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Paneer Butter Masala

Paneer or Cottage cheese is very common at my home and my kids just love it, no matter in which way it is prepared.Be it spicy, creamy or even as a fried snack, they would just go on munching on it, till they are full. My daughter, picks each piece of Paneer for herself and she says the entire dish is her`s and would not give anyone ..lol..

Paneer Masala

Few days back I happened to see a cookery show where they prepared butter chicken, in such a simple and easy way. I had already made a point that I would try it sometime soon. However, I just could not hold back my patience and when checked,had this pack of Paneer with me instead of the chicken. Thought for a while and decided I would go with the recipe with Paneer and try how it would be.

Butter Paneer Masala

It was a true winner and everybody in the family liked it. Very creamy and with lots of gravy. With the spices just right ,the entire bowl of the curry was vanished with just one sitting by the family !!! My son has asked me to make for him often now. This is so simple and easy and just require very little time.

Though this is Paneer butter masala, I did not put much of butter,just with some oil. Even then it was great, so for butter lovers, you could go ahead with butter and enjoy it !!!

Servings – 4

Ingredients

500 gms Paneer or Cottage cheese cut into cubes

1 large onion diced to small cubes

1 tsp finely chopped ginger

1 tsp finely chopped garlic

1 cup Tomato puree or tomato paste

1 cup Fresh Cream

1/2 tsp Turmeric powder

1 tbsp Kashmiri chilly powder

1/2 tbsp Red Chilly powder

1 tbsp coriander leaves finely chopped for garnish

Salt to taste

1 tbsp butter ( optional)

Oil

Method

. Gently rinse the cubed paneer / cottage cheese pieces and keep aside.

. On a pan, heat some oil or melt the butter . To this add the cubed onions, garlic and ginger and saute well.

. When the onions turn translucent , add in the turmeric powder, Kashmiri chilly powder, red chilly powder and saute well.

. When the raw smell is left, add in tomato puree and mix well. When the puree is cooked and slowly starts leaving the sides, add in the fresh cream and stir.

. To this add in the diced Paneer cubes and salt as per taste and cover with a lid for a few minutes.

. When the gravy starts thickening, just sprinkle some coriander leaves and take of from flame.

. Serve hot along with Roti, Naan or chapati ( Falt Indian bread).

Tips:

. If you fee the gravy is a bit too thick, add some water before taking off from flame and adjust to you level of preference.

. Make sure when you add the cream, the heat is low, or else the chances of curdling is high.

Linking this recipe with Kitchen Dreaming Social Week – 12

Kitchen dreaming

 

Coffee Infused Lamb

Coffee Infused LambJust as the name says, this is a wonderful recipe that has a beautiful blend of coffee with Lamb. Does that sound strange??? Well even I thought so when I heard it for the first time. But somehow my instincts told me it would be great. Yet I kept thinking and thinking many times before I gave this a try.

This was actually seen on a cookery show and I just noted it down with just the main points. Later,I had to sit and recall the entire steps what the Chef was doing to get mine right. Yet I made changes to mine and gave it a try. The moment the kitchen was filled with the  aroma of coffee, my son came running in asking” Mom what is special today?”…lol….he now knows that his mom is upto something when the not so common smell fills the house….lol..I told him Surpriseeee!!!! and asked him to wait…

Coffee Lamb

The wait was worth, when he was served this tender, coffee infused lamb and my daughter too was very happy on it. They had it to their full and has put requests to make them again. You can see my daughter all assisting me and being a part of my shots with all the patience for that tender piece she holds…..lol… We all thoroughly enjoyed the dish.

Lamb coffee

This is perfect to be had as an appetizer or snack and is very simple and easy to make.

Servings – 4

Ingredients

400 gms Lamb or tender Mutton

2 tbsp brown Sugar

3 tsp Instant Coffee Powder

2 tsp Vinegar

2 tbsp Oil + Oil for shallow frying

Salt to taste

Method

. Marinate the lamb or mutton pieces with all the mentioned ingredients and let it refrigerate for about 2-3 hours.

. Heat pan and add some oil ( not too much).

. When oil is hot, cook lamb till the marinate turns to a sauce. ( I placed a lid so that the meat was thoroughly cooked till soft and very tender)

. Serve hot.

