Facebook Google Plus Pinterest Feed Twitter Mail

April 15, 2014

Paneer Butter Masala Recipe | Easy Paneer Recipes | No Onion No Garlic Recipe

paneer butter masala recipe

This is a no onion, no garlic version of paneer butter masala that is not only easy to prepare but also gives you a restaurant style paneer butter masala at home.

I have always thought of paneer butter masala, in which the gravy is to be rich in spices and where the gravy is thickened by onion paste along with the cashew nut paste and that is how I have always done it as well. As it was very much liked by the family and guests, I had no reason to look further.
 
Recently when my friend J’s parents came to visit her and I always pay them a visit when they are in town. Having travelled widely, they both are very knowledgeable about food and its always a delight to talk about various cuisines cooked across the country and I always lose track of time when talking to them. On that day she had made this paneer butter masala and I was surprised. It was the period of Chaitra Navratri or Vasant Navratri and she not only fasts but also never uses onion and garlic while cooking during this period.

Restaurant style paneer butter masala

In fact, I came to know there is one more Navratri that is celebrated in the country only through her a few years back. When I tasted the gravy, it was simply yummy. I did not miss the whole spices, the onion, garlic at all and still taste wise it did not lack the creamy goodness of a restaurant style paneer butter masala. For a person like me who is so used to thinking and cooking with all these ingredients, it was a real surprise.

If not for the paneer it could have totally been a vegan dish, as she had not used oil to cook, keeping both their age in consideration and the garam masala powder. But I have made a few changes as I prepared it for the kids to whom the calories are not a constraint.

punjabi paneeer butter masala recipe

Paneer Butter Masala Recipe

Prep time: 15 mins  |  Cook time: 45 mins  |  Serves: 4
Recipe Cuisine: Indian  |  Recipe Category: Side Dish

paneer butter masala recipe

Ingredients:

  • Paneer (Cottage Cheese) – 250 gms
  • Tomato, medium – 5
  • Green chilies – 4
  • Ginger – 1 inch piece
  • Bay leaf – 1
  • Coriander powder – 3 tsp
  • Red chili powder – 2 tsp
  • Garam Masala powder – 1 tsp
  • Cashew Nuts – 10 to 12
  • Milk – 1/2 cup
  • Kasuri methi – 1/2 tsp
  • Sugar – 1 tsp 
  • Salt – to taste
  • Butter – 2 tbsp
  • Oil – 1 tbsp

Instructions:

  1. Soak cashew nuts in 1/4 cup warm water for 10 to 15 mins and grind to a smooth paste and keep aside.
  2. Cut the tomatoes roughly and transfer to a blender. Grind to a smooth paste and keep it aside. I did not blanch the tomatoes.
  3. Slit the green chilies lengthwise and remove the seeds. Cut the ginger into juliennes. Keep aside a few juliennes for garnishing.
  4. Cube the paneer and keep it ready. I used Malai Paneer, so I did not sauté the cubes in butter and used it as it is.
  5. Heat a pan with butter and oil together. Add slit green chilies and sauté till the color changes and becomes transparent. Add the ginger juliennes and sauté for a few more seconds.
  6. Add the tomato puree, sugar, a pinch of salt and mix well. Close the pan with a lid, leaving a small gap and let the puree cook over medium-low flame for 15-20 mins. This will prevent the puree from splashing out of pan. Mix in between at regular intervals. All the water moisture would have evaporated and the puree will look almost like a thick paste now.
  7. Add coriander powder, red chili powder, mix well and cook for 2 more mins. The mixture will further thicken and look almost dry.
  8. Add the ground cashew nut paste, mix well and cook for 5 mins.
  9. Add cubed paneer, milk, mix well and let it cook for 5 mins. Switch off flame and take off stove.
  10. Immediately add garam masala powder, kasuri methi, mix well and close the pan with a lid and let it rest for 5 mins for the flavors to merge well.
  11. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with ginger juliennes. Serve with hot phulkas, rotis or Naans along with sliced onions and lemon.
No onion No garlic Paneer Butter Masala

Notes:

  1. Take time to cook the tomato puree well, else you will get the raw smell and taste of tomatoes in the gravy. Do not add water to the tomato puree to cook it.
  2. Always add garam masala powder at the end to retain its freshness and flavor.
  3. Using butter and oil together will prevent the butter from becoming ghee quickly while cooking it.
  4. I always rinse the mixie jar with either milk or water after grinding cashew nuts and use the same in the gravy.
  5. Do not use standard variety of tomato for this gravy as it will give a tangy taste. Use hybrid variety of tomato and very ripe ones to get natural color.
  6. Sugar is added to maintain the rich deep color of the tomato in the gravy. You can skip it if you don’t like it.
  7. Adjust the red chili powder and green chilies according to your spice level.

