Monday, 5 December 2011

Matar Paneer

paneer 2

Matar paneer is a famous south Indian curry made with green peas and Indian cheese-Paneer. I have mentioned even in my earlier paneer posts that my family loves paneer dishes....if there is anything my family loves after non-veg it has to be paneer. And thus I keep trying various dishes to see those happy smiles.

And after I learned making this curry, it has become our favourite paneer dish . Specially my 4 year old son loves this curry and I still remember that day when I cooked this for the first time and my son came to me after dinner, hugged me and said ''I love you sooo much mommy and I love your cooking. Thank you for cooking this yummy paneer for me.'' Now, that was the best ever compliment I had got from my little boy. At first I thought it was because of the conversation he had with his friend that evening, which I overheard from the kitchen :)
My son : '' what did you eat for dinner today?''
His friend: ''I had soup''.
Son: ''Soup? Again? ''
Friend: ''Yes..why ?''
Son: ''Every time I ask you, you always say soup or bread and chocolate spread. You mommy cooks yummy dinner everyday.''

But then, I was wrong. He really liked this even the next time and keeps asking for this dish ever time he sees paneer in our refrigerator.

And now coming to the recipe, this is a very easy recipe which will give you the same restaurant taste at home. I have made this countless times and it has never failed to impress my family and my guests. So go ahead and give it a try.

paneer 3

Recipe source :

250 grams Paneer -cut into cubes,
1 1/2 cup Green peas,
6-7 cashew nuts,
2 medium Onions- finely chopped,
4-5 large Tomatoes,
1 tbsp ginger paste,
1 tbsp garlic paste,
1/2 cup of cooking oil,
1 tbsp of red chilli powder,
1 tsp coriander powder,
1/4 tsp turmeric powder,
1 tsp cumin powder,
1 tsp kasuri methi/dry fenugreek seeds,
2 cloves,
1 bay leaf,
2-3 cardamom pods,
1 cinnamon stick,
1/2 tsp cumin seeds,
salt to taste,
fresh coriander leaves and
cream for garnishing (optional)

paneer 1

Heat 1/4 cup of oil in a wok/ kadai, add the cashew nuts and saute till light brown, add finely chopped onions and around 1 tsp of salt. Cook till the onions turn light brown in colour, now add the turmeric powder, ginger paste and garlic paste and saute for 1-2 minutes and add finely chopped tomatoes. Cover and cook till the Tomatoes become soft -around 10-15 minutes. Blend this whole mixture to a smooth paste and keep aside.

Now heat the remaining 1/4 cup of oil in the same kadai add cumin seeds, when they splutter, add the whole garam masala - bay leaf, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon and saute for 1 minute. Add the grinded smooth paste back to the kadai and add chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and mix well. Add 1/2 cup of water and bring to a boil and cook on medium flame for 10-15 minutes - until the sauce thickens a little bit. Now add kasuri methi (dry fenugreek seeds), Paneer cubes and green peas and cook on low flame for further 10 minutes and switch off. Serve hot garnished with coriander leaves and cream with hot and fresh rotis or naan.

One can use either fresh shelled green peas or frozen green peas for this recipe. If using fresh add them before adding paneer and cook for 5 minutes because thay need more time to cook. I used frozen peas for this recipe.
If you don't like whole garam masala in you curry, you can skip it and add 1/2 tsp of garam masala powder instead to the gravy.

Sending this to Priya's event CWS- Peas .

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Strawberry Panna Cotta

Hi all,

Phew !!! Finally I managed to come back to my blog after a looooong gap of 4 months. The past few months had been very very hectic and busy with summer holidays and BBQ parties many friends and relatives visiting us and not to forget my Lil boy keeping me busy througout the day and as many bloggers out there must be aware of how hard it becomes to get back on to blogging if you stay away from it for a long period of time. I really really meant to get back to my blog every day but somehow kept procrastinating it day by day and week by week and I can't tell how much I missed blogging and all my blog friends here. But I am soo happy that I FINALLY managed to sit down and write a post today :)

pannacotta 1

Today I bring to you the famous Italian dessert Panna Cotta. Its a very creamy, yummy and a very easy dessert. I am sure most of you know about panna cotta. but if you have not heard of it before hre is a little intro about it. Panna cotta is an Italian dessert made by simmering together cream, milk and sugar, mixing this with gelatin, and letting it cool until set. So, if you have never tried this elegant and creamy dessert go ahead and try it NOW and believe me you will be very pleased by yourselves for whipping up this easy dessert which requires only few ingredients.

pannacotta 2


Ingredients :
250 grams fresh strawberries-pureed
300 ml fresh cream,
1/2 cup sugar and
2-3 tbsp of agar agar flakes / powder.

