Paneer Bhurji & Kathi roll

I feel paneer and potato are similar in more ways than one. Both are versatile and universally acclaimed. Of course, paneer is mostly used by Indians but still those who taste it once, will crave for it ever. Not to mention, both of them starts with the letter 'p' :) I'm leaving the potatoes here and going ahead with paneer to make a very simple and quick dish - paneer bhurji. You can use your creativity to come up with various other recipes using this as the base.

Paneer is Indian cottage cheese which is a rich source of protein good enough to substitute for meat. I have also mixed a handful of spinach in this recipe for extra nutrition. It is always better to mix a variety of vegetables/ingredients to get all possible nutrients in a single meal.Not only that, this strategy can be used to make your kids(sometimes even adults) eat things which they normally resist. But ofkors, the ingredients should blend well to make the meal tasty.

Grated Paneer 2 cups
Jeera - 2 tsp
Onions - 1 or 2 finely chopped
Tomatoes - 1 (grated)
Chopped spinach - half a cup
Crushed green chillies - 2 tsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Dhania powder - 1 tsp
Chilli powder - 2 tsp
Kasoori methi - 1 tsp
Chopped Coriander to garnish
Salt to taste

Method :
1. Heat oil, season jeera, fry the onions.
2. Add the chillies and ginger garlic paste and fry.
3. Add spinach, fry half a minute and add the tomatoes.
4. Add the dry powders after the tomatoes get cooked.
5. Add paneer and a little water and cook till done. Be careful while adding salt as the paneer might be salty already. I made use of the masala paneer available in the Indian grocery. Give it a try.
6. Garnish with coriander and serve with rotis.

Serving tips:
1. You can use this to make paneer kathi rolls. Spread the paneer on the rotis and roll them tight to make the kathi rolls or wrap. You can heat it once on a tawa if you wish to. This can be used for travel or pack lunch boxes. It can be served anytime of the day. This is also a way to use your leftover rotis. You can also use this idea to conceal veggies which your kids don't eat otherwise.

2. You can stuff this inside dosa to make paneer masala dosa. The other way is, arrange 2 or 3 layers of dosa with paneer in between, roll them tight, slice them into pieces and serve. You can pour some curd on the top and serve as curd dosa similar to curd vada.

3. You can make paneer sandwiches by filling this in between bread slices and toasting it or even make stuffed paneer parathas.

Needless to say, this goes to the kids lunch event.

Nutty n Creamy Veg Soup

This richly flavored soup has the goodness of milk n nuts and the nourishment of vegetables which makes it a wholesome diet. It is absolutely healthy and a quick recipe. When I was thinking what to cook on a lazy afternoon, (Well, all my afternoons are synonymous with laziness) this recipe struck me. I added whatever I could lay my hands on and finally it did turnout lip-smacking. I always cook any dish as if I were an expert at that and so far the confidence has lent me a helping hand. I guess my passion for good food and the joy of making it all by myself are the driving forces for me to experiment with various recipes. Hope I will master it someday. So far so good. Let's get back to business now.
First comes the preparation of white sauce which is the base for any creamy soup.
Milk - 1 to 1 1/2 cups.
Corn flour - 6tsp
Butter - 1 tablespoon

1. Melt the butter on a pan and fry the corn flour till the aroma comes out.
2. Add the milk little by little and boil till it thickens. Take care that no lumps form.

Now, for the soup.


Grated Carrots - 1
Fresh green peas - half a cup
Spinach - a handful finely chopped
Almonds - 10
Cashews - 5
salt and pepper to taste


1. Pressure cook the veggies, make it into a paste and keep aside.
2. Soak the almonds and cashews in water. Remove the skin of almonds and grind the nuts with a little milk. Now boil the paste with a little milk or microwave for a minute or two.
3. Mix the white sauce, nuts paste, veggie paste, salt and add enough water to bring it to a soup consistency. Bring it to boil. Add pepper.
Your heart warming soup is ready to serve. Though not a chinese preparation, I chose to garnish it with spring onions and it tasted good.

A nutty soup for the naughty kids out there and I am sending this kid-friendly soup to the monthly mingle.

Dum aloo gravy

comes as a follow-up of the aloo fry I made few days ago. Dum aloo has potatoes simmered in tomato gravy along with Indian spices. I have made this the Punjabi way. I guess for the Kashmiri style, dry fruits are stuffed inside potato balls. Somehow, the idea does not appeal to me and I feel dry fruits are made for sweets and desserts. I like to have it the spicy way. Here's one more recipe that gets into the punjabi, aloo label. Go for it!


