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


Crispy Karela/ Bittergourd Fries/Chips(haagalkaayi chips)

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Would you make a resolution for the  upcoming New Year to add some bitterness into your life?

Whoa , that is crazy. Who would want  bitterness in life when all we crave is for sweetness and more of it ?:)

May be you DO. When you try this recipe of Karela or bitter gourd chips 🙂

It is just the perfect thing for the deep winter that sets in at the dawn of the New year.  The crisp, the crunch and the spice will definitely makes you crave for more and more of it.

 

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One of the key things a food blogger does is the Blog Hopping. Just sit for hours in front of the computer and just flip, scroll, sway and hop from one blog to another. That is how we learn new stuffs and new recipes and get inspired by amazing photographs.

One good afternoon while I was browsing through my favorite blogs and more, I found this amazing food site. By far, for me,  this is the only  site loaded with great vegetarian dishes that are simple and delicious to make.

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When I browsed across the site it was unbelievable, as each and every recipe was simple and tasty enough to tempt me to try them all at home.

Believe it or not, I visit this site every single day!!! It has amazing tamil recipes, different dosa recipes, the chutneys and poriyals that are so so tempting to make them all at once.

And this where I also found this sweet gem, the bittergourd fries!

And that website is none other than, Raks Kitchen.

Please find the recipe for crispy karela fries here.

Missal Masala Puri

Let me begin with a little introduction about Masala puri.

It belongs to the same family as sev puri, pani puri, chaat papdi, dahi puri etc.  it belongs to the “chaat family”.

It is popular and widely available in Bangalore and Mysore and surely  in other parts of Karnataka, in various eat outs, restaurants, chaat centers and at those corner side street carts.
Dimly lit by a lantern and people of all ages thronging around by late evening, the subtle aroma of the peas boiling wafting through the air, the  street side cart at the Vidyaranyapuram circle in Mysore was my favorite hangout spot during my high school / college days. 
         The Masala puri and pani puri combination here was to die for and the number of plates and the number of visits to this place has been countless. I could just drown in the Pani and the Masala here! 
 Our whole family were regulars here. my brothers, parents, cousins everyone.
 When I was engaged to be married, the first place I took my then would -be hubby was here! We also invited the Masala puri guy for our wedding! 
The Masala puri, which is our subject matter here , is a plate of crushed chaat papads, topped with crushed boiled potatoes , finely chopped tomatoes and onions and the very key item, which is the sauce , comprising of boiled green peas / white peas.

It is this sauce , which makes the Masala puri  the star that it is! What goes into this sauce, I have no clue. In Some  places the sauce is green and some places it is red. I have even tried to get the recipe from one of the street vendors for the sauce. He gave me some random names of spices like Garam masala, ginger, chilli powder etc, but he did not reveal the procedure or the exact recipe. He frankly said that if he gives out the recipe he would lose customers.  Ofcourse, there is something as trade secret!

So the recipe remains a mystery even today . Also Masala puri is not available in any of the restaurants here in the Usa. Pani puri and other chaats , yes, but Not M P. This makes us miss and crave for masala  puri like crazy. My husband and I even tried to make the sauce in our very own way, but the end result was nothing like the one available back home. 

Disappointed, we had learnt to live without Masala puri here in the USA, until recently and luckily our dear friends N and S introduced us to this very new (new for us) and authentic Marathi dish called the Missal. 

Its a super hot and super spicy gravy of spices and moth beans to be eaten with chopped onions, tomatoes and spicy mixture with a combination of pav

The very first time I tasted this Missal  I was super excited because  1.It was extremely spicy 2. It was delicious and 3. it was so so close in taste to that of the gravy of the Masala puri.

The moment My husband I tasted the missal at our friend’s place, we exchanged looks , which were the looks of a great discovery , the looks of great achievement ! 

And there we had it, the Missal Masala puri. Now, when ever we miss the Masala puri from back home, we have an immediate solution!
The Missal Masala puri.

What we need:

1 packet of Rasoi  magic Missal mix

1 finely chopped onion

1 finely chopped tomato
1 cup of boiled white peas

1 pack of chaat papad/ flat puris

1 small pack of very spicy mixture of your choice

salt, red chilli powder, lemon juice and cilantro finely chopped.

Method:

First make the Missal rassa according to the package instructions, which is very very simple.

Once the Missal is done you are steps away from enjoying the masala puri…ssslurp….

 1.In a  wide bowl, crush about 6 flat puris
2. Pour on top of the flat puris, the prepared missal gravy
3. top with finely chopped onions, boiled white peas and  tomatoes
4. Top it off  with the very spicy Indian mixture

Just before serving, sprinkle some salt, chilli powder and garnish with Cilantro.

It is so nostalgic. Brings back old memories, the place, the teen years, the laughs, the giggles…….drift away  back in time…..
Notes:
When you cook according to package instructions the sauce turns out very watery. So keep boiling for a few more extra minutes to reduce the water content
OR you can mash some boiled peas to thicken the sauce.
Variations:
If you have regular bread, its a great accompaniment with the sauce.
Add Onions and tomatoes as per your taste.

Jolly Cauli :)

 

A simple cauliflower masala make you fall in love all over again, with cauliflower of course 🙂

What we need:

1 small head of cauliflower florets

2 tomatoes, ripe and juicy, cut into cubes

1 onion finely chopped

Spices: turmeric, ginger garlic paste, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp Rajwadi garam masala( badshah brand), 1 tsp of Tawa fry masala( badshah brand), 1 tsp chilli powder, aamchur(dry mango powder- Optional)

2 tbsp oil

Cilantro, finely chopped to garnish.

 

Method:

1.Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan. Once hot. add turmeric and cumin. when it splutters add onions and saute till translucent.

2. Now add the ginger garlic paste and fry for few minutes

3. add the cauliflower florets and mix in. Sprinkle some water and cover the pan with a lid. Let the cauliflower cook until “aldente”

4. Now its time to add the tomatoes. Add the tomatoes and stir fry for few minutes until tomatoes become soft and blend with the cauliflower.

5. Add the spices one by one. Chilli powder, garam masala, tawa fry masala, Aamchur( dry mango powder) and salt. Fry for few more minutes. turn off heat

6. Garnish with cilantro

 

Enjoy with rotis or rice!