Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Palak Paneer

Palak or spinach, the power packed green leafy vegetable is one vegetable which has been given a thumbs up by the kids and hence I make sure that it is part of our menu every week. Getting the kids to have some vegetables has always been a tough task, as they become very choosy when it comes to vegetarian food.  The most frequently made dish with this nutritious leaf is the palak mashiyal which I had shared long before.
Palak when paired with the protein enriched paneer is a marvelous combination health wise as well as taste wise.  I know of many who love palak paneer, but sadly this dish was never liked by anyone at home, hence this has never been a part of food either cooked at home or ordered on a restaurant table.I have tried many recipes of palak paneer, but frankly speaking I was never fond of this dish much until I was introduced to this recipe by my friend Tasneem. Now, this recipe is so easy, that you may doubt about its taste. But, let me assure you, this is a lip smacking recipe of the famous palak paneer. Thanks a lot Tasneem for sharing this recipe. Now, palak paneer is a favorite dish at our home too, loved equally by all.
a bunch of fresh palak leaves, washed well and chopped roughly
200 gm paneer cubes
1 Tbsp oil
1 onion chopped roughly
1 tomato chopped roughly
2-3 green chillies
2-3 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
10-15 cashewnuts
1/2 to 1 cup water
2 tbsp butter
salt to taste


  •  Heat oil in a pan and saute the roughly chopped palak on high flame just until it wilts. Keep aside.
  • Once it cools, grind the wilted palak along with the onion, tomato, garlic, cumin, green chillies and salt into a fine paste.
  • Heat butter in a non stick pan. Add the grinded paste and saute well until the oil starts to ooze from the sides and the gravy starts to turn thick (can be done on a high flame).
  • Add the paneer cubes and mix well.
  • Add water, according to the consistency you would like your curry to be in(for a semi thick gravy, I added approximately 1/2 cup of water).
  • Bring this to a boil and  then remove from heat. Serve hot.

Delicious palak paneer is ready in a jiff!

* For added taste you can fry the paneer cubes and add. Here I have used frozen paneer cubes, which was soaked in hot water for a few minutes before adding to the curry.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Vegetable Biriyani

1 1/2 cup basmati rice
3 onions sliced thin
3 Tbsp ghee
2 bay leaves
2 inch cinnamon stick
1 star anise
5 cloves
4 green cardamom
1/2 tsp whole pepper
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 tsp ginger garlic paste(freshly pound- not the store bought one)
5 beans chopped
10 cauliflower florets
1/4 cup green peas(I used frozen, you can use fresh too)
1 carrot chopped
1/2 cup paneer cubes
1 potato cubed
1 cup yoghurt
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp kashmiri chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp biriyani masala powder(I used eastern biriyani masala, you can use any brand)
salt to taste
handful coriander leaves chopped fine
20 mint leaves
2 Tbsp saffron, soaked in 3tbsp water
2 cups water
  • Wash and soak the rice in for atleast 30 minutes. Then drain and keep aside.
  • Fry the sliced onions in oil, until golden brown and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a kitchen towel.
  • In a large pressure cooker(I used my 3 ltr pressure cooker), heat 2 Tbsp ghee and saute the whole spices(bay leaves, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, cardamom, whole pepper, cumin seeds) for a few seconds.
  • Add the chopped onion and saute until onion turns pink.
  • Now add the ginger- garlic paste and saute for few seconds.
  • Add the vegetables(beans, carrot, cauliflower, peas, potato and paneer). Fry everything well until the vegetables shrink .
  • Now reduce the heat to  minimum and add the yoghurt. Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder, cumin powder, biriyani masala powder and salt. Mix everything well.
  • Cook stirring for about 3-4 minutes on a medium flame.
  • Now reduce the flame to minimum. Spread the soaked basmati rice on top of the vegetable curry evenly in a layer.
  • Sprinkle little biriyani masala and a pinch of salt on top of the rice.
  • Sprinkle the coriander leaves,mint leaves and fried onion on top.
  • Pour the saffron soaked water on top.
  • Drizzle the remaining one Tbsp of ghee on top.
  • Pour the measured 2 cups of water through the sides without disturbing the layers.
  • Close the cooker and keep on the lowest heat, simmer for 25 minutes.
  • Let it stay in the cooker until the steam settles. Then open the cooker and fluff up the biriyani.
  • Serve with onion raita, lime pickle and pappad.
Recipe courtesy - Hebbar's kitchen

Monday, March 05, 2018

Grilled Nutella Banana Sandwich with toasted coconut

Dedicated to all the nutella lovers out there!


