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Showing posts with label PUNJAB DA DHAABA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PUNJAB DA DHAABA. Show all posts

Friday, May 24, 2013


Moong dal palak - another healthy recipe from my kitchen. I got introduced to dal palak as a variation to the plain dal that we used to order in the restaurants thanks to our kids who end up eating Plain basmati rice and dal in the restaurant as well with great relish.

I particularly liked the dal Palak that I ate at the Gokul restaurant here in Singapore.

I liked it because I could savor the taste of the dal. The dal still felt like dal and I could savor the palak separately with a slight crunch. The palak is just lightly cooked, blended nicely with the dal but not mashed into one green paste.

I googled up for the recipe but what I found in most websites was not the recipe I was looking for. Many were cooking the palak and mixing it with the Toor dal/moong dal, some looked like the south Indian keerai molaghutal minus the coconut. This was not what I wanted, so I went once more to the restaurant to savor the dish and realized that the palak was not cooked separately or overcooked or blended into a mix with the dal. The palak was used as coriander like a dressing and didn’t get overwhelming into the taste of the dal and I loved it. So here’s the recipe of dal palak restaurant style with a crunch.

Yellow split lentil(moong dal) -1 cup
Split pigeon peas (Toor Dal) – 2 tbsps
Spinach – 15 leaves
Onion - 1
Tomato – 2 ripe
Green Chilly – 4-5
Ginger – ½ inch
Turmeric – 1 tsp
Asafetida(hing) – ½  tsp
Coriander powder – 2tsps
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Red chilly powder – 1 tsp
Dry mango powder (Amchur powder) – ½ tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Dried Red chilly whole - 2
Oil – 2 tbsps
Lemon – 1 whole
Curry leaves – A sprig
Fresh green coriander leaves – 2 tbsps
Salt as per taste

Wash, rinse and Pressure cook the lentils upto 3 whistles with a pinch of turmeric. Once cooked, mash the lentils well with the back of a ladle. Keep aside. Chop the onions, tomatoes. Cut the green chillies into halves. In a wok (kadhai), Add some oil and when the oil is hot, add in the mustard seeds and cumin seeds, when it begins to crackle. Add in the onions and sauté until translucent, then add in the curry leaves and chilly and sauté for a minute, Add in the tomatoes and sauté until squashy. Now add Asafetida, Coriander powder, cumin powder, red chilly powder, Amchur powder, salt as per taste and mix well. Now add the boiled lentils. Add 3 cups of water and let it boil for 15-20 minutes until all the spices and dal combine into one uniform mixture. You can adjust the consistency by either boiling more till thicker, or adding water slowly, until the desired consistency is reached, simmering slowly over low heat.
Cook further for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. When you know that the dal is to the desired consistency you seek and well cooked. Squeeze the juice of a lemon without the seeds. Add finely chopped fresh green spinach (palak) and cook for another 5 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves and 2 red chillies fried in oil until plump and serve. Since the spinach is not overcooked and just gets blanched on top of the dal it will still have the crunch and not melt into the dal. This is the consistency I want. This helps to retain the nutritional value and add a subtle flavor to my dal not changing the taste of the conventional dal by grinding in the spinach and yet having a new flavor to it which is not overwhelming or does not overpower the taste of the dal.

Serve hot with Roti or rice. Do try this method and enjoy the Dal Palak. 

-          You can add garlic as well for extra flavoring, I don’t use much garlic in my cooking  hence I avoided it.

-          You can add the seasoning (tadka) of mustard, cumin & Red chillies at the point of serving

-          You can replace the moong dal with Toor dal

-          You can use 1 cup of Toor dal and 2 tbsps of moong dal, moong dal usually gives a thickness to the dal.

-          You can adjust the gravy according to your desired consistency. Some like their dal thick and some like it a bit watery.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


I first tasted Paneer Lababdar in a restaurant here in Singapore. I liked the dish so much that I decided to try making it at home. Being a Hindi teacher I started searching for the meaning of Lababdar and couldn’t find it in the Shabdkosh (Hindi dictionary) as well. There are some words that we have which are imports from Urdu & Arabic. This must be one such word. After much research I got something which describes what ‘Lababdar’ means.
‘Lababdar’ means a strong desire for something and a desire to indulge in it.
I wonder if this is a dish with some Mughal influence hence I categorize it under Mughlai and Punjabi dishes. I love the creamy red sauce in which the cottage chesse is cooked. The tenderness of the paneer, the texture of the light creamy tangy sauce. It’s truly a delight.

