Paneer Butter Masala without Onion and Garlic

In our family, during most of the festivals or on some particular week days (depending on one’s own faith), we mostly eat food without onion and garlic. On such days I look for different ideas or recipes to make the food taste good.

Paneer butter masala is one such recipe that can never go wrong and is an all time favorite among most Indian families. Here is my version of paneer butter masala without onion and garlic. WaterMark_2018-10-30-12-31-31.jpg

Ingredients:

  1. Paneer – 200 grams
  2. Tomato (chopped into bigger chunks) – 3 (medium sized)
  3. Cashews – around 8
  4. Kasoori Methi – 1 tsp
  5. Salt – to taste
  6. Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
  7. Coriander Powder – 2 tsp
  8. Cumin Powder – 1 tsp
  9. Ginger (chopped) – 1/2 inch
  10. Whole Garam Masala – 1 small cinnamon stick, 1 green cardamom, 1 black cardamom, 2 cloves, 5 whole black pepper
  11. Butter – 1 tbsp+1 tsp
  12. Water – 1 cup

Method of Preparation:

  1. Heat a kadhai/pan on medium flame and add one tsp butter to it. Add the tomato pieces and cashew to it. Sprinkle little salt. It will help soften the tomatoes.
  2. Let the tomatoes cook until tender. Cashew pieces will also become tender by this time. Switch off the flame and let the cooked tomato and cashew pieces cool down.
  3. Then put the cooked tomato and cashew to a blender jar and grind to a fine paste. Do not ever blend when the mixture is hot. Else, it will spill from the blender jar and create a mess in the kitchen.
  4. Now, heat the same pan and add 1 tbsp butter to it. Add all the whole garam masala’s at this stage.
  5. Once the garam masala is nicely mixed with butter to give a nice aroma, add ground tomato and cashew paste to it.
  6. Stir for some time and then add rest of the salt, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and cook everything together till oil separates. (You may wish to add red chili powder as well at this stage.)
  7. Now add crushed kasoori methi to the masala and mix.
  8. In the meantime, cut paneer to pieces of desired shape and keep handy.
  9. Check the thickness of the masala that we are cooking and add water according to the desired consistency. I have added one small cup of water to it.
  10. Mix well and let the gravy be cooked for one minute.
  11. Now add the paneer pieces and cook for another three to four minutes.
  12. Switch off the flame and our paneer butter masala is ready to be served. WaterMark_2018-10-30-12-30-55.jpg

Some Tips:

  1. Cooking the tomatoes first and then blending it gives a more vibrant color to the gravy that blending it first and then cooking it.
  2. For crushing kasoori methi, microwave it for 40-50 seconds. And then crush the dried leaves using your fingers.
  3. Do not cook panner for more than five minutes in any gravy. Otherwise it becomes chewy after it cools down.

Kadha For Cold and Cough

Kadha is a home remedy for relief from cold and cough. This medicinal drink has lots of flavoures infused in it. There is no right or wrong method of preparation or quantity of ingredients for this. It varies from one household to another.

This recipe is used from generations in our family. One thing I can assure that it definitely is effective in relieving from cold and flu up to some extent. Surprisingly my little one liked it when I gave her this drink for the first time when she had cold sometime back.  WaterMark_2018-08-18-10-16-23.jpg

Note: This is not any kind of medicine to treat cold and cough. It’s to be used to get little relief from cold. This is not to be used for kids below 18 months old. 

Tip: You may choose to crush the ingredients little if preparing for adults. Use whole ingredients if preparing for kids.

Ingredients:

  1. Bay leaves – 2
  2. Fennel seeds – 1/2 tsp
  3. Cardamom pods – 2
  4. Cloves – 7 to 8
  5. Black pepper (whole) – 10 to 12
  6. Cinnamon stick – around 1 inch
  7. Finely sliced ginger – around 10 slices
  8. Water – 2 cups
  9. Honey – As desired while serving

Method of Preparation:

  1. I used whole ingredients as I was preparing this for my five year old.
  2. In a saucepan, take all ingredients except honey.
  3. Simmer till the water quantity is reduced to half and all the flavours are infused into it.
  4. Switch off the flame and cover the saucepan. Let it cool down.
  5. Now strain the drink with the help of a strainer. This kadha can be stored for up to twenty-four hours.
  6. Take 10 ml of the kadha and add half tea-spoon of honey to it before serving.
  7. I generally prepare one cup of kadha and use it through out the day with two hours interval.

