Posts Tagged curry

curried spinach & indian cheese (palak paneer)

Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer

you will need:
1) 1-2 bunches of spinach
2) paneer (indian cheese) – cubed to 1″ pieces and shallow fry in 2 tsp of oil and let it cool
3) red onion -1
4) 2 tbsp tomato paste
5) 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
6) 1 tsp garam masala
7) 1 tsp red chilli powder
8) 1 tsp cumin powder
9) 1 tsp coriander powder
10) salt to taste
11) 1 cup of milk or 1/2 cup of heavy cream
12) 2 tbsp butter
13) 1 tsp of cumin seeds
14) 1 tsp of finely chopped garlic and 1 tsp of finely chopped fresh ginger

Palak Paneer_2

make it:
1) Wash the spinach thoroughly and bring a pot of water to boil, drop the spinach and let it boil for only 4 minutes. Drain the water, rinse the spinach with cold water and let it cool and coarsely grind to a paste by adding 1/2 cup of water
2) In a pan, add 2 tbsp of butter, add cumin seeds, add the onions, saute for 3-4 minutes, add the turmeric, cumin, coriander and chilli powders, tomato paste, chopped ginger and garlic and fry in medium flame for 2 minutes, until you a get a nice aroma of the spices
3) Add the ground spinach, and let it cook for 5 minutes
4) Add the fried paneer cubes, mix well, add salt to taste, heavy cream or milk and let it cook for 7-8 minutes
5) Sprinkle 1 tsp of garam masala, mix well, and serve with Cumin Rice or Naan

Palak Paneer_3

Note: This method is a very basic to get started, the taste might not compare to the restaurant versions, but still its homemade, nutritious and easy for anyone to give a try.


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vegetable salna (diluted curry)

If you happen to travel to the southern most states of India such as Kerala and Tamil nadu, one cannot miss the sight of fast food shops on street, one after the other, some sell fried rice and noodles, some ‘parotta and salna’. These street side shops are a life-saver for the working class.  It’s a quick 10 minute fast-food that you can grab and go and it’s pretty delicious.

vegetable salna and parotta

I tried making the parotta (yes,  from scratch) to go with this curry, but there’s definitely lot of room for improvement, hence I shall save that for a later post.   If you are interested, you can find tons of recipes online to make it from scratch.  Coming back to the highlight of the post, ‘salna’, which is a diluted form of curry cooked with pieces of meat such as chicken or lamb or just some veggies.

you will need:

  1. ½ red onion or 4-5 pearl onions chopped coarsely
  2. 2 tomatoes chopped coarsely
  3. 2 green chillies
  4. 4 cloves
  5. 1 stick of cinnamon
  6. 2 tsp of fennel seeds
  7. 1 tsp of poppy seeds
  8. 1 tsp of black pepper corns
  9. 4-5 garlic cloves
  10. 1” piece of ginger
  11. ½ cup shredded coconut
  12. 4 cashewnuts
  13. 1-2 tsp of red chilli powder
  14. 1 tsp of coriander powder
  15. ¼ tsp of turmeric
  16. 1 cup of veggies (peas, carrot and cauliflower)
  17. salt to taste

make it:

to grind:

* In a wide pan, add 2 tsp of oil, and add items 1- 11 and fry them for 5-7 minutes until the onion and tomatoes get partially cooked.

* Add the chilli + coriander + turmeric powder, mix well and let it cool for 10 minutes.  Add the cashews to the mix, and grind everything to a coarse paste by adding ½ a cup of water

for the curry:

* If you have a pressure cooker pan, that is ideal, else, a wide non-stick pan is sufficient.

* Add 3 tsp of oil, once the oil is heated, add the vegetables of your choice, sauté for 4-5 minutes.  If you like chunks of tomatoes and onions in the curry, you can add like 1/2 of chopped red onions and 1 tomato and fry them with the vegetable for 3-4 minutes (they really don’t need to get too soft)

* Add the ground curry paste, add 2 cups of water, salt to taste and let it come to a boil (should take about 7-8 mins)

* Close the cooker and let it pressure cook for 1 whistle or pressure release.  If using a pan, let it cook for 15- 20 minutes, until vegetables get cooked and you can see a layer of oil forming on the surface of the curry.    Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve hot with Parotta, Idli or Dosa.

