Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Seekh Kebabs !!

500 gms/ 1.1 lb Lamb/Goat Minced (Keema)
3/4 tsp garam masala
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tbsp raw papaya paste/tenderizer
2 tbsp cashew nuts
2 tsp thick Cream (optional)
2 tbsp brown onion paste (deep fry onions and make a paste)
2 tsp carom seeds
2 tsp dried mango powder
3 tbsp cumin seed
1 tbsp dry ginger
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
1 tsp aniseed
1 Egg
Salt to taste

1. Mix all the ingredients to the kheema and knead well.
2. You can also use a grinder to mix the minced keema and the other ingredients.
3. Keep aside for 1 hour.
4. Heat a gas oven or an electric oven with the skewers.
5. Take a big ball of the kheema mixture and hold a hot skewer carefully in the other hand.
6. Press the mince on to a hot skewer. (Use cold water to avoid sticking of the meat to your hands)
7. The kheema will immediately stick to the hot skewer.
8. Repeat with left over mince on all the other skewers.
9. Place the skewers in the oven.
10. Keep rotating the skewers occasionally.
11. When cooked, gently remove the kebabs from the skewers with the help of a napkin or fork and serve.
Sprinkle some chat masala and lemon juice on the kebabs and serve them with mint chutney on the side.

Matar Paneer !!

250 gms of Paneer cut into cubes
1 Cup peas
2 Onions
1 inch piece of ginger
3 Tomatoes
Seeds of 1 Moti ilaichi(brown cardamom/masala cardamom)
2 cloves
1/4 Cup of well beaten curd
1 tsp of dhania pwd/coriander pwd
1/2 tsp of red chilli pwd
1/2 tsp garam masala pwd
a pinch of turmeric
3 tbsp of ghee/clarifies butter
Salt to taste

1. Deep fry (optional) paneer to a light golden brown clolor.
2. Grind onions, ginger, cloves, moti ilaichiill and tomatoes to a puree.
3. Heat ghee in a deep bottimed pan.
4. Add the puree and cook till thick and dry.
5. Slow down the heat and cook till ghee separates.
6. Add well beaten curd and cook till ghee separates again.
7. Add red chilli powder and dhania powder and saute well.
8. Add peas, cook for a minute or two.
9. Now add enough water to get a thick gravy.
10. Add salt to taste and cook covered till peas are done.
11. Add fried paneer and garam masala towards the end.
12. Now cook on low heat for 3-4 minutes till paneer gets soft and ghee separates ...yes yet again :-)

Serve hot with roi/naan/parantha

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Paneer Kofta Curry!!

"It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor. 
Would you be mine? 
Could you be mine? 
Won't you be my neighbor?"

I would be lying If I say " I have always had this love for cooking " ! True that I am a true foodie but I never had any kind of passion or any sort of inspiration for cooking during and between my childhood and my growing years. I remember like any other kid, I would run away many a times from my mothers cooking until 'Bharti Aunty' stepped into our society(community/neighborhood)!

Bharti aunty, Mama's very very dear friend more like an older sister to mama who fortunately also happened to be our neighbor. A very knowledgeable lady, full of resources and creativity :-) As a kiddo, I remember spending most of the time in her kitchen during my summer vacations. We kids enjoyed her cooking, all of us simply loved the way she created great taste in all her dishes ! " YUMMY "

My inspiration all these years without a doubt has been Parth, who is a bo(r)n vivant if I may say so ;-) , the kind of love he has for FOOD gives me the inspiration and motivation to get in the kitchen  instead of living on takeaways / takeouts :P  But my TRUE INSPIRATION definitely comes from Bharti aunty's  kick-ass cooking, yummylicious recipes and spectacular parties !
None ever missed out on any of her parties. I always loved the way she organized her parties. She usually had this to say about her guest list to mama" Vijaya, you have to be there in every single party I throw because I cannot imagine neither can I have a party without you ...and well what is a guest list without an addition of new friends combined with a couple of our own old favourites :-)

This one's to an adorable aunt  and an old favorite who lived right next door and who introduced me to all the Paneer Dishes and more ! 

Cheers to you Bharti aunty and needless to say that "I miss you dearly ..."

