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!

 

 

 

Strawberry and Cream Cake

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Strawberry and Cream – does that ring a bell? I remember those winter days in Kolkata when I ate a huge bowl full of fresh strawberry and cream and I fell in love even more everyday. It almost became a part of my meal each day such that I ended up eating less of my staples because I needed to eat my bowl of happiness. This cake is a dedicated for my love towards Strawberry and Cream! I am enamored by the ruby red strawberries and can’t contain my excitement when I get hold of the freshest batch at the grocery store. Its like giving a kids his favorite candy, pure joy! I love it, I am obsessed by it and then fall in love with it even more.

This cake is no brainer, no ornated cake. Simple, basic pantry staples to bake a moist and vanilla rich cake. And then let your imagination flow. I have done a basic whipped cream decoration with lots of strawberry chunks and fresh blueberries to adorn my lil cake. Grab your box of strawberries because you can’t go wrong with it ever!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes a 6 inch round cake)

  • 260 grams whole wheat flour (you can also use all purpose flour/ maida)
  • 113 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 160 grams white granulated sugar
  • 120 ml whole milk
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp baking powder, slightly heaped
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 4 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 cup strawberries, diced
  • 8 – 10 fresh blueberries, to garnish

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METHOD:

  • Preheat your oven to 170 C. Butter/ oil your cake tin and lightly flour it and keep aside.
  • In a bowl beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This takes about 3 – 4 minutes.
  • Add vanilla extract and whisk it until just incorporated. Now add one egg at a time and beat it until just incorporated.
  • Add whole wheat flour, baking soda and baking powder to this egg mixture and fold it. Add milk and fold the mixture until well incorporated.
  • Transfer the cake batter to the mould and put it to bake for 35 – 38 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Once done allow it to cool and then de-mould it. Allow the cake to completely cool down. This may take several hours.
  • Once its closer to cooling down, place a bowl in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  • Take the bowl and pour in the whipping cream and icing sugar and whip until stiff peaks are formed.
  • You can add some chopped strawberries to it. Cover the cake with the cream. You can divide the cake horizontally and then apply whipped cream between the 2 halves of the cake along with the top and sides.
  • Garnish with remaining strawberries and blueberries and enjoy!

 

Baby Spinach and Burst Cherry Pasta

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Pasta – Weeknights – Are you serious!? Welcome to the weeknight meal extravaganza. After a hectic day at work, enjoying a rustic bowl of pasta is pure bliss. For me pasta is my comfort food at any hour of the day. I must confess that I am not an everday roti-sabzi kind of girl. Perhaps that my go – to food when I am ill or have been eating out a lot. I must also confess that I get bored very easily eating the same food. The whole experience of enjoying my meal fades away.

Weekdays being hectic, dinner is always a challenge. I often resort to cooking a quick simple pasta loaded with goodness of herbs and veggies. There is something about pastas that makes you fall in love with it every single time. Rustic or fancy – you just fall in love with it. Cooking it (and then eating it, of course) is therapeutic! This Burst Cherry Pasta has become my recent favourite. It is simple with no frills and fancies. It delivers on deliciousness, simplicity and a beautiful play of colors. Garlicky, subtly spiced and loaded with freshess – weeknight meals sorted!

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 2  – 3 people)

  • 250 grams of uncooked whole wheat spaghetti
  • 2 cups of cherry tomatoes
  • 6 – 7 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 150 grams baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grounded black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest (optional)
  • salt, to taste

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METHOD:

  • Put a pot of water on high heat. Once the water comes to a rolling boil, put the spaghetti in it with salt and let it cook on medium het until al dente.
  • Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200 C. In a bowl take the cherry tomatoes, 1.5 tbsp olive oil, salt and 1/4 tsp of black pepper. Coat the cherry tomatoes generously and transfer it to the baking sheet.
  • Allow the cherry tomatoes to roast in the oven for 12 – 15 minutes until it starts to burst open.
  • Meanwhile if the pasta is cooked, drain the water and run it under cold water and keep aside.
  • Take a saucepan and put it on low heat. Take the remaining olive oil. Once its heated add the garlic and let it cook on low flame for a minute ot two. Now add the chilli flakes and saute for 30 – 40 seconds.
  • Once the cherry tomatoes are out of the oven, transfer it to the saucepan and saute for 40 seconds to a minute.
  • Now add the baby spinach and let it cook for a minute or 2 until its soft on medium flame.
  • Add the chopped basil leaves and stir in the mixture. Add the boiled pasta and saucte it for minute or 2.
  • Now add the salt, cream cheese and give the pasta a quick mix.
  • Add in lemon zest, toss it , garnish with basil leaves and serve.

