Thursday, May 31, 2012

Paneer Moong dal paratha

If you browse through the recipe categories on Paaka-shaale then you will note that there are already four different kinds of Parathas. There is Gobi paratha, aloo anardana paratha, palak-makai paratha and there is also, spinach, paneer and vegetable paratha. So now you know how much I love parathas. Don't you?

To me Parathas are something more than just tasty flat bread. To me it is associated with convenience. Since Parathas packs very well for lunch boxes, I make these from time to time. The other advantage of parathas  it comes with a filling inside, it does not require any side to go with it. All it needs is some pickle and some yogurt and you have a complete meal ready. 

This recipe for Paneer moong dal paratha is adapted from I had bookmarked this recipe a long time back and forgot all about it. It was only today, when I browsing through all the bookmarked links, that I found this recipe again. As luck would have it, I had some paneer in the fridge. so I thought this paratha would be perfect for S's lunch box and my lunch. These parathas turned out flaky and perfect. This protein and calcium rich flat bread is a complete meal all by itself. Serve these flat breads with any side or with raita or plain yogurt to take off the heat from the parathas.

Paneer Moong dal paratha Recipe:
Preparation time: 25min
Cooking time: 15 min
Makes- 6 Parathas

For the stuffing:
Paneer- 1/2 cup
Moong dal- 1/2 cup
Coriander seed powder- 1/2 tsp
Cumin seed powder- 1/2 tsp
Garam masala- A pinch
Chat masala- 1tsp
Oil- 2tsp
Ginger- 1/2tsp, grated
Red chilli powder- 1/4tsp
Green chilli- 1, chopped fine
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves- 1tbsp
For the Covering:
Whole wheat flour- 2 cups+ 3 tbsp to dust
Salt- 1/2tsp
Water as needed
Oil- 1 tsp
Ghee to shallow fry the parathas


For the stuffing:

  • Pressure cook the moong dal with 1/2 cup of water for 3-4 whistles. Drain and keep aside.
  • Heat the oil in wok and add the grated ginger and fry till brown.
  • Add the chopped green chilli, cooked moong and paneer and fry for two min
  • Stir in the turmeric, salt, red chilli powder, coriander and cumin powder and mix well.
  • Keep mixing till all the water is absorbed and the mixture forms a single mass.
  • Add the chat masala and garam masala. Mix well. Take off the heat and keep aside.
  • Cool the mixture completely and add the coriander leaves. Divide the mixture into six equal portions and keep aside

For the outer covering:
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt and mix well. Add water gradually and knead the mixture into a pliable dough.
  • Add the oil and knead again. Cover the dough with a wet cloth or cling film and let it rest for 20min
  • Divide the rested dough into 6 equal portions and keep aside.
To proceed:
  • Roll out one portion of dough into 3" to 4" in diameter. Place one portion of the filling in the center. Wet the edges with little water and bring all the sides to the center and seal tightly.
  • Using the flour to dust, roll the parathas again into a circle of 6" in diameter.
  • Carefully place the rolled paratha on  a hot girdle and allow cook on one side for a min and flip over to another side using a spatula. 
  • Drizzle some ghee on the first side. Flip again and drizzle some more ghee on the second side as well.
  • Cook on both sides till brown spots appear on both the sides. Take off the heat and allow the cooked paratha to cool slightly so that they don't turn soggy when stored in a box.
  • Repeat the same procedure with the rest of the dough and filling.
  • These parathas taste best when served hot with yogurt on the side

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Black and white wednesday-Garlic

These photographs go straight to Susan's black and white wednesday even that is guest hosted by Sra of when my soup came alive.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Paneer Bhurji

Has it ever happened that you are all set to photograph a dish and you start getting those hungry stares from all around you?? Well it happens to me everytime I try photographing something made out of Paneer. There have been times that I have just stopped photographing the dish just to avoid those "I am so starved stares" from S, Purvi and even my maid. This happened when I was trying to photograph Paneer jalfrezi and this happend when I was photographing Paneer bhurji. My husband despite having a heavy breakfast, felt starved when he saw me shooting this dish. Every minute S kept asking me if I was done and when lunch would be served. Purvi got herself a spoon and wanted to have a spoon straight from the bowl. By the end of the ten minute shoot. They both managed to make me feel like some sadistic woman who was keeping her family away from food. It took me a lot of effort to focus properly in order to take some decent shots. Does this happen to any of you? If it does, then how do you handle the situation. Do let me know.

