dishes are going to vary. So hopefully I can get as creative as I did today for the rest of the month 🙂 Happy Cooking and Have a Blessed  month of Ramadan! 

Parmesan Crusted Tandoori Chicken

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Ingredients:
12 Pieces of Chicken legs
2-3 tbs of Plain Greek Yogurt (you can use regular yogurt)
½ tsp of Red Chili Powder
¼ tsp of Turmeric Powder
¼ tsp of Cumin Powder
¼ tsp of Coriander Powder
1 tsp of Tandoori Masala (any brand would work I use Rajah because of the bright red color)
½ tsp of Black Pepper
1 pack of Kraft’s Parmesan Seasoning Blends – Hearty Tuscan Herbs (I only made 4 pieces of chicken using this recipe so I used only ½ the pack)
Salt to taste

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Method:
In a large bowl wash the chicken and make slits on the pieces.
Add the yogurt, spices and salt and mix well.
Let it marinate for half an hour.

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Place an aluminum foil on an oven safe tray and use a bit of oil to spread over the foil.
Place the Chicken pieces on the tray and place in the oven.
Bake at 350° for 30 minutes (turning once in between).
Remove from Oven and squeeze ½ a lemon on the Chicken pieces.
Serve hot.

Happy Chewing ☺

(Note: If you just want to make plain Tandoori Chicken follow the same recipe but do not add the Parmesan Seasoning blend)

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Dal Makhani – Creamy Black Lentils

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Ingredients:
1 cup Whole Urad Dal (Black gram Lentil with skin on)
1 can Dark Red Kindey Beans
1 can Tomato Puree
½ tsp Ginger and Garlic Paste
½ tsp Butter
¼ cup of Dal Makhani Masala (I prefer M.D.H)
¼ tsp Red Chili Powder (you can add less as per taste)
A pinch of Turmeric Powder
¼ tsp of Coriander Powder
¼ tsp of Cumin Powder
2 tbs of Cream
Salt to Taste
2-3 cups of water

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Method:
Soak the Urad dal overnight.
Boil the Urad dal till the dal pieces get bigger and the skin starts to pull apart. (The dal will be soft when pressed between your fingers).
Add the can of Rajma.

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In a separate pan add the can of tomato puree, Dal Makhani Masala, the remaining Spices, 1/2 tsp of Ginger and Garlic Paste and Salt to taste.
Cook for a few minutes.
Drain the water out of the dal and add the dal to the puree.
Mix well and add water to desired consistency.
I added 2 cups of water.
Bring to Boil.
Add the Butter and the Cream to the dal and cook for another few minutes.
Top with cream to garnish.

Serve hot with Rice, Roti or Naan.

Happy Cooking 🙂

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Bhindi Masala – Okra Curry

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Ingredients for gravy:
1 tbs of Oil
½ chopped Onion
3 chopped Tomatoes
2 sliced green chilies
1 tsp Ginger and Garlic Paste
¼ tsp Cumin Seeds
¼ tsp Mustard Seeds
3-4 Curry Leaves
¼ tsp Red Chili Powder
¼ tsp Coriander Powder
¼ tsp Cumin Powder
¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Mango Powder
Salt to taste
1 cup of Water

Ingredients for frying Okra:
1 cup chopped Okra (I used around 25 pieces)
A pinch of Red Chili Powder (just a sprinkle)
A pinch of Turmeric Powder (just a sprinkle)
A pinch of salt
A tbs of Oil

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Method to fry the Okra: (This step is necessary to remove the stickiness from the okra).
Wash okra and place on a paper towel to let it dry out.
Okra must be dry before cutting it.
If okra is still wet use a paper towel to wipe down the vegetable.
Use a dry board to cut the okra into pieces.
While cutting into pieces if your knife gets to sticky keep cleaning it with a paper towel. (Be careful not to cut yourself ☺)
Heat the oil in a non-stick pan.
Add the chopped okra with the spices and salt.
Fry till the sides of the okra start getting brown and the stickiness is almost gone.
(Use a flat spatula to turn the okra be careful not to break it.)
You will start smelling a nice aroma of the cooked okra.

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Method for the gravy:
Heat oil in a pan, add the Cumin and Mustard Seeds.
Add the curry leaves.
Let the seeds sputter and add the chopped Onions and fry till they turn translucent.
Add the sliced green chilies.
Add the Tomatoes and cook till soft.
Add 1 tsp of Ginger and Garlic Paste.
Cook for a few minutes.

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Once the tomato gravy starts letting out a bit of the oil.
Add the almost cooked okra pieces to it.
Add all the spices (Red Chili Powder, Coriander Powder, Cumin Powder, Turmeric Powder) and the salt and mix well. (DO NOT ADD THE MANGO POWDER AT THIS POINT!)
Add one cup of water
Let the mixture cook till the water is almost dried up stirring occasionaly.
Be careful not to break the okra pieces.
Add the mango powder (do not add the mango powder before the okra is well done)
Simmer on low for another 5 minutes or till the gravy reaches a consistency of your choice.
Serve hot with Rice or Roti.

Happy Cooking ☺

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Zucchini in a Spicy Tomato Gravy

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Ingredients:
2 large Zucchini’s
1 chopped Onion
3 chopped Tomatoes
1 Potato (optional)
1 tsp Ginger and Garlic Paste
¼ tsp Cumin Seeds
¼ tsp Mustard Seeds
3-4 Curry Leaves
2 chopped Green Chilies
1-2 tbs of Oil
¼ tsp Red Chili Powder
¼ tsp Coriander Powder
¼ tsp Cumin Powder
¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
¼ tsp Mango Powder
1 tsp Lemon Juice
Salt to taste

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Method:
Heat oil in a pan, add the Cumin and Mustard Seeds.
Add the curry leaves.
Let the seeds sputter and add the chopped Onions and fry till they turn golden brown.
Add the Tomatoes and cook till soft.
Add 1 tsp of Ginger and Garlic Paste.
Add the chopped Green Chilies
Cook for a few minutes.
Add the chopped Potatoes and let it cook for some time.
The Potatoes needs to cook for a while as they take longer to cook.
Add the Zucchini when the potatoes are half way cooked.
Add the spices and salt and mix well.
Add 1 cup of water and simmer on medium with the pot covered.
Once the vegetables are done cooking and are soft.
Add the mango powder (do not add the mango powder before the potatoes are well done).
Add the lemon juice.
Simmer on low for another 5 minutes or till the gravy reaches a consistency of your choice.
Serve hot with Rice or Roti.

Happy Cooking ☺

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