Friday, July 25, 2008

Paneer Butter Masala

The aroma of this dish is so soothing to my soul that even the best of any NV dishes can wait when this dish is on the menu.

This is yet another popular desi dish...mostly in North India. But for sure people in south cherish it as much too.

Back home I never even attempted to make this at home...cause you get the best of best at our North Indian restaurants. But here the longing for this dish made me to venture cooking it at home.

At times due to time scarcity I use the ready made President Choice Butter chicken sauce after i season cut onions with with some whole spices and ginger garlic paste. But the traditional way is made from scratch.


Paneer - 500gms
Tomatoe puree - 1/2 - 3/4 tin, (400gms)
Onions - 2 large ground into a smooth paste
Cashew - 10 soaked in enough water and ground into paste
Ginger-Garlic paste - 3 to 4 tsp
Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Chilli powder - 2 tsp
Dhaniya Powder - 2 tsp
Red Colour -1 tsp(optional)
Butter - 50gms + 50 gms + 50gms
Whole Spices - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Salt to taste
Cream - 1/2 cup
Coriander Leaves to garnish

Saute paneer in 50gms of butter until it becomes golden brown and keep aside.
In a kadai melt another 50gms of butter, add whole spices if using and saute onion paste till cooked.
Now add the ginger garlic paste and fry a little.
Add the tomato puree and cook till the raw smell is gone.
Add the chilli powder,dhaniya and powder garam masala powder.
Add 1/2 cup water.
Allow the gravy to boil.
Add the cashew paste and stir well.
Now add the paneer cubes to the gravy masala,
Mix the food colour in 1/4 cup of water and add it to this gravy.
Allow it to boil for 3-5 mins
Add a few coriander leaves and remove from heat.
Garnish with fresh cream and remaining coriander leaves.

Serve hot with flavoured rice or Roti/Paratha.
This is my entry for the event "Paneer - a delicacy" hosted by Vandana Rajesh of Cooking up something nice

Also since paneer is rich in protein I'm sending this to the event "Eat heathly - Protein Rich" hosted by Sangeeth of Lets all Cook

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Mango Pudding with Lime Jello Topping

I can write pages with my experiences with this King of Fruits - "Mango" . Like any other Indian I too love this fruit to pieces. In my childhood days there are very few days in summer where we won't enjoy this fruit atleast once day, after a meal. In fact I and my two brothers would threaten my Grand mother that we would starve that meal if we don't get mangoes. The moment we see our Grand mother coming from the market place we search the basket for mangoes. Usually she places them on top in her basket. And our faces would lit up with joy when we see the basket containing mangoes. I must admit i enjoyed the feast of mangoes in my childhood days.

In India summer is distinctly flavoured by the sweet aroma of this fruit. Most of the streets are filled with the vendors selling heaps of mangoes. The fruit markets are decorated with this yellow fruit spread. All these have now just become memories to me.

After migrating to North America, I hardly ever eat this fruit. Though we get some versions of mangoes in Asian, Indian and Tamil stores here too, I feel they can't come near that good old taste. I feel bad that I may not enjoy this fruit fresh ever any more. Because except for a must business trip, we will definitely try to avoid visiting India in summer as kids are still very small now to take the summer heat. More over with the global warming at its best than ever, we keep hearing stories of hot sun in India whenever we chat with family and relatives back home. So one thing I will still miss though I visit India is my mangoes, cause I'm sure we will be visiting in winter time only, where there is no crop of mangoes.

DSC04704 So to overcome my taste buds craving for this fruit, I try to use the mango pulp which is imported from India, to make desserts, shakes etc...One such delicacy is this Mango Pudding. Very very easy to prepare and boy it takes me back to those days of fun filled mangoes.

Since i was assigned to bring dessert for the Pot Luck dinner for Father's day celebration last month at TCFC(Telugu Christian Fellowship of Canada) where some of the Telugu Christian families in Toronto, gather once or twice a month to worship God in our own ethnic language. I thought the easiest and best would be this Mango pudding since its summer and as I already mentioned Summer reminds us of Mangoes.
In our family all our b'days fall around some famous celebrations...My first son Josh's b'day around Mother's the same month mine around Victoria day celebrated in Canada with a long weekend and my second son's b'day very close to Christmas day.

Lastly my husband's b'day being around Father's day..this mango pudding was a perfect treat as a b'day special dessert.

1 Tin - Mango Pulp
1 Milk Cream Medium
1/2 Cup Sugar
2 Packets Gelatin

For Topping :
1 Packet Lime Jello

Mix Mango pulp, Sugar and Cream together.
To this add the gelatin mixture prepared following the instructions on the Gelatin box. (Which is usually - mixing the gelatin powder to 1/2 cup of cold water and adding it to 1/2 cup of boiled water.)
Allow the Mango, Cream, Sugar and Gelatin mixture to set in the desired container in the fridge for about 3 hours.
Mean while prepare jello with the instructions on the Jello box..(Boil 2 cups of water and add the jello powder to it, let cool)
Keep aside.
Once the Mango pudding is set pour the jello on it and again refrigerate for 1 hour or until the jello sets.
Serve cold.

