Aloo Paneer Ki Sabzi

An easy, homestyle gravy based dish made with paneer and potatoes. The combo of potatoes and paneer is pure love. With rotis or rice and salad, it makes for a delicious weeknight meal. This sabzi uses everyday ingredients from your pantry and is pretty straightforward.

We love paneer, especially my kids and its a great source of vegetarian protein. The popular paneer curries use ton of nuts and cream and while I absolutely love them, those are reserved for special occasions in our home. Everyday curries are fuss free and I make this paneer sabzi every other week.


I love making paneer curries in ghee but you can use mustard or olive or any cooking oil that you normally use. Here I also use a few whole spices but you can just use the powdered spices. Summer tomatoes are great right now and they enhance the taste of sabzi a lot. If you want, you can use crushed canned whole tomatoes as well.

Other paneer recipes to check out.

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Aloo Paneer ki Sabzi

Everyday homestyle paneer and poato curry which pairs well with rice, rotis and salad.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 large potato
  • 8 oz paneer
  • 1/4 cup ghee
  • 1 large bayleaf
  • 3 green cardamom cloves
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, pounded in mortar pestle
  • 3 fat garlic cloves, pounded in mortar pestle
  • 1.5 cup finely chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp hot red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp kasuri methi, optional
  • 1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro, garnish

Instructions

  • Peel and cut the potato into 6-8 pieces. Keep soaked in water. Cut paneer into triangles or squares, as you wish, do not cut too thick or too thin.
  • Heat ghee on medium heat in a heavy bottom pot. Once nicely warm, add the whole spices. Crackle for 10 seconds and then add the onions.Cook onions till they brown evenly.
  • Add the ginger, garlic and cook for a minute or so till you smell a nice aroma.Then add the powdwered spices – coriander, turmeric, red chilli powder. Cook for 2 minutes in oil until you smell a toasty aroma. If you feel that the spices are getting dry, add a splash of water.
  • Next add the tomatoes,sugar and salt to the potCook for 5-6 minutes till you see oil seperating on the sides and the tomatoes are pulpy. Add the potatoes and mix well. Saute the potatoes for 3-4 minutes with the masala.
  • Add 1 cup hot water, mix.Taste and adjust the salt of the masala and bring it to a slow boil. Once boiling, reduce the stove to medium low and cover the pot. Let cook on medium heat for 6-8 minutes or until the potatoes are 95 percent cooked.
  • Once the potatoes are fork tender, add the paneer, kasuri methi, cumin powder and garam masala. Mix and cover again and let cook for another 5-8 minutes until poatoes are cooked through and the paneer has softened.
  • Let rest for 20 minutes before serving. Serve garnished with chopped cilantro.

Gram/Chickpea Flour Chocolate Banana Bread

This nutritious banana bread is protein rich, fibre rich and is 100 % gluten free. It made with besan/gram/chickpea flour, is aromatic with ghee & green cardamom and has a double dose of chocolate. It is nut free (though you can add nuts), eggless and one bowl. Perfect for breakfast or snack any time of the day.

Banana bread is a favorite in our house and since the kids love sweet breakfast,I make it every other week. There is always a peace of mind when there is banana bread in the fridge especially during weekdays when the morning rush is a real thing!

Chickpea flour or besan is one of the most loved flour in north indian homes, second only to whole wheat flour. It is versatile, and perfect for both sweet and savory dishes. Chickpea flour is high in soluble fiber which makes it nutritious. I make nankhatais with chickpea flour all the time but this was the first time I baked a cake with it. And it was surprising as to how well this loaf came out.

It took me few attempts to get this recipe right. I went through inspiration from the internet but ultimately came up with measurements and swapped ingredients suited to the tastes of my family. The bread isn’t overly sweet and has an amazing texture. As with banana breads, it tastes better the next day.

Now the question ringing in your mind ever since you started reading 🙂 How does it compare to regular banana bread made with all purpose flour? The answer – Quite well! It does taste different, but only slightly. Not bad at all! There is an aftertaste of besan but its very nutty & pleasing. I am a convert! I would pick this wholesome recipe over a regular banana bread made with regular flour especially since the kids often consume it as first meal of the day.The husband who isn’t a big fan of alternative flour baking, LOVED it.

You can easily make this recipe vegan but substituting neutral oil in place of ghee and using plant milk instead of dairy milk. The addition of cardamom and ghee together makes it taste like indian mithai (sweets) and we love it. However good quality vanilla or cinnamon will work great as well. A very doable, make ahead breakfast recipe for next morning while you are making dinner in the evening. It is one bowl and the ingredients are easy to find and few.