April 9, 2014

Kurkuri Bhindi Recipe – Crispy Bhindi (Okra) Fry Recipe

Kurkuri Bhindi Recipe
I love okra very much especially when made like this crispy fry. In hindi, the word Kurkuri means “Crisp” and of course bhindi means “Okra” which is again called as “Vendakkai” in Tamil. Like the name suggests this is a crisp and crunchy dish that you can serve during tea time especially during the cold season. Also this recipes happens to be a no onion, no garlic recipe. The tangy spices added makes it lip smacking and delicious and not only that, there is no chance of a slimy mass that you sometimes get while making a curry or stir fry with okra. Off to the recipe now.


Slit the Okra into slivers. Cutting them thin ensures that they get fried crisp and remain crunchy.


Spice the cut okra with dry powders and toss well for even distribution.


Sprinkle besan and rice flour evenly and mix with either spoon or hand.

Deep fry in batches till crisp and crunchy. Make sure you remove on to a kitchen paper to absorb excess oil.
Though typically rice flour is not added while making these kurkuri bhindi, I have done so, as it helps to maintain the crunchiness of the okra for a long time even after deep frying. Apart from enjoying it as a snack during tea time, you can also serve these crisp fries as a side dish with rice especially pulaos.

Kurkuri Bhindi

Kurkuri Bhindi Recipe

Prep time: 10 mins  |  Cook time: 15 mins  |  Serves: 2
Recipe Cuisine: Indian  |  Recipe Category: Snacks

Kurkuri Bhindi Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Bhindi (Okra / Ladies Finger) – 200 gms
  • Besan (chickpea flour) – 3 tbsp
  • Rice flour – 3 tsp
  • red chili powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 3/4 tsp
  • Chaat masala powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Roasted Cumin powder – 2 pinch
  • Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
  • Salt – to taste
  • Oil – for deep frying

Instructions:

  1. Wash and dry the okra completely. There should not be any moisture present. Trim the edges.
  2. Cut the okra lengthwise and further slit them cross wise. Sprinkle chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, chaat masala, salt, 2 tsp oil and toss well. Let it rest for 5 mins.
  3. Sprinkle besan, rice flour and asafetida over the okra slivers and once again toss well making sure it generously coats all the bhindi.
  4. Heat a pan with oil for deep frying. When the oil is sufficiently hot, drop the okra pieces in batches and cook it is roasted crisp and golden brown.
  5. Drain onto a kitchen paper to absorb excess oil and continue with the rest of okra.
  6. Serve hot with tomato ketchup.

Crispy Bhindi Fry Recipe

Notes:

  1. I have added 2 tsp oil while adding the spice powders, as it will prevent the okra from becoming sticky and watery as we are also adding salt.
  2. Adjust the spice powder according to your taste.
  3. I have omitted amchur (dry mango) powder but instead increased the quantity of chaat masala powder.
  4. Deep fry in batches, I cooked in 2 batches.
  5. If you do not have roasted cumin powder, add asafetida instead.

April 7, 2014

Kathirikkai Palakottai Kootu Recipe - Palakottai Poricha Kulambu Recipe | Jackfruit Seed Recipes

Kathirikkai Palakottai Poricha Kulambu Recipe
This is a lip smacking Poricha Kuzhambu or kootu using brinjal and Palakottai that goes very well with rice. Palakottai is nothing but Jack fruit seeds that are so good to eat. As jackfruit seeds do not have a special taste for itself, it takes in the taste of the gravy in which it is cooked and gives a nutty taste to the whole dish. To me next to cucumbers, palakottai is synonymous to Summer. While spending my holidays in Trichy during my childhood, I used to eat these seeds almost daily for lunch, snack and dinner. I was that much crazy about it. You can find it where ever you go and the scent of the jackfruit is not something that you can miss in a hurry. The sellers will spread the jackfruit and its seeds on tender banana leaves and they will roll it in the leaves and tie it with either green or dark pink thread. If not for the elders at home who used to chide me not to over indulge as jack fruit evokes body heat manifold, I could very easily survive on it for days.

