Tag Archives: North Indian

Paneer Butter Masala | No Onion No Garlic easy recipe | Ready within 20 mins

Ideally I should be sleeping now as my kids have finally slept after chattering and more chattering (just like me 😁) but I decided to finish writing this (blog baby calls ❀️). Had planned to give it a break, actually fully from social media as I am someone who needs quiet time to focus inwards (the other side of me πŸ˜„) but that went for a toss as I got many beautiful feedbacks from my near and dear ones. So I had to post it and hence was active on my Facebook page (perfect example of how life never goes as per my plans 😬).

But I did listen to a lot of songs on repeat from Sanam and Maadhyam bands (my latest favourites ❀️❀️). The meaningful lyrics, combined with the singers’ soulful voices soothes me so much that I wonder what my life would have been without music. It’s as important as air and water for me (I know I am going overboard but that’s the truth 😁). Don’t know if anyone can understand this but once you fall in love with music, you just fall crazily and there’s no going back. 🎢❀️

That’s why I guess it’s called “falling” in love.. We slowly fall, without our control and by the time we know it, we have already fallen quite deeply into it.. ❀️ (sometimes there’s no way out and you don’t want to come out either 😍) – proof of my craziness πŸ˜…

Now coming back to today’s post before I lose my focus in my chatter (night time gives me ample time to think and write πŸ˜„), this combination is what I regularly make especially on days when we are fasting and don’t consume onion/garlic. The paneer butter masala comes out so delicious that you can never say it is a Satvik one. I make it only this way now and it can really beat restaurant ones anyday for sure (not exaggerating. Try it to know the magic 😍)

Hope you all try this and love it. Happy and healthy cooking! ❀️

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

200 grams Paneer cubes

1 Tbsp Butter or Ghee

1 Bay leaf

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

1/2 tsp Coriander powder

1/2 tsp Cumin powder

1 tsp Red chilli powder or to taste

1 tsp Shahi Paneer Masala (I use catch brand) *substitute with any Garam masala powder of your choice

Salt to taste

2 Tbsp Milk

3 Tbsp Coriander leaves to garnish, finely chopped

To grind to paste:

2 to 3 medium sized Ripe Tomatoes

1 inch Ginger piece

2 Cloves

1 Cardamom

Step by step recipe:

1. Grind tomatoes, ginger, cloves and cardamom with about 1/4 Cup water to a smooth paste. Heat butter in a pan and add bay leaf along with the ground paste.

2. Allow it to cook, sauteing in between till the mixture turns thick (takes about 10 mins) and leaves the sides of the pan. Now add all the masala powders and salt.

3. Mix well. Now add milk and bring to a boil. Also add paneer cubes and cook for about 5 mins till paneer turns soft.

The colour looks orangy due to my kitchen lights and my mobile camera clarity. It comes out as shown in the main picture which was captured in daylight.

4. Remove from flame and garnish with coriander leaves. Mix well. Serve with rotis, rice or pulav.

Notes:

* I serve this with Peas Pulav. For peas pulav, heat 1 Tbsp ghee in a pan. Add bay leaf. Add washed and drained 1 Cup Rice along with about 1/2 Cup frozen peas and salt. Add water and cook till the rice turns soft yet firm. Amount of water depends on the variety of your rice. Garnish with coriander leaves.

* Please use ripe and bright red tomatoes for best results as it really makes a difference in the flavour. You can increase the number of tomatoes to 3 if you want to make more of the gravy.

* Cooking the ground paste very well till the rawness completely goes away is the most important step in this recipe.

* You can also add 1 Tbsp Tomato ketchup to the curry along with the masala powders if you are not particular about “no onion no garlic”. I add when we are not fasting and it adds a wonderful flavour to the curry. ( Some brands of ketchup contains garlic paste.)

* I use Catch Shahi Paneer Masala to make this curry as the flavours are great and it does not contain garlic or onion powders. You can use any powder of your choice though.

* Milk can be substituted with cream for a richer version but add cream after cooking paneer and don’t cook much after adding it.

