Tag Archives: Indian

Chaat Paneer

So occasionally I get cravings for certain flavours. Last week I went and had Kulchas with another blogger http://www.foodonymph.com/ and what made the Kulchas extra special was the sprinkling of chaat masala on top.

For those who don’t know what chaat masala is, it’s a sweet and sour tasting spice mix, and for me it is one of those quintessential Indian flavours. Just the smell of it reminds me of India. It’s also something I’ll be honest, I never have.

Anyways ever since having those kulchas, I’ve had a craving for chaat masala. Which, I satisfied tonight by making Chaat Paneer which was super quick. As is this post and the accompanying photo! Literally 7 mins after starting the below “process” and I’m now chilling in bed with my paneer and tea. :-p

Chaat Paneer

Take some frozen cubed paneer and dry-fry in a pan (i.e. no oil, or only a reeeeally small amount). Let it cook and then add a little: grated garlic, lemon juice, and salt. When the paneer is cooked through, sprinkle with some chaat masala, stir, remove from heat, and hey presto! Done.

Super quick, super easy, and pretty healthy. I do only recommend a small portion, or at least only a small amount of chaat, because the flavour is potent and it does stay with you (in my case for just under a week!! lol).

Enjoy x

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Trying to emulate my Mom’s kheema

And failing! Lol.

Despite being Indian, I don’t always cook Indian food. Primarily because (or at least my excuse is) I think it takes too much effort and I am very much a lazy cook.

However, of late I’ve had a real craving for Indian food. At work I’m dreaming (instead of working ooops!) of dai vada, khali daal, butter chicken (see my weekend’s efforts), papri nu loat (no idea how to spell it… just think steamed rice flour with cumin) and kheema. My God, how I’ve been thinking of kheema. Especially the way my Mom makes it. Which is actually super simple (supposedly…!).

Like the “dutiful” Indian daughter I am (ahem… well maybe not!) I emailed my Mom for this recipe sometime over a year ago? I never made the kheema till now. My first attempt. It smelled like kheema, the taste was similar, but the texture was all wrong. I’m not saying it was bad, it wasn’t, it just wasn’t my Mom’s or anything close to it. Which for me was an unmitigated disaster… because it was my Mom’s kheema I wanted. Lol.

I’m not used to things not turning out the way I want them in the kitchen… so naturally I am deeply upset by this turn of events (okay not really), but if I have learned something from this experience. I can make Kheema, just not like my Mom, and therefore I suppose that means sometimes Mom really does know best. 😮 lol

With that here’s my Mom’s deceptively simple recipe.

Chicken Kheema

2 lbs lean chicken (quantity depends on appetites and servings required). Rinse and drain.

Chop 1 large onion and get 2-3 whole green chilies (slit them down the middle).

1 tsp garlic paste, 2 tsp ginger paste

4-5 whole black peppers, 2-3 cloves, 1/2 cinnamon stick

3-4 tbls tomato paste mixed with about 1/2 cup of water

Garam masala, turmeric, and chili powder to taste

Lots of love (my Mom is corny/adorable like that! ;-p)

In a pan heat up about 3 tblsp oil, when hot add cloves, pepper & cinnamon stir fry few seconds and then add onions, garlic, ginger paste & whole green chillies. Cook on a slow fire till onion soft and fragrant.
Add kheema (normally she cooks kheema separate with cloves cinnamon & pepper, and drains the fat as it comes out till done  – I skipped this stage because again I’m lazy) cook and stir frequently to keep it separate (otherwise small clusters will form – she’s serious… it happened with mine!).
When almost cooked add peas and cook further, if dry add little water. Now add the tomato paste mixed with garam masala, tumeric, salt, red chili powder– if using– and mix well adjust spices according to taste. Sprinkle coriander before serving.

Enjoy! x


Indian “Thaali”

Apologies for the photo quality… I have no idea how to crop pictures on my new laptop! Oh well, I’m no photography-wizard regardless… so onto the food!! (edit: I downloaded a free version of photoshop… it’s not perfect but at least it’s cropped!)

