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.

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.

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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.

Aloo Paratha – Guest Post

I really do feel blessed and honored when some talented friends and family offer to write through my blog. So, here is another blog from my sweet cousin Rimun who generously offered to write for my page. She is here with the recipe of all time appetizing famous Indian Aloo Paratha. Here is how she explains in her own words…

Parathas… Well, these need no introduction. We Indians go crazy for these any time. Be it on chilly winter mornings or rainy afternoons or for mini celebrations or for bigger ones. Be in sickness or be in health, in hostel rooms with roomies or at home from Mom’s kitechen, in tiffin boxes for kids or lunch boxes for Dad. Be it the plain ones with some gravy masala curry or the stuffed ones with some thick yogurt. The love is same all over.. be it for the ‘Parantha’ in Delhi or ‘Porota’ in West Bengal or ‘Parata’ in Odisha.

I enjoy having parathas any day and any time. For me, it’s not just a dish, it’s a ‘feeling’. Being such a big fan of parathas, I make it with different types of stuffing. Still the basic one with potato filling is beyond comparison. In my recipe, I add a good amount of chat masala so that I don’t even need a chutney/yogurt to enjoy those. So, here comes my version of aloo paratha. You will definitely love it. WaterMark_2018-02-12-17-39-07.jpg

Ingredients:

For Stuffing:

  1. Large Potatoes – 3 (boiled, peeled and mashed)
  2. Garlic (finely chopped) – 1 tsp
  3. Ginger (grated) – 1 tsp
  4. Green chilies (finely chopped) – 2 tsp
  5. Coriander leaves (finely chopped) – 1 tbsp
  6. Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  7. Chili powder – 1 tsp
  8. Coriander powder – 1 tsp
  9. Chat Masala – 2 tsp
  10. Dry mango powder – 1 tsp
  11. Garam masala – 1 tsp
  12. Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
  13. Carom seeds – 1/2 tsp
  14. Oil – 2 tsp
  15. Salt – to taste

For Dough:

  1. Whole wheat flour – 2 cups
  2. Oil/Ghee – 2 tsp
  3. Kalonji or Onion seeds – 1 tsp
  4. Kasuri methi – 2 tsp
  5. Salt – to taste
  6. Water – for kneading

For Roasting Paratha:

  1. Ghee or Oil – as per requirement

Method of Preparation:

For Stuffing:

  1. Heat oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot enough, add cumin seeds and let those crackle.
  2. Then add chopped ginger, garlic and green chillies. Saute for half minute.
  3. Add mashed boiled potato and then turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, chat masala, dry mango powder and salt to taste. Mix everything well. If required, sprinkle few drops of water.
  4. Add in garam masala and chopped fresh coriander leaves.
  5. Finally add carom seeds and turn off the heat. Keep aside to cool down.

For Making Dough:

  1. In a mixing bowl, take whole wheat flour. To it, add kasuri methi, onion seeds, oil an salt. Mix everything well.
  2. Add little water at a time and knead to form a soft dough.

For Paratha:

  1. Take a medium sized dough ball and roll it for about 4-5 inches in diameter while keeping the center portion thick and edges thin.
  2. Make a lemon sized ball out of the stuffing prepared and place it at the center of the rolled dough.
  3. Take the edge from all sides and start pleating by bringing edge portions to center and pressing together to make a ball of dough having the stuffing inside. Flatten it little using fingers.
  4. Dust with loose flour and roll gently to make a chapati sized paratha.
  5. For roasting, place the paratha on hot tawa. Cook for few seconds from both sides.
  6. Do not be in a hurry to add ghee or oil. Let it cook for few seconds. Now add ghee/oil and press lightly with the help of spatula.
  7. Roast from both the sides by flipping the paratha. Similarly proceed for the rest of the dough and stuffing.
  8. Enjoy the parathas hot with and chutney or yogurt or raita.

 

Chole ki Sabji (Chikpeas Curry)

Chole aka chikpeas aka garbanzo beans are said to have high protein and fiber content. Also they are said to be rich in several key nutrients and vitamins required for body. Chikpeas are considered to be one of the staple legumes in the northern parts of India.