4 slices of bread
2 Tbsp nutella
1 ripe banana, sliced into rounds
2 Tbsp shredded coconut
butter as required


  • In a pan dry roast the coconut until evenly browned and crisp. Keep aside.
  • Spread the nutella on one side of two slices of bread.
  • Layer the the banana slices on top of the nutella.
  • Sprinkle the toasted coconut shreddings on top of the banana slices.
  • Place the other bread slice on top and sandwich them.
  • Spread butter on the outer sides of the bread and place on a hot grill. Grill until the outer sides of the sandwich is golden brown and crisp.
  • Cut into desired shape and serve.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Besan Ladoo

A versatile Indian sweet is what ladoo is known to be. With a variation of the ingredients there are so many types of this sweet that is a quintessential part of most of the Indian festivals. Motichoor ladoo and besan ladoo are my personal favourites. The former one requires a bit more more longer procedure of making the boondis and all whereas the latter one is a very easy one. Sharing with you the besan ladoo recipe.


 2 cups besan/ gram flour
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup ghee
4-5 cardamoms crushed
raisins, chopped nuts(optional)

  • Dry roast the besan in a wide pan on a low flame for about 12 minutes. Keep stirring continuously to ensure even roasting of the besan,taking care not to burn the powder.
  •  Meanwhile melt the ghee and keep aside.
  • Once the besan is roasted, add the melted ghee and mix well. Cook stirring continuously for about 5-6 minutes. The mixture will start giving out a nutty aroma and will start releasing the ghee.
  • Remove from heat and add the powdered sugar. Mix very well, avoid lumps. 
  • Add the crushed cardamom  and raisins, nuts etc.(I did not add nuts or raisins). Keep this aside to come down to room temperature.
  • Once cooled, make medium sized balls with the mixture by rolling between your palms.
  • Garnish with chopped nuts and serve or store in an air tight container.

Recipe adapted from here

Monday, February 26, 2018

Tomato Pulao


1 cup basmati rice
2 Tbsp ghee/butter
2-3 cloves
6 green cardamom
2 cinnamon sticks
1 onion, sliced lengthwise thin
1 tsp grated ginger
4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
2-3 green chillies, cut into thin strips
1 cup diced tomatoes
salt to taste
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 cup finely chopped coriander leaves and tender stem
  • Wash the rice well and soak in water for 20- 30 minutes.  Then drain and keep aside.
  • Heat ghee or butter in a wok. Add the cloves, cardamom and cinnamon sticks. Fry for 15 seconds.
  • Now add the sliced onion and saute until the edges of the onion slices start to brown(approx. 5-7 minutes)
  • Mix in the ginger, garlic and chillies. Cook for just a minute.
  • Stir in the tomatoes. Add salt and turmeric powder. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes soften.
  • Add the drained rice and toss gently to coat the rice with the tomato sauce.
  • Pour one and a half cup of water(1 1/2 cup) and stir once to incorporate all the ingredients.
  • Bring this to boil over a medium high heat.
  • Cook until the water has evaporated from the surface and craters start to appear on the top layer of rice. This will take about 5-8 minutes.
  • Only then stir once to bring the partially cooked rice from the bottom to the top. Then cover with a tight lid and reduce heat the lowest and cook for 8-10 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and allow it to stand for 10 minutes undisturbed.
  • Open and fluff the rice with a fork. Sprinkle the chopped coriander and serve with onion raita, pickle and pappad.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Mathanga Erisseri

An unavoidable dish in  the Kerala menu, let it be for the festival sadyas of Onam, Vishu etc or the birthday sadyas of family members. It is said that erisseri is a must for a piranaal( star birthday- as per the Malayalam calendar) sadya.