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Gram Flour Chocolate Banana Bread

One bowl glutenfree, eggless and double chocolate banana bread made with besan/chickpea flour, cocoa and ghee. It is scented with ground green cardamom, is super moist and tastes better the next morning.
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American, Indian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 1 loaf (8 by 5 inch)

Ingredients

  • 450 g mashed bananas , from about 3 large very ripe bananas
  • 90 g raw sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted ghee
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 175 g besan(gram flour /chickpea flour) use superfine variety
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 tbsp baking chocolate chunks I used 70% dark chocolate chunks or use chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F. I used a 8 inch by 5 inch nonstick loaf pan to bake this bread, since my pan was nonstick I did not need to spray or line it with parchment paper. If you are using a regular loaf pan, line it with parchment paper with bit of an overhang so that the loaf is easy to take out.
  • In a large bowl, add the bananas, raw sugar, ghee and milk. Whisk very well for 2-3 minutes until you all the raw sugar granules have dissolved.
  • Place a sieve on top of the bowl and add besan, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Sift the flour mixture over the wet ingredinets. Do not skip sifting coz besan is usually lumpy and it will make the bread batter lumpy.
  • Add the cardamom powder. If using nuts, add them right now. Using a soft spatula, gently fold and mix everyrhing together until its cocoa color. Dont over mix.
  • Transfer the batter to the loaf pan and smoothen the top using a flat spatula. Scatter chocolate chunks on top.
  • Bake for 44-49 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. I baked mine for 45 minutes. Note that the baking times will differ depending on the size of baking pan as well as oven.
  • Once baked, let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Pull out of the pan and transfer to a cooling rack and let cool down completely.
  • Slice using a sharp knife and enjoy. You can store leftovers in fridge for 2 days or freeze upto 3 months.

Notes

  1. You canned chopped walnuts or almonds to the batter. 
  2. Use very ripe and sweet mashed bananas, else your bread wont be as sweet.
  3. Instead of cardamom, you can use cinnamon as well. 
  4. If you are making for kids and arent a fan of dark chocolate, use regular cocoa powder and chocolate chips in the recipe. 
  5. You can make easily make it vegan by substituting neutral oil and plant based milk. 

Indian Spiced Chicken Avocado Burgers

If you love spiced burgers,then this recipe is for you. These chicken patty burgers are juicy and tender and loaded with spices (but they aren’t hot). Homemade chicken burgers dont have to be boring. These are full of lot of textures and flavors throughout.

I skip the cheese altogether but ofcourse you can add cheese slices if you want. Instead I rely on the naturally fatty and creamy avocados and add them two ways. There is garlicky mashed avocado spread on the bottom brioche bun which is topped which a flavorful ground chicken patty and then for extra texture I add onions, pickles and lemony diced creamy avocados.You won’t miss the cheese I promise.

Whenever you are choosing ground chicken for making burgers, always avoid ground chicken breast – it cannot stand the high heat of cooking and becomes very chewy. I go for a dark meat ground chicken which I get from my butcher but of course I have seen variety of ground chicken in the super stores. You can use ground turkey as well. Coming to avocados, the only thing to be kept in mind is to cover them in lime or lemon juice immediately.

Burgers are very easy to make. Really! These burgers are a huge hit with the kids. They are lunchbox friendly as well. If you add right amount of lemon juice to the avocados and wrap them well, they are good for a 3-4 hours. I like adding micro greens but you can add lettuce as well.

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Indian Spiced Chicken & Avocado Burgers

Super Flavorful Indian Spiced Chicken Burgers packed with onions, tomatoes and avocados on a buttery brioche bun.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Indian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 burgers

Ingredients

For The Chicken Patties

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger,finely chopped
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2-3 thai bird green chilies, adjust to tolerance
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 lb (450gms) ground chicken, room temperature (dont use ground chicken breast)
  • 3 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
  • 3-4 leaves fresh mint leaves
  • 1.25 tsp salt

For Avocado Mash

  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 1 fat garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp very finely chopped scallions
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the Burgers

  • 4 to 6 brioche buns
  • 1 large ripe avocado, diced
  • Onions, tomatoes, dill pickles, micro greens

Instructions

Making Chicken Patties

  • Heat up 1 tbsp oil in a skillet. Add onions, garlic, ginger, chillies, spice powders all at once to the oil. Saute for 4-5 minutes on low medium heat until you see that there is no moisture in the skillet. Take off the stove and cool down slightly.
  • In a large bowl add the ground chicken, cilantro, mint, salt and the cooked onions and spices. Using a spatula or your hands, gently mix everything together. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.

Make the Avocado Spread

  • Peel and de seed 1 large avocado. Place it in a wide bowl, add the garlic, salt, lemon jucie and scallion. Using a fork mash the avocado.
  • Dice the second avocado and toss it with some salt and lemon juice. Keep ready.
  • Prepare the onions, tomatoes etc while the ground chicken is resting. Also brush the broiche buns on the inside with melted butter. Keep ready.