As for this dish, this is a very easy dish to put together. Paneer bhurji or scrambled Paneer is one dish that can be easily put together when you are pressed for time. Despite being simple, this dish is rich and full of flavour. This makes an ideal side dish for rotis and breads

Paneer Bhurji Recipe:
Preparation time: 15min
Cooking time: 10min
Serves- 4

Cottage cheese or Paneer- 250gm, crumbled
Onion- 1 large, blanched and pureed
Tomato- 2 med, blanched and pureed
Cashew paste- 1 tbsp
Green chilli- 1, chopped fine
Ginger-garlic paste- 1tsp
Coriander-cumin powder-1 tsp
Paprika powder- 1/2 tsp
Bay leaf- 1
Salt- to taste
Sugar- 1/2 tsp
Turmeric or haldi- 1/4tsp
Garam masala- 1/4tsp
Milk- 1/2 cup
Kasuri methi- 1/2tsp
Oil or ghee- 2tbsp
Coriander leaves to garnish

  • Heat oil or ghee in thick bottomed pan. Add the bay leaf and saute for a few secs. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell goes.
  • Add onion paste and fry for a min. Stir in the cashew paste and saute for two more min.
  • After the mixture changes colour, add the tomato paste and mix well. 
  • Add the chopped green chilli, turmeric piowder, Coriander cumin powder, salt, sugar, red chilli powder and mix well.
  • Stir in the crumbled paneer and milk and allow the mixture to simmer for 2 min
  • Add the garam masala and kasuri methi and mix well.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rotis. 
Note: Pureed onions can be replaced with chopped onions

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sweet lime Juice- two ways of making it

Sweet lime juice or the Mosambi juice. There was a time when this drink was my staple. These were the times when I had just started my career. I used to commute to the office by bus and there was a juice joint very close to the bus stand. On my return, I would head straight to this stall and ask for sweet lime juice. Having sweet lime juice every day had become a ritual. The moment I was through with drinking the juice, I would feel energized again. This drink never failed to give me that much needed relief from the fatigue and tiredness after that long day's work. Guess it was all the vitamin C or maybe it was all the sugar that this guy used to add. Whatever the reason, this drink left me refreshed. 

All though I love this drink sweet, there are times when I like this drink spicy as well. It was S who taught me to make this drink the spicy way way. Adding salt, pepper and mint gives a fresh taste to this drink. Hence I am giving out both the recipes. Try making this juice both ways and let me know which one you like better. :)

There is also something that I would like share with you all. As you all know, Aparna of My diverse kitchen has started a food photography exercise. Which I feel is a fantastic Idea. I have decided to join in to hon my photography skills. If this interests you, then you can find all the details here

This month's exercise was to shoot the subject with different aperture modes. So I shot this citrus juicer along with sweet limes in two different apertures. The photograph on the left was shot at F/2, shutterspeed- 100, ISO- 1/100. The 2nd photograph was shot at F- 5.6, shutter speed- 1/15 amd ISO- 100. I have shot these photographs near a huge window and I have used a white board to reflect the light.

Sweet lime Juice recipe
Preparation time: 10min 
Serves- 4

For the Sweet version:
Sweet limes - 2, halved
Sugar- 1-2 tbsp or to taste
Water- 3/4 cup


  • Extract the juice from the sweet limes using a citrus juicer.
  • Add the sugar and water. Mix well and serve

For the spicy version:
Sweet lime- 2, halved
Salt- To taste
Pepper- 1/4tsp, powdered
Mint leaves- few, chopped
Water- 3/4 cup

  • Extract the juice from the lime juice using a citrus juicer.
  • Add the salt and pepper and the chopped mint leaves and serve.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Vermicelli vegetable upma

Vermicelli is a kind of pasta that is made of whole wheat. It is very thin and broken into small bits. And best of all, it is egg free. I think vermicelli is something we Indians consumed for a long time without realizing that it was actually, pasta. Now isn't that funny?

