March 23, 2009

Paneer Bhurji

'Paneer bhurji' is a very easy to make recipe with resources readily available at home. Bhurji doesn't demand for paneer cubes. I generally make the paneer fresh at home everytime. I must say, it tastes better and is economical than the commerically available ones. So try and make it in the convenience of home and you will love making it.

Paneer bhurji goes best with plain paranthas. You can even stuff the left over bhurji in paranthas for the next meal. Weight watchers! Good news for you. A little bit of paneer indulgence apparently does good for you. Read below.

Some nutrition facts about paneer (Courtesy:
  • Paneer is a good source of calcium, which in later years helps prevent osteoporosis. Cheese provides 25% of the calcium in the food supply.
  • Paneer in moderation, is associated with lower body weight as well as reduced risk of developing insulin resistance syndrome.
  • Paneer is a good source of protein and it reduces cancer risk.
  • According to Ayurveda Paneer is health food and it can prevent stomach disorders
  • It is supposed to help in lower, back and joint pain.
  • Reduces risks of Heart attack
Now the recipe...

Ingredients (Serves 3)
  • Milk - 1 litre
  • Lemon - 1
  • Onion - 2 medium chopped fine
  • Tomato - 1 small chopped fine
  • Chilli powder - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Oil - 1 tbsp
  • Salt as required
  • Coriander leaves - 1 tbsp chopped
  • To make the paneer, boil the milk in low heat. Turn off and pour the juice of 1 lemon. Keep stirring till the milk curdles entirely and form lumps leaving the pale water behind. Strain it off and rinse with water. Squeeze out all the water (you may use a clean towel to do this). Keep aside.
  • Heat oil, saute onions and green chillies with a little salt over high heat.
  • When the onions turn a shade brown, lower the heat and add the tomatoes.
  • Keep stirring for 3 minutes till the tomatoes are cooked.
  • Add turmeric and chilli powders, mix well.
  • Add the paneer, mix well and cook for 5 minutes in low heat.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander.

March 14, 2009

Kadhi Chawal (Kadhi with Rice)

Punjabis consume rice occasionally with rajma, chole or kadhi. Kadhi and chawal is a combination to die for and it is very easy to make. However it is not made so often at home due to the inavailability of sour curd. Pakodis (dumplings made out of gram flour) are generally added to kadhi which is why the dish is often referred to as kadhi pakodi also. Alternatively, if you want to avoid the deep fried pakodi, you can use potatoes in kadhi. Pakodis can be made in an umpteen ways. I have described here pakodis made out of onion. For the chawal, basmati (long grained) rice is the best bet.

Ingredients for kadhi
  • Curd (preferably sour) - 1 litre
  • Gram flour (besan) - 5 heaped tbsp
  • Onion - 1 large - chopped lengthwise
  • Green chillies - 2 chopped
  • Chilli powder - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
  • Garam masala - 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1 tsp
  • Mustard oil - 4 tbsp
  • Fenugreek (methi) seeds - 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves - 1 tbsp - chopped
  • Salt as required
  • Potatoes - 2 medium - chopped into thin square slices (optional ingredient if you are not using pakodis)
Method for kadhi
  • Mix curd, besan, salt, turmeric, chilli, coriander and garam masala powders and beat well so that no lumps are formed.
  • Add water (1 cup) to make the mixture thin.
  • In a cooker or heavy bottom kadhai, heat mustard oil, splutter the methi seeds and add chopped curry leaves.
  • Saute onion and green chillies in high heat with a little salt till the onion becomes translucent.
  • (Optional step) Add the potato slices and stir till it is moderately cooked.
  • Add the curd besan mixture.
  • Mix well and boil for an hour in low heat. If you are using cooker, use the lid with out the whistle.
  • Make sure that you stir the mixture occasionally.
Ingredients for pakodi
  • Besan - 1 cup
  • Onion - 1 medium - chopped fine
  • Ajwain - 1 tsp
  • Chilli powder - 1 tsp
  • Salt as required
  • Oil for deep frying
Method for pakodi
  • Mix besan, chilli powder, salt and ajwain, with water enough to make a thick paste.
  • Mix onion to the paste and make small balls out of it and deep fry them.
  • When the pakodis are done, add to kadhi and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Kadhi gets thicker with time. So make it for lunch along side rice and try it with roti or parantha for dinner (yeah of course if you've any left for dinner ;) )

March 09, 2009

Curried Rajma (Kidney Beans)

All beans have an unhappy reputation of causing embarrassment after gorging on them. Well you know what I mean. A quick look up suggested what might be happening at the back end. The smelly gas caused by beans "consists mainly of nitrogen and carbon dioxide, is the byproduct of bacteria in the intestine breaking down the complex carbohydrates in the beans". Soy beans topped the list.

Apparently cooking with ginger alleviates the problem to a good extent. Eat beans more often and you body sure will get accustomed to it.

Rajma chawal (Rajma with rice) is a Punjabi delight usually made on a Sunday. It probably is every north indian's delight. I just discovered that
a bowl of kidney beans and rice has become a traditional lunch in New Orleans on Mondays. Interesting!

I must confess here, my rajma never gets closer to the one my mom-in-law makes. She hints that she never soaks it. That means thrice the cooking time. I believe it is an indulgence. If you too believe in saving resources, you may soak the beans for a neat 4 hours at least. However if it was an impromptu decision you might try soaking the beans in boiling water in a thermos for 2 hours.

Let's get to the recipe now.

Ingredients (Serves 4)
  • Rajma - pale brown coloured - 2 cups soaked. (the maroon shaded variety of Rajma takes longer time to cook)
  • Ginger - 2 inches
  • Green chillies - 3
  • Onion - 2 Large chopped coarsely for grinding
  • Tomato - 4 medium or 3 Large (halved and grated to get the pulp)
  • Chilli powder - 1 tsp
  • Coriander leaves - 4 tbsp chopped
  • Fresh cream - 2 tbsp
  • Oil - 6 tbsp
  • Salt as required
  • Grind Onion, ginger and green chillies together
  • Heat oil in a pressure cooker and saute the mixture in high heat, adding 1 tsp salt to it, till it turns a shade brown
  • Add the chilli powder and mix well
  • Add the tomato pulp and keep stirring for 5 minutes in high heat.
  • Add the soaked rajma along with the water used to soak it
  • Add the chopped coriander leaves and the cream
  • Add enough water to make the mixture thin in consistency (Probably I will measure the amount and update the blog later)
  • Pressure cook in high heat for one whistle and then simmer for half an hour.
  • Allow the cooker to cool and serve with hot basmati rice