Kathirikkai Palakottai Poricha Kulambu Recipe
Coming to this recipe, it’s a childhood favorite. Grandma used to mix this kulambu or kootu with rice, drizzle ghee generously over it and I won’t even ask for any side dish and I would keep the seeds separately in the corner of my plate so that I could eat it along with curd rice. Apart from this kootu we make several other recipes using jackfruit seeds, which I shall share later on. But for now enjoy this hearty, mildly spiced poricha kuzhambu or kootu for your lunch.

Brinjal Jackfruit Seeds Kootu Recipe

Kathirikkai Palakottai Poricha Kulambu Recipe

Prep time: 10 mins  |  Cook time: 15 mins  |  Serves: 4
Recipe Cuisine: South Indian  |  Recipe Category: Side Dish

Kathirikkai Palakottai Poricha Kulambu Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Kathirikkai (Brinjals) – 3
  • Palakottai (Jackfruit seeds) – 15
  • Yellow Moong dal (Paasi paruppu) – 1/4 cup
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Urad Dal – 1 tsp
  • Fresh grated coconut – 1/4 cup
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Shallots (sambar onions) – 2
  • Green chilies – 3
  • Sambar powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Asafetida – 2 pinch
  • Salt – to taste
  • Oil – 2 tsp

Instructions:

  1. Cut each jackfruit seed into 2 (horizontally). Remove the white skin around it and keep aside. Slit the brinjals lengthwise and further chop them into pieces and soak them in water to prevent discoloration.
  2. Wash moong dal and transfer to a vessel, add 1/2 cup water, chopped brinjals, turmeric powder. In another vessel, keep the jackfruit seeds, 5 tbsp water, a pinch of salt. Keep both the vessels in a pressure cooker one on top of the other and pressure cook for 2 whistles over medium flame.
  3. Meanwhile, grind together grated coconut, sambar onion, cumin seeds and green chilies to a smooth paste using little water and keep aside.
  4. Heat a pan with oil. Add mustard seeds and when they splutter, add urad dal, curry leaves, asafetida and let it roast till it the dal becomes golden in color and the leaves become crisp.
  5. Add the moongdal - brinjal mixture, cooked jackfruit seeds, ground paste, sambar powder, salt, 1/4 cup water and mix well.
  6. Close the pan with a lid and let the kulambu cook over low flame for 5-7 mins. Take off fire and transfer to a serving bowl.
  7. You can either mix this poricha kuzhambu with rice to which a liberal dash of ghee is added and eat or serve this as a side dish with sambar or kaara kuzhambu rice.
Palakottai Kathirikkai Kootu

Notes:

  1. The jackfruit seeds that I used were tender, so I cooked it along with the dal itself and it was perfectly done. If by chance the seeds that use are hard and aged, you may have to pressure cook it separately for 4 to 5 whistles.
  2. Adjust the green chilies according to your spice level.
  3. Other than brinjals, you can also use raw mango and drumstick, either a combination of all these veggies or a mix and match.
  4. As like any seed, palakottai also secretes milk while cutting them and while removing their skin, so to prevent it apply vegetable oil to your fingers before starting the work.

April 5, 2014

Cucumber Salad Recipe with Cilantro Lime Dressing | Summer Salad Recipes

Cucumber Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing
I'm not sure whether its just me or is it the same with everyone else. Somehow cucumber always reminds me of Summer. The crunchy, juicy and succulent fresh cucumbers are a delight to munch on during summers when you really do not feel like eating anything at all. Cooking full fledged lunches is bound to make anyone dizzy with the mercury rising like anything outside and who wants to stand near the stove and cook. That's when breezy, fresh and healthy salads like this one comes in handy. It provides you with all the fibre and nutrients while at the same time making you feel light in the tummy. While eating summer salads like this you do not really have to fear of over eating and if you are doing so, you are only doing yourself a big help as you are hydrating your body. 

Cucumber Salad With Cilantro Lime Dressing
I have avoided using yogurt (Curd) here as I usually combine both of them while making a raitha. But here tried out a simple salad dressing with coriander leaves, lime juice and ginger which makes it very zesty and refreshing during the hot day. You can add any other raw vegetable to this salad as this is a very basic one.

