Methi Malai Paneer

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Its raining here incessantly in Bangalore and all I was craving was a bowl of comforting paneer curry with some fluffy rotis. And such delicious cravings need to get fulfilled and hence Methi Malai Paneer happened in my kitchen. Being an ardent fan of paneer, this recipe is one of my family favorites. A few handful basic ingredients in the kitchen come together beautifully to make a stunning curry. The lush methi leaves, the delectable gravy and my ever favorite grilled paneer cubes.

So just when you thought paneer dishes are all the same and quite boring, this recipe is a winner. Try it and you’ll fall in love with it.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 3 – 4 people)

  • 200 grams paneer, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups fresh fenugreek/ methi leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 15 – 16 cashew nuts, soaked in a small bowl of water
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1 green chilli, split lengthwise
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp dhaniya powder
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/3 cup fresh cream
  • 2 tbsp dried kasuri methi leaves

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METHOD:

  • In a kadhai take 1 tbsp oil and put it on medium flame. Add cumin seeds and saute it until it crackles.
  • Now add onion and saute until its translucent to light brown. This would take about 3 – 4 minutes.
  • Now add tomatoes, garlic, ginger, green chilli, cashews and a little bit of salt and saute it until the tomatoes are cooked and mushy.
  • Take it off the stove and allow it cool down completely.
  • Once cooled, mixer grind it into a smooth paste. You can add 1 – 2 tbsp of water if required.
  • Now take another kadhai on medium flame and take 1 tbsp of ghee in it. Add the tomato – onion puree in it. Add turmeric powder, dhaniya powder, red chilli powder, garam masala and a bit of salt and let the paste cook until its releases some oil.
  • Now add 1/3 cup water to this an let it cook for another 3 – 4 minutes.
  • Now add the fresh cream and keep stirring it until its well incporporated into the paste to avoid the cream from splitting.
  • Add methi/ fenugreek leaves to it and let it simmer for 4 – 5- minutes.
  • Now add paneer cubes and honey and let it simmer for 2 – 3 minutes. Alternatively you can grill the paneer cubes on a griddle pan and put it inside the gravy righe before serving.
  • Garnish with kasuri methi leaves and serve.

 

Eggless Mango Mousse

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There are a few must to do things for every summer and this luscious Eggless Mango Mousse is one of them. This screams summer – the beautiful yellow color, the aroma of the fresh mangoes, velvety texture and a chilled dessert. Everytime I end up making a mango mousse, its over in no time. My family loves it given that its seasonal and sugarless.

I often ask myself, retrospect almost everyday as to where do I get these ideas for cooking. Sometimes its my family’s confidence in me where there is a sense of expectation and happiness every time I make something, sometimes its through talking to people around me, what do they enjoy and definitely a lot of my friends across the world who come up with such beautiful creations. I feel good about the happiness and positivity around me and it helps me garner a lot of confidence and courage to go and create something. So thank you all!

So for all the mango lovers out there, do try out this quick Eggless Mango Mousse recipe now!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (4 -5 people)

  • 1 1/2 cup fresh mango puree (I used Alphonso mangoes)
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 /2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup fresh mango, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries (optional)
  • 10 – 12 cherries (optional)
  • mint leaves, to garnish
  • lemon zest, to garnish

METHOD:

  • Chill the whipping cream in the fridge for 1 hour or so. Take a clean bowl and whip the cream until they form soft peaks.
  • Add vanilla extract and whip it for another 10 seconds until just incorporated
  • Fold in the mango puree gently into the whipped cream and transfer it equally among the glasses.
  • Allow it to chill in the refrigerator for 6 – 7 hours.
  • Garnish with diced mangoes, berries, cherries, mint leaves and lemon zest and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Aam Panna (Raw Mango Drink)

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Scorching heat, the summer holidays, a chilled glass of a tangy and sweet Raw Mango drink that mum used to make before I headed out to play – all that and more is so synonymous with Indian summer season. This Raw Mango Cooler aka Aam Panna is a summer to-do in almost every Indian household. It reminds me of my childhood in every way. Being a mum of a 2.5 year old makes me relive my summer childhood days with my son with this cooler almost every day.

