Paneer and Potato Paninis

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It has been quite a while since I posted on this blog..not to say that I have not been cooking :-) Except I have taken to Instagram (I admit i got on there to stalk my daughter :-P) and it’s just easier clicking and posting on Instagram…of course the quality of phone pictures are not as great but it’s just easier and not all dishes require a recipe..everyone knows how to make the common dishes and not everything needs a recipe..sometimes a picture just gives you an idea, you drool over it and then you know what you want to make for dinner!!

However today’s dish is born out of innovation in my kitchen..made these super tasty paneer paninis the other day for a friend’s birthday party and they were an instant hit…I have had several asks for a recipe so i just thought maybe i should post :-)

Crispy and delicious Paneer Paninis

Crispy and delicious Paneer and Potato Paninis

You will need:

1 loaf Sourdough bread (or any panini bread of your choice)
Butter
1/2 cup Green Chutney (Green chutney recipe here)
2 Potatoes – Boiled, peeled and sliced into thick slices
1 large Onion – Chopped fine
Cilantro – Chopped fine

 For the Paneer Filling:
2 Cups Paneer – Chopped fine or grated
1 Large Bell Pepper (or any colored peppers, i have used yellow and orange sweet peppers here) – Chopped into cubes
1 Large Onion – Chopped fine or into thin slices
1 Large Tomato – Chopped fine
1 Garlic pod – Grated (optional)
Ginger – 1 small piece grated
2 Green chillies – Chopped fine
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Red Chilli powder or Curry powder
1 tsp Dhaniya powder
1/2 tsp Jeera powder
1/2 tsp Garam Masala

 Method:
For the Paneer Filling –
1. In a pan, heat 2 tbsp oil. Add the chopped onions and grated garlic and saute until golden brown.
2. Then add the chopped tomatoes and peppers and saute for a few minutes until the tomatoes are slightly mushy.
3. Then add all the dry powder and mix well. At this point add 1/2 tsp butter or ghee and mix well.
4. Add the chopped or grated paneer, salt and mix well. Saute for a few minutes until paneer is cooked and slightly golden brown.
5. Add the chopped green chillies, grated ginger and chopped cilantro and mix well.

Paneer Filling

Paneer Filling

To Assemble the Paninis:
1. Take 1 slice of the sourdough bread.
2. Spread 1 tsp of green chutney and top with the sliced boiled potato slices.

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3. Top with 2 tbsp of paneer filling.

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4. Sprinkle some chopped onions and chopped cilantro.
5. Cover with another slice and grill on a panini press until crisp and well done. Brush the top of the panini with some butter and grill just a few more seconds.
6. Serve hot..

Tasty Paneer Paninis

Tasty Paneer Paninis

Enjoy!

A DIY Project and Mango Dal

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I am so excited about this post..last week I found M Khan of unkhanny.com – a lovely blog with wonderful recipes, some great myths debunked straight from the Dr.’s mouth, lovely beauty facts and tips and some awesome DIY ideas!! I so fell in love with this DIY idea of hers that I had to try it right away!!!

Dal to go...

Dal to go…

I stopped by the store yesterday to pick up some Mason jars and had a fun time putting together this great Dal To Go Gift idea :-) I did improvise a bit with the dal recipe itself from M Khan’s recipe… I added in the jar my signature home made Chilli masala powder, some home made cumin powder, amchur and turmeric powder. I toasted the seasoning ingredients as she has suggested and love that all one has to now do it to add the ingredients of the jar in a pressure cooker, add some salt and ghee for good measure :-) and cook until soft and of course serve hot!!

Some pictures from my DIY Photoshoot ;-) A handwritten recipe also goes out with each jar…..Huh…whom do I gift it to now?? :-)

Thank you M Khan for this great idea!!

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To continue the Dal Saga I am going to share with you today a Dal recipe from my kitchen..it is a South Indian Dal recipe, more specifically an Andhra dal recipe called “Mamidikaya Pappu” or “Mango Dal”..With the onset of summer raw mangoes in all forms and sizes are now available in the market in India..