Strain the pureed strawberries and in a saucepan mix together the cream, sugar and the pureed strawberries. Cook this on low heat for 8-10 minutes and remove off the heat. Let it cool slightly. Meanwhile in another saucepan, cook the agar-agar in 2-3 tbsp of water until it dissolves completely. Add this to the cooked cream stirring constantly and mix well. Pour into cups or ramekins and refrigerate for 4-6 hours or overnight.

This can be eaten straight from the bowl in which it has been set or it can be inverted onto a plate and served topped with strawberry coulis.

pannacotta 3


200 grams of fresh strawberries,
3-4 tbsp of sugar and
1/2 tsp of lemon juice.

Blend starwberries in a blender(without adding any water). Add to a pan with the sugar and the lemon juice, bring to a boil and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Strain and let it cool completely. Spoon it on top of the Panna Cotta just before serving or you can top this sauce on the panna Cotta and let it set in the refrigerator till ready to serve.

Gelatine is 'THE' ingredients that sets this dessert but as I don't use gelatine, I substituted it with agar agar(a seaweed), which is a vegetarian alternative to gelatine.
You can subtitute the strawberries with any other fruit of your choice like raspberries, black berries or mangoes. Or you can just make plain vanilla pannacotta by adding few drops of vanilla essence to the cream while cooking.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Fruit and Nut Raita

Raitas are always served to cool the effect of hot curries or spicy Biryani. And as we all know that the cucumber and mint raita or raita with nicely cubed raw vegetable are best combinatins and and the most common raitas.But have you ever had a fruit and nut version of it? If no...then you should try this one.It has a distinctive flavour with a little bit of sweetness and and with nice flavour from the roasted cumins.


2 cups plain yougurt,
100 grams green seedless grapes,
2 firm bananas,
1/2 cup shelled walnuts,
1 tsp granulated sugar,
salt to taste,
1 tsp freshly ground cumin seeds and
1/4 tsp red chilli powder to garninsh.

Place the yogurt/curd in a bowl and add the grapes and wlnuts. Slice bananas directly into the bowl and fold in gently before the bananas turn brown.

Add the sugar, salt, ground cumin and gently mix together. Chill and just before serving , sprinkle the chilli powder and garnish with few extra grapes and walnuts.

Beef Vindaloo

Vindaloo - yummm...just the name 'vindaloo' makes me hungry anytime. The first time I ever tasted it was when I made this Lamb Vindaloo and I can still remember the taste and the effect it left on my tastebuds :) And this beef version is equally awesome and tasty. Actually the lamb vindaloo I had posted earlier has more gravy and this is more like a dry version and also the spices used in this recipe are different. Do try it and believe me you will be craving for more.

Tradionally this fiery Goan dish is made with wine. But still substituting the wine with vinegar and blending the vinegar with aromatic spices gives this recipe a distinctive flavour.


Recipe source- Best Ever Indian cookbook

1 kg lean beef-cut into cubes,
1 tbsp cumin seeds,
4 dried red chillies,
1 sp black peppercorns,
cardamom seeds-from 5 pods,
1 tsp fenugreek seeds,
1 tsp mustard seeds,
1/2 tsp salt,
1/2 tsp demerara sugar,
4 tbsp white vinegar,
2 tbsp of cooking oil,
1 large onion-finely chopped,
1 tbsp ginger paste,
1 tbsp garlic paste,
1 tsp coriander powder and
1/2 tsp turmeric powder.

Put the cumin seeds,red chillies, peppercorns, cardamom seed, fenugreek seeds and mustard seeds into a spice grinder and grind to a fine powder. Spoon into a bowl and add the salt, sugarand vinegarand mix to a thin paste. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a heavy pan and fry the onion for 10 minutes. Put the fried onions and the spice mixture into a food processor or a blender and make a coarse paste.

Now heat the remaining oil in the pan and fry the meat cubes for about 10-15 minutesuntil lightly browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep aside.In the same remaining oil add the ginger -garlic paste and fry for 2-3 minutes, add coriander powder and turmeric powder and stir for another minute. Add the spice and onion paste to this and fry for 5 minutes.Now return the beef cubes to the pan with 1 1/2 cup of water. Cover and simmer for around 1 hour or until the meat is tender. Serve hot with plain and yellow rice or with naan/chapathi.


