Bringing Imagination to your Cooking…!!!

North Indian

Paneer Shimla Mirchi…

Paneer Shimla Mirchi…

Food for thought..! Ever wondered how some dishes/recipes were named.. !?! I’m sure every cuisine has some very interesting names.. Since my interaction has been the most with Indian food … Indian food  does have some real bizarre names like – pasanda, navratan, jalfrezi, tikka, ragda patties etc.. whoever came up with such fancy names.. hats off! Now come the other boring names, probably named by someone who was simply caught up on a day like this where he could not just come up with anything fancy…I’m talking about the use of names like masala, fry, curry, kadai, handi, tandoori etc. The name of this dish sounds familiar huh… just like Aloo Shimla Mirchi.. I know! But I couldn’t come up with a more innovative name…! I kept racking my brains over it.. Not one of my very innovative days when it comes to naming dishes I suppose & of course not for K as well..! I asked K to try the dish & give this dish a name.. he came up with this tacky name…! I smiled & asked him if it’s all he could come up with.. he replied “I’m hungry, right now this is what I can come up with!”. I did not want to bug him more.. so I just stuck with naming it this way.. !!!

Paneer Shimla Mirchi…

I had a huge stash of Paneer in my fridge which I had completely forgotten about… Thanks to my 3 year twin nephews who were fighting for more Paneer on their plate during our Skype Video chat, I decided I’ll cook K a paneer dish for dinner!

With all the shows on TLC I watch.. K is always drooling on the Bacon, the numerous cheese’s, pink salmon, Ham & cheese, fish & chips, .. the list goes on..! You place paneer in front of K along with some roti’s, he is happy..! K’s vegetarian happy meal formula in Indian food has to have some Paneer…!

This dish is again something I just made up on the go.. ! It tangy, sweet & sour and mildly hot… with some lovely flavour & crunch added by the green peppers/capsicum/Shimla mirchi.

Shimla Mirchi & coriander if you were wondering what were those things in the background which were out of focus…

This is one of the first time I tried to shoot pictures this way.. not too much on the background, a less busy picture.. Just a little bored with my usual style of photography. Hope you guys find these pictures appealing..! Change is the only constant isn’t it??!

Ingredients: (Serves 2-3 ) Preparation Time: 30 mins
Paneer – 175 gms, cubed
Onions – 2 medium-sized, finely chopped
Bay leaves – 1/2 of a medium-sized leaf, roughly torn into 2-3 pieces
Dried red chilli’s – 2, medium spicy variety, each roughly torn into 2-3 pieces
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric – a pinch
Tamarind – 1/2 of a marble-sized ball, without seeds, soak in 1/4 warm cup water & keep aside
Sugar – 1/2 tsp
Capsicum – 1 medium-sized, de-seeded and cubed
Coriander – 2 sprigs, finely chopped to garnish
Cashews – 5, soaked in 1/4 cup milk for at least 30 mins, make a paste of the cashews with the milk
Tip: Skip the Cashews if you wanna go skinny with this dish
Cooking oil – 1.5 tbsp
Salt to taste

For the fresh paste:
Tomato – 1 medium-sized, roughly chopped
Coriander – 10-12 sprigs with the stems
Green chilli’s – 1, roughly chopped
Garlic – 8 plump cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
Ginger – 1 small piece,roughly chopped
Cardamom – 3 whole
Cinnamon – 1 inch piece

Heat oil in a kadai/deep bottom fry pan. Once the oil heats up, set heat to medium. Throw in the bay leaves bits & let them sizzle. In about 30 seconds, throw in the cumin seeds & let them sizzle, do not let them turn black. Add the finely chopped onion & add some salt to help fry them quicker. Let them turn translucent.

Meanwhile, grind all the ingredients mentioned for a paste except the tomatoes. Once the rest of the ingredients have turned into a rough paste, add the tomatoes & blend to as smooth a paste as possible. Add a bit of water if required.

Squeeze the juice out of the soaking tamarind & throw the pulp away, reserving all the water.