This is my entry for Meeta's Monthly Mingle - Mango Mania

and for the other food blog dessert event - Cool Desserts hosted by Paajaka Recipes

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Cauliflower Masala / Gobi Masala

This a simple veggie dish, which goes well with rice with sambar or rasam or even with roti or dosa.

As I mentioned earlier in my blog, I cauliflower is one of my favorite veggies. It is one must vegetable in my fridge all the time. Hubby is not so fond of though. But he doesn't mind it, as long as it is accompanied with some other main course dish. As u can see in the picture below.

Cauliflower medium size - 1 (broken into small florets)
Tomatoes - 3-4 or Tomato Puree - 1 cup

Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard - 1/4 tsp
Channa Dhal - 2 Tbsp
Onion - 1 small
Green Chillies - 2 slit
Curry leaves - 8 leaves
Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Vegetable Masala Powder or Chat Masala Powder - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Coriander leaves - a small bunch

Procedure :
Heat oil in a Kadai/Pan,
Allow mustard to splutter.
Add channa dhall, and stir till color changes.
Add cut onions, green chillies, curry leaves and saute til onions turn slightly brown.
Add the Cauliflower florets, red chilly powder, salt, and mix well to give an even coat of all ingredients.
Now add the tomato puree or the crushed tomatoes, mix well.
Add the Vegetable or chat masala and mix it evenly.
Add some water if needed and cook the florets for about 15- 20 minutes, mixing occasionally.
Add the finely chopped coriander leaves just before removing from heat.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Chicken Curry with Black Pepper

Miriyalapodi Chicken / Milagu Chicken
Chicken is so versatile that we can hardly run out of different ways to cook it. I have around 10 varieties of chicken curry recipes sitting in my drafts, waiting their turn to be published.

This recipe, chicken curry in black pepper is one of my favorite chicken curry dish. My grand mother being the chef behind this simple yet tasty chicken curry. No matter how many times I try I still can't catch up with the taste of my Grand Mother's Black Pepper Chicken. Perhaps there is some invisible ingredient that use to give this delicious taste that I can't explain only experience.

Some how this chicken curry was made only for special occasions in my home. Well this was a must for Christmas...And I use to wait eagerly for that special Christmas lunch when this pepper chicken was one of the delicacies among many.

I really love the aroma of this dish, cause it bring all those memories afresh. And I miss my Grand Mother all the more. Cause all my cooking is inspired by her's. Simple yet Tasty.

Ingredients :
2 lb - Chicken Skinless
1 Tbsp - Oil
Whole Spices:
4 Cinnamon Sticks broken
5 Cardamom
6 Cloves
2 Big Size Onions, sliced
2 Green chillies
2 Tbsp Ginger Garlic paste
1 whole Tomato, cut into small cubes.
2 Tbsp Coarsely crushed black whole pepper.
Salt to taste
Coriander to garnish

Method :
In a wide pot/pan heat oil.
Add the whole spices and allow them to brown a little
Now add Onion, green chillies and cook till onions are translucent.
Once the onions are cookedn add ginger garlic paste and keep mixing so that it doesn't stick to edges.
Add Tomatoes, and cook them well.
Now add the cleaned, cut chicken pieces and salt.
If desired add 1/2 tsp of garam masala powder
Mix well to coat the chicken pieces with all the spice masala
Cover and simmer for 5 - 8 minutes or till all the juices from the chicken are secreted, stirring occasionally.
Now add the crushed pepper powder to the chicken curry and cook till the chicken is fully done.
Sprinkle some water if it is too dry while the chicken is cooking.
Once the chicken is cooked and leaves oils add coriander and remove from heat.

Serve with plain rice and Parupu Rasam.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Lentil Pepper Tamarind Soup / Dhal Milaguthani Soup

Paruppu Rasam / Miriyalu Pappu Charu


This can be made with freshly prepared dhal or left over dhal can be used too. In my case whenever i have some left over dhall, and have a craving of rasam i make this parupu rasam.

To make Dhall:
Pressure cook or boil 1 cup of dhal with a few pods of garlic and 2 green chillies(if desired)
Mash it to make it a smooth paste and add some salt.
Keep aside.

To Prepare Rasam:

To grind coarsely - rasam paste:
5 Peeled Garlic Pods
2 tsp Black pepper balls
2 tsp Cumin Seeds

For tempering:
1 Tbsp Oil
1/2 tsp Mustard
4 Red chillies
10 Curry leaves
1 Tbsp Tomato paste
1 tsp Coriander power
A pinch of Hing/Asafoetida
Lemon size ball of Tamarind soaked in 3 cups of water

Coriander leaves to garnish


In a deep pot head oil, add mustard.
After mustard splutters, add red chillies, curry leaves fry a little.
Now add the coarsely ground rasam paste, fry for 2 to 3 mins.
Add hing and coriander powder and fry.
Add tomato paste, fry a little.
Add the pre-cooked dhal, and mix well.
Now add the juice from the soaked tamarind in water.
Bring this to boil and then add the coriander leaves and remove from heat.

Goes well with Pepper Chicken. We had it this along with Gobi masala too.

This is my entry for this JFI - Tamarind hosted by my favorite food bloggie out there, Sig of Live to Eat. Orignally this event was started by Indira of Mahanandi.