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Sunday, June 6, 2021

Paneer Makhani ( Restaurant Style)


Paneer Makhani is a favorite dish of Indians. Paneer ( Cottage Cheese) cooked in silky smooth sweet Buttery gravy made of onion, tomatoes, ginger garlic and cashew. It is served with roti, naan, paratha or any type of bread . Paneer Makhani is amongst the top five frequently ordered dishes in all hotels, restaurant and eating joints in India. 

This restaurant style Paneer makhani is delicious and easy to cook . It can be made under 30 minutes from a scratch.No previous preparation is required. When you can't order from outside let us create the magic inside our home. 

So what are we waiting for, let us get started with this super creamy Panner Makhani and enjoy our dinner tonight with this sumptuous Paneer Makhani. 

We Need :

  • 200 gm Cottage Cheese

  • 2 medium onions

  • 4 Large Tomatoes 

  • 1" Piece of Ginger

  • 8 Garlic Cloves

  • 12 pieces of Cashew. 

  • 2 Green Chillies

  • 2 Cloves

  • 2 Green Cardamoms

  • 1" Piece of Cinnamon

  • 4 Pepper Corns or Kaali mirchi whole. Or ¼ Tsp of Black pepper powder. 

  • 1 Tbsp of Kashmiri Red Chilli powder. 

  • ½ Tsp of Turmeric Powder

  • 1 Tbsp Coriander Powder

  • 1 Tbsp Kasoori Methi. 

  • 2 Tbsp Butter

  • 2 Tbsp Cooking Oil

  • 1/2 Tsp Sugar

  • 50 ml Cream

  • 1 Tsp Salt Or to taste. 

Here we go:

  1. Cut onion & tomatoes in Long slices. Peel ginger and garlic and roughly chop them. Deseed Green Chillies. 

  2. Cut Paneer into cubes or triangles. I have cut into triangles. You can cut them according to your choice. 

  3. Heat a pan. Add 1Tbsp butter & 1 Tbsp oil to it. When butter starts melting add Green Cardamoms and Cinnamon to the pan. Roast for 5 sec and add onions to the pan. Saute till translucent. Add ginger , green chillies and garlic and saute for 1 minute. 

  4. Add Cashew and black peppercorn to the pan and roast a while. When Cashews are coated with oil, add chopped tomatoes to the pan. Also add salt, turmeric powder , coriander powder and Kashmiri red chilli powder. 

  5. Saute till tomatoes are mushy and well cooked. Raw tomatoes spoil the taste of gravy. So always cook them well. Add 250ml or 1 cup of water and cook it covered on low flame for 10 to 12 minutes or till the water has fully evaporated

  6. Let it cool and then grind it to a fine paste. 

  7. Heat the pan and add oil and butter to the pan. Add ground paste to the pan and saute till the paste thickens and leaves some oil. Add water to adjust it's consistency.

  8.  Add sugar. Cover it with a lid and further cook on low flame for ten minutes or till the gravy leaves oil. 

  9. Add Paneer pieces to the gravy. Add cream . Mix gently so as not to break the cheese pieces.

  10.   Crush kasoori methi in your palm and add to the paneer makhni. Mix well and switch off the flame. 

  11. Serve hot with roti, parantha and zeera rice. 


Preparation Time : 10 min

Cooking time : 20 minutes

Pro Tips:

Always add oil before adding butter. This will prevent butter from burning. 

Add fresh raw paneer to the dish. Don't fry it. 

If you dry roast kasuri methi on tawa. It will enhance the taste and smell of kasuri methi. 


Thursday, May 27, 2021

Pesarattu Dosa & Allam Chutney


Green gram dal is packed with healthy nutrients and is rich in potassium, magnesium and fiber. Moreover moong beans are low on fats and high in protein So it keeps you fuller for a longer time which helps in weight loss. So let us begin our day with crispy & healthy crepes made of green gram bean and are known as Pesarattu Dosas. This is the specialty of Andhrapradesh. Green gram is soaked overnight and in the morning it is ground to fine paste along with ginger and green chillies. To make these dosas crispy, soak two tbsp of rice along with the green gram . This batter needs no fermentation. You can make it right away. The filling of Pasarattu is of two types. One is to fill it with Upma and the other filling is of grated carrot, finely chopped onion and Tomatoes. To add to its taste, serve Pesarattu Dosas with Allam Chutney which is made of ginger and Gram dal or chana dal. Ginger is called Allam in Telugu. The basic ingredient is ginger but it's pungency is balanced by jaggery and tamarind. This dip has a sweet & spicy taste and enhances the taste of Pasarattu, vada and idlis. Usem fresh ginger roots as the dry ones are bitter. 