When the onion begins to turn a light brown, add the roughly torn dried red chilli’s, mix it around. Next add the freshly ground paste along with 1 cup water. Simmer. When the sauce thickens throw in the turmeric & coriander powder. Mix it around. Let it fry for a couple of minutes. Now throw in the sugar, tamarind juice & give the sauce a good mix.

Note: Do not let the sauce burn, reduce heat & add a little water if it is too dry.

When all the raw flavours fade away add the cashew paste if you wish to add & throw in the capsicum & fry till the capsicum cooks in to a way you like it, I like a bit crunch in them so I cook them halfway.

Note: If you need some gravy in this dish, add about 1/2 cup of water before you add the capsicum. Else you can let all the water evaporate & make this a dry dish.

Lastly add the paneer cubes, mix well so that the sauce coats the paneer. Cook the paneer till tender. 

Garnish with some chopped coriander.

Paneer Shimla Mirchi…

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot as an accompaniment with hot Indian breads.

Paneer Shimla Mirchi…

Else you can make them into rolls. Add a couple of spoons of the sabji with some freshly chopped onions, coloured peppers and make yourself a roll or a wrap. :) This sounds perfect if you have just enough leftovers right?

Dum-Aloo truly sinful baby potatoes in a spicy onion-cashew gravy….

Dum-Aloo truly sinful baby potatoes in a spicy onion-cashew gravy….

A simple dish, yet so flavourful. This is something I have been meaning to post from a long time. Baby potatoes are a favourite in our kitchen. They have a very distinct sweet flavour & they are just so silky smooth in this curry… A definite must try for all potato & Indian curry lovers. So easy to prepare but, the time taken is a wee longer compared to other curry’s, but then if you are looking for a good curry then you better not complain. Try it out once & it will frequent your kitchen very often then on.

Indulging in a curry with some cashews as the base is not a sin..! Every once in a while you do need to pamper yourself with a rich curry. Look at the brighter side – there is no butter, cream or cheese.. its healthier since you are adding some curd/yogurt. But please don’t go skinny on the yogurt too, else you are going to destroy the dish.

A typical dish from the Northern state of India – Punjab. You can’t say no to Punjabi curry’s can you?? A very staple recipe from a Punjabi family’s house. You will find loads of recipe’s for this dish over the internet. This is the way I make it at home. Being a friday post, hope this gives you an opportunity to try this dish out over the weekend. A true delight & you will never order this at an Indian restaurant again, since you will master this at home with this recipe. :D
Dum-Aloo truly sinful baby potatoes in a spicy onion-cashew gravy….

Ingredients: (Serves 3-4) Preparation Time: 45 mins
Baby potatoes – 22-25, washed
Cinnamon – 1/2 inch piece
Green Cardamom – 2 cloves
Cashews – 10-12 whole
Cloves – 3-4 whole
Bay leaves – 1 medium-sized leaf, torn into 3-4 pieces
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp
Asafoetida – 2 pinches
Ginger – 1 inch piece, roughly chopped
Garlic – 5-6 cloves, peeled & roughly chopped
Onion – 1 large, roughly chopped
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder/Dried Kashmiri Chilli’s – 1 tsp/4-5; Alter according to your palate as the spices used will also make the dish hot
Fresh curd/Natural yogurt – 3/4 cup
Kasuri Methi/Dried Fenugreek leaves – 1 tbsp, crushed between your palms
Sugar – 1 tsp
Coriander leaves (Optional) – 1-2 sprigs, finely chopped
Cooking oil – 1/2 tsp + 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Take a small fry pan & dry roast the spices – cloves, cumin, coriander seeds, cinnamon along with the cashews. If you have Kashmiri chilli’s add them too (i.e. if you plan to use dried chilli’s instead of the store-bought powder). Maintain heat at medium. Do not burn the spices. Roast them till the aroma of all the roasting spices fills up your nose & they begin to slightly change in colour. Turn the heat off. Keep aside to cool.

Bring about a litre of water to a boil in a pressure cooker. Add generous amount of salt to the water for the baby potatoes to absorb some. Add the washed baby potatoes. When the water begins to bubble, cover with the lid & cook for 10 minutes with the cooker weight on, at medium heat. Turn off the heat & let the cooker cool. It is perfectly fine if the cooker does not blow its whistle at all.

