Friday, March 28, 2014

Kadai Paneer

Throughout the years, I have created a small library of cookbooks of  different cuisine, food guides, health magazines, and much more. I got a Reader's Digest's book named Foods That Harm Foods That Heal and it was sitting around in my office for a while. I pulled it out and was reading it and I found amazing, healthy and helpful information in this book. 

I love all kinds of peppers, they are amazing in color and an excellent, low-calorie source of Vitamin A and C! I have pulled out some information for peppers from this Reader's Digest book, Foods That Harm Foods That Heal. 

  • A half cup servings of peppers contains only 12 calories. 
  • Vitamin content varies according to color.
  • One serving of green peppers provides more than 100% of adult Recommended Nutrient Intake (RNI) for vitamin C.
  • Red peppers provide 50% more of  ANTIOXIDANT.
  • 1/2 cup serving of green peppers supplies only 5% of the RNI of vitamin A in the form of beta carotene compared to 55% of RNI of vitamin A in red peppers.
  • Peppers supply smaller amounts of vitamin B6 and folate.
  • Deeply colored peppers are high in BIOFLAVONOIDS, plant pigments that help prevent Cancer.
This is a family favourite dish that I would like to share with you all! I made Kadai Paneer and it turned out just like the one you can find at a restaurant!

















Ingredients (serves 3-4):

Marination

200 grams paneer cubes
2 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon green chilli paste
1 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cilantro
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon sugar (optional)

Freshly Ground Masala:

3 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
3 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 1/2 teaspoon black peppers
5-6 red kashmiri whole dry chilis

On medium heat roasted all ingredients. Cool it down at room temperature and grind it coarsely. Keep it in airtight bottle. Use it for any spicy dish.


For Stir fry and tempering 

1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon freshly ground masala 
3 tablespoon tomato crushed
1/4 cup red peppers cut in small pieces
1/4 cup green peppers cut in small pieces
1/4 cup onion cut in small pieces


Directions:

  1. Mix all marinade ingredients and toss paneer into marinade. Keep aside for 15 minutes.
  2. On medium heat, grill paneer in skillet for 6-8 minutes, half way through, turn paneer occasionally to get nice soft yet crunchy outer layer.
  3. Remove paneer from skillet and put into a bowl. Heat skillet on medium heat and add oil and butter.
  4. Once butter starts to melt, add 1 tablespoon of freshly ground masala and stir for 30 seconds.
  5. Add 3 tablespoon of crushed tomatoes and stir well for 6-8 minutes.
  6. Add salt, red chilli powder, sugar and stir for another 2 minutes
  7. Add onion, peppers and stir again for 2-4 minutes until well incorporated with spices
  8. Add 1/4 cup of water and let it cook for 10 minutes.
  9. Don't over cook onion and peppers. We need a crunchy texture in vegetables.
  10. Remove from flame and set aside.
  11. Mix paneer with onion mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes
  12. Add remaining freshly ground masala and stir gently.
  13. Serve hot with rice or paratha.
Step by step procedure:

1. Marinate paneer


2. Grill paneer in skillet



3. Stir fry vegetables in spices


4. Mix vegetables and paneer


5. Serve hot with rice or paratha



Enjoy!!!!!








Sunday, March 23, 2014

Zucchini Muffins (Handvo)

Nothing to munch on? Then try this recipe out! Who would ever say no to this savoury and spicy dish!

Zucchini is available almost all year round at any grocery store but mainly cultivated in summer and it has a similar texture to bottle gourd. Even though you can find zucchini all year round, the summer. Summer squash is very soft and full of vitamin A and potassium. The water content in zucchini makes your food very moist. I like to grill it with other vegetables and I found it very healthy and yummy.

My mom used to make this dish with the use of bottle gourd, mixed lentils (daal) and was really good but I found zucchini is easily available and semolina is quick solution and replacement of soaked lentils. I have made this dish couple of weeks ago. So I thought that I should share it with all of you today!

In replacement of zucchini, you can try any vegetables like potatoes, onion, that contain more water and have a soft texture.








