Friday, August 19, 2016

Palak Methi aur Paneer ki Saag / Gravy

Palak Methi aur Paneer ki Saag is a calcium, minerals and protein rich gravy. Its got a very herby and fresh flavour, making it ideal to go with both roti and rice alike. This gravy is prepared along with fresh cream and paneer making it nutritious and delicious especially for expectant mothers. The usage of spices are minimal as it tends to over power the greens.




To Serve 4
Ingredients -
  • Palak / Spinach - 3 medium bunches [cleaned, blanched and pureed]
  • Methi - 1 medium bunch [separate only the leaves, cleaned and finely chopped]
  • Paneer - 200gms [Appx.]
  • Onions - 2 big [roughly chopped]
  • Green chillies - 1 or 2 [best if sparingly used]
  • Garlic - 10 pods or more! [garlicky flavor gives an edge to this dish]
  • Coriander powder - 1-2 tbsp
  • Cumin/Jeera - 2 tsp
  • Bay leaf and Elaichi/Cardamom - 1
  • Red chilli or Paprika - 1-2 tsp [as per requirement]
  • Kasuri Methi or Dried Fenu greek leaves - 1-2 tsp
  • Milk - 1 cup
  • Oil or Ghee - 1tbsp
  • Fresh Cream - 2 tbsp
  • Cashew - 10 [soak in hot water for about half hour and grind to a smooth paste]
How to prepare -
  • Blanch the Spinach and green chillies and puree it to a smooth paste.
  • Chop the fresh fenugreek leaves and set aside.
  • Heat a Kadai and add ghee or oil to it. Add cumin, bay leaf and cardamom and fry for a minute. Add the garlic and roughly chopped onions. Saute it for about 2 mins. Once the raw smell goes away, add the chilli powder and coriander powder and fry well. Turn off the heat and let it cool.
  • Grind the onion and other spices to a paste.
  • In a hot Kadai / frying pan, add the onion ground paste, blanched and pureed spinach and chopped methi. Fry well for about 2 mins.
  • Add salt, cashew paste and milk. Bring it to a boil. You can add a little water if you feel the gravy is very thick to adjust the right consistency. 
  • Add cubed paneer pieces and mix well till its nicely coated. Cover with a lid and let it simmer for 5 mins. 

  • Give it a good stir and rub the Kasuri Methi or Dried Fenugreek between two palms to drop just the fine powder. You can throw away the residue. Turn off the heat. The gravy can be served with fresh cream and and a sprinkle of Kasuri methi and chilli powder [as shown in the above picture]
A mini thali with Palak Methi Paneer Saag. This thali has a combination of 2 whole wheat rotis with a little butter on top; the said gravy; ghee jeera rice; curd rice with tempering; fresh salad consisting tomatoes and onion slices :)


Goli Baje / Goli Bajji / Mangaluru Bajji

Goli Baje or Bajji also called as Mangaluru Bajji is a Karavali dish which is hugley popular everywhere. Its made of very simple ingredients and doesnt take a lot of effort but the result is just awesome. Its crisp on the out and spongy in the inside. Its flavorful and a hit with both young and old. Since the ingredients are very easily available, it can be made in large quantities like functions or parties. Its served with simple coconut chutney or tastes great with tomato ketchup or any of the sauces/dips!

For Coconut or Kayi chutney please click on this link -

To Serve 4
Ingredients -
  • Maida / All purpose flour - 300 gms [appx.]
  • Rice flour - 50 gms [appx.]
  • Soda bi Carbornate - 1/2 tsp
  • Sour curds - 1 big cup
  • Green chilli - 5-6 [depending on the vartiety and heat] finely chopped
  • Curry leaves - 3-4 sprigs finely chopped
  • Coriander leaves - a bunch finely chopped
  • Coconut - about 50gms or 1 cup very finely chopped
  • Ginger - 2 inches fresh ginger very finely chopped.
  • Cumin - Optional, about 1-2 tsp [i havent used it in this preparation]
  • Oil - for deep frying [sinful i know! ;)]
  • Salt to taste
How to prepare -
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix the Maida and Rice flour along with the salt, cooking soda and sour curds. This mixture has to set for about 2-3 hours before other ingredients are added. Make sure the mixture is not too runny as it has to be dropped in the hot oil for frying.
  • After the flours soak for about 2-3 hrs, add the rest of the above mentioned ingredients which are all finely chopped. Green chillies, curry leaves, coconut pieces, ginger. If the dough looks a little dry sprinkle some water or more curds and mix really well. 

  • Meanwhile heat oil in a kadai or fry pan and bring it to smoke point and reduce the heat to low-medium as the bajjis need to cook through. If the heat is too much then it will be undone inside or might get burnt or darker outside. For perfectly golden coloured bajjis, heat should be appropriate and preferably low-medium. 