Ingredients For Making Koftas:-
200 gms Cottage Cheese (Paneer)
2 Boiled Potato
1/2 tsp Red Chili Powder / Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
1/4 tsp Garam Masala
2 tbsp Cornflour
Oil for frying

Ingredients For The Gravy:-
4 Onion pureed or chopped finely
4 Tomato pureed or chopped finely
Coriander Leaves (optional)
1/2 cup Curd
1/2 cup Cashew nut Paste /Powder
1/2 tsp Cumin Seed
1/2 tsp Red Chili Powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric
1/4 tsp Garam Masala
1 Bay Leaf
1 Cup of fresh cream (optional)
2 tbsp Clarified Butter (Ghee)
Salt to Taste

 Method For Making Paneer Koftas:-
1. Boil the potatoes and peel them.
2. Grate paneer and potatoes.
3. Add salt, red chili powder/kashmiri chilli powder, garam masala, cornflour and mix well.
4. Gently make round balls of this mixture.
5. Now heat oil in a pan for some deep frying.
6. Fry balls in the oil till brown in color.

Method For Making the Gravy:- 
1. Grind onion and tomatoes together.
2. Chop coriander leaves very finely (optional)
3. Heat oil in a pan.
4. Add cumin seed and bay leaf.
5. Add onion, tomato paste and brown it, stirring continuously.
6. When it leaves oil add curd, cashew nut paste/powder, salt, red chili powder, turmeric, garam masala.
7. Stir it continuously for a minute.
8. Then add 2 cup of water. You can also add cream instead of water.
9. Put on the lid and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
10. While serving reheat the gravy and then add koftas to it.
11. Garnish it with grated paneer and serve hot with Roti, Naan or Rice.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Veg (Potato & Peas) Pastry Puffs !!

OH The joys of having a school bus stop right there in your front yard :-)
You make an eye contact with the kids and there they are asking this out loud ..
" HellO there !!! would you to like buy some cookies pls, cookie dough or some coupons maybe ?

This School Bus Stop sure brings in wonderful memories for me. Needless to say that a combination or rogue and  beautiful memories are flashing back ever since we have moved in. 
 Yes, I am recalling the pleasures of having a school bus stop in our back yard... back home!

I've been talking over and over again to Parth about the advantages and disadvantages of having a STOP that too a 'School Bus Stop' in one's front yard. I remember, our School bus used to pick us up as early as 6.45 in the morning. Trust me these early mornings were never peaceful then... not that they are any better now..well we'll get to that later ;-) 

I was more often caught for adjusting and changing the timings on the alarm clocks to avoid early morning wake-ups...and when I did that, boy I must admit... I may have or rather I have caused a lot of panic and stress for my Mother as well as for Ragini :(  It was the most stressful and craziest thing for my mother to get me out of the bed, ensure that I was fed and was neatly dressed up ready to go to school. I thank her for being so patient with me and for not kicking me out to the door to go to school :)

I also thank Ragini for being there for my mother and me, she was a 'GODSEND' to alleviate our stress in many ways than just one. She often stood there for me at the bus stop while I got my school shoes (black/canvas) on, while I did my bit of last minute revisions at the breakfast table during my exam days and even then ...when I thought I needed those 5 minutes of a catnap :D
No matter how deprived one was of sleep, I fail to recollect if any of us ever tried catching up on naps on our way to school ...even when it took us a good 45-50 minutes to reach our school ..this was  during the 80's and early 90's, as kids that I recall we never gave ourselves a chance to escape from any of the useless  conversations as in "Gappa Tappas"along with yummy cup cakes and pastry puffs that 'Kanchu' dear got in every single morning for us from a nearby pastry shop ! 
We absolutely believed in no escapes from all that goodness for something called 'catnaps' ! Huh !!! 

As I reminisce the good ol'days endlessly here on my blog,
you folks go check out the recipe for goodness from our good ol'days!  