Ingredients (serves 5-6):

2 cups semolina
1/2 cup flattened rice (poha)
1/2 cup zucchini
2 tablespoon grated onion
2 tablespoon grated potatoes
3 tablespoon  fenugreek (methi) leaves fresh or frozen
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1/2 tablespoon green chili paste (you can add more if you like to make it more spicy)
1 cup yogurt
2 1/2 cup water
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/4  tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt or as per your taste
1 1/4 tablespoon ENO fruit salt
1/2 cup oil

Tempering:

1/4 cup sesame seeds
4-5 cloves
1 stick cinnamon


Directions:

  1. Add all dry ingredients in big bowl except ENO fruit salt. Whisk well.
  2. In a mixer, crush the flattened rice and add in to dry mixture.
  3. In another bowl mix all wet ingredients, green chili paste, ginger paste, water, butter milk and lemon juice and whisk to incorporate well.
  4. Add grated zucchini, potato, onion and fenugreek leaves and mix well, make sure no lumps are remaining.
  5. Preheat oven at 350 degrees F.
  6. Spray cooking oil in a 15" x 10" x 2" rectangular baking tray and dust with flour.
  7. Mix wet and dry ingredients and whisk well.
  8. Heat oil in separate pan on medium heat and add cinnamon stick, cloves and sesame seeds 
  9. Remove oil from heat and add into above mixture and whisk properly.
  10. Add ENO's fruit salt into mixture and quickly whisk so batter becomes fluffy.
  11. Immediately pour this batter into baking tray
  12. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top of this batter and bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown.
  13. Cool it down at room temperature and cut into pieces.
OR

You can use muffin tray and spray oil in each muffin cups and pour batter into cup upto 3/4 level. Sprinkle sesame seeds on each cups and bake them for 40-45 minutes until golden brown. 

Serve with green coriander-mint chutney.
Enjoy!

P.S.
I used muffin tray to make these zucchini muffins for easy serving.










Thursday, March 20, 2014

Khaman Dhokla (Chickpea Flour Sponge Cake)



You are always inspired by one person or another. You will be a learner until your last breath, then why are we so afraid to admit it? I am still learning different things everyday even at this age. Learning new things will allow you to develop new techniques and who knows, maybe one day those new techniques will further perfect your existing talents! So keep on learning everyone! 

Today I am going to post this recipe for all of my dear friends and well wishers who are huge fans of "KHAMAN DHOKLA"!

I am from India and in India you can find millions of delicious food ideas and preparations. I love all kinds of cuisines from around the world and although I haven't gotten the chance to see many countries, I believe that reading and networking is the best school of knowledge.

This dish is popular in world and its origin is from Gujarat, India. Everybody knows how to make dhokla if they are Gujarati.  I hope this recipe will help you to make the perfect sponge-like khaman. Perfect dish for appetizer or lunch.


Ingredients (serves 6-8)

2 cup chickpea flour
3 tablespoon semolina (fine rawa or sooji)
2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoon sugar (you can use less if you like to reduce the sweetness)
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon green chili paste
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoon olive oil
3 teaspoon Eno's fruit salt
1 cup water
1 cup buttermilk
salt as per taste
9" Diameter x 3" high round baking tray
cooking spray
12" round pot or you can use steamer (available in any Asian store)

For tempering:
2 1/2 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
3-4 green chilies chopped in small pieces


Directions:

  1. In a big bowl mix chickpea flour, semolina, salt, turmeric and sugar and whisk it until it is incorporated without any lumps.
  2. In another bowl mix 1 cup of water, 1 cup buttermilk,  lemon juice, oil, ginger paste and chili paste and mix well. if you like bit spicy khaman then add 1/4 teaspoon extra green chili paste.
  3. Gradually mix dry ingredients in to wet and whisk continuously. 
  4. Whisk until the batter becomes smooth and lump-free.
  5. Spray cooking oil in the baking pan.
  6. Cover the bottom of the steamer with water and boil  for 10 minutes.
  7. Take half of the batter and add 1 1/2 teaspoon of Eno's fruit salt and whisk quickly and evenly so that the batter becomes twice its original size. Immediately pour this batter in a baking dish and shake the baking tray to spread batter evenly.
  8. Cover the lid of the steamer with any clean cloth tightly so evaporated water droplets do not fall into the batter.
  9. Place the baking tray in the steamer and cover it with the lid.
  10. Steam it for 10-15 minutes.
  11. Cut khaman into pieces.
  12. Take out the baking tray and cool it down for 10-15 minutes.
  13. Heat tempering oil and add mustard seeds. Let the mustard seeds crackle.
  14. Add chopped green chili into the oil and pour over khaman immediately. 
  15. Garnish with cilantro, coconut or your favorite toppings.
  16. Serve with your favorite chutney.