Meanwhile, when the potatoes are cooking away, transfer the dry roasted spices & cashews to a blender jar & powder them to a fine powder. Keep it aside.

If the pressure is off the pressure cooker, open it transfer the baby potatoes to a bowl of cold water. Notice that the potatoes are not completely cooked & they are still firm. Now peel their skin away. Next pierce the potatoes with a fork in 2-3 places so as to help them absorb the flavours from the gravy.

Heat 1 tsp oil in deep bottom non stick fry pan. When the oil is hot a pinch of asafoetida & let it sizzle for a couple of seconds. Turn heat to low & throw in the baby potatoes. Slowly cook them on all sides till they turn golden brown.

Fry the baby potatoes till golden brown..

Probably will take you 12-15 minutes on low heat. While the potatoes are frying away, keeping a close eye on them, mince the roughly chopped onions, garlic & ginger using a mini chopper or food processor.

Take out the golden brown potatoes from the frying pan & transfer them to a kitchen paper to drain away the excess oil.

In the same fry pan add 1 tbsp of oil. Maintain heat at medium. Once the oil heats up, throw in a pinch of asafoetida, let it sizzle for a couple of seconds. Next add the torn bay leaf, fry for about 30-40 seconds till its aroma fills up the air around. Now add the minced onion-ginger-garlic paste. Add some salt to help the onions turn translucent quicker & mix well. When the onion is cooking to turn translucent, beat the curd/natural yogurt to remove any lumps.

Once the onion turns translucent add the turmeric & the freshly ground spice paste & mix well. Add the red chilli powder if you did not use whole dried red chilli’s while preparing the fresh spice powder.Let the mixture cook for a couple of minutes. Now add the beaten curd/yogurt to the frying pan along with the sugar. Mix well. Turn the heat to low.

Once the mixture begins to bubble, throw in the golden baby potatoes along with the crushed kasuri methi. Add about 300 ml water, add salt to taste & give it a good mix. Cover with a lid & cook on low heat for 10-12 minutes, till all the raw flavours fade away & the excess water has evaporated leaving behind a gravy with the consistency you need. Originally this dish is served with a thick gravy sticking to the potatoes.

Note: Be around & check once midway so that the gravy does not begin to burn from the bottom. If you cannot be around, heat a heavy pancake pan/tava & transfer the frying pan with the potatoes over the tava & cook on low heat for 15 minutes or till the desired consistency is achieved.

Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves if required. You can opt not to as the gravy already has an awesome flavour from the Kasuri Methi.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot with Roti’s/Chapati’s/Naan or your favourite Indian breads. This also is a good accompaniment for Vegetable Pilaf/Jeera/Peas Pilaf.

Dum-Aloo truly sinful baby potatoes in a spicy onion-cashew gravy….

If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Meen Varatharachathu… another fish delicacy from Kerala..!Makai Malai Palak/Sweetcorn in a creamy spinach sauce..Kumbh Mutter Masala with a Shahi twist to it..! etc.

Shahi Paneer.. Cottage Cheese Curry with a royal touch…

Shahi Paneer..

Thanks to all the love you guys showered upon me for the 200th post.. :) This just makes me wanna get back to my routine of posting a recipe everyday.. but I know it’s not really possible.. We are going on a holiday today.. So I won’t be around for the next few days..

Oh doesn’t this curry just look lovely.. look at the rich colour & texture.. Sure is tempting isn’t it? That is what I thought when Anil made it & I tasted it the first time.. the very look of it blew my mind.. the aroma is totally another thing,.. you will know what I’m talking about if you end up making this :) Anil is a friend of mine. He loves cooking as well. He is more into the Indian cooking & has some lovely recipe’s with his unique touch to it. 

 Shahi Paneer..

In this recipe he uses Paprika for the lovely colour.. The paprika adds its flavours which blend in so well.. so, this ain’t the usual restaurant curry that you get.. I’m so glad he shared this recipe with me. The secret ingredient is the garam masala here. He is a big fan of Badshah Garam Masala. I had never used that brand of until he asked me the secret.. & believe me I have discovered the perfect garam masala & now its my favourite as well. Try using this brand if you can get your hands on it.. :) Naah.. I’m not marketing for them…!