250 gms ripe pumpkin, cut into cubes
1/4 cup vanpayar/red cow peas
1/2 cup grated coconut + 2 Tbsp
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
few curry leaves
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
2 Tbsp coconut oil
salt to taste


  • Soak the red cow peas/vanpayar for 2-3 hours.
  • Pressure cook the peas adding enough water  and a pinch of salt ,such that the peas lie submerged on a medium low flame for 3 whistles. Allow the pressure to settle by itself. The peas should be soft and tender but not mashed.(If you have not soaked the peas, more number of whistles will be required)
  • In the meantime, in another pot add the pumpkin, turmeric powder, chilli powder and add 2-3 cups of water.  Bring it to a boil and then simmer and cook until the pumpkin turns soft and cooked.
  • Add the cooked vanpayar to the pumpkin and mix well. Add salt and cook until everything is mixed well and turns thick.
  • Grind half cup coconut with the cumin seeds into a fine paste.
  • Add this paste to the pumpkin and vanpayar mixture and mix well. Cook for a few minutes and then remove from heat.
  • Heat the coconut oil in a small pan. Oncce hot add the mustard seeds. As the the mustard starts to pop add the curry leaves and 2 Tbsp shredded coconut . Roast well until the coconut turns light brown in colour. Add this to the prepared pumpkin dish. Cover immediately with a lid so that the aroma of the fried coconut gets infused in the dish. Keep undisturbed for a few minutes.
  • Mix well and serve.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Spring Onion Curry

Some people are born with magical hands. Whatever they cook up, even with minimal ingredients and limited time turn out into mouth watering dishes which leaves you craving for more. One such person is Kherun, our best bestie. Whatever she cooks let it be anything from her repertoire , from a simple dal to an elaborate biriyani, everything tastes out of the world. And when you try to recreate the same as per her recipe it never turns out to be as good as hers; that is why we call her as a person with magical hands. She has shared many of her recipes with us, which can be soon expected in this space.

Today's recipe is one such dish which needs only a few ingredients but tastes really good with hot ghee smeared chappatis or rotis(as Kherun says,'do serve this curry hot with garama garam desi ghee vali roti'). One thing that has to kept in mind while making this curry is that, this curry tends to thicken very quickly once removed from heat. So please assure that your ghee smeared chappatis are ready simultaneously as the curry gets cooked. It tastes best when eaten piping hot with hot chappatis or parathas. And as this curry doesn't take much time in the making process, you can very well carry on the making of the curry and the rotis side by side. If in case the curry has thickened and cooled , add some water and reheat the curry well before serving.
2 bunches of spring onions
1 medium size onion, sliced into rings
1/2 tsp asafoetida
3/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp resham patti powder/ chilli powder(reduce if you don't want it very spicy)
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 cup besan / gram flour
1 tsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp oil

  • Chop the spring onions bulbs and greens separately.
  • Dilute the gram flour in approximately 2-3 cups of water(the mixture should be of a watery consistency) and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add the asafoetida and fry for a second. Then add the cumin seeds and fry for 2-3 seconds.
  • Now toss in the chopped spring onion bulbs and sliced onion. Fry this for sometime on a medium low flame until the onions turn light brown in colour.(Enjoy the lovely aroma that spreads in your kitchen during this step)
  • Once the onions start to brown add the chopped spring onion greens. Saute well until the spring onion greens turn soft and wilted.
  • Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder and salt. Fry for a minute and then add the diluted besan mixture.
  • Cook stirring continuously. The mixture will start getting thicker. Continue cooking stirring continuously until no lumps are seen and the mixture starts to attain a glazed look. 
  • Check the taste at this stage and if the raw taste of besan is not there then you can switch off the heat.(approximately 5-8 minutes will be required for the glazed look)
  • Drizzle the lemon juice and mix well. Serve hot with ghee smeared hot chappathis/parathas.