Archive for the ‘Paneer’ Category

Paneer Mooli Paratha (Cheese and Radish Flat Bread)

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Suddenly, this weekend our laptop went kaput and since we surf a lot, missing our dear friend laptop gave me this “gyan” on sharing things at home. At this stage( after two days of sharing N’s computer), if you ask me what is needed for a happy home, I would change my mind and say two of everything, the toppers in my list are:

Car is a must in Texas, else you can’t even cross one street. Honestly, I have never seen people walking in this state, the weather also adds to that factor. Or I should say the bigger the car, the better. Small smart cars will simply fly away from the roads given the numbers and speed of SUV’s zooming on all four sides in our freeways.

Next comes a personal space and a PC. It is almost like when you see a sign saying wet paint you want to touch it to make sure that it is still wet- Once a PC goes kaput, you think of all the things you want to do on your computer, right this minute and that task cannot wait. But, most of all I wish the TV Manufacturer’s would supply a TV with two remotes. Half the time, I spend walking all the way from the kitchen to the living room to reduce the volume and always our list of channels to watch clashes :(

But sharing is also good for some reasons, like this paratha. We decided to take turns to work in the kitchen and I made the filling and N made the parathas(good excuse, thanks to stirring the Moong Halwa). Radish is good for the liver and I tend to buy radish almost every week to use in sambar, poriyals,salads or parathas. The chili Paneer stuffing is the paneer left from my attempt at making chili infused paneer.

Ingredients (Makes 9 Parathas)

For the Parathas:
Wheat flour- 2 cups
Water- just enough to knead (1/2 cup -3/4th of the cup)
Salt- 1/4 tsp
Olive oil- 1/2 tsp

For the filling:
Chili Paneer- 1/2 cup
Red onions-1/4 cup- chopped
White radish – 1 medium size
Finely chopped green chili-1
Garam Masala Powder- 3/4 tsp
Coriander leaves- chopped- 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Salt- to taste
Oil- 1 tsp
Cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp

Add salt, olive oil to the flour and add just enough water(1/2- 3/4th of the same measuring cup) to knead the flour into a thick dough. Cover and keep aside.

The Method to make chili paneer can be found from my previous post  here. I wanted to use the chili paneer for this paratha, but you can also use plain paneer if you have it in hand.

Grate the radish and squeeze well to remove all the water. Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. When they sizzle add chopped onions and green chili. Stir fry well till onion turns transparent. Add salt, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, grated radish and stir fry for another 4-5 minutes. Add the paneer and mix well. Let it cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add coriander leaves and mix once. Switch off. Let it cool and divide it into equal parts.

Divide the dough into equal parts. Take one lemon sized ball of the paratha dough and roll it flat. Keep one portion of the paratha filling and cover it from all sides with the rolled out dough. Slightly roll the pin again and make it flat and slightly thin. Make sure that you don’t apply too much of pressure and squeeze out all the filling.

Heat a frying pan and transfer the paratha to the pan. Apply ghee/butter on all sides and on top. Let it cook and turn golden brown on one side. Flip the paratha on the other side, slightly dab it with ghee. Let it turn golden brown on this side as well.

Serve with pickles and yogurt or with cucumber raitha. You can also include mashes potatoes and peas in this paratha to make it a veggie delight. You can also stuff the filling between two thin rotis to make like a paratha.

This Paneer Mooli Paratha for simple and tasty dinner is my entry for Sara’s Cooking For Kids an event started by Sharmi of Neivedyam .

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Chili n Paneer rice…I mean Chili in Paneer!

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Usually on Kanum Pongal day, we would prepare an array of rice dishes. I suppose the tradition started in the olden days to include more vegetables and fruits into the diet citing festivals as a reason. Aviyal is a good example where there are at least five vegetables in one dish. Sometimes the festival recipes feature the seasonal fruits, like nagapazham for Vinayaka chaturti or Sugarcane for Pongal, Multi-Vegetable Kootu for thiruvadirai etc.,

But this year, I wanted to do something different. Basically the reason was that I had some mushrooms I got last week that I needed to use fast, and broccoli was also in the same condition. I had made a special spicy paneer last week and I had to use that as well.