Malai Paneer (Cottage cheese) - 500 gms
Onions – 2 big sized
Tomatoes – 5 / 15oz Can of Tomato Puree
Ginger -  ½ tsp
Green chillies – 3-4
Kasuri Methi (dried fenugreek leaves) – 1tsp
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Coriander powder - ½ tsp
Red chilly powder – ½ tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Garam Masala powder - 1 tsp
White Sesame seeds (White Til) – ½ tsp
Full Cream Milk – ½ cup
Fresh Cream – 200gms
Butter - 1-2tbsps
Cardamom powder – ½ tsp
Dry Red Kashmiri Chilly -2 pieces
Oil – 2 tbsps
Fresh Green Coriander leaves (chopped) - 1/2 tbsp
Mint leaves – 3-4 leaves
Salt as per taste

For the paneer
I recommend making this dish with the fresh Paneer as the texture of the Paneer will be smooth and silky.
I used frozen paneer in this dish and I usually soak them in some hot water for about 15-20 minutes until they become soft like fresh paneer and drain the water after a while through a colander.
Cut the paneer in small cubes and keep aside.
In a Wok (Kadhai), add 2 tbsps of butter, lightly sauté the paneer and keep aside. The reason we sauté the paneer lightly in butter is to make it tough and not so easy to crumble inside the gravy.

For the tomato puree
You can either use 5 big red, ripe tomatoes and make a puree in the blender. I have used the tomato puree from the can as they have a deep red color and I usually stock a few cans in the case of an emergency.
Make a coarse paste of one onion, ginger and the green chillies. Finely chop the other onion.
Meanwhile dry roast the white sesame seeds and once it cools down make a powder, Don’t grind until the oil comes out.
In a Wok (Kadhai), add 2 tbsps of oil, add the cumin seeds and the carom seeds. Once it crackles, add the finely chopped onions, once it is transparent, add in the onion-ginger-green chilly paste. Add in salt and sauté until the oil comes out of the masala.
This indicates that the masala done.
Now add the tomato puree, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and cardamom powder and cook for
4-5 minutes until the oil separates and the gravy becomes thick. The tomato paste makes the gravy thick.
Now add the powdered sesame seeds and mix well.
After this add the milk and mix well. Let it boil for a while, till you feel the gravy becomes thick again and the color becomes uniform.
Now add the Paneer cubes.
After this add garam masala powder. Mix well and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Mash the Kasuri Methi (dried fenugreek leaves) with your hands and add into the gravy.
Cook for another minute or 2.
Then, add the fresh cream and let it cook on sim.
Now in a small pan, melt some butter and add the dried red Kashmiri chillies and pour into the gravy.
This is a dressing and looks better on top so don’t mix.
Garnish with finely chopped fresh green coriander leaves, mint leaves and some ginger strips.
Serve hot with fulkas, roti, Naan, kulcha, paratha or even rice. Tastes best with Indian breads.


-          You can add garlic as well for extra flavoring, I don’t use much garlic in my cooking  hence I avoided it. If incase you are adding garlic, make a paste along with the onion-ginger-chilly and follow the recipe.

-          Instead of using the full cream milk, you can use low fat milk or skimmed milk.

-          You can completely avoid fresh cream or use low fat  fresh cream

-          If the gravy is very thin, the paneer will crumble, so you must ensure that the gravy is thick.

Friday, March 29, 2013


This is a dish I learnt from our Punjabi neighbors too. Rongi Masala or Masaledaar Rongi or Lobia or Black eyed bean / black eyes pea as it is called is highly nutritious. It has a high fiber content, it also has potassium, iron, protein and is low in fat and calories.
It’s a good addition to your menu and when you cook it the way the Punjabi’s cook…masaledaar, then nothing like it.
I actually forgot to make Rongi masala for quite a while until we had it in the flight from Singapore to India and my maid absolutely fell in love with it and when we came home she asked me to make it atleast once. So, one day I finally made it and it was a hit at home.
This dish can be had with fulkas or with plain white basmati rice. It’s quite filling.
Enjoy the Rongi Masala.

Black Eyed Beans – 250gms
Soda bicarbonate – a pinch
Onions – 3
Tomatoes – 3
Green chillies – 2
Ginger – ½ inch
Salt as per taste
Garam Masala - 1 tbsp
Rajma Masala – 1 tsp
Kitchen king masala – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Amchoor powder – 1 tsp
Red chilly powder – 1 tsp
Yogurt - 1 tablespoon (optional)
Fresh green coriander leaves – 1 tbsp

