Thursday, August 30, 2012

Paneer Makhani

Serves 6

This is a mild and buttery dish with a hint of spices. The gravy is warm and rich. Surely, one of the most celebrated classic paneer entree. You can also add tofu or chicken to the makhani gravy instead of paneer.

3 cloves Garlic
2 tbsp Ginger

2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 small Onions, cut into large chunks
6 medium Tomatoes, cut into quarters
2 tsp Salt
3 tbsp Butter
1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
3 tbsp Tomato Paste
450gms Paneer cut into small cubes
1 tbsp Fenugreek Leaves, Kasuri Methi
1 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp Green Cardamom Powder
2 tsp Sugar
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
2 tbsp Cilantro Leaves

Grind garlic and ginger together into a fine paste by adding a little water.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a non stick pan. Add onions, tomatoes and salt. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Grind it into a fine paste. Set aside.

In a large non stick pan, heat the butter and 1 tbsp oil. Add garlic and ginger paste. Fry for 2 minutes. Mix in red chili powder and cook for 1 minute making sure not to burn it. Add tomato paste and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove this pan from the heat and using a strainer, pass through the tomato mixture over the pan. This will remove the skin and seeds of the tomatoes from the mixture. Add 1 tsp salt and cover the lid. Cook it for 20 minutes.

Add fenugreek leaves, garam masala, green cardamom powder, sugar and cream. Mix it well and add the paneer cubes to the gravy. Cook it for 3 more minutes and sprinkle cilantro leaves and serve with plain rice or naan.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Kheer (Indian Rice Pudding)

Once you have had kheer, there is no going back. This ultimate Indian dessert is one of the most popular items on any Indian restaurant's menu. It is made on special occasions like birthdays and festivals. Long tradition is also attached with this dish. At times, newly wed brides make this as their first recipe in the new kitchen and in return receive blessings from the elders of the family.

The recipe is on Fox news website.

Kheer can be either very elaborately made when cooked for hours or it can be a simple cardamom flavored one garnished with saffron and nuts.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Gajar Matar Pulao

Serves 6

Peas and carrot pulao is almost like a complete meal. Made mostly at lunch time over weekends, this combines the goodness of carrots and peas along with rice. Seasoned with cinnamon and bay leaf, this is a one pot meal that will please the eyes as well as the palate. For me this dish also brings back memories of hot summer vacations which I spent at my grandma's house. She used to make this pulao in the afternoon, and we gobbled it up sitting cross legged on the cool marble floor. It was sheer bliss eating it with sliced cucumber salad and mango pickle while a gentle breeze wafted from the portable air cooler.

1 1/2 cup Basmati Rice
2 tbsp Ghee (clarified butter)
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
3 Bay Leaves
6 Cloves, slightly pounded
10 Black Peppercorns, crushed coarsely
2 Cinnamon Sticks
2 pods Black Cardamoms, slightly pounded
4 pods Green Cardamoms, slightly pounded
2 tbsp Ginger
1 medium Onion, thinly sliced
3 medium Carrots, small chunks
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 1/2 cup Frozen Green Peas, thawed

Soak the rice in some water for 20 minutes. Drain and keep aside.
Heat the ghee in a heavy bottomed large pan. Add the cumin seeds, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, black and green cardamoms. Let them crackle for a minute then combine ginger and onion and cook till slightly brown in color.

Mix in carrots and cook for 3 minutes. Add the rice and saute it over medium low heat for 2 minutes. Sprinkle the salt and garam masala and add 3 cups water. Cover with a lid and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Add the peas and fluff the rice with a fork. Cover with a lid and cook for another 10 minutes. Set aside and leave the cover on for 5 minutes. Serve with raita and mango pickle.