Category: No Onion No Garlic Recipes

Phalhari Kadhai Paneer / Vrat ki Kadhai Paneer / No Onion No Garlic Recipe / Cottage Cheese

The best part about Navratri is that I know I will finish cooking very quickly! That’s because we don’t eat onion and garlic during these 9 days…as most Indians, I too have ‘Mata ji ki Pooja’ and ‘Ghatt’ at my place. ๐Ÿ˜‡๐Ÿ˜‡ ๐Ÿ™๐ŸŒน

I love and eagerly wait for Navratri to begin each year…as I get to decorate the temple in my house!! Colourful bangles..chunni (scarf) for ‘mataji‘ and all the little ‘diyas‘ (oil lamps) lighting up the entire place looks so pretty!! ๐ŸŽŠ

But the fact remains that my hubby has to go to work every morning and I love packing his lunch box! So during Navratri…I pack food that’s without onion-garlic. along with cucumber slices and some fruits to balance the meal.

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So decided to pack Phalhari Kadhai Paneer today for his lunch box along with Rajgira ke Parathe (not in pics). They are very healthy and make a good accompaniment to the Phalhari Kadhai Paneer ๐Ÿ˜€ I was looking for a good paneer (cottage cheese) recipe and this one is perfect!

This recipe is very quick and required little efforts too! Let’s get going with it..

๏ธYield: Serves 1 (remember, this was made just for my hubby’s lunch box, pls adjust the ingredients to make a larger batch)

Equipment: a non stick pan/ wok, measuring cups/ spoons, blender.

Ingredients:

1 cup cubed paneer

1 cup chopped tomatoes (de seeded)

1 nos green chilly

4-5 cloves (Laung)

1″ pc of cinnamon (dalchini)

2-3 green cardamom (Chotti elaichi)

1 tsp cumin seeds (Jeera)

1 tsp peppercorns (Kali miri)

2 tbsp chopped ginger

1/2 tsp degi mirch (optional)

A pinch of sugar (optional)

1 tbsp ghee

sendha namak to taste (rock salt, and if you are not fasting, use regular salt)

Method:

First, blend together 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes with all of the ginger and green chilly using 1 tbsp water. Make a smooth paste. Set it aside.

Dry roast the cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, cardamom and cumin seeds for 3-4 mins in the wok…careful not to burn them. Let them cool for a few a minutes. Grind them to a powder or little coarsely (if you like coarse spices) and set it aside.

Now, heat the wok and add ghee. Once it’s hot, add the paste you have made and sautรฉ on medium flame for 5 mins or until the raw smell goes away from the paste. You will see some of the ghee separating from the sides too. Now add the sugar, salt and degi mirch (optional) and approximately 3/4 tsp of the spice powder you have kept aside (the remaining spice powder can be stored in an airtight container for about a month and reused in any curry).

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Mix everything well and cook for another 3-4 mins. You can add some water to correct the consistency at this point (I added less than 1/4 cup of water). Next, add the remaining chopped tomatoes and cubed paneer. Stir carefully to avoid breaking the paneer. Now cook for another 6-7 mins. The paneer will absorb all the flavours and the tomatoes too will cook well. If you like, you can sprinkle some more of the spice powder at this stage (I did not as I was worried it will be too spicy)..turn off the flame. You can garnish with some chopped coriander leaves…I didn’t have any today..so I skipped it! ๐Ÿ˜ฌ It’s ready!

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Adapted from Pankaj Bhadouria.

Hope you will try it out soon! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Love,

Shreya๐Ÿ’•

Besan Wali Shimla Mirch Aloo

What goes into my hubby’s lunch box is a question I ask him every night before bed ๐Ÿ˜ usually, he goes along with whatever I decide. But there are days…when I let him decide! And I indulge him…sometimes, when he craves Masala Puris…I pair it with spicy potato curry or my spicy Bharwa Baigan ๐Ÿ‘Œ…a combo made in heaven! He even prefers a spicy Veg Pulav with some curd raita…! Wow!ย 