Note:  This curry is supposed to be liquid and runny than the usual consistency of curries, so you might not see it thickening that much, as we added at least 2 cups of water.  However, due to the cashews and coconut from the ground paste, it will tend to thicken a bit

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tofu vegetable saute with schezwan seasoning

Besides meat and eggs, I try to maintain my protein intake by eating tofu at least twice a week. However I am short on new tofu recipes, but this one is an all time staple and seldom a failure.

You will need:
1) 1 pack of extra firm cubed tofu (if you buy uncubed, cube them into 0.5 inch cubes)
2) 1 cup of mixed vegetables of broccoli, beans, snow peas, carrots, bell pepper
3) 1 pack of schezwan sauce mix
4) 2 tbsp of soy sauce
5) 1/4 cup water
6) 1/2 tsp of sugar (depending on desired sweetness)

Make it:

1) In a bowl, mix items 3 – 6 and set aside (The sauce mix has corn-starch, hence no need to add any starch separately)
2) In a wide skillet, add 2 tbsp of oil, and lay out the cubes of tofu in a single layer and brown the sides for about 2-3 mins each side on medium flame. Set aside
3) Add 2 tbsp of oil, turn up the heat, add all the mixed vegetables, and saute them for 4-7 mins on medium -high heat until they are crunchy and almost 3/4 cooked
4) Now add the sauce mix, the fried tofu, gently mix it all together and simmer for 5 to 7 mins until the sauce thickens. Serve hot with Jasmine rice.

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simple cauliflower dry saute… my way

In the place where I grew up, caulilflower is considered as a vegetable that can only be brought in central city market and it was never grown in our farms. Also, an interesting name it carries is ‘english vegetable’….as my elders talk about it.

Is that because this vegetable was introduced to us by the Britishers?

I love the fact that this vegetable needs minimal cooking and can be used in a lot of indian curry dishes.
Here is the recipe…

Prep it:
1 medium sized cauliflower florets cleaned
1 red onion vertically chopped
1 tsp of garam masala powder
1 tsp of red chilli powder
a pinch of turmeric
2 jalepeno or thai variety green chillies

Make it:
In a wide skillet, add about 3 tsp of oil, add mustard and jeera seeds, let them splutter. Add the green chillies + onions, saute for 2-3 minutes. Now add the garam and chilli powder, saute for just 2 secs in oil to let out the raw smell, followed by adding cauliflower. Mix everything well enough to coat the florets with the spices. Let it cook closed for about 7-8 minutes in medium flame. Add the desired amount of salt to taste and let it steam/cook for another 7-10 mins, which should cook the vegetable thoroughly. Serve hot with rice or roti (wheat bread).


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spinach and radish sambhar

Sambhar and Idli, isnt it an amazing combination…While cooking, I thought of making it a bit mild spice-wise, so I can drink as soup for lunch/dinner the next day. Pretty much you can cook a sambhar with any vegetable (not sure of cauliflower/broccolli though..) or without even any vegetable, but just with onions and tomatoes.

* 1 cup of vegetable of your choice cleaned and cut into cubes (I used a cup of spinach and 1 radish)
* pressure cook about 1 cup of toor dhal with 2 cloves of garlic, 1/4 tsp of oil and 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder
* 1 onion cut vertically
* 1 tomato finely chopped
* 1/2 cup of tamarind juice (soak a lemon size tamarind with warm water for 20 minutes and extract about 1/2 cup of juice
* mustard seeds, jeera, asfotedia for garnish
* 1.5 tbsp of sambhar powder and 1 tsp of red chilli powder (adjust according to desired spice level)
* 3 red chillies dried

Make it:
In a wide pan, add 3 tbps of oil, add the mustard, jeera and asfotedia, add the red chillies, onion and fry for 3-4 minutes.
Now add the radish, a pinch of turmeric and saute for 3 minutes. Add the tomato, sprinkle 1/2 tsp of salt, mix well, and let it cook for 5-6 minutes.
Once the tomatoes becomes soft, add the spinach, saute for a couple of minutes, add the sambhar and red chilli powder and mildly saute in the oil, and add the cooked dhal.
Let it all come together for 10 minutes.
Add the tamarind juice, salt to taste and let it boil for another 5-7 minutes in medium flame.
Garnish with some fresh coriander leaves. Enjoy with rice, idli/dosa or drink just a soup.

This is the simplest version that I prefer, there are more elaborate tastier versions of this sambhar, which I am planning to experiment in the future.

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