The Mango Market and season in full swing Photo Courtesy: thetimesofindia.com

The Mango Market and season in full swing
Photo Courtesy: thetimesofindia.com

Yummy Mangoes Photo Courtesy: Internet

Yummy Mangoes
Photo Courtesy: Internet

I miss the vibrant markets of India, the abundance of vegetables and fruits and the hot summers.. But I am not one to fret over it :-) I do enjoy my local groceries and whole foods market here in the US. I was lucky to find some raw mangoes in our Indian store here in the US..

Green Raw Mango

Green Raw Mango

I saved one of these babies to make my mom’s signature Mango Thokku. The other I used up for the Mango Dal below…

You will need:

Ingredients for Mango Dal

Ingredients for Mango Dal

1 Cup Toor Dal
3/4th Raw Mango – Peel and cube, discard the large seed
1 Large tomato – Chop roughly
5 Green chillies – Slit lengthwise
2 cloves Garlic – Peel
1/4 Onion – Chop
Turmeric Powder

Combine all of the above in a pressure pan or pressure cooker. Add about 3 cups of water and pressure cook for 3 whistles. Allow the pressure from the cooker to cool.
Open the lids, Use a large ladle, masher or a hand blender to slightly mash the dal. If the dal is too thick you may add about 1/2 cup water. Add salt to taste and boil uncovered for 5 minutes.

Delicious Mango Dal

Delicious Mango Dal

Season with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad dal, curry leaves, dry red chillies, some chopped garlic and some hing.You may also add chopped onions for seasoning.

Serve Mango Dal with Hot Rice, Papad and Pickle...

Serve Mango Dal with Hot Rice, Papad and Pickle…

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Serve hot with rice, papad and pickle..or just plain with hot steaming rice :-)
Hope you enjoyed my post! Thanks for stopping by…

Puffed Rice Upma (Soosla/Uggani/Buggani)

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Puffed Rice Upma also called “Soosla” in North Karnataka and “Uggani” or “Buggani” in some parts of Rayalseema/Telangana. I learnt how to make this dish by watching a friend make it – he is from North Karnataka and he passionately invites friends over for a “Soosla” party :-) I tried it at home once, after watching him make it and really enjoyed the simple recipe and how quick it can be put together, also very light and great with a cup of chai! After that I have made this a million times and now call the recipe mine ;-) But due credits go to Sangamesh for this recipe…

Puffed Rice Upma (Soosla/Uggani)

Delicious and Spicy Puffed Rice Upma

Delicious and Spicy Puffed Rice Upma

You will need:
3 cups Puffed Rice (Mamra, Muri, Churmuri)
1 Onion – Chopped fine
1 Tomato – Chopped fine
4 Green chillies – Slit lengthwise
Curry Leaves
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Chutney Powder (Powder used as a side for Idli/Dosa)
Salt to taste

For Seasoning:
2 tbsp Oil
Mustard seeds
Urad dal
Channa Dal
Peanuts
Hing/Asafoetida

For Garnishing:
Fresh Grated Coconut
Chopped Cilantro
Fresh Lime

Method:
1. Chop the onions, tomatoes and green chillies.

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2. In a bowl filled with water, add the puffed rice into the water and soak for a minute. Drain and Squeeze out all the water from the puffed rice. Ensure that you squeeze out all the water and the puffed rice is dry. Keep aside.

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3. In a pan, heat the oil, add the peanuts and fry until golden brown. Removed these roasted peanuts into a small bowl and keep aside (here I have omitted the peanuts because I ran out, the peanuts give these a crunch so be sure to add it). In the same oil, add the mustard seeds and allow to splutter. Add the jeera, hing, dals and allow to turn golden brown.

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4. Add the chopped onions, green chillies, curry leaveas. Saute for a few minutes until onion is golden brown.

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5. Add the chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder and salt and saute until the mushy.

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6. To this onion-tomato mixture, add the soaked and drained puffed rice. Adjust salt as needed. Add the chutney powder and Mix well.

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7. Turn off the stove, squeeze fresh lime into this, add chopped cilantro and grated coconut and mix well. Serve hot.

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Tasty Tasty Puffed Rice Upma!