Here is my version of preparing chikpeas curry and my family loves it.

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Ingredients:

  1. Chikpeas or Chole – 200 gram
  2. Onion – 1 Medium
  3. Tomato – 2 small
  4. Cumin powder – 2 tsp
  5. Coriander powder – 3 tsp
  6. Red chilli powder – 2 tsp (as per taste)
  7. Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  8. Kasuri methi – 2tsp
  9. Garam masala – 1 tsp
  10. Ginger garlic paste – 2tsp
  11. Salt – as per taste
  12. Oil – 1tbsp
  13. Water – 4 cups (2 cups for boiling, 2 cups for gravy)

Method of Preparation:

  1. Soak chikpeas in water overnight. (Else boil water and put chikpeas in it. Let those boil for five minutes. Switch off flame and cover the container. Chikpeas will be ready to be cooked in one hour.)
  2. Pressure cook chikpeas in 2 cups of water and little salt. Allow 3-4 whistles. Take the boiled chikpeas in a bowl and keep aside. I generally discard the water in which it’s boiled.
  3. Cut the onion into four pieces. Slit the tomatoes little bit (in a cross mark fashion) from the skin level. This will help is peeling the skin faster. Do not cut tomatoes into pieces. WaterMark_2017-11-16-11-32-48.jpg
  4. Now boil onion and tomatoes in one cup of water. After 10 minutes switch off the flame. Take out the tomatoes and onion from hot water and let those cool down.
    Remove the skin of tomatoes and put it in blender along with boiled onion pieces. Blend and our curry paste is ready. WaterMark_2017-11-16-11-33-00.jpg
  5. Now heat the same pressure cooker in which we boiled chikpeas and add oil to it. Once oil is hot enough, add curry paste to it. Then add ginger-garlic paste and mix well.
  6. Once we get rid of raw smell of ginger garlic paste, add salt, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, garma masala and kasuri methi to the paste.
  7. Mix well and saute nicely till oil separates from the paste and it’s ready.
  8. Add two cups of water and bring to a boil. Add boiled chikpeas. Close the pressure cooker lid and wait for one whistle on high flame.
  9. Switch off and wait till pressure releases.
  10. Hot chole ki sabji is ready to be served with white rice or paratha or naan.

Ghugni (Dried Peas Curry)

I know… It’s been so long I posted any recipe. It was so hectic for last couple of weeks that I did not have any energy left to write a post at the end of the day. And I do not feel good about it. In order to feel rejuvenated and good I had to write a post to connect to the blog family I have here.

So, today I will be writing about one of the famous street food or side dish in Odisha, an eastern state in India. Yes, it’s ‘Ghugni’. Ghugni is nothing but dried peas or yellow peas curry in an onion-tomato based gravy.

Ghugni is used as a base in most of the ‘chat’ items and as a side dish with items like idly, vada etc.

Read on further for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  1. Dried peas or ‘sukhi matar’ – 200 grams
  2. Curry paste – 1 tbsp
  3. Oil – 2 tsp
  4. Water – 4 cups
  5. Salt – to taste
  6. Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp
  7. Turmeric – a pinch
  8. Tamarind juice – 2 tbsp
  9. Chopped onion for garnishing

Method of Preparation:

  1. Soak the dried peas in water overnight.
  2. In a pressure cooker, boil soaked peas in two cups of water with little salt and pinch of turmeric powder. Boil for 3-4 whistles.
  3. Take out the boiled peas in a bowl. I usually discard the water used for boiling peas.
  4. Now in the same pressure cooker, add oil. Once oil is hot enough, add the curry paste and ginger garlic paste and tamarind juice. Mix well. Add little water if required.
  5. Let oil be separated from the curry paste. Then add two cups of water.
  6. Let the water boil and then add the boiled peas to it.
  7. Cover the pressure cooker and boil it for one whistle on high flame. This helps the peas to absorb curry paste flavour completely.
  8. Switch off the flame after one whistle and let the pressure go on it’s own. It may take several minutes.
  9. After the pressure is gone, open the lid. Take out curry in a serving bowl, garnish with chopped raw onions and serve hot ghugni or yellow peas curry.