Paneer is K’s favourite & I have never heard him say no to Paneer. Yes, I have caught him stealing pieces of it from my plate many times.. That is how madly in love he is with them..!! So he absolutely loved this recipe.. licked his plate clean..! I don’t blame him at all.. I do the same with some of my favourites…. ;)
Tweak the red chilli powder as per your taste if you’re a mild curry eater.. Or go ahead & use a milder red chilli powder.. What I use is pretty hot..

Shahi Paneer..

Ingredients: (Serves 3-4)       Preparation Time: 30 – 40 mins
Paneer – 250 g, cubed
Onions – 4, medium-sized, roughly chopped
Tomatoes – 3, medium-sized, roughly chopped
Garlic – 6, cloves, roughly chopped
Ginger – 1 inch piece, roughly chopped
Paprika – 2 tsp
Red Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Garam Masala powder – 1 tsp
Cashews/Almonds – 15-20, soaked in hot water for over an hour.
Milk – full fat, 1/2 cup
Kasuri Methi – 1 tsp, crushed between the palms of your hand
Cooking oil/butter – 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Heat 1 tbsp of oil/butter in a deep bottom fry pan & when hot add the ginger,garlic, onions & tomatoes & set heat to medium. Throw in some salt to help cook them faster. Cook them, do not fry them. When the onions turn translucent, the tomatoes loose their stiffness & turn into pulp, turn the heat off. Set aside & let them cool.

Meanwhile you can peel the skin off the almonds if you opted to use almonds instead of cashews & add them to a blender jar along with the milk & grind them to a smooth paste. Keep aside.

Add the cooked onion,tomato, Ginger & garlic paste to a blender jar & turn it into a smooth paste. Do not add water.

Now, turn the heat back on & add 1 tbsp of oil. Add the ground onion-tomato paste to the oil when hot. Throw in the spice powders one by one. Simmer & cook till the raw flavours fade away & the oil/butter begins to separate. Check seasoning & adjust. Once the raw flavours fade away add the almond/cashew milk paste & mix well. Lower heat.If the curry turns too thick, add some more milk to achieve the required consistency. Add the paneer cubes & cook further for another 5-6 minutes or till the curry begins to bubble. Turn the heat off.

Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with the crushed kasuri methi. You may also want to add a small cube of butter on top before adding the Kasuri Methi. :)

Shahi Paneer served with Jeera Rice...

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot with Indian breads of your choice or any rice dish like Jeera rice or peas pulav/pilaf & dig in right away… :)


If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Paneer/Cottage cheese burji with hints of Celery…Paneer/Cottage Cheese Tava Masala…Paneer Enchiladas/Cottage cheese Enchiladas infused with Indian flavoursPaneer Methi Malai Kali Mirch etc.

Paneer/Cottage cheese burji with hints of Celery…

Paneer/Cottage cheese burji with hints of Celery....

Burji is nothing but a scramble. It’s a hindi word. Paneer is a fresh cheese common in South Asian Cuisine.. In the eastern parts of India its called Chhena.

Paneer is an unaged cheese. Preparing this cheese at home is easy, curdle heated milk with some lemon juice or vinegar & then you need to drain the water out using a muslin or cheesecloth, that’s how you end up with fresh homemade Paneer, which is alter chilled. Since it’s really hot in India there is always an episode when the milk curdles up ,hence the only way to use up this milk is to prepare Paneer at home. But a litre of milk may give you just about 150 gms or less paneer. x

Another lunchbox favourite of K is paneer burji, rather anything paneer is always his favourite.. Waking up late which I end up doing most days.. :P requires me to cook something in a jiffy to go into his lunchbox. I was low on eggs, so I would not be able to make enough Egg burji, which he could carry along. My fridge is also a little low on supplies.. So I saw this slab of Paneer/cottage cheese lying there which I had completely forgotten to use up.