Soak the lobia / black eyed beans/peas in water overnight with a pinch of Soda. In the morning rinse out the lobia, add some salt and ginger and add water till the lobia is completely immersed.
Cook it in the Pressure cooker for up to 3 whistles. Those who don’t have a pressure cooker can cook it in a pan covered with a lid. Cook for about 30 minutes till the Black Eye Beans are soft.
Make a coarse paste of 1 onion, the tomatoes, 2 green chillies and ½ an inch of ginger.
Now in a wok, heat 4 tbsp. oil, add 2 onions (finely chopped) and sauté till transparent.
Add the ginger-chilly-onion-tomato paste and sauté till the oil comes out of the masala. Now add Kitchen King Masala / Rajma Masala and Garam Masala. Also add the Coriander powder, Cumin powder , Amchoor powder and Red chilly powder.
Saute until everything gets mixed and the oil starts to separate from the mixture.Now add the boiled Black Eyed Beans. Mix well. Simmer for 15-20 minutes on medium heat till the masalas get mixed well with the beans.
Add yogurt and heat for 5 more minutes. I didn’t add yogurt, I instead added Amchoor powder.
Serve garnished with fresh green finely chopped coriander leaves. Enjoy.

Friday, March 8, 2013


I would like to share this wonderful and healthy chai masala recipe that I got from my Punjabi friend here in Singapore.
Being born and brought up in the state of Maharashtra I learnt to savor tea infused with spices known as “Masala Chai”(Tea infused with spices) back in Mumbai.
The spice mix would always manage to give a punch to the otherwise normal cup of tea.
So when it’s raining and we are totally drenched or having a cold we would always go for a ginger laced tea or Masala tea.
Even the street stalls and restaurants serve the masala chai, its commonly available in India.   
What totally surprised me was when I found a version of the Masala chai at the McCafe at Singapore known as the Himalayan Tea Latte - A hot and calming exotic milk tea with a soulful infusion of spice flavor. They claim it to be a hot favorite. I nudged Yo (my husband) and pointed to the Menu feeling proud to find our Masala chai being internationalized and described so beautifully.
So what should be the ideal mix of spices one may ask.
The spices vary according to the place, the climate conditions in a particular region and sometimes due to personal preferences. But a typical Indian tea masala includes a combination of the following spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger and peppercorns. They may also include Bishops weed, fennel seeds and other variants in some recipes.
Ideally if the spices are ground fresh and added to the tea it would taste good, But, since I belong to the generation which hardly has time for such luxuries. I made my tea masala for keeps. I made a small batch which I could use over a period of a month.
The spices in the tea masala are known to aid in digestion, provide heat during cold weathers like winters or rains, they are believed to chase a fever or cure a cold.
I believe that they are soothing and refreshing and add a zing to your regular cuppa.
My friends recipe doesn’t have peppercorns, but mine has.
Here is my recipe for Punjabi Tea masala, do make it and savor your tea with the soulful infusion of the spices.

Cinnamon stick – 1 whole stick
Big Cardamom (Badi Elaichi) – 3
Small Cardamom (Choti Elaichi) – 10-12
Cloves (Lavang/Laung) – 3-4
Dried Ginger (Saunth / Soonth) – 1 piece or alternatively you can use the ginger powder about 1 and a half tablespoon.
Bishop’s weed (Ajwain) – a pinch
Black peppercorns – 5-6
Fennel seeds(Saunf) – 1 tablespoon

Dry roast all the ingredients for 7-8 minutes until you can get a faint aroma of the spices. Let it cool completely. Once it is cool run it in the dry jar of a mixer/blender and grind into a fine powder. Cool completely and store in an air-tight container. Use the masala as and when required to make tea.

Indian Masala Tea
To make 2 cups of Masala tea. Boil 2 cups of water in a pan. Add sugar, Tea leaves and the powdered masala and let it come to a boil. Once it starts boiling, add some milk and let it boil for a couple of minutes. Strain and serve piping hot.

Enjoy this with some biscuits while catching some news in your morning newspaper.

