Palak Paneer-Saag Paneer Simpler version

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This is a simpler quick version unlike the traditional way.

1.In a pan with medium heat, add a Tbsp unsalted  butter. Once melted , add in 1 TSP crushed cumin seeds and 1 TSP crushed coriander seeds.

2. roast a little and  add in 2 split green chillies or 2 chopped serrano chilles.

3.Next add in 1 finely chopped onion and saute it until golden brown. Add in a TSP of Ginger-Garlic paste and saute until the raw smell fades.

4.Next add a whole bag of pre-washed spinach leaves and stir it in until the leaves wilt but still retain the bright green color. Sprinkle salt to taste. Allow this entire mixture to cool.

5.Meanwhile, take a block of store bought paneer and roughly cut into small bite sized pieces using your hands. (I like it to have rough edges than perfect cubes)

6.Place it in a bowl and add water just to cover the pieces. Microwave for 2 minutes. this process makes the paneer pieces soft and tender.(Alternatively , you can also place it in really hot water for a couple of minutes)

7.Come back to the cooled spinach mixture. In a blender, blend the entire mixture into a paste. The texture has to be grassy and not silky smooth. It is key to retain the texture. Also make sure the Cumin and coriander seeds are blended well.

8. FINAL STEP:

Now add a tbsp of butter into the same pan. Once it melts, add the ground spinach    mixture and stir in. Check for salt. Check for the consistency. if too thick, then add a little water to adjust. At this point add all the paneer pieces and mix it thoroughly until it gets coated in the green sauce. Once everything is mixed bring the entire mixture to a quick boil. turn off the heat. Finish with a drizzle of fresh cream.(alternatively, you can use thick smooth yogurt)

Enjoy with warm rotis or garlic naan.

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Sankranti special Thali

This is my first post of 2018!

First of all A very happy new year to all my readers. And happy Sankranti😊 love you all

A good part of my last year went by developing our platform The Naan-Americans. I am having so much fun and I would love it if you guys can be part of it. Be a subscriber, like our Facebook page or just follow us. Any support will count my details friends 🙂

So coming to my post for today 😊

Tis the harvest season in India and is celebrated through out the the country with different names.

Sankranti in Karnataka,Pongal in Tamil Nadu and Lohri is Northern part of India,Punjab.

Farmers celebrate the festival to mark the harvest season and are grateful for the bounty that year.

Specific dishes are made to mark the festival. Since I am from Karnataka, we call it huggi where as in Tamil Nadu it is called  pongal which is the mixture of yellow mung dal and rice seasoned with salt and pepper. The sweeter version of this would be with Jaggery and loads of ghee.

My thali above features, rice,papad,broadbeans stir fry, pongal, okra stir fry and hot rasam..

Like we say, pongaloo..pongal!!!!

The Vegan Friendly Masala Dosa Making Class with The Naan-Americans Home Kitchen

Dosa is a popular Indian breakfast dish. Indigenous to the southern part of India, this crispy rice and lentil crepe has now gained popularity and is widespread across the world.

 The dosa and its manifestations can now be seen in many Indian restaurants across the globe as well as food trucks and street food festivals in popular cities like New York, London, Boston and more.

 The classic representation of a Masala dosa would be the large perfect round shaped crepe, crisp and golden in the bottom and a white soft mesh-like texture on the top. This now is generously smeared with the red garlic chutney and filled with the classic Onion-Potato filling and served with either sambar or coconut chutney or both on the side.

 Despite its popularity and it’s ubiquitous nature, the Dosa making is still an art. One needs to know the tips and tricks to get that perfectly thin, round, golden, soft, crispy dosa. As easy as it may seem, the spicy potato filling needs some tweaks and tricks, love and care,  to make it juicy and delicious and not dry and bland.

The cooking classes and culinary events with The Naan-Americans will help you with just that. Our goal is to show and teach our guests the small nuances, the tips and tricks, the hidden idea behind a recipe so that our guests can go back home and recreate the dish with confidence and ease.

 

 

Our latest Masala dosa making class was one such beautiful experience. Our guest Erica is a lover of Indian food. She frequently dines at Indian restaurants and has even tried to cook some Indian dishes at home. She mentions that she probably has the largest Indian spice collection in her kitchen. Her only concern would be that since she is Vegan she always needs to make sure the restaurants don’t serve her dishes that are cream based or even throw in a dollop of butter on top of her Rotis or Naan.

This was her first Masala dosa making class. She was excited because everything in here was Vegan. There was no room for error. The class met all her requirements. No dairy, No meat. Just perfect. She had a vegetarian host-instructor for the night who is from the Southern part of India and knows the in and out of Dosa making.

And what a beautiful evening it was. Our guest was super excited to attend this class while getting a chance to free herself a bit and get that Me-time, that we all sometimes crave for.

She was ready to get her hands on the Dosa making starting with the potato filling. The instructor had few things prepped ahead of time and had displayed the whole ingredients needed for their cooking party this night. Soon enough the spicy potato mixture was cooking in the Kadai, the aroma of the sweet onions filling the tiny kitchen. The guest was proud and happy to learn this new dish which was good just by itself.

Ayurvedic cooking- Green Mung dal

India being the land of Ayurveda has long been integrating ayurvedic principles in everyday cooking.

Ayurveda talks about three main constitutional types. The Vaata, Pitta and the Kapha. That is Wind, Fire and Water. Every human body is the combination of these 3 elements. The balance in these three elements is what leads to the well being of mind, body and spirit.

Invariably, Indian cooking, especially vegetarian cooking is integrated with these basic principles of Ayurveda. Everyday cooking is balanced with lot of Satvik elements and healing ingredients.  The cooking techniques and the way food should be consumed is  key in achieving that balance. Food is medicine and what we eat will affect our overall well being , even our consciousness.

