Aloo paneer matar in methi gravy

Potatoes, paneer and green peas. Potluck. Rush out to get methi leaves. Paneer aloo matar in methi gravy.Hit with friends. Yaiy!
Ingredients:
2 fistfuls/a bunch thats available in the market of methi leaves(fenugreek)
200 gms paneer (cottage cheese), cut into small peices and shallow friend till golden brown

1 big potato, cut into small peices
100 gms green peas, cooked
2 medium onions finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes finely chopped
6-7 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 inch ginger, finely chopped
4 cloves
3 cardomom1 inch cinnamom
4 cashew nuts
1/4 cup curd
2 tspn garam masala
2 tspn sauf (fennel seeds)
2 tspn jeera powder (cumin powder)
1 tspn coriander powder (coriander powder)
2 tspn turmeric powder
1 tspn chilli powder
4 tblspn oil
salt to taste
Method:
Heat oil.Add sauf.Saute the ginger and garlic till they change color(this smells devine).
Add the whole spices(cloves,cinnamon and cardamom).Tip in the onions and the methi. Let it cook till onions are golden brown. This actually makes a difference in taste. For good of course!Now add the tomatoes and all the powdered spices, garam masala,chilli, jeera, coriander powders and salt. Add about a tablespoon of water,to let all the spices come together well. Give it a good mix and shut the lid of your cooking pot and let it cook for about 10 minutes. Now add the potatoes as they need to be cooked. Also add a fourth of a cup of water and let it cook till potatoes are done, which will be soon since they are small peices. Once cooked tip in the cooked paneer and peas, give it all a good mix. Grind the curd with the cashew nuts together. Pour it into the almost done gravy. Now turn the heat low. Bring to a boil. Take it off the heat.
If you want more grave add more onions and tomatoes with some water. I intended for it to be more of a gravy but ended up with a little dry version of the same. which was good too.

Serve this with some hot plain parantas. YUM!
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Mom’s Chocolate Cake

 

This is the most ridiculously chocolatey chocolate cake ever. Rich yet light because I haven’t added an ounce of butter in it except for the icing. So moist you forget to chew. And most of all, so chocolatey you don’t want to stop. I strongly recommend you trying this cake. You just have to take my word for it.It will make you the most popular amongst family and friends.
Ingredients:
Dry ingredients:
1 cup flour (maida)
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Wet ingredients:
1/2 cup curd
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup boiling water
1 tsp vanilla1 egg (separate yolk and white)
Combine all the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl whisk the egg white till almost stiff-very frothy.Add the yolk, curd, vanilla, oil and hot water to the dry mix. Mix well using a whisk but don’t over whisk or beat it. When the batter is smooth, fold in the egg white. Grease your baking tin. Dust it with some flour, to avoid the cake from sticking to the tin. Pour all the batter and bake at 175C or low-med heat in oven for 45 mins or till the toothpick comes out clean when stuck inside.Remove and let it cool completely.
Psst psst: I forgot to add vanilla. Couldn’t tell the difference anyways.
For the icing:
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup softened unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
Bring all the above ingredients to a boil on low flame in a saucepan. Keep whisking every now and then. Once it comes to a boil, take it off the heat and let it cool, all the while whisking it. Don’t worry it will be thin in consistency when it is off the stove.But as it cools it will thicken to a fudge like consistency. So beautiful it will stop your heart (not literally!)
Once it has completely cooled, generously pour it over the cake. Just to avoid mess, do place butter paper under the cake. Or in my case today’s newspaper. Once you’ve poured it, let it spread or you can do it yourself by using a spatula. Drench the cake completely with the chocolate frosting. Devilishly sinful chocolate cake is ready to serve. If you have left over icing, store it in the fridge. Whenever you need to use it, lets say for ice-cream sundaes or cakes, the likes, pop it in the microwave for about 15 seconds and enjoy!
There are many many chocolate cake recipes out there.It’s just the matter of finding the right one that works best for you. I have a few such recipes for chocolate cake with different icing/frostings.
 
 
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Dutch apple cake

This is a light non-fussy kind of cake. It will remind you of a sponge cake but the ingredients are totally different. Perfect with a cup of tea in the evenings when your friends come over.

