Friday, October 31, 2014

Kerala Style Paneer Fry

I had mentioned in an earlier post that my husband had boldly accepted the responsibility of suggesting…mind you only suggesting what to make for dinner. Even though it doesn’t happen everyday, an occasional suggestion is very welcome.
I have made this recipe a few times, but had always stuck to the original ingredients. The recipe calls for soy chunks and the two or three times I made it, my husband suggested making it with paneer. It just didn’t happen, until last week.
I was slightly doubtful about the combination of paneer and coconut oil but trust me, the combination was simply delicious.
Ingredients (Serves 3-4)
Diced paneer – 2 cups
Chilly powder – 2 tsps (or to taste)
Pepper powder – 1 tsp (or to taste)
Crushed ginger – 1 tsp
Crushed garlic – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 2 tsps
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Garam masala – 1½ tsps
Chopped onion – 1 cup
Chopped tomato – ½ cup
Salt to taste
Coconut oil – 5-6 tbsps
Coriander leaves   
Curry Leaves        
Chop the paneer into one-inch size pieces and place in a wide bowl. Pour some hot water on it and leave for about ten minutes, this will make the paneer soft and more porous.
Drain the water. Add the pepper powder, chili powder, ginger, garlic, and salt and marinate for 10-15 minutes or longer, if you start early (the longer you keep it the better).     
Heat oil in a pan and sauté the onions until they turn light brown. Add the turmeric powder and coriander powder and continue sautéing. Now add the chopped tomato and cook until it becomes tender.
Once the onions and tomatoes are well cooked, add the marinated paneer pieces, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Do not open and stir in between, the paneer pieces could break.  
Remove the lid, and allow all the extra water to evaporate. Add the curry leaves, garam masala, and more oil. Lower the heat and allow the paneer to cook well. After about 5-6 minutes, toss the paneer pieces (you might see brown spots on the bottom, that’s normal). Keep cooking, while stirring occasionally. Add more oil if required. It took about 25 minutes to get the blackened texture all on all the pieces. Keep in mind that the paneer may not char as well as the soy chunks.
Garnish with the coriander leaves and serve hot with chapathis, fried rice, or even as an appetizer. 

Note: When serving it as an appetizer, make sure the pieces are slightly bigger, so that they don’t disintegrate when cooking.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Quick and Easy Cheera (Spinach) Ada

It is always such a chore to decide what to cook… In my opinion, cooking is much easier than the planning process. So, a couple of days ago, I asked my husband for some suggestions for dinner. He sent a link to a recipe and that’s what I made. From then on he made a claim that he would suggest dinner everyday! I am sure he is already regretting the statement.
Anyway, day before yesterday, he found another recipe to try. It came out really well, so I decided to share it here.
Raw rice – 1 cup
Green Gram – ½ cup
Channa dal (Bengal gram) – ½ cup
Thuvar dal (Spilt pigeon peas) – ½ cup
Urad dal (Black gram) – ½ cup
Red chilies – 5 to 6 (or according to taste)
Asafoetida powder – a pinch
Chopped greens (spinach, drumstick leaves etc.) – 1 big bowl
Coconut bits – 2 tablespoons
Salt – 1 teaspoon or as per taste
Oil (gingelly or any cooking oil) – as required
Soak rice and dals in water for at least 1 hour. Wash and drain the water completely. Add the red chilies, asafoetida, salt and grind coarsely by adding very little water. Add the coconut bits and chopped greens and mix well.
Heat the dosa pan/griddle. Grease it with a bit of oil. Depending on the size you want, take the required amount of batter, place at the center of the griddle and pat to make a round. Try and make the edges even, else it will not cook evenly.
Drizzle a few drops of oil around the edges and in the center. Allow it to cook for about a couple of minutes. Flip, and allow the other side to cook for a minute. When both sides have browned, remove onto a plate and serve hot.
The ada has a flavor of its own, so you could just roll it up and have it as is. For a more elaborate spread, serve it with your favorite chutney. You could also try a combination of ghee and jaggery for a slightly sweeter note.

I added whole urad (with the skin) but the original recipe called for regular urad. It tasted good anyway!
Here’s the link to the original recipe: