Category: North Indian Recipes

Paneer Lababdar & Wholewheat Tava Naan

I am a big of restaurant style gravies for various dishes. They are thick, luscious and really very flavourful. Specially Paneer (Indian cottage cheese). Paneer Lababdar is one such dish, it has a decadence of its own! And when paired with some Wholewheat Tava Naan, this combination is truly something to die for!

If you too are fan of such dishes, then do try Reshmi Paneer or Dhabewala Palak Paneer 👌😉..easy peasy, mouthwatering dishes!!

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The texture of Paneer Lababdar is very creamy and soft and that is why it’s very popular in restaurant menus… Indians love their Paneer…and loving this dish comes naturally to everyone. I too have often ordered this at restaurants alongside some Butter Naan or Tandoori Rotis (Indian flat breads). But since the Naan served in restaurant is usually made of Maida (APF), I always make a Wholewheat version at home…without any yeast or baking soda. Completely healthy! It’s soft and stays fresh for a couple of hours without turning chewy!! 💃

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The recipe I have used is very easy and doesn’t require much prepping. I have made it many times…and it always turns out super delicious! You can say, it can make a perfect party meal if you’re having guests…they will fall in love with your cooking skills😁

Paneer lababdar recipe How to make restaurant style paneer lababdar Tava naan recipe Wholewheat Tava naan recipe Easy recipe for naan Indian flatbreads Indian food Indian recipes

Lets start the recipe…

️Yield: serves 2

Equipment: a non stick pan, a blender, measuring cups/ spoons, a rolling board, rolling pin, a pair of kitchen tongs, a small saucepan, a pan for making the naan, a large bowl.

Ingredients for Paneer Lababdar:

For the sauce: 

2 nos tomato chopped

4-5 nos cashew nuts

2″ piece ginger

4-5 pods garlic

2 nos cloves

2 nos green cardamom (choti elaichi)

1/2 cup water

For the main dish: 

200 gms cubed paneer

2 tbsp grated paneer

1 nos onion finely chopped

1 nos bay leaf

1″ cinnamon stick

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp coriander pwd

1/4 tsp turmeric pwd

1 tsp degi mirch

1/2 tsp Garam masala

salt to taste

1/4 tsp sugar

a pinch of asafoetida

2 tbsp butter (optional)

1 tsp oil

2 tsp fresh cream (I used Amul, you can avoid cream if you wish)

1 tsp kasuri Methi crushed

Method:

For the sauce: 

In a saucepan, add water along with chopped tomatoes, garlic, ginger, cashew nuts, cloves & green cardamom. Bring these to a boil until the tomatoes have cooked and become soft. Add 2-3 tbsp more water if needed to cook them. Once done, cool these and make a fine purée. Set it aside.

For the main dish:

Heat butter and oil in the pan (skip butter if you are calorie conscious, use a little extra oil instead), add the asafoetida, bay leaf and cinnamon stick, sauté them for a minute. Then add chopped onions and cook until it turns golden brown.

Paneer lababdar recipe How to make restaurant style paneer lababdar Tava naan recipe Wholewheat Tava naan recipe Easy recipe for naan Indian flatbreads Indian food Indian recipes

Once it’s golden brown, add the tomato-cashew purée and mix well. Keep cooking these together until the oil separates from the purée. This will take about 7-8 mins. Next add the coriander pwd, cumin pwd, degi mirch & turmeric pwd. Sauté them for about 5 mins. Also add salt, sugar & 1/4 cup water (if required) at this stage. Mix well and cook for another 5 mins on low flame.

Paneer lababdar recipe How to make restaurant style paneer lababdar Tava naan recipe Wholewheat Tava naan recipe Easy recipe for naan Indian flatbreads Indian food Indian recipes

Next, add the cubed paneer & the grated paneer. Stir well but carefully so that the paneer cubes remain intact. Cook for 5 mins. Now, add the crushed kasuri Methi, garam masala & fresh cream. Stir well. That’s it…serve it hot with Wholewheat Tava Naan ☺️👌

Ingredients for Wholewheat Tava Naan:

2+1/2 cup wholewheat flour (gehu ka atta)

water as required to make the dough

salt to taste

1 tsp ghee

4-5 tbsp water for sticking the Naan on the pan

1 tsp kalonji (onion seeds)

some loose wholewheat flour to dust

Method:

In a large bowl, add wholewheat flour and use a little water at a time to make a soft dough. Grease the dough with ghee well and let it rest for 30 mins.

Keep the pan to heat on low flame.