Aloo Korma

Recently for a family get-together I had been given the responsibility to prepare a curry from potato.

Dum aloo is a quite loved dish in our family. But I wanted to make something different. So, I decided to make aloo korma.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  1. Boiled and peeled medium sized potatoes – 5
  2. Onion (medium) – 2
  3. Tomato (big) – 1
  4. Cashews (whole) – 8
  5. Oil – 1 tbsp
  6. Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp
  7. Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  8. Cumin powder – 2 tsp
  9. Coriander powder – 3 tsp
  10. Chilli powder – 3 tsp
  11. Garam masala – 1 tsp
  12. Kasuri methi – 1 tbsp
  13. Fresh curd – 2 tbsp
  14. Water – 4 to 5 cups
  15. Fresh cream – for garnishing

Method of Preparation:

  1. Cut boiled potatoes into uneven pieces.
  2. Soak cashews in little water for 15 minutes.
  3. Cut onion and tomato into bigger chunks. In a blender blend onion, tomato and cashew pieces together till smooth paste.
  4. Heat oil in pan and once oil is hot enough, add our onion-tomato-cashew paste to it. Be careful as it splutters while adding to the oil.
  5. Stir for few minutes and then add ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala. Mix everything nicely and then add kasuri methi. Mix again and let it cook till raw smell is not there.
  6. Stir in between and cook the spice mixture till it becomes thick and oil starts separating from it.
  7. Now put the flame in low and add curd. Mix well. Let the curd mix properly for few minutes. Keep the flame low.
  8. Now add 4-5 cups of water and bring it to a boil.
  9. Add cut potato pieces and let them absorb the gravy for around 15 minutes. Keep the flame on low medium. In between mash some potato pieces with back of a spatula. This helps I giving a thick and rich texture to our curry.
  10. Switch off the flame. Gravy consistency can be adjusted by adding or reducing water quantity.
  11. Garnish with fresh cream and serve hot with roti or paratha.

Cabbage Curry – Without Onion and Garlic

Yet another curry from my kitchen for those no onion and no garlic days.

This is a simple yet tasty curry that goes well with rice, roti or paratha.

Read on further for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  1. Cabbage – 1 (medium)
  2. Frozen green peas – 1 cup
  3. Curry leaves – 7 to 8
  4. Green chilli (slit length wise) – 4
  5. Oil – 1 tbsp
  6. Water – 3 cups
  7. Salt – to taste
  8. Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  9. Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
  10. Ginger paste – 2 tsp
  11. Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  12. Coriander powder – 2 tsp
  13. Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
  14. Freshly grated coconut – 1 cup

Method of Preparation:

  1. Chop cabbage into thin and small strips and wash those properly.
  2. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seed and cumin seed once oil is hot enough. Let them splutter.
  3. Add curry leaves, green chillies, and frozen green peas. Saute everything together.
  4. Now add ginger paste, salt, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala. Stir for few minutes.
  5. Now add washed cabbage strips and mix everything so that cabbages are coated with spices evenly.
  6. Now add water and cover the pan.
  7. Let the veggies boil for 15-20 mins under low to medium flame. Do check in between.
  8. Once cabbage becomes tender, remove lid and add freshly grated coconut. Give a good mix.
  9. Our cabbage curry is ready to be served with rice or roti.

Whole Moong Dal (Green Gram) Curry

Moong dal or green gram is know for it’s nutritional value. It’s rich in protein. Moong dal is very versatile. It can be used in many ways. It can be roasted and used to prepare dal, it can be soaked and sprouted also. It can be used whole or split. There are umpteen uses and numerous recipes those can be prepared with moong dal including deserts.

Here I have prepared whole moong dal curry that goes well with roti, chapati or naan.

Read on further for the recipe below.