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So last week…post dinner he asks me to pack some Besan wali Shimla Mirch Aloo (his favourite)ย in his lunch box the next morning with some Phulkas๐Ÿ˜€ and some salad! Pretty straight forward stuff..but I had never packed this for his lunch box till date!! ๐Ÿ˜ณ I wasn’t sure if it would keep well packed for 4-5 hours….asked my mom, she too wasn’t sure…having never packed this before for us. So I asked my blogger bestie Deepti Gupta, if it would stay fresh…and she said yes it would!! She has some amazing recipes over at Cookoholichomemaker.…you can check out her version of Besanwali Shimlamirchย too๐Ÿ˜Š Mine is a bit different though…it’s my mom’s recipe..๐Ÿ˜Š

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This is really quick recipe…prefect for rushed mornings…or even quick side dish for your rice & dal combo! If you like, you can avoid the potatoes or capsicum…anything you like! ๐Ÿ˜ lets get on with the recipe:

Serves: 1 (had made it for hubby’s lunch box)

Equipment: a heavy bottom wok with a lid, measuring cups/ spoons, a mixing spoon.

Ingredients:

3 nos. green bell pepper/ capsicum/ Shimla Mirch

2 nos. potato

4 tbsp chick pea flour/ besan

salt to taste

2-3 tbsp mustard oil (use refined oil or ghee if you don’t prefer mustard oil)

A pinch of hing (asafoetida)

1 tsp paanch phoran (a mix of nigella seeds/ mangrela + saunf/ aniseeds + rai/ mustard seeds + jeera/ cumin seeds + methi/ fenugreek seeds)

1/2 tsp red chilli pwd

1/4 tsp turmeric pwd

1/2 tbsp cumin/ jeera pwd

1/2 tbsp dhaniya/ coriander pwd

1/4 tsp amchur/ dry mango pwd

Chopped coriander leaves to garnish

Method:

Peel & clean the potatoes & de-seed the capsicum. Wash, dry & cut everything into equal sized cubes. Set aside.

Heat the wok, add the Besan without any oil. Keep stirring it in low-medium flame until you get an earthy aroma & the colour changes to light pink. It will take about 5 mins. It will look like this. Be careful that it should not burn or turn darker in colour. Remove it in a bowl and set it aside.

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Heat the oil in the same wok. I was using mustard oil, so I let heated it till it smoked a bit, cooled it down and then started cooking (use refined oil ghee by simply heating it as usual).

Now add the paanch phoran (used extensively in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh & Kolkata. It’s very aromatic, however u can simply use cumin or mustard seeds in case you don’t use paanch phoran in your cooking)

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Once the seeds start crackling around, add hing. Next, add the cubed veggies. Immediately season with salt & turmeric. Mix well and cover cook until the veggies are soft. It will take about 10 mins on low-medium flame. Then take off the lid, add the chilli pwd, cumin pwd & coriander pwd. Stir well & cook without lid for 5-7 mins. Next add the roasted besan & amchur pwd. Mix well so that the besan coats everything well. Cook for another 5-6 mins. Turn off the flame and garnish with chopped coriander. ๐Ÿ˜‰ that’s it! Serve with phulkas or parathas!

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Hubby was excited to get his favourite and I got a ‘happy’ text from him during lunch time ๐Ÿ˜˜

Love,

Shreya๐Ÿ’ž

Dahi Wadas on a Skewer!

I have to have Dahi Wadas for Holi! Not having them is simply not an option ๐Ÿ˜€ My mom makes the yummiest Dahi Wadas ever!!! And I simply follow her recipe to the ‘T’ ๐Ÿ˜˜

But deep fried Wadas can become a bit too heavy for us…specially when My hubby is perpetually on a diet!๐Ÿ˜ฐ I always have to be careful about calories and stuff like that whenever I’m cooking… Not too easy to do but i have that covered in my own sneaky way…๐Ÿ˜‰

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Every dieters’ dream..the indispensable ‘appe pan’../ aebelskiver pan. I am sure almost everyone of you out there has one… Small or large..cast iron or non-stick! They all work wonders. I’ve been using it for over a year now and don’t think I would be able to function without one. All my Wadas today are made my magic pan ๐Ÿ˜‰ with very little to no oil at all. Seriously good and no worry of they being oily & greasy.