Ingredients:
2 eggs

3/4 cup caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup butter

5 tblspn milk
1 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 cooking apple(green apple), peeled, cored and thinly sliced
Method:

Using an electric whisk, whisk the eggs, caster sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl until the mixture is thick.I went for manual whisking as I don’t have an electric whisk in my kitchen. What you could do is, put the eggs, sugar and vanilla in the blender with the juicer blades on. Give it a few runs for about 2 minutes. Pour it all out into a big bowl and whisk it by hand now. Don’t worry if it still looks thin. It will thicken. Melt the butter in a saucepan with the milk, then pour onto the eggs, whisking all the time. Sift in the flour, cinnamon and baking powder and fold carefully into the batter so that there are no lumps of flour. Pour the mixture into the greased baking tin and smooth the surface. Arrange the apple slices over the batter. Or you could even pour half the batter then place a few of the apple slices, pour the remaining batter and top it with the rest of the apple slices. Sprinkle over a tablespoon of sugar and bake in the oven for 30-35 mins in 180-200C. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the tin. Cut into squares and serve warm.
Very humble looking yet very comforting.

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Pancakes

My favourite breakfast will always include American pancakes. Light, fluffy and super-delicious! They’re very easy to whip up and will make your friends and family think you’ve slaved in the kitchen for at least a few hours.


Yields 6 pancakes

Ingredients:
1 cup flour (maida)

1 cup milk

1 egg (whites separated)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

3 tblsp sugar

1 tblsp oil

1 tsp cinnamon powder (optional)

a pinch of salt

1 tbsp icing sugar (optional)

2 tbsp honey (optional)


Method:

Combine all the dry ingredients together.

Add the egg yolk to the milk along with the vanilla and oil.

In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites till they are frothy.

Now mix well the milk and egg yolk to the dry ingredients.

Tip in the frothy egg whites and fold it into the batter. Do not whisk.

Pour a ladleful of batter on a hot pan. If you do use a non-stick pan you dont have to use butter or oil to grease it.

Let it cook for about a min, or till you see small bubbles on the sides.

Now flip the pancake to see the nice golden brown colour on the cooked side, so the other side cooks as well. That should take another 40 secs to a minute.

Take it off the pan. Serve warm.

Serving suggestions:

Top the pancakes with honey, or even better – maple syrup with a dusting of icing sugar. In the picture given you can see the pancakes have company. You could do the same to make it a complete breakfast or brunch. Scrambled eggs, chicken sausages and a cupcake! That’s what we went with. What a start to a great day 🙂

 

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Egg pizza it seems…


Well, I basically have no name for this omelette look alike! We ended up making this omelette clone when we basically wanted to have a heavy breakfast and were bored of the usual scrambles and and bull eyes. The simple trick is to beat the eggs (3 nos) till they are slightly fluffy. When the pan is hot, pour in the beaten eggs. To it add oregano, tiny cubes of cheese and chopped coriander and salt to taste. Now here is the trick for it to become a pizza look alike…do not stir it or attempt to turn it, just cover it with a lid. This will make it fluffy and cook the top as well.


let it look for about 6 mins …slice’em up….enjoy!!
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Baigan Bharta…

This would be my treatment to one of the very common traditional Indian household dishes. We wanted a vegetarian meal for the dinner and there you go, some roasted eggplant, tossed in scrambled eggs. Here is what you need:
4 small brinjals
2 small onions
3 large pods of garlic
1 large green chilli
Smear some mustard oil on the brinjals and place then directly on your stove. Do not fork holes on the skin and let it roast evenly on all sides. When you notice that they have deflated slightly, you know they have been cooked to perfection. Now immerse them in a bowl of water, as they cool gently peel out the thin epidermis and mash the naked bulbs with a fork. Keep aside.
Now heat 2 tbl spoons of mustard oil and fry the chopped onions, garlic and chilli (you might wanna take in the aroma here). Add the mashed brinjals to it and let the flavours meet. Now break one egg into it and scramble it up…add salt to taste. Now saute it for about a min.
Serving suggestions:
You could sprinkle some freshly chopped corriander. Its flavour with the roast brinjal’s is just something that lingers in your palate. I just added those tiny pods of onion!
Tastes Perfect with white rice or chappati. ‘Mast Khao!’
Also, even if you avoid the egg content to suit ur needs…it tastes great!!…This one is for you Dimps!
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Banana Raisin Cake


