Tawa paneer masala

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We have been eating mithai and kheer quite a lot from last one month. This is when you know the festive season has begun. It was Janmashtami yesterday, and we both were on fast. I made chenar payesh (kheer made up of paneer) as bhog and had only fruits and some sweets the whole day. For obvious reasons, we felt like having some good spicy masaledar khana. So ended up making some tawa paneer which is really so delicious and absolutely perfect for our craving.

Tawa paneer masala is a very simple and easy to put together dish. This gets ready under 30 minutes if you have some paneer in ur fridge. As the name says, this is made in a tawa. Tawa is generally used in indian homes to make phulkas or parathas. I have used my iron tawa to make this, a non stick pan can be used too. All the tawa dishes are quite famous in Mumbai and pav bhaji masala is the common ingredient that goes in all the dishes. I got to know about all these stuff only after I started cooking. My recipe for tawa paneer masala is almost similar to the masala pav recipe that I shared sometime back. One of my blogger friends Rhydhm tried my masala pav, she mentioned that she added kasuri methi to it and she quite liked it. So I have used that in this dish too and it is such a lovely addition. Thanks Rhydhm! You can check her blog and all the delicious recipes she shares here.

I have made this dish quite a lot of time and I personally like to chop the onions and tomatoes. I don’t prefer using puree or even grated tomatoes or onions for this dish. Though I have used raw paneer, you can fry them too in the same tawa. Do that before you start making the masala. You can chop/grate/puree the onions and tomatoes, refrigerate and make it just before you plan to have it. We are using good amount of tomatoes but if you want the gravy to be a little more tangy, thn add some amchoor powder or lemon juice. The dish goes really well with phulkas or even parathas.

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Ingredients:

200 gms paneer
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
1 medium green capsicum, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh garlic paste (reduce the quantity if you don’t prefer strong garlic flavor)
1 tsp fresh ginger paste
1 tbsp pav bhaji masala
1 tsp red chilly powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp kasuri methi (slightly roasted)
2 tbsp ghee/butter/oil
salt to taste

Method: 

Heat the tawa and than add oil or ghee. Let it get heated too nicely and add onions.Keep the flame low. Saute for a few seconds and add ginger garlic paste. Saute till raw smell of ginger and garlic goes away. Add tomatoes, mix, add red chilly powder, haldi and pav bhaji masala. Cook nicely till tomatoes turn soft and oil separates. You will get an amazing aroma and that is when you know your masala is cooked. Add slightly roasted and crushed kasuri methi, combine well.
At this time, add some water (start with a tbsp) as per the consistency you want. This dish is basically semi dry but a dry version can be made too. Just add water as per your requirement and add salt to taste. Mix and let it come to a boil. At last, add paneer cubes to the prepared masala and cook for 2 minutes. Mix very gently or else paneer cubes might break, make sure paneer gets coated well. Garnish with some coriander leaves, mix and done. Serve along with phulkas.


Please do try this out and share your feedback along with a picture on my Facebook page PicUrFood. I would love to hear from you. Happy weekend 🙂

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Jeera Aloo

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Me and my husband, we both love potatoes but somehow I do not make many dishes using just potatoes. A few days ago, I shared the recipe of honey chilly baby potatoes which is quite a hit at my place. After that I don’t think I prepared anything using potatoes. Potatoes comes to rescue when you are too tired or just not in a mood to cook anything. Make parathas or ras wali aloo ki sabzi or just use them as a binding agent. Refrigerated potatoes works really well. Since its weekend, I prefer making all the chutneys or keep a few things ready on Friday itself like making some curd, sprout some moong, chopping a few veggies or making some boiled rice in advance. Weekends are pretty busy or lazy for us and its not possible to have all the three meals outside. Keeping a few things handy makes life easy. So I boiled some baby potatoes a day before which was kept in the kitchen shelf for more than a week and made jeera aloo today, a potato lovers delight, which is so freaking easy to make and goes well with phulka or some dal chawal.

Jeera aloo, as the name suggests, jeera is the prominent ingredient here. I am sure everyone loves jeera aloo and has their own way of making them. I like my jeera aloo a little tangy and a lot spicy. One can never go wrong with this. I have used baby potatoes here, you can use normal potatoes too, just cut them into 4 or 6 pieces and follow the same procedure. I have used refrigerated potatoes so it didn’t break while cooking but if preparing using hot potatoes, the potatoes might break. So let the potatoes cool a little before making this. The recipe requires a lot of oil, so please don’t hesitate while adding some oil or the masalas will remain uncooked and potatoes may taste bland. If using baby potatoes, prick them a little using a fork before adding it to the masala. I have shared a few tips and tricks below as well. Do read on.