To me, vermicelli is the ultimate comfort food. If you have vermicelli on hand, then you can be assured of a quick breakfast or that quick evening snack. It can either be made with some simple seasoning or it can be dressed up with loads of vegetables and spices. Yes. the beauty of vermicelli is that, it can be cooked in a hundred different ways. Each time tasting different but tasty none the less. 

This version of vermicelli is something that I make often. It is something that can be made with minimum effort and it is something that my husband and Purvi love. So whenever I make this, I know they will have this without a fuss. So now you know why this is "the" comfort food for me. Since, vermicelli is made with whole wheat, I can be assured that there is wholesome goodness on my plate.

Vermicelli vegetable upma recipe:
Preparation time: 15min
Cooking time: 10min
Serves- 4

Thin, whole wheat Vermicelli- 2 cups
Vegetables like carrots, peas, green beans, potato- 2 cups
Oil- 2tbsp
Salt to taste
Mustard- 1/2tsp
Cumin seeds- 1/2tsp
Hing- A pinch
Curry leaves- 2 sprigs
Turmeric- 1/4tsp
Green chilli- 1, chopped fine
Ghee or clarified butter- 1tsp
Grated fresh coconut- 1 tbsp (optional)
Coriander leaves to garnish


  • Heat the ghee in a thick bottomed pan. Add the vermicelli and shallow fry till golden brown and keep aside
  • Heat oil in the same pan and add the mustard seeds. Once they crackle, add cumin seeds and fry till they are brown.
  • Stir in the hing and curry leaves and fry for a few seconds.
  • Add the vegetables and fry on high heat for 2min. Add the turmeric, green chilli and salt and continue frying for 3 to 4 min more
  • Add about two and half cups of water and allow the mixture to simmer for a minute.
  • Add the fried vermicelli, mix and cook covered for 5minutes.
  • Stir in the grated coconut and mix well.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with coconut chutney
This vermicelli is my contribution to
Pasta love which is hosted by Junia
And to Susan's lovely black and white Wednesday event which is Guest hosted by Sara

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pumpkin Soup with south Indian flavours

This soup has been there in my drafts for more than two weeks now. I had avoided posting the recipe because the photographs didn't turn out that good. But now I have no other option but to post this as I will not be cooking anything major for the next few days. The reason for this is my kitchen is undergoing a revamp again. And this time, they are changing the tiles. So I have kind of made a make shift kitchen in my dining area. Right now I am finding it extremely difficult to cook anything properly. But I am hoping that things should settle down in the next few days. Till then you will have to make do with this soup.

If you browse through the recipe categories on my blog, you will notice that I am not much of soup kind of person. But during the past few weeks, the temperature here has taken a plunge. All though the whether is not all that severe, there is still that chill in the air which at times, makes you want to curl in that shawl. A chill that makes you crave for a bowl of hot soup. 
I was introduced pumpkin soup by my neighbor only a few months back. Before that I didn't even know that pumpkin soup existed. Leave alone taste it. To me, this soup was an acquired taste. I remember making a sorry face, when I took my first sip. And then the taste slowly grew on me during the 3rd and the 4th. It was only after finishing off half the bowl, I had realized that I actually liked the soup. After that, I started having pumpkin soup from time to time. No. I didn't make it. It was always delivered to me by this friendly lady. 

It was on a few weeks back that I decided to try making this soup at home. But instead following my neighbor's recipe, I decided to give this soup a south Indian twist. I knew that the combination of coconut and pumpkin went very well together. So I just thought of adding some rasam powder for the spice and Some how this soup turned out very aromatic. S who is one of the most fussy eaters, had two bowls of this soup. I even gave this soup to Purvi with rice and she absolutely loved it. I am not sure if I have reinvented the soup or the rasam. But then, who cares as long as it turns out tasty.