Make the Burgers

  • Divide the ground chicken mixture into 6 equal portions. Oil your hands lightly and roll the portions into a ball. Pat the balls using your palms and fingers to make an evenly thick patty. Repeat till all the patties are formed. Do not make very thick patties to start with since these swell up while cooking.
  • Heat up a grill or cast iron pan and oil it liberally.You can use a nonstick pan as well. Place the chicken patties 3 at a time on the pan and let cook. Cook for 3-4 minutes each side on low medium heat. Cover them for a minute or so towards the last minute to make sure that the chicken is cooked through. Adjust the time depending on how thick or thin your chicken patties are or the quality of your ground chicken.
  • Side by Side toast the brioche buns on the skilllet.
  • To build the burger place the botton bun on a board and spread the avocado mash on it. Next place the onion and tomato slices. Place the cooked chicken patty on top and add a few pickles. Add a few spoon fuls of diced avocados followed by micro greens. Place the top bun. Assemble all the burgers in the same fashion. Serve with french fries and beer.Enjoy!

Mango Tres Leches Cake

Mango Sponge soaked in sweetened milk concoction and covered in mango whipped cream.This cake is bursting with mango flavor in each bite. It is perfect for summer birthdays or for taking along for summer gatherings. You can make it 1-2 days in advance.

Tres(Three) Leche(Milk) cakes are traditional to Latin America and they are sponge cakes that are perforated after baking and then soaked in a sauce made with three kinds of milk – evaporated milk, condensed milk and heavy cream. The sponge itself is airy and its absorbs the milk sauce to form a luscious, dense and rich cake.

There are quite a few steps to this recipe but nothing too complicated. The 3 essential steps of making this cake are – baking the mango sponge, soaking it in milk sauce and topping it with the whipped cream. You can bake and soak the cake on one day and then next day just make the whipped cream and slather it on top. You can use fresh seasonal mangoes to make a homemade puree or use store-bought mango puree.

Mango Sponge – This is an eggless mango sponge which is super easy to make and its a one bowl recipe. Mango is one of the most delicious seasonal summer fruit. There is a prominent mango flavor in this cake. I did not not use any spices or essence in the cake batter because I wanted pure mango flavor. However you can definitely add some cardamom or vanilla if you wish. The cake has a beautiful texture and it gets nicely browned. When you cut into it, the sponge is nicely dyed with natural yellow color of mangoes, there is no food color. Make sure to used the best ripest and sweetest mangoes you can find else use store bought mango puree.

Milk Sauce – After the cake is baked, it is doused in a milk sauce made with evaporated milk, condensed milk and heavy cream. Allow for at least 6 hours of chilled soaking.

Mango Whipped Cream– Simply heavy cream whipped with mango puree and flavored with green cardamom powder. This mango whipped cream is just irrestible and I can imagine it on so many things from pancakes to waffles to just on its own.

Mango Tres Leches Cake
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Mango Tres Leches

Eggless mango sponge soaked in milk sauce and covered in layers of mango cardamom whipped cream. A great cake for summer entertaining.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian, Mexican
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8 inch round

Equipment

  • Glass Mixing Bowls, Baking Tools

Ingredients

For The Eggless Mango Sponge

  • 3/4 cup mango puree (from 3-4 ripe mangoes or use store bought) , see notes
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup neutral oil
  • 1+3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1+1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

Milk Sauce

  • 12 oz evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 9oz sweetened condensed milk

For Mango Whipped Cream

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp mango puree
  • 4 tbps powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp green cardamom powder

Instructions

Mango Sponge

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line the bottom of an 8 inch non stick round cake pan with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl,combine mango puree, milk and oil. Whisk for 2 minutes so that everything is combined and of mango color.
  • Place a large sieve(or use a flour sifter) over the bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Sift the flour mixture over the wet ingredients.
  • Using a rubber spatula, fold the wet and dry ingredients together until no white specks of flour are visible. Dont over mix.
  • Transfer the batter to the cake pan. Using a flat spatula, smoothen the top of the cake.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  • Once baked, remove the cake from the oven and proceed to soaking (see instructions below)

Make the Milk Sauce

  • While the cake is baking, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl (preferably with a spout). Whisk well. Save about 3/4 cup milk sauce for serving. When the cake is cooled, pierce the surface of the cake alll over using fork or a skewer. Slowly drizzle the milk mixture over the cake.

Mango Whipped Cream

  • Add the heavy cream and sugar into a chilled mixing bowl and beat on high speed for about a minute till you see its starting to get thick. Add the mango puree and cardamom powder and beat on high speed for another minute and a half till the cream is thick and spreadable.
  • Spread all over the cake and chill the cake for atleast 6 hours before serving. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. You can use the fresh mangoes to make the mango puree at home.We need 1 cup of mango puree in this recipe.I add the flesh of about 1 lb of mangoes (4-5) with 1 -2 tbsp sugar to a blender and bend on high speed. I recommend straining the puree to make sure that there are no fibres and its ultra smooth. 
  2. You can use a 9 inch by 13 inch rectangular cake pan to make this recipe as well. The cake might be slightly thinner.

