Monday, September 26, 2011

Paneer Makhani!!


I'm back after a really long gap.Had been quite busy with quite a few things that had taken priority.But now that it's been taken care of I can hopefully devote some more time to my poor neglected blog . When I was a newly wed bride not so long ago;) , I hardly knew cooking except for making masala bhaat and that too in a cooker.One of the first few dishes that I learnt to make was paneer makhani and to this day it has remained our family favorite.Thanks to my sis who helped me conquer the world of culinary art(lol) and for patiently explaining each and every one of my not so bright queries. This post is dedicated to my dear sis without whom I wouldn't even be here .

Serves: 4-6


Paneer- 200gms
Onion-1 large(chopped)
Tomatoes- 2 (pureed)
Fresh cream - 1/2 cup
1 cinnamon stick
Bay leaf - 1
1/2 tsp sugar(optional)
Ghee/butter- 2-3 tbsp
Kasoori methi-1 tsp(optional)
Garam masala-1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Chopped coriander - to garnish


GARLIC- 3 cloves
Ginger- 1/2" piece
Chopped Green chillies- 2
1 tbsp pf water.


Cut the panner into medium sized cubes. Heat about 1 tbsp of ghee in a pan and fry the cubes for just about a minute.Keep aside.

In the same pan ,add the rest of the ghee and fry the cardamoms,cloves ,cinnamon stick and bay leaf for 1/2 minute.Now add the chopped onions and fry till they turn slightly translucent.
Turn off the heat and transfer the onions into a blender/mixer.I usually take out the added spices while blending since they already provide a strong flavor to the onions.Do not add water while grinding the onion.

Now return the ground onion to the pan and add the ginger-garlic-green chillies paste to it and fry on medium heat for a minute.At this point you could smell the fine aroma of all the spices mixed together with paste .

Add the tomato puree and fry well.If you like your makhani to be to spicy ,then go ahead and add about 1 tsp pf red chill powder.Now add the paneer cubes and gram masala and fry again for a few seconds.

Add kasoori methi ,salt and sugar to the mixture, followed by the cream .Stir it well for about 2 minutes and then let it simmer for a few minutes.

You can vary the consistency of the gravy by adding more cream for thickening or water(about 1/2 cup )for thinning the gravy.

Garnish the paneer makhani with the chopped coriander.

Serve with hot paranthas or rice.


With a smile,

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fudgy brownie cupcakes!!

How can anyone ever resist a brownie. I for one can never.Neither can my daughter.We are both sweet fanatics and brownies are her ultimate favorite.Since its the summer vacays and there is so much time in hand(for her!), what better way to make use of that time than whipping something up that she loves best. So here I am with brownies not in pieces but in cupcakes and I couldn't have made it without the proper guidance and supervising provided by my lil helper.

Makes :12 cups
Here's what you need:
All purpose flour: 2/3cup
Unsweetened cocoa powder: 2/3 cup
Sugar - 1 cup
Baking powder-1/2 tsp
Butter- 1 stick
Eggs- 2
Vanilla extract-1 tsp
Milk- 1/3 cup
Salt - a pinch

Place the rack in the middle of the oven and pre heat to 325 degrees.
In a bowl melt the butter and add the cocoa powder. Blend well. In a mixing bowl, add the eggs and beat it well followed by the sugar. Blend till you get a smooth mixture.
Fold the flour and baking powder into the egg/sugar mixture and mix so as to avoid any lumps.
Finally add the butter/cocoa powder mixture to this and give it a whisk.
Line muffin cups with cupcake liners or just grease the cups. I didn't have any paper liners to I just opted for the latter.
Pour the batter slowly into each cup using a ladle.
Bake for about 20-25 mins ( oven timing may vary slightly). To see if the brownies are done just insert a toothpick in the centre . It should come out slightly moist.
Now remove the cupcakes from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.

Note:If you like your brownies super moist like I do then seal them in an air tight container immediately after cooling.

Here's some for you  :)

I'm sending this to the"Kids delight" series at versatile vegetarian kitchen hosted by Champa.