Next, make large balls using the dough (about the size of an orange, I could make 6 such balls), dust the ball with some flour. Using the rolling pin and board, roll this ball in oblong shape and about 5-6 mm thick. Sprinkle some kalonji seeds and press well with the rolling pin. Now, apply some water on the other side of the naan which isn’t covered with kalonji, and put the watered side down on the pan.

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Cook for about 2 mins on medium flame, then using the kitchen tongs, remove from the pan and cook it on open flame on both sides like we cook phulkas/ rotis. Ensure the heat isn’t too high, else the naan will turn dark in colour but remain uncooked within it. That’s it, the naan will be ready in just 3-4 mins. Do the same for the remaining dough. Apply some butter before serving these hot! 👌😬

Paneer lababdar recipe How to make restaurant style paneer lababdar Tava naan recipe Wholewheat Tava naan recipe Easy recipe for naan Indian flatbreads Indian food Indian recipes

Perfect meal is ready! My hubby enjoys this so much😘

Love,

Shreya💞

Adapted from Veg Recipes Of India 

Karachi Halwa Recipe/ Cornflour Halwa Recipe/ Custard Powder Halwa/ How to make Karachi Halwa

Some sweets always make you wonder…how was this made?… How was the texture so?! So on and so forth. I too wondered about Karachi Halwa or Cornflour Halwa…until the day I found a recipe some months ago! 💃 

Diwali is around the corner and sweets are a must have! So this seems like a good option to try other recipes from my blog….Kaju Katli, Anjeer Burfi, Mava Burfi, Dhoodh Peda, Kesari Phirni.  

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This recipe has been been sitting in my bookmarks ever since…waiting to be tried. But the timing never seemed right. So, when Diwali approached, I thought to myself that I should try it out soon..and the festivities around me seem like the perfect excuse to go for it! ☺️

The texture is so soft, and not at all heavy on the palate. Slightly chewy, as it should be…and the crunchy bits of cashews just adds more flavour to it 👌👌😊

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I was pleasantly surprised to see that making it is absolutely hassle free…very little prepping is needed. It’s safe to say that it basically prepares itself! 😬😬😛 ..Let’s start the recipe..

Yield: 17-18 pieces

Equipment: a non stick pan, a wire whisk, measuring cups/ spoons, a tray, a sharp knife, a mixing bowl, a wooden spoon.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cornflour OR vanilla flavoured custard powder

1+1/2 cups water

a few drops of food colour (I used Orange Kesari)

1+1/2 cups sugar

1 cup water

2 tbsp ghee

1/4 tsp elaichi pwd

3 tbsp chopped cashew nuts

a few slivers of pistachio to garnish

Method:

Grease a tray with some ghee and keep it ready to set the Karachi Halwa

In a mixing bowl, add the cornflour/ custard powder + 1+1/2 cups of water. Also add the colour and whisk these well. Ensure there are no lumps in the mixture. Set it aside.

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Next, in the non stick pan, add the sugar & 1 cup of water. Turn on the heat and these melt together. Stir it with a wooden spoon a couple of times. This needs to be done on medium flame. There is no need to get any thread consistency here. Just that the sugar must melt completely and the mixture should be bubbly and frothy. It must thicken slightly and be sticky. Once such a texture is achieved, stir in the cornflour/ custard powder and water mixture in the sugar syrup while stirring all the time so that there are no lumps. In 3-4 mins, you will see that the mixture has started to thicken and has turned glossy in certain parts. Keep stirring continuously.

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Now, add the elaichi pwd and the ghee too. Keep stirring and mixing everything together. The texture will thicken more at this stage and become gluey. It will take another 5-6 mins for this. You will see the mixture slowly leaving the sides of the pan. Keep stirring without stopping as this stage is crucial and if you don’t stir, you will end up with lumps all over. Now add the chopped cashews (you can fry and add these, I didn’t fry it). Mix in the cashews quickly. Now you will see that the mixture is beginning to set if you stop stirring it.

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Immediately pour the mixture on the greased tray and flatten it out a little bit. Garnish it with some slivers of pistachio. And let it set for at least an hour, at room temperature for the first 20 mins and then in the refrigerator. Once it’s set, use a sharp knife and cut it in any desired shapes. That’s it, it is ready😀 it keeps well in fridge for about 5-6 days.

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Hope you will enjoy these soon.

Happy Diwali 🎊🎊😊

Love,

Shreya💗

Adapted from Sharmis Passions

Dhabe Wale Chole/ Chickpeas in a Spicy Indian Curry / Chana Masala Recipe

There is list in my mind which contains the names of the dishes that I would never refuse!! Chole or Chana Masala being one of the many on that list! 😛 it’s simply irresistible! 

