Thursday, May 31, 2012

Paneer Makhani

This is the first paneer dish that I had cooked.
Paneer Makhni
1 inch ginger,paste
6 garlic cloves,paste
11/2 cup tomato puree
3 green chilies (remove stem and slit lengthwise)
1 cup milk
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp ghee(Clarified butter)
3 elaichi (Cardamom)
1 inch cinnamon stick
4 cloves
1 tsp jeera (Cumin seeds)
1 tbsp kasoori methi
1/2 tsp haldi (Turmeric powder)
1 tsp kashmiri mirch powder
Black pepper powder (Little less than 1/2 tsp)
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
250 gms paneer cut into small pieces
2tbsp fresh cream
Coriander leaves for garnishing
Salt to taste
  • Heat ghee and butter in a pan.
  • Add the cardamom, cinnamon,and cloves to it. Fry for 10 secs
  • Reduce flame to medium and add cumin seeds. 
  • When cumin seeds start crackling, add the ginger-garlic paste. Fry for few seconds or till the raw flavours are gone.
  • Add the green chillies and the tomato puree. Stir and cover the pan with a lid.Cook on low flame for 20 minutes.
  • Remove lid, put gas on medium. Crush kasoori methi using your palms and add it to the gravy.
  • Add kashmiri mirch, coriander powder, turmeric, black pepper powder, cumin powder,salt and garam masala. Cook on medium heat for another 5 minutes.
  • Now add the paneer pieces to the gravy and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from gas and let the gravy cool completely.
  • Add 1 cup milk and cook on low heat till the gravy starts boiling. Keep the gravy consistency as per your requirement. 
  • Just before serving add fresh cream and garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve it with hot steamed rice,roti or naan.
You can cook the gravy in oil instead of butter or ghee in case you are concerned about the calories and also skip the cream at the end.
Try malai paneer or homemade paneer for better taste.

This recipe was also featured in Caldron Feb 2014 issue

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Rava fried Kingfish

Photo by Amit Agni
1 piece of kingfish
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (Haldi)
1 tsp red chilly powder
Rava/Semolina (just enough to coat the kingfish)
Salt to taste
2 tbsp oil for shallow fry
Wash the kingfish and pat dry.
Marinate the kingfish nicely with salt for half an hour. I usually keep it for an hr. By doing so, the fish will get a salty flavour even after it is washed.
Wash it again. 
Make a mixture of little salt,chilly powder, and haldi and apply it evenly on the kingfish. 
Coat it with rava.
Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the fish. 
Serve it with steamed rice.
For more flavour I also add 1tsp of tandoori masala.
Photo by Amit Agni

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Daal Makhani

Daal Makhani 
1 cup whole urad daal (Urad sabut)
1 medium size onion finely chopped 
1 medium size tomato, puree 
1" ginger piece, minced 
2-3 green chilies, chopped
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
5-7 garlic flakes, minced
2tbsp stirred yogurt 
1/2 cup fresh stirred cream  
2tbsp butter (Optional)
1tsp cumin seeds (Jeera) 
1/2tsp turmeric powder (Haldi) 
1/2tsp garam masala 
1 tsp red chili powder 
2 tbsp ghee
Salt to taste
Water as per requirement
  • Soak urad daal overnight in water. I did not have much time so soaked it for 6 hours.
  • Put urad daal with water and salt in a pressure cooker. I have added 3 1/2cup of water. After the first whistle keep it for another 12-15 minutes.
  • Mash the mixture.
  • Add yogurt to the daal and mix.
  • Heat ghee in a kadhai.
  • Saute cumin seeds and add ginger-garlic..
  • Fry  until the raw flavours are gone.
  • Add onions and saute till golden brown.
  • Add tomato puree, and green chilies.
  • Fry till oil separates.
  • Now add turmeric powder, garam masala and chili powder. Fry for 2 minutes.
  •  Add the above mix to the daal in the pressure cooker and stir. Add water, if required.
  • Pressure cook again until 2-3 whistles.
  • Remove from the flame.
  • Add the cream and stir.
  • Add chopped coriander leaves. Add butter if you want. I have only added cream and skipped butter. I have garnished it with cream.
  • Serve with parantha, naan, roti or steamed rice.
Note: Add water if you see that the daal is very thick, then boil.
You can also add a 1/4cup of rajmah (kidney beans) in daal makhani. Soak them overnight and then boil with the daal. 
I cook Daal Makhani at night and eat it for lunch next day. It tastes much better next day.
 Hope you like it as much as I do!

Coconut Cake sister's favourite...