This Vegan and nutritious breakfast is easy to make. Our friends from Andhrapradesh introduced us to this dish. Today I am sharing their recipe of Pasarattu and allam pachadi or chutney with you. 

All of you who want to be high on protein do try this breakfast recipe. My Vegan friends will also love this recipe. 

We Need:

For Green gram Dosa

  • 1 Cup Green gram beans or Moong Dal

  • 2 Tbsp Rice

  • 2 green Chillies

  • 2" Inch Piece of Ginger. 

  • Salt to taste

  • 2 Cups of water for soaking the dal. 

For filling:

  • 1 Carrot grated

  • 1 onion Chopped

  • 1 Tomato Chopped

  • ½  Cup Chopped Coriander Leaves

For Allam Chutney:

  • 1 Onion Roughly Chopped

  • 2 medium Tomato roughly Chopped

  • 2 Green chillies roughly chopped

  • 2 Tbsp Chana dal 

  • 3" Ginger Piece 

  • 2 Tbsp seedless tamarind

  • 2 " Piece of Jaggery

  • 2 Tbsp Kasmiri Red Chilli powder

  • A pinch of Asafoetida( optional) 

  • 2 Tbsp Oil. 

  • Salt to taste. 

Here We Go:

  1. Wash Green gram thoroughly. Soak it overnight in water with 1 Tsp of salt. 

  2. Drain it in the morning. Grind it in a mixer jar along with green chillies and ginger to a smooth paste. Take the batter out in a bowl and check the salt. Add if needed. The batter should be of pouring consistency. If thicker, add a little water. 

  3. Heat a nonstick pan.Lower the flame and Pour a ladleful of batter on the pan and spread it like a dosa.( pan cake) Keep the flame on low. Spread some oil on the surface of the cake and let it cook. 

  4. Spread the chopped vegetables on it and fold it in the shape of Dosa. Take it out on a plate and serve it hot with allam chutney. 

  5. For Allam chutney, heat a pan and add 2 tbsp of oil to it. Add Asafoetida and chana dal and roast a bit. Add onions, green chillies and ginger pieces to it.  Add chopped tomatoes to it . Roast them till tomatoes are soft. 

  6. Add kashmiri red chilli powder. Add salt, tamarind and jaggery to it. 

  7. Add ½ Cup water and cover the pan. Let it simmer for 10 minutes on low flame till the liquid has almost evaporated.

  8. Let it cool. Add this chutney to the grinder jar. Also Add 4 pieces of ice cubes to the jar. Grind it to a fine paste. 

  9. Your Allam chutney is ready to serve along with hot Dosas. 


Soaking Time : 7 to 8 hours

Preparation Time : 20 minutes

Cooking time : 5 to 7 minutes per Dosa


Pro Tips :

Soak Green Gram Dal overnight for better results 

Adding rice is optional but it gives a crispy texture to the Dosa. 

You can store Allam Chutney for about a week in the refrigerator. 

Adding ice cubes to chutney while grinding helps to retain the colour of the chutney. 



Thursday, May 13, 2021

Shahi Tukda



The word Shahi tukda can be broken down into two words i.e. Shahi & Tukda. Shahi means Royal and Tukda is piece. Shahi tukda is a rich Mughlai Dish made with fried bread dipped in sugar syrup and enriched with thickened milk i.e. rabri and topped with dry fruits. It was supposed to have originated in Pakistan. Some believe it originated in Egypt and was made with leftover bread. There are many stories regarding the origin of this delicious dessert. It is also said that Mughal Emperors enjoyed their iftar meals in the month of Ramadan. So this dessert surely held a special place in Royal families. The name itself says Royal piece of dessert. 

The milk is thickened with cardamom powder and saffron and is called Rabri. The bread is usually deep fried in ghee and dipped in Sugar syrup afterwards. Prefer frying bread in pure ghee as that lends a rich flavour to the Shahi Tukda. But we are going to shallow fry them. These dipped pieces are then soaked in Rabri and topped with dry fruits. You can also add kewra to make it more fragrant. This delicious dessert is high in calories so eat sparingly. 

My mom-in - law cooked it on special occasions. The whole family loved it. Usually it takes a pretty long time to thicken the milk. But inside the recipe you will get to know a secret which will not only reduce the time but will add to the flavour as well. 