Coffee Lambs

Soya methi patties

With all the celebrations done, it is time to give a break to all the sweets that has been hanging around in my kitchen and switch to something really healthy and tasty. As usual, this was something that I created to get my kids have vegetables. They were so fond of Soya chunks, but lately they just started to get away from it. So again, I had the task of cracking my head to find innovative ways to get them have this.their veggie intake.

Methi leaves or Fenugreek is very healthy. They have lots of medicinal values that are good for health.They could be used both in the fresh form or in the dried form. On my last grocery purchase, I happened to come across some fresh Methi leaves which I could not resist and I instantly thought this is the best time to get hold of them.

methi soya patties

Back home, I was thinking on how to get my kids have this. I usually mix it with the normal Chapati ( flat Indian bread). But this time, I thought would do something different. That is when this idea suddenly struck me. Had some soya chunks in my pantry and I went for the combination of both.

In order not get the slightest hint as to what this is, I shaped them as mini thick patties and convinced them that these are great burgers !!!! ( LOL….mothers na.. need to be innovative for kids…). Poor kids, they believed me and was very happy on this yummy snack that they had.  Seeing them  having these patties, I was also happy, afterall I got them have something really good  …lol

Soya patties

Servings – 12-15 Nos

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup Soya chunks

3/4 cup Methi or Fenugreek leaves finely chopped

3/4 cup boiled potatoes

1 1/2 cup finely chopped onions

2 green chilies finely chopped

1 tsp finely chopped ginger

1 tsp finely chopped garlic

1 tsp finely chopped curry leaves ( Optional)

1 -2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves

2 tsp Meat Masala powder ( Optional)

1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds

1-2 egg beaten

Salt as per taste

Bread crumbs for frying

Oil for frying.

2 cups water

Method

. Boil the water with about 1 tsp salt and soak the soya chunks for about 10-20 minutes.

. After 20 minutes and cool enough,squeeze the water completely off the soya chunks with your hands and finely chop them using your food processor.  Keep this aside.

. Process the onions, green chilies, ginger and garlic together so they are finely chopped.

. In a pan, heat some oil and crack the mustard seeds. To this add the onion, ginger, garlic and chilly and mix and saute well.

. When the onions start to get translucent, add the potatoes and mix well and then add the meat masala, and some salt and mix well.

. When the the raw smell is left, take off from flame and leave it to cool.

. Once cooled, add in the processed soya chunks, finely chopped methi(fenugreek leaves), curry leaves and coriander leaves and mix with your fingers till they are like a soft dough.

. Roll out small balls and them pat them to your desired size and shape.

. Dip them in the beaten egg one by one and then roll them in bread crumbs.

. Heat oil for frying and when hot, deep fry them.

. Serve hot along with rice, with sandwiches, rotis or with just sauce.

This is a great make ahead snack and could be stored in freezer for upto 2-3 weeks. You can complete the entire process and just thaw before frying when ever you want to use them.

Tips

. You can either mix the egg and bread crumb along with the entire mix for making the process easier.

. To make it even more healthier, you can use powdered oats instead of bread crumbs.

. The meat masala powder was added so that the soya and methi taste does bot get easily identified.

soya and methi patties

Valentine Rose Velvet Cake

Valentine velvet Cake

Ah !! It`s valentine again and every year I make sure that I surprise my hubby with something different. At the beginning of our marriage, we used to buy gifts, cards and all that kiddo kind of things, but as years pass by, being with one another is the greatest joy and gift that we have for each other. This year I thought I would surprise him with a Velvet cake, since I was learning on how to bake and design cakes.

Valentine cake

To be frank, this cake  have been evolved from lots of my mix and matches and I tell you is also a healthy cake. Why I tell healthy is because, I have not used the flour on whole, but half is wheat flour !!! I have been reading over the net various recipes and have seen in many recipes, the flour being replaced with wheat flour for healthier reasons. So I thought, even I would give a try. 

Cake

The actual intention was to make a red velvet cake, however when I started on with the batter, I realized, I was in short of red color and so I shifted to orange color…lol….After all it is not the color that matters, when making just for family…..:) To form the heart shape, I did surf the net a lot and it was then I came upon the idea from here, that you can trace a heart on to a butter paper and then cut the round cake. My cake is not perfect, but I guess it was fine , for the family….lol… You see those cake pops??? They are the cut out cake that I rolled into balls my mixing the cake crumbs with little whipped cream !!! and designed by my son….. Nice way of not wasting the crumbs right ???…lol…

Cake pops

I topped it with cream cheese and Pinterest Board has made me stretch myself to give my hands a try on the beautiful pictures I see there. Though I am no where to what the professionals are, I did like my first attempt on a Rose cake.  This cake was very much appreciated and loved by my family and the attempt was encouraged. It was such a great feeling to see all of them being happy and enjoying the cake.