Cucumber Salad With Cilantro Lime Dressing

Cucumber Salad Recipe with Cilantro Lime Dressing

Prep time: 10 mins  |  Cook time: Nil  |  Serves: 3
Recipe Cuisine: Continental  |  Recipe Category: Salads

Cucumber Salad With Cilantro Lime Dressing

Ingredients:

  • Cucumber – 3
  • Baby carrot – 1 (optional)
  • Ginger, grated – 1/4 tsp
  • Lime juice – 1 tbsp
  • Coriander leaves / Cilantro – 5 tbsp
  • Oil – 1 tsp
  • Black pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Black salt – 1/4 tsp
  • Chaat masala powder – 1/8 tsp (optional)
  • Salt – to taste

Instructions:

  1. Wash cucumber and carrot and thinly slice them into roundels. I used my mandolin for this.
  2. In a wide mixing bowl, whisk together oil, lime juice, grated ginger, black pepper powder, black salt, chaat masala powder, salt till the mixture gets emulsified well.
  3. Add the cucumber, carrot, coriander leaves (cilantro) and toss well for the dressing to coat well.
  4. Refrigerate and serve chilled.
Cucumber Salad With Cilantro Lime Dressing

Notes:

  1. If you do not have lime juice at hand, use 1/2 tsp white distilled vinegar in its place.
  2. Using carrots is optional. I used it to add some color to the green salad.

April 3, 2014

Methi Dal Recipe | Menthi Koora Pappu

Methi Dal Recipe
Methi Dal or fenugreek leaves dal is a staple dal recipe of many households across India. It’s thick, creamy and a very comforting dish and it can be made several ways. My way of cooking it gets done in one pot and its very quick and easy to make as well. When you follow this method, there is no fear of over cooking the dal and the bitterness of the fenugreek leaves steeping into the dal. Methi Leaves are called as “Vendhaya Keerai” in Tamil and “Menthi Koora” in Telugu is rich source of Iron and fibre and the more you include it in your diet the more you are helping yourself.

Menthi Koora Pappu
The Fenugreek leaves are diabetic friendly and is known to be good to treat bad heart conditions and fluctuating blood sugar levels. It is also one of the easily grown greens in your garden. Even if you don’t have a sprawling garden, you can make use of any old containers to grow your own methi. The fresh leaves are a delight to use in dals. You can serve this dal with rice for lunch and also serve it as a side dish along with chapathis or rotis and both ways it tastes good.

Fenugreek Leaves Dal

Methi Dal Recipe

Prep time: 10 mins  |  Cook time: 15 mins  |  Serves: 4
Recipe Cuisine: Indian  |  Recipe Category: Side Dish

Methi Dal Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Methi Leaves – 1 bunch
  • Yellow Moong dal – 1/4 cup
  • Onion – 1
  • Tomato – 1
  • Garlic pods – 3
  • Green chilies – 2
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Whole dry red chilies – 2
  • Salt – to taste
  • Oil – 1 tsp

Instructions:

  1. Trim the roots of the methi leaves bunch and immerse it in a big bowl of water. All the dirt will settle at the bottom of the bowl. Wash the leaves well and chop it roughly.
  2. Chop the onion, tomato and slit the green chilies.
  3. Take a pressure cooker and add yellow moong dal, methi leaves, onion, tomato, garlic pods, green chilies, turmeric powder, 1/4 cup water and mix well.
  4. Pressure cook for 2 whistles and take off fire. Wait for the pressure to release.
  5. Meanwhile, heat a pan with oil. Add mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add urad dal, whole dry red chilies and roast for a few seconds.
  6. Transfer the seasoning to the pressure cooker, add salt and mix well. With a masher, mash everything together till the mixture becomes a pulp. I transferred everything to my “Keerai Chatti” and mashed it. 
  7. If you do not have a masher, transfer the contents to a blender and using the whipper button pulse a few times at regular intervals. Do not grind to a paste.
  8. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve hot with steaming rice or a side dish to chapathis.
methi dal

Notes:

  1. I used yellow moong dal as it gives a sweet tinge to the dish compensating the bitterness of the methi leaves.
  2. You can also use toor dal (pigeon peas) in its place or a mixture of both the dals as well.
  3. Instead of using mustard seeds and urad dal for seasoning, you can also use Vengaya Vadagam or Thalipu vadagam
Pin It button on image hover