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Ingredients:

250 gm potatoes, boiled and peeled.
1/2 tbsp jeera/cumin seeds
1 tsp dhania/coriander powder
1 tsp jeera powder
1/2 tsp roasted jeera powder
1 tsp or to taste red chilly powder
1/2 tsp haldi/turmeric powder
2-3 tbsp of mustard oil (you can use ghee or refined oil too)
A tbsp of lemon juice (can be replaced by amchoor powder)
salt to taste
1 or 2 green chillies (dry red chillies can be used too)

Method:

Heat oil in a pan, make sure you heat the pan really nicely, than add oil and let the oil get heated nicely (smoking hot) too. Once the oil is hot, switch off the flame. I used mustard oil and it needs to be heated really well as it tends to leave a raw taste to the prepared dish. Let the oil cool down a little. Since we will be adding all the masalas directly to the oil, its important to reduce the heat of the oil or the masalas will burn. Also keep all the masalas handy before you start making this.

Once the oil cools down, add jeera, let the seeds crackle, add green chillies and saute. Be careful while adding chillies as the seeds crackle. Add jeera powder, dhania powder, red chilly powder and haldi to it, mix. Add salt and baby potatoes. Mix and switch on the gas. Using a spatula, mix everything together so that the potatoes gets coated well. Be careful while mixing or else they might break. Once mixed well, let it cook for a 2-3 minutes in low flame. Add garam masala and roasted jeera powder, toss it and let it cook for a minute. Lastly add lemon juice (to taste), toss and add some coriander leaves. Done! Serve it along with some parathas or phulkas.

Please do try this out and share your feedback along with a picture on my Facebook pagePicUrFood. I would love to hear from you 🙂 :)

Palak Paneer

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Bought some fresh bunch of palak and mint leaves last weekend. So I had to make palak paneer out of this. I never liked any vegetarian dishes before marriage but everything changed post marriage. From my choice of food to my taste, everything just changed. Why? Because my husband and in laws are vegetarians 😁 I was not too much fond of vegetarian dishes plus I didn’t know how to cook them too. So when I started cooking, I had to call my mom for almost all the recipes. After a lot of trial and errors, I started cooking on my own, without my moms guidance. And now I am sure she will love palak paneer or any other dish made by me :mrgreen:  I don’t make this very often as my dear husband doesn’t like it much. So say once in a month, I do make this. I also don’t add too much paneer, just a few cubes.

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For palak paneer, I follow her recipe with just one change, that too just sometimes. She doesn’t add mint leaves to it and I do. The flavor of mint adds freshness to the dish. The credit goes to the food groups I follow. I have read so many recipes using mint leaves and I also quite like using mint leaves to my palak paneer (not too much though). You can choose to skip mint leaves totally. To be true, I have never liked this dish in any restaurant or made by someone else other than my mom.

The palak gravy I make is not very smooth as I use finely chopped onions, tomatoes, ginger and garlic. My mom makes the puree in her silbatta and that makes a lot difference. I personally just don’t like the puree if made using mixer grinder. So I prefer chopping them as finely as I can and use. My mom actually add hing while preparing the masalas and gives just ghee tadka in the end. But I like adding hing to the tadka. Palak paneer goes well with Phulkas and rice both. I serve it with phulkas when I make it for dinner and with rice for lunch.

I have used homemade paneer. I don’t discard the whey and add this to the gravy to get the desired consistency. I also don’t fry the paneer. If you don’t like using raw paneer than saute them in a pan with some ghee before making the gravy. Lets move to the recipe now.

Ingredients:

3 cups tightly packed chopped spinach (palak)
Paneer cubes as needed
1/4 cup, loosely packed mint leaves (optional)
1 small onion, chopped finely
1 big tomato, chopped finely
3 big garlic cloves, chopped finely
1 inch ginger, chopped finely
Green chilly to taste, chopped finely
1 1/2 tsp jeera (cumin) powder
1/4 tsp garam masala
1 tsp pepper powder, freshly ground
1/2 tsp haldi (turmeric) powder
1 tsp sugar
salt to taste
2 tbsp oil/ghee

For the tadka:

Ghee as needed
Hing as per your taste

Method:

Clean the spinach leaves properly using water. Chop the leaves and cook them for one whistle in a pressure cooker using half a cup of water. If you want, you can blanch the leaves as well. Open the lid, discard all the water. Keep the leaves in a strainer, wash it with chilled water (helps retaining the color) and then puree the spinach along with the mint leaves in a grinder. Keep aside. Make sure you drain the water well from the leaves and not use any water while grinding it. 

Heat oil in a pan, add the chopped onion, ginger and garlic. Keep the flame low and fry till the onions turns very soft. Once done, add chopped tomatoes, jeera powder, haldi to it and cook till oil separates from the mixture. Add pepper powder, garam masala, sugar and mix. Saute for a minute and add palak puree. At this time, you can add some warm water to the puree as per the consistency you desire. Add paneer cubes as well. Keep the flame high and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes. Switch off the flame. Don’t simmer it for more than the mentioned time as it affects the green color of palak. .