Tasty Tasty Puffed Rice Upma!

Note: Uggani is typically served with Mirchi bajjis :-) Soosla of course is served with chai :-) Enjoy!

Tomato Onion Curry

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In an effort to post more frequently, I am dipping into my treasure of pictures to post on a simple dish from Karnataka – Tomato Onion Curry also called Tomato Onion Gojju. This recipe is quick, easy to make and great for days when you have no time to spend in the kitchen but equally delicious that is typically served with roti/chapatis.

Delicious and quick Tomato Onion Gojju served with hot rotis and a quick Tender Cucumber Salad

Delicious and quick Tomato Onion Gojju served with hot rotis and a quick Tender Cucumber Salad

You will need:

2 Large Tomatoes – Chop into small cubes
1 Medium Onion – Chop into small cubes
1 Green chilli – Chop lengthwise
1 1/2 tsp Sambar Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 small piece jaggery
1 tbsp grated coconut for garnishing (optional)
Cilantro – Chopped for garnishing
Salt to taste

For Seasoning:
1 tbsp Oil
Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Urad dal
Curry Leaves
Hing or Asafoetida
Method:
1. Chop the Onion, Tomatoes and Green chilli.
2. In a pan, heat the oil. Season with mustard seeds. Allow to splutter. Add the urad dal and hing. Allow the dal to turn golden brown and then add the curry leaves.Saute.
3. Add the chopped green chilli and onions. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes until onions turn golden brown. Then add the chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder and salt to taste.
4. Saute for a few minutes until the tomatoes are mushy. Then add the sambar powder and mix well. Saute for a minute or so.
5. Add about 1/2 cup of water and cover with a lid. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes on a medium flame. Don’t allow all water to evaporate. If it seems dry, add about 1/4 cup of water again. The curry should be a semi-gravy.
6. Add the jaggery and grated coconut and mix well. Allow to cook for a minute or so.
7. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with rotis.

 

South Indian Yellow Potato Curry (Potato Palya/Potato Masal)

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This South Indian variety of Potato Curry is quite famous as a stuffing inside a Masala Dosa. Depending on which part of South India you go, there are variations in how people make this dish. But by and large ingredients are similar and look and taste are similar. In Tamil Nadu, some people add fennel seeds to the seasoning and some people add besan/gram flour to the curry.
My recipe is how it is typically made in Karnataka. I learnt it how to make this from mom and this is one dish that I have not improvised or changed anything because it tastes just perfect that way.

Delicious Potato Palya...

Delicious Potato Palya…

You will need:
2 Large Potatoes – Wash, cut into large cubes and pressure cook for 1 or 2 whistles. Peel and mash roughly.
1 Large Onion – Peel and Chop lengthwise
3 to 4 Green Chillies – Slit lengthwise
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
a few curry leaves
1 tsp grated ginger
1/2 Fresh Lime
Cilantro/Coriander Leaves – Chopped
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Oil

For Seasoning:
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Urad dal
1/2 tsp Channa dal
Hing or Asafoetida

Method:
1. As mentioned above, chop the onions, chillies, grate the ginger and wash the curry leaves. Here I ran out of ginger at home, so I always keep this ginger powder handy for occassions such as these.

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2. Boil the potatoes, peel and mash roughly. Ensure that it is slightly lumpy i.e roughly mashed. If it is too pasty the curry wont taste good.

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3. In a pan, heat the oil and season with mustard seeds, hing and the dals. Allow the dals to turn golden brown.

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4. Then add the chopped onions, green chillies, grated ginger (in my case here ginger powder) and curry leaves.

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5. Add the turmeric powder and mix well. Saute for 3 to 5 minutes until the onions are transparent. Dont allow the onions to brown, that changes the taste of the curry.

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6. Add about 1/2 cup water and salt as needed. Bring to a boil and allow the water to almost evaporate.

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7. Add the mashed potatoes and mix well.

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8. Garnish with chopped cilantro and squeeze the lime onto the curry, mix well.

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9. Serve hot with fluffy pooris or as a filling inside a masala dosa :-) I even use it as a filling inside a sandwich or an aloo bonda :-)

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Happy weekend!