Aloo Corn Bharta with Milk Chapatis

I have had people tell me that social media friendship is fake and what matters is the friends we make in real life. Might be true for many but I feel finally it ends to the vibe you feel with each individual. Some people talk with so much sweetness that it might seem unreal in the beginning but when you get to know the person, you understand that they are really good natured. (my experience and I have been lucky that way to get to know many nice people. ❀️)

In real life, I talk with everyone (being the chatterbox that I am 😁) and have many friends but if I have to choose my close buddies, they are only two (my college besties ❀️❀️). Apart from that, through social media, I have many friends and some people offer so much love, encouragement and support that I have to call them my angels rather than friends. I sometimes wonder if I really deserve this love and it overwhelms me (not used to hearing praises and having had some self worth issues as a child). But these people keep me going, by motivating me with their kind words. So social media friendship can be anything but fake and gives you a chance to know genuine people too. ❀️

One among them is Ashwini Kulkarni whom I got to know through a food group. She had first tried my Masoor dal dosa and messaged me saying how much her daughter loved it. After that, she messages me whenever she makes the dosa and also sends many healthy recipes for me to try (that has been very helpful for me πŸ™).

This Aloo Bhartha is also her recipe which she learnt from Binita Mangaraj but added corn to it making it Aloo Corn Bhartha. I loved the recipe so much that I tried it instantly with soft Milk chapatis (that I recently learnt from Mukherjee Mala). It came out to be such a great combination that we all loved it a lot.

This is one recipe combination that I will be making regularly from on. Huge thanks to Ashwini, Binita and Mukherjee Mala for their recipes. Hope you all try and love it too. Happy and healthy cooking! ❀️

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

4 medium sized Potatoes

1/4 Cup Sweetcorn

1 medium sized Onion

1 medium sized Tomato

2 to 3 Green chillies

1 tsp Red chilli powder

1/2 tsp Coriander powder

1/2 tsp Garam masala powder

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

Salt to taste

1 Tbsp Oil

1 tsp Cumin seeds

3 Tbsp Coriander leaves, finely chopped

Step by step recipe:

1. Pressure cook the potatoes till soft. Allow to cool. Then peel and grate using grater. You can alternatively mash it.

2. In a pan, heat oil and add cumin seeds. When it changes colour, add green chillies and onions. Fry till onions turn translucent.

3. Now add tomatoes and fry till it cooks and turns very soft. Now add Turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder and Garam masala powder. Fry for few seconds.

4. Now add the grated potatoes, sweetcorn and salt. Mix well. Add little water and cook for 5 mins on medium flame till sweet corn turns soft. Also add coriander leaves and mix well.

5. Serve hot with rice meals or chapatis/rotis.

Notes:

* I served this with Milk Chapatis. For milk chapatis, just add wheat flour and salt in a bowl. Also add milk and water. Knead to a soft dough and make chapatis as usual. I add about 1/2 Cup milk to 2 Cups flour and add rest water while kneading. Gives really soft chapatis.

* You can mash the potatoes instead of grating but grating gives a good texture to the curry.

* You can make the curry as thick or thin as you like.

* Sweetcorn can be skipped but it gives a good bite to the bharta.

* I used frozen sweet corn which cooks quickly. If your sweet corn variety takes time to cook, boil it separately and add.

Rajma Masala | No Onion No Garlic recipe

My husband’s aunt has asked us to take the “Solah Somavar vrat” which is fasting, without rice items for breakfast and eating only one satvik meal without onion or garlic on Monday for 16 weeks in a row.

Even though I am not someone who believes much in fasting, I am following it to respect her beliefs. My devotion to God is through bhajans and sthothras, along with talking with him believing he is always there with me ( My deep thoughts, example 1 😁).

