Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Palak Paneer (Cottage cheese in pureed spinach)

I think Palak Paneer doesn't need a description! So I am going to jump into the ingredients and the recipe.

Oh yeah....we need some help from the spices..!!

  • Oil
  • Whole garam masala (Cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaf, black peppercorns- 2 each)
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tbsp
  • Garlic- minced -1 big clove
  • Onions- finely chopped- 1 medium
  • Ginger Garlic paste- 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric - a pinch
  • Tomatoes- 1 medium diced 
  • Cumin powder - 1 tsp
  • Chilli powder - 1 tsp
  • Kasuri methi - 1 tsp
  • green chili - 1 small
  • Palak (spinach) - A bunch
  • Paneer- cubed - as much as you like.
  • Salt
  • Wash spinach leaves 3-4 times in water, drain all the water and add leaves to a hot pot of boiling water. To retain the nice green color of the spinach, boil the leaves only for 2-3 minutes, drain them and keep aside.Do not throw the water. You can use the water for the gravy.
  • Blend the boiled leaves into a blender and make them into nice puree. Keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add whole garam masala . Saute for a minute.
  • Add cumin seeds and as they start spluttering, add chopped garlic.
  • After the raw smell of garlic goes away, add chopped onions, salt and saute them well until onion changes it's color. This takes about 4-5 minutes on a medium flame or sometimes even more. Be patient.
  • Add ginger garlic paste. Saute couple more minutes and add turmeric powder.
  • Add tomatoes, and saute until they become soft and oil starts to separate from them. Be patient..:)
  • Add cumin powder, chili powder and kasuri methi. Mix well.
  • Add green chili if you want a spicier version.
  • Add pureed spinach and mix, add salt as per taste. Bring the mixture to a boil, add water that you kept aside and make it to a consistency you like.
  • Add paneer cubes and let it come to a boil again. Turn off the stove.
Remember, this preparation takes time. It only tastes better, if you take time for every step and keep your patience. 
Palak paneer goes along very well with Roti, rice, paratha, or bread.

Oh.. and did I mention?

Palak being rich in iron and paneer being rich in calcium, gives this dish a great nutritional boost.

In case, If you are wondering, that's the bay leaf.  Don't eat that.... :)
 I am sending this to  Sweet Heat challenge hosted by Food and Football and Baby.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Peanut- Garlic Chutney

Peanut- Garlic Chutney
(Note- Those red chilies are just to add the brightness in the picture- don't eat them just like that..:)))

After I wrote Red chard (pale bhaji) post, I could not wait to try some kind of chutney. I made this nice blend of peanuts and garlic with shredded coconut ,red chillies, salt, sugar and a hint of tamarind. It is the best chutney I have ever made. Hope you like it too.

Here are the ingredients-:

  1. Peanuts- 1/4 cup
  2. Garlic cloves- 4 big
  3. Dry coconut- shredded - 1/4 cup
  4. 1 red chili
  5. Tamarind- add as per your taste, I added couple of small pieces of deseeded tamarind
  6. Salt to taste
  7. sugar to taste.
You can certainly change the quantity of red chili and garlic as much as you like. That will only make it spicier or milder depending on whether you increase or decrease the quantity.  I wanted  a medium version, so I only  used 1 red chilly and 4 cloves of garlic.

Dry roast shredded coconut, peanuts, garlic cloves and red chili separately  and then add them into a blender. Add salt, sugar and tamarind. Grind everything very well. Give it a stir in between and grind again. Grind the mixture to a consistency as seen in the picture above.

Store in an airtight container. Enjoy with paratha/ scallion pancakes, roti, bhakari, or rice.  Or simply just layer the chutney along with Desi ghee( tup) on a slice of whole grain bread for the breakfast. Good mix of protein (Peanuts) ,good carbs (Whole grain bread) and good fat (Desi ghee) to kick off your day..:)

Have fun.:)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Goodies from Remlinger Farms, Seattle

We Had a great day at Remlinger Farms today. It's a very happening place for the kids. I enjoyed our time in hay maze and hay jump and the marketplace which was full of fresh produce along with different spices and syrups, toys for kids and such.
I bought a bottle of plain queen olives and a packet of 17 bean soup mix. I am very excited about the 17 bean soup mix..:) Can't wait to try..:)

Here is a pic-:
17 bean soup mix and Plain Queen Olive

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Red Chard (Palebhaji)

Are these beautiful greens missing from your diet? The way to get them on your plate is easier than you think.

 Here is what you will need-:

  1. Red Chard chopped-  A bunch.
  2. Chopped Onions- 1 medium
  3. Chopped tomato- 1 medium
  4. Minced Garlic- 3 large cloves
  5. Salt to taste
  6. Turmeric powder
  7. Red chili powder
  8. Peanut oil/ canola oil
  9. Cumin seeds
  10. Mustard seeds
Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard and cumin seeds. Wait until they splutter. Add garlic, saute them until the raw smell of garlic goes away. Then add onions, saute them for 2-3 minutes and add turmeric powder .Add tomatoes. Saute tomatoes until soft. Time to add the red chard. mix well. Cover with lid, and let it cook for about 5- 7minutes or so. The leaves should start wilting down. Add red chili powder  and salt to taste. Mix well and add a pinch of sugar, just to bring out all the good flavors. Cover and cook few more minutes if needed.
Ready to indulge..:)

Usually leafy vegetables do not take much time to cook, so watch out, make sure you don't overcook. Overcooking takes away all the nutrients that these colorful leaves have in them. So enjoy this homemade goodness of red chard with a bhakri/ chapati (poli) . You can also stuff the vegetable inside the bread and make a sandwich if you like.

Sauteed Red Chard with Jowar Bhakri

I usually use spinach in place of red chard. Using red chard is just a variation I came up with, and it turned out to be a great one...:)