Peanut Masala Buns

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Traditionally, back in the old days all bakeries in Bangalore were called “Iyengar Bakery”. Any Bangalorean will get nostalgic when you talk about these bakeries and some of the classic snacks served there – the Vegetable and Egg Puffs, Onion Tomato Sandwich, Potato Bun, Sweet Bun, Khara Bun, Dil Pasand, the multitude of biscuits and spicy snacks etc. There are still many of these bakeries today, still rustic and classic in how they are run and what they serve.

Photo Courtesy: Internet

Photo Courtesy: Internet

Photo Courtesy: Internet

Photo Courtesy: Internet

Freshly made bread everyday..the tastiest bread in the world. Photo Courtesy: Thehindu.com

Freshly made bread everyday..the tastiest bread in the world. Photo Courtesy: Thehindu.com

The various options at one of Banaglore's Bakeries  Photo Courtesy: Internet

The various options at one of Bangalore’s Bakeries
Photo Courtesy: Internet

Masala Potato Buns Photo Courtesy: Internet

Masala Potato Buns
Photo Courtesy: Internet

Hot Puffs fresh from the oven Photo Courtesy: zomata.com

Hot Puffs fresh from the oven
Photo Courtesy: zomata.com

The face of the bakery has changed over the past several years. And boy have taken the word bakery to a new level! What with serving the ever growing South Bangalore working class, student population from various parts of the country. On a balmy evening in Bangalore you can see quite a crowd outside these bakeries, all of them sipping chai and eating a samosa or a Samosa sandwich or a Jam Butter Sandwich etc.

Today recipe is from the Bakery Kitchen – a classic tea time snack, innovation at its prime :-)

Peanut Masala Buns

You will need:

Sandwich Buns or Burger Buns – 4 or 6 as per count needed
Butter as needed

For the Peanut Masala:
1 box of Spanish Peanuts or any store bought salted roasted peanuts (In Bangalore they use the spicy variety of peanuts called “Congress” – spicy, red and broken into half these are to die for!)

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Photo Courtesy: Classic Congress Peanuts www.Sumarowjee.blogspot.com

Photo Courtesy: Classic Congress Peanuts http://www.Sumarowjee.blogspot.com

1 Onion – Chopped fine
3 Green Chillies – Minced or chopped fine
1 Carrot – Grated
1/2 cup Chopped Cilantro/Coriander leaves
1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
1 tbsp Grated Coconut
1/2 Fresh Lemon/Lime
Salt to taste

Method:
1. Chop the onions, greem chillies and cilantro. Grate the carrots and keep aside.

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2. Combine all the ingredients for the Peanut Masala, except the Peanuts in a mixing bowl and mix well.

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3. Add the above mixture to the peanuts and mix well. Top with chopped cilantro and grated coconut. Squeeze fresh lime and mix well. This Peanut Masala can also be served as is..it makes a very tasty snack.

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4. To assemble the Peanut Masala Buns: Spread butter on the insides of the bun and toast on a griddle.

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5. Spread sweet tamarind chutney on the isnides of one half (this is an optional step)

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6. Spread the peanut masala mixture on one half of the bun. Top with the other half and serve.

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7. Spicy and tasty Peanut Masala buns are ready to be served with Tea.

Spicy Peanut Masala Buns

Spicy Peanut Masala Buns

 

Spicy Peanut Masala Buns

Spicy Peanut Masala Buns

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Hope you enjoyed my post. Thank you for stopping by!

Whole Moong Curry and Whole Tuvar Sambar

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Blogging is tough work.. :-) I spent a lot of my weekend cooking, food styling and taking pictures! And of course I had fun doing it. Except when you spend all that time doing the stuff you love, the regular mundane chores never get done :-P
However, I never did get to upload my pictures so my big post with exciting stuff has to wait.