So, even though I agreed to take the vrat, making no onion no garlic curries especially on days when the husband has to take lunch box is very difficult since he takes only north Indian dishes for his box. And all north Indian curries have loads of onions in it. That’s when I put on my experimental culinary cap and this Satvik Rajma Masala was born! πŸ˜…

The most important reason for me to add this recipe on the blog is my husband loving it like anything. And mind you, he’s not someone who is easy to impress (Precisely why I call him Mr Masterchef πŸ˜‚). Even though he can’t cook much, he criticises my dishes so well that even the tiniest mistake does not escape his taste buds πŸ™„πŸ˜„. That has been very difficult as a newbie married girl leading to many crying sessions πŸ˜‚.

Not now though. Now, it does feel sad sometimes but I go into my silent mode (inside my shellπŸ˜…) and then think that it’s for my own good and that’s how my cooking has improved this much (deep thoughts, example 2 πŸ˜‚). Honestly, that’s the truth too. His straight forward nature is the reason my cooking skills have improved. I have to thank him for that. πŸ™πŸ˜

So here’s sharing the Rajma Masala which my Masterchef judge of a husband loved so much that he found it perfect, much to my happiness. Hope you all try and love it too. Happy and healthy cooking! ❀️

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

1 1/2 Cups Rajma or Kidney beans

2 large Tomatoes

1/2 inch Ginger piece

2 Cloves

A small piece of Cinnamon

2 Tbsp Ghee

1 tsp Cumin seeds

1 Bay leaf

A pinch of Hing or Asafoetida

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

1 tsp Red chilli powder or to taste

2 tsp Everest Chole Masala (the secret ingredient 😍) *can use any other masala but this is really very flavourful

Salt to taste

Coriander leaves, finely chopped to garnish

Step by step recipe:

1. Soak the Rajma is atleast thrice the water overnight or for 8 hours. Drain the water, add to a pressure cooker and add water only to soak it. Pressure cook till it turns very soft (this step is very important to get a good, thick gravy).

2. Grind tomatoes with ginger, clove and cinnamon to a fine paste.

3. Now heat ghee in a pan, add cumin seeds and allow it brown. Also add Hing and bay leaf. Now add the paste and allow it to cook really well sauteing in between. It should start leaving the sides of the pan.

4. Now add Turmeric powder, red chilli powder and chole masala powder along with salt. Mix well. Now add the cooked Rajma.

5. Cook till it comes together as a thick gravy. Mash the Rajma slightly using the back of the ladle or masher.

6. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice. I serve with Jeera rice.

Notes:

* The main part here is cooking the Rajma to really soft that it’s almost buttery kind of soft, should easily mash between your fingers. That gives a thick gravy.

* Also don’t add much water while pressure cooking. Add water only till it soaks the Rajma.

* The number of whistles or the time for pressure cooking depends on your stove and pressure cooker. In my steel cooker and electric stove top, it takes about 6 whistles and then keeping till the cooker cools down completely.

* Everest Chole Masala really gives a good flavour to this curry. You can use any masala powder which you like.

* If you are not fasting, you can add an onion and about 3 to 4 garlic cloves and make paste with ginger, cloves and cinnamon first. Fry that in ghee and cumin seeds first till raw smell goes and then add the tomato paste. Continue the rest like the above curry. It tastes delicious too.

* The gravy thickens as you keep it and tastes best after couple of hours when the Rajma absorbs all the masala.

* For Jeera rice, Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds along with finely chopped green chillies. Add washed rice, salt and water. Cook till the rice turns soft. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Drumstick leaves Aloo Roti | Easy snack and lunch box idea

Finding healthy evening snacks are the most difficult for me as most of the snack ideas that are available online are deep fried ones or with bread. Though I bake my own wheat bread and we enjoy it with fresh cream cheese spread, still I have to think of varieties each day to feed my kids who get bored very quickly. πŸ˜€

I am also sorry that I always write about my kids. It’s because all my recipe ideas are inspired by what they like and I keep making the dishes they absolutely love. ❀️ Hope it is helpful to mothers like me who want to make their kids eat healthy yet get run out of ideas.

These rotis were found on a day when I had leftover drumstick leaves potato curry and I had to make something quick for the kids. I just added wheat flour and made rotis with it. The kids loved it so much that it has now become a regular in our place whenever I get drumstick or Methi leaves (best way to get leaves in their tiny tummies 😍😍).