Green khaman chutney:

6-8 pieces of khaman
green chilli paste as per taste
1/2 cup light buttermilk
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1.2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Directions:


  1. Mix all ingredients and give a quick spin in the mixer to make thick chutney.
  2. Serve with the khaman and enjoy!



Step by step procedure:

1. Ingredients




2.Mix dry and wet ingredients seperatly



3.Mix wet and dry ingredients and whisk.








4. Add Eno's Fruit salt and whisk



5. Whisk to make batter double in size





6. Prepare baking dish, spray cooking oil




7. Place baking dish into steamer



8.Cool down khaman at room temperature for 10 minutes and remove in serving plate




10. Tempering and garnish. Enjoy!


















Yummyyyyy!!!!!











Sunday, March 16, 2014

Blueberry Loaf




The week goes by so quickly and before you know it's the weekend! To top it off, it finally feels like spring; the snow is almost gone and the temperature is going up, up and up! You know why I love spring? New pods, blooming flowers, green grass, birds chirping and so much positive energy in the environment.

With spring and summer, comes fresh fruit! Blueberries are my favorite fruit. They are rich in chlorogenic acid and these berries help lower blood sugar levels and control blood-glucose levels in type-II diabetes mellitus condition. Along with all of this, fresh berries contain a small amount of vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E. 

For quite the while, I have tried to make blueberry loaf, but has always been a total disaster. But I tried again and again and finally it  turned out perfectly.

Most of my friends are vegetarians. So,  for all my vegetarian friends, I am giving you an egg replacement with this recipe. Hope you will enjoy!!!




Ingredients (serves 6-8):

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 white granulated sugar
2 large eggs  OR  1/2 cup organic silken tofu blend in mixer like smooth paste.
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk


Directions:

  1. In one big bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Take 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture. Place the blueberries in a separate bowl and toss the berries with the 1 tablespoon flour. (If you are using frozen blueberries then don't thaw it . When you are going to add blueberry just tossed them with flour and add in mixer so this will help prevent the blueberries from sinking to the bottom of the pan during the baking process.)
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
  4. In a separate bowl with a hand mixer or if you are using stand mixer beat the butter until softened .
  5. Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes).
  6. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one is added.
  7. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla extract.
  8. At low speed, add 2/3 of the flour mixture and half of the milk.
  9. After few stir in mixer add remaining flour mixture and milk.
  10. Mix until flour and wet mixture is properly combined.
  11. Carefully add flour and tossed blueberries in this mixer and fold it with rubber or wooden spatula. Don't overmix it or else the blueberries will make the dough very dark.
  12. Spray oil or butter in a nonstick loaf pan (9x5x3) inch
  13. Oven rack should be in middle .
  14. Pour batter into loaf pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until it is golden brown.
  15. To make sure if the loaf is done, insert a toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean then take it out from the oven and cool it.









Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Vanilla Cupcakes

10 years ago, a naughty and very talky little man came into mine and my family's lives and made our life joyful and completed our family. In all odds and my physical challenges, my angel, my backbone and precious daughter brought sunshine into mine and my husband's lives and after 9 years, my cutie little son was born and from that day on, our life has been changed! Today is his 10th birthday. My son is so big now! :( 

He is naughty, isn't he?! Full of joy!



















And then there is my daughter who is so shy they are complete opposites!


















My son wanted me to make vanilla cupcakes for his birthday, so he can share them with his classmates and teachers.

So, here you go - best recipe ever for vanilla cupcakes! They are moist, soft and ridiculously delicious!