Friday, February 3, 2012


Potatoes are an all time favorite with my kids and I like to try new recipes with this vegetable. My friend usually cooks this and sent some for me to sample and I told myself I must try this. I do add coriander powder when I usually make potatoes, but this recipe had loads of freshly roasted and coarsely ground coriander seeds. The aroma was magical and so was the taste. Do try this recipe and enjoy some hot Aloo Dhaniawalle with some hot and fluffy fulkas.
Potatoes – 5-6
Green Peas - 1/2 a tea cup (optional)
Ginger paste – 1 tsp
Green chilly paste – 1 tsp
Freshly roasted coarse coriander powder – 2 tbsps
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Garam Masala – 1tsp
Dry mango powder (Amchur) – 1 tsp (optional)
Anardana powder (Pomegranates seed powder)- 1 tsp (optional)
Asafetida – pinch
Oil – 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Lemon – ½ a lemon juice (optional)
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves for garnish
Another closeup
Wash, boil and peel the potatoes. Mash them and keep it aside. Don’t mash the potatoes into a paste, just crumble them. If you are not good at mashing well, just dice them into chunky cubes. It works both ways.
Freshly dry roast 2 tablespoons of coriander seeds and coarsely grind them.
In a Kadhai (wok), heat some oil add the cumin seeds, once it starts to fry, add the ginger paste and chilly paste and let it fry well. Keep the gas on sim and then add the freshly roasted coarse coriander powder(1 tbsp), coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala and amchur powder, you can add anardana powder as well(optional, I haven’t used this in my recipe as I didn’t have it at home), asafetida, and salt as per taste, then add the green peas and let it cook for a while after which add the mashed potatoes. Mix well, check for salt, if less, add now and mix. While mixing don’t mash the potato just turn it gently. Ensure the masala is evenly mixed. Let this cook covered for a few minutes.
Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves and the freshly roasted coarse coriander powder(1tbsp). Yopu can squeeze some lemon on top if you like. Mix well and serve hot with Poori/ chappati or hot rice and sambhar/rasam/dal.
A serving for you

Friday, November 18, 2011


Sony TV airs one of my favorite serials, “Kuch tho log kahenge” in which the heroine makes hare chane ki kari methi muthia ke saath for the hero with love.
This spurted my search for the recipe of hare chane ki kari and I stumbled upon Tarla Dalalji’s site and found this recipe. But my recipe has a twist from the original recipe as it doesn’t follow the same ingredients and also because I added crumbled paneer to the dish.
Fresh green sorted whole chickpeas-Image courtesy Wikipedia
Now for many like me who didn’t know what’s hara chana, they are whole green chick peas packed with a lot of nutritional value. Typically, these are available only a few weeks a year.
Fresh green whole chickpeas-Image courtesy Wikipedia
Whenever I go to Pune, my husband always buys harbhara (choliya/ hara chana/ fresh whole green chick peas). It comes in a bunch and you have to split open the pea like thing and get the harbhara in it, he eats it raw.  I saw many people on the roads grabbing onto bunches of fresh harhara and eating it like peanuts.
Yo(my husband) asked me to try some, I somehow didn’t like the taste. I guess you need to develop a flair for it.
This dish is specially made for my dear husband and my little one who troubles me zillions to eat.
When you are using the fresh ones, you have to pick the peas, open them and sort them, after which you have to rinse them through a colander, it’s a very lengthy process and to get a decent quantity of chickpeas you have to pick a few bunches of the plant.  
Since the fresh chick peas are not available in Singapore, I used the frozen ones available in Mustafa (a shopping mall which has a lot of Indian products). It’s known as Choliya under the Greentech brand.
For those who are unable to get the frozen ones you can find the dry green chanas in any Indian store all through the year. When you are using the dry ones, you have to soak them overnight and pressure cook them up to 3 whistles before you follow my recipe.
Since I am not too fond of the taste of the green chickpeas I tried to lace it with as many spices as I could lay my hand on and also added some crumbled paneer and when the dish was done it was so yummy that I would never say that I don’t like the green chickpeas much and I am looking forward to making it and relishing it again and again.
Hare Chane ki kari
1 ½ cups hare chane (whole green chickpeas)
Spinach (Palak leaves) - 4-5 for color/alternatively use green food color-1-2 drops.
Onion - 1 Big
Tomatoes – 2 red and ripe ones
Green chillies – 2
Ginger – ½ inch
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Badi elaichi – 1
Cinnamon stick – 1
Star Anise – 1 tsp
Kasuri Methi powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Garam Masala – 1 tsp
Chole Masala – 1 tsp
Chaat Masala – 1 tsp
Asafetida – a pinch
Paneer (Cottage Cheese) crumbled 3-4 heaped tablespoons
Salt as per taste
Oil – 2 tbsps
Fresh Green Coriander leaves for garnish