This is very filling, yet tasty and very healthy. Best part is it stays soft after many hours. So you can give for lunch box too. Hope you all try and love it too. Happy and healthy cooking! ❀️

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { Makes 5 Rotis }

1 Tbsp Ghee

1 tsp Jeera/ Cumin seeds

1 Cup mashed Potatoes (Pressure cook potatoes till soft, peel and mash well)

1/4 Cup Drumstick leaves / Moringa leaves

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

1/2 tsp Red chilli powder

1/2 tsp Garam masala powder

2 Cups Wheat flour

1/2 Cup Water

Salt to taste

Ghee to cook the rotis

Step by step recipe:

1. Heat ghee in a pan (I use my iron kadhai for this recipe.). Add Jeera. Fry little and add mashed potatoes along with drumstick leaves, Turmeric powder, Garam masala powder, red chilli powder and salt. Mix everything well and cook for two mins.

2. Allow it to cool. Then add wheat flour and water to make a smooth dough. You can add a pinch of salt to this if needed.

3. Make small balls of this dough, dust in dry wheat flour and spread using a rolling pin into rotis of medium thickness (slightly thicker than chapatis).

4. Cook on a hot tawa and use ghee while frying both sides.

5. Remove from flame and serve with mint chutney and curd.

Notes:

* I serve this with Pudina Lehsun chutney and curd. Makes a great combination.

* You can substitute drumstick leaves with Methi or fenugreek leaves too.

* I make and keep these in a steel container and it stays soft even after many hours. So really good idea for lunch boxes.

* The dough also can be made beforehand and refrigerated in an airtight container. Lasts well for a day.

* I add 1/4 Cup leaves to 1 Cup mashed potatoes and 2 cups wheat flour. You can increase the quantity of leaves if you want. I find this ratio good for my kids as the taste is not very overpowering while it gives them the nutrition too.

* You can also check the spicy idlis with drumstick leaves which we Konkanis call Mashinga palle sannamuddo.

* Do try these rotis or your regular parathas with Pudina Lehsun chutney. Tastes amazing.

* One more snack idea which is very filling and my kids’ favorite are these Masala Oats Parathas. Very delicious!

Palak Paneer with simple vegetable pulao | Easy meal ideas

Palak paneer reminds me of only one person, someone who is very close to my heart and to whom I owe everything in life – My Amma ❀️. This is her favorite dish and I have so many memories with her love for Palak paneer. Each time I make it, I only wish she was here with me, just to see her eat with so much happiness. 😍

One of the first memories of Palak paneer and my Amma is when she was admitted in hospital during my 4th semester engineering exams due to Vertigo. It was one of my most difficult days as I could not bear to see her suffer and wanted to take care of her but I had my exams on.

Finally I decided to stay in the hospital with her and study, no matter what happens. Those days, when I used to come back after my exams, I brought her favorite foods to cheer her up. One of them was Palak paneer from a nearby restaurant. The glow on her face while eating it is still in my memories. Can never forget the small ray of happiness which this curry brought in those sad times. ❀️

And guess what? My 4th semester exam results were my most scored one in my entire engineering studies. I always say it’s only due to Amma’s blessings. πŸ™

After that, I learned to make palak paneer from my aunt Anita Pai mai who was also the reason I started my blog. She encouraged me a lot during my initial cooking days. Amma loved my palak paneer so much that she said it tasted even better than restaurant ones. So whenever I visit them, I definitely make it for her. Just to see the glow on her face. 😍

I had even made it for her and sent it with my brother when he had come here to Qatar on vacation. Here is a picture from my Facebook memories. Palak paneer with Coconut burfis and Til ki Burfi which travelled from Qatar to India, from a daughter to her mother, with loads of love. ❀️❀️

This post became quite a long one but I always wanted to write about these memories as they are very close to my heart. I know Amma will have tears in her eyes while reading this. Loads of love to you Amma. Don’t know when we can meet next but I will definitely make your favorite Palak paneer for you when we meet. ❀️