I enjoy it with some steamed rice or Paratha, Missi Roti or Aloo ke Bhature….the list is endless when it comes to what you could pair with Chole👌😄

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Look at that deep, rich colour of the gravy! This was totally lip smacking along with some Laccha Parathas. It tasted like the ones we enjoy at Punjabi Dhabbas 😋 And speaking of lip smacking, you should try my Khatte Chole too😁

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I had been wanting to try this recipe for a very long time and finally did it on the weekend. Hubby and me..we both relished it to the core! Besides, it’s really easy to make☺️ Here’s my take on it…

Yield: serves 2

Equipment: a pressure cooker, a heavy bottomed wok, a ladle, a blender, measuring cups/ spoons, a small pan.

Ingredients:

2 cup chickpea (White Chole)

1 nos. teabag

2 nos. medium onion

1 nos. large ripe tomato

1/2 cup coriander leaves

10 garlic cloves

2″ piece of ginger

2 nos. green chilli

1 bay leaf

4-5 cloves (Laung)

4-5 whole peppercorns (kalimiri)

1″ piece of cinnamon (dalchini)

1 nos. black cardamom (Badi elaichi)

2 nos. green cardamom (choti elaichi)

1 tsp roasted cumin pwd (Jeera)

1 tsp coriander pwd

1/4 tsp turmeric pwd

1/2 tsp degi Mirch pwd (red chilli pwd)

1/2 tsp anardana pwd (optional)

2 tsp tamarind pulp

Salt to taste

2-3 tbsp oil

a pinch of hing (asafoetida)

1/2 tsp Jeera dana (cumin seeds)

some cubes of fried cottage cheese (paneer) and onion rings to garnish.

Method:

Soak the Chole overnight in 4 cups of water. Next day, pressure cook the soaked Chole with some salt and the teabag. It will take 3-4 whistles to cook. Once done, discard the teabag & drain all the water. Now add the roasted cumin pwd to the boiled Chole and mix it well. Set that aside for later use.

Grind the ginger, garlic , green chillies and onions together to make a smooth paste. Also purée the tomato and coriander leaves together. Set these aside.

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Now, heat oil in the wok. Once it’s hot enough, add the Jeera dana and hing. Let these splatter a bit. Then add all the whole spices and sauté for a minute.

(Please note that my hubby doesn’t not like whole spices in the food so I have used the infuser while sautéing the spices and then later discarded the same, you can add directly into the wok).

Then add the onion, ginger, garlic & green chilli paste. Cook this for about 7-8 minutes until it leaves oil from the sides. Next add the tomato and coriander purée. Again cook on medium flame for about 10 minutes. The colour will darken and the oil should separate. Also, the mixture will not have the raw fragrance of the tomatoes. At this stage, add the dry spices except the anardana pwd and season with salt (but not too much as the boiled Chole is seasoned with some salt while boiling).Mix well and cook for 5-6 mins for the spices to cook well.

Now add the boiled Chole + anardana pwd (optional) + tamarind pulp. Mix well and add some water to correct the consistency. Cover and cook for 15 mins. Once done, check for seasonings and correct the same. Garnish with some cubes of fried paneer and a few onion rings! That’s it..serve it piping hot 👌😄

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And that’s how you spend a lazy Sunday! 😂 Enjoy!

Love,

Shreya💖

Adapted from Cookoholichomemaker

Sookhe Kaale Chane Puri Aur Sooji Ka Halwa/ Sooji ka Halwa/ Mata ka Bhog/ Spicy Bengal Gram Recipe/ Kanjak Bhog Recipe/ Kanya Pooja ka Bhog/ Ashtami ka Bhog/ North Indian Ashtami Bhog recipe/ Navratri Menu

Navratri fasting comes to an end on Ashtami (eighth day). This day is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm all over the country. Food and offerings are made to ‘Maa Durga’ (Goddess Durga). 

Many Hindus worship little girls ‘devi’ to symbolise them as the ‘Goddess‘ herself. This Pooja is either done on Ashtami or in some families, Navmi (ninth day). This is usually known as Kanya Pooja or Kanjak Pooja. The ritual is to wash the feet of these little girls and then offer them beautiful ‘chunnari‘ (colourful scarves) along with bangles, toys among other attractive gifts! They are then offered delicious food too….that’s when Sookhe Kaale Chane is served along with Poori and Sooji/ Rawa/ Semolina Halwa or Pudding . And trust me..it’s a divine combination.

Sookhe Kaale Chane Puri Aur Sooji Ka Halwa/ Sooji ka Halwa/ Mata ka Bhog/ Spicy Bengal Gram Recipe/ Kanjak Bhog Recipe/ Kanya Pooja ka Bhog/ Ashtami ka Bhog/ North Indian Ashtami Bhog recipe/ Navratri Menu includes Hot, fluffy Pooris with the spicy Sookhe Kaale Chane and that Halwa studded with dry fruits and lots ghee is to die for! This is the menu served all across the Northern Part of India. I am not too sure what goes into the menu in other regions as there is a lot diversity when it comes to celebrating festivals in India.