Pistachio & Matcha Popsicles

These 4 ingredient, super easy popsicles are vegan and so perfect for those sweet craving that we all often get. I discovered how amazing matcha tastes in desserts earlier this year and there is no looking back. This green tea powder with numerous health benefits and unique taste needs to be paired with a creamy element and its rather bitter profile changes to pleasing.

Here I used coconut milk and coconut condensed milk as the creamy base along with roasted pistachios which I hand pound for a better texture in every bite. These popsicles are vegan and gluten-free but if you want to make these with dairy, just use heavy cream and regular condensed milk instead.

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Pistachio- Matcha Popsicles

Easy 4 ingredient, creamy and nutty pospicles made with pistachios and matcha.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 20 minutes
Servings 6 popsicles

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw pistachios
  • 1.5 tsp matcha powder
  • 14 fl oz (400ml) full fat coconut milk, unsweetened
  • 8 fl oz (230ml) sweetend condensed milk, or to taste

Instructions

  • In a dry pan, toast the pistachios on low heat for about 6-8 minutes. Cool down a bit. Transfer to a large mortar and pestle and hand pound to a coarse powder. Alternatively, you can grind them in a blender.
  • Add rest of the ingredients along with pistachios to a large bowl and using a whisk combine very well until there are no lumps.
  • Pour into pospicles molds and freeze overnight or for atleast 8 hours.
  • Unmold by dipping in warm water and enjoy!

Notes

1)If you want to make these with dairy, just use heavy cream and regular condensed milk instead and you are good to go.

Singapore Street Noodles

Singapore Street Noodles. Easy noodles stir fried with a good dose of protein (chicken + shrimp+ eggs), vegetables, shallots, garlic, ginger and curry powder in a really hot wok. Spicy, umami, smoky all in one. It’s hard to find anyone who won’t like these delicious noodles (actually rice sticks(or vermicelli), these are our favorite dish to order at PF Chang’s.

The traditional version uses char siu pork(BBQ pork) but I use eggs, chicken & shrimp. You can skip or add any kind of protein your family likes. This is a super weeknight friendly recipe. For the vegetables I use snap peas and red bell pepper, however bean sprouts and bok choy can be used as well. Like any asian or indo chinese recipe, these do need you to prepare the ingredients before hand- chopping the vegetables, preparing the protein, softening the rice sticks etc , I would say about 20-25 minutes worth of preparation, but once you are done, from there these noodles come together in hardly 6-8 minutes.

What makes these noodles unique is the use of curry powder, the taste of the spices along with asian sauces cooked on high heat lends these noodles their signature color and flavor. That said, I don’t stock curry powder, lets just say, it is not one of my favorite things. But that won’t stop me from making these and neither it should stop you. You don’t have to buy a jar of curry powder which, if you are like me will never get used up after this dish. The secret is to make your own curry blend by mixing coriander powder +turmeric + garam masala(easily available spices in an indian pantry, see measurement in the recipe), works beautifully for that traditional flavor!

These noodles are pretty easy to make and can fit restrictive dietary needs very easily as well. Keep the following things in mind when you make these:-

  • Keep all the ingredients ready before you start stir frying the noodles. This includes preparing the sauce, chopping the vegetables and soaking the rice noodles. This is super important and makes your work flow so easy!
  • Stir fry on high heat. The right smokiness and taste only comes when the spices hit the hot wok.
  • Use a larger wok than you think. If you don’t have a wok, use a wide large 12 inch pan. That way the noodles will not get soggy and will crisp up nicely.
  • Don’t skimp on the oil. Noodles need oil to not get sticky and when the oil quantity is right, they get that charred taste instead of tasting boiled.
  • Since rice noodles are very delicate and thin, you want to keep those textures going forward, hence cut the chicken into small strips, no one wants to bite into a chunk of protein. Use fork to break the soft scrambled eggs into small pieces or make a thin omelette and use kitchen shears to cut it into small strips. Use medium size shrimp, or cut then into small bites if you have jumbo or extra large at home.
  • You can use wheat tempeh strips or tofu in this recipe to make it vegan friendly.
  • Use coconut aminos or tamari instead of soy sauce to make it gluten free friendly.