Hope you all try this curry with pulao. I thank Anita Pai mai for her recipe. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

300 grams Palak or Spinach leaves (about half a large bunch)

200 grams Paneer cubes

4 green chillies

1 Tbsp Ghee

1 tsp Cumin seeds/ Jeera

1 inch Ginger piece, finely chopped

4 to 5 Garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 medium sized Onion, finely chopped

1 large Tomato, finely chopped

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

1 tsp Garam masala powder

1/2 tsp Red chilli powder

Salt to taste

Step by step recipe:

1. Clean the spinach leaves well and wash under running water till the dirt goes away.

2. Now heat water with salt in a large pan. Add these leaves and bring to a boil.

3. As soon as it boils and the leaves start changing colour, immediately remove the leaves and wash it in cold water. Allow it to cool down.

4. Meanwhile heat ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds. When it changes colour, add Ginger and garlic. Fry for a minute. Add onion and fry till it turns translucent.

5. Now add finely chopped tomatoes and fry till it turns soft. Mash using the ladle. You can also puree tomatoes and add. Now add Haldi powder, Garam masala powder and red chilli powder.

6. Mix well. Grind the palak leaves along with green chillies and little water to a smooth paste. Add to this. Also add paneer cubes and salt.

7. Cook till the palak leaves changes colour and turns dark green. Remove from flame. Serve with rotis or rice. I usually make my simple vegetable pulao with it.

Notes:

* For vegetable pulao, soak basmati rice for about half an hour. In a pan, add ghee. Also add cloves, cardamom pods, bay leaf and some cashews. Fry till cashews turn brown. Now add drained rice along with frozen or fresh vegetables (about 1 cup for every 2 cups rice used). Cook in enough water adding salt till the rice turns soft. You can also add little milk and saffron when the rice is almost cooked for a richer version of pulao.

* Don’t cook the palak leaves in water as it will lose the nutrients. Just blanch it ie add to the hot water, bring to a boil and immediately drain and wash in running water in a colander. This helps retain the colour of palak leaves.

* I add the stalk part of palak too as it is healthy. Some people add only the leaves and discard the stalk/ stem. I feel if you grind it to smooth paste, then there is no problem in using the stem as well. In fact it gives a thickness to the gravy along with being nutritious too.

* Red chilli powder can be added only if needed since we are already adding green chillies while grinding.

* I used to add milk to the gravy towards the end when I started making palak paneer but now I don’t add as I feel it masks the palak flavour. You can add milk towards the end or garnish with fresh cream if you like it.

* You can substitute paneer with boiled chickpeas for Chole Palak and with boiled cubed Potatoes for Aloo palak or even with mushrooms for Kumbh Palak.

* Our favorite combination with Palak paneer is Vegetable pulao. I also make chapatis and it tastes great with this curry too.

Bhel puri chaat | The easiest chaat ever!

Apart from desserts, chaats are my favourite. I can never get tired of them and they are always my choice when we eat out. Here, we get amazing chaats in Kailash Parbat and their chaat platter is my favourite. ❀️

I must admit though that Bhel puri is not my favourite among chaats. It is my husband’s and kids’ favourite one. Mine is always Masala puri or Sev puri or Dahi puri (Craving for some now as I write this 😭😭😭😭).

But since bhel puri is hands down the easiest chaat ever, we usually make it for our evening snack. It’s not only easy to make but healthy and light on the tummy apart from being tasty too.