I remember when I was a little girl, I used to go visit a few places as my Mother’s friends would invite me over for the Kanya  Pooja! It was so much fun…and then later I would have my friends and some other girls over at my place for the same Kanya Pooja 😀🙏🙏 and we would all tuck into this delicious meal.

I would actually wait for it for days!! My Mom, she makes such delicious Sookhe Kale Chane, Pooris and Halwa😋😋…I just can’t resist when she has all these things lined up in front of me! 😂 Her recipes are so simple and yet very flavoursome

Sookhe Kaale Chane Puri Aur Sooji Ka Halwa/ Sooji ka Halwa/ Mata ka Bhog/ Spicy Bengal Gram Recipe/ Kanjak Bhog Recipe/ Kanya Pooja ka Bhog/ Ashtami ka Bhog/ North Indian Ashtami Bhog recipe/ Navratri Menu

Although, all over Northern India, the recipe for these Chane and Halwa remains pretty much the same…just an ingredient here or there might be different. 

Lets go on with my Mother’s recipes…

Yield: serves 3-4

Sookhe Kaale Chane 

Equipment: a wok, a ladle, measuring cups/ spoons.

Ingredients:

3 cups boiled Kaale Chane (soak them overnight and boil them for 2-3 whistles in a pressure cooker) (Bengal Gram)

salt to taste (we use regular salt for this)

3 tbsp oil

1 tsp cumin seeds (Jeera)

a pinch of hing (asafoetida, optional)

1 tsp red chilli pwd

1+1/2 tsp roasted cumin pwd

1+1/2 tsp coriander pwd

1/2 tsp amchur pwd (dry mango pwd, optional)

chopped coriander to garnish

Method:

Once the chane have been boiled, drain all the water and set them aside. Now, heat the wok, once it’s hot enough, add the oil. Now, add the cumin seeds and asafoetida. Let them splutter a bit. Next, add the boiled chane and season with salt.

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Mix well and add the other dry spice mentioned above. Mix them well. Cover with a lid and let it all cook for 4-5 mins. As the chane are boiled, we don’t need to wait too long for them to cook. Once done, turn off the gas and garnish with chopped coriander. 😬 that’s it, it’s ready!

Sookhe Kaale Chane Puri Aur Sooji Ka Halwa/ Sooji ka Halwa/ Mata ka Bhog/ Spicy Bengal Gram Recipe/ Kanjak Bhog Recipe/ Kanya Pooja ka Bhog/ Ashtami ka Bhog/ North Indian Ashtami Bhog recipe/ Navratri Menu

Poori:

Equipment: a large mixing bowl, measuring cups/ spoons, a wok, a slotted spatula, rolling pin, rolling board.

2 cups wholewheat flour

salt to taste

3 tbsp warm ghee

1 tsp ajwain (carom seeds)

water as needed to knead the dough

oil for frying

Method:

Take the flour in the the mixing bowl, add salt and carom seeds to it. Give it a good mix. Make a well in the centre, and add the ghee in the well and mix again. Now add water little by little into the flour and make a firm dough (kadak). Cover it and let it rest for about 30 mins.

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Sookhe Kaale Chane Puri Aur Sooji Ka Halwa/ Sooji ka Halwa/ Mata ka Bhog/ Spicy Bengal Gram Recipe/ Kanjak Bhog Recipe/ Kanya Pooja ka Bhog/ Ashtami ka Bhog/ North Indian Ashtami Bhog recipe/ Navratri Menu

Next, make equal sized balls of the dough, using a rolling pin, roll out the dough. The diameter can be 3″-4″ or even more. But do not roll them too thin. The thickness should be about 3mm or so. Do the same for all the dough balls and keep on a plate. Heat oil for frying in the wok. Once it’s hot, fry one or two Pooris at a time, be careful not to splash any oil. About 30 seconds on the first side and 15 seconds or less on the other side will give perfect and fluffy Pooris. Do the same for the entire batch and set them aside. They are ready 👏👏

Sooji Ka Halwa:

Equipment: a heavy bottomed wok, a ladle, measuring cups/ spoons.

Ingredients:

1 cup Sooji (semolina)

7-8 tbsp sugar (adjust as per your taste)

4-5 tbsp ghee

1/4 tsp cardamom pwd

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup water

some chopped dry fruits to garnish

Method:

Heat ghee in the wok, then, add sooji and roast it on medium flame until it turns slightly golden. Now add the milk and water in the roasted sooji.