Ingredients ( makes 14 cupcakes):


1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup vegetable oil

Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F . 
  2. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. (I used Wilton's cupcake liners which has an aluminium foil liner inside that keeps the outer color of cupcake liners unfaded) 
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk all dry ingredients except sugar (all purpose flour , baking powder,baking soda  and salt)
  4. In the bowl of an stand mixer, whisk  eggs on medium speed for 20 seconds.
  5. Add  sugar and continue to beat on medium speed for 25-30 seconds until mixture gets incorporated together.
  6. Add  oil and vanilla, continue to beat on medium speed for another 30 seconds.
  7. Slowly add buttermilk and lower the speed  of the mixer. Beat mixture for another 30 seconds.
  8. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and continue beat at low speed , if required, stop the mixer and scrap down sides and stat mixing again.
  9. Add the rest of the flour mixer and beat until mixture is well incorporated.
  10. Fill cupcake liner 3/4 full with batter. 
  11. Bake for 12 -15 minutes at 350°F. or until a toothpick comes out clear when inserted into the middle of the cupcake.
  12. Let them cool in the pan for 5-6 minutes, then place them on a wire rack.
  13. Cool down at room temperature completely and then decorate with your favourite frosting or icing (I made cream cheese icing)
Cream cheese icing (approximately for 24 cupcakes):

1 pack Philadelphia cream cheese @ room temperature 
2 1/2 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon milk

Directions:
  1. Whisk cream cheese at medium speed with the use of a hand blender or stand mixer until it gets soft for 10-15 seconds.
  2. Add icing sugar, vanilla and milk and whisk for another 10-12 seconds until it is well mixed.
  3. Keep in the refrigerator for 30 minutes and then use it.

Step - by - step procedure of cupcakes:





















I was busy with other chores, so my lovely daughter did this cute, neat and beautiful icing decorations! She loves to do it! 


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Malai Paneer

This is an all time favorite, especially with my kids. No matter how full your tummy is, you can't leave this spicy and savory paneer in your plate without eating it all up. I have tried so many time to cook paneer in different ways, but this is hands down my favourite paneer dish because it turned out so good and tasty!




You can buy paneer from any grocery store or you can make it at home too. For sweet dishes, I always prefer to use homemade paneer. I will post a recipe on how to make homemade paneer soon. 

Ingredients (serves 4): 

1 1/2 cup paneer, small cubes
3 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 tablespoon ginger paste
1/2 tablespoon garlic
3/4 cup tomatoes, crushed
1/2 tablespoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon coriander cumin powder
1/3 cup whipping cream
1 /2 teaspoon dry fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)

Directions:

  1. Heat a wide pan on medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil .
  2. Add cumin seeds and let them cook until they begin to start crackling. Then add finely chopped onion and sauté for 7-8 minutes until light golden brown.
  3. Add ginger and garlic paste and sauté for 2 minutes.
  4. Switch off the stove and let it cool for 5 minutes then grind everything in a mixer to make a fine thick paste.
  5. In the same pan, take 1 tablespoon of oil and heat it at a medium flame.
  6. Add tomato paste and sauté for 2-3 minutes, then add onion paste and sauté well until oil has been separated.
  7. Add 1 cup water in it and boil this gravy for 7-8 minutes and then add red chilli powder, cumin coriander powder, salt, turmeric and stir well. 
  8. Add paneer and let it cook for another 5 minutes then add whipping cream. Let it cook for 10 mins until the gravy becomes thick.
  9. Add crushed fenugreek leaves in it and serve hot with jeera rice, paratha, or naan.

Hope you all like it! 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Rosemary Ginger Fish


I was born in the coastal area of the Arabian Sea, so it's obvious that you can find saltwater fish, crab, shrimps. But I never liked to eat any kind of seafood and neither I had cooked any . But my husband and my little man love fish and shrimp. So, I thought I should learn how to cook seafood. I found that seafood is very easy to cook and takes less time compared to meat and chicken.

I am vegetarian but I always try to cook different food. The funny thing is that I have never tasted any meat, chicken or seafood, but the still turn out sooo good and are approved by my family and specially my husband's friends. So I thought that I should share this recipe with you all.


