Enjoy!

 

 

Grilled Figs and Mascarpone Tartlets

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It is indeed interesting to see how interwoven food and memories are. Its fascinating to see how little things can stir an ocean of memories. One conversation about childhood food memories leads to a string of memories and each one has something unique to share. This recipe is inspired from my childhood’s favorite fruit – figs. Its fresh, luscious and incredibly satisfying.

As the mercury is soaring with each passing day all you need is some treat to beat this heat at the end of the day. Something that is easy, yet delicious. This fig and mascarpone filo tartlet is an absolute winner. Nestled in a filo pastry tartlet, the smoothness from the mascarpone cream and the juiceness from the roasted figs compliments each other to perfection. And not to miss the earthiness from the crushed pistachios balance out the sweetness of the entire dish. Quick and easy recipe which is yummy at anytime of the day. So grab those fresh figs and get going!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 6 pieces)

  • 3 store bought filo sheets
  • 8 pieces of fresh figs, quartered
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, metled
  • 3/4 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh cream, chilled
  • 1/4 cup crushed unsalted pistachios
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary

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METHOD:

  • Preheat the oven to 180C for atleast 10 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and keep aside.
  • Take half of a filo sheet and fold it into half. Grease the cupcake mould with melted butter and then place the filo sheets as shown in the picture.
  • Once the cupcake moulds have been lined, brush it with remaining melted butter evenly.
  • Allow the filo sheet tartlets to bake for 10 minutes until the tarlets are golden brown.
  • Take it out from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes and then transfer it to an airtight container.
  • In a bowl take honey and fresh rosemary. Mix it with a spoon. Add the fresh figs into the honey mixture and place the honey coated figs on the baking sheet.
  • Allow it to bake for 7 – 8 minutes until soft and tender.
  • Meanwhile, using a electric whisk, whisk the mascarpone cheese and fresh cream for a minute on low speed until its smooth. Add caster sugar and whisk for 30 seconds until the sugar is well incorporated.
  • Now add the lemon zest the cream mixture and fold it gently.
  • To assemble, take the filo tartlet and fill it with the cream mixture. Place 3 – 4 quarters of the grilled figs. Garnish with pistachios and serve it immediately.

Enjoy!

 

 

Dark Chocolate Truffles with Orange Liqueur

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Craving for some seriously yummy dessert, have a get together house party or need to gift a gorgeous gift to someone with a personal touch, the answer is all in this recipe – Dark Chocolate Truffle with Orange Liqueur. Truffles are indeed pure bliss – perfect for every occasion! With thanksgiving hangover and after party this weekend and Christmas right around the corner, truffles is THE way to have a sweet end to the celebration with friends and family.

I always thought it’s difficult to make it until I tried my hands on it. They look beautiful, it sounds exotic, its delicious and yes, it’s really simple to make. The concoction of flavors is endless, so you can make what you like the best. They are complete show stopper with their decadent flavors and their wow visual appearance.

Some combinations are made in heaven and are classic, dark chocolate and orange is one of them. The richness as well as the bitterness from the dark chocolate keeps you wanting for more. The infusion of orange zest and liqueur makes you fall in love with it. So switch on your creativity button, infuse your favorite flavors and make these small one bite wonders because LIFE WITHOUT CHOCOLATE IS BORING! (Even my lil one wants to dive into it)

Share your favorite truffle combination and your recipes on our Facebook or tag us at #plateandpalate and @plateandpalate on Instagram.