Sabudana Sevaiya Kheer

Sabudana aka Sagoo (Tapioca pearls) are used for preparing different types of dishes in different parts of India. It’s mostly used during any vrat or festival. It can be used in sweet or savory dishes.

Here is a sweet dish that I had prepared recently when my in-laws were around. They liked it a lot. Please read on further for the recipe. WaterMark_2018-08-18-09-25-46.jpg

Ingredients:

  1. Sabudana – 1/2 cup
  2. Roasted sevaiya or vermicelli – 1/2 cup
  3. Milk – 3 cups
  4. Sugar – as per taste
  5. Dry fruits – a handful
  6. Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
  7. Saffron food colour (optional) – 1 pinch WaterMark_2018-08-18-09-31-31.jpg

Method of Preparation:

  1. Wash sabudana well and soak in half cup of water for minimum of five hours.
  2. Dry roast dry fruits of your choice and keep aside to cool down. Crush the dry fruits coarsely once those are cooled down.
  3. In a heavy bottomed pan, heat milk. Add roasted sevaiya to the milk once it comes to a boil.
  4. Keep on stirring until sevaiya are half cooked. It will five to six minutes.
  5. Now add soaked sabudana and mix well. Let it boil for another five minutes with light stirring in between.
  6. Add sugar, food colour and cardamom powder. Stir well.
  7. Simmer the kheer to a desired consistency with continuous stirring.
  8. Switch off the flame and garnish with roasted and crushed dry fruits.
  9. Tastes good if served chilled.

Eggless Choco Cookies

So, here is another baking adventure from my kitchen. This time I thoroughly enjoyed baking it and the cookies turned out to be awesome. Crispy from outside and chewy inside. My little one loved it. What more can I ask for 🙂 . WaterMark_2018-07-08-22-08-45.jpg

Without wasting much time, here is the recipe.

Ingredients:

  1. Melted unsalted butter (at room temperature) – 1 cup
  2. All purpose flour – 2 1/2 cups
  3. Brown sugar – 1 cup
  4. White Sugar – 2/3 cup
  5. Baking soda – 1 tsp
  6. Salt – 1 tsp
  7. Ground flax seed (2 tbsp) mixed with water (6 tbsp) [alternatively 2 eggs can be added]
  8. Vanilla extract – 2 tsp
  9. Dark chocolate (grated) – 2/3 cup

Note: Measure all dry and wet ingredients in the same measuring cup.

Method of Preparation:

  1. Melt butter in microwave for 30-40 seconds and keep outside for bringing it to room temperature.
  2. Sift all purpose flour, baking soda and salt together and keep aside.
  3. Mix 2 tbsp of ground flax seed with 6 tbsp of water and keep aside. This will act as egg replacer in the recipe.
  4. Now, in a mixing bowl, take melted butter at room temperature and add both brown sugar and white sugar to it. Mix everything till slightly frothy. The sugar may not dissolve completely. Leave it as is and add vanilla extract to this.
  5. Now add the sifted dry ingredients to this mixture little by little and mix gently with the help of spatula. Do not over-mix.
  6. At the end add grated dark chocolate to this and mix lightly.
  7. Cover the mixing bowl with a clean wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  8. After two hours take the bowl out of refrigerator and preheat oven at 180 degrees Celsius.
  9. On a cookie sheet or baking paper take equal dollops of cookie batter and place those minimum four inches apart.
  10. Bake for 12 minutes (may vary depending on oven performance) in the preheated oven. WaterMark_2018-07-08-22-08-02.jpg
  11. After 12 minutes, take the sheet out and keep on cooling rack. At this stage, the middle of cookie may seem soft. But refrain yourself from over-baking it. Otherwise you will not have the chewy center portion for the cookie.
  12. Store the cookies in airtight container after those cool down.