Heres the full info on the series:

With a smile,

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Raisin walnut biscotti!!

I have always been a big fan of biscottis.Agreed that sometimes they can be really hard to bite in and I personally prefer them slightly crunchy so I make some batches at home from time to time to satisfy my craving for these yummy bakes according to my taste.Also one doesn't need to have any special ingredient to make this impromptu.You just put together things that you would most likely find in your kitchen. Enough said......

Here's what you'll need :
Dry Ingredients:

All purpose flour - 1Cup
Granulated Sugar - 1/3 cup
Brown Sugar - 2 tbsps
Baking powder-1tsp
Salt - a pinch
Chopped Walnuts (toasted)- 1/4 cup(If you're not a big walnut fan then you can substitute any other nuts as well)
Raisins- 1/3 cup

Wet Ingredients:

Eggs- 1
Vanilla extract-1/2 tsp
Almond extract- 1/4 tsp
Butter/oil- 3 tbsps


Pre heat the oven to 350degrees and line a baking tray /sheet with foil or parchment . Set the rack in the middle position.

Now combine all the dry ingredients together in a bowl except for the walnuts and raisins. Mix them well .
Take another bowl and add the eggs. Beat them well followed by the sugars and extracts. Blend thoroughly.
Now fold in the flour mixture into this and mix gently . Incorporate the nuts and raisins .
On the baking tray;using floured hands, make the dough into a log of about 9 by 2 inches.
Bake the dough until the log turns  slightly golden and begins to crack for about 25 mins.
Take the tray out and let it cool on a wire rack for about 10-15 mins.
Now cut the loaf diagonally in 1/2 inch slices.
Reduce the heat to about 325 degrees and before placing them back in the oven,stand  the slices on the tray so that both the sides get baked evenly  again for just 10 mins (not more).
Move the biscotti to a wire rack and cool it completely.
Enjoy a slice with a hot cuppa coffee/tea .

With a smile ,

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Rajma (kidney beans) curry!!

My all time preferred comfort food .Not only is it easy to make ; it also provides a good source of protein as well.I have been meaning to use up my stock of kidney beans and finally the time came.This recipe is quite common and made frequently in northern India.The spices used can be found in any of the Indian grocery stores .A must try for all if you haven't already.
I used the dry beans so had to soak it overnight but one can also speed it up by using the canned beans.
Rajma (kidney beans)-1 1/2 Cups soaked overnight or for at least five hours (or 1 can of kidney beans)
Chopped Onion - 1 1/2 cups
Finely Chopped Tomatoes - 2 1/2 cups (A can of tomato paste can also be used)
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Garlic - 2 to 3 pods
green chilli - 2 (omit this if you want to decrease the spice level)
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 2  tsp
Coriander powder - 3 tsp
Mango powder (amchur)- 1 1/2 tsp (optional)
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Salt - as per your taste
Oil - 2 tbsps
Cilantro - for garnishing

Note: Add the ginger ,garlic & green chillies(if you are using them)in a mixer and make a coarse paste.

Pressure cook the beans using about four cups of water.I usually add a slice of ginger along with it which gives it a very delectable aroma.

Heat oil in a pan.As it heats up a bit add the chopped onions .Fry it for sometime till they turn translucent (slightly pinkish) followed by the ginger-garlic-green chillies paste.Again fry till it changes color to light brown.

Now add the tomatoes (or paste) and cook further.Add about 1/4th cup of water and cover it with a lid .Reduce the heat a bit and let it cook for about 2 mins.

Remove the lid ;the water should be almost dried up and the mixture should have the consistency of a gravy.Add the turmeric powder,coriander powder,cumin powder and mango powder.Saute for about a min.

Add the cooked rajma along with the stock used.Stir it and let it simmer .If you feel that the consistency is very thick then add  1 cup of water.Now add salt as per taste.Finish off with the garam masala and garnish with the cilantro.
Rajma curry can be served hot  with rotis/rice.

Sending this recipe to the COOK IT HEALTHY event hosted by Shobha Shyam of the GOOD FOOD blog.
This is my first ever entry to any food blogging event so I am quite excited !!

