Friday, June 8, 2018

Kadaai chukka paneer

Stir fried paneer (Indian cheese) with capsicum and peas.

Most of us wish for something extra special for a Friday dinner and this recipe would definitely fit the bill. This Friday I made my own version of kadaai paneer, which is one of the most favorites for hubby and myself. In my view, this dish should take very less time to prepare, but would give a gorgeous look. 

Kadaai paneer came in to our kitchen, only after we tasted it in a restaurant (Data Udipi hotel) in Chennai after our marriage. As we both are from typical south Tamilnadu, our foods wouldn't have much of garam masala or strong spices. Sambar, dal , chutney, idli, dosa, vada are our specialties along with occasional non veg.  So these kind of flavorful north Indian dishes became more appetizing for us (especially when it comes to vegetarian foods). I started preparing them as close to the restaurant version after that.
Nowadays kadaai paneer takes a more liquid form, while in those days it resembled like a chukka fry (dry curry). So here is my own version of early style kadaai paneer.

Ingredients: (for 2 generous servings)
Paneer - 150 gm (cubed into small pieces)
red onion - 1 small (chopped)
red / green capsicum - half (sliced)
green peas - handful
tomato - 1 (vine tomato / country variety)
peanut oil - 2 tbsp
fennel - 1 tsp
butter 1 tbsp
salt - to taste
turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
cumin powder - 1/4 tsp
red chili powder - 1/2 tsp
coriander powder - 1 tbsp
garam masala - 1 tsp
ginger - 1 inch , garlic - cloves (crushed together)
To garnish:
chopped cilantro - 2 tbsp
finely chopped green chili - 2
Special vessel needed :
A thick iron kadaai (or) wok (or) any heavy bottom pan.

Heat oil in a heavy bottom vessel.
Add fennel, after it gets red, add chopped onion.
Stir fry it till it gets soft (not red).
Pound the ginger garlic together in a mixer or hand mortar & pestle.
Add the crushed ginger garlic mixture and stir fry for few seconds to remove raw smell.
Then add finely chopped tomato , pinch of salt.
Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder, cumin powder, salt. 
Cook covered in low heat.
Cook this till oil separates.
Microwave and cook the green peas with a tbsp of water.
Then add sliced capsicum, cooked green peas. Saute well. 
Meanwhile heat butter in a tempering wok (kadaai).
Cube the paneer.
Saute the paneer pieces all at once , till they turn soft and golden.
Pour this to the prepared masala. Stir well and bring it to a dry curry consistency.
Switch off , garnish with chopped green chili, cilantro and serve hot.
Kadaai sukka paneer is ready!

Serving suggestion:
Serve as side dish with any kind of roti, chapati, naan.
Also goes well with cumin rice, brinji rice or plain ghee rice.

Calorie calculation:
30 gm paneer (5 big pieces) - 90 cal.
This is a calorie rich dish.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Zucchini pasta

Zucchini noodles or zoodles has become a favorite for many people nowadays. I started thinking about it a lot after my sweet friend Raji told me that it tastes great and that's a low calorie food. I said to myself, 'if she says that, then that's correct'.
Then last year during the Thanksgiving sales, I got a cuisinart food processor as gift from my hubby and this spiralizing  attachment came along with that. Cuisinart's sprilaizing attachment is more user friendly (but expensive). I got it along with  13 cup food processor for $99 + free shipping from costco,  while the original price on other days is over $149.
When it comes to zoodles, I would say that it is as much satisfying as a flour based noodle. Pasta is not my childhood food, so my taste buds agree more with this plant based pasta. Hubby and myself like this very much. Whenever I prepare this, I would prepare some chicken kebab too and that's our favorite.
Hope you all like it too !

Zucchini - 2
garlic - 3 cloves
Extra virgin olive oil - 2 tbsp
salt - to taste
crushed red chili pepper - 1/2 tsp
Ragu sauce (old world style) or any pasta sauce - 1/4 cup

Spiralize the zucchini into spaghetti shape noodles. I used Cuisinart food processor's spiralizing attachment. (If the zucchini is longer, cut it into two pieces and it would be easier to spiralize in cuisinart).
Heat olive oil in a wok.
Add crushed garlic, saut'e for few seconds to remove raw smell.
Then add the zucchini noodles.
Sautee it till it is semi cooked. Add required salt, crushed chili, tomato sauce / Ragu sauce.
Mix well.
Zucchini noodles / pasta is ready !

Serving suggestions:
Serve as dinner or lunch with side dish.
I made baked chicken kofta kebab along with this.

Vazhaikkai Poriyal (Plantain stir fry)

This vazhaikai poriyal was a staple in our house as we had some (lot) of banana trees in our backyard. I have seen amma running there to pic...