Sookhe Kaale Chane Puri Aur Sooji Ka Halwa/ Sooji ka Halwa/ Mata ka Bhog/ Spicy Bengal Gram Recipe/ Kanjak Bhog Recipe/ Kanya Pooja ka Bhog/ Ashtami ka Bhog/ North Indian Ashtami Bhog recipe/ Navratri Menu

Give everything a stir. Add the sugar and cardamom pwd next. Keep stirring (it will look very diluted at this point, but slowly the sooji will absorb the milk and water & the sugar will melt too). Once it’s dry enough to a consistency of your liking , turn off the flame and garnish with some chopped pistachios and almond slivers or fried cashews too 😀 that’s it! Serve it piping hot with Pooris & Sookhe Kale Chane!  💕

Sookhe Kaale Chane Puri Aur Sooji Ka Halwa/ Sooji ka Halwa/ Mata ka Bhog/ Spicy Bengal Gram Recipe/ Kanjak Bhog Recipe/ Kanya Pooja ka Bhog/ Ashtami ka Bhog/ North Indian Ashtami Bhog recipe/ Navratri Menu

 

(Note: Adding milk will give a very rich flavour. Skip it if you wouldn’t like that, simply add an extra 1/2 cup of water to replace it. You will notice that I add the sugar directly to the sooji instead of making a sugar syrup, that’s because this method is sure shot. You will never face any issues of the sugar burning or not melting. My Mom has been doing this for the last 45+ years. It always works!) 

Happy Cooking!

Love,

Shreya💖

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Sookhe Kaale Chane Puri Aur Sooji Ka Halwa/ Sooji ka Halwa/ Mata ka Bhog/ Spicy Bengal Gram Recipe/ Kanjak Bhog Recipe/ Kanya Pooja ka Bhog/ Ashtami ka Bhog/ North Indian Ashtami Bhog recipe/ Navratri Menu

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. 😇😇 🙏🌹

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!! 🎊

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 😀 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..

️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 sauté 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! 😬 It’s ready!

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Adapted from Pankaj Bhadouria.

Hope you will try it out soon! 😊

Love,

Shreya💕

Makka Methi Paratha / Maize Flour & Fenugreek Greens Flavoured Flatbread / Indian Flatbread

We Indians have an undying love for our wholesome Parathas (flatbreads)! It can be stuffed…plain salted with some chilli powder or flavoured with various greens along with the flour….there are too many to name 😀 And I love them all 😬😋….greedy, right!?
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A perfect Paratha is crisp on the outside…and moist and flaky within….piping hot…slathered with some (in my case, a lot of) butter or ghee (clarified butter)…on my plate straight from the smoking griddle!! Wow! I am actually drooling just thinking about them😛 The earthy aroma is just too appetising to stop at a couple!

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Today, I am sharing a very easy yet healthy & delicious recipe with you. I had made these for our Sunday brunch. My hubby loves having Parathas with some curd! As simple as that 💓 These have some roughly chopped methi ke patte (fenugreek greens) along with some other spices. I have mixed a couple of more flours with maize flour (makke ka atta) to add fibre and make it a bit more healthy while following my mom’s recipe. Let’s get going with it…

Yield: 8-9 medium sized Parathas

Equipment: a large mixing bowl, measuring spoons/ cups, a rolling board, a rolling board, a griddle/ non-stick pan, a spatula.

Ingredients:

1 cup makke ka atta (maize flour)

1/2 cup wheat flour (gehu ka atta)

1/2 cup roasted Besan (gram flour)

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh methi leaves (fenugreek greens)

1 tbsp chopped green chilli

1 tsp freshly grated garlic

1 tsp freshly grated ginger

1/2 tbsp chopped green coriander

salt to taste

a pinch of hing (asafoetida, optional)

1/2 tsp each of turmeric pwd & red chilli pwd

1 tsp roasted Jeera pwd (cumin)

a couple of pinches of amchur pwd (dry mango)

1 tbsp curd

2 tsp ghee for the dough

2-3 tsp ghee for roasting the parathas

1/4 cup or less water to knead the dough

some dry wholewheat flour for dusting to roll the parathas ..approx 1/4 cup

Method:

Add all the above ingredients except the water and the ghee meant for roasting in a large mixing bowl. Mix everything well. The moisture from the curd, methi leaves & ghee will bind the dough to a certain extend. Now, slowly add some water and make a tight dough. Try using very little water (I used less than 1/4 cup). Now cover & set the dough aside for about 15-20 mins to rest and absorb the flavours.

