Thursday, February 26, 2015

Stir fried paneer and mushroom

Todays recipe is an easy and a fun side dish that can be put together in just 15mins. And, it tastes absolutely delicious. I wish all recipes were like this.

Mushroom is one vegetable that rarely makes an appearance on the dining table. The reason for this is, S never eats them. No matter how hard I try, I cannot get my husband to like mushrooms. "It's a tasteless fungi. How can you eat them?" he says. So I cook mushrooms for Purvi and for myself. Whenever, S is not in town, I make this easy stir fry. This is one of the quickest ways to turn the "tasteless fungi" into a robust and an exciting ingredient. It's amazing what you can do with just a few ingredients. 

This recipe is one of my favorites because it is so vibrant with an interesting blend of textures and flavors. This dish is a medley of vegetables and soft paneer, which I feel is a winning combo. One bite of this simple stir fry and I am sure you will agree with me. 

Stir fried paneer and mushroom recipe:
Preparation time: 15min
Cooking time: 10mins
Serves- 4

Sesame oil or any other oil- 2tbsp
Sesame seeds- 1-1/2 tsp
Garlic- 2cloves, crushed
Spring onions- 4, whites and greens separated
Red chili flakes- 1/2tsp
Freshly ground black pepper powder- 1/2 tsp
Dark soya sauce- 1tsp
Mushrooms- 200gms, cleaned and cut into quarters
A mixture of red, green and yellow bell peppers- 1/2 cup, sliced length wise
Salt- to taste
Paneer- 300gms, cut into cubes

  • Heat oil in a large wok on medium heat. Add the sesame seeds and salute till they turn brown. Add the garlic and fry for a few seconds. Do not allow the garlic to turn brown.
  • Stir in the spring onion whites and fry for a minute. Add the quarter mushrooms, bell peppers and salt and fry for 5-8 minutes till the most of the water has evaporated.
  • Add the pepper powder, chili flakes and soya sauce and fry for 2minutes more. Add the Paneer cubes and mix the paneer along with the vegetables. Remove from heat and serve hot with rice or noodles.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Roasted tomato habanero salsa

Today I am blogging about one of my favorite condiments. Yes. The Salsa happens to be one my favorite condiments these days. I just love the versatility that this dip has to offer. Among the other possibilities, I like salsa in my sandwiches, pizzas, rice and along side corn chips. The versa;city of the Mexican salsa is limit less.

Over the past few months, I have developed a special liking to the Mexican cuisine. This liking could be because the mexican cuisine is very similar to the Indian cuisine. There is a similar use of spices like chilies and cumin. The tortillas bear a close resemblance to our humble rotis. I have even noticed that the Mexican rice dishes are very much like the Indian Pulao. While the Mexican cuisine depends heavily on rice, corn and beans, Indian cuisine is never really complete with out rice and Dal. 

Coming to this Salsa, let me give you a small warning. For this condiment is not for faint hearted. It would be an understatement if I say that this salsa is spicy. It is fiery hot. Despite the heat, this salsa is oddly addictive. So addictive, that I find myself heating it straight from the spoon. All I need is some tortilla chips and a perfect snack is at my disposal.

Roasted tomato habanero salsa recipe:
Preparation time: 10mins+20mins grilling time
Cooking time- nil
Makes- Approximately 400gms

Tomatoes- 6 large, halved
Habanero chilies- 2, deseeded
Red Bell peppers- 2 med, halved and deseeded
Onion- 1 med, peeled and cut into quarters
Carrot- 1med, peeled and cut into pieces
Garlic cloves- 3, peeled
Lemon juice- 1-1/2 tbsp
Orange juice- 1tbsp
Dried oregano-1tsp
Taco seasoning mix- 1tsp
Sugar- 1tsp
Salt- to taste
Olive oil- 2-1/2+1tbsp for roasting
Coriander leaves- 4tbsp, finely chopped

  • Preheat the oven to 200 C. Grease a shallow baking dish with 2tspns olive oil. Place the tomatoes, onions, chilies, bell peppers cut side down.
  • Also place the garlic cloves and carrot pieces in the dish. Brush the remaining olive oil over all the vegetables and sprinkle 1/2 a tsp of salt.
  • Broil in the preheated oven in the top shelf for 15-20mins until slightly charred.
  • Allow the vegetables to cool completely before transferring to a blender jar. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the coriander leaves and blend till slightly chunky. 
  • Add the coriander leaves and pulse for a couple of times.
  • Transfer the salsa to a clean jar and allow the salsa to stand in the refrigerator for at least three to four hours or over night for the flavors to enhance.


  • If you feel the habanero chilies are too spicy for you then simply substitute them with 2-3 jalapeño chilies.
  • I felt the orange juice gave a pleasant sweetness to the salsa. You can omit orange juice if you want to.
  • The taco seasoning mix can be substituted with a teaspoon of cumin seed powder and half a teaspoon of paprika powder.
  • The you do not like your salsa chunky, then simply blend the ingredients for a few more minutes till the desired consistency has reached.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Carrot coriander soup

I am back with a recipe for a simple yet heart warming soup. I love this soup. Simply because it is one of those soups which can be made with a handful of ingredients that are readily available in the pantry and with a minimal fuss. Carrots, onion and potato for the base which is spiced with coriander leaves, stalks, and coriander seeds. Once pureed, you can flavor it with whatever toppings you have on hand. This is one soup that I am asked to make often and I was asked to make this soup since we have all been under the wether since the past week. We were all down with flu and we ate a lot of this soup during those days. 

This creamy carrot soup is an absolute dream!! Even if I may say so myself. It is perfectly sweet, healthy, comforting, flavor packed and tastes very rich even with out too much butter or cream. Can a recipe get any better than that? 

This hearty and flavor packed soup turns the humble carrots into something special. The cumin and coriander seed powder gives depth where as the fresh coriander leaves lends a delicate flavor to the soup. 

The recipe can easily be halved if you want to make two large portions. You could also top it with with cream and pumpkin seeds if you like your soup rich. I served this soup with some home made garlic croutons. But you could serve any crusty bread of your choice. This soup can either be a part of the meal or it can be served as an elegant appetizer. Either ways, it will taste just as delicious. 

Carrot coriander soup recipe:
Preparation time: 20min
Cooking time: 10min
Serves- 6-8

Butter- 1-1/2tbsp
10 small carrots- peeled and cut into 1" long pieces
Potato- 1 small, peeled and cubed
Onion- 1 med, peeled and chopped
Coriander leaves and stalks- 3tbsp, chopped fine
Salt- 1tsp or to taste
Coriander seed powder- 1tsp
Cumin powder- 1/2 tsp
Pepper- 1/2tsp
Water- 4cups
Milk- 1 cup
Coriander leaves for garnish

  • Melt butter in a thick bottomed pan. Add the carrots, potato, onion and salute for five mins.
  • Stir in the coriander leaves and stalk, salt, coriander powder, and pepper powder and sauté for a two more mins.
  • Add water and cook covered till the vegetables are completely cooked.
  • Allow the mixture to cool completely before transferring to a food processor or liquidizer to make a puree.
  • Return the puree to a pan and bring the mixture to a boil on medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat add milk. Mix and return the pan to heat but do not allow the mixture to boil.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with croutons or bread of your choice.
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