You can just serve this with plain rice or if you want to serve as in the picture above. Infuse a pinch of saffron strands or dissolve little turmeric in a tbsp of hot water. And stir into half of the cooked plain rice and mix the yellow rice into the plain rice.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Blueberry Trifle

I am sure everyone is enjoying the beautiful and bright days of spring after the long grey winters. Spring is my favourite season of the year and I am sure its yours too. Thats because its a season of changes and it brings freshness to our lives and we see so many changes happening around us like the birds chirping happily, new leaves growing on the dry branches, beautiful beds of daffodils growing everywhere and also for me the most exciting part about this season is hosting parties and inviting friends for BBQ parties. We just had a BBQ day last weekend and I can't wait for the weather to get better so we can have more fun . And I love to end these parties with yummy and easy-peasy desserts. And this Blueberry trifle is one of my favourite spring/summer desserts. If you prepare the sauce ahead, its just a matter of assembling this.

Trifles are usually served in tranparant bowls/glasses to show the different layers in it. So make sure you are either using a big serving bowl or individual glasses for this. Traditionally alcohol is sprinkled on the layers of pound cake. But because we don't consume alcoholic drink, I have replaced it by making a vanilla syrup. So, go ahead and try this easy dessert and believe me you would be very pleased to see the pleasant smiles on your guest's face.

Adapted from Joy of Baking
-serves 4

8 slices of sponge cake/ pound cake,
3-4 tbsp vanilla syrup,
1 cup fresh Blueberries,
1 cup Blueberry sauce,
1 cup heavy whipping cream,
1/2 cup Mascarpone cheese,
1/2 tsp vanilla essence,
3 tbsp granulated sugar and
3-4 digestive cookies/ gingersnap cookies.

For Bleueberry sauce:
1-2 cups fresh Blueberries,
1/2 cup of sugar,
1 tbsp of cornstarch and
juice of half lemon.

For vanilla syrup:
1/2 cup of water,
2 tbsp of sugar and
1 tbsp of vanilla essence.


Using a cookie cutter cut the pound cake slices into 8 rounds according to the diameter of the glasses you are serving the trifle in. Now in a bowl, place the whipping cream, mascarpone cheese, sugar and vanilla essence and whip till soft peaks.

To make the blueberry sauce:
Combine all the ingredients listed above in a non stick saucepan and cook over a medium heat until the sugar melts, the blueberries break and cook till it reaches the consistency of a sauce. Cool in the refrigerator until ready to use.

To make the syrup:
Put all the ingredients- water, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and mix till well blended and keep aside.

To assemble:
Place 1 round slice of the pound cake at the bottom of the glass, sprinkle with 1 tsp of the vanilla syrup, And spread around 1 tbsp of the prepared blueberry sauce on the pound cake. Place some fresh Blueberries and place a dollop of whipped cream-mascarpone mixture. Now repeat another layer and refrigerate for 4-6 hours or till ready to serve. Just before serving sprinkle with some crushed cookies and top it with few fresh blueberries.

Refrigerating the Trifle will allow all the flavours to mingle and makes it more tasty. So its always better to prepare this dish in advance and store it in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

You can replace the blueberry sauce with any jam or fruit preserve. And also if you don't have whipped cream-mascarpone mixture, you can just use whipped cream or just plain old custard between the layers.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Curried Carrot Soup

Hi All,

I am back again with a new post after a long gap of almost 4 months and believe me it was not easy for me to stay away from my blog..but I had to because of many personal reasons. And I am sure all my blogger friends out there know how hard it gets to come out of this non-blogging habbit(specially after such a long gap). I am trying so hard to get back on the track and to post regularly like before. So, here I am with my new post or should I say my first post of this year.

Here is how I make my carrot soup.. being someone who loves spicy food, I love to have curried carrot soup instead of the bland(yet easy peasy) version , where you just boil the carrots with the stock and puree it and top it with some seasoning . So here goes the recipe for the soup...lets enjoy this hot soup one last time, before we say goodbye to cold winters and warm clothes.


500 grams Carrots- chopped,
1 Onion-chopped,
2-3 cloves of fresh garlic -chopped,
3-4 cups Chicken stock/ vegetable stock,
1-2 tbsp butter / vegetable oil,
1 tsp red chilli powder,
1/4 tsp coriander powder,
1/2 tsp pepper powder,
a pinch of garam masala,
1/2 cup sour cream(optional)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice and
salt to taste.

Heat the butter/ oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and saute for 15 -30 seconds over medium heat. Add the onions and the carrots and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add all the spices- chilli powder, pepper powder, corinader powder, garam masala and mix well and add salt to taste. Now add the stock and bring to a boil. Simmer and cook till the carrots become tender.
Puree this in a blender, in small batches until smooth . Bring back to a boil on simmer and add salt if needed. Add the lemon juice and serve hot with sour cream or Crème fraiche or freshly chopped coriander leaves.

If using store bought stock, make sure you add very liitle salt, because the stock already contain salt in it. Or check and add the salt after you puree the carrots.

I am sending this to Ramana's event - Treat to eyes:Series-2.


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