With a smile,

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Carrot Cake!!

One of my favorite vegetables.Give me one anytime and I would munch my way to glory.My mom used to make this carrot cake while growing up .There wasn't any conventional oven or microwave or any fancy schmancy equipment that she used.Just a simple pressure cooker was all she had to come up with this scrumptious cake.I guess I take after her in her passion for baking but I'm definitely nowhere close to her or many proficient bakers out there .So please bear with me .
I have made this carrot cake a couple of times so I can assure you that you can safely follow the recipe ;).
Here goes:

All purpose flour - 2 cups
Eggs - 3
White sugar - 1 3/4th cups
carrots - 1 1/2  cups(grated or chopped)
Vanilla extract- 2 tsp
Vegetable oil- 1 cup
Cinnamon powder -1 tsp
Baking soda - 2tsp
Baking powder- 2tsp
Salt - a pinch
Pecans/walnuts- 1/2 cup

Pre - heat oven to 350F. Now take the carrots in a microwavable bowl .Add 1/2 cup of water and slightly cook them for about 5 mins.They should not be mushy.For this purpose i prefer to grate the carrot or finely chop them.Drain the excess water.Keep aside.
Now in a mixing bowl ,add eggs and beat them well followed by sugar and oil .Blend them well.Add the vanilla extract. Now add the flour,cinnamon powdersalt,baking powder & baking soda.Mix vigorously to avoid any lumps to be formed.Now fold in the carrots & give it a gentle mix .Finish off with the nuts.

Transfer the cake batter in a greased baking pan (I used the 13by9 inch tray).
Bake for about 40 mins or so.Keep checking often to see if the cake is done.
Cool the cake for about 10 mins before inverting it on a wire rack.
Let cool for another 30mins .
Enjoy your carrot cake!!

For the frosting I just mixed 3/4th cup of heavy whipping cream with 1/4th cup of powdered sugar.Beat it well till you get a fluffy texture.This measurement is not for the whole cake.I just used it as and when needed.

With a smile

Friday, June 10, 2011

Apple crumble!!

It was around 10  in the night and suddenly I was craving for dessert.I got up and opened the fridge to see if I could get hold of something.But as they say;when you need something you will definitely not find/have it at the exact moment.All I did see were a couple of apples lying around neglected and in need of immediate help.So up came the idea of making an apple crumble thereby saving the poor fruits and satisfying my craving too.I admit that by the time I was done it was around midnight but the immense satisfaction of tasting the first spoonful of warm crumble along with some whip cream was worth all of it.

So here goes my humble effort at attempting this yummy dessert.

For the filling:

Apples - 2 ( i used the green ones but you can use any variety that you have and mix in some berries too if you have them)
Butter - 2-3 tbsp cold and cut into small chunks
brown sugar - 2tbsp
lemon juice - 1/2tbsp
cinnamon -  a pinch

Peel ,core and thinly slice the apples.Then mix everything together.You may use lemon rind too instead of the juice.It just adds to the tartness.

Put this in a greased pan.
At this point pre heat the oven at 350F.

For the topping:

All purpose flour - 1 cup
Butter - 1/2 cup (cut in chunks)
Brown sugar -  1/4 cup
Granulated sugar - 1/4 cup
Vanilla extract - 1/2 tsp(optional)
walnuts/pecans - 4 tbsps(chopped)

I don't like oats in my crumble so I used 1 whole cup of flour but if you do like oats then add 1/2 a cup of oats & 1/2 a cup of flour instead.
Put  them all together in a bowl and gently mix them using your fingertips.
Layer this crumble mixture on top of the fruits in the greased pan.
Place it in the oven for about 30-35 mins.

As time passes by you can smell the heavenly aroma of the crumble throughout the house.

Take the crumble out once you see it turning to a slightly brown color and the apples start bubbling from beneath.

I didn't wait much longer for it to cool down and topped it with cool whip.

You can also serve it hot with a scoop of your favorite ice cream.i didn't have any :( .

Can't wait to have some more!!

With a smile