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 🙂

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 🙂 :)

Sooji Apple Halwa

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Happy Rakhsha bandhan folks. Hope everyone had a great day 🙂

This year it would be four times in a row that I haven’t tied rakhi to any of my brothers because nobody is in Hyderabad. The fact is we have no relatives in Hyderabad which sometime is a blessing and sometime its not. Anyway, my husband too misses his family a lot during any festive occasion so I make sure we celebrate every occasion as nicely as we can. Its raksha bandhan today so I made his favorite sooji halwa. I also had some apples so just added them to my normal sooji halwa. Taste and health both.

Its not easy to make any halwa. I had a great deal learning the art of making halwa. In fact, I have learnt making sooji halwa from my husband and now I proudly make some for him 😀 Patience ki dukaan hai wo and I have zero patience. He used to bhuno the sooji so nicely and that step is pretty important while making any halwa. I have used 2 tbsp of ghee in this halwa. Its completely your wish to increase the quantity. I have used some chopped apples and apple puree. You can completely skip using apples here to make only sooji halwa. A few almonds, cashews or raisins can be added as well.

There are two things you need to remember when you make halwa. 1st, roasting the sooji is really important and that too in low flame. Its quite a painful task but if you go wrong here, the texture of the halwa will turn bad. 2nd, the ratio of sooji and water is 1:2. Say if you are using 1/2 cup of sooji, you need to add only 1 cup water (not less or more than that). And the water needs to be hot and not cold.
Lets see how I make it. This recipe below serves two persons only.

Ingredients:
1/3 cup coarse sooji/bombay rava (thin variety of sooji won’t work)
2/3 cup water
2 tbsp ghee
1/3 cup chopped apples
1/3 cup apple puree ( I grated the apples)
3 tbsp sugar or as per the sweetness you desire
1 tsp cardamom powder

Method:
In a pot, take water and chopped apples. Keep the flame low or medium and let it come to a boil.
In a non stick pan, heat the ghee, keep the flame low and add sooji. Roast the sooji till it starts to change the color to brown. It will take atleast 5 to 7 minutes to get the right color but ONLY in low flame. By this time, the water will be hot. Add this water and apple puree to the roasted sooji. Be careful here. Stir, making sure no lumps are formed. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Add sugar, mix and cook till sugar melts. Add cardamom powder and mix. Switch off the flame. Garnish with some dry fruits if you wish to and serve.

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:)

Wholewheat apple cinnamon cake (egg-less)

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So all my telugu and tamilian neighbours were celebrating var laxmi pooja on the 12th and I got a few apples in prasad. It was not possible to eat them all so I ended up baking this apple cake. This one is again eggless, made with wholewheat flour and just as easy as my chocolate cake recipe. Another reason that I wanted to bake a cake was to celebrate my one year of blogging (a week late though 😀 ). The day I posted my sabudana kheer was the day I completed a year with wordpress though I made my 1st post a few days later after creating my blog.

Well this blogging journey has been quite wonderful. Though I don’t blog very often but whenever I do, I truly love it. You need to be really expressive when you make a post and my writing skills are pretty bad but I do work a lot on it. Its a big deal to take pictures when you blog too. I learn new things every time I click pictures for my blog and I try to improve. I am so thankful to all my blogger friends who follow my blog, take out time to read, comment and like my posts. I wouldn’t have been this active too without you guys. A special mention to the people who follow my recipes and share their feedback with me. A big THANK YOU for all the love that you guys shower. I owe it to you guys. Since I am not too active, I tend to miss posts of the blogs I follow. Trust me, I try to read all the posts whenever I login. I really apologize if I have missed commenting on a few posts.

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Lets check out to the recipe now. This cake is amazingly moist and delicious. I personally don’t like the flavor of cinnamon much on my desserts but this cake tastes delicious because of the cinnamon flavor. Chunks of apple in every bite makes the cake amazing. A perfect tea time cake and really healthy. This one is made with wholewheat flour, so over mixing the batter will make the cake really dense. You need to just combine the ingredients and bake.The ingredients list is pretty long so  I have divided the ingredients into 2 parts (dry and wet) to make it easy for you guys. No fancy ingredients have been used so it will be easy for you guys to bake one.

A few things I would like to mention before.

** Custard powder gives a good color but it can be replaced with corn flour too.
** I added 3/4 cup milk, you can use upto 1 cup to get the right batter consistency. The batter should not be very runny though.
** We want a little thick curd so hang the curd in a muslin cloth for 15 minutes before using. Make sure to beat the curd before adding to the batter too. The curd should be smooth.

Ingredients:

Dry ingredients:
1 1/2 cup wholewheat flour/atta
4 tbsp custard powder**
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
a pinch of salt

Wet Ingredients:
3/4 cup powdered sugar (use more or less as per ur taste)
3/4 to 1 cup milk at room temperature**
6 tbsp beaten curd**
1/2 cup oil (I have used rice bran oil)
1 cup cubed apple

Method:

Dust the cubes apples with a tbsp of flour and keep aside. Sieve together all the dry ingredients and keep aside.
Take oil and sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix nicely. Add curd, mix and add 3/4 cup of milk. Mix and add the dry ingredients. Mix well making sure no lumps are formed. Please DON’T OVER MIX. At last add apples and combine it well to the batter. Pour the batter in a greased baking pan and bake in a pre heated oven at 180 degrees for 35 minutes.

**Remember all the ovens are different so baking time and temperature may vary**

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Recipe adapted from prerna’s cafe though I guess she has not shared the recipe on her blog.She posted the recipe in one of the food groups I follow.

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 🙂

Sabudana Kheer

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Festive season has begun, it brings lots of positive energy and of course food 😀 This is the month of saawan and we celebrate it by keeping fast on Mondays and no non veg for one month 😀 Some people also do not eat onion garlic during this period and shiv ji is worshiped. I have been keeping fasts from my childhood. As I have grown up in a joint family, keeping fast was not that difficult. We generally do not eat salt when fasting. Fruits, makhana and sabudana kheer is what we have during fast. Sabudana keer is quite easy to make. We don’t add any dry fruit, saffron or even cardamom to our sabudana kheer. We like it plain and simple. In fact, we dislike any kheer with dry fruits 😀 so sharing my simple sabudana kheer recipe below.

I don’t make this kheer only when I am fasting but on normal days too as this is my favorite kheer. This tastes best when chilled 😀 Do remember to soak sabudana in plain water a few hours before you start making it. I soaked it for 2 hours. You can also soak it for at least half an hour in boiled hot water. Soaking the sabudana is important as it reduces the cooking time and gets cooked perfectly under 10 minutes (have attached a few pics for reference). I prefer making the small grains of sabudana, not the bigger ones. In case, the milk thickens too much while cooking, you can add some hot milk to the kheer. This recipe below serves 2 people.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup sabudana
2 cups milk (any variety would work)
sugar to taste

Method:

In a pan, add milk and let it boil. Once the milk is boiled, add soaked sabudana and keep the flame low. Keep stiring the milk as it tends to burn from bottom. After a few minutes of cooking, the sabudana will turn transparent which shows its done. Switch off the flame and add sugar. Mix, let it cool and serve.

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 🙂