Ingredients (serves 4):

500 grams Atlantic salmon cut into pieces 6
1 teaspoon oil

 Marination:

1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 tablespoon fresh Orange juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
 Dash of black pepper powder
1/4 teaspoon  rosemary finely chopped



Glazing:

1 tablespoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder
1 tablespoon avocado oil
2 tablespoon soy sauce
6-7 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon white cooking wine

Directions:


  1. Heat a wide pan on medium low heat.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of oil.
  3. Place fish fillets into pan and cook 5-7 mins on each sides until light brown and cooked.
  4. Remove the fish from the pan and in same pan, add the glaze mixture and mix it on medium heat until it becomes a thick consistency.
  5. Glaze the fish and serve hot with rice and grilled vegetables.






Saturday, March 8, 2014

Chocolate Almond Pinwheels

Every season of the year brings something new along with. But this year winter came along with tons of snow :( I'm sure we're all tired of it now. I thought I'd share something to distract you all from the cold, enjoy!

I was planning what to make for tomorrow's dinner party. Hmmmm....I had bag of blanched almonds from Costco and I was thinking what would be the best use of it? So, I made chocolate almond pinwheels.

I love Costco because you can find really good bulk food and every week you can find something new there.
Hope you like this sweet treat.





Ingredients (makes 24):

  1. 4 cup blanched almonds
  2. 1/2 cup milk
  3. 1/2 cup whipping cream
  4. 3/4 cup sugar
  5. 2-3 drop rose essence 
  6. 1/2 teaspoon coco powder
  7. 1 teaspoon butter

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, chop the blanched almonds coarsely.
  2. In a non-stick pan, mix the coarsely chopped almonds, sugar, milk and whipping cream. Stir it at medium heat for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir the mixture until it leaves the side of pan and gathers at the middle.
  4. Add butter and stir for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add rose essence. 
  6. Switch off the stove and cool down the mixture for 7-8 minutes.
  7. Divide mixture into 2 parts.
  8. In one part of the divided mixture add coco powder and mix together and leave the second part as is.
  9. Lay down a large piece of parchment paper. Put the plain almond mixture in the center of the parchment paper and then roll out the mixture into a 12x12 square.
  10. On the side, roll out the chocolate almond mixture into a 12x12 square as well. 
  11. Transfer the chocolate square on top of the plain almond mixture and roll both of them together into a roll.
  12. Cover the roll with plastic wrap and put in the fridge to cool down.
  13. Once the roll in cooled, take off the plastic wrap and cut into 1/2 inch slices.
  14. Serve and enjoy!

How to roll out the mixture into square or rectangle or even circle while dough or mixture is sticky and need to roll it easily. I have used parchment paper and simple all purpose flour dough for demo purpose. 





Thursday, March 6, 2014

Chickpea Vegetable Soup

When I made this soup you won't believe it, but my 9 year old son, who has flu, and my daughter ate it and said, "mom it is so delicious, please make it everyday!" I was so happy! Yesssss approved.

















Ingredients (serves 8-10):

1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped potatoes
1/2 cup red (purple) and green cabbage, chopped
1/2 cup zucchini, cut in small pieces
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup white onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoon avocado or olive oil
1/2 ginger, julians or paste
1 cup tomato, chopped
1/2 cup 100% whole wheat soup pasta
1 cup boiled chickpeas
3-4 curry leaves
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon salt free organic blend mix
2 1/2 cup Hunt's tomato sauce or make your homemade sauce
3 cups water
1 Toscana rustic bread to make small baguettes 


Directions:

  1. In a big pot, heat oil at medium heat. Add cumin seeds and curry leaves.
  2. Add onions and saute for 5 minutes until it becomes translucent.
  3. Add ginger and garlic and saute 1 minute.
  4. Add rest of the vegetables and tomato sauce. Stir for 5-7 minutes.
  5. Add pasta, chickpeas and water and keep stirring.
  6. Cover the pot. Occasionally stir for a minute or two.
  7. Cook it for 15 minutes and add salt and organic blend. Stir and cook it for another 5 minutes.
  8. Serve hot with toasted baguettes.

Baguettes:
  1. Cut rustic bread diagonally 1/2" slice.
  2. Brush olive oil on slice and toast it for 5 minutes.





I love this soup!!!!!!!!!