For tadka,  Heat some ghee in a big spoon or a small pan. Add hing to the heated ghee, spread over the palak paneer and serve. This tadka needs to be added just before serving. 

Mom’s tip:

* Do not skip pepper powder and sugar, it enhance the taste. Also use freshly ground pepper powder only to get the perfect taste.

Please do try this out and share your feedback along with a picture on my Facebook page PicUrFood. Also, like it for regular updates:)

Creamy cottage cheese and capsicum

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Paneer is something my husband doesn’t enjoy at all. So I don’t cook dishes which has paneer as main ingredient. I do include paneer in our diet but my husband doesn’t realize that he is having paneer 😀 I mostly use grated paneer in everything especially to make him have it. This paneer recipe I am sharing today is my #OnePotMeal. When my husband doesn’t carry his lunch box, this comes to my rescue. I don’t really need Rice or any kind of bread with this paneer dish.I love bell peppers a lot, so I add good amount of those. The recipe is quite easy, a little creamy and absolutely delicious. I got this recipe from one of the food groups and shared it in my previous blog as well. Since I have made it so many times, everything has been adjusted as per my taste buds. Lets have a look at the recipe now.

Ingredients:

200 gms paneer cubes
1 big onion, chopped in cubes
1/2 cup bell peppers (green, red and yellow), chopped in cubes
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
3 tbsp curd
3 tbsp cream
1 tsp ginger, grated
1 green chilly
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
Salt to taste
2 tbsp oil

Method:

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Add onions. Fry in low flame for a minute. Add bell peppers, grated ginger, green chilly and saute in high flame for a minute. Make sure the bell peppers and onions doesn’t turn mushy. Once done, take out the onion and capsicum in a separate bowl.  In the same pan, heat the remaining oil, add tomatoes, salt, turmeric, red chilly powder and cook till the tomatoes turn a little mushy. In a bowl, mix and beat together cream, curd and sugar nicely. Add this to the tomato masala and cook till oil separates from the masala. Add garam masala, mix. At this stage, you can add warm water to the masala as per the consistency you want. Once done, add cooked onion-capsicum and paneer. Mix well so that everything gets coated nicely. Cook everything in low flame for 2 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves and done.

** I have made this using both fresh malai and amul fresh cream, not much of a difference. I prefer using fresh curd for this. Please adjust the use of dry masalas as per your own taste. You might need to increase the quantity of dry masalas, if you increase the gravy. I prefer it a little dry.  You can deep fry/saute paneer cubes  seperately before adding it to the gravy. I use it normally. I love adding red and yellow bell peppers, you can use just green capsicum. Skip sugar totally if you want **

Please do try this out and share your feedback along with a picture on my Facebook page PicUrFood. Also, like it for regular updates 🙂

Dry Mushroom Masala

I love mushrooms but my husband doesn’t like it much. He is a vegetarian but doesn’t like paneer or mushrooms and thats really weird I know :mrgreen: When we go out for dinner or lunch, it becomes really difficult to decide what to eat 😁 But anyway I do make paneer and mushrooms at home. He doesn’t complain and eats whatever I serve. I don’t make mushrooms much but whenever I do, it has to be dry mushroom masala only probably because he likes it very much. I do use mushrooms in pasta or some cutlets but for main course, this is the only thing I make. This is a quick recipe and tastes awesome. Serve it with plain rice, roti or paratha along with some salad and you are good to go ☺

Recipe (serves 2)

200 gms mushrooms
1 big onion, chopped length wise
1 medium sized tomatoes, finely chopped
2 tbsp curd (thick curd preferably)
2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 dry red chilly
1 bay leaf
2 tsp coriander/dhania powder
1 tsp cumin/jeera powder
1/2 tsp turmeric (haldi) powder
1/4 tsp garam masala
4 tbsp mustard oil (refined oil can be used)
salt to taste
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

Method:

Wash the mushrooms well with water. Chop them into 4 parts and keep aside. In a pan, heat mustard oil. Add bay leaf and red chilly (don’t let them burn). Add onions, fry till they turn soft. Add mushrooms, ginger-garlic paste and mix well. Cover with a lid and let it cook for 5 minutes. Remove the lid after 5 minutes, you will see that mushrooms have turned a bit tender leaving its own juices. Add tomatoes, coriander, cumin and turmeric powder along with salt, mix and cover it again for a few minutes in medium flame. Add beaten curd and garam masala, fry till oil separates. Add chopped coriander leaves, mix well and serve. And yes, this is my first typically indian food blog post as well 😀

Notes:

* I love the flavor of garlic so I add few extra cloves along with the paste.

* Make sure to cut each mushrooms into four parts.

* If you want a little gravy, then add lukewarm water as per your requirement at the last and let it simmer for 5 minutes.

Please do try this out and drop in ur comments