Pumpkin soup recipe:
Preaparation time: 20min
cooking time- 15min
Serves- 4


Pumpkin- 1/2 of 1large, peeled and cubed
Rasam powder home made or MTR- 1-2 tsp
Tamarind paste- 2tsp
Salt to taste
Jaggery- 1tsp
Coconut milk- 3 tbsp+to garnish
Fresh Grated coconut- 1tbsp
Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
Vegetable stock- 1 cup


  • Cook the pumpkin cubes in enough water till tender and cool completely .
  • Drain the cooled pumpkin cubes and reserve the water.
  • Blend the pumpkin cubes along with the grated fresh coconut and cumin seeds to a fine puree. Add the drained water if required.
  • Transfer the pureed pumpkin to a sauce pan and add the vegetable stock, tamarind extract, salt and jaggery and bring the mixture to a boil
  • Add the rasam powder and coconut milk and allow the mixture to simmer for 5 more min
  • Take off the heat and serve hot garnished with some additional coconut milk.
This soup will go straight to Nancy's wonderful,  YBR event

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Eggless golden syrup muffins for mother's day

Hello my lovely ladies. Belated mother's day wishes to all of you. Hope you all had a fun filled sunday and mother's day. I know I had a great day. As we were out for almost the whole day shopping in the mall. The day was so full that I could not post this recipe yesterday. 
I wanted to bake these muffins since the time I had seen the recipe on The recipe seemed very simple and decadent without being overtly sweet. Just the way my mom would have liked it. So these muffins are for my mom who at times is quite child like herself. Maybe that is the reason she bonds so well with Purvi. You should see the way they talk to each other. It is almost like watching two little girls talking. It is a sight that can warm the coldest of hearts. Since my mom and Purvi are so close to each other, I decided to shoot the muffins with Purvi. I must say the photo shoot was something that I will remember for the rest of my life.

I had first thought of shooting Purvi with a tray full of muffins. The moment I placed the tray in her had she got nervous and refused to hold it. So I had to give up that idea and I asked her to hold this single muffin. After that the story got a little different. She seemed get way too comfortable and she started to dance with that muffin in her hand. I had to struggle for nearly 10min before I could get the shot above. More than this recipe or the shot I think the memory of Purvi dancing with that muffin will always stay with me.
Golden syrup muffins- As the name indicates, these muffins has golden syrup in them. Wikipedia defines golden syrup as an inverted sugar syrup that is made in the process of refining sugar cane or sugar beets. Golden syrup is an amber coloured liquid that is used for baking or favoring a variety of dishes. Often times it is also used as a substitute for honey. Lyle's golden syrup is a popular brand. I have found that this amazing liquid has the ability to enhance the flavour of anything. That includes frosted cakes and ice creams as well. And this muffin was no exception. I was surprised at how a few table spoons of this syrup could transform this ordinary muffins to some exotic. 
Apart from being ridiculously simple to put together, they make a great breakfast muffin as well. I can shamelessly confess that we finished a batch in one go without any regrets!!

Eggless golden syrup muffins recipe:
Preparation time: 20min
Baking time: 30min
Makes- 12 muffins

All purpose flour or maida- 2 cups
Castor Sugar- 1/2 cup
Milk- 150ml
Thick butter milk- 1/2 cup minus 2tbsp
Golden syrup- 5tbsp
Vanilla extract- 1-1/2tsp
Baking powder- 2tsp
Unsalted butter- 6tbsp, melted


  • Preheat the oven to 160C and line the muffin pan with muffin cases and set aside
  • In a bowl, mix the flour and the baking powder, sift and keep aside.
  • In another bowl, mix the melted butter and the sugar and beat till well combined and airy.
  • Stir in the milk, butter milk, golden syrup and vanilla extract and mix again
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix till well combined. Do not over mix
  • Divide the batter equally between all the muffin cases and bake in the preheated oven for 25-30min or till an inserted skewer comes out clean
  • Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 5min before transferring them to the wire rack for the muffins to cool completely.
  • Serve warm with tea or coffee

Note: I have used only 1/2 cup of sugar as I prefer these muffins a little less sweet. You can increase the quantity to 3/4 cup if you prefer the muffins a little more sweeter .