  • Drop the mixed dough slowly into the hot oil and turn it when its done on one side. Make sure the colour is uniform and then finally take it out on a kitchen paper towel to drain any excess oil.

  • Serve it with coconut chutney or ketchup or any dips of your choice. Tastes best when served hot! 
Handy Tips:
  •  Avoid grating the ingredients as it tends to make the dish soggy and strong flavours like ginger will empower subtler ones and instead chop them finely.
  • Well soaked and elastic consistency dough will not absorb lot of oil. 
  • Also keep a check on the soda used as it tends to absorb a lot of oil. If by chance lot of oil is being absorbed, add some more maida, rice flour and a pinch of salt to balance it.  

For Coconut chutney please click on this link - 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Veggie Tomato Cream Pasta / Pink Veggie Pasta

Veggie Tomato Cream Pasta - This pasta satiates an Indian palette to the T!! It has a pleasing colour [pink] and a great creamy texture making it favorite with both elders as well as kids. Veggies like coloured bell peppers, mushrooms, zucchinis, olives added to this yummy pasta makes it a complete and filling meal.
I remember getting to know about this as a "new" dish in the early 2000 as a college student when it started making waves in India. My little sister who was a school girl and I were curious then and tried different ways to cook this versatile dish and came up with different stuff every time! Nostalgic for sure:) Today, though we get ready to eat pasta or different flavored pasta sauce off the shelf in any super market, I always prefer the home cooked simple yet tasty tried and tested sauce used in this recipe. One can be more creative by adding more ingredients to enhance the taste or the consistency of the pasta to suit tastes.


Ingredients:
To serve 4
  • Pasta variety - Fusilli  and Penne (Below is the pictorial representation of the pasta) - 250gms[dry]

            
  • Fresh cream - 1 big cup [appx. 100 ml]
  • Tomato puree - 1 medium cup [appx. 100ml]
  • Garlic - about 6-8 pods [peeled and chopped]
  • Veggies of your choice - 1 cup [like Onions, cherry tomatoes, Broccoli, Bell peppers, olives, mushrooms, zucchini]
  • All-purpose flour – 2-3 tbsp.
  • Garlic and mixed herbs flavoured butter - 30gms [OR the regular butter]
  • Milk - 200 ml
  • Olive oil - as per requirement
  • Mixed herbs - as per requirement
  • Chilli flakes - as per requirement
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil - to drizzle at the end
    How to make -
  • (a) White Sauce – Heat a fry pan and add a tsp of olive oil or any cooking oil and a about a tbsp. of butter. Before the butter completely melts and changes the colour add2-3 tbsp. all-purpose flour or Maida to it and keep stirring while it cooks. Start adding milk to the mixture and continue to stir. I use a whisk to mix so that there are no lumps and we get an even consistency. Keep stirring till it comes to almost a semi solid to a pouring kind of a consistency. Add salt, mixed herbs and chilli flakes and set aside.                                           

    (b) Pink Sauce- I simply add ready to use tomato puree to the white sauce and adjust the seasoning. To make it tangier add a tbsp. of tomato ketch up and mix well.                                                    

    (c) Pasta Al Dante – Take a big, thick bottomed vessel. To this, add sufficient water and salt. Bring it to a boil and add the fusilli and penne pastas to it. Let it cook in boiling water till its 70% cooked which in Italy is called Pasta Al Dante which means pasta cooked so as to be still firm when bitten. Soggy/Over cooked pasta is a big no-no!!                                                                

    (d) Chop all the required veggies, grate some Parmesan cheese and set aside. Since it was a quick pasta I have used just the onions, tomatoes, and olives. Broccoli, bell peppers, zucchinis and mushrooms if included adds to the taste and is healthy too. 
    (e) Bringing all the above ingredients together – Take a wok/fry pan. Heat olive oil and some butter. Immediately add chopped garlic, sauté for a minute. Before it changes colour add the veggies and sauté for a couple of minutes. We shouldn’t over cook the veggies as they tend to lose the crunch which is vital for a pasta dish. To this add the tomato pink sauce (mentioned as above) and mix well. Add the cooked pasta to the mixture. Let it come together and blend till the pasta takes in the flavours of the sauces. ­­ Check for the seasoning at this point and turn off the heat. Serve pasta in a bowl with some grated Parmesan cheese topping, chilli flakes, some fresh cream and a dash of extra virgin olive oil to finish it off. Serve hot along with some toasted garlic bread or bread sticks.
                                          

KODUBALE

Kodbale is a perfect tea time snack and can be stored for a long time!Try this recipe and enjoy snacking:) Ingredients ½ cup...