Thursday, July 21, 2011

Matar Paneer


"Matar" means peas and "paneer" means cheese. Alternately, you can substitute the paneer with potatoes in this recipe to give you Aloo Matar ("aloo" meaning potatoes, as you may have guessed...)

Recipe provided courtesy of Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen.   

Serves 4-6
Ingredients:
• 12 ounces fried paneer pieces

Gravy
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1 cup finely chopped onions
• 1 tablespoon
ginger garlic paste
• 1 tablespoon coriander powder
• 1 teaspoon cumin powder
• 1 teaspoon cayenne
• ½ teaspoon
turmeric
• ½ cup tomato sauce
• 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
• 1 ½ cups hot water
• 1 cup frozen peas
• 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
• ¼ cup heavy cream
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro/coriander

 
Prep: Have the fried paneer pieces ready and set aside.

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions. 
Sauté until onions are translucent and the edges begin to brown. Add ginger garlic paste and stir fry for 1 minute. 
Stir in coriander powder, cumin powder, cayenne and turmeric and fry for about 2 minutes until all the spices are fried with the onion mixture.
Add tomato sauce and salt. 
Cook for another 2 - 3 minutes while stirring occasionally. Add hot water and peas. 
Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for about 10 minutes until peas are tender. Stir in garam masala powder and cream and cook for 2 – 3 minutes. 
Note: You may want to cook the sauce for longer at this point in this procedure in order to produce a thick consistency. 
Stir the paneer into the gravy and heat through.
Garnish with cilantro and serve.
For more recipes, table setting ideas and gardening tips from the author of Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen, check out Komali Nunna's blog.  

Monday, June 20, 2011

Vegetable and Paneer Kabobs

In honor of Father's Day, my family had the first of what is sure to be many barbeques for the summer. It's always great to have a tasty vegetarian option at barbeques...something other than plain old salad or coleslaw. I present to you my contribution to our family barbeque: vegetable and paneer kabobs. 

For measurements and the list of ingredients for the recipe, please refer to Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen.  

Prep: If you are using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for at least half an hour.


In a medium sized non-reactive bowl, add yogurt, ginger garlic paste, lime juice, chickpea flour, cayenne, turmeric, ajwain powder, salt and 1 teaspoon chaat masala powder. Stir to combine.


Note: A non-reactive bowl is a bowl that will not have a chemical reaction with the foods that are placed in it. In this recipe, lime juice, which is highly acidic, would have had a chemical reaction with the metal in an aluminum bowl, giving the marinade a metallic taste...which you do NOT want! To sum up, do not use an aluminum bowl for this marinade.
Add paneer, bell peppers, and red onions. Mix thoroughly until all the pieces are evenly coated with the marinade. Cover and marinate for 1/2 - 1 hour in the refrigerator.
Preheat grill to medium high. Thread the paneer and vegetables onto the skewers. Grill them until evenly charred.

Alternative: You can broil these kabobs in the oven. Place skewers on a baking sheet lined with a metal rack. Place baking skeet with skewers 5-6 inches below the heating element. Broil while turning in between once or twice for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven.

Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of chaat masala powder and serve.

For more on our family barbeque from the author of Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen, check out Komali Nunna's barbeque blog post.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Stuffed Okra


Prepare yourself for a whole new flavor of okra! I have recently discovered this dish and it has only intensified my love for okra.

For measurements and the list of ingredients for the recipe, please refer to Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen.   

In a small bowl, mix together coriander powder, amchoor powder (dry mango powder), cumin powder, dry ginger powder, turmeric, chickpea flour/besan, fennel seed powder, vegetable oil, garam masala powder, cayenne, black pepper and salt for the stuffing.
 
Rinse okra and dry with a paper towel and trim the cone part. Using a sharp paring knife, make a long slit, leaving ¼-inch top and bottom. Make sure you don’t cut through the okra.

Alternative: Use your fingernail to make the slit.

With your thumb, open the slit and stuff 1 teaspoon of stuffing. 


To season, heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large shallow nonstick skillet, over medium high heat. When oil is hot, add cumin seeds with a pinch of asafetida.

Note: Asafetida is a gum extract from trees that can be found in Indian grocery stores. It acts as a digestive aid and prevents flatulence from occuring. If you are unable to find this ingredient, the rice will turn out fine without it.  

As soon as the cumin seeds sizzle, add okra in a single layer. Reduce heat to medium. Cook uncovered, turning okra gently from time to time, until lightly browned. It takes about 15-20 minutes.

Note: The okra should be cooked until it is crunchy, not gummy.


Garnish with garam masala powder. Serve as a side dish to any meal.
For more recipes, table setting ideas and gardening tips from the author of Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen, check out Komali Nunna's blog.      

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mushroom Pulao

I've realized that mushrooms can be quite polarizing: either you love them or you hate them. Here's a recipe for all my fellow mushroom-lovers out there!

For measurements and the list of ingredients for the recipe, please refer to Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen.    

Prep: Wipe mushrooms with a damp paper towel to clean and slice them. Cut the onion and chilies.

Note: It is important not to wash mushrooms in water to avoid absorbing too much moisture.

Heat oil in a medium sauce pan over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon stick and cardamom pods.  
 