This time around my insipration turned out to be the 2 over ripe bananas sitting lazy on my dining table.They were on their death bed and my mother would have put them to rest by dumping them in the garbage bag.I just wanted them to attain nirvana…and I believe they did.I would like to believe this is one of my better creations.If I may say so myself, the most moist and delicious cake I have ever baked.You will need:

1/2 cup soft unsalted butter

1/2 cup sugar (caster/regular/icing)

2 over ripe bananas, mashed

1/2 cup raisins

2 eggs- separate whites and yolk

1 cup flour

1 1/2 tspn baking powder

1 tspn baking soda

1 tspn cinnamon powder

a pinch of salt

Method:

Cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy. I personally prefer caster or icing sugar. Let’s make life easy. Add the egg yolks. Mix well. Add the cinnamon powder. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites till they turn frothy. To the butter and sugar mixture add the mashed bananas and mix well.Combine the dry ingredients well (flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt)Add the dry mix into the wet mixture spoon by spoon.Mix well till all the ingredients are combined well. Trust me this is a good right arm work out! Tip in the frothy egg whites and gently folding them into the creamy mixture. Don’t mix too much, else the cake will fall flat.Now we don’t want that do we? Add the raisins. Here you can get a little creative by using any kind of dry fruits. From walnuts to cashews and dates to almonds.Anything.Now grease your baking tin with butter (I know!)
Pre heat your oven and bake for 45 mins at 180C Do the usual tooth pick/fork test to see if its done.

Take it out, let it cool.

Take a bite and thank me 😉
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Appetizers in Siaa…

Siaa, in Hyderabad is one of the best places for dinner. A contemporary and cool place over looking the city lights definitely lets a serene atmosphere for some cocktails with friends. Well, I happen to visit Siaa on an afternoon for ‘Salsa’ reasons. The lunch buffet was classy and a good conglomeration of cuisines. I am a total appetizers person and for me that was the best part. What impressed me the most is the presentation of the food and certainly, the choice of the dishes. Theprawn cocktail had the perfect peppery zing to the continental tomato ‘shorba’, served in cute little cocktail glasses. My favourite was the smoked cheese with walnuts. The after taste on your palate makes you crave for some more of that I say! Another prawn item on the appetizer menu was the sea food salad, where the squids and prawns were generously soaked with the thousand island like dips. The smoked peppers and corn are the vegetarians’ delight…cooked to perfection. I still cannot figure out how they could mince the meat so flawlessly, they make an awesome bite! the assorted treats were irresistible…tiny tiramisu and mousse treats just brightened the end of your meal. As for the main course, they lay the best of the choices from the Indian, Continental and Chinese cuisine. Will concentrate more on the main course the next time…I just couldn’t get enough of the appetizers that afternoon!

PS: need to try some look ‘alikes’ in our kitchen, what say Pallavi?
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Thai Express

After undivided love for Chinese cuisine, I tried the Japanese cuisine…started with the sushi and loved it. The next oriental adventure was Thai. ‘Thai Express’ is the newest of the chains and yes it is in Hyderabad 🙂
Vibrant yet subtle interiors and a very interesting menu; speaking of which, I think we can take a leaf out of the Thai Express’s menu about it being so well organized with relevant pictures of the dishes neatly numbered corresponding to the aunthentically nomenclatured dishes. Boy! you really wanna ‘read’ & ‘see’ your dish before place an order you havent tried yet 🙂 The must-eat are the soft shell crabs which is under the ‘street food section’. They serve it with a tiny portion of green ‘chutney’ and four amazing dips to go with it. For the main course I tried and loved the ‘phad thai gai‘which is the authentic rice noodles with chicken. Sprinkle the ground peanuts and red chilli flakes & throw in a few tespoons of those sauces. If this is your first thai cuisine experience, then your palate is bound to discover some cool new flavours. The watermelon slush was perfect for the hot afternoon setting! You could try the same ‘phad thai‘ with ‘talay‘ ie with sea food. Sigh, gonna try out the red, yellow and green gravies soon!
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