For today, I am going to dip into my treasure of saved pictures and share two simple recipes…

The first one is – Whole Moong Curry. This is a Karnataka style gravy curry recipe and is called “Hesar kaalu Gojju” – Hesar Kaalu the Kannada term for Whole Mung Beans or Whole Moong; Gojju is typically any gravy dish made with a combination of tomato, tamarind and any vegetable or beans/lentils. I learnt how to make this dish from my mother-in-law whose predominant style of cooking is Karanataka Cuisine. It is regular fare in my home just because I keep running out of ideas for what to serve and also the fact that it is a wholesome dish with the Moong beans providing the much needed protein and that the dish is a perfect compliment to both rice and roti.

Whole Moong Curry

Whole Moong Curry

You will need:
1 cup Whole Moong/ Whole Mung beans
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
Salt to taste

To be ground into a Paste:

Ingredients to be ground into paste

Ingredients to be ground into paste

1/2 cup grated coconut
1 Small tomato or 1/2 large tomato – Chopped roughly
a few sprigs of fresh Cilantro/Coriander leaves
1 small Garlic (optional)
1/2 small onion – Chopped roughly
2 1/2 tsp Red Chilli and Dhaniya powder (equal proportion)

Combine all of the above raw with 1/2 cup water and grind to a smooth paste.

For Seasoning:
2 tsp Oil
Asafoetida or Hing – a pinch
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 Onion – Chopped fine
a few curry leaves

Method:

1. Roast the Moong in a microwave safe bowl for 1 minute. Wash and combine with 3 cups of water and the turmeric powder and pressure cook in a pressure cooker for 3 whistles.
2. Alternatively, you may soak the moong overnight and pressure cook next day for just 1 whistle. I prefer the method in step 1, because I always forget to soak :-)
3. Grind everything mentioned above for the paste and keep aside.
4. Combine the cooked Moong and ground paste. Do not discard the water from the cooked beans, use that water also.
5. Add salt and enough water to make it a semi liquid consistency and boil on stove top for 5 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, heat a small pan for seasoning. Add the oil, season with mustard seeds, hing and curry leaves. Allow the mustard to splutter, add the chopped onions and fry until golden brown. Add the seasoning to the above cooked gravy and mix well.
7. Serve hot with Rotis and/or Rice.

Delicious and Wholesome Whole Moong Curry served with Rotis and Rice

Delicious and Wholesome Whole Moong Curry served with Rotis and Rice

The second recipe for today is – Whole Tuvar Sambar. Again, this is a Karnataka style Sambar or Huli as it is called in Kannada. Wholesome, simple and very tasty this is great for when you run out of veggies. Whole Tuvar or Pigeon Peas as it is called is available in bean pods in India. Here in the US we are not as lucky to get the fresh variety. It is available as “Tuvar Liliva” in the frozen section and is as close as it can get to the fresh variety.

Tuvar Lilva or Fresh Pigeon Peas

Tuvar Lilva or Fresh Pigeon Peas

You will need:
2 cups Whole Tuvar
1/2 cup Toor Dal
1 small piece garlic (optional)
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 Large tomato – Chopped into cubes
1 small piece tamarind soaked in water for 10 minutes

Combine the above in a pressure cooker with about 2 to 3 cups of water and pressure cook for 3 whistles. Allow the pressure to cool.

Salt as needed
1 1/2 tsp Sambar powder

To be ground into Paste:
1/2 cup grated coconut
a few sprigs of fresh Cilantro/Coriander leaves
1 tsp Red Chilli and Dhaniya powder (equal proportion)

For Seasoning:
2 tsp Oil
Asafoetida or Hing – a pinch
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 Onion – Chopped fine
a few curry leaves

Method:
1. In a pan combine the cooked tuvar/dal mixture including the cooked tomatoes and the ground paste. Add salt as needed, sambar powder and allow the mixture to boil for about 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat a small pan for seasoning. Add the oil, season with mustard seeds, hing and curry leaves. Allow the mustard to splutter, add the chopped onions and fry until golden brown. Add the seasoning to the above cooked sambar and mix well.
3. Serve hot with rice. Here below I have served it with cooked Quinoa.

Whole Tuvar Sambar

Whole Tuvar Sambar

Yummy Tuvar Sambar served with Quinoa

Yummy Tuvar Sambar served with Quinoa

Happy cooking :-)