Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Papa makes some paneer 'my style'!

Papa turned vegetarian 1 year, 3 months, and 21 days back. Let's say it came to me as a surprise, not so much because he chose to embrace vegetarianism but the suddenness and finality of it all. I soon realised that it wasn't one of those one-month long resolutions but a lifelong one. And so, over the last year and more, as a family we have tried and tested many more vegetarian recipes than before. It has been a positive change I feel, and although I cannot say that I have been able to successfully make the switch myself, I am learning some wonderful new things on the way.

The recipe here is one of papa's own. He named it 'paneer, my style', which isn't the least bit descriptive I must admit. So, I decided to rechristen it as Char Magaz Paneer not just because ... well these are two key ingredients that he used in the recipe ... but also because I think it sounds rather exotic and specialised! True or not, I leave for you to decide! Having said that this is a light, flavourful curry that tastes unlike other paneer gravies I have tasted in the past. Try it with a plate of hot, fluffy basmati rice. It is divine!

What you need

200 gm paneer, diced into medium-sized pieces
150 ml milk
1-2 capsicum, sliced
1 medium-sized tomato, sliced
1 tsp ghee (preferably cow ghee)
2 tbsp oil 
2 tsp char magaz, or pumpkin seeds, ground to a paste
2 tsp white sesame seeds, ground to a paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1/2 tsp ginger paste
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp sugar
Salt, to taste
1 bowl of warm, saline water

Paneer, my style!

How to

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan, and lightly fry the paneer till they turn a pale gold colour. The fried paneer pieces can then be immersed in a bowl of warm, salted water amd kept aside.

In the same pan, add the remaining 1 tbsp oil. Once it is hot, add thw ginger-garlic paste and fry till it turns light brown.

Then add the char magaz and sesame seed paste. Fry for about two minutes before adding the tomato and capsicum.

Now add in the paneer.

Reduce the head and slowly pour the milk to the pan. Keep stiring so that the milk does not curdle. If gravy thickens too much, add some warm, saline water to the pan.

Cook for a minute and then add salt to taste and the sugar. Bring the gravy to boil and sprinkle the cinnamon powder. Cook for another minute or so, and add the ghee. 

Switch off the flame. Cover and keep aside for an hour or two before you enjoy this dish.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

The first weekend of spring

Spring hasn't been kind to me. I have been constantly feeling feverish and as result low on energy ever since we returned from Kolkata. But, despite that it's been fairly eventful and I have been chugging along with a few stops on the way. 

Holi was on Friday, so friends were over for some wine and food and lots of laughs over Seinfeld. 

Then the next day it was Akshar's first birthday. Baby is growing up so fast! Unbelievable! He's such an angel with his round red cheeks and droopy eyes.

Akshu turns one!
Look at that! <3 font="">

Today is a Sunday and I have decided to stay in bed all day and nurse my cold. Been sipping warm cinnamon teas and eating boiled eggs. And I think this is a good time to share the recipes that were conquered on Friday, and must be recorded for posterity. So, here goes!

Pesto pizza pops

Pesto pizzas 

1 tsp Homemade pesto sauce with cheddar, per mini pizza
A few pieces of button mushrooms, lightly sauteed in olive oil and butter
Chopped tomatoes
Chopped or shredded mozzarella 
Pizza seasoning 

Spread the pesto and top with the toppings. Bake in a prehated oven for ten minutes at 180 degrees. Season and enjoy! 

Paneer Tikka

Making paneer tikka turned out to be way easier than expected!

500 gm firm paneer, cut into bute sized pieces
2 green capsicum, cut into pieces
7 bamboo skewers, medium size
3 tbsp plain curd
2 tbsp tikka masala
1 tsp chilli powder
1 large clove of garlic crushed
1/2 salt
Lemon juice and chaat masaala for garnishing

Soak bamboo skewers in water for 2 hours and marinate the paneer and capsicum.

Grill at 160 degrees for 10-15 mins. Then crank up the heat to 220 and let it colour for a couple more minutes. Squeeze some kemon juice and sprinkle on some chaat masaala before serving.

Vietnamese rice paper rolls

For the peanut sauce
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce

Whisk together all ingredients.

For the filling
Bean thread noodles
Cook and add a few drops of sesame oil and red chilli flakes. Keep aside.

Grate or finely slice cucumber, red bell pepper, carrots, spring onions, mint, and coriander. Mix with vinegar and lime juice and salt or fish sauce (if making for non vegetarians).

Assemble. Dip in the peanut sauce and enjoy!