Posts Tagged vegetarian

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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cilantro mint chutney

With the winter setting in, I want to use up all (at least most of the mint leaves) and trim out the plant to move indoors.  The smell of mint is a bit too strong for me to make a chutney by itself, hence I chose to use some cilantro leaves as well.

you will need:

*) 1/2 to 1 cup of mint leaves washed (no stems)
*) 7-8 strands of cilantro leaves (stems are okay)
*) 1 inch ginger
*) 5-6 dry red chillies
*) 3 tbsp of broken urad dhal (optional, but if you have, worth adding it)
*) 1/4 cup of shredded coconut flakes
*) 1 lemon size tamarind soaked in water for 20 mins or you can substitute with lime juice
*) salt to taste

make it:
*) In a wide pan, add a tsp of oil, and fry the urad dhal until golden brown, set it aside
*) Add the chillies + ginger, fry for a few secs, add the coconut flakes, the mint leaves + cilantro, fry until the leaves shrink(about 4 minutes)
*) Let it all cool for 10 minutes and grind them coarsely by adding the tamarind soaked water (if using lime juice, add the lime juice and 1/4 cup of water to grind)
*) Add salt to taste, serve with idly/dosa or rice

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broccolli cheddar wild rice soup

This soup is inspired by the Progresso wild rice soups and the cheddar soup I loved from Panera.

You will need:
* 1.5 cup of broccoli florets chopped smaller like 1 inch pieces
* 3 tbsp of all purpose flour
* 1.5 cup of vegetable stock
* 1 cup of milk
* 1 onion chopped finely
* 3 garlic cloves chopped finely
* kosher salt to taste
* 1 tbsp of butter
* soup pot
* 1/2 tsp of fresh ground pepper or adjust to desired taste
* about 4-5 1″inch cubes of sharp cheddar cheese, I didn’t have any, i used the 3-4 cheese slices
* 1/4 cup of wild rice medley (totally optional) I used the one bought from trader joe’s which had some flakes of barley grains that provided a nutty taste, if you prefer. Make sure you wash it for 2-3 times

make it:
* Heat the soup pot with the butter, and once the butter melts, add the onions and garlic and saute for 4-5 mins
* Add the flour and whisk together quickly to prevent any lumps for 1 minute
* Add the vegetable stock + milk + pepper + salt
* Add the wild rice medley and simmer and let it cook for 20 mins

* After 20 mins, just check the rice, and it should be at least 50% cooked or appear semi-transparent
* Add the broccoli florets, if you think the soup is already thick, then a cup of stock or a mix of stock and warm water and let it cook for another 20 mins in medium flame
* You should see the broccoli cooked nicely and kinda breaking down into the soup, check the rice is cooked, and add the cheese cubes, stir until it melts and let it simmer for another 5-10 mins

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cracked wheat upma

My recent trip to visit some of my friends got me reminded of ‘upma’. Back home, not many are fond of this dish growing up; reason being, the simplicity of the dish could demand less focus, and hence the result of a so simple recipe could easily be messed up. But growing up I have enjoyed every bite of some of the most delicious upma in my home as well as my aunt’s. This is usually made for dinner/breakfast as an alternative to rice with either sooji or with cracked wheat.


You will need:
* 1 cup of chopped beans + carrots + 1 potato (optional)
* 4 green chillies slit lengthwise
* 1 medium onion sliced lengthwise
* 1/2 inch of ginger finely chopped
* 1 medium tomato finely chopped
* 1 cup of cracked wheat lightly roasted
* 2 tbsp of ghee

Make it:
1) In a wide pan, add 3 tbsp of oil + jeera + mustard seeds
2) Once they splutter, add the chillies + onion + ginger, fry for 2 minutes and add the chopped veggies, followed by tomatoes and salt and stir it all together and let it cook for about 5-7 minutes until the tomatoes get mushy
3) Add 2 cups of water, adjust the salt and let it come to a boil
4) Soon after the water starts to boil, add the cracked wheat and mix everything together and simmer the heat for about 10 – 12 minutes; once all the water is evaporated, add the ghee and serve hot

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a tasty bite… fried rice

Some of the days a feeling of nothing encroaches you more than you think… though I have everything I wanted I feel my friend here knocking on my door.  These are the days, when I find strength to not to focus on it and indulge in activities that give me my daily dose of energy.   Okay, let me stop my rant, and jump to the recipe that I love to make any day, come what may…




You will need:
* 1 cup jasmine rice; rinse and let it cook with 1.5 cups of water, at high to start and simmer for 20 mins after the water comes to a boil.  Check whether the rice is cooked, and spread it on a plate with a fork, so grains come apart
* 1 cup of bean sprouts (if you are using a canned, rinse it thoroughly)
* 1 cup of mixed vegetables of your choice ( broccoli + carrots + beans + snow peas)
* 2 tbps of light soy sauce
* 1/2 tsp of chilli powder + 1/2 tsp of chilli flakes (according to your desired spiciness)
* 1/2 tsp of salt

Make it:
1) In a wok, add a tsp of oil, and fry the veggies for about 5 mins in medium high flame (don’t overcook, let it retain the crunchiness)
2) Add the chilli powder followed by rice + soy sauce + chilli flakes + salt + sprouts;  mix well and serve hot

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