Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Paneer with Pearl Onions

This is a dry dish that can be served with Dal and Curry Dishes.

400gms - Paneer
1 ¼ cups - Pearl Onions, fresh or frozen

1 medium - Red Bell Pepper, cut in long and thin strips

1” piece - Ginger, finely chopped

1 tsp - Cumin seeds
4 tbsp - Tomato puree
4 tbsp - Vegetable oil
2 - Dried Red Chillies
1 tbsp - Coriander seeds
1 tbsp - Dried Fenugreek Leaves (Kasuri Methi)

1/2 tsp - Sugar
1 tsp - Salt
2 tbsp - Milk / Heavy cream
¼ cup - Cilantro leaves, finely chopped

Heat a pan and add 2 tbsp of oil to it. Wash the paneer and pat dry with a paper towel. Place the whole cube in the pan and fry it on all sides till it is a little brown in color.

Let it cool on a chopping board for 5 minutes. Cut it into about 1/2” x 2.5” in size. Thaw the pearl onions, if using frozen ones. Quick frying it in whole cubes saves time and also gives the paneer a crisp edge.

In the same pan heat rest of the oil and add the cumin seeds. Let it crackle and then add the chopped ginger. Fry for 2 minutes.

Now add the pearl onions and fry it till it is slightly brown. Now add the red bell peppers and cook till they are soft. In a mortar and pestle, crush the red chillies and coriander seeds till they are a little coarse. Add it to the pan and fry it for 2 minutes to fragrant the dish. Now add the tomato puree and cook till the raw taste is gone.

Slightly crush the dried fenugreek leaves by hand and sprinkle it on the mixture in the pan. Add the paneer pieces to the mixture and cook it for 5 minutes. Add the milk or cream as per your preference and cook for 2 more minutes.

Sprinkle the chopped coriander leaves and  serve with naan, roti or parantha. You can also serve it as a side dish with any curry and raita.

Semolina and Almond Halwa

A quick dessert that can be made at any time of the day. Usually made only of semolina, this recipe adds the nutty flavor of almonds.

1 cup - Semolina (Sooji)
½ cup - Almond Meal
¼ cup - Coconut Powder
½ cup - Ghee
¼ cup - Brown Sugar
3/4 cup - White Sugar
3 ¼ cup - Water
6 pods - Cardamom, slightly crushed

8-10 - Saffron strands
¼ cup - Almond, sliced
¼ cup - Dark raisins

Heat a small sauce pan, add water, brown sugar, white sugar and the saffron strands. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes and keep aside. 

Heat a large pan and dry roast the semolina and almond meal on low heat by stirring continuously to avoid burning, till it becomes slightly brown in color. Now add the ghee and crushed cardamom pods to the mix in the pan. Continue to stir on low to medium heat. The mixture will become more brownish in color and will emit a roasted aroma in about 12- 15 minutes.

Add the coconut powder, raisins and sliced almonds and keep stirring it for another 3 minutes. To avoid splattering remove the pan from the heat and add the water gently in small quantities to the semolina and stir constantly. Place back on heat when done.

The mixture will pull away from the sides of the pan and will not be runny anymore. It will look lumpy as semolina will absorb all the water. Serve it warm or at room temperature.