A close up of the dish
Finely Chop the onion and tomatoes. Make a coarse paste of the ginger and green chillies in a blender. Soak the frozen paneer in some warm water. After a while crumble and keep it aside. Blend the spinach leaves with some water and keep aside.
Rinse the frozen choliya (whole green chick peas), drain and keep aside. For those who are using the fresh green chickpeas or the dried ones kindly read above the ingredients list, the method to cook it.
Heat oil in a wok(kadhai), add the cumin seeds, badi elaichi, cinnamon stick & star anise.
Once the cumin is fried, Add in the coarsely grounded ginger and chilly paste and fry, after a minute add the finely chopped onions and sauté, once the onions are transparent, add the finely chopped tomatoes and sauté until it is totally squashy and fried. Add in the Kasuri Methi powder, Coriander powder, Cumin powder, Garam Masala, Chole Masala and Chaat Masala, asafetida and salt and fry for a minute. The masala should get fried well, At this point add in the blended spinach leaves paste, sauté until the oil comes out of the puree. Now add the whole green chickpea without any water and mix well with all the masala. If you are not using spinach for color, you can add in 1-2 drops of green color just for the color (this is optional)
Cover and cook in a low flame. Let the green chana cook in its own juices. When you see the water is getting dried. Add in 2 teacups of water and let it cook on a slow flame. Keep adding water everytime you see that the chana is dry until you can see that the chickpeas are cooked. Once the chickpeas are cooked and can be mashed easily with the back of the spatula, add the crumbled paneer, cook covered for a while. While cooking, keep mashing a few chickpeas with the back of the spatula for a mushy thick gravy. Cook for about 10-15 minutes on a slow flame. Ensure that the mix has gravy by adding water and letting the mix boil. When you see that it is an even mix and has enough gravy to your heart’s desire. Put off the flame. Garnish with finely chopped fresh green coriander leaves and serve hot with fulkas or rice.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


My kids absolutely love this dish, it’s not spicy and tastes yummy and the best part is it can be cooked in a jiffy. Bombay is very famous for its stalls selling bread and anda burji (scrambled eggs).
The way you cook Paneer burji is similar to the way anda burji is made is what my dear hubby says.
Since we don’t eat eggs we enjoy the richer version of the burji, “scrambled cottage cheese”. Anything which has cheese does sound luxurious doesn’t it? LOL!!!!!
Paneer Burji
Paneer – 500 gms
Onions – 2 small or 1 big
Tomatoes – 1 ripe and big
Green chillies – 2-3
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Salt as per taste
Oil – 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves 1-2 tbsps for garnish
Close up
Soak the Paneer chunks/cubes in hot water for 15-20 minutes. Rinse well and crumble the paneer using your hand. Keep this aside. Meanwhile finely chop the onions, tomatoes, green chillies and coriander leaves.
In a wok(kadhai). Add 1 tbsp oil, add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds and when they start to splutter, add in the green chillies and when they are fried add in the onions and sauté until transparent, now, add in the tomatoes and some salt and sauté until you see the oil comes out of the masala. Now add the crumbled paneer, add salt, turmeric powder and toss everything well till you see the masala is mixed well with the crumbled paneer. Now keep the flame of the gas low and cook it covered for about 5-7 minutes. The paneer gets further softened and the masala enters into it during this time. Garnish liberally with finely chopped fresh green coriander leaves. Toss well and serve hot with fulkas/ parathas.

Leftover specials
If Paneer burji remains until the next day.
  • Just make a Frankie (Recipe coming soon) out of it or
  • Make a paratha with the mix and it becomes Paneer paratha and a tastier version of Paneer paratha at that.

Monday, March 21, 2011


I would like to apologize to all the people who visit my blog regularly as I am not able to blog these days although blogging is one of my favorite hobbies or pass time as you may call it.. Partly due to work and family pressures and partly due to Facebook which has slowly but surely taken a lot of my leisure time. I promise myself that I would atleast retain the habit of posting one recipe a month. Here is a recipe everyone in my house loves. I could call this version of Bharva Bhindi a more south indianized version or a fusion between south and north Indian. Do try this recipe and enjoy the bharva bhindis.

Okra / Bhindi -1/2 kilo
Cumin seeds – 2 tsps
For stuffing:
Coriander powder – 1tbsp
Cumin powder – ½ tbsp
Amchoor ½ tbsp
Red Chilly powder – 1 tbsp
Bengal gram / Chana dal -2 tbsp
Black gram dal /White lentil /Udad dal – 1 tbsp
Sesame seeds – 1tbsp
Salt as per taste
Dry roast the Chana dal and udad dal and make a coarse powder. Dry roast the sesame seeds and when it starts to splutter, allow it to cool down and make a coarse powder in the mixie. Mix the above 2 powders and all the other ingredients (cumin powder, coriander powder, amchoor powder, red chilly powder and salt as per taste). Keep it aside.
Now rinse, wipe and make a slit on each okra/ bhindi and set side. Stuff the powdered masala into the slit in the okra. If the masala is not enough, make more, if remaining keep aside.
Heat 3 tbsps of cooking oil. Add the cumin seeds and when they splutter. Add the stuffed okra pieces. Place them in the wok in such a way that all get the heat. Sprinkle some water and a bit of salt, the remaining masala powder and cook covered on a low flame for about 30 minutes, being careful not to burn them in the process. Keep turning the okra occasionally.
When it is soft and done, remove from the fire and serve hot with Fulkas / chappatis ot Rice and dal.