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Heat the pan on low flame. Alongside, make small balls of the dough, roll them in the dry wholewheat flour and using the rolling pin, roll it out to a diameter of 9″-10″, keeping the thickness of about 4-5mm. Now, pour some ghee on the pan, set the rolled paratha on the pan…cook on the first side for about 2-3 mins…then turn over and cook for another 2-3 mins. Apply some more ghee on both sides of the parathas. That’s cooked..set it aside. Repeat the same process for the rest of the dough.

Serve the parathas piping hot with butter (optional), curd and/ or pickles, etc. 👌👌😊

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These are yummy…and addictive…slightly charred and smoky!! 😛 so try these out soon…winters are approaching…and Parathas are the way to go👏

Love,

Shreya 💖

Besan Wali Shimla Mirch Aloo

What goes into my hubby’s lunch box is a question I ask him every night before bed 😁 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 👌…a combo made in heaven! He even prefers a spicy Veg Pulav with some curd raita…! Wow! 

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So last week…post dinner he asks me to pack some Besan wali Shimla Mirch Aloo (his favourite) in his lunch box the next morning with some Phulkas😀 and some salad! Pretty straight forward stuff..but I had never packed this for his lunch box till date!! 😳 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 Shimlamirch too😊 Mine is a bit different though…it’s my mom’s recipe..😊

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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! 😁 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. 😉 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 😘

Love,

Shreya💞

Kaju Katli | Cashew Fudge

Kaju Katli | Cashew Fudge is a classic Indian sweet. They are served during most festivals and occasions. They are made with just 4 everyday pantry essentials and take less then 30 minutes to prepare. The flavor is so delicious and absolutely melt in the mouth good! 

Kaju Katli | Cashew Fudge

Kaju Katli | Cashew Fudge literally means cashew slice. It is basically made by boiling milk with sugar until reduced and then mixed with cashews, etc. Although that process takes a quite a long time to prepare, it is very delicious. Today, I’m sharing a rather quick and no-fuss recipe today. It needs just 4 basic ingredients from start to finish. The internet is full of recipes for the making Kaju Katli | Cashew Fudge with just 2 ingredients these days. Well, those recipes are not the authentic version. Those are more like marzipan made with cashews. So it is up to you what you really want to make.

Kaju Katli | Cashew Fudge

Kaju Katli | Cashew Fudge can be flavored with some saffron too, although I’m not too fond of any flavor in Kaju Katli | Cashew Fudge except some cardamom powder. The most traditional version is what we prefer in my family.

Kaju Katli | Cashew Fudge

Kaju Katli | Cashew Fudge can be served for Raksha Bandhan or Diwali. This is one of the most loved sweets in my home. I mean, they vanish within 2 days tops! The hubby and I, both are die hard fans for these. Apart from these you can try

Ghee Mysore Pak
Karachi Halwa
Rawa Ladoos
Besan Ladoos
Khoya Burfi
Anjeer ki Burfi
Instant Kesar Peda 

Anyways, Let’s move on with my recipe for Kaju Katli | Cashew Fudge, I took 4 ingredients & less than 30 mins to serve these from start to finish! Let’s get started!

Use a blender and dry grind the cashews to a fine texture.

Make sure the cashews were at room temperature before grinding.

Heat the non stick pan, add the sugar & water.

Melt the sugar into the water on a low flame. Keep stirring.

Once the sugar has melted, cook for another 2-3 mins on low flame.

To check if the sugar syrup is ready, take some water in a bowl and add a drop of the syrup.

The drop should not mix in the water. This is one thread consistency (ek taar ki chashni).

My syrup was ready in 5 mins approximately.

image

Once the syrup is ready, add the cashew powder & keep stirring constantly & cook on low flame for 5 mins, until you achieve a dough like consistency.

To check the consistency of the Katli dough, take some mixture in your hands and make a ball, if the shape holds, it’s ready. Remove this dough like mixture on a greased plate and let it cool for 5 min.

Grease your palms and knead this mixture carefully until it’s smooth.

image

Now, roll this dough with a rolling on the back of a greased plate.

The thickness should be about 6mm or a bit more. Don’t roll it too thin. Set this plate in the refrigerator for 8-10 mins.

They will set really quickly, once set, you can cut them in any shape as you prefer, however I prefer the traditional diamond shape for these katlis.

That’s it! They are ready, you can store them in an airtight container for 2-3 day in the refrigerator.