Other Noodle Recipes that you can check out on the blog

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Singapore Street Noodles

Rice vermecelli stir fried with chicken, shrimp, eggs and vegetables and a curry spices flavored sauce. Can be easily made glutenfree or vegan.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

For the Sauce

  • 1.5 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp shaoxing wine (chinese cooking wine, if you dont want to use alcohol, simply use chicken broth)
  • 1 tsp garam masala ,see notes (1)
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder ,see notes (1)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder ,see notes (1)
  • 1.5 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the Noodles

  • 200 g rice sticks(vermecelli), I use Dynasty Brand
  • 5 tbsp cooking oil, divided
  • 2 large eggs, whisked with a pinch of salt
  • 1, 6oz chicken thigh, cut into thin strips
  • 10-12 shrimp, tail on, cleaned & deveined
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 Thai bird green chillies, finely chopped skip or adjust quantity to tolerance, see notes(2)
  • 12-15 snap peas
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • Chopped cilantro, chopped scallion green parts, Lime wedges to serve

Instructions

  • Add all the sauce ingredients to a bowl and mix well. Set aside.
  • Add the rice sticks to a large bowl and cover with enough hot water. Soak for 5-8 minutes Once they are soft, drain using a colander and keep ready. TIP – Once the rice noodles are soft, use kitchen scissors to cut the noodles short, makes tossing and eating easy.
  • In a large wok, add 1 tbsp of oil and heat up. Add the whisked eggs and scramble the eggs untill they are soft cooked. Remove on a plate. Using a fork, break the egg into small pieces.
  • Add 1 tbsp of oil next, add the chicken to the wok. Sprinkle salt and pepper and stir fry the chicken on high heat until cooked through. Remove the chicken and all the drippings on the same plate as the eggs.
  • Next add another tbsp of oil and add the shrimp, sprinkle pinch of salt. Stir fry the shrimp for a couple minutes until they are opaque and turn orange. Remove on the same plate as the eggs & chicken.
  • Make sure that the wok is screaming hot. It will go fast from here. Add the remaining 2 tbsp oil to the wok.
  • Add shallots, ginger, garilc and green chillies all at once to the wok.Stir fry on high heat for about 2-3 minutes. Don't brown too much.
  • Next add the snap peas and bell pepper to the wok, sprinkle a pinch of salt and stir fry the vegetables on higt heat just for a couple minutes. We dont want to overcook them.
  • Next add the rice noodles to the wok along with shrimp, chicken and eggs. Pour over the sauce that we prepared.
  • Using tongs or chopsticks or two forks, toss everything together until the noodles and the protein are well coated in the sauce and everything is heated through. This part is a little messy since these noodles do not seperate easily but work your way through.
  • Remove from heat and add the cilantro and scallions. Serve immediately with lime wedges.

Notes

  1. If you stock curry powder at home, use 1.5 – 2tsp curry powder instead of garam masala, coriander and turmeric. If using medium or hot curry powder, skip the green chilli. 
  2. Even a single thai bird chili makes these hot, if you want to make these mild, skip it. 
  3. Season with a pinch of salt every step of the way. It helps so much with the taste of the final dish. 
  4. Keep all the ingredients ready before you start stir frying the noodles. This includes preparing the sauce, chopping the vegetables and soaking the rice noodles. This is super important and makes your work flow so easy!
  5. Stir fry on high heat. The right smokiness and taste only comes when the spices hit the hot wok.
  6. Use a larger wok than you think. If you don’t have a wok, use a wide large 12 inch pan. That way the noodles will not get soggy and will crisp up nicely.
  7. Don’t skimp on the oil. Noodles need oil to not get sticky and when the oil quantity is right, they get that charred taste instead of tasting boiled.
  8. Since rice noodles are very delicate and thin, you want to keep those textures going forward, hence cut the chicken into small strips, no one wants to bite into a chunk of protein. Use fork to break the soft scrambled eggs into small pieces or make a thin omelette and use kitchen shears to cut it into small strips. Use medium size shrimp, or cut then into small bites if you have jumbo or extra large at home.
  9. You can use wheat tempeh strips or tofu in this recipe to make it vegan friendly.
  10. Use coconut aminos or tamari instead of soy sauce to make it gluten free friendly.

Bengali Macher Johl

Bengali Macher Jhol.A light spicy fish curry perfect for summer months. For us indians, curries are year round, isn’t? Depending on the season, I switch between lighter or richer preparations and these days I am mostly making soupy tomato or yogurt based ones. 

Turmeric rubbed fish steaks(I used fresh asian sea bass) shallow fried in virgin mustard oil are added to a nigella and bay leaf scented gravy which gets a kick from grassy green chillies. The flavors are so bright and different from the punjabi fish curry I grew up eating, but really perfect for the hot months.  

You can use any kind of fish that you normally use for curries – salmon or carp work well. I sometimes make it with frozen baramundi or snapper fillets as well. This curry can be made in a jiffy and tastes awesome with some steamed white rice. Sometimes potatoes or eggplants are added for a nice variation and always allow it to rest for 20-30 minutes for the best flavors.