Tips : - 

  • You can add some roasted coconut as well to the masala powder mixture and stuff in the okras. This gives a   very nice and fresh coconutty flavor to the okras.
  • You can also add some onions sautéed in oil to the powder mix.
  • Okra is a very delicate and fast to cook vegetable so please ensure that while cooking on the gas stove you keep the flame low.
This recipe comes out nicer in a microwave as the okra get cooked evenly and there is no stickiness too.
If you are using a microwave oven, please keep the okras on a plate and microwave on high for 10 minutes. Open the microwave after 5-7 minutes and turn the okras. Check if done, if not keep for another 5 minutes. 
And serve as above.

I would like to send this recipe to Charitha’s C- for Colourful Curry’s event that she is hosting in her blog Woman’s Era 2008.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

MATHRI / MATHI - A North Indian Layered savory cookie

MATHRI / MATHI - A North Indian Layered savory cookie
Joys of staying in Mumbai and a cosmopolitan neighborhood is that you get to taste the best of all the worlds. I still remember when my neighbor aunty used to be back from Punjab, she used to come back with loads of Mathi (that’s what they call this dish in Punjab). Big crispy ones and trust me they used to make the best tea time snack for days to come. This introduced me to the Mathi.
Mathi or Mathri is an Indian snack. It is mostly made in Northern part of India. It’s a savory snack. Crispy, salted and flaky usually served with tea. Mathris are served even at marriages and poojas. Mathris are served with pickles. It’s a snack which can made and preserved for days, and is ideal to carry with you for long distance journeys. Nowadays, we get mathris off the counter, but try making them fresh at home it tastes much better. You can also make it flavored with methi (fenugreek leaves), Pudina (Mint leaves) or Dhaniya (coriander leaves).
You can make small lots of the mathris and keep them in airtight containers and savor these lovely layered cookies as and when you want them.

All Purpose flour (Plain flour or maida) -2 cups
Semolina(Rava/Suji) - 1/2  cup
Bishops weed(Ajwain)-1/2 tsp
Butter /Ghee / Margarine – 2 tbsps
Salt as per taste
Oil to fry
In a wide mouthed vessel, Add in the all purpose flour and semolina, salt as per taste( add very little salt, as your mathri will become salty otherwise). Add the ajwain and butter and mix well. The flour should look crumbled. This means that the butter is mixed well. Now add a little lukewarm water and mix well, add the water little at a time, kneading into a firm dough. Cover the dough and set aside for 15-20 minutes.
Divide the dough into about 40 equal parts.
Take each part of the dough and make a flat ball shape. You can roll them neatly with a rolling pin, but I chose not to, so that, it looks ruffled and handmade. You can involve the kids in this. They will actually enjoy pressing flat shapes of dough balls using their palms. Imperfect is Perfect. Too perfect looks like you bought it from the shop. The homemade ones should always look a bit imperfect but with loads of love packed in it.
Heat the oil in a frying pan. Ensure the oil is not fuming hot but just medium hot(you can do a dough test and if the dough rises immediately you know the temperature of the oil is just perfect). Put in some of the handmade or rolled out mathris. Don’t over crowd the oil, just put enough mathris to cover the frying oil. Fry on a low flame so that they get cooked well and form into layers of crispy biscuit.
Fry the mathris until both sides are a light golden-brown.
Enjoy with pickles or a cup of tea

Prick each mathri with a fork in 5 to 6 places, so the mathris do not puff when frying.
If the mathris are cooked on high heat, they will be soft.
Mathris can be stored for a couple of months in airtight containers.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Matar Paneer

Matar Paneer
Matar Paneer or Mutter Paneer this yummy dish hails from the North of India curry but is most popular now with one and all. I even see Europeans eating this with much relish thanks to it not being so spicy or because the paneer & the cream beats the spice and makes it mild and palatable. It’s a simple dish and anybody can make it.