Potatoes or baby potatoes - 1/2 kg
Onions - 2
Tomato - 2
Curd - 2 tablespoon
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 2 tablespoon
Salt to taste

Dry roast and grind to powder:
Dry Chillies - 3
Pepper - 2 tsp
Dhaniya - 2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Cinnamon - 1
Cardomom - 1


1. Boil the potatoes, Cut into small cubes, deep fry in oil till golden brown and keep aside.
2. Add oil and fry the chopped onions or onion paste till light brown. Read this if you are using onion paste.
3. Add the tomatoes, ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, salt and cook.
4. Add the fried potatoes and spice powder. Add curd and a little water and simmer the gravy.
5. Garnish with coriander.

And I forgot to tell you, this is the one that enlightened me about the use of onion paste - my previous post.

Cooking lessons unleashed ...

The last time I made channa masala, the gravy was slightly bitter when I tasted, for some weird reason. I could not figure out why and added a bit of lemon juice, sugar, curd and whatnot to nullify the bitterness. I did suceed in the mission but the question what made the gravy bitter was eating me up for quite sometime now. Was it because of the cilantro or the ground channa that I added to thicken the gravy or kasoori methi that I added to flavour it? No clue. So this time when I started making a gravy in similar fashion, I decided to taste it after adding every ingredient to find out the culprit. Voila! I could find it out in the very first step. It was because of the raw onion paste I used for cooking. I googled to find out if I was right and as usual it came up with number of such cases. What I understand is grinding the raw onions releases certain enzymes which causes the bitterness. The sulphurous or whatever-they-are compounds which makes us cry react with the metals used for cooking, making the paste green and needs a longer cooking time to get rid of the harsh raw taste. This is more pronounced in yellow onions and I have not observed this with the onions that are available back home. The remedies can be either sauteing the onions till translucent or Blanching/microwaving the onions throughly before grinding. Alternatively, it is better to grate or dice the onions. Also, be sure to get rid of the bulb and roots. I had to dispose of the stuff and start all over again. It was disheartening and irritating but felt good that the mystery was finally unraveled. So when your onion paste turns green on cooking, it is not a go but a stop signal!
It's great to learn from your mistakes, but it's even better to learn from others' mistakes.

Coconut Milk Pulav

which is a little different from the normal spicy pulav vareities. The colorful, sweet, nutritious, non-spicy and yummy dish is an ideal meal for kids. Why am I suddenly concerned about cooking for kids? Read through the post.


Basmathi rice - 1 cup (Soaked in water for 10 min)
Coconut Milk - 1 cup
Carrot - 1 sliced diagonally
Peas - half a cup
Cloves - 2
Green chillies slitted - 1 or 2
Cashews fried in ghee - 5 to 10
Butter - 2 tsp
Jeera - 2 tsp
Chopped coriander to garnish
Salt to taste


1. Heat the cooker vessel, add the butter and season with jeera and cloves.
2. Add the soaked rice and coconut milk. Add half a cup of water.
3. Add the veg, chillies, salt and cook till done. (10 to 15 min in medium flame) Don't use the weight.
4. Garnish with chopped coriander and fried cashews.

Serving Tip : Remove the cloves and add a dollop of ghee. Serve with potato wafers and curd.

I made this for dinner yesterday and only then did I notice this event. What a coincidence!!!
And now you get the drift as to why I was talking about kid's lunch.
Sending my recipe to the events.

Veg Samosas

A samosa, a stuffed pastry is a common snack in most parts of Asia. The outer shell is made of maida flour and is filled with a potato savory. It's a wonderful party snack and has become quite popular across the globe. I find it under the starters category in every other restaurant here. Like all other potato recipes, it is dangerously delicious. You might take a try on baking the samosas instead of frying, if you wish to make it oil free and do let me know.
Now, for my recipe...


For the filling:

Potatoes - 2 (boiled and mashed)
Onions - 1 finely
Chopped Peas -1 cup boiled
Green Chillies- 3 finely chopped
Dhania Powder - 2 tsp
Chilli Powder - 2 tsp
Amchur -1 tsp
Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Jeera for seasoning - 2tsp
Crushed ginger - 1 tsp
Chopped coriander - 1 cup
Oil for frying
Salt to taste

1. Heat the oil, season with jeera.
2. Fry ginger, green chillies and onion till tender.
3. Add the mashed potatoes and peas.
4. Add the dry powders and mix well.
5. Add the chopped coriander and cool the filling.