N is not too fond of mushrooms or zucchini or broccoli and I always have a tough time to make him eat those. But he loves chinese food and this is how I fooled him into eating veggies that he does not like, by making a chili Paneer Rice..Nope, not paneer in chili sauce but chili in panner. And a cheeky way to finish off the left over rice as well.. Interesting? Read on…

Ingredients: (Serves-2)

To Make Chili Paneer:
Milk- 2 cups (400 ml)
Yogurt- 2 tbsp
Sambal Oelek Paste- 1 tbsp
Finely Chopped Green Chilies- 2

For the rice:
Basmati rice-1 cup
Mixed vegetables like Carrot, Broccoli, Cauliflower,Peas,Mushrooms- 1 cup
Red onion- One small size
Finely Chopped Green Chili-1
Sunflower oil- 1 tbsp
Green onions- to garnish
Cilantro- to garnish
Salt- to taste

Sauces Needed:
Sambal oelek- 1 tsp
Sriracha hot sauce- 1 tsp
Schezwan sauce- 1 tsp
White Pepper powder- 1 pinch
Soy Sauce- 1 tbsp

To make the Chili Paneer:

Simmer the milk and when it is about to boil, add the yogurt and lemon juice and let the milk curdle. Simmer for another 3-4 minutes, switch off, add about 1/4 cup of ice cold water(to get more paneer). Add the chopped green chilies and sambal oelek. Hang the Paneer in a cheese cloth or through a strainer.

Drain the whey water from the paneer. Shape the paneer into cubes and shallow fry in oil. I made small lime size rounds out of chili paneer and shallow fried them in my appam pan. Once paneer is fried on both sides, drain the oil and keep the chili paneer aside.

This Paneer can be made ahead and stored in a refrigerator to use in any snacks, samosas or as a topping. Just have the store bought Paneer? Quickly grate it and mix it with the sauce and proceed like above.

For the rice:

Wash the rice well and cook it with 2 cups of water and salt to taste. Fluff it with a fork and keep aside. Fried rice usually tastes better with left over rice so use any left over rice if it is handy.

Heat Sunflower oil in a frying pan/Wok and add chopped red onions and all other veggies. Add salt and quickly stir fry till the veggies are 3/4th cooked. Add the Chili Paneer, the sauces(Sambal Oelek,Sriracha Hot Sauce,Soy Sauce), pepper powder and stir fry for another 2-3 minutes, mixing the ingredients well. Add the rice and quickly mix once.Check for salt and add more if needed.

Garnish with green onions and cilantro. Serve hot with a smile as though you don’t know what veggies are hidden inside 😀

Don’t want to use rice? Use some rice noodles/ wheat noodles instead. Still no? Just stir the Chili Paneer in veggies and use in as a wrap.

This version of Vegetables in Chili Paneer as a topping/filling for samosas, bhel puris, spread for pav bhaji/Wrap is one entry and the chili paneer fried rice is my second entry for Radhika’s Healthy Fast Food Event, hosted along with Sudeshna of Cook like a Bong.

Speaking of Paneer, isn’t it our desi answer for cheese? So why not munch the crunchy Paneer Kofta as a snack with a cup of tea?

Here they are, Paneer Koftas, as a Sunday Snack for Mirch Masala’s Sunday Snack Cheese Event.

I am also reposting another entry Mirchi Ka Salan for Priya’s Sesame Seeds Event.

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Paneer Kofta Biryani

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

Most often our weekend menu would be a variety rice like tomato rice or biryani or bisi-bela-bath. Since weekends are the majority of the time hubby and I get to spend in the kitchen, we cook these dishes talking, chopping veggies, making raithas etc.,

I should thank my sister here for teaching me how to make a proper biryani. She lives in the middle east and she can give you recipes for 10 different types of biryanis just like without any reference, egg biryani(muttai biryani), nargisi biryani, kofta biryani, dum biryani, plain tomato and onion biryani, biryani with plain spices, nuts and fruits….So the only thing I do when I get to meet her is to eat(or rather stuff myself) and copy down all her new experiments.

I also followed her advice on getting a good clay pot(mann-pathiram) to make biryanis to get that earthy flavor. I searched for the pot here in Houston and got a good clay pot for around $10 in an indian store. Its just amazing that the rice never sticks to the clay pot. Natural non stick??

The only thing I gotta remember is to soak the clay pot and its lid in water atleast an hour before cooking. The first time I cooked with the pot, I soaked it in water overnight.

This weekend I started making koftas and jeera rice but then changed my mind halfway(too lazy to make another gravy) and made kofta biryani instead. Here is the recipe for the biryani, it is kind of time consuming and will take atleast 2 hours from start to finish but the taste is amazing!

Measurements are for 2-3 people:

For the rice:
Basmati rice- 1.25 cups
Jeera- 1 tsp
Bay leaf-1
Salt- 1/2 tsp
Cardamom- 2-3 pods
Clove- 2 sticks
Butter- 1 tbsp

For the marinade:
Finely chopped tomatoes- 1 cup
Well beaten yogurt(without lumps)- 1 cup
Ginger garlic paster- 1 tsp
Red chili powder-1/2 tsp
Garam Masala powder- 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Salt- 1 tsp
Finely chopped green chilies- 3 numbers
Finely chopped coriander leaves- 1/4 bunch
Finely chopped mint leaves-1/4 bunch
Cardamom pods-2 numbers
Finely Chopped Onion- 1/4 cup