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The Wadas were light, fluffy & so soft just like the ones we deep fry.

And to make it bit more special and colourful, I infused the curd with saffron strands …and presented them on Skewers!!!! ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ˜‹ ๐Ÿ˜Ž Now, who doesn’t like food on a stick! I mean we gorge on kebabs & tikkas all the time.. That’s where I got the idea from! And My dear hubby was indeed impressed ๐Ÿ’–

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You can present them in the traditional style or put them on skewer sticks…whatever works for you! ๐Ÿ˜Š Here comes the recipe..

Yield: 21 small or 12-14 large Wadas

Equipment: Appe pan / Aebelskiver pan, skewer sticks, a blender, a large mixing bowl, 2-3 bowls, spice mixer, 2-3 spoons, measuring cups/ spoons, a small saucepan, 2 glass jars

Ingredients for the Wadas:

1 cup skinless white urad dal (black lentil) soaked for 6-7 hrs

10-12 nos black peppercorns

2″ pc ginger

3 nos green chilly

1/2 tsp red chilly pwd

1 pinch hing (asafoetida)

salt to taste

oil as required (optional)

Method for the Wadas:

Grind together all the ingredients mentioned above to make a smooth paste using little water. The paste should not be runny. It’s supposed to be thick and sticky. Let this batter / paste sit for 30mins. Whisk the batter vigorously using a spoon for at least 4-5 mins. This will make the batter very light and airy and will ensure that the Wadas are soft.

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Now heat the appe pan, add a drop of oil if needed in every section. Now drop about a 1.5 – 2 tbs of the batter in every section and cook for 2 mins on the first side, then using another spoon flip them over to the other side and cook for another 1-2 mins. Repeat this for the entire batch of the batter. And set aside the Wadas to cool a bit. Then dip them in some warm for 10 mins then drain the water. Squeeze out the extra water. This is done to just soften the wada a little more. Set them aside.

Ingredients for the tamarind chutney:

1 cup tamarind pulp

3 tbsp pwd jaggery (use more if you like)

1/2 tsp each of red chilly pwd & roasted cumin pwd

1/2 tsp crushed saunf Dana (fennel seeds)

1/4 tsp salt

Method for the tamarind chutney:

Heat the saucepan, add the pulp along with the jaggery pwd and stir till the jaggery dissolves completely and the concoction simmers slightly..then season with the above mentioned ingredients. Cook for another 5-7mins. The concoction will thicken slightly. Turn off the gas and let the chutney cool down completely before you store it in a clean, dry glass jar. Set that aside for now.

Ingredients for the green chutney:

1/2 cup coriander leaves washed, dried & roughly chopped

1 no raw mango peeled & cubed

salt to taste

1 tbsp tamarind chutney

1-2 nos green chillies

6-7 nos cloves of garlic

Method for the green chutney:

Put all in the ingredients mentioned above in a blender with a little water and pulse for a couple of mins. The chutney will have a smooth texture. Store the chutney in a clean & dry glass jar.

Ingredients for the saffron infused curd dip:

1 cup thick curd

2 tbsp warm water

15-20 strands of saffron

Himalayan pink salt to taste

Method for the curd dip:

Dilute the saffron with the warm water for 20 mins or until it releases a rich yellow /ocher colour. Mix this yellow saffron water with the curd & the salt. Beat everything well and set aside I refrigerator to cool for 15-20 mins before using it.

For the plating & garnish you will need:

1 tsp roasted cumin pwd

1tsp red chilli pwd

Few pomegranate seeds

2 tsp coriander leaves chopped finely

Plating:

Put 2-4 Wadas on a single skewer stick, drizzle some of the curd dip, tamarind chutney, green chutney. Sprinkle some roasted cumin and red chilli pwd. Add a few pomegranate seeds /jewels. And a final flourish of coriander leaves! Voilร ! Do the rest in a similar way & serve right away.

Or just serve in platters like we usually do! โ˜บ๏ธ

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Hope you will make these soon and enjoy them as much as I did!

Love,

Shreya ๐Ÿ˜Š

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