Thursday, April 26, 2012

Palak Paneer Pulao

(From Banu's Cookbook)

2-3 Cups of Pre Cooked Basmati Rice
4-6 Cups of Fresh Spinach
2-3 Green Chillies
2-3 Garlic Cloves - Chopped Fine
1 Small Onion - Chopped Fine
1 Cup of Paneer Cubes
1 inch piece of Cinnamon Sticks (Dalchini)
2-4 Whole Cloves (Lavang)
5-6 Bay Leaves (Tej Patta)
2-3 Whole Green Cardamom (Tej Patta)
2 Tsp of Garam Masala
Salt To Taste
Oil for Frying

1. Wilt the Spinach in very little water along with the green chillies. Once this is cooled, blend it into a paste in the blender.
2. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the Cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon stick and Cardamom. Saute these for a while until they turn brown and you start smelling them.
3. Add the Chopped onions and garlic and saute them well until the onion gets slightly browned. Do not burn them, just a bit brown.
4. Add salt and Garam Masala and cook for a few more minutes. Add the chopped Paneer pieces, reduce the flame to medium and cook until you feel that the paneer pieces are cooked and lightly browned.
5. At this point add the Spinach Puree and some more salt and cook for a few minutes until you see the whole mixture mixed together well.
6. Add the cooked rice to this mixture and mix well. Let it cook for a few minutes on low flame.
7. Take it off fire and serve it hot either with Raita or chips.

1. You can use frozen spinach instead of Fresh one.
2. You can even use pre sauteed paneer cubes - if you do so, do not saute them much after you add them to the onion mixture, else it will get very hard.
3. You can also add some red chilli powder along with Garam Masala if you want it more spicy.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did and let me know your comments if you do try it. When I was cooking this, I was wishing if I could capture the aroma of it..:))

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Enchilada Verdes with spicy guacamole

(From Raghu Jana's Cookbook)

1) This is in no way an authentic Mexican enchilada. It is a home-brew version of it which we like.
2) There are no set measurements for any of the portions. They can be varied to individual taste.

1 Green Bell Pepper- Chopped Finely
1 Small Can of Sweet Corn (No Salt Added) - Drained and Washed
1 Small Onion - Chopped Fine
2 Roma Tomatoes - Chopped Fine
1/4 Cup of Cilantro - Chopped Fine
1 Tsp of Oregano
1 Tsp of Rosemary
1/4 Cup of Shredded Cheese (Mozzarella and Pepper Jack Blend)
1-2 Avocados
2-3 Thai Chillies
2 Tbsp of Sour Cream
Lime Juice and Salt to Taste
Oil for Sauteeing

For the Verde Sauce:
3-4 Tomatillo's
 2-3 Green Chillies
1 Small Onion
2 Cloves of Garlic
2 Sprigs of Cilantro

1. Sautee Capsicum & sweet corn with oregano and rosemary
2. Make Pico De Gallo with chopped tomato, onion, cilantro and bit of lime juice
3. Blend or Mash together - Avocado's, cilantro, green chillies, Lime juice and salt. Add the sour cream and mix it well. Gives a creamy taste.

Verde sauce:
1. Cook tomatillos, Thai chillies, onion, garlic, and 2 sprigs of cilantro (I used a pressure cooker - 1 whistle)
2. Puree the cooked mixture and keep it heated.

To Prepare the Enchilda:
1. Heat yellow corn tortillas on a griddle (use a little oil if you like). Do not dry the tortilla out as that will make it crisp, and not good for rolling.
2. Spread cheese on the tortilla. Spoon in the other stuffing in a line in the center of the tortilla.
3.  Close the tortilla around the stuffing from both ends to create a roll. Place on a microwaveable plate with the seam down. Place 3-4 enchiladas on a plate next to each other, and sprinkle some more cheese on top. Pour the green sauce over the enchiladas, ensuring all portions get soaked, and there is some on the plate.
4. Microwave the entire dish for 1 minute so that the cheese melts.

Take out, and dig in

Cucumber and Poblano Pepper Raita

(From Banu's Cookbook)


1 Cucumber Chopped Finely
1/2 Poblano Pepper Chopped Finely
1/4 (or even less) Cup of Fresh Coconut (I use Frozen Shredded Coconut and just defrost it)
1 Tsp of Mustard Seeds
1 Cup of Yogurt or Buttermilk
1-2 Green Chilies
Salt to Taste

For Seasoning:
2 Tsp of Oil
1/4 Tsp of Mustard Seeds
1 Sprig of Curry Leaves

1) Grind the fresh coconut, Mustard seeds and Green Chillies into a smooth paste in the blender with as little water as possible.
2) Mix the Chopped cucumber and Poblano Pepper mix with the ground paste, add salt and yogurt and mix well.
3) Heat the oil and add Mustard seeds and once it starts spluttering, add the curry leaves and add the seasoning to the above mixture.

Enjoy the Raita with Rice or Chapathi. It tastes good even just as a side dish.

1. You can use dry coconut powder if you do not have fresh coconut, but this does not have the same taste as fresh coconut.
2. Seasoning is Optiona. It tastes good even without it.
3. Here is a picture of Poblano Pepper for those who have not used it before.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Red Cabbage Taco

(From Banu's Cookbook)

1/2 head of red cabbage - shredded thinly
1 Small can of Sweet Corn (no Salt added)
2 Roma Tomatoes - Chopped
1/2 Red Onion - Chopped Finely
1/2 Cup of Finely Chopped Cilantro
1/4 Cup of Spicy Peanuts (or any other flavor that you like)
6 Tacos (You can use any brand. I use the ones that sit flat - just for ease of filling it)

For Seasoning:
1 Tsp of Chipotle Chilli Pepper Powder (Optional)
Lemon Juice to Taste
Salt and Black Pepper to Taste

1) Mix the Shredded Red Cabbage and Corn together and toss it with Lemon juice, chipotle red pepper powder, salt and black pepper.
2) Make Salsa with Chopped Tomatoes, Onion and Cilantro. Add a bit of salt to this.
3) Cook the Taco's per the manufacturer's instructions. Layer the salsa first and then top it with the Shredded cabbage mixture.
4) Top it with some Spicy peanuts and enjoy the Taco's.

Please let me know your comments and suggestions if you end up trying this recipe.

1) You can add some Avocado to this taco as well.
2) You can add some finely chopped Jalapeno to the Tomato salsa if you want it more spicy.