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Bengali Macher Jhol

A light spicy fish curry from the eastern parts of india.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

To prep the fish

  • 1.5 lb (about 750g) sea bass(or rohu or salmon) cleaned and cut into steaks
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the Jhol

  • 1/4 cup mustard oil
  • 1/2 tsp nigella seeds
  • 3 thai bird green chillies, slit
  • 1/3 cup onion paste (simply grind onion in a blender using as less water as possible)
  • 2 garlic cloves ,pounded in mortar pestle
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 medium tomato chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1.5 cups hot water
  • 3/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, add the fish, sprinkle salt and turmeric and rub on the pieces very well. Let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, add the powdered spices and mix ith 2-3 tbsp of water. Keep ready.
  • Add the mustard oil to a heavy wok or kadai and let heat up till slightly smoky.
  • Carefully, slide the fish into the oil and shallow fry for 2 minutes on each side. Remove from oil and place in a plate.
  • In the remaining oil, crackle the bay leaf, nigella and green chillies for 30 seconds.
  • Add the onion paste next and on medium heat, brown for about 3 minutes. Once browned add the ginger and garlic and fry for a minute. Add the powdered spices paste next, a splash of water and fry the spices for 2-3 minutes untill you see that the oil starts seperating.
  • Next add the tomato, sugar and salt and fry for 2 minutes till the tomatoes have softened.
  • Add hot water to the masala and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the stove and let simmer for 2 minutes. Add the fried fish to the gravy along with any oil thats leftover in the plate in which you kept the fish. Taste and adjust the salt once.
  • Let everything cook for 6-8 minutes untill the fish is cooked through. Remive from stove and mix in the lime juice. Let rest for atleast 20 minutes. Serve with steamed rice.

Kale and Paneer Pulao

A healthy, fragrant and easy paneer(indian cheese) and kale pulao that is perfect for lunchboxes and quick meals.It tastes great a room temperature and keeps well for 2-3 days without changing its taste.Serve it on its own with salad, papad and raita or combine with tikkis or kebabs.

Paneer is an excellent source of protein for vegetarians and in this recipe I combine it with blanched kale – another powerhouse of nutrition. The combination of dark leafy greens, ghee crisped paneer, buttery rice and aroma of spices in each bite makes this pulao irresistible. You can add vegetables like peas, spinach or greens beans instead of kale if you wish. If you want to make it vegetarian, use tofu or any plant protein in place of paneer and skip the yogurt (finish with a little lime juice instead).

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Kale & Paneer Pulao

A nutritious, fragrant and easy pilaf made with ghee crisped paneer and leafy kale.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale (5-6 stalks)
  • 7 oz paneer, cut into cubes or triangles
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1/4 cup cooking olive oil
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 4 green cardamom
  • 2 shallot, thinly sliced (or 1/3 cup sliced red onions)
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp tumeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp full fat plain yogurt ,beaten
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup basmati rice washed and soaked for 20 minutes
  • 1.5 cup water (or as needed for your rice brand)

Instructions

  • Blanch the Kale Leaves – Discard the stems of the kale and wash the leafs thorougly 2-3 times in water. Next, add the leaves to a boiling pot of water and let cook for 5 minutes. Immediately add the kale to ice water. Let cook completely. Once cooled, chop into bite size. Keep ready.
  • Prepare the Paneer -Add ghee to a cooking pot or shallow pan and on low heat, crisp up the paneer on both sides. Transfer to a plate.
  • To the remaining ghee, add the cooking oil and let heat up.
  • To the warm oil, add the whole spices and let crackle. Add the sliced shallots next and brown lightly for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and brown for 30-40 seconds on low medium stove.
  • Add the powdered spices next alomg with yogurt and saute continously for a minute or so else the yogurt will curdle. Let cook for couple minutes till you see oil seperating on seeds. Add the chopped kale next and saute everything for a minute or so.
  • Add the soaked rice, salt and paneer to the masala along with water. Mix well and taste the once, the water should taste salty else rice wont be flavorful.
  • Bring the water to a boil, cover the pot and let cook on slow heat till the water is absorbed. Takes about 10-15 minutes.
  • Switch off the stove, dont open the lid immediately. Let the rice pot sit undisturbed for 20 minutes.
  • Gently fluff the pulao and serve.

Notes

  1. You can add vegetables like peas, spinach or greens beans instead of kale if you wish.
  2. If you want to make it vegetarian, use tofu or any plant protein in place of paneer and skip the yogurt (finish with a little lime juice instead).

Coffee Jelly With Mocha- Mascarpone Cream

A very simple and fun coffee dessert which is one of my favorite. I am a caffeine loving person, if you cannot tell – chai and coffee anything makes me run. I am a huge fan of using the flavors of these beverages in my sweet treats. Coffee Jelly is a very popular japanese dessert. For this dessert I used the recipe from Just One Cookbook. Nami is a seasoned Japanese food blogger and this recipe came out amazing. Now these refreshing jellies do need a creamy element so I made a quick cocoa mascornpne whipped cream and scented it with little cinnamon since cinnamon is one of my favorite spice to pair with coffee.

