Sunday, December 16, 2012

Palak Paneer Bhurji ( Shredded Spinach and Crumbled Cottage Cheese)

Spinach and fenugreek leaves are two greens loved by everyone at home. Cottage Cheese in Spinach sauce is on every restaurant 's menu, loved by kids and adults alike

Here is my twist on the famous vegetable, Shredded Spinach with crumbled Cottage Cheese.

Spinach. 2 bundles                                        ( 400gms)
Tomato 4 med.                                              (200gms)
Oil                                                                  2 tbsp
Garlic                                                             1 1/2 tsp heaped (crushed)
Ginger paste                                                  1 1/2 tsp heaped
Green chilly                                                   1/2(finely chopped)
Cumin seeds                                                 1/2 tsp
Onion                                                            3/4cup ( finely chopped)
Cottage Cheese                                             250 gms (grated)
Coriander pd.                                                1 1/2 tsp
Red chilly pd.                                                1 tsp
Turmeric pd.                                                 1/2 tsp
Garam masala pd.                                          a pinch
Salt to taste
Asafoetida                                                    a pinch
Sugar                                                            1 tsp
Lemon juice                                                 1 tsp ( optional )
  1. Blanch , peel and chop tomatoes. Keep them aside.
  2. Pick, clean and wash spinach .Chop it very finely.
  3. Heat oil in a pan.
  4. Add asafoetida and cumin seeds.
  5. Add onion and garlic when cumin seeds turn brown.
  6. Sauté till onions turn golden but are still soft.
  7. Now add tomatoes and ginger paste.
  8. Cook till slightly thick, add coriander pd, red chilly pd. and turmeric pd.
  9. Stir and cook till almost dry.
  10. Add shredded spinach, salt and sugar. Mix well.
  11. Cover and cook till spinach is done.
  12. Add grated cottage cheese. Mix well.
  13. Sprinkle garam masala pd .
  14. Cook till all the water evaporates.
  15. Add lemon juice, if using
  16. Taste and adjust salt.
  17. Serve hot with any Indian bread of your choice.



Rasavangi , a South Indian curry, pairs very well with plain rice.

Ingredients :
Black gram  ( kala chana )                          1/2 cup
Toor dal ( split pigeon peas)                      1/4 cup
Brinjal                                                       1 med sized ( of the big variety)
Salt to taste
Water                                                       350 ml.
Tamarind paste                                         2 tbsp
Turmeric pd.                                             1/2 tsp
Chopped coriander.                                   2 tbsp.
Whole coriander seeds                             1 tbsp
Chana dal                                                1 /2 tbsp
Urad dal                                                   1/2 tbsp
Peppercorn                                              14 no.
Cloves                                                      4 no.
Whole red chilly                                        4 no.
Fresh coconut                                           1/2 cup ( grated)
Ghee/ clarified butter                                1 tbsp
Asafoetida                                                a pinch
Mustard seeds                                          1 tsp
Urad dal                                                    1/2 tsp
Curry leaves                                              12
Method :
  1. Wash and soak  black gram overnight.
  2. Pressure cook with salt and sufficient water till done.
  3. Meanwhile wash and soak toor dal.
  4. When pressure drops add toor dal and pressure cook till both chana and dal are done.
  5. Wash and chop brinjal into 1" pieces.
  6. In a separate pan boil brinjal pieces with turmeric , salt and tamarind paste with 350 ml water.
  7. Boil till brinjal is mushy. Crush a few pieces with the back of a ladle.
  8. Dry roast all ingredients except fresh coriander  till light brown , mentioned under paste.
  9. Switch of the gas and add coriander , mix well.
  10. When cool grind  into a fine paste using little water.
  11. Now mix all three-- black gram, toor dal mix, brinjal mix and the paste.
  12. Check the consistency of the gravy. It should be medium thick.
  13. Give it a boil .  Adjust salt
  14. For tempering : heat ghee in a pan and add tempering ingredients in the order they are mentioned. Pour tempering over the curry.
  15. Garnish with chopped coriander.
  16. Serve with plain rice.
  17. Tastes better with a dollop of ghee.

Tip :
  1. Add water if curry too thick.
  2. Quantity of tamarind can be adjusted depending on how tangy you like your curry.
  3. I have made it medium tangy because my husband doesn't like too tangy  a stuff

Raw Banana Roast

Bananas are really a versatile vegetable/ fruit. Raw banana roast is a crispy dry side dish that can be served with any curry and plain rice. Simple and quick to make.

Ingredients :
Raw bananas                       3
Salt to taste
Oil                                       3 tbsp
Mustard seeds                    1 tsp
Curry leaves                       12
Fresh coriander                  1 tbsp( chopped).   
Spice Powder
Coriander seeds                 2 tbsp
Chana dal                           1 tbsp
Urad dal.                            1 tsp
Peppercorn                        1/2 tsp
Whole red chilly                 3
Anardana ( dry pomegranate seeds ) 1 tsp
  1. Scrape the banana skin a little to remove fibre.
  2. Wash and pressure cook in sufficient water for two whistles.
  3. When cool, peel and  cut them into 1" thick quartered cubes.
  4. Dry roast all the ingredients  until golden and fragrant (given under spice powder).
  5. Grind them into a fine powder.
  6. Spread the banana cubes in a large flat dish.
  7. Sprinkle the spice powder and salt . Gently mix well.
  8. Heat oil in a non stick pan.
  9. Crackle mustard seeds. Add curry leaves.
  10. Now add the spiced banana cubes and sauté for a couple of minutes so that they become crispy.
  11. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Note : don't throw away the banana leaves.  You can make a dry side dish with them . I'll soon post a recipe for the same.

Sugar coated Shakarpara ( Diamond Crispies)

Diwali is all about making variety of snacks, sweet and  savoury  both.  Everytime I make these traditional snacks my childhood memories get revived. Sugar coated Shakarpara or Sweet diamond Crispies are made in two ways : sugar coated or with sweetened dough. Today I am sharing the recipe of sugar coated Shakarpara .

For Shakarpara
Maida  ( all purpose flour)   250 gms
Oil.                                  60 ml.
Water                              120 ml ( approx) 
Oil for frying.
For Sugar Syrup
Sugar                                150 gms
Water                                75 ml
Method : 
  1. Mix oil and maida. Add water slowly to make a slightly stiff dough. I needed 120 ml water. You can adjust the quantity of water.
  2. Knead the dough well.
  3. Cover it and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Divide the dough into two.
  5. Take one portion and make a smooth ball of it.
  6. Using a rolling pin roll it out onto an 8 inch disk.
  7. Take a sharp knife to cut it into diamonds.
  8. Repeat the process with the other portion.
  9. Fry these in hot oil on low to medium heat till golden.
  10. Keep them on kitchen towel to drain excess oil. 
Sugar syrup 
  1. Melt sugar and water in a wide heavy bottom pan.
  2. Keep stirring till it reaches one string consistency.
  3. Add Shakarpara to it and mix well till all are evenly coated with sugar syrup.
  4. Remove from fire.
  5. Once cool, store in an airtight container. Will stay good for two weeks.
 Note :  
To check if suger syrup has reached one string consistency, take a very small drop on a plate , once slightly cool ,touch it with your index finger and thumb. If it stretches into a string , your sugar syrup is ready.