An ode to Spinach – Palak Paneer & Spinach Dal

I like Spinach in any form as long as its cooked. Spinach always reminds me of Popeye, I remember telling my kiddo cousin that if he ate his spinach he would become as strong as Popeye...hehe.. Most kids don't like Spinach and its hard to get them to eat it! Here are two of my favourite ways to eat it and trust me your kids will be licking their fingers without the slightest inkling that they are eating spinach! :)

Palak Paneer:

8-10 large bunches Spinach
100 gms Paneer (cubed)
½ tbsp Dhaniya powder
2 large onions
1 cup tomato puree
8 green chillies
2 tsps Ginger garlic paste
4 tbsps oil
Salt to taste

Clean the spinach and give it a rough chop. Boil this along with slit green chillies on stove top till both are soft, don’t overcook, we don’t want to lose the bright green colour. Strain and let cool. Grind to a fine paste. Cube the onions and boil till they are soft. Grind to a smooth paste. Blend tomatoes to make a puree. Heat oil in a pan, add the onion paste and fry till golden brown. Add the ginger garlic paste and sauté for a few more minutes. Add the dhaniya powder and tomato puree. Fry till it becomes a little thick and the oil floats on top..about 15 mintues. Add the spinach paste and salt. Cook on low till the gravy begins to bubble. Again don’t overboil, spinach will turn brown. Add paneer cubes right before serving. Garnish with fresh cream if required. Serve hot with chapathis/ nan.

Spinach Dal:

1 bunch Spinach
2 tbsps Oil
1 large onion chopped
5 green chillies
½ cup Moong Dal
1 tomato chopped
½ tsp Cumin powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp lime juice
6-7 cloves of Garlic
Salt to taste

Roast the moon dal in a pan till it becomes lightly brown. Add boiling water and cook on stove top till dal splits and is soft. For every cup of roasted dal you will need atleast 5-6 cups of water. Add more if required.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan. Add the green chillies(slit) and the tomatoes. Cook till tomatoes are soft. Now add the washed, chopped spinach. Also add the cumin powder, red chilli powder and salt. Mix well and cook on medium heat till the spinach becomes soft and is cooked through. Do not add water, let spinach cook in the tomato juice.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in another pan. Add the curry leaves, chopped garlic and onions. Saute till garlic is fragrant and onions are soft.

Add the spinach and the onion mixture to the dal. Add lime juice, little more salt and mix well. Add water if required. Bring to a boil and serve hot with rice or chapathis.

Have a lovely weekend all of you, my hubby and I are off to San Francisco. Our weekend starts tonight...we are flying in a couple of hours. See y'all on Tuesday!! :)

Celebration time! Thai Red Curry & Jasmine Rice

I was in for a pleasant surprise last evening when I checked my blog..1000 hits in just about two weeks…feels amazing! I know it’s not a big reason to celebrate but for me it is, since it shows more people are here to see what I make….thanks to all my old and new foodie friends. This couldn’t have happened without y’all !:)

Well that’s what I am celebrating and my hubby dear was excited about it too…so we did celebrate at home…I made Thai Red Curry, a favourite to both of us. We love Thai food and it is not possible to visit a Thai restaurant all the time so whenever the 'Thai food' bug bites us, I just make a Thai meal at home. :)

Thai Red Curry:

You will need:

For the Red curry paste:

1 onion cubed
1 tbsp Lime juice
4 dry red chillies
5 cloves of Garlic
1 thumb size Ginger
¼ tsp White pepper (substitute black pepper)
1 ½ tbsp red chilli powder
1/8 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tbsp Corriander seeds (powdered)
3 tbsp Regular Soy sauce
2 tbsps Honey
½ can coconut milk

Other Ingredients:

2 cups Cabbage chopped
2 Carrots sliced at an angle
1 cup Cauliflower
1 large Green bell pepper sliced (can also use red and yellow peppers)
1 Japanese eggplant cubed
1 cup Babycorn sliced
1 ½ cans coconut milk
1 cup Broccoli (optional)
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil

Place ½ can of coconut milk and all other ‘paste’ ingredients in a blender and make a smooth paste. This is the home made Red curry paste.

Heat oil in a pan. Add the red curry paste and stir fry for a minute. Add the other can of coconut milk and stir. Now add the vegetables that take the longest time to cook: Carrot and Cauliflower. Stir well and bring to a simmering boil. Add salt. Turn down heat to medium, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Now add the 2nd can of coconut milk, bell peppers and eggplant. Stir well, cover and cook for 5 more minutes.Cook for longer if bell peppers are still very hard. Lastly add the cabbage and broccoli (if using). Cook till cabbage is done. Remove from heat, taste and if bitter add more honey. Sprinkle with fresh basil/mint and serve with hot jasmine rice.