Indian recipes have been passed on from generations who were pioneers in applying Ayurvedic principles into everyday cooking. We have quick and healing recipes or home remedies for certain ailments. We have specific concoctions or pastes or mixtures for ailments like common cold, headache, sore throat etc. Even pregnancy and post pregnancy diet is influenced with these principles.

Today we are focusing on one such dish using the Green mung. It  is extremely healthy, has lots of protein and fiber. The Ayurvedic property green mung is it’s cooling and cleansing abilities. It is calming and soothing for the stomach, prevents gas and bloating  and is easily digestible. It is an astringent and a toner. Go Mung for sure!! 🙂

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Green Mung Dal

(This recipe serves 2 people)

Ingredients:

1 cup Green Mung beans- Washed and soaked overnight

1 small plum tomato- diced

1 bunch of scallions- finely chopped

2 tsp Cumin powder

1 tsp Coriander powder

1 Tsp Chilli powder or  Pepper powder or 2 slit green chilli for the heat

1 tbsp Ghee

2 tsp grated ginger

1 tsp Turmeric

Salt as per taste
Cilantro and curry leaves for Garnish.

 

For tempering:

1 Tsp Cumin seeds

1 dry red chilli

1/2 Tsp  Asafoetida

1.2 inch Cinnamon stick, 1 clove and 1 Bay leaf for flavor (Optional)

Ghee

 

Preparation:

To save time place the soaked green mung  and cook in a slow cooker or pressure cooker until soft and can easily break with your fingertips. If you do not have a slow or pressure cooker then just boil  the beans directly in water until soft

In a pan pour ghee. Once the ghee is heated add all the tempering ingredients. Let the spices release the aroma and turn fragrant in hot ghee.

Next add the chopped scallions and tomatoes. Saute until the tomatoes become soft and mushy.

Add turmeric, cumin powder, coriander powder, pepper/chilli powder and salt into the tomato mixture.

Once all the spices blend in and the ghee starts separating, add the pre -cooked mung beans.

Add the grated ginger. Stir it all in and adjust the consistency of the soup as desired by adding a little water.

Let the dal simmer and come to boil for about 5 minutes.

Garnish with chopped cilantro and curry leaves. Serve with hot rice or just have it in a bowl by it self.

Quick Kadai Paneer

It is back to school season. That means weeknights are busy with early dinner and early bed times. Unlike summers, I like to be done with dinners as quickly as possible and get the kids ready to bed.

Quick and healthy dinner choices need not be a challenge with some simple readily available ingredients from your pantry.

Here is one such simple dish. Can be easily served with hot rice or some ready rotis or phulkas.


Ingredients:

1 small block of paneer- cut into small cubes

1 capsicum- cut into small cubes

3/4 white onion- finely chopped

2 plum tomatoes- finely chopped

Spices:

1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder

2 tsp Ginger and garlic paste

2 tsp of coriander powder

2 tsp cumin powder

1tsp garam masala

Salt as per taste.

Preparation

In a hard bottom Kadai pour 2 tablespoon of oil

Once the oil is hot, put the finely chopped onions and fry them until golden brown.

Next add tomatoes and and fry them until they are soft and get mixed with the onions and form a nice smooth paste. Cover the kadai with a lid and leave the flame on medium for about 5 minutes.

Now you can see the oil separating from the tomato-onion mixture.

Now it’s time to add the salt and Ginger garlic paste and fry for few more minutes until the raw smell of the Ginger garlic fades away.

Now add the capsicum and stir it with the mixture. Cover the lid and let the capsicum get tender, but not too soft.

Once the capsicum is done , add all the masalas (spices) together and mix well. Add quarter cup of wate,check for salt and let the mixture come to a boil. Once the gravy starts to boil add the paneer cubes and give a good stir.

Turn the flame to low and cover the lid and let the paneer soak in all the spices and flavor from the gravy.

Turn off the flame. Garnish with fresh cilantro, maybe a drizzle of cream and a sprinkle of kasoori methi for additional flavor.

Additional notes:

Before using, leave the paneer cubes in warm water for about a minute to make it soft and spongy

Kasoori methi is dried fenugreek available easily in the market. Just crush it with your palms and sprinkle on the dish for the extra flavor


Come Join Us

Dear foodies and loyal viewers of the page,

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If you want to create an impact in your community by sharing culture and traditions through food, then read on…

I am now taking registrations for chefs/cooks to host cooking classes from your choice of location and your choice of regional cuisine. If you would like to teach a class then
please send me a message .

If you don’t want to teach but still be featured on our website then please send us a video of the food you are preparing, the background of the dish, its tradition, story and region it belongs . We will publish it on our website The Naan-Americans. you will be happy that you are part of a social impact.
Thank you

Love and happy cooking 🙂

email: anjanasudhir@gmail.com

Anjana, co-founder, The Naan-Americans

 

Experience to remember inside a Korean Kitchen

Our platform The Naan-Americans, www.thenaanamericans.com, is all about exchanging recipes and culture and love 🙂

Check out our blog about our new home chef Seunghee Chai, who will be teaching Japchae in our next cooking showcase at a farm in Chestnut hill.

My friend had an opportunity to learn a signature Korean dish called Japchae right in the chef’s  kitchen . While she learned how to make the noodles, she also got a glimpse of Korean Culture, traditions and a warm and memorable experience to cherish.

Please read further to learn more about this.

https://www.thenaanamericans.com/single-post/2017/07/05/An-experience-to-remember-inside-a-Korean-Kitchen