 

Banana Cake (No Egg)

So, it’s my five year old who constantly nags me to bake something or the other. It’s not that she loves having those items, but she loves helping me around in baking things. Even I love her company in my work. The whisker being her favorite tool, she absolutely loves mixing the cake batter. However making her eat even one morsel is like a project for me.

So here is another project by both of us mom-daughter duo. Banana cake. It’s moist, tasty and healthy with no added sugar and no refined flour. The overripe banana used here provides natural sweetness to the cake.

WaterMark_2018-07-07-20-36-13.jpg

Ingredients:

  1. Whole wheat flour – 2 cups
  2. Overripe banana – 2 (big)
  3. Baking powder – 2 tsp
  4. Baking soda – 1 tsp
  5. Cinnamon powder – 1 tsp
  6. Salt – a pinch
  7. Vanilla essence – 1/2 tsp
  8. Coconut oil or Olive oil – 1 tbsp
  9. Choco chips – for topping

Method of Preparation:

  1. In a mixing bowl, mash the bananas nicely. Add oil and vanilla essence. Whisk lightly. Our wet ingredients are ready.
  2. Preheat oven at 180 degrees Celsius.
  3. Sift all dry ingredients (except choco chip) together and divide into three portions.
  4. Mix one portion of dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix gently. Take care not to over-mix. Then add another portion of dry ingredient and mix. Repeat the same with last portion of dry ingredient.
  5. Our cake batter is ready. If it seems to be too thick, then add 1-2 tsp of milk to adjust consistency. In my case I did not have to add any milk.
  6. Grease and dust cake tin (6 inch preferably) with flour.
  7. Pour the batter to the cake tin and top with choco chips.
  8. Bake for 40 minutes in preheated oven. Time may vary depending on oven performance. Do check after 30 minutes by inserting a toothpick. If it comes out to be clean, then our cake is ready.
  9. Take the cake out of oven and cool it completely before demoulding.
  10. After the cake cools down, cut and serve. This cake will be slightly dense, unlike refined flour cakes, because of whole wheat flour.

Onion Bhurji

Here is another dish that complements Pakhala really well. Onion bhurji is prepared with very few ingredients and is really simple to prepare. Not much hassle is involved in preparing this.  WaterMark_2018-07-07-20-15-58.jpg

Please read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  1. Onion – 1 big
  2. Besan or Chikpea flour – 1/2 cup
  3. Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  4. Peanuts – around 20 grams
  5. Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  6. Asafoetida – a pinch
  7. Panch phoran – 1 tsp
  8. Salt – to taste
  9. Oil – 2 tsp
  10. Red chilli powder (optional) – to taste

I do not add any red chilli powder or even green chillies as my little one will not be able to have.

Method of Preparation:

  1. Wash the onion and roughly chop it.
  2. Add besan and turmeric powder to the chopped onions and toss everything together. Do not mix with hand. Let it sit for around 15 minutes.
  3. Heat a pan and oil to it
  4. Add the panch phoran, once the oil is hot enough. Let those splutter.
  5. Then add curry leaves and peanuts to it. Stir well. Add a pinch of asafoetida.
  6. After the peanuts are roasted well, add the onion and besan mixture that we have prepared earlier.
  7. Mix everything well and let it cook until the raw smell from besan is removed. Do not overcook the onions. Sweat those until tender.
  8. Now switch off the flame and our delicious onion bhurji is ready to be served.

Potala Checha (Charred Pointed Gourd)

Potala or Parwal or Pointed Gourd is a very versatile vegetable. It’s widely used vegetable in the eastern parts of India. Potala Bhaja, Potala Rasa, Potala-Aloo Jhola etc. are few dishes to name. So, here I am with one of such simple yet delicious dish Potala Checha which is quite famous in Odisha. This goes really well with our beloved Odia dish Pakhala during summer.

WaterMark_2018-06-29-13-17-57.jpg

Here is how I prepare it.

