Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Paneer Tawa Pulao

When I want to make something quick for my husband's lunch this Tawa pulao is something I can whip up quite easily and is spicy and tasty. I add paneer and peas (didn't have any peas when I made it this time) for some protein and also bell peppers for some crunch. Since he's not a big fan tomato, I skip it entirely and add a dash of ketchup to get some tang and colour. What sets apart a tawa pulao is the pav bhaji masala powder... it livens up the dish with a different flavour from the usual mixed rices. You could also squeeze in some lemon juice at the very end for a bright citrus taste.



Cooked Rice - 2 cups, grains should be separate not mushy, preferably Basmati
Onion - half of a medium one, chopped finely
Bell Pepper - half cup, choppedPaneer - about 100 gms, cut into small pieces
Peas - 1/4 cup, cooked (optional)
Ginger, garlic - 1 tsp each, chopped finely
Chilli powder - 1 tspPav Bhaji masala powder - 1 tbsp (or to taste)
Ketchup - 1 to 1.5 tbsp
Cumin seeds - half tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Lemon juice - to taste (optional)
Coriander leaves - 1 tbsp, chopped


1) Heat oil in a wide, shallow pan and season with cumin seeds. When they sizzle, it's time to add the onions, ginger & garlic.

2) When the onions are translucent, add the bell pepper with a bit of salt and cook until tender crisp. Then add the paneer pieces and keep tossing together so they get a bit browned.

3) Next the peas are added, if using, followed by the chilli powder and pav bhaji masala powder. After a minute or two of continuous stirring add in the ketchup followed by the rice. Taste and adjust salt and seasonings and continue to stir the rice gently until it gets completely coated with the masala. Reduce the flame and cover for a few minutes to let the flavours absorb.

4) Switch off the stove and after about 5 to 10 minutes stir in the coriander leaves and sprinkle some lemon juice before serving with raitha and chips.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Ragi Dosai

I was pleasantly surprised to find a pack of whole Ragi in my pantry - I had been putting it away assuming it was a pack of mustard seeds until I took a closer look at it one day and discovered that it was infact Ragi. The first thing that popped in my head was ragi dosai.... My mom made these amazing ragi dosais which were crispy and chewy at the same time and we would usually have it with this spicy red chilli chutney - bliss! Her method however required ground urad dhal to be mixed with ragi flour and fermented together overnight. But I remember that when my MIL was visiting us we used a recipe with whole ragi so I called her up to get this recipe & it definitely delivered.... can't wait to make it again.



Whole Ragi - 1 cup

Raw Rice - 1 cup

Urad dhal - 1/4 cup

Salt - to taste (1 to 2 tsp)
Oil - to cook dosas


1) Soak Ragi, Rice and urad dhal separately for atleast 3 hours.

2) I used a wet grinder... first grind soaked ragi for atleast 20 mins or so and then add the urad dhal and water as required and grind for another 15-20 mins, after which you add the rice and grind until you get a smooth paste... The consistency should be similar to dosa batter.

3) Add salt to taste and allow to ferment overnight (similar to idli batter). I keep it in the oven with the light on.

4) The batter is now ready to make dosais. Drop a big ladleful on a seasoned cast iron tawa and swirl to make dosas. Few drops of oil along the sides and flip over to cook the other side as well.

Enjoy with this spicy
milagai chutney or milagai podi.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Tribute...

We recently lost 2 wonderful food bloggers and both losses came as a total shock for me. First, it was Jayasree and now Miri (Raji). I could hardly believe my eyes when I read about this news from several bloggers... Just that weekend I was browsing Miri's blog and made her urulai roast for a friend's baby shower. She exhibited such enthusiasm and energy in all her posts and I particularly loved those that had her baking with her daughter because that is something I enjoy doing with my daughter too... Ever since I heard the news I can't stop thinking about her daughter and what she must be feeling... Miri & Jayasree, you both will be missed very much by all of us.

Here are pictures of the Potato Roast that I made from Miri's blog (which turned out just fabulous) ... the only change I made to her recipe was to first fry the onions and tomatoes in a tsp of oil before grinding them.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Lemon Coriander soup

It has been my kind of winter this time.... not too cold and just a dusting of snow 3 times so far and we even experienced spring like temperatures a few days in January. Even when the groundhog predicted 6 more weeks of winter I didn't feel sad for a moment because this kind of winter I can definitely handle for 6 more weeks :) That said, temperatures are still on the cold side on some days and on one such cold, wet evening my mind wandered to this delicious spicy, tangy soup we had at 'Ming', an Indo-chinese restaurant in NJ. It was a coriander soup and was broth based but not too watery and it had crispy strips of cabbage, carrots and sprouts suspended lending a nice texture.

This is my take on recreating the soup... I wouldn't say it's a perfect match to what I tasted at the restaurant but it definitely satisfied my cravings and warmed me up. It's also a good option when someone has the sniffles... since the flavours of lemon, coriander and ginger dominate this soup.



For the Soup Base:
Green chillies - 5 to 6 chopped
Ginger - 2 inch piece grated
Celery - 1-2 stalks chopped
Vegetable broth - 1 can or half vegetable bouillon cube
Water - 4 to 5 cups
Coriander stalks with some leaves - about 10 to 12

For the soup

Soup Base (above)
Thinly slivered carrot, cabbage, beans (any combination) - 1/2 cup
Chopped coriander leaves - 2 tbsp
Lemon juice - 1 to 2 tbsp (or to taste)
Salt, white pepper - to taste
Cornflour - 2 tbsp mixed with half cup water to a slurry


1) For the soup base... In a deep pot, bring to a boil the water, celery stalks, green chillies, ginger, coriander leaves and the vegetable stock. Then allow to simmer for 20-25 minutes before switching off the stove. When ready to make the soup, strain this to remove the bits of veggies and ginger and keep the flavoured broth.

2) For the soup, combine the lemony-ginger broth (from step 1 above) with the veggies and allow to boil gently until the veggies are crisp tender.

3) Add the cornflour slurry at this stage and season with salt to taste - let this boil until the soup thickens slightly.

4) Switch off the stove and add in the coriander leaves and the lemon juice. Add pepper to taste & serve hot.