Aaah !!!  the joys of reminiscing :-) 

1 Puff pastry sheet thawed
1/2 Cup chopped Onions
2 Cups cooked/boiled and mashed/ finely cubed Potatoes
1/2 Cup Peas
1 Tsp Cumin
1/4 Tsp Turmeric
1/2 Tsp Chilli powder
1 tsp Of Garam masala 
2 Tbsp Oil
1/2 cup chopped Cilantro

Salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cook, peel and mash potatoes lightly.
3. Heat oil in a wide pan.
4. Add cumin and stir for a few seconds.
5. Add chopped onions, turmeric, chilli powder and garam masala.
6. Stir fry for a few minutes.
7. Add peas to the onion-spice mixture and continue stirring until the peas are cooked.
8. Add potatoes to the mixture and continue stirring.
9. Add salt and mix well.
10. Let the the potatoes and peas cook for about 10 minutes.
11. Remove from heat and mix in the chopped cilantro
12. Roll out the puff pastry sheet with a rolling pin to remove all creases.
13. Cut the sheet into three strips of the same size
14. Cut each strip in half horizontally.
15. Take one half sheet and place a table spoon of filling and fold it closed. Seal it shut with a little water.
16. Do the same for all the remaining pastry sheets.
17. Grease a cookie sheet and place the filled puff pastry on it and place in oven.
18. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden brown.
19. Serve warm, either by itself or with mint chutney.

20.  And now stay tuned in for some more WINTER WARMING RECIPES

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Coconut Macaroons !!

"Oh the weather outside is not so frightful,
Yet the fire inside is so delightful :-)
As we enjoy our Cuppa Chai with some KHANDVO ;-)
I wish and pray to you oh Lord ....

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! "

My dear readers, it is that time of the year again where you want to have a nice balance of being cozy and stylish ! During this time it is that I see many of my friends coming out of their 'Northface' inspired closets:-) some bring in the Fur from the 70's while the others prefer the leather look from the 80's ! For me, this year seems to be the warmest of all :D I guess I won't be shopping around or spending much on heavy layered jackets and stuff like that;-) something that is lightly layered will also do...

Since, it is our First winter in our new home we expect it to be the warmest one :-) and I have found out a trick on how to keep us warm and cosy all around this winter! Surprised? Dear all that is becuase I plan on a lot of Baking this Wintry Season ! HO hO hO :-)

Ohkay, as I've said this already that the weather outside is not so frightful....but yes we are expecting some flurries all day long! Hmmm now that most certainly says winter is here ! 
So, if we have Snow flurries outside :( Don't Worry :) I'll be having some Shredded Coconut Flurries melting down inside in the oven!   

"On that flurry it's 
Time to try out these yummy Coconut Macaroons all dressed up in Divine Chocolate !" 

Preparation time:- 10 - 15 minutes
Baking time:- 20-30 minutes
1 Cup cream of coconut
2 Tbsp of light corn syrup
4 Large egg whites
2 Tsp of vanilla extract
1/2 Tsp of salt
3 Cups unsweetened shredded coconut
3 Cups of Sweetened flaked or shredded coconut
2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

1. Adjust the oven racks to the upper and lower middle positions and heat the oven to 300 degrees F.
2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.Lightly spray the parchment with non-stick cooking spray.
3. Whisk together the cream of coconut, corn syrup, egg whites, vanilla and salt in a small bowl; set aside.
4.Combine the unsweetened and sweetened coconut in a large bowl; toss together, breaking up lumps with your finger tips. NOTE:- GENTLY !
5. Pour the liquid ingredients into the coconut and mix it with a rubber spatula until evenly moistened.
6. Drop rounded tablespoons of macaroon batter onto the cookie sheet about 2-inches apart.
7. Gently pinch the mounds into rough pyramids with your finger tips, moistening your hands with cold water as and when necessary to avoid sticking.
8. Bake in the preheated 300° F oven until the cookies are light golden brown, about 15 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time.
9. Cool cookies on the baking sheets until slightly set, about 2 minutes; remove to a wire rack with a wide metal spatula.
10. The coconut macaroons are perfectly fine at this stage and now all you want is to dress them up with warm chocolate.
11. Melt 1 cup of chocolate using the microwave.
12. To melt the chocolate in a microwave, heat at 50% power for only 3 minutes and stir. If not entirely melted, heat it again for an additional 30 seconds at 50% power.
13. Your melted chocolate is ready.
14. Gently dip the bottom half of each coconut macaroon into the melted chocolate.
15. Now place the chocolate coated macaroons back on the cookie sheet and allow them to rest until the chocolate hardens or refrigerate it for 5-10 minutes, until the chocolate is set.

*** Remember what " oops! in da kitchen wid Roops!! " has to say -" When baking, follow the directions. When cooking, go by your own taste !!! "