The recipes are very easy but for the jelly, you have to start a night ahead. Make the jellies and let them set. Make a quick whipped cream next day and serve it. So breezy and your coffee loving guests will love it. If you do not want to serve with whipped cream, a dollop of chocolate ice cream is as good.

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Coffee Jelly With Mascarpone Whipped Cream

A fun summer dessert of coffee jelly served with luscious mocha whipped cream.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Japanese
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Servings 5 servings

Ingredients

For the Coffee Jelly – Please follow Just One Cookbook vegan recipe link here

    For the Mocha Mascarpone Cream

    • 8 oz mascarpone cream , very cold
    • 1.5 cup heavy whipping cream , very cold
    • 1-2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
    • 1/4 tsp powdered cinnamom or vanilla

    Instructions

    • Prepare coffee jelly base according to the recipe. Pour it in individual cups and let set overnight.

    For the Mocha Mascarpne Whipped Cream

    • Place your mixing bowls and hand beater attachments in the freezer for 30 minuutes.
    • Add the mascarpone chesse, sifted cocoa powder and cinnamon into a large bowl and beat on medium low speed for 45 seconds or so.
    • Slowly start adding heavy cream about 1/2 cup at a time and beating on low speed at the same time. You will first see that the cheese is turning liquid but dont worry.
    • Increase the speed once you have added all the heavy cream, increase the speed and beat on medium high for about 8-10 minutes till you see soft peaks.
    • Add the powdered sugar next and continue to beat on low speed until all the sugar has been mixed. The resulting cream should have soft peaks and appear fluffy & cloudy.
    • Chill till you are ready to assemble.

    Assemble the Coffee Jelly Dessert

    • Add generous spoons of mich whipped cream on top of jelly, add nuts, shaved chocolate or fruits of choice. Serve chilled.

    Notes

    1. The coffee jelly recipe uses agar agar so its suitable for vegetarians. 
    2. Use a good quality instant coffee powder for a delicious tasting jelly. 
    3. You can serve with a scoop of chocolate ice cream instead of whipped cream.

    Chana Dal & Sweet Potato Tikki

    Chana Dal & Sweet Potato Tikki. These crisp outside and soft on the inside tikkis (patties) are made with chana dal (bengal gram lentils) and sweet potatoes. These are fragrantly spiced with cumin, cloves and ground garam masala. The sweet potato does not make them sweet at all, rather gives them an earthly bite. I paired these skillet fried tikks with a simple paneer & kale pulao, spinach raita (yogurt), micro greens and raw vegetables to make a colorful indian super food bowl.

    Having grown up in my grandmother’s vegetarian household, lentils were used a dozen ways from sweet to savory dishes and these tikkis appeared on special occasions. The lentils were ground on sil-batta (stone) with spices to which finely chopped onions, raisins and herbs were added. Sweet potatoes were not used rather grated regular potatoes and a handful of boiled lentils went in for texture in each bite. These tikkis are great with parathas & green chutney or pulao & raita alike. They can be tucked inside burger buns for a vegetarian sandwich or served over a bed of greens.

    A few things to be kept in mind when you make these:-

    • When making tikkis with lentils, the most important thing is the water quantity when you cook them. More water will turn them mushy while less water with leave the lentils dry and chewy. Please refer to the water quantity in the recipe.
    • Its best to use your hands to mix. Unless you are using a sil batta (stone grinder), leave out the blender or processor. If the lentils are cooked properly, you will be able to a make a soft tikki mixture very easily. And the texture of hand mixed is absolutely unmatched.
    • Since onions and chopped cilantro etc go in the recipe, keep in mind that after sitting for a half and hour or so, the mix will loosen a bit since the raw vegetables will release their moisture due to salt. So if the tikki mix feels a bit dry in the beginning, don’t worry.
    • These tikkis have texture, they are soft to bite into but you will taste whole lentils grains here and there.
    • I add roasted besan to the tikki mix. Not for binding or anything, these don’t need a binder because the starches in the lentils are enough. Roasted besan(chickpea flour) lends a nice smoky taste and does make this recipe fool proof.Plus its delicious.
    • There is no need for a coating of any flour etc when you skillet fry them. Fry them patiently, that’s all. If your tikki mix is right, they will not fall apart or anything.
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    Chana Dal (Bengal Gram Lentils) & Sweet Potato Tikki

    Delicious skillet fried tikkis (patties) made with sweet potatoes and chana dal(bengal gram lentils)
    Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
    Cuisine Indian
    Prep Time 30 minutes
    Cook Time 30 minutes
    Servings 12 tikkis

    Ingredients

    For Boiling the Lentils

    • 1 +1/3 cup chana dal (bengal gram lentils)
    • 1 tsp cumin seeds
    • 1 small bay leaf
    • 2 cloves
    • 1 small whole black cardamom (skip if not available)
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 cup water