The recipe consists of three parts. Firstly to thicken the milk. Secondly, making Sugar Syrup. Lastly, to fry bread and dip in sugar syrup. If you like crispy bread then assemble the Shahi tukda just before serving. Otherwise you can assemble it and keep it in the refrigerator 

We Need:

For Rabri:

  • 1 Litre Full fat Milk

  • 3 Tbsp Sugar

  • 3 Green Cardamoms

  • 20 Almonds

  • Few strands of Kesar

  • 2 Tbsp Vanilla Custard Powder

For Tukda:

  • 5 Slices of White Bread

  • 1 Cup Pure Ghee

For Sugar Syrup:

  • ½ Cup of Sugar

  • ½ Cup of Water

Some thinly sliced Pistachio and Almonds to garnish. 

Here We Go:

  1. Soak Almonds in water overnight or at least for 5 to 6 hours. Peel them in the morning and keep aside

  2. Take a thick bottomed vessel. Add 1 litre of milk to it. Put it on medium flame. When the milk starts boiling reduce the flame to low and let it boil. Meanwhile keep on stirring it with a ladle. Scrap the milk sticking to the sides. You can do your other cooking side by side to utilize the time as this process will take around 30 minutes

  3. Add Cardamoms, peeled Almonds , a few strands of Saffron and ½ tsp of sugar to a grinder jar. Make a fine paste. Add a little milk if necessary for the process.

  4. Add this paste to the boiling milk along with sugar. Keep on stirring otherwise the thickened milk will stick to the bottom. 

  5. Dissolve 2 tbsp of vanilla custard powder in 2 tbsp of cold milk. Add this to the thickened milk. This will enhance the taste as well as expedite the process of Rabri. 

  6. Boil the milk for another 2 minutes till the custard is cooked. Switch off the flame and let it cool on its own. 

  7. Heat 1 Cup pure ghee in a pan on medium flame. Meanwhile remove the sides of the bread with a knife.  You can grind them and reuse them as bread crumbs. Now cut each slice diagonally. Shallow Fry these slices in the ghee till they are golden brown on both sides. Keep aside. 

  8. Add ½ Cup sugar to ½ Cup water. Put it on low flame. Keep on stirring till the sugar dissolves. Keep it on low flame for some more time stirring it constantly till sugar syrup thickens a bit. 

  9. Dip the fried slices in sugar syrup and coat them with sugar syrup on both sides. Don't leave the slices in syrup. Just coat the slices and take them out on a plate otherwise it will become soggy. 

  10. Arrange these slices in a dish and pour rabri over them. Decorate them with slices of almonds and pistachio. You can serve it both hot & cold. 


Preparation Time : 10 minutes

Cooking Time : 40 minutes

Serves : 6 


Pro Tips:

Use 2 days old bread for this recipe as fresh bread will get soggy early. 

Keep on stirring the milk otherwise it will stick to the bottom. 

Fry the bread in pure desi ghee as it will provide the richness to the dish. 

You can use any type of bread but white bread tastes the best. 

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Garlic & Spinach Spaghetti.



Though Spaghetti & noodles look alike. But they are very different in their texture, taste and thickness. Spaghetti is a traditional Italian staple food made of durum wheat and water and Therefore has more nutritional value . Whereas Noodles are generally made of flour paste. They are also thin. One more interesting fact is that Spaghetti is eaten with a fork and noodles are eaten with Chopsticks. Spaghetti is served in a plate or bowl and topped with sauce. It is then mixed with the help of a spoon  and fork and then eaten with a fork. Interesting!. 

Today we are making Avery simple and easy to cook Spaghetti which you can enjoy on any working day for your lunch and dinner. It has very few ingredients. However you can top with any sauce of your choice. But my family prefers it plain and simple. 

We Need:.

  • 200 gm Spaghetti

  • 2 Tbsp minced Garlic

  • 2 Cups roughly chopped Spinach. 

  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

  • 2 Tsp Chilli Flakes

  • 1 Tbsp Oregano

  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Sauce. 

  • Salt to taste. 

Here We Go:

  1. Add 4 Cups of water to a pan. Keep it on flame. When the water starts boiling add spaghetti, salt and 1 tsp of oil. Keep the flame on low and let It boil. It will take around 12 to 15 minutes to be done. . 

  2. To Check whether the pasta is done. Take one spaghetti and press it between your thumb and finger. If it cuts easily,it is done. 

  3. Strain it in a strainer. Keep one cup of pasta water aside. Rest you can discard. 


  4. Heat a wok and add 2 tbsp of oil to it. When heated add minced garlic. Saute it till fragrant. But it should not turn brown. 