Kaju Katli | Cashew Fudge

Kaju Katli

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 15-17 pieces

Traditional Indian Mithai, absolutely delicious and melt in the mouth good made with just 4 ingredients!!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cashew nuts
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp ghee (for greasing)

Instructions

  1. Use a blender and dry grind the cashews to a fine texture. (Make sure the cashews were at room temperature before grinding.)
  2. Heat the non stick pan, add the sugar & water. Melt the sugar into the water on a low flame.
  3. Keep stirring. Once the sugar has melted, cook for another 2-3 mins on low flame.
  4. To check if the sugar syrup is ready, take some water in a bowl and add a drop of the syrup. The drop should not mix in the water.
  5. This is one thread consistency (ek taar ki chashni). My syrup was ready in 5 mins approximately.
  6. Once the syrup is ready, add the cashew powder & keep stirring constantly & cook on low flame for 5 mins, until you achieve a dough like consistency.
  7. To check the consistency of the Katli dough, take some mixture in your hands and make a ball, if the shape holds, it's ready.
  8. Remove this dough like mixture on a greased plate and let it cool for 5 min.
  9. Grease your palms and knead this mixture carefully until it's smooth.
  10. Now, roll this dough with a rolling on the back of a greased plate. The thickness should be about 6mm or a bit more.
  11. Don't roll it too thin.
  12. Set this plate in the refrigerator for 8-10 mins.
  13. They will set really quickly, once set, you can cut them in any shape as you prefer, however I prefer the traditional diamond shape for these katlis
  14. That's it! They are ready you can store them in an airtight container for 2-3 day in the refrigerator.

Notes

Please make sure that the sugar syrup isn't too thick too else, the cashew powder will just stick to the sugar but not form into a dough. Cool the rolled dough before cutting into pieces for clean cuts.

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Love,
Shreya.

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Kaju Katli | Cashew Fudge

Mattar Paneer / Indian Curried Fresh Green Peas with Cottage Cheese

What do I do when I run out of veggies & absolutely don’t want to step out of my home?! But wish to serve a delicious and nutritious meal….😬 I go the easy way…!! 

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I always…always make it a point to have a slab of cottage cheese/ paneer and some frozen peas handy in my refrigerator! It never fails me. Week nights can often turn hectic and I, by no means wish to spend hours in the kitchen….that’s where my stashed goodies come into play😉

As every other Indian, the hubby and I, too love are Mattar Paneer! We have it with rotis or rice! Nothing could taste better…some earthy, whole spices with a smooth, luscious gravy studded with golden nuggets of paneer and juicy green pea-pearls! Ya! Restaurant style description 😛 If you are a big fan of paneer like we are, then do have a look my Dhaba style Palak Paneer & Reshmi Paneer 💗

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This recipe is fast, easy & absolutely lip-smacking 👌 I took barely 45 mins to get this on the table with soft rotis & a salad…such a basic meal with amazing flavours!!

Yield: serves 2

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

Ingredients:

200 gms fresh paneer cut into cubes

150 gms green peas (thaw them if using frozen)

2 nos. medium onions sliced

2 nos. medium tomatoes cubed

7-8 nos. garlic cloves

2″ pc ginger

1 nos. green chilly

1 nos. black cardamom (Badi elaichi)

2″ pc cinnamon stick (dalchini)

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp cumin pwd (jeera)

1 tbsp coriander pwd (dhaniya)

1/4 tsp turmeric pwd

1/2 tbsp red chilly pwd

1/2 tsp Garam Masala 

Salt to taste

2 tsp oil for the gravy

1 tsp oil to sauté the paneer cubes

some coriander leaves to garnish

Method:

Heat the wok/ pan with 1 tsp of oil, once it’s hot, add the paneer cubes & sauté them well on both sides until they turn golden brown. Once that’s done, remove them from the oil & set aside. Blanch the green peas in some hot water for 6-8 mins. Drain & set that aside too.

In a blender, grind together onion, garlic, ginger & green chilly. Set them aside. Also grind the tomatoes separately & set it aside.

In the same pan/ wok, add 2 tsp oil and heat it well. Add cumin seeds, black cardamom & cinnamon stick. Sauté for a minute. Next add the onion, ginger, garlic & green chilly paste. Cook on medium flame until the oil separates from the masala & it turns rich golden in colour (about 5-6 mins approx). Season with salt. Add the dry spices now, turmeric pwd, red chilly pwd, cumin pwd & coriander pwd. Cook for 10 mins until the oil floats on top of the masala. Next goes in the tomato purée & blanched green peas, mix and cook until the oil floats on top (approx 7-8 mins). Lastly add the Garam masala pwd & the sautéed paneer cubes, cover the pan with a lid and cook for 5-7 mins. Once done, garnish with some coriander leaves & serve piping hot 😊

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Hope you will try it soon…trust me it’s a keeper ☺️

Love,

Shreya 💖

Besan ke Laddoo / Besan Laddoo

As a child, I never really liked Besan ke Laddoo. I found it too heavy for my palate. And, back in those days, I wasn’t a fan of Indian sweets. Chocolates were my only choice of ‘mithaai‘. I was a child after all! 