Ingredients:

  1. Pointed gourd – 4
  2. Onion (finely chopped) – around 10 grams
  3. Garlic cloves (roughly mashed) – 4
  4. Salt – to taste
  5. Mustard oil – 1/4 tsp

Method of Preparation:

  1. Wash the pointed gourds thoroughly with water and cut both the ends. Poke through the gourd here and there with the help of a knife.
  2. Then keep the gourds on a stand over fire to be charred directly. Flip those with help of a tong so that those will be charred evenly from all sides.
  3. Once the gourd become tender, switch off the flame and let the flame and take those out in a bowl. Let the gourds cool down.
  4. Then mash the gourds with the help of mortar and pestle or else those can be mashed with hand.
  5. Removed the charred skin if required (some prefer to eat with it).
  6. Add salt to taste, chopped onions, mashed garlic pods and the mustard oil.
  7. Mix everything together. Our potala checha is ready.

Methi Saag

Fenugreek leaves or Methi is having lot of medicinal benefits. It helps in improving liver function, regulating blood cholesterol etc to name a few. It also helps in curing digestive problems.

Here is a recipe of a side dish using Methi leaves as main ingredient. Methi leaves are bitter in taste. So, if it’s combined with few other ingredients carefully, the bitterness fades and gives a subtle taste to the dish.

WaterMark_2018-04-04-18-49-48.jpg

I generally use potatoes or eggplants in this dish along with some split moong daal. It goes well with hot plain rice or paratha.

Please read on further for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  1. Methi leaves – 200 grams
  2. Split moong daal – 2 tbsp
  3. Eggplant (chopped into small cubes) – 3 small
  4. Onion – 1 medium (chopped into small pieces)
  5. Garlic – 4 to 5 cloves (chopped finely)
  6. Oil – 1 tbsp
  7. Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  8. Salt – to taste
  9. Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  10. Coriander powder – 1 tsp
  11. Cumin powder – 1 tsp
  12. Water – 1/2 cup

These days I am not using any green chili or red chili powder in my recipes as my little one will not be able to have it. If you like your meethi ka saag to be spicy, then feel free to add chopped green chilies or powdered red chili as per your taste.

Method of Preparation:

  1. Discard the hard stems from the Methi leaves and chop those randomly. Wash the leaves properly after chopping. WaterMark_2018-04-04-18-46-23.jpg
  2. Dry roast the split moong daal over low to medium flame until its color changes slightly. Keep aside.
  3. Heat a pan or kadhai and add oil to it. Once oil is hot enough, add mustard seeds and let those splutter.
  4. Then add chopped garlic and onion. Saute well to sweat the onions.
  5. Now add roasted moong daal, chopped eggplant pieces and half cup of water. WaterMark_2018-03-31-20-24-12.jpg
  6. Cover and let the daal and eggplant pieces boil. It may take around 10-15 minutes.
  7. Now add chopped methi leaves to it. Mix well, cover and let it be cooked for another 7-8 minutes.
  8. Methi ka Saag is now ready. Serve it hot with rice or paratha.

Besan Ka Halwa (Chikpea Flour Pudding)

Besan (Gram flour or Chikpea flour) ka Halwa is a commonly prepared sweet dish in most Indian families during different pujas or festivals. There may be little variation in recipe or ingredients in different households. Here is my version of the Besan ka Halwa using milk though I sometimes prepare it without milk.

C360_2018-03-29-16-55-46-949.jpg

Read on further for my recipe.