Paneer - 500 gms (cut into cubes of 1 inch each)
Green Peas - 250 gms
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Onions – 2
Green Chillies - 2
Ginger paste -1 tbsp
Tomato puree - 3 tbsp
Garam Masala – 2 tsps
Red chilly powder – 1 tsp if required
Garam masala - 2 tsps
Oil – 2-3 tbsps
Salt to taste
Cream – 2 tbsps
Coriander leaves chopped fine to garnish
Heat 2-3 tbsps of oil in a pan and gently stir-fry the cubes of paneer till golden. Remove onto a paper towel and keep aside.
Grind onions, green chilly and ginger into a fine paste in a mixie. Keep aside.
Using the same oil in which we fried the paneer cubes. Add cumin seeds and when they get fried, add the onion, green chilly, ginger paste and fry it till it turns light brown.
Add the tomato puree and sauté for another 2 minutes.
Add the coriander, cumin, red chilly powder, turmeric and garam masala powders and fry, stirring continuously till the oil begins to separate from the masala (spice mixture).
Add the peas to the masala and fry for 2-3 minutes.
Then add the paneer, water and salt, reduce flame to a simmer and cook till the gravy thickens.
When the gravy is as thick as you would like, turn off the flame and stir in the cream.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.
Mutter paneer tastes great with parathas, naans and even jeera rice.
This being a authentic Punjabi dish I would like to send this "Flavors of Punjab" event hosted by Pari in her blog, this event was originally started by Nayna
Since this is Tried and tasted I would like to send this to Ria's Tried and Tasted event which was started by Lakshmi
Since kids will enjoy this with chappati or rice in their lunch box and it also nutritious and healthy, I would like to pack some to "Lunchbox Treats" event by Smitha. 

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Whenever I announce to Yo( my hubby dear) the menu for the day with some exotic restaurant dish name he gets highly excited about coming home for lunch.
Gone are the days when a simple rasam and beans curry could seduce a man away from his work. Women have to resort to other gastronomic charms to get them to leave their work and at least spend some quality time with their family. After all as the old saying goes a way to the man’s heart is through his stomach.
Here is a very simple recipe for Paneer Makhani, its so easy to make that it will be ready in a jiffy and be impressive at the same time. Quick to cook and good to eat as the Maggi noodles advertisement in India claims.
Paneer - 250 gms
Fresh Cream - 200 gms
Tomato Puree - 200 gms
Butter - 2-3 tbsps
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Kasuri Methi (dried Fenugreek leaves) - 2 tbsps
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp
Green Chillies - 2-3
Salt as per taste
Melt the butter in a pan, add cumin & slit green chillies, When it is slightly fried , add the tomato puree, kasuri methi, salt, red chilli powder and simmer for 4-5 minutes.
Add the cream and garam masala powder and cook further for 2-3 minutes. Don’t cook for too long after you add the cream.
Add the paneer pieces and cook for a minute. Serve hot garnished with coriander. It’s that simple… Serve hot with phulkas or poori.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

POORI (The Fried, Puffed Whole Wheat Bread), Awards & a Tag

POORI (The Fried, Puffed Whole Wheat Bread)
A puri or poori or boori is a South Asian unleavened bread prepared in many of the countries in South Asia including India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. It is consumed for breakfast, or as a snack or light meal. Puri is also the Georgian name for bread.
Puri is most commonly served at breakfast. It is also served at special or ceremonial functions; they sometimes are part of ceremonial rituals along with other vegetarian food offered in prayer as prasadam.
Puri can be made with Whole wheat flour (Atta) or with all purpose flour (Maida). Puri is often served with potato masala, chana masala, korma, and goes well with most North Indian gravies. In some Indian states it is served with halwa and in Maharashtra it is relished with Aamras.
In the north east of India, Puri is served with a special mixed vegetable which is prepared during puja and its also eaten with mistanno, a special kind of dessert prepared with rice, milk, sugar.
A variant of the puri is the bhatura which is three times a puri and thus a single bhatura, served with chole (spicy chick peas), often constitutes a full meal.
Another variant of the puri popular in the eastern states of West Bengal and Orissa is the Luchi.
(Some of the info courtesy:-Wikipedia)
Mix together in a bowl:
2 cups Indian whole wheat flour
1/2 Tablespoon vegetable oil
Salt to taste
Slowly add about 3/4 cup warm water, just enough to form a firm dough, and knead till smooth. Cover, let rest at least 1/2 hour, and knead again briefly. If resting more than 1 hour, punch and knead dough again before rolling out.
Divide into small balls about golf-ball size, and roll out into 6" rounds on an oiled board. Heat vegetable oil in a wok or saucepan. Add a little salt to the oil to keep it from smoking. Fry the puri one at a time, holding them under the oil on the first side until they puff. Turn and fry till light brown; drain. While frying, the bread puffs up. After they become golden-brown in color, they are removed and served hot along with some accompaniment.
Serve as soon as possible as Puris are not so good later.

For spicy puris:
When making the dough, add the below mentioned dry ingredients:
Turmeric – a pinch
Red chilly powder – ½ tsp
Coriander powder – ½ tsp
Cumin powder – ½ tsp
Asafetida – a pinch
Salt as per taste
Oil – 1 tbsp
Mix the dough well then add water and mix and follow as above.
Coming to the awards, I received the Kreative Blogger Award from Priti.
Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful awards with me I truly appreciate this.