  5. Add roughly chopped Spinach to it. Also add chilli flakes and oregano. Saute till spinach wilts. 

  6. Add Spaghetti and one cup pasta water and 2 tbsp of sauce to the pan. 

  7. You can add Add chedar cheese f you want at this stage. I have made it without cheese. Stir for 2 to 3 minutes to let pasta absorb flavours and water. Serve Hot. 

 Preparation Time : 15 min
 Cooking time : 15 min. 
Pro Tips:
If you are using baby spinach  you can avoid chopping it . 
Avoid over cooking pasta. 
Don't burn garlic while cooking as that will spoil the taste 

Monday, April 5, 2021

Mac & Cheese



This  Mac and cheese recipe is a total comfort food. It is an excellent side dish and can be a main dish too when you want a quick and simple dinner. The elbow macaroni is first boiled and later wrapped in a creamy cheesy homemade sauce . It can be made in two versions. The first one is simple. Boil the macaroni and let it drain. Meanwhile make cheesy creamy Bechamel Sauce and mix Macaroni in that sauce and Enjoy. The other one is to mix macaroni and sauce and then bake it with bread crumbs in an oven. I will suggest you try the second version. The macaroni in cream and cheese with a layer of crunchy bread crumbs tastes awesome. Do try. 

We Need:

For Boiling Macaroni:

  • 1 Cup Elbow Macaroni

  • 4 Cups Water 

  • 1 Tsp Salt

For Making Cheese Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp All purpose flour ( Maida) 

  • 2 Tbsp Butter 

  • 500 ml Cold Milk

  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper Powder

  • ½ Tsp Nutmeg Powder

  • 1.25 Cups of Shredded Cheese preferably mix of cheddar and Mozzarella.   

  • Salt ½ Tsp or as required

Bread Crumbs Topping

  • 1 Cup Bread Crumbs

  • 2 Tbsp Butter

  • 2 Tbsp Shredded Mozzarella Cheese. 

Here We Go:

  1. Take 4 cups of water in a pan. Add salt to it. When it starts boiling add one cup Macaroni pasta to it. Gently stir while boiling so that pasta doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. When pasta is al dente ,( it will take 5 to 7 minutes) drain it in a colander. To stop further cooking of the pasta add cold water to it. Drain it completely. 

  2. Meanwhile, take a baking dish and coat it with butter, that is if you want to bake it with bread crumbs topping. . Preheat the oven at 180 degrees celsius for ten minutes. 

  3. Heat a pan and add 2 Tbsp of butter to it. As the butter starts melting and frothing add all purpose flour to it. Keep stirring so that lumps are not formed. You will see the bubbles forming in flour. Saute till the raw smells go off and you can smell a nice aroma. Do not brown it otherwise it will spoil the colour of Bechamel Sauce. 

  4. When the flour is done, keep the flame to lowest and slowly add cold milk to it in a smooth stream. However keep on stirring the sauce to avoid the formation of lumps. Keep on stirring till you get a thick sauce. Take a spoon and dip the back of the spoon in the sauce. If The sauce coats the spoon, your sauce is done. Remove the pan from flame . 

  5. After one minute, add shredded cheese to it. Mix well till you get a creamy white sauce. 

  6. Add black pepper powder and nutmeg powder to it  Since there is salt in the cheese, add salt only after tasting the sauce . 

  7. Add boiled pasta to the sauce and mix well with a spoon till each pasta is coated with cheese sauce. You can also have it like this. But if you prefer to bake then let us follow the next step. 

  8. Add 2 Tbsp of melted butter to the bread crumbs. Coat them well with butter. Also Mix Tbsp of mozzarella cheese to the bread crumbs. 

  9. In the greased baking dish pour the macaroni mixed with white sauce. Spread it evenly in the dish. Top it with bread crumbs which we previously mixed with butter and cheese. 

  10. Put it in the preheated oven.  Bake it at 180 degrees celsius for 10 minutes or till you see the golden crust on top. 

Enjoy your Mac & Cheese hot and Crunchy 

Total Cooking Time : 40 minutes. 

Serves : 2


Tips:

The perfect boiled pasta is when you can cut it with a knife. It should not be overdone otherwise it will become soggy and won't hold the shape. 

You can add finely chopped veggies for fiber & extra nutrition. 

Use Cold milk for making sauce as it will prevent lump formation in the sauce. 

If the sauce is too thick, then add more milk to thin it down 

Don't use packaged shredded cheese. Shredd your own cheese.