Note: Whole spices are added to flavor the dish and are not meant to be eaten.


When the cloves plump up, add onion and green chili.  


Sauté until the onion is translucent and edges begin to brown. Add ginger garlic paste and stir fry for 1 minute. Add mushrooms.


Sauté until mushrooms are slightly wilted. Stir in garam masala powder, basmati rice and salt. Mix thoroughly to coat all the rice grains with a thin film of oil and spices.


Stir in 3 ½ cups of water. At this point, you can transfer the mixture to an automatic rice cooker and finish cooking.


Alternative: Bring the rice mixture to a boil and reduce heat to the lowest setting. Cover with a lid and cook for about 20-25 minutes until the rice is done. Let it rest for 10 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork. 

Garnish with cilantro.


Note: The recipe in Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen also includes a garnish with paneer wrapped in edible silver leaves. I will leave that extra step for another day.

For more recipes, table setting ideas and gardening tips from the author of Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen, check out Komali Nunna's blog.  

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Moghul Egg Korma


This mouth-watering recipe (one of my favorites) turned out to be a lot easier than I thought it would be. Of all the curries I've made so far, Moghul Egg Korma has been the first curry where I didn't make any mistakes the first time around! Just make sure you get all the ingredients together first because it is a time-sensitive recipe. It's also a great way to use up your eggs!

For measurements and the list of ingredients for the recipe, please refer to Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen.     

Prep: Chop the onion, boil the eggs, and make the almond paste.

Heat oil in a wide-bottom skillet over medium high heat. When oil is hot, add cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom pods. Stir-fry for a few seconds. Add onion.   

Note: Whole spices are added for flavor only and are not meant to be eaten.
Saute onion until edges begin to brown. Add ginger garlic paste and stir for a minute. 
 
Add tomato paste and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
Add coriander powder, cayenne and paprika. Stir fry for a minute.
Add salt and 4 cups of water and bring it to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer the sauce until thickened for about half an hour. Stir in almond paste and cream. Cook for 2 minutes. Add lime juice and stir to mix.

Note: Almond paste is not found in grocery stores. You can find an easy recipe for almond paste in Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen.
Spread the eggs over the sauce. Simmer gently for 2 to 3 minutes.

Options:
1. Cut the eggs in half.
2. Keep the eggs whole but make a small slit in each of the eggs before adding them to the sauce, so that the flavor of the curry goes into the eggs.
Garnish with cilantro.                        

Serve with rice or chappati.

For more recipes, table setting ideas and gardening tips from the author of Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen, check out Komali Nunna's blog.  

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Carrot Salad


This refreshing salad is popularly known as cachumbar in the state of Maharastra. It is a feast to the eyes as well as to the palate.

Recipe provided courtesy of Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen.

Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup mung dal
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1/3 cup coarsely grated fresh coconut
  • 1/3 cup grated raw mango (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 dry whole red chilies such as chile de arbol
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1-2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
Soak dal in 2 cups of boiling water for 3 hours, and then drain.


Note: While the mung dal is soaking, grate all the other ingredients for the salad.

Combine dal, carrots, coconut and mango (if you are using it) in a salad bowl.

Note: Frozen coarsely grated fresh coconut can be bought in the freezer section of an Indian supermarket.

Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is hot add chilies. When the chilies start turn  dark, add mustard seeds and cover until the spluttering subsides. Remove from the heat and pour it over the carrot mixture along with lime juice and salt.


Gently toss to combine. Season to taste. Garnish with cilantro leaves.


Note: If you are using a raw mango, you can adjust the amount of lime juice depending on the sourness of the mango.

If you need more guidance with this recipe, check out the step by step video made by Komali Nunna.



For more recipes, table setting ideas and gardening tips from the author of Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen, check out Komali Nunna's blog. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken tikka masala was actually developed in a restaurant in England, not India, as a solution for using leftover grilled chicken. Please note that in order to make chicken tikka masala, you must make chicken tikka first.

For measurements and the list of ingredients for the recipe, please refer to Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen.     


Have chicken tikka ready.
Note: While the chicken tikka is roasting in the oven, gather and chop all the ingredients for the curry.

Heat the ghee in a large sauce pan over medium high heat. When the ghee is hot, add bay leaf and cardamom pods. Stir for a minute.

Note: Whole spices are added for flavor only, they are not meant to be eaten.
Add the chopped onion.
Saute until edges begin to brown. Add minced ginger and chili and fry for a minute.
Stir in cinnamon, cumin powder, cayenne, turmeric, kasuri methi and salt and fry for a couple of minutes.
Add tomato sauce and one cup of water and bring it to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.

Note: If the liquid gets reduced too much in volume while simmering, add more water to the mixture.
Stir in chicken pieces. Continue to simmer for about 5 minutes until the chicken is heated through.
Stir in cream and cashew paste and cook for 5 more minutes.

Note: If the volume of the liquid gets reduced too much on the stove at this stage, add more cream or milk to the mixture.
Sprinkle garam masala powder and mix it in. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with cilantro leaves.
Serve with any paratha or rice.


For more recipes, table setting ideas and gardening tips from the author of Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen, check out Komali Nunna's blog.  
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