Kreativ Blogger awards have some rules …
1. You must thank the person who has given you the award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog
3. Link to the person who has nominated you for the award.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
5. Nominate 7 other Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on which of the blogs to let them know they have been nominated

So 7 things about myself.. Let's see if you find this interesting...
• I am a very social person
• I love blogging and in the panel to write for a few other blogs as well.
• I am a real estate agent which was not my field of study and I was featured on TV in Singapore
• I love singing and have won many accolades in the past.
• I love to cook and especially find street food extremely tempting.
• Iam a vegetarian and always find alternative recipes that vegetarians can enjoy.
• Iam a very straightforward and emotional person and expect people to be the
same with me.
And here are some of the tags I received:
•What is your current obsession?
Real estate & blogging

•What are you wearing today?
Iam at home and wearing my well worn and comfortable cotton gown

•What’s for dinner?
Pav bhaji

•What’s the last thing you bought?

•What are you listening to right now?
Teri Ore from Singh is King

•What do you think about the person who tagged you?
I think she is very talented

•If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?
Mumbai anytime - Amchi Mumbai is where my heart is

•What are your must-have pieces for summer?
I think 4 quarter cotton pants and soft, pastel colored Cotton kurtis, I love to wear pastel colored Lucknowi Suits, Iced Sugarcane with ginger and lemon (my favorite) gallons of cold water.

•If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
I think I would love to go to Venice

•Which language do you want to learn?
Mandarin, Telegu & Kannada

•What’s your favourite quote?
God helps those who help themselves

•Who do you want to meet right now?

•What is your favourite colour?

•What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own clo
I think my latest wine color formal top which looks professional & slick.
•What is your dream job?
Cook and serve people with no expectation in return except for compliments

•What’s your favourite magazine?
Womans Era

•If you had $100 now, what would you spend it on?
Buy a decent purse and wallet as both of what I have are worn out.

•What do you consider a fashion faux pas? (faux pas mean error in etiquette.. )
To wear bindi and jumkas with western outfits

•Who are your style icons?
I like Simi Garewal…she is class personified…..

•Describe your personal style.?
Classic & simply elegant

•What are you going to do after this?
Watch TV

•What are your favourite movies?
Jaane Bhi do yaaron, Khubsoorat, Jhooti, Golmal, Amol Palekar movies are my absolute favorite.

•What are three cosmetic/makeup/perfume products that you can't live without?
Bodywash, Face Powder and Lipstick

•What inspires you?
Compliments, gratitude and encouraging words.
•Give us three styling tips that always work for you:
Hairstyle that you are comfortable in, Eyeliner to define your eyes and lipstick to define your lips. As Priti said I would like to say the same, Know what's suits you, never overdo your makeup, try to keep it simple and comfortable.

•What do you do when you “have nothing to wear” (even though your closet’s packed)?
Go Shopping

•Coffee or tea?

•What do you do when you are feeling low or terribly depressed?
Hug my little ones. Listen to some soothing music or try to catch up on an old comedy movie

•What is the meaning of your name?
Sukanya means “A good girl”
•Which other blogs you love visiting?
There are millions of blogs and every blog is creative

•Favorite Dessert/Sweet?
Gulab jamun and Gajar ka halwa

•What's the best feeling?
To love and be loved in return

•Who do you love most and why ?
I love my kids the most, because they are the most perfect beings in the world to me

Here is my new question: Reason(s) for you to blog?
I love blogging
Respond and rework – answer the questions on your own blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your own invention, and add one more question of your own. Then tag eight or ten other people.

So now it's time to award & tag others and I would like to share all the awards and tag with. Sireesha , Sowmya , LG, Purva , Priyanka, Usha, Asha, Sanghi and Priyaraj
Please accept the awards and ignore the tag if you have done before.

Sireesha of mom’s recipes has passed me the Scrumptious Blog Award. Thank you Sireesha!!!
It is the Scrumptious Blog Award -a blog award given to sites who:
Inspire you
Encourage You
May give Fabulous information
A great read
Has Scrumptious recipes
Any other reasons you can think of that make them Scrumptious!
The rules are:
Put the logo on your blog or post.
Nominate at least 7 blogs
Let them know that they have received this Scrumptious award by commenting on their blog.
Share the love and link to this post and to the person you received your award from.

Sireesha also passed me the Fabulous Blog award

I would like to pass this award to my following blogger friends:

I would like to send Puris to the Festive food event organized by Purva & Priti, as Puris are cooked during most festivals in many parts of India

I would like to send this recipe to Raks "Cooking for Guests" Event as I make these when guests come over and serve it with aaamras, potato masaala or chole.

I would also like to send Puris to EC’s WYF: Festive treat as Puri is a festive treat.


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