Yesterday, I had a real craving for some Indian food (of the kind found more often in restaurants than at home, which is daal, bhat (rice), shaq (vegetables), and rotli). But I’m fairly anti-Indian restaurants because while the food tastes sooooooo good it’s seriously unhealthy and heavy. Too heavy to enjoy all that I want to eat. So I devised this “thaali” yesterday. Totally not a traditional thaali as the dishes are non-veg and more tandoori style than traditional, but yummy! hee. My thaali consists of:

Tandoori prawns

Butter Chicken; and

Fried paneer with coriander chutney

Coriander Chutney

Easy peasy – I promise. In a blender chuck in a few green chilies, 1 red chili, a bunch of coriander (leaves and stalks), 1 garlic clove, a spring onion, a splash of a vinegar, a splash of oil, salt and pepper, squeeze of lemon juice, and done! Blend until the desired consistency is achieved. Set aside until the rest of the food is ready.

Butter Chicken

Oh my God, though I say it myself (oops) this was divine and soooooo more-ish. Make the marinade first and don’t put the chicken in until the marinade is complete  as you will want to test it. You’ll also want to use a few spoonfuls of the marinade for the prawns as well, so make a little extra.

Yogurt Marinade

In a bowl combine yogurt, half the juice of a lime, 2 crushed garlic cloves, chopped green chilies, grated ginger, ground cumin, garam masala, ground coriander, a tiny pinch of tandoori spice, salt and pepper. Mix it all together and taste. If happy, take out 3 table-spoons of the yogurt mixture and move to another bowl. Then add in the chicken (chicken breast cubed) and marinade for a minimum of an hour.

Butter chicken

Cook the chicken with the yogurt marinade in a pot, add a squeeze or two of tomato paste, a little (or a lot if you like) butter, and grated onion. Once it is about half the way cooked, add in a little single cream. Let it simmer away, until cooked.

Tandoori Prawns

Start with the yogurt base from the chicken marinade. Add to it a little lemon salt, paprika, turmeric, garam masala, and chili powder. Add more ginger. The mixture should be more red-ish than the chicken marinade. Add the prawns (I used raw tiger prawns) and marinade in the fridge.

After cooking the chicken and paneer, grill your prawns.

Fried Paneer

To be eaten with the chutney. In a bowl add flour, turmeric, chili powder, salt and pepper. Coat the paneer and then shallow fry.

All done! A reasonably healthy version of the kind of the Indian food found in restaurants and portioned for one, well one, who will be very very stuffed afterwards. But soon feeling hungry again because it was light!

Enjoy x


(Feel better) Spicy Paneer

Its been a bit of a week! Lots of things happening but the real tragedy (well maybe not tragedy) has been that AC pipes above my bathroom are blocked and decided to start leaking. So I have a wet bathroom and soggy ceiling 😦 The AC repairmen have been doing their bestest, but this is Dubai… its really not good enough and for three days now with a combined 12 hours of work (plus whatever they have done today) still no good. In fact the leak is worse. Sigh.

So I get home from work yesterday and after spending a fair bit of time disinfecting my bathroom, all I want is a nice dinner and then straight to bed. Start cutting up my paneer and veggies… all well… turn the gas on to heat my pan… all well. Or is it? Nope, my gas is not working (it was in the morning). Fine, fiddle around a bit, turn a few switches on and off… it starts to work. Yay! Then… my alarm starts shrieking (gas alarm, smoke alarm..? no clue but its loud!) So I switch my gas off. Now, how do I cook? Well I decide to order pizza. Apparently they won’t deliver unless I buy more than I want. Bearing in mind that I have been up since 5:20am and am exhausted this all SUCKED. Fine… a few more switches, prayers, etc. I get it all sorted. So I got to make my paneer, after all. Now my fridge doesn’t work… siiigh. Anyways onto the recipe 😀

Spicy Paneer

Chuck the paneer cubes into a pan. No oil. Nada. You want to dry-fry the paneer. Add in the red peppers (which have been julienned) into pan so they also grill / blacken. Then add in some chopped chili, mushrooms and grated ginger + garlic. Now judiciously throw in some garam masala, lemon salt, lemon juice, salt and chili powder. Done and Eat.

This is usually just a really easy to make and light dinner. But the added effect is after a horrible day you get a nice healthy, spicy, heart-warming plate of paneer that only took about 10 mins in all to cook (well if you ignore all of my drama in between!). In any case it made me feel a little bit better! Could also make skewers and BBQ this! Enjoy x