For the Pastry or Patties:
Maida -3 cups
Salt to taste
Water to mix

Mix together and make a soft dough. Keep aside for atleast an hour.

1. Roll out the dough into thin triangles and cook both the sides over dry tava for 10 to 20 seconds.
2. Place the filling in the center, fold and seal the edges with maida batter.
3. Deep fry in oil.

Sending this to Sunday Snacks - Chaats hosted by Pallavi.

Veg Kurma

is a rich, creamy vegetable gravy which dates back to the 16th century. This goes well with north indian roties and south indian appam, puri and idiyappam. It makes an awesome combo with pulav and biriyani varieties as well.
Beans -20 nos
Peas 1 cup
potatoes - 2
Carrots - 2
Tomatoes - 1
Coconut milk - half a cup
Turmeric powder 1tsp
Chilli powder - 1/2 to 1 tsp
Butter- 1 tablespoon
Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Paste 1:
Onion - 1
Green chillies - 4
Coriander leaves- handful
Paste 2:
Cocunut -2 tablespoon
Cashews 5 to 10 soaked in water for 15 min

1. Chop the veggies finely
2. Heat butter, season with fennel seeds, add paste 1 and fry
3. Add the vegetables and a cup of water. Cook for a while and add the coconut milk. Add more Water as per your requirement.
4. Add the chopped tomatoes, dry powders and cook for 2 min
5. Add Paste 2 and cook till the gravy thickens
1. You can add a piece of ginger and few garlic cloves to paste 1.
2. You may include a tsp of garam masala with the dry powders

Brinjal Curry

Brinjal or egg plant is something hated by most people. But for those of you who love the vegetable, it offers a wide cooking scope. Right from enna kathrika to bahara baingan, you can make wonders with it. As of now, I'm limiting my post to a simple brinjal curry. Much ado about nothing :)


Brinjal - 5( moderate size)
Red chillies - 2 or 3
Dhaniya - 1 tsp
Channa dhall - 3 tsp
Urud dhall - 2 tsp
Peanuts - 4 tsp
Tamarind extract made out of a small ball
Mustard - 1 tsp
Oil - 4 tsp
salt to taste
1. Fry red chillies, dhaniya, dhall, peanuts with a little oil and powder it. (a little coarse)
2. Slice the brinjal length wise. Heat 1 tsp of oil, season with mustard and add the brinjal.
3. Cover the veg with tamarind pulp and cook till they become soft and water evoporates.
4. Add the remaining oil, the ground powder and salt and fry till you are satisfied :)
1. You may also add 2 tsp of coconut and a few curry leaves.
2. You may substitute sesame seeds for peanuts.
3. It is always good to use gingelly oil for better taste(for brinjal) and I think it is an healthy option too(well any oil cannot be healthy still...)

Veg Biryani

is an exotic rice dish popular in middle east and south asian countries. Hyderabadi Biriyani is quite famous among food lovers. It is a mix of basmathi rice, yoghurt, vegetables, meat and spices. My Biriyani has everything but meat and yet tastes as spicy as a non-veg Biriyani. Maybe you can add pieces of mushroom or paneer to give a better effect. This recipe has a lot of ingredients with a laborious preparation yet worth trying.
Ingredients :
Basmathi rice - 1/4 kg
Onions 1
Beans 100 g
Carrots 1
Peas 1/2 cup
Yoghurt 1/2 cup
To be soaked in curd :
Chopped tomatoes 1 or 2
Dhania powder - 1 tsp
Chilli powder - 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
Slit green chillies - 4
Mint - few leaves finely chopped
Coriander - a handful finelychopped
Bay leaves - 2
Cardamom - 2
Cloves - 3
Cinnamon - 2
Saffron - a pinch
Grind to a fine paste
Ginger - a small piece
Garlic - 1
Green chillies - 3
1. Wash and soak rice for 10 min( Always soak the basmathi rice before cooking to get longer grains)
2. Fry in melted butter along with 1 teaspoon of saunf and bay leaves till light brown.
3. Cook with 1.5 times water. If you pressure cook, wait till pressure builds up(abt 5 min) and then open the lid. Add salt and cook on low fire.
5. Cut veg into thin long strips and pressure cook without water.
6. Cut onions into thin long strips and fry in a little melted butter or oil till tender.
7. Add other boiled veg and then curd paste and fry till the gravy is dry and mix with rice.
8. Grease a heavy vessel with a little ghee and add the rice. Cover and keep it on low flame for 10 min. You can even place it in a pre-heated oven for 10 min.
9. Garnish with chopped coriander, fried cashews and paneer. You can also add fried bread pieces.