Jasmine Rice is also called Sticky Rice. It is usually served with Thai curries. Jasmine Rice has a distinct aroma and flavour which goes great with the spicy curry.

A tasty Thai meal in minutes! Enjoyy! :)

RCI Karnataka -- Baath Masala Dosa with Bisi Coffee

Mysore Masala Dosa and coffee…what could be more Karnataka than these two items. When Asha announced the “RCI :Karnataka” I was so excited but also in a dilemma because I had so many recipes to choose from :) Was wondering what to submit as my entry to the event when this struck me. Everybody loves Masala dosas and it is very popular not just in South Karnataka but all over the state. Mysore Masala Dosa is made with dosa batter, roasted to a crisp, and has Potato playa in the centre, served with delicious coconut chutney. Baath Masala Dosa on the other hand is the same but with a little something extra. Along with the potato filling in the centre, it also has Lime Rice (Chitranna). Garlic chutney is applied on the inside of the dosa before the fillings are placed which makes you wanting more after each bite. Baath Masala is very popular in Bangalore . Just the talk of it has me drooling!

Baath Masala Dosa with Bisi(hot) filter Coffee is my entry to the “Regional Cuisines of India(RCI)-Karnataka” this month. This event is being hosted by Asha of FoodiesHope and was started by Lakshmi of Veggie Cuisine

Bhaath Masala Dosa:

You will need:

For the Dosa batter:

2 portions Regular Rice
½ portion Urad dal
¼ portion Poha (Avalakki)
¾ tsp Fenugreek seeds

*portion: any cup you choose, use the same for rice, urad dal and poha

Soak the above ingredients overnight and grind to a fine paste the next day. Use as little water as possible. Add salt, mix well and let ferment overnight. If it's hot outside the batter should ferment well without cooking soda. If the batter hasn’t risen the next day then add ¼ tsp soda, mix well and use as required.

For the Coconut Chutney:

4 tbsps. Fried gram (hurgadle)
¾ cup fresh grated coconut
6 green chillies
Salt to taste
½ bunch coriander
Few sprigs Mint leaves

1.Powder the fried gram in a blender.
2.Add the remaining ingredients and blend till everything comes together.
3.Garnish with seasoning: Heat oil in a pan, add mustard, urad dhal and chana dal. Add curry leaves and a pinch of hing.

For the Garlic chutney:

2 tbsps. Fried Gram (hurgadle)
4-6 Garlic pods
4-6 dry red chillies
2-3 tbsps fresh coconut gratings
Salt to taste

Powder the fried gram and add the garlic pods, red chillies, salt and coconut. Grind to a smooth paste with sufficient water.

For the Potato Palya:

1 large potato boiled and mashed
½ onion thinly sliced
4 green chillies
Few curry leaves
½ tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
½ tsp Mustard seeds
½ tsp urad dal
¼ tsp chana dal
2-3 tbsps oil

Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard and when it splutters add the chana dal and urad dal. Fry till they become light brown. Add the slit green chillies and curry leaves. Add the thinly sliced onions and sauté till onions are soft. Add the turmeric powder and fry for a minute. Now add the boiled mashed potato and salt. Mix well.

For the Chitranna (Lime Rice):

1 cup cooked rice
½ mustard seeds
½ tsp Urad dal
¼ tsp Chana dal
¼ tsp Turmeric powder
2-3 green chillies
1 tbsp oil
½ tsp lime juice
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard and when it splutters add the chana dal and urad dal. Fry till they become light brown. Add the slit green chillies and turemeric. Fry for a minute and then add the cooked rice. Add salt and lime juice, mix well.

Making the Bhaath Masala Dosa:

Heat a non-stick pan. Pour one ladle of batter in the center of the pan and turn anti-clockwise to form a nice round dosa. Pour ½ tsp of oil on top of the dosa. Roast on medium flame. Do not cover.

When one side is done, flip and cook the other side.
Flip the dosa again, apply the garlic chutney.

Place a spoonful of potato playa and a spoonful of chitranna in the middle of the dosa.

Fold one half of the dosa over the fillings.
Top with a dab of butter and serve hot with coconut chutney .

Filter Coffee: The Grand Finale

Coffee is a favourite no doubt but Filter Coffee tops the list. Fresh coffee brewed with hot water in a uniquely designed Steel filter. Add the 'decoction' to boiling milk with sugar and the end result…delicious, aromatic coffee. Enjoy it after a dosa, and your meal is made!