Remember my love for Cadbury Nutties! You should have a look at these Brownies I made using Nutties 😉 They were better than what I had expected them to be, given I was experimenting!

image

I developed a taste for Indian sweets at a much later stage in life…& Besan ke Laddoo were first in the list! I love their slightly coarse texture, melting in my mouth just as I bit into one…wow! The nuttiness of the roasted besan/ gram flour is so rustic. Once I fell for it, I was irrevocably in love with these Laddoos! And as always mom would make them during festivals…and I’d wait for them ☺️ but never learnt how to make these. I always knew it was a tedious task 😯

The first time I tried making these one afternoon after I got married, I was near tears!! I had made a blunder. A big lump of ghee, sugar & partially cooked besan sat in the wok in front of me…looking like everything except what I had envisioned 😒 I trashed everything! Once my hubby got home, I told about the disaster, he asked what were the proportions I had used?! I was like, ‘Mmmm…I am not sure I followed what mom told me’. He being an IHM grad, instantly got where I might have gone wrong & told me not to worry as proportions matter a lot alongside the cooking time and some such more things. I was quiet. Mentally making a note to self to give it another shot next week! And I did, results were slightly better but cooking the ghee along with the besan was making me nervous & edgy. I wanted to be calm but I simply couldn’t stop panicking all the time. I knew I had added too much ghee! Common, there had to be another way to do this!!? 😐😐

image

The next time I tried after a couple of months, I had a strategy in my mind! I had asked my mom about it and she approved & encouraged me to do it as I was comfortable doing it. I had decided to roast the besan separately and then add warm ghee slowly into it …mix & then add the nuts, sugar, etc. and that’s exactly what I did about two years ago! Those were so much better than my first two trials and the microwave Laddoos that I had tried seeing someone post a recipe in some food group. I was happy! My hubby approved it! 💃👏 woohoo! And to this day I have stuck to my method, which I am sure many must be following, but for me it was a discovery of sorts 😛 and look at my Besan ke Laddoo now….I am proud!

The ones you see in the pictures were made a few nights ago, and packed for an Independence Day potluck lunch at hubby’s work! I shot these before packing them the next morning for him to take them to work 😇 Yes! They are good enough to flaunt…LoL! But, proportions matter…they do. That’s exactly what this recipe is about.

️Yield: 35 small/ 25 medium/ 20 large Laddoos

Equipment: a large wok, a mixing bowl, a blender, 1-2 plates, measuring cups/ spoons, a spatula.

Ingredients:

3 cups besan/ gram flour (I used a coarse variety, use any variety you get)

1/2 cup semolina (barik sooji/ rava)

1 cup + 2 tbsp powdered sugar (adjust the sweetness as per your taste)

1 cup melted ghee (approximately, may need less or more)

1/2 tsp cardamom pwd

5 tbsp crushed almonds

Method:

Heat the wok, dry roast the besan until it gives a rich nutty aroma & turns slightly dark brown in colour on medium flame only. Keep stirring continuously to avoid burning (took me 30 mins on medium to low flame). Once done, remove it & spread the dry roasted besan on a plate to cool. In the same wok which is still warm, dry roast the crushed almonds and semolina for 5-6 mins on low flame. Remove from the wok & add the semolina, almonds & powdered sugar to the cooling besan and mix well with your fingers. Mix in the cardamom pwd as well. That’s the tough part done.

Pls ensure you follow the next couple of steps correctly to get prefect Laddoos ☺️ Now, ensure that the melted ghee is at room temperature. Adding very hot ghee to the dry mixture which ruin the texture. Slowly, add tablespoon fulls of melted ghee into the dry mixture of besan, sugar, semolina, cardamom pwd & nuts and keeping mixing with your hands (Add the ghee slowly, don’t add all in one go, as we may not need all the ghee in a cup). As you feel the mixture is coming together to form a Laddoo, stop adding ghee & take some mixture in your palms and make a Laddoo, if the Laddoo is holding a tight shape, your mixture is ready. Just add 1 tsp of ghee to it finally & start making the Laddoos one by one. Ensure you press each Laddoo tightly so that they do not fall apart. Trust me, they won’t!! (I used approximately 3/4 cup ghee, isn’t that healthy?!) Arrange them in a on airtight box, they will last upto 5-6 days without refrigeration.

Besan ke Laddoo / gram flour fudge, Indian sweets, easy Laddoo recipes

Your melt in the mouth kinda Besan ke Laddoos are ready!

Love,

Shreya💗

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