So I had to share this with all of you. A must try chaat if you love Bhel puris from outside. It’s super easy to make at home, trust me. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients: {Serves 2}

2 Cups Bhel/ Kurmura / Charmburo/ Puffed rice

1/4 Cup finely chopped Onion

1/4 Cup finely chopped Tomatoes

2 Tbsp finely chopped Coriander leaves

1/2 tsp Red chilli powder

Salt to taste {I use kaala namak or rock salt}

1/4 Cup Mint Coriander chutney (5 sprigs of coriander leaves, 3 Green chillies, 8 to 10 mint leaves, salt)

2 Tbsp Dates Tamarind chutney {I use Mother’s recipe brand readymade chutney} * check notes to make at home

1 Cup Alu bhujiya or Sev ( I use Haldirams brand )

1/2 Cup Mixture or Namkeen of your choice ( I use Bikaji brand)

Step by step recipe:

1. Dry roast the bhel till it turns crisp. Keep aside till use.

Note: This step is necessary so that the bhel does not turn soggy instantly when chutneys are mixed.

2. Take mint leaves, coriander leaves, green chillies and salt in the mixer.

I used kaala namak or rock salt or pink salt and hence the colour.

3. Grind with little water to a smooth paste. Keep aside.

4. Now get everything ready. Shown below are:

* Finely chopped onions, tomato, coriander leaves, red chilli powder and salt in a mixing bowl.

* Dry roasted Bhel, alu bhujia, Namkeen in another bowl.

* Mint coriander chutney.

* Dates Tamarind chutney.

5. Mix everything well and serve immediately.

Notes:

* Bhel puri chaat has to be served immediately after mixing or it turns soggy. So get your family to sit down for the chaat time and then mix everything.

* The measurements for the green chutney gives 1/2 Cup of the green chutney. Use only how much is necessary as per your spice levels. Since I have to accommodate my kids’ tastebuds, I add only 1/4 Cup.

* Rest of the chutney can be refrigerated for use later. Lasts well for couple of days if handled well.

* I use Mother’s recipe brand of Dates Tamarind chutney. For making it at home, Soak about 6 to 8 dates for 30 mins in warm water and grind along with tamarind and salt to a smooth paste.

* You can add finely chopped green chillies too but I avoid as my kids find it spicy.

* You can check the Karnataka version of Bhel puri which we call Charmbure Upkari here.

* The masala puri chaat I make is very close to chaat stall ones. You can check the recipe here.

Dhaba Style Paneer

We are a paneer loving family and our idea of a special weekend dinner is incomplete without paneer. So when my dearest friend and soul sister Sumangala posted Dhaba style Paneer on her Instagram handle @onlyvegfoodie, I could not resist trying it instantly. It looked so so delicious.

And how amazing it came out too. My kids who usually make faces during dinner time ate whole heartedly and happily that day. My daughter even ate the curry as it is which is a rarity since she always finds everything spicy. So you can imagine how much she liked it.

I also want to write something about Sumangala. We first met through our GSB youth wing Elamakkara (where we lived in Kochi) during our college days. We were (still are 😁) both talkative and got along very well. She’s very loving and a down to earth person. I still remember my visits to her house and the nearby Shiva temple with her. Now we both are busy mommies with two kids of our own but our common love for cooking keeps us connected on Instagram. So glad to see you happy Suma. Love you. The memories with you are unforgettable. 😘

Hope you all try her recipe of Dhaba style Paneer and love it as much as we did. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

To marinate:

200 grams Paneer cubes

1 tsp Red chilli powder

1 tsp Coriander powder

2 tsp Garam masala powder

1/2 tsp Haldi powder

2 tsp Water

Other ingredients in order:

1 Tbsp Ghee

1 Tbsp Oil

2 Cardamom pods

2 Cloves

1/2 inch Cinnamon stick

1 Bay leaf

1 tsp Cumin seeds or Jeera

1 tsp minced Ginger

1 large Onion, blended in mixer

2 large Tomatoes, pureed in mixer

2 Tbsp Coriander leaves, while frying

1/2 tsp Kasuri methi, crushed between palm

1 tsp Red chilli powder

1 tsp Garam masala powder

2 tsp Besan/ Chickpea flour

Salt to taste

Coriander leaves for garnish

Step by step recipe:

1. Take Paneer cubes in a bowl. Add red chilli powder, garam masala powder, haldi powder and coriander powder along with little water. Mix well and keep aside for 30 mins.

2. Heat oil and ghee in a pan. Add jeera along with Cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaf. When jeera changes colour, add blended onion and ginger.