Usually coffee is served in Steel tumblers in most restaurants in South India. Some say coffee tastes better in steel than in a ceramic cup. Well, you are the better judge, so choose your utensil J Utensil apart, the taste of Filter Coffee is better any day compared to instant coffee.

Anybody wants to share this cuppa with me? :)

Berrynanalicious ..!!! Yummy goodness!

No, I’m not talking about a weird fruit or vegetable but a drink or rather a name for a drink I concocted in my kitchen...hehe!
Berrynanalicious is a combination of Strawberries and Banana with milk, sugar and a dash of fresh cream. A tasty delight on a hot summer day!

You will need: (Serves: 2)

12 large Strawberries (preferrably fresh)
1 1/2 Bananas
5 tbsps. Sugar
½ cup Fresh cream
1 ½ cups Milk

Place all of the above in a blender and blend till smooth.

Garnish with strawberries. Chill and serve. Guzzle away..! :)

This is my entry to Meeta's Monthly Mingle "Liquid Dreams"

Burgers Galore!!

Burgers are easy to make at home and they taste better than what you get outside. You can jazz it to suit your taste or just go along with the recipe. Eitherways you will have one great tasting burger to bite into at the end of it!

You will need:

For the cutlets/patties:

2 cups boiled mashed potato
½ cup boiled green peas
1 cup boiled mashed carrot
1 tsp green chilli paste
1 tsp red chilli powder
¼ tsp Turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1 cup bread crumbs
Oil for frying

For assembling the Burger:

6 Burger Buns
6 onion slices
6 tomato slices
6 Cucumber slices
2 tbsp Butter
Cheese (optional)

1.Mix the potatoes, peas and carrots with the green chilli paste, red chilli powder, turemeric and salt.
2.Roll into medium sized balls and flatten it within the palm of your hand to make patties that are ½” thick.

3.Heat oil in a deep pan. Roll patties in bread crumbs and deep fry in oil. Drain excess oil and keep aside.

You can also shallow fry the patties like I have done to cut down the fat content.

These cutlets/Patties may also be eaten as they are with ketchup.

Apply butter on the inner sides of the top and lower halves of buns. Toast them on a hot pan. Place a cutlet/pattie on the lower half of the bun, top with a slice of onion, tomato and cucumber. Top with a slice of cheese. Place the top half of the bun. Insert a toothpick to keep the contents in place. Serve with tomato ketchup/sauce.

Mint(Pudina) Pulao

Mint leaves have a pleasant warm, fresh, aromatic, sweet flavor with a cool aftertaste. They are used in various cuisines world over. Mint is not used in cooking but also has medicinal properties. This is my entry to the event “Weekend Herb Blogging(WHB)” started by Kalyn’s Kitchen and hosted by Real Epicurean this week.

The following recipe is in honour of the refreshing herb..Mint!

You will need:

2 cups Basmati Rice (cooker cup measurement)
6-8 green chillies
2 cups fresh Mint leaves
1 Carrot diced
½ cup peas
1 potato diced
1 onion thinly sliced
2 Cardomom pods
2 Cloves
1” pc Cinnamon stick
1 Bay leaf (dry)
3-4 tbsps oil
1 tsp Ginger Garlic paste
Salt to taste
Few drops Lemon juice
Water 3 cups (1 cup Rice:1 1/2 cup water)

Boil the veggies. Grind mint and green chillies with little water in a blender. Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick and the bay leaf. Fry till fragrant and then add the sliced onions. Fry till they are soft and transparent. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for a few minutes. Now add the mint-chilli paste, stir for 2 minutes and then add the boiled veggies. Mix well and add the measured water and close lid. When the steam begins to rise, reduce heat and add the washed strained basmati rice. Add salt and lime juice, mix well and close lid with weight. Cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Mix well before serving.

Serve with summer salad with or without yoghurt.

Glass Halwa – Sweet dish

Sounds different doesn’t it? Glass and halwa….is that even edible..hehe it sure is! It’s made with Agar Agar a gelatinous substance that is transparent. The halwa made with it is transparent too hence the name “Glass Halwa”. With only 4 ingredients, halwa is made in an instant, its light and delicious. Agar Agar is available in most Indian Stores. It looks like this:

You will need:

½ cup Agar Agar cut into small pcs.
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 tsp cardamom powder
5 cups water

Use one measuring cup for Agar-Agar, water and sugar. Bring water to a boil and add the cut agar agar. Sitr till it dissolves completely. Then add the sugar and stir till it dissolves. Add cardamom powder in the end and pour hot liquid into a shallow dish or serving bowls.

Let cool for a minute and then set in the refrigerator till firm for atleast 3-4 hours.

Cut into slices and serve chilled.

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