And to the tickling Palates I love baking

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Avocado chocolate mousse with orange twist

Ok. I confess. I never accepted that the avocado would taste so good chocolate. I have come across a lot of avocado chocolate mousse recipes. But each time I shrugged it off thinking that the mousse would definitely smell and taste weird. I refused to make anything out of avocados except for the milk shake I used to make. Well I have to admit that I made the milk shake so many times that I ultimately got fed up of it. That is when I decided to make this mousse. 

I first tried making this with just half an avocado and I must say that I was thoroughly blown away by the taste. It tasted all gooey and chocolaty without a trace of avocado. I was never so delighted to have proven wrong. So I decided to make the mousse again. But this time with one whole avocado and with my favourite fruit- Orange. Needless to say the mousse turned out just heavenly. It was creamy, and delicious but it was also laced with the flavour of orange. To top this heavenly taste, this dessert is absolutely guilt free. Yes. I did include some milk powder and some melted chocolate, but that is definitely optional. This dessert is definitely healthy if eaten as it is. But if you really want to indulge, then try serving or eating this with vanilla ice cream or fresh fruit. It will take this dessert to a whole new level altogether.

Avocado chocolate mousse recipe:
Preparation time: 10min
Cooking time: nil
Serves- 4

Avocado- 1 large,
Cocoa powder- 3tbsp
Chocolate chips- 3tbsp, melted (optional)
Sugar- 3tbsp
Vanilla essence- 1/2tsp
Milk- 1/4cup
Dry milk powder- 2tbsp (optional)
Grated zest of one Orange

  • In a blender, blend the avocado meat to a fine puree.
  • Add the cocoa, melted chocolate chips, sugar, milk powder, milk and vanilla essence and blend till well combined.
  • Serve right away or chilled.
This dessert is my entry to Pari's only chocolate event

Friday, May 4, 2012

Jaisalmeri Kala chana

A few days ago my refrigerator looked like there was a famine in my area. There was not a single vegetable in the house. And to me, this is nothing less than a disaster. The situation was so bad that I was even out of my hara moong that is usually stocked up. I was so frustrated that I could have screamed. I had even told S to eat his lunch out the next day. It was when I was cleaning the kitchen in the night, that I noticed this small unopened packet of black chick peas lying in the corner of the cupboard. I remembered this recipe for Jaisalmeri Kala chana that I had read in a magazine a long time back. I decided to try it out the next day. 

In this curry, the chick peas are cooked in a yogurt based gravy. The yogurt apart from imparting a mild tang to the gravy, also gives  a velvety texture to the curry. The flavors of this gravy is mildly enhanced by the use of some fragrant spices. Even though, this curry goes great with rotis, I found that it tasted even better with steamed rice.

Jaisalmeri Kala chana recipe:
Preparation time: 15min+ soaking time
Cooking time: 15min
Serves- 4

Kala chana or black chick peas- 1 cup
Thick yogurt- 1-1/2 cup
Haldi or turmeric- 1/4tsp
Chick pea flour or besan- 2 tbsp
Ginger- 1/2" piece crushed
Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
Hing or asafotida- a pinch
Paprika powder- 1/2 tsp
Green chilli- 1. slit
Coriander powder- 1/2tsp
Garam masala- 1/4tsp
Salt to taste
Oil or ghee- 2tbsp
Coriander leaves to garnish


  • Pressure cook the soaked channa with some salt for 4-5 whistles or till cooked completely. Crush the chick peas slightly and keep aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, besan, turmeric, coriander powder and paprika powder and whisk well to remove any lumps and keep aside.
  • Heat oil or ghee in a wok and add the cumin seeds. Fry till they are brown and add the crushed ginger hing and green chilly and fry for a min.
  • Add the cooked chick peas, and salt and mix well.
  • Add the yogurt mixture and the garam masala and stir continuously till the mixture thickens.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or rotis.

This delicious curry is my contribution to Priya's My legume love affair event. Which was started my Susan.

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