    For the Tikki Mix

    • 200 g sweet potato(boiled, peeled and cut into small chunks)
    • 1.5 tbsp ginger garlic paste (or simply add 5 garlic cloves and 1 inch piece of ginger to a mortar & pestle and pound to a paste)
    • 1/2 cup finely chopped onions
    • 2 thai bird green chilies or 1 serrano (adjust to taste) ,see notes
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
    • 1/2 tbsp finely chopped ginger
    • 1 tbsp finely chopped golden raisins (optional)
    • 1 tbsp garam masala (used homemade or store bought, make sure its not more than 3 months old)
    • 2-3 tbsp roasted besan (gram flour)
    • 1 tsp salt
    • Oil or ghee for pan frying

    Instructions

    Prepare/Boil The Lentils

    • Wash the lentils 2-3 times under a running stream of water and soak for 2-3 hours.
    • Drain and discard the water in which you soaked the lentils.Add the soaked lentils to a pressure cooker, add cumin, bay leaf, cloves and black cardamom along with salt and 1/2 cup water.
    • Close the lid of the pressure cooker and place it on stove. Let the stove be on high till the first whistle. After that, reduce the stove to low medium and cook for additional 2-3 whistles. After total 3-4 whistles, switch off the stove and let the pressure release naturally.
    • Open the lid, do not mix at once while the lentils are hot, they will turn into a mush. Take 1-2 lentil grains and press between your thumb and finger, if the grain is pressed easily and dosent feel hard, the lentils are cooked. If not, add 2-3 tbsp water and cook for one more whistle.
    • The lentils should not disintegrate, they shoud be cooked through but retain their shape after boiling. Pick out and discard the bay leaf, clove and cardamom, Cover the cooker and let the lentils cool down for a bit, dont let them become cold. We want to make the mix while the lentils are still warm.

    Make the Tikki Mix

    • In a wide dish(avoid a deep bowl), add the cooked warm lentils and boiled sweet potato. Mix gently breaking the lentils and poatoes for about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the ginger and garlic, onions, green chilies, raisins, ginger and garam masala.
    • Gently using your hands start squishing to combine everything together. Gently mix for about 3-4 minutes, if some lentils remain whole, thats okay.
    • Once mixed, add the salt and 2 tbsp of roasted besan. Mix again, you will be able to make a soft ball with the mix. If you feel its too wet, add another tablespoon of besan but dont add more than 3 tbsp total. Cover and let the tikki mix rest for 20 minutes.

    Shape & skillet fry tikkis

    • Oil your hands and divide the tikki mix into 10 or 12 equal portions.
    • Roll the portions into a balls, flatten the balls slightly and shape them using your palm and fingers into well rounded patties.
    • Make all the tikkis this way and place on a plate. At this point you can refrigerate them for up to 3 days. Or place them on a single layer on a parchment lined cookie sheet and freeze them for 6 hours. After they are frozen, place in a zip lock and store frozen for one month.
    • Warm up a 12 inch heavy cast iron wide skillet or griddle on medium. When nicely hot (not too hot) add 1-2 tbsp oil or ghee and place 3-4 tikkis at a time, don't overcrowd. Let tikkis crisp up for 5-6 minutes on one side. Don't add a lot of oil in the begnning,they will break. Once they are crisped on one side, drizzle 1-2 tbsp of oil or ghee on (uncooked) top and flip to crisp on second side.
    • Pan fry the tikkis with patience. Its takes 7-8 minutes to fry a batch on both sides.

    Notes

    • When making tikkis with lentils, the most important thing is the water quantity when you cook them. More water will turn them mushy while less water with leave the lentils dry and chewy. Please refer to the water quantity in the recipe.
    • Its best to use your hands to mix. Unless you are using a sil batta (stone grinder), leave out the blender or processor. If the lentils are cooked properly, you will be able to a make a soft tikki mixture very easily. And the texture of hand mixed is absolutely unmatched.
    • Dont leave out the green chillies, this is the only heat in this recipe. Garam masala adds a warmth, but do add at least one sharp green chili for heat. 
    • Since onions and chopped cilantro etc go in the recipe, keep in mind that after sitting for a half and hour or so, the mix will loosen a bit since the raw vegetables will release their moisture due to salt. So if the tikki mix feels a bit dry in the beginning, don’t worry.
    • These tikkis have texture, they are soft to bite into but you will taste whole lentils grains here and there.
    • I add roasted besan to the tikki mix. Not for binding or anything, these don’t need a binder because the starches in the lentils are enough. Roasted besan(chickpea flour) lends a nice smoky taste. Plus its delicious.
    • There is no need for a coating of any flour etc when you skillet fry them. Fry them patiently, that’s all. If your tikki mix is right, they will not fall apart or anything.