This thirst quencher is made with green raw mangoes along with spices and tastes absolutely delish. Make a huge batch and you won’t be surprised that it will get over so soon.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 6 – 8 people)

  • 3 medium sized Raw Mangoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp roasted cumin powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar (you can adjust this depending on your preference)
  • 12 – 15 fresh mint leaves + extra for garnishing
  • 1/2 tsp rock salt (optional)
  • 8 – 9 ice cubes
  • chilled water (according to the consistency you desire)

METHOD:

  • Take the chopped and desseded raw mangoes along with some water and pressure cooker it for 3 – 4 whistles or until its tender and cooked.
  • Once done, let the steam escape and let the mixture cool down completely.
  • Take all the ingredients – cooked mangoes, cumin powder, sugar, rock salt, ice cubes and fresh mint leaves along with some water and blend it to make a puree. (You can store this puree for a couple of days).
  • Take the puree, add some water (depending on the consistency you like for your drink), mix it well and serve in glasses.
  • Garnish with fresh mint leaves, roasted cumin powder and ice cubes and serve.

 

 

Banana and Nutella Quick Bread

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It’s time to reveal my secret (not so secret anymore) elixir for times when I am down and out – Banana and Nutella Quick Bread! I made this bread with ragi and oats flour and it all about comfort and yumness! Tried, tested and never failed with this recipe. And I hope you now understand why it’s my favorite – super easy, super quick and no scope of messing it up!
The freshly grounded cinnamon-y flavor to the nutty flavor from the flours, everyone’s favorite Nutella to the goodness from the banana in every bite, makes it a delicious dessert to dive in all through the day. Breakfast, lunch or dinner – you’ll fall in love with it.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 1 – 9 inch loaf)

  • 100 grams oats flour
  • 90 grams ragi flour
  • 3 ripe bananas, medium sized
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup palm sugar
  • 2/3 cup olive oil + extra for brushing
  • 100 grams melted Nutella

METHOD

  • Preheat your oven to 170 C for atleast 15 minutes. Meanwhile spray or brush you baking mould with oil and keep it aside.
  • In a bowl sift your flours, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon powder and whisk it. Add chia seeds and keep aside.
  • In another bowl mash the banana using a fork into small chunks. Add oil, sugar and vanilla extract to it and mix it well using a wire whisk.
  • Add the wet and dry ingredients and fold it until just combined.
  • Transfer half of it to the baking mould. Put half the Nutella and using a skewer make a design. Repeat the process.
  • Allow it to bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Once done take it out of the oven. Allow it to cool. Then slice it up and serve!

Thai Rainbow Salad with Ginger Soy Dressing

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I have started to believe that I have a thing towards fresh produce and making everything from scratch whether its salad dressings, breads, ghee and possibly everything within my scope. There is still a long way to go, lot of skills to learn however I am loving this. Using local and fresh ingredients rather than frozen ones adds such a depth of flavor and a feel good factor in everything you make. The effort that goes in making everything perfect for your family and friends, making everything pure and good is a true epitome of love and affection.

This salad is all about freshness – delicious and crunchy ingredients, a flavorful dressing, beautifully tossed together and yay! its ready. A perfect way to welcome the summer and enjoy every bit of homemade thai flavors.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 4 – 5 people)

For the salad:

  • 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1/4 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 cup red carrots, julineed
  • 1/3 cup mixed bell peppers, julineed
  • 180 – 200 grams rice vermicelli noodles
  • 1/4 cup coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp peanuts
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 1/2 red chilli, for garnish

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup soy
  • 1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp honey (optional)

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METHOD:

For the dressing:

  • Whisk everything together until incorporated and keep aside until ready to use.

For the salad:

  • Take a bowl filled with boiling hot water and place the rice vermicelli noodles in it. Let it soak for 2 – 3 minutes or until the noodles is cooked.
  • Once done drain it and wash it with tap water. Allow the water to completely drain off.
  • In a large bowl mix together red cabbage, cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, coriander leaves, black sesame seeds and noodles and toss it so that everything is almost evenly distributed.
  • Add the dressing and toss it.
  • Garnish with red chilli, peanuts and coriander leaves and serve!