Velvet cake piece

Servings – 15-20 pieces 

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups All purpose flour

1 cup wheat flour

1 tsp salt

2 Cups Castor Sugar

1 cup Softened butter

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1 tsp Vanilla essence

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1 tbsp Cocoa powder

1 1/2 tbsp Food color ( I used orange and yellow mix)

1 tbsp Cider Vinegar or Lemon juice

For Cream Cheese Frosting

3 cups Unsifted Confectioners Sugar, sifted

1 cup unsalted butter

8 oz cream cheese

2 tsp Vanilla Essence

Method

. Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Grease pans and keep aside.

.  Sift the flour, wheat flour, and salt and keep aside.

. Beat the eggs till light and fluffy. To this add the butter and sugar and beat well till light and fluffy.

. To this , add the flour mixture ( dry ingredients)  alternating with buttermilk. (Begin and end with flour mixture here) and fold well.

. Then add the vanilla essence.

. In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder and color to a paste. Mix this to the batter and blend well. 

. In another bowl, mix the lemon juice and baking soda. This will form a foam. Stir this immediately to the batter and beat.

. The batter would be thick. Pour the batter to the pan and bake for about 20-25 mins or till cake is done.

For the Cream Cheese

. Sift the confectioners sugar and keep aside.

. Beat the butter and cream cheese till blended well.

. Add in the vanilla essence and the sugar , little by little and blend well. Taste as you go for the amount of sweetness required.

. Beat till thick and creamy.

With the help of a piping bag and flower tip, you can make the roses on the cake.

Note :  This cake could also be microwaved for about 3 minutes.

Tips : In case you do not have buttermilk, you can make it instantly. To 1 cup of milk, mix 1 tbsp lemon juice and let it stand for 10 minutes. The milk will curdle and you can use this as buttermilk. 

 

 

 

Chocolate ornage cake - 1

The combination between chocolates and oranges is just like a couple. They blend and fit in so well that it is really divine. Today is my little brother`s ( well not so little , he is 25 !!!) birthday and I wanted to make something special for him. He was asking for a chocolate cake for some time and so I thought this is the perfect time to surprise him with what he would be wanting the most.

I was just thinking, what change could I bring to the normal chocolate cake, when the idea of combining oranges strikes me. Immediately I check whether I have the required ingredients and lo…the main ingredient being oranges were not there. Anyways I had to drop my daughter to school and on my way back, bought some oranges.  I just had two hours with me before I pick her and so I had to quicken up my process and that is when I thought I would take the help of microwave.

Chocolate Orange Cake - 3

This is a very easy and simple recipe and trust me the outcome is great. I also made Chocolate Ganache which I was experimenting for the first time. Fortunately everything came out well, just that I am not happy with the designing, since I was in a bit hurry…:(

The texture was perfect and I sandwiched the two layers with some chocolate butter-cream. The sides have been decorated with orange slices.

Chocolate orange cake - 4

Servings – 7-8

Ingredients

4 tbsp raisins chopped

4 tbsp fresh orange Juice

1 cup light Brown sugar

1/4 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs lightly beaten

4 tbsp milk

1 cup All purpose flour

1/4 cup unsweetened Cocoa powder

1 tsp Vanilla Essence

2 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

For the Ganache

1 cup Fresh Cream

1 cup semisweet chocolate cut into chunks

1 tbsp butter

Method.

. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda and keep it aside.

. In another bowl, mix the raisins and orange juice and keep it aside.

. In a large bowl, beat the eggs using a hand mixer thoroughly till fluffy. To this add the brown sugar and oil and beat well.

. Then add the Vanilla essence and milk and beat.

. Fold in the flour mixture in two to three batches till mixed well. Incorporate the orange juice and raisin mixture to this cake mix and fold in well till everything is combined.

. In a microwave safe pan, grease the bottom with butter. Pour in the batter to half the pan and microwave for about 2 minutes or till cake is cooked and tooth pick comes clean.