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RECIPE

Ingredients: (Makes 12 truffles)

  • 130 grams dark chocolate ( I used 60% dark chocolate)
  • 60 ml cream ( I used Amul fresh cream)
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tbsp orange liqueur (I used Grand Marnier, you can use Cointreau)
  • cocoa powder, for coating

METHOD:

  • Roughly chop the dark chocolate and place it in a saucepan.
  • Melt the chocolate using the method of double boiler. Make sure you stir the chocolate every now and then.
  • Once the chocolate has melted by 90%, in a separate bowl heat the cream on medium heat for a minute.
  • Now add the orange zest and liqueur to the cream and heat  the cream for another minute or two.
  • Since the chocolate should have melted by now, pour the cream mixture over the melted dark chocolate and whisk till combined.
  • Cool slightly and refrigerate for atleast 4 hours (or overnight). Make sure you cover the bowl with a lid when you place it in the refrigerator.
  • Now make small balls and refrigerate for another 20 minutes or until firm.
  • Coat the balls evenly with cocoa powder. Place each truffle in a sieve and dust off the excess cocoa.
  • Place it in the fridge for another 15- 20 minutes and  your truffles are now ready to consume.

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Enjoy and I bet no one can eat just one… (so you can double the recipe also)!

 

Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cake

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It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been planning to bake a Pineapple Upside Down Cake and everyday ended with moving it to tomorrows to-do list. However, after so much procrastination, I managed to bake one and here it is on my blog for all you people!

This petite pineapple upside down cake is simply adorable. Not only is it decadent but it pretty to look at so much so that you want to dig in for another (big) bite. The cake screams pineapple and reignites tropical flavors on your palate. I remember as child I was never aware of an upside down cake. My only exposure with pineapple in a dessert was pineapple gâteaux, which my entire family looked forward to over weekends. And this classic PINEAPPLE upside down cake has won my heart over again! The tropical fruitiness from the pineapple and the caramelization from the butter and brown sugar adds deep bold flavors into the cake.

Ornate the cake with fresh cherries, lemon zest infused whipped cream and a few basil leaves, it leaves a rich lingering effect. So if you don’t worry about those extra calories, its time to put your apron on and bake this scrumptious cake for pure divine indulgence!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENT: (Makes 4 – 4.5 inch ramekin cakes)

  • 250 grams all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 150 grams granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoon baking powder
  • zest from 1 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 125 grams oil
  • 170 grams brown sugar
  • 60 grams unsalted butter+ extra for greasing
  • 8 pineapple slices (fresh/canned, I used canned)
  • cherries, for garnishing (optional)
  • basil leaves, for garnishing (optional)
  • 1 tbsp caramel sauce, for garnishing (optional)
  • whipped cream, for garnishing (optional)
  • 1 tbsp granola, for garnishing (optional)

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METHOD:

  • Preheat your oven to 180C for atleast 15 minutes. Meanwhile grease the ramekins with generous amount of butter and keep aside.
  • In a saucepan take butter and brown sugar and stir it over medium heat, until sugar and butter have dissolved.
  • Keep stirring it to avoid it from burning and once you see slight bubbles on the side remove it from the heat.
  • Transfer this mixture evenly between the four greased ramekins.
  • Take the canned pineapple slices, dab it with kitchen towel and arrange it on top of the sugar mixture in the ramekins evenly. You can also place a few cherry pieces.
  • Meanwhile using an electric beater, beat oil and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat it until its fully incorporated.
  • Add the lemon zest and vanilla extract and fold the mixture.
  • In another bowl sieve all purpose flour and baking powder together and keep aside.
  • Now add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, alternating with milk and ending with the flour mixture.
  • Fold it gently until all the ingredients have been well incorporated.
  • Transfer the batter evenly into each ramekin (filling only upto 3/4th its volume) and put it to bake for 30 – 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Once baked, allow the cake to cool down, invert it upside down on a platter and here you have your pineapple upside down cake.
  • You can garnish it with whipped cream and basil combination or brush a layer of caramel sauce on the plate and garnish it with granola.

ENJOY!

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