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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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.

WaterMark_2017-11-16-11-34-02.jpg

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.

Eggless Chocolate Fudge Brownie

First of all, a very happy and prosperous new year to all the readers from Flavour Indulgence.

So, another year has stepped in with new hopes, new resolutions and new milestones. I hope I will be able to keep up with the milestones I have set for myself. Amen !! 🙂

I will be starting my first blog of year 2018 with a sweet dish. For this new year eve, I have prepared this egg less chocolate fudge brownies for family and friends. Everybody liked it. The chefs/home cooks out there can relate to the feeling one gets when your dish is happily relished by people around. I was ecstatic as this was the first time I tried my hands on preparing fudge brownies.

WaterMark_2018-01-03-16-56-48.jpg

Enough of talking now.. 🙂 Let me jump to the recipe of egg less chocolate fudge brownies. Please read further.

Ingredients:

Dry Ingredients:
  1. All purpose flour – 250 grams
  2. Corn flour – 2 tbsp
  3. Baking powder – 3 tsp
  4. Baking soda – 1.5 tsp
  5. Unsweetened cocoa powder – 3 tbsp
Wet Ingredients:
  1. Unsalted butter – 30 grams
  2. Condensed Milk – 200 ml
  3. Milk – 3 to 4 tsp
  4. Vanilla Essence – 1/2 tsp
Others:
  1. Chopped dry fruits (Cashews, Almonds, Pistachios) – a handful
  2. Choco chips – for garnishing
  3. Brown Sugar (optional) – 1 tbsp

Method of Preparation:

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together and sieve twice so that all the ingredients will be mixed with each other nicely and air will be incorporated. Keep aside.
  2. Now in a mixing bowl, take unsalted butter (it should be at room temperature) and add condensed milk to it. Mix well with the help of a spatula or beater (do not over-beat if using a beater). Add vanilla Essence.
  3. Add brown sugar to this butter and condensed milk mixture and give a gentle stir. I like to keep the sugar crystals intact rather than melting those in butter mixture. This helps in keeping the fudge moist from inside. WaterMark_2018-01-03-16-56-11.jpg
  4. Now, to this mixture, add the mix of dry ingredients little by little. And each time mix nicely with the help of a spatula. Do not use beater here. Use cut and fold method of mixing the batter.
  5. The fudge batter will be thick in consistency unlike cake batter. If you feel that the consistency is very thick, then add few teaspoons of milk to it and mix.
  6. Pour the mixture to baking tin. Garnish the top with chopped dry fruits and choco chips. Press the dry fruits gently with hand.
  7. Preheat oven at 160 degrees Celsius. Then put the baking tin in oven for 40-45 mins. (temperature and timing may vary depending on oven performance).
  8. After 40 minutes remove the baking tin from oven and check if it’s baked properly by inserting a toothpick. If it comes out clean, then the fudge is ready. Else put it in over for another 5-10 minutes.
  9. Let the fudge coll down and then unmould it. Cut into desired shaped pieces and serve. WaterMark_2018-01-03-16-57-13.jpg

Note – Powdered sugar may be added to the butter mixture if more of sweetness is required.

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.