Lasooni Chana Paneer

BM #112 : Week 3, Day 3
Theme : A-Z Curries

I got this recipe from a friend of mine and she told me that it’s her regular base recipe. She makes a big batch of the below garlic paste and the uses a spoon or two as needed for various Curries or rice preparations throughout the week. Here I have used the whole batch for a single curry and as you can guess from the ingredient list, it is a very spicy dish. You can always use half of the spice paste and make it less spicer or simple reduce the amount of chilies and black pepper.

Here I have used what I had at home which happened to be Chana and paneer. You can use any vegetable you have at home. If you are using this for rice preparations, go about it the same way – Sauté the prepared garlic paste in oil after cooking the onions, then cook along with vegetables of your choice and rice.

Between pepper and red chilies, the paste is really spicy, but I find the taste quite alright and not overwhelming for us. In a nutshell, the paste contains about one whole garlic, a big piece of ginger, Handful of red chilies, a handful of black pepper and a bit of Jeera. The measurements here are based on that and you can always adjust it according to your preference. This curry goes well with rice and roti. I prefer it with rice.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

For the garlic paste:

  • 2” piece ginger, peeled
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • 10-12 red chilies or per taste
  • 3 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 teaspoon jeera

For the curry

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • Curry paste from above
  • 2 cups cooked Chana
  • 1 cup diced paneer or more
  • Salt as needed
  • Coriander leaves for garnish

Method:

  1. In a blender jar, grind the ginger, garlic, red chilies, pepper and jeera to a paste. Grind without water first, but if needed, add a spoonful of water to help with grinding. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan. Add onions and sauté until it turns pink. Add the ground masala and sauté till the raw smell goes away. Add the tomatoes and cover and cook until tomatoes are soft and done. You can sprinkle some water if the curry looks dry and starts to stick to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add the cooked Chana, paneer, salt as needed and one cup of water. Mix everything well and add more water, if needed, to bring to the consistency of your choice. Bring it to a boil, taste test and adjust seasonings. Remove from heat, serve with rice or roti.

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Kadai Kumbh Palak

BM #112 : Week 3, Day 2
Theme : A-Z Curries

The library here was one of the first places to close when COVID 19 started spreading. They had emailed us to let us know that we should hold on to the books we borrowed until further notice. They are renewing the books from their end to avoid fines during this time. It’s a blessing that we can borrow digital copies using their App. I am fine reading a book in my phone, but somehow for cookbooks I don’t like the digital copy. I still prefer the paper copy.

So good thing is that, I am home with some really good books. One of which is Vegan Richa’s Indian cooking. I have already checked out that book couple of times and every recipe I have tried so far has been delicious. I am sure it’s a matter of time before I will be buying a copy of this book, but until then I have the library copy with me.

This is a mushroom and spinach curry with a base tomato gravy is from that book. I added some onions and peppers too to the mix, it’s a simple recipe to make and it was delicious. I had made extra servings, but it all got finished in one go – which I think is a good sign:-).

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup mixed peppers, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green chilies, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon kasoori methi
  • 3 big tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups packed spinach
  • Salt

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a pan. Add garlic, green chilies, peppers and onion. Sauté until onion changes color. Now add the spices – coriander powder, garam masala, chili powder, kasoori methi and salt. Cook for a minute. Add the tomatoes, mix well, cover and cook until it’s mushy. About 5 minutes or so.
  2. Add mushrooms, spinach. Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of water, if needed. Mix well, reduce heat, cover and cook until the mushrooms are done. Taste test and adjust seasonings. Serve with rice or roti.

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Jalfrezi curry

BM #112 : Week 3, Day 1
Theme : A-Z Curries

Like I mentioned last week, we have been shopping exclusively from Costco for the last two months. So the vegetable choices have been mainly limited to tomatoes, spinach, carrots, potatoes, beans and peppers. Thankfully for this curry, that combination of vegetables work pretty well. Paneer would also be a good addition to this curry, but I skipped since I didn’t have any.

This curry involves making of the base tomato gravy first and then mixing it with cooked vegetables. I usually cook a double batch of the gravy, that way I will have some extra in the fridge to whip another batch quickly. It pairs well with both rice (plain basmati or jeera rice) and roti. You can try steaming the vegetables too.

Read on for the recipe

Ingredients:

For the gravy:

  • 2 tablespoons oil / ghee
  • 2 cloves, optional
  • 1” piece cinnamon stick, optional
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2” piece ginger, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 green chilies or per taste
  • 3 dried Kashmiri red chilies
  • 4 big tomatoes, chopped
  • 15 cashews/ walnuts/ almonds
  • Salt to taste

For the curry :

  • 2 tablespoons ghee/oil
  • 1 teaspoon jeera
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 medium green pepper , cut into finger long thin slices
  • 1 medium yellow pepper, cut into finger long thin slices
  • 1 medium red pepper, cut into finger thin long slices
  • 10-12 green beans, cut into finger long thin slices
  • 1 medium carrots, cut into finger long thin slices
  • 1 medium potato, cut into finger long thin slices
  • salt to taste

Method:

  1. For the tomato gravy, heat oil or ghee or butter In a pan. Add the cloves and cinnamon stick, if using. Add the chopped onions along with minced ginger, garlic and green and red chilies . Sauté until the onions turn pink. Add the nuts of your choice.
  2. Add the tomatoes and cook until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat, Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes until the tomatoes are cooked completely. Remove from heat. Let it cool completely and grind into a fine paste. Set aside.
  3. While the tomatoes are cooling, prepare the curry. Cut all the vegetables into long thin slices like French fries.
  4. Heat oil/ghee/butter in a pan. Add jeera seeds and once it crackles, add the vegetables, one at a time. Add turmeric powder and salt as needed.
  5. Mix everything carefully and cover and cook until the vegetables are done. You might want to sprinkle some water if it’s too dry.
  6. Once the vegetables are cooked, add the ground paste. Add half the paste first and then proceed to add the rest depending on how the curry looks. You needn’t add all the gravy if you want the curry to be a little on the dry side. Taste test and adjust seasonings if needed. Serve with Roti or rice.

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Moong dal with Dill leaves

BM #106: Week 1, Day 1
Theme : Packed Lunchboxes

My husband’s lunchbox and my son’s lunchbox are completely different. My husband prefers rice and my son doesn’t like rice. I serve rice to my son when he is back from school and pack something light for his lunchbox. Pasta is the only thing they agree on.

Here is a sample of my husband’s lunch. I usually pack a salad or a cooked vegetable on the side, but I was out of time to do so. Dal with dill leaves is a recipe I learnt from my friend and I love it.

Read on for the recipe.

Recipe source: My friend Devi

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup moong dal
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 green chilies, roughly chopped
  • 1″ piece ginger, grated or minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt as needed
  • 1 cup chopped dill leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala

Method:

  1. Wash the dal and pressure cook with the diced tomatoes, onions, chilies , ginger, garlic and turmeric powder. Add about 2.5 cups of water or until the dal is completely submerged and water floats about an inch on top. Pressure cook for 6 whistles (6 minutes in Manual setting in Instant Pot) or until the dal is cooked completely. I use pot in pot method. Let the pressure release naturally.
  2. Heat ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds. Once the seeds splutter, add the cooked dal. Add salt as needed and garam Masala. Roughly chop the dill leaves and add it to the dal. Let everything cook together for a couple of minutes. You can add more water if the dal is dry. Taste test, adjust seasonings. Take off the heat and serve with rice, pickle and chips.

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