3. Keep frying continually till the raw smell goes away and the paste leaves the sides of the pan. Now add kasuri methi, red chilli powder, garam masala powder and besan.

4. Fry for two mins till the rawness of besan goes away. Now add tomato puree along with coriander leaves and cook covered for 6 to 8 mins till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.

5. Now add paneer cubes and mix well. Cook again covered for 5 mins.

6. Remove from flame. Garnish with Coriander leaves. Serve with rotis or rice.

Notes:

* Paneer can be substituted with mushroom or cauliflower.

* You can fry the marinated paneer first before adding to the gravy for a firmer paneer. I skipped that step since we like the softness of paneer in gravies.

* Do remember to cook well after adding onion puree, after adding besan and after adding tomato puree. All three steps need some time to cook thoroughly but is very important to get the authentic dhaba style Paneer.

* You can skip the red chilli powder in the gravy and add only to the marinate if you don’t like too much spicy gravy. My kids loved it even though I added red chilli powder in both marinate and gravy.

Alu Paratha

In my childhood, if there was something I used to wait from Amma’s special dishes, it was Puri bhaji that she made weekly once for breakfast and this Alu Paratha which was a weekend lunch speciality.

I used to buzz around her like a bee till she made hot hot parathas so lovingly that I can never match her taste in it. Though after marriage, potatoes are not common in my household as husband does not like it (can you believe it?? He hates my favourite potato πŸ˜‘), he does love these alu parathas gratefully.

So I make them for his lunch box as they stay soft even after many hours along with Mint chutney and they make an amazing combination. Hope you all try these simple alu parathas too. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { makes about 10 parathas}

For the outer dough:

4 Cups of whole wheat flour/ Atta

Salt to taste

Water as required

For the filling:

4 medium sized Potatoes

3 Tbsp freshly grated Coconut

3 Green chillies

2 Tbsp Coriander leaves

1/2 tsp Hing or Asafoetida

Salt to taste

Ghee to cook the parathas

Step by step recipe:

1. Take wheat flour and salt in a bowl. Add water as required and form a smooth dough. Keep aside.

2. Pressure cook potatoes till they turn soft but don’t overcook them as it can lead them to leave water and will be difficult to stuff inside. Remove them and allow them to cool.

Note: I usually pressure cook for 4 whistles on my electric stovetop. May vary for gas tops.

3. After they cool down, peel and mash the potatoes well with a masher. Add coconut, green chillies, coriander leaves, hing and salt.

4. Mix well and keep aside.

5. When making parathas, divide both the doughs into equal portions.

Note: Keep the wheat flour dough size bigger than the filling so that you can roll easily.

6. Keep the pan to heat on the flame. Dip the wheat dough in dry wheat flour and roll into a small round shape as shown. Place the filling inside.

7. Close the dough from all sides and seal.

8. Dip again in dry wheat flour and roll as thin as you can.

9. Place this on the hot tawa and fry both sides using ghee.

Notes:

* Be careful while cooking the potatoes and if it does leave water and turn extra soft, add little oats for the mashed potatoes to absorb water. I do it too and you won’t know the difference.

* This tastes very simple but delicious especially those who love hing flavour.

* We love it curd or Mint chutney.

Paneer Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji has to be one of my favourite chaats. I have so many memories of Pav bhaji eaten at various joints during our travels to Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Shimla, Gujarat and even in Singapore. I have to try pav bhaji from every place we visit.

While there is Mr husband who loves the pav bhaji I make so much that he never orders them when we eat out and sticks to bhel puri.

Anyhow, ever since I learned how to bake perfect Wheat pav at home, we have hardly had them from outside. Pav bhaji with homemade wheat pav is not only healthy but turns out amazingly delicious. Since we are a paneer loving family, I take it a notch higher and make Paneer Pav Bhaji.

Hope you all try it and love it too. Nothing like homemade food β™₯️ Happy and healthy cooking!

