Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Perfect Meal

A perfect meal or a soul satisfying meal is definitely the one that makes you feel that you have eaten whole heartedly and have enjoyed each and every bite of food that you put in your mouth and I have got just the perfect recipes to attain that level of satisfaction.

Kadai Paneer:


250 gms Paneer (cottage cheese) - cut into triangles.
2 whole red chilies
2 cloves
1 inch cinnamon stick
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 bay leaf
2 tsp garlic paste
2 tsp ginger paste
1 medium onion thinly sliced
2 tsp red chilly powder
2-3 spoons of chopped coriander leaves.
2 tsps Olive oil or any cooking oil
4-5 tomatoes roughly chopped
Salt to taste
1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
1 tsp lemon juice


• Heat oil in a pan. Add broken whole red chilies, coriander seeds, cloves, bay leaf and cinnamon to it.
• Once the oil is fragrant add the sliced onion to the pan and sauté for 2 mins. Add the chilly powder to the pan and continue cooking. Add the ginger and garlic paste to the pan along with kasuri methi.
• Add the tomatoes to the pan. Add salt at this time as it would help the tomatoes to soften and release their juices. Let it simmer for 15 – 20 mins on a medium flame.
• Add the paneer pieces to the pan and cook till the paneer is blended well with the masala.
• Add lemon juice to the paneer and garnish with coriander leaves.

Dal Tadka:

Tuvar dal is probably one of the most commonly used dals in Indian households. This recipe is definitely a twist to the tuvar dal that we normally make and it tastes yum with boiled rice.


1 katori tuvar dal
2 whole red chilles
4-5 kadi patta
1 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
1 tsp jeera
1 tsp red chilly powder
2 tsp lemon juice
2-3 spoons of chopped coriander
1 spoon oil (for tadka)


• Wash the dal thoroughly. In a pressure cooker add sufficient water to the dal and add salt and turmeric powder and pressure cook it for 4-5 whistles.
• In a separate pan, add oil and let it simmer till the oil gets hot. Add the whole red chilies, rai, jeera and kadi patta to the pan. Once the jeera sizzles add garlic and ginger paste to it and sauté for 2 mins.
• Now add red chilly powder to it and mix well.
• Add the prepared tadka to the pressure cooked dal. Now add lemon juice to the dal and garnish with chopped coriander.

Tip: To add more flavor to the dal, prepare a separate tadka with 1 spoonful of desi ghee and let it simmer. Now add the jeera to the pan and add some red chilly powder and add prepared tadka to the dal and quickly close the lid to capture the aroma.

I am sending the recipe of Kadai Paneer to Siri Dee for the coriander event Herb Mania

Manchurian Rolls

I really miss the Chinese take out food that I get back home in India and fried rice and Manchurian is my favorite. Manchurian rolls fit the bill perfectly and satisfy my cravings for the Chinese that I get back home and it’s different from what I regularly make. In fact it’s perfect for lunch, brunch or dinner.


To make Manchurian balls:
Shredded cabbage – 1 cup.
Grated carrot – ½ cup.
Grated Cauliflower – ½ cup.
2 spoons all purpose flour or corn starch
2 tsp dark soya sauce
Salt to taste
A pinch of black pepper
Oil for frying the balls.

To make the gravy:
½ cup spring onion finely chopped along with the greens
2 tsp ginger paste
2 tsp garlic paste
2 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp vinegar
Salt to taste
4-5 chopped green chilies (you can add less if you don’t want the Manchurian to me spicy)
Quarter cup water to be added to the pan
1 tsp corn starch dissolved in quarter cup of water.
2 tsp olive oil or any cooking oil.

To make the Rolls:
4 bread rolls to add the Manchurian filling. (Slit from between to add the filling)

• To make the Manchurian balls , mix cabbage, carrot and cauliflower along with soy sauce, corn starch ( all purpose flower), salt and pepper, make small bite size balls and keep aside. Heat oil in a pan and fry the balls till you get a golden brown color and keep aside.
• Take another pan and add olive oil to it. Then add green chilies, ginger paste, and garlic paste along with the spring onions. Keep the greens aside for garnish.
• Now add the quarter cup of water to the pan. Add soy sauce, salt and vinegar as well. Add the Manchurian balls to the pan and mix well. Dissolve corn starch in water and slowly add to the pan. The sauce will start to thicken. Mix all the ingredients well.
• Add the spring onion green for garnish. Slit the bread roll with the help of a knife and add the hot Manchurian filling to the bread and serve hot.

Tip: Vegetable Manchurian can be served with vegetable fried rice or make the manchurian with gravy and can be served with veg noodles as well. Another great idea would be to make finger food and serve the manchurian on sqaure shaped toasted bread slices.

Peas Pulav

One of the quickest and the easiest recipes which I love to make is matter wale pulav or pea’s pulav. This recipe is so simple to make and it gets ready in around 20 mins.


1 cup basmati rice or any long grain rice
½ cup peas (green matar)
1 medium onion thinly sliced
1 tsp jeera
2 tomatoes finely chopped.
1 tsp chilly powder
1 tsp turmeric (optional)
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1 bay leaf
Salt to taste
1 table spoon cooking oil
2 cups of water or vegetable stock.

• Take a pan and add oil to it. Add bay leaf and jeera to the pan, once it sizzles add the sliced onions and sauté till the onion gets a light brown color.
• Add chopped tomatoes, salt, chilly powder, turmeric and peas to the pan and sauté for another 2 mins.
• Now add the rice to the pan and mix all the ingredients well. Add water or vegetable stock to the pan and mix well. Adding vegetable stock helps in adding flavor to the pulav.
• Simmer the gas to medium-low and put a lid on to the pan. Let it cook for 15 -20 mins or till the time the pulav is cooked.
• Serve hot with acchar or curd.

Tip: You can also add vegetables like carrot, cauliflower or edamame to make a vegetable pulav.