Ingredients:

  1. Besan – 80 grams
  2. Ghee – 2 tbsp
  3. Milk – 150 ml
  4. Sugar – 3 tbsp (can be adjusted to taste)
  5. Chopped cashews – 2 tbsp (any combination of dry fruits can be added)
  6. Cardamom Powder – 1/4 tsp
  7. Ghee – 1 tsp (for using at the end)

Method of Preparation:

  1. Heat a non stick pan and pour 2 tbsp ghee in it.
  2. Then add the besan to it and mix nicely on low flame. Keep stirring continuously in order to avoid the besan getting burnt.
  3. For the quantity of besan I have used here, it takes almost 10-12 minutes for it to get roasted nicely. A nice aroma comes once besan is roasted nicely. WaterMark_2018-03-29-16-49-52.jpg
  4. Then add milk slowly to the roasted besan mixture and mix nicely so that no lumps are formed. It will take another 1-2 minutes.
  5. Once the mixture comes together and starts leaving the pan, add sugar and mix well. Then add the dry fruits and cardamom powder. Mix well till sugar dissolves and the mixture comes together. WaterMark_2018-03-29-16-50-37.jpg
  6. Switch off flame. Pour one tsp ghee to the halwa and mix. WaterMark_2018-03-29-16-50-23.jpg
  7. Our besan ka halwa is ready to be served.

Recipe Card:

Besan Ka Halwa (Chikpea Flour Pudding)

Besan (Gram flour or Chikpea flour) ka Halwa is a commonly prepared sweet dish in most Indian families during different pujas or festivals. There may be little variation in recipe or ingredients in different households. Here is my version of the Besan ka Halwa using milk though I sometimes prepare it without milk.

  • 80 grams Besan
  • 2 tbsp Ghee
  • 150 ml Milk
  • 3 tbsp Sugar ((can be adjusted to taste))
  • 2 tbsp Chopped Cashews ((any combination of dry fruits can be added))
  • 1/4 tsp Cardamom Powder
  • 1 tsp Ghee ((for using at the end))
  1. Heat a non stick pan and pour 2 tbsp ghee in it. 

  2. Then add the besan to it and mix nicely on low flame. Keep stirring continuously in order to avoid the besan getting burnt. 

  3. For the quantity of besan I have used here, it takes almost 10-12 minutes for it to get roasted nicely. A nice aroma comes once besan is roasted nicely. 

  4. Then add milk slowly to the roasted besan mixture and mix nicely so that no lumps are formed. It will take another 1-2 minutes.

  5. Once the mixture comes together and starts leaving the pan, add sugar and mix well. Then add the dry fruits and cardamom powder. Mix well till sugar dissolves and the mixture comes together.

  6. Switch off flame. Pour one tsp ghee to the halwa and mix.

  7. Our besan ka halwa is ready to be served.

Dry Fruits Laddu

It’s been really long I wrote a post here. I so missed it. But I was so held up in some other activities that I would not have any energy left at the end of the day to sit in front of the screen and write.

Finally I could make up some time for myself and here I am. This time I am here with a healthy and delicious laddu recipe which is good for all age groups.

Read on further for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  1. Deseeded dates – 500 grams
  2. Raisins – 40 grams
  3. Cashews – 50 grams
  4. Almonds – 50 grams
  5. Pistachios – 50 grams
  6. Walnuts – 30 grams
  7. Poppy seeds – 3 tsp
  8. Flax seeds – 20 grams
  9. Unsweetened cocoa powder – 2 tsp
  10. Dry ginger powder – 2 tsp
  11. Ghee – 1 tbsp
  12. (Optional) Almond oil – 1 tbsp

Method of Preparation:

  1. Put the deseeded dates in a blender and blend to a coarse paste.
  2. Dry roast almonds, pistachios, walnuts and cashews. Let these cool down and pound to chunks.
  3. Dry roast poppy seeds and flax seeds separately and keep aside. Grind the flax seed to a coarse powder once those cool down.
  4. Now heat a non-stick pan and add ghee to it. Then add the ground date paste to it.
  5. Mix well and let the date paste become tender. Then add raisins and mix well.
  6. Then add all other dry fruits, poppy seeds, flax seeds powder, cocoa powder and dry ginger powder. Mix everything well.
  7. Switch off the flame and take out a mixture in a bowl. WaterMark_2018-02-24-00-16-53.jpg
  8. Let it cool down little bit and add almond oil to it.
  9. Now take small portions of the mixture and give shape of small roundels with the help of palms.
  10. Grease your palm with almond oil if required and repeat step 9 to make all laddus.
  11. Enjoy the healthy laddus with your dear ones.