 

 

Gharwali Khichdi

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Basic homestyle khichdi is my synonym for comfort food. There is nothing better that can remind you of clean and sumptuous home food than this Khichdi. A bowl of piping hot Mixed Dal Khichdi, a generous dollop of ghee and a fragrant tadka – a complete one pot meal and definitely your answer to a lazy day food.

 

Growing up in a Marwari family, khichdi was a pretty regular affair in the kitchen with so many different variations. Not only was it served with homemade ghee but also with kadhi, pickle, papad, fried munchies and curd. A simple dish was ornated and with that extra touch of love (read Ghee!) from grandmom made it even more delicious. Light on the tummy, nutritious and yummy, this lentil and rice concoction has been one of my all time favorite Indian meal. You definitely can’t go wrong with this one!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 2 – 3 people)

  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice, soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 1/4 cup uncooked lentils, soaked in water for 30 minutes (I took half moong dal and half Toor dal)
  • 1 green chili, split lengthwise
  • 2 – 3 dried red chilli
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 cardamom pod, seeds removed
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp ghee + extra for garnishing
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • hing, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • chopped cilantro leaves, for garnsihing
  • fried onion, for garnsihing

METHOD:

  • Take a saucepan and put it on medium heat. Meanwhile wash the lentils under water a couple of times.
  • Once the saucepan is heated, put ghee. Now add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, hing, green chili, red chilli, grated ginger, bay leaf, cloves and cardamom pod and saute for 10 seconds.
  • Now add the washed lentils and stir for 40 – 50 seconds.
  • Add some salt and turmeric powder and mix it well. Add 1 cup of water and mix it. Cover the saucepan and let the lentil for 10 minutes or so.
  • Once half done, add the washed rice into the saucepan and give it a good stir. Add more salt and around 2 1/2 cups of water and stir. Cover the saucepan with a lid and let the mix cook for 20 minutes or until the rice and lentil is perfectly cooked.
  • Once done, transfer it to a bowl, garnish with coriander leaves, fried onions and a generous dollop of ghee and dig in!

 

Boozy Christmas Bundt Cake

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A Christmas tree is dressed up beautifully and my house is looking festive. Those lil shining stars hanging from the tree, those bright red socks hanging all over the house and bright lights all around the tree – what a pretty sight! While my house is ornated beautifully, my food table looks prettier. Latest on my holiday table is this Boozy Christmas Bundt Cake. It has all the Christmas feel that you are looking for.

Christmas week often reignites childhood memories. School closed down for the festve season, some chilling out scenes with friends, lots of bakery hopping to grab the newest dessert in town and then praying to Santa to give the best gift possible. Ah! I miss those days. While official holiday is slightly difficult now, the rest still holds true. Those delicious Christmas puddings and Bundt cakes were always a hit in my family. This recipe is inspired from my childhood memories and I have added a slight Boozy twist to it. Loaded with the goodness of rum soaked dry fruits and the warmth from the spices is surely going to make this cake a hit in the Christmas get together this year. Try it and you won’t be disappointed.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 1 bundt cake)

  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried apricot, finely choppes
  • 1/4 cup raisins, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dates, finely choopes
  • 1 cup rum (or brandy)
  • 2 cup all purpose flour (you can also use whole wheat flour)
  • 3/4 cup granulated brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp dry ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 ts baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp walnut, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp candied orange peels, finely chopped (optional)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted and cooled

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METHOD:

  • Soak cranberries, cherries, apricots, raisins and dates in rum in a glass jar for 2 days to 15 days.
  • Now preheat your oven to 180 C for atleast 15 minutes. Butter your bundt pan with butter properly and keep aside.
  • Now in a bowl mix together oil, water and brown sugar until incorporated well. Now add vanilla extract and whisk it well.
  • In another bowl sieve flour, orange zest, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder, dry ginger powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda and keep aside.
  • Now add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold in gently making sure no lumps are formed.
  • Now add walnuts ad candied peels to the mixture and fold the batter gently.
  • Transfer it to the prepared bundt tin and put it to bake at 165C for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Enjoy!