 1-1/2 cups unsweetened desiccated coconut 
 100 gms unsalted butter, softened 
 2 cups all-purpose flour (Maida) 
 1 tsp baking powder 
 1 tsp vanilla essence 
 11/3 cups sugar 
 1 cup whole milk 
 1/2 tsp salt 
 3 eggs
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C or 347 degrees F.
Now grease a cake pan and line bottom with parchment paper.
Grease paper and dust pan with flour.
Sieve together flour, baking powder and salt.
Beat butter with mixer till creamy.
Gradually beat in sugar on medium speed till pale and smooth.
Add vanilla essence to it, stir.
Beat in eggs.
Beat in flour mixture and milk in batches over slow speed.
Raise the speed to medium and beat batter 1-1/2 minutes till soft, now fold in the coconut.
Spoon batter into the cake pan and spread uniformly.
Bake cake in the middle of the oven till golden brown or till a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes at the temp of 175 C.
Cool cake in the pan for about 1 hour.
Remove paper and invert onto a rack to cool completely.

Coconut Cake is ready to serve.
"I mix the butter and sugar using a spoon in a big bowl. To beat the eggs I use a mixer( the one we use to grind tomato etc), beat it till it is fluffy with a light yellow colour. Rest all the mixing is done in the bowl itself using a spoon...but this is a lot of hard work:)"    

Monday, May 28, 2012

Goan Kingfish Curry is always in demand:)

6-7 small pieces of kingfish 
3/4 cup grated coconut
11/2 tbsp coriander seeds
6 dry red chilies
1 medium size onion,chopped
2 garlic cloves
8-9 peppercorn
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 small pieces of tamarind (amtan) 
2 green chilies, slit lenghtwise
1 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
Water as per requirement
Marinate fish with salt for 30 mins. (Use enough salt because you will wash the fish again)
Grind together coconut,coriander seeds,dry red chilly,garlic,pepper,tamarind, and turmeric into a smooth paste. You will have to add some water while grinding to get the correct consistency.
Heat oil in a pan and add the chopped onions to it along with the green chilies. Fry the onions till golden brown.
Add the coconut paste. Pour water as per the gravy you require. Add salt.Bring this to a boil.
Wash the fish and add it to the gravy. Boil for 10 mins or until fish is cooked.
Serve the Kingfish curry with hot steamed rice. 
If you like the curry less spicy then reduce the quantity of peppercorn and red chilly.
You can even add tomatoes to the gravy. Just chop 1 medium size tomato into small pieces and fry it with the onions(fry the onions first and then add tomatoes) till oil separates.

Coriander Mint Chutney

Punjabi special chutney reminds me of my childhood days...
Photo by Amit Agni
1 medium red onion sliced
2 inch ginger
3-4 green chilies
1 tbsp pomegranate seeds
1 cup chopped fresh coriander
½ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tbsp lemon juice
Salt as per taste
Water as per requirement

Grind the onion, ginger coarsely along with the green chilies and pomegranate seeds.
Now add the mint and the coriander leaves to this and grind again. Add water so that it forms a nice paste. Make sure you are not grinding it too much otherwise the chutney will lose the nice green colour and turn a little black. 
Remove from the mixer and transfer it to a bowl. Add lemon juice and salt. Mix well and serve.
Serve the chutney with pakora’s or parantha’s or spread it on a sandwich.
In case you don’t have the pomegranate seeds handy, add 1 tsp of mango powder and a little bit of sugar as per your taste.

Chocolate Fudge Cake

Photo by Amit Agni
1 ¼ cup maida (Refined flour)
1 ¼  tsp baking powder.
115 gms chopped dark chocolate
150 gms softened, unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
2/3 cup dahi (Hung yoghurt)
1 tbsp butter
100 gms dark chocolate
1/2 cup fresh cream

  • Melt the dark chocolate in a microwave for 30 secs.
  • Preheat oven at 190 degrees centigrade or 374 F.
  • Sieve the refined flour and baking powder together.
  • Creaming-Mix the brown sugar with softened butter till you get a creamy form. Pour the melted chocolate in it and mix well.
  • Add vanilla essence and yoghurt in the chocolate mixture. Mix well.
  • Beat the eggs till it becomes fluffy. I beat the eggs in a mixer till it is fluffy with light yellow colour.
  • Add the beaten eggs to the chocolate mixture. Mix well.
  • Now add the refined flour to this in small proportions and mix well.
  • Take a cake baking pan of your preferred shape. Grease and line it with parchment paper.  
  • Pour the cake batter in the pan and bake it for 25-30 minutes. Insert a tooth pick in the center,if it comes out clean you will know that the cake is done. 
  • Remove from oven and let it cool.
  • Spread the frosting on the cake and make peaks on the top part.
Ready to serve!!!!
For Frosting:
Melt butter, and dark chocolate together in a microwave for 30-40 secs.
Remove and pour fresh cream to this. Mix well till you get a creamy consistency to make peaks.
Alternatively, melt 115 gms of dark chocolate and 2 tbsp of unsalted butter in a microwave for 1 minute. Stir in 1 cup of powdered sugar and 6 tbsp of hung yogurt. Stir the mixture well until it is smooth, beat until the frosting begins to cool and thicken slightly.

Goan Mixed Vegetable Curry

Photo by Amit Agni

1 cup capsicum (small pieces)
11/2 cup cauliflower 
1 small size tomato chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup carrot (small pieces)
1/2 cup beans
1 small potato cut into small pieces
3 green chilies (The green chilies I get here are not very spicy)
1 tsp full urad dal
2 tbsp coriander seeds
4-5 black pepper (Whole)
1 finger size piece of amtan ( Tamarind)
1 inch ginger
1/2 grated coconut
2 tbsp chopped coriander
1/4 tsp hing (Asafetida)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp kashmeri red chili powder
1 tsp mustard seeds
7-8 kadi patta (Curry leaves)
1 tbsp oil (Ghee or any refine oil)
Salt as per taste
Water as per requirement
  • In a pan roast urad dal, coriander seeds and black pepper till it generates aroma. This should take less than a minute. 
  • In a mixer add the coconut, amtan, turmeric powder, ginger, green chilies, urad dal, coriander seeds, black pepper and grind it to a fine paste. Keep adding water while grinding as and when needed.
  • In a kadhai (type of utensil) add  potato,carrot,capsicum,cauliflower,beans, and tomato. Pour sufficient water to cook the vegetables. 
  • Add the fine paste to the vegetables when they are tender and mix well.
  • Add salt and red chilly powder.
  • Simmer and bring it to a boil.
  • The consistency of the gravy depends on you. So boil accordingly. Add water if required.
  • Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Add mustard seeds to it. When the seeds start crackling, add hing and kadi patta. Remove from heat after 10 seconds. Pour this in the coconut gravy and mix well.
  • Garnish with coriander.
Mixed Vegetable is ready to serve.
You can add vegetables of your choice. I usually add the coconut paste to the vegetables when they are semi cooked. I boil it on low heat for around 15 mins or till the vegetables are fully cooked. I like to cook this with more gravy to eat with rice so while boiling I also add water as per requirement. At times I also add 1 or 2 garlic cloves for flavour.
Note:This is a Goan Style Mixed Vegetable Curry.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Mushroom Masala

Mushroom Masala
2 medium sized onions, chopped
3 small tomatoes, puree
3 green chilies slit at the centre
1 inch cinnamon stick
3-4 green cardamom (small)
4-5 cloves
2 tbps chopped coriander
10 garlic cloves
1 inch ginger
10 whole black peppercorn
250gms button mushroom cut into quarters  
¼ tsp turmeric
Salt to taste
1 tsp red chilly powder
¼ tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tbsp butter (use less if you are concerned about the calories)
2 tbsp Oil
  • Heat oil in a pan.
  • Add cardamom, cinnamon, and clove to this.
  • Put gas on medium heat. Add the chopped onions along with the green chilies and cook till the onions turn translucent.
  • Make a paste of 5 garlic cloves and ginger and add it to the onions. Cook till the raw flavours are gone.
  • Add the tomato puree and cook with lid covered on low heat for 5mins. Remove the lid and cook the tomatoes till the oil starts separating.
  • Add salt, cumin and turmeric powder. Mix well and cook for a minute.
  • Now add the mushrooms. Stir well. Cover the pan with a lid and cook on medium heat for 5 mins.      
  • Remove the lid and stir. Cook further if moisture still exists.
  • Make a paste of the remaining garlic and black pepper.
  • Warm butter in a pan, add the garlic pepper paste and fry. Add coriander powder, and red chilly powder. Fry for 2 mins but don’t let it burn.
  • Now add the garlic pepper mix to the mushroom masala. Stir well and cook for a minute.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Mushroom Masala is ready to serve.

