Methi Paneer Curry Recipe
When I first moved up north, it was winter. I could barely feel my nose or feet. But food during this time of the year is fantastic. From the gajar ka halwa to saag, there’s such good food. Methi in everything seems to be the right thing to do as well. I’ve had lots of methi based curries and I can’t seem to get over it. One such was methi paneer. They do add a lot of cream to it, which isn’t really my way of doing things. So I added whipped yoghurt. It was creamy without the cream and the bitterness of the methi was just right.
Ricotta and Mushrooms with Sriracha on Toast
Ah, what’s Sunday without a good breakfast. Be it eggs – sunny side up, French toast, frittata or anything else, comfort is key. Now, without compromising on taste, you can make easy and quick Sunday breakfasts without much trouble. You know what’s delicious? Ricotta. What’s better? Ricotta for breakfast. Making ricotta only sounds like a lot of work but it takes only some milk with salt and lemon juice, and 20 mins of your time. I do it as soon as I’m up, so by the time I’ve freshened up my ricotta is ready. You could make it ahead of time as well.
Shiitake and Tofu Stir Fry
Yes, the looks like one sad pile of brown things that didn’t belong together. However, they tasted pretty good. And that’s because shiitake is so flavourful, it could lift any boring dish. This was my first time cooking shiitake and I wanted to pair it with something that wouldn’t take away from it. Enter, tofu. Tofu essentially soaks up anything that’s around it. Simply put these two together with some soy, chilli, ginger and garlic. Easy and quick dinner in under 20 mins.
Crushed Cucumber Salad with a Soy Miso Dressing
It’s what you think it is. Cucumber, crushed and served with a dressing. As simple as that. I recently saw someone on I follow and admire on Twitter post her meal which had this cucumber crushed and served on the side. Given how hot it still is in this part of the country, a cucumber salad seemed ideal. Well, I took it to my friend’s place and it was a hit. You can make this is in 5-8 minutes and is a great addition to your dinner.
Batate Saung / Potatoes in a fiery sauce
..well, as fiery as you want it to be. Batate saung traditionally is a Mangalorean dish. If I have to narrow it down further, it’s a Konkani dish. Konkani style fare is most sought after vegetarian food in Mangalore, as I remember it. That’s why grandma took on to making some of them at home regularly. Most of their dishes are light and relatively healthy. But this batate saung was something else. Fiery, sour and delicious. Using only onions, potato and a spice paste with chillies, coconut, coriander seeds and tamarind, this one takes just about 15-20 mins to make.
Kadle Manoli Aajadina / Ivy Gourd and Chickpeas with Coconut
This one’s no different from the beans aajadina I had cooked recently. This one too uses the same coconut mixture in the end to be stirred in. Ivy gourd, from what I’ve seen and eaten around here, is almost always cooked to death. Well, that’s true for most vegetables. Homemade or not, these lovely crisp veggies are often overcooked with so many spices that you won’t know what you’re eating. I guess that’s why many twitch their face when they see these vegetables being served at lunch in the office or at home. Thankfully, I’ve grown up eating vegetables cooked lightly so they retain their colour, shape and original taste.
One way to to use leftover chickpeas from when you made chole or hummus is to turn into a salad. Chickpeas are very filling and make for great salads without adding too many vegetables or even any meat to it. I usually toss the chickpeas in some salt and pepper and add some cucumber and tomatoes. This time I took it up a notch and popped them in my air fryer for a few minutes. They crisped up on the outside and were still soft on the inside. This added a great element of texture. Threw in some cherry tomatoes, capsicum and onions. Not just that, I roasted some cauliflower with turmeric and that was a great addition too.
Beans Aajadina / Beans Sukka / Beans stir fried with coconut
French beans are one of my favourite vegetables. It cooks fast and works in any form and cuisine. Be it a quick stir fry with salt and pepper or garam masala or in sambar, beans are made a number of ways in India. One of my go to recipes is a sukka. We are more familiar with chicken, mutton and seafood sukka dishes at restaurants. But back home, sukka or as it’s called in Tulu “aajadina”, is a common way of making a side dish with vegetables. Beans, ivy gourd, chickpeas and many other legumes and vegetables are made this style.
First off, homemade harissa is the best. If you haven’t made it, let me tell you it’s the easiest condiment to make with everyday ingredients. And quite fun too. Also, there are so many different dishes you can make based on harissa. I made a salad dressing and it was delicious. You can make chicken wings with it, or simply use it in yoghurt to make a dip and much more.
I’ve completely gotten into this mode of cooking a proper vegetarian meal every night this week. Thankfully I had the ground coconut masala and cooked tur dal in the fridge already. All I needed to do was cook the vegetables and bring it together with the dal and masala. The cabbage palya barely took 7-8 minutes to cook, so it wasn’t an elaborate process.
The drumstick curry
Yield: Enough for 4 people
Drumstick - 2 medium ones cut into 2 inch pieces
Red shallots (sambar onions) - 7-8
Tomato - 1 quartered
Masala - 3 tbsp of previously ground masala + 3 dried red chillies + 3 cloves garlic + 1 tsp tamarind pulp all ground together
Cooked tur dal - 1/2 cup
Jaggery - 1 tbsp crushed
Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Tamarind pulp water - 1/4 cup
Coriander leaves for garnish
Salt - to taste
Ghee/oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Cook drumsticks in water for 6-7 minutes or till it's slightly soft when you poke it with a fork/knife (I didn't know how else to check) and keep aside with the water it was cooked in.
Heat oil/ghee and add all the ingredients for tempering and let them splutter.
Now add the tamarind water and let it come to a boil for about 3-4 mins.
Add the masala and dal along with tomatoes and shallots. Let this bubble on medium heat for 5 minutes.
Add the drumsticks, salt and chilly powder.
Take it off the heat and garnish with coriander leaves.
The cabbage palya
Cabbage - 1 small, shredded
Oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tbsp
Channa dal - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric - 1-2 tsp (depending on how you like it)
Salt - to taste
Heat oil and add mustard seeds, channa dal and curry leaves. Let them splutter.
Add the turmeric and chilly powder.
Add cabbage and stir well.
Add salt and cook for 5 minutes. I like mine slightly on the crunchier side. If you want it to be cooked though completely cook it longer.
I served the curry and cabbage with rice and a side of yoghurt and mango pickle.