. Leave the cake to cool.

For the ganache – In a bowl, heat the cream till it begins to boil, stirring continuously. To this add the butter and mix well.

. Take off from heat and then add in the chocolate chunks and mix well till all the chocolate melts and mixes well.

. When the cake is cooled , pour the ganache on the cake and refrigerate for it to  set.

Once the cake is set, you could decorate with orange wedges or cherries or anything of your choice.

 

Samosa potato and cheese

Samosas are very common here and is one among the most common  opted snack for the evenings. I still remember, during my school days, after classes, along with my friends, we used to hang out at the small street vendors then for these hot hot samosas. It was real fun and we used to have plenty number of them. Later my mom used to make them at home and she used to make them with so many kind of fillings.

Potato and cheese samosa

I have been having this in mind for some time to make, but somehow it did not happen. Once I made, but could not shoot as my kids started picking off the moment I started frying them and placing them on paper towels !!! So this time I prepared the fillings and kept aside and when they took their afternoon nap, I went on with my work. So this time I could shoot without them troubling me and running away with the ones I have kept for the shoot !!! lol….

samosa

This is very simple. I have used the samosa sheets that you get from the stores. You could make your own sheets and is the same as the Spring Roll Sheets. The only difference in the folding. For spring roll you fold them to rolls and for samosas into small triangles. My kids and husband just loved these and it was over within no time.

samosas

Servings 12-14 nos

Ingredients

2 medium sized potatoes

1/2 cup corn

1/2 cup grated cheese ( any cheese of your choice)

2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves

Salt to taste

Oil for frying

1 tbsp All purpose flour + water to form a thick paste for sealing.

Method.

. Leave the samosa sheets to thaw from freezer before starting.

. Wash and clean the potatoes and cook them till soft and mushy, either in a pressure cooker or by boiling them.

. When warm, mash them thoroughly and mix in the cheese,corn, coriander leaves and salt.

. Gently take one sheet and fold them to triangles, keeping one side open.

. Take a spoonful of the filling and fill the pastry sheet. Then to close them, just apply a little all purpose flour paste that helps in closing the open side.

. In a deep bottom pan, heat the oil for frying. Deep fry the samosas or pastries.

. Serve hot along with tomato sauce and enjoy a wonderful snack.

 

Stuffed Sardines

Stuffed Sardine-001

It has been some time that I have posted in here. Was a bit bust with my works and some functions in between. Well this was one recipe that I happened to watch in one of the cookery shows some time back. I just jotted it down hurriedly before leaving out and then it was always in my mind to give it a try. Though I did buy sardines after that, I could not try this. This time I decided I would give a try and when I checked I did have all the required ingredients too.

This is a very simple dish and it was really loved by all in the family. The original recipe is not spicy at all, but since we all at home want it to be spicy, I did make alterations to the recipe to fit our taste buds.

sardine stuffed

My kids just loved it and they thoroughly enjoyed.  It tastes best when served hot. Just right from the pan to your plate.  Perfect as a starter or along with some hot rice.

sardines stuffed

 

Servings – 4-5 nos

Ingredients

4-5 cleaned Sardines

A bowl full of bread crumbs

2-3 tbsp finely chopped parsley

1 egg  beaten well

5-6 green chilies finely chopped

2 tbsp Black pepper powder

2 tbsp Parmesan cheese grated ( optional)

Salt a pinch.

Oil for frying

For the Marinate ( This step is optional, only if you want to make it very spicy)

1 tbsp Chilly powder

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp pepper powder

1/2 tsp coriander powder

Salt

Method

. Clean the sardines thoroughly. De-bone the sardines and  make them flat.

. Marinate them with the ingredients for marination and leave it for 10-15 minutes.

. In a bowl, mix all the other ingredients well. ( The right consistency is when you try making a ball with your hand it rolls and when you just give a little pressure and it breaks)

. There are two ways in which you could do the frying. One option is to fill the stuffing to one of the flattened sardine and sandwich it with another sardine on top and fry them, or  in one sardine alone, fill the stuffing on one side and close with the other side firmly and fry them. ( The recipe called for the first method of frying, but I went in my own way of frying, which is the second method)

. Fry them crispy on both sides. Don`t worry even if the fish opens up a little.

. Serve hot with a touch of lemon juice.

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