Ingredients:

  1. Whole moong dal – 200 grams
  2. Water – 5 to 6 cups
  3. Onion – 1 big (chopped into small pieces)
  4. Tomato – 1 medium (chopped)
  5. Garlic cloves – 7 (chopped)
  6. Green chillies (optional) – 3 to 4 (slit vertically)
  7. Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
  8. Salt – to taste
  9. Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  10. Cumin powder – 2 tsp
  11. Coriander powder – 3 tsp
  12. Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
  13. Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
  14. Oil – 3 tsp

Method of Preparation:

  1. Wash and boil whole moong dal with 2-3 cups of water and little salt in a pressure cooker. Cook till two to three whistles.
  2. In a wok, heat oil. Then add chopped onion, tomatoes, garlic and slit green chillies.
  3. Saute till the onions become translucent and tomatoes become tender.
  4. Now add ginger garlic paste, salt, turmeric, red chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder. Check the salt quantity as it was already added to the moong dal while boiling.
  5. Saute everything well till the raw smell of ginger garlic paste goes.
  6. Now add the boiled moong dal and rest 2-3 cups of water.
  7. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. Water quantity can be adjusted depending on desired consistency.
  8. Switch off the flame. Hot moong dal curry is ready to be relished with phulkas.

Aloo Sabji – No Onion No Garlic

During almost all festivals, we do not have onion and garlic. So we will have to come up with different varieties of spice mixtures in order to bring in the taste in curry and also to thicken the gravy.

This is one such potato curry that everybody loves in my family. It goes well with hot paratha or poori.

Read on for the recipe below.

Ingredients:

For the spice mixture:

  1. Raw rice – 2 tsp
  2. Freshly grated coconut 2 tbsp or chunks of coconut pieces 10-12 pieces
  3. Coriander seed – 1 tsp
  4. Cumin seed – 1 tsp
  5. Red chilli – 1 (can be avoided or increased depending on required spice level)
  6. Raw peanut – 5 to 6
  7. Oil – 1 tsp

For Curry:

  1. Potato – 3 (big)
  2. Salt – as per taste
  3. Tomato – 2 (small)
  4. Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  5. Garam masala – 1 tsp
  6. Oil – 1 tbsp
  7. Water – 3 cups

Method of Preparation:

  1. Heat pan and add 1 tsp oil. Once oil is hot, all the ingredients mentioned in the spices section one by one.
  2. Roast for five minutes till nice aroma comes.
  3. Then take out on a plate and let it cool.
  4. Once it cools down, put in blender and blend to a less coarse powder. Keep aside.
  5. Now take 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add chopped tomatoes once the oil is hot enough. Add salt, turmeric powder and garam masala. Mix and let the tomatoes become tender.
  6. Now add cut potato pieces and stir for few minutes.
  7. Add our blended spice mixture and give a good stir. Now add in three cups of water and cover.
  8. Let it be on simmer till the potatoes are well boiled.
  9. Once the potatoes are boiled and gravy is of desired consistency, switch off the flame.
  10. Our curry is ready to be served with hot rotis or chapatis or parathas.

Kankada Bhaja (Forest Bitter Gourd Fry)

Kankada bhaja or forest bitter gourd fry is a one of the liked side dishes with white rice amongst the Odiya people. Though this vegetable is from bitter gourd family, it doesn’t taste bitter.

It’s preparation is very simple. Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  1. Kankada (forest bitter gourd) -10
  2. Rice flour – 1 tbsp
  3. Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  4. Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
  5. Salt – as per taste

Method of Preparation:

  1. Wash the forest bitter gourds thoroughly and cut those into disc like shapes.
  2. Add salt, turmeric, red chilli powder and rice flour to the cut veggies. Toss everything together. If needed add one tsp water in order to make the dry ingredients stick to the cut veggies.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and once oil is hot enough, place the forest bitter gourd pieces in it.
  4. Cover and let the veggies become tender.
  5. Uncover and turn the sides after few minutes. Let both the sides become golden brown.
  6. Now our delicious crispy kankada bhaja or forest bitter gourd fry is ready.