For the Koftas:(makes 14 koftas)
Grated Paneer- 1/2 cup
Potatoes- 4 numbers
Carrot- 2 numbers
Peas- 1/4 cup
Beans-a few well chopped
Salt- to taste
Garam Masala Powder- 1/2 tsp
Kofta Masala Powder- 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves- 2 tbsp
Oil- 2 tbsp

To make the rice:
Wash and soak basmati rice in water for 10 minutes. Heat a pan and add butter to it. When the butter melts add cumin seeds, bay leaf, cardamom, clove and the drained rice. Fry well till the sizzling sound of the soaked rice disappears. Transfer to a cooking vessel, add 2 parts water to one part rice(I added 2.5 cups) and cook like normal rice in a pressure cooker. When cool, fluff up the rice with a fork.

Preparing the marinade:
Mix everything under the marinade list except onions and let the marinade sit inside refridgerator for at least 30 mins. The more time it sits, the more it absorbs the flavors. I prepare it ahead of time and let it sit overnight sometimes.

Preparing the koftas:

Boil and mash potatoes and peas. Grate carrots. In a pan, add oil and saute mashed potatoes, peas, grated carrots,beans and grated paneer with garam masala powder, salt , kofta masala powder. Cook till there is no raw smell(7-8 mins). Add coriander leaves and let it slightly cool.

When cool enough to handle, make lemon sized balls out of the mixture. I do not deep fry koftas, but I fry them in my appam pan. When both sides of the kofta turns brown remove and keep aside.

Putting it all together:

Heat oil in a pan(again) and add the chopped onions that we didnt use for the marinade. When onion turns brown, pour the marinade to the pan and let all the water from the yogurt evaporate. Do not add additional water to cook. Just let the water from the yogurt sizzle away, and reduce, wait till the oil separates(12- 15 minutes). Keep aside.

Now is the time for our clay pot. Pour out all the water we used to soak the pot in. Slightly smear the inside of the pot with ghee. Always fill the bottom layer with jeera rice. Pour a ladleful of cooked marinade on top and add a couple of cooked koftas then start another layer of rice,cooked marinade and finish the top layer as rice later. Pour some lemon juice on top if desired. Garnish with cilantro,mint leaves. Wrap the top completely with a foil. Keep the pot inside oven and then start the oven to pre heat. Never preheat the oven for clay pots as it may break. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. A similar procedure can also be followed for baking any biryani in a baking tray. Remove the foil and serve hot with raithas. Enjoy!!

I would like to send this entry to the event Jihva for Ingredients originally started by Indira of Mahanandi.

This JFI event is hosted in November as Jhiva for Ingredients-Paneer.

This Paneer Kofta Biryani also goes to WYF speciality food event.

This paneer kofta biryani also goes to SriLehkas EFM Variety rice series.

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Paneer Makhni

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

Paneer butter masala is one of my favorite dishes since childhood. Naan and panner butter masala would be my favorite dishes to order at any restaurant when I was a kid. This Paneer makhni is also a version of the panner butter masala I make at home. Paneer is home made indian cheese and it is versatile in its uses. It is used in savory dishes like briyani, gravies, pulaos, kormas, rices, wraps and in sweets like rasgulla and rasmalai.


Panner- 1/2 packet (atleast 12-16 pieces)

Tomato- 3 (big)

Red onion- 1 small

Ginger garlic paste- 1 tsp

Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp

Paprika- 1 tsp

Garam Masala powder- 1/4 tsp

Dhania powder- 1/4 tsp

Heavy cream- 1/4 cup

Salt – 1 tsp

Oil- 1 tsp

Cashewnuts- 1 tsp

Cumin seeds- 1 tsp

Water- 2 cups


Chop and grind onion in to a fine paste.

Boil water in a pan and let the tomatoes sit in it for 10 minutes. Peel off the skin of tomatoes and grind them into a thick paste.

Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. When they splutter, add ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell disappears.

Add onion paste in the pan and fry well for 4-5 minutes, till the paste turns slightly brown. Add the tomato puree and mix well.

Now add in the powders, turmeric powder, salt, paprika, garam masala, dhania powder and mix well.  Let the puree come together with the powders(thicken up). Pour two cups of water, cover and cook for 10 minutes.

Now add the paneer pieces and simmer for another 10 minutes.

In the mean time, soak cashew nuts in warm water(1 tbsp). Grind the nuts in to a smooth paste along with the cream.

Pour this cashew-cream mix on top of the paneer gravy, let it boil for  two minutes and switch off.

Serve  hot with Jeera rice, rotis or naan.

This Paneer Makhni is my entry for “Tried and Tasted” even, as I tried this recipe from Sunshine Mom’s website.

This event was originally started by Zlamushka .

This event is hosted for November 2009 by Raaga.

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