Goan Mushroom Bhaji

Goan Mushroom Curry
My mother-in-law taught me to cook Goan Food. This Goan Mushroom Masala Bhaji is my husband's all time favourite. So friends, this is for all Goan food lovers.
250gms button mushroom cut into small pieces
6 -7 dry red chilly
Half grated coconut
2 tablespoon coriander seeds
6 cloves
8-10 black pepper
2 (½ inch) cinnamon stick
4 green cardamom
1 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
Half of a small star anise
3 small pieces of amtan (Imli)
2 medium size onions
A pinch of Nutmeg powder (Jaiphal)
2 Mace (Javitri)
Water as per requirement
Salt to taste 
  • Cook the coconut in a frying pan until the colour turns light brown. Remove and keep separately. 
  • Cut the onions into thin long slices and cook it in a frying pan until the colour turns light brown. Remove and keep separately.  Use very little oil to fry in case you are not using a non stick pan.
  • Lightly fry the coriander, fennel seeds, black pepper, cinnamon,cardamom,red chilly, cloves, anise, mace in a pan on medium heat for a minute or till you get a nice aroma. Use very little oil for frying.
  • Grind the coconut, onions, and the dry ingredients mentioned in the previous point to a fine paste. Add the amtan and the nutmeg powder while grinding. Add water as per requirement.
  • Take a Wok (Kadhai), pour two cups of water in this. When water starts boiling add the paste and mix well. Cover the wok with a lid and boil the gravy on slow heat.
  • Once the gravy has started to boil remove the lid and add the mushrooms.
  • Pour water if the gravy is very thick.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Cook the mushrooms in the coconut gravy on slow heat till the mushrooms are tender.
Goan Mushroom Masala Bhaji is ready!!!!
Cook the coconut and the onions on slow heat so that it does not burn and it gets cooked evenly.
If you like thick gravy to eat with Chapatti then add less water. To eat with Rice you can add little more water to the gravy.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves before serving.

Bhature Recipe, learnt from my Mother

Photo by Amit Agni
·        2 cups Maida (All purpose flour)
·        1 cup hung curd
·        1 tsp sugar
·        1 tsp salt
·        Oil to fry
·        Water if needed 
·        Take all other ingredients and mix well. Make a dough. If required add a little water. Knead well and make it like a puri dough.
·        Take little oil in your palm and apply it to the dough.
·        Keep aside for 5 hours in a warm place.
·        Heat oil for deep frying.
·        Knead dough once again.
·        Take a portion of the dough and make a golf size ball out of it.
·        Lightly coat the rolling surface with oil and roll out the dough into a approx 4 inch round.
·        Slide the bhatura into the oil and gently keep pressing it down with a slotted spoon until it puffs up.
·        Flip bhatura to the other side and gently press it in the oil. Cook until golden brown.
·        Remove onto a paper towel lined plate.
·        Continue the same way for the rest of the dough.
Serve with chole.
        I prefer preparing the bhature without baking powder or baking soda so my recipe does not include these ingredients,yet it tastes good.

Cook Chole the way I do....

Photo by Amit Agni
1 1/2 cup White Chole(Chick peas)
3 medium size red onions
4 -5 green chilly (ones that i used were not so spicy)
3 medium size red tomatoes
2 inch ginger
4 garlic cloves
Two 1 inch cinnamon stick
4 small green cardamom
4 to 5 cloves 
Coriander for garnishing
Salt to taste
1 tsp Kashmiri red chilly powder
1 tsp Jeera Powder(Cumin powder)
1 tbsp Chole Masala (Indian grocery stores will have this)
1-2tbsp Pure Ghee (clarified butter)....available in Indian grocery for sure
Pinch of carom seeds
4 tbsp canola oil for cooking (you can use sunflower or refine oil also)
2 to 3 tea bags
1 bay leaf
Wash the chick peas and soak it overnight in water. 
Add salt to taste,and tea bags to the soaked chickpeas. Bring it to a boil in a pressure cooker. How long you have to boil this depends.... after the first whistle blew ...I kept it for another 10 mins. After boiling remove the tea bags. The chickpeas should mash easily when you press it between two fingers.
Make a paste of 2 1/2 onions along with ginger,2 chilly's and garlic. Also make a puree of 2 1/2 tomatoes and keep it separately. 

Chop the onion( the left over half). Chop the tomato(the left over half).Heat oil in a pan.When the oil is hot add the cinnamon stick,bay leaf,cardamom and cloves.
Now add the chopped onions to this. Cook for a minute on low heat. 
Add the onion-ginger-garlic-chilly paste. Cook on low heat till the paste turns light brown ( or till the time u think the raw flavors are gone). 
Add the chopped tomato and the puree. Keep cooking on low heat until oil separates.
Now add the red chilly powder, cumin powder and the chole masala powder and cook for another 3 minutes. 
Once done, I pour this mixture into the pressure cooker. Mix well, and pressure cook until 1 or 2 whistles. I do this so that all the masala can mix well with the chole. 
Once the cooker has cooled remove the lid. I like to make the chole with thick gravy so I boil it until the gravy consistency is as per what I want. You can skip this step if the gravy is already thick.
Take a frying pan add the pure ghee to this. When ghee is warm add the carom seeds and also add the remaining green chilly (I slit the green chilly before adding to this). Now pour this ghee into the chole that you have cooked. Garnish with coriander. 
Chole is ready to serve.
Carom seeds is a digestive that I add. I chop half onion and tomato coz it makes a good thick gravy. Tea bags give the gravy a nice dark colour. When I cook the masala I always do so on low heat. I think it cooks nicely and evenly on low heat.
Add 1-2 black cardamom for extra flavour.