Ingredients:

1 Cup dry/ fresh/ frozen Green peas (dried ones need to be soaked overnight)

1 Cup Cauliflower florets

1 medium sized Potato

1/2 Cup roughly chopped Carrot

2 Tbsp Butter

1 inch Ginger piece

3 cloves of Garlic

3 Green chillies

1 medium sized Onion

1/4 Cup finely chopped Capsicum

1 medium sized Tomato

1 tsp Red chilli powder or to taste

2 Tbsp Pav Bhaji Masala powder

1 Cup Paneer, cut into small cubes

4 Tbsp Coriander leaves

Salt to taste

1 tsp Lemon juice

For toppings, finely chopped onions, coriander leaves, lemon wedges, butter.

Step by step recipe:

1. Take peas, cauliflower, potato and carrot in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook till very soft.

2. Mash using a potato masher or a ladle till there are no big chunks of veggies. Keep aside.

3. Heat a pan with butter. Add finely chopped ginger, garlic and green chillies. Saute till they give out an aroma.

4. Add finely chopped onion. Fry till it turns translucent.

5. Add finely capsicum and fry for few seconds.

6. Add tomatoes and cook well.

7. Now add pav bhaji masala powder and red chilli powder. Fry till all water evaporates and the mixture turns out dry as shown.

8. Now add the mashed veggies and mix well. Add little water if the mixture is too dry. Allow it to come to a boil.

9. Add paneer cubes along with salt and cook for 5 more mins. After that, check for spices if needed. Add more pav bhaji masala or red chilli powder if needed.

10. Now add lemon juice and coriander leaves. Mix well. Done.

11. Serve along with pav and top with onions, coriander leaves and lemon wedges. Add more butter on top.

Notes:

* You can skip paneer and make regular pav bhaji if you don’t like it but paneer Pav Bhaji is a delight for paneer lovers.

* Pav bhaji masala can be added as desired as per your taste buds. If unavailable, you can add any garam masala powder.

* Cook the veggies really well for a smooth texture of pav bhaji.

* Butter gives a wonderful flavour. So I recommend using butter to cook.

* I make Homemade wheat pav for pav bhaji. You can try too.

Cabbage Aloo Sabzi

Cabbage Aloo sabzi is among my first memories of hotel food from Cochin when I was hardly 12 years old. Since both my parents were working, Saturday used to be our “eating out” night. Me and my brother used to wait eagerly for Saturday to get a break from home food (the value of which we realise now).

Anyhow, so daddy used to bring these soft rotis with delicious dal and lipsmacking cabbage aloo sabzi from a north indian dhaba style restaurant in a place called TD road which was near his office. I can never forget the flavours of roti with their dal and sabzi. It makes my mouth water even now.

Many years later, I make the sabzi with rotis as reminiscence of those childhood memories when even a simple meal from the small little restaurant would make our day. My husband likes this sabzi and asks it to be made whenever we buy cabbage. So here’s sharing the recipe. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

3 cups of chopped Cabbage

1 medium sized Potato, peeled and chopped

Red chilli powder to taste

Salt to taste

1 tsp Ghee or oil

1/2 tsp Cumin seeds

1/4 tsp Hing

1 Tbsp Lemon juice

Finely chopped coriander leaves for garnish

Step by step recipe:

1. Heat ghee or oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and hing.

2. When cumin seeds change colour, add chopped Cabbage and potato. Mix well once.

3. Cover and cook on medium flame till half done. Don’t add water at all. Allow it to cook in its steam. When half done, add red chilli powder.

4. Cover and cook again on medium flame till done. If needed only, sprinkle little water. But I usually cook this without water.

5. Add lemon juice and garnish with coriander leaves. Done! Serve with rotis or rice.

Notes:

* I have noted that if the cabbage is fresh, the curry does not need water at all while cooking. But as it turns old and dries, you may require little sprinkle of water while cooking. But minimal amount of water makes this dish very tasty.

* You can add garam masala powder if you feel the need, but we love this curry in its simple form with just the combination of cumin, hing, chilli powder and lemon with fresh coriander leaves.