It has been long since I packed Paneer burji for his lunch, also this dish has not been posted on my blog. Moreover the fresh packet of celery in the fridge was talking to me.. It was longing to be dressed up in some Indian spices.. :) That’s how this variation to the otherwise simple dish was born.. :)


Ingredients: (Serves 2) Preparation Time: 15 mins
Paneer – 200 gms, crumbled/ broken into smaller pieces, use your hand to crumble
Onion – 1 medium-sized, finely chopped
Green Chilli – 1, finely chopped
Tomato – 1 medium-sized, finely chopped
Celery stick/stem – 1, finely chopped
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp or more based on your taste
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Coriander leaves - 2-3 sprigs, finely chopped
Fresh Lemon juice – 1 tsp
Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a fry pan. Set heat to medium. Add the chopped green chilli’s when the oil is hot. Sauté them well & let the flavour get infused in the oil. Next add the cumin seeds & let them splutter. Next add the chopped onions & sauté them till they turn translucent. Add a pinch of salt to help the onions fry quick.

Once the onions turn translucent, add the chopped celery & mix well. Next add all the spice powders mentioned. Mix well. Fry them for a couple of minutes. Next add the tomatoes & fry them till they turn into pulp. Add salt to taste. Lower heat if required & fry till all the raw flavours of the spice powders added fades away.

Next add the crumbled paneer, mix well. If you like the paneer soft, then turn off the heat in a couple of minutes else fry the paneer till most of the water content from the paneer evaporates. Check & adjust the seasoning. Turn the heat off.

Add the lime juice & garnish with the chopped coriander leaves/cilantro. Mix well before serving.

Paneer/Cottage cheese burji with hints of Celery....

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot with any Indian bread of your choice. You can also use this as a filling for Paneer rolls/burgers/sandwiches/samosa’s. :) Enjoy this the way you like..

Paneer/Cottage cheese burji with hints of Celery....

If you like this recipe, then you may also like - Paneer/Cottage Cheese Tava Masala…Paneer Enchiladas/Cottage cheese Enchiladas infused with Indian flavoursAdraki Aloo Gobi/Gingery Potato & CauliflowerChole/Chickpeas in a tangy spicy Indian sauce etc.

Kumbh Mutter Masala with a Shahi twist to it..!

Kumbh Mutter Masala....

Firstly for those who are wondering what Shahi means.. it literally means royal… Dishes with powdered/chopped dry fruits were a favourite of the Indian royals.. So this dish has that touch to it.. Kumbh refers to mushrooms & mutter is green peas.. Now that solves the name of this dish…

Kumbh Mutter Masala... with a Shahi twist...

K was getting ready for work as usual.. I boiled eggs thinking of making some egg curry, then I suddenly remembered that I had a family pack of mushrooms in the fridge.. A friend of mine been asking me to post a dish with mushrooms from a while now,.. So I kept the boiled eggs aside for breakfast & started prepping up to use up the mushrooms & make this curry.

You would love the flavours in this dish… the milk adds a nice texture… spices in the garam masala powder add the aromatic touch.. hot from the green chilli’s added.. & the mushrooms add their own flavour to the dish… (Secret ingredient – Powdered almonds help to thicken the curry up & add the Shahi touch to this dish). If you don’t want to add the secret ingredient.. go ahead & skip it.. It will just be a normal mushroom masala dish with peas in it..

Ingredients: (Serves 2-3)           Preparation Time: 15-20 mins
Closed Cup Mushrooms – 150 gms, washed & diced thick
Tip: Dice the mushrooms about 2-3 minutes before adding them to the curry, else they turn black
Frozen/Fresh Green Peas – 1/2 – 3/4 cup
Red onion – 1 medium-sized, finely chopped
Tomatoes – 2 medium-sized, finely chopped
Garlic cloves – 3, finely minced
Green Chilli’s – 2, finely chopped
Garam Masala powder – 3/4 tsp
Coriander powder – 3/4 tsp
Almond powder – 1 tsp (Secret ingredient)
Milk – 250 ml
Cooking Oil – 2 – 3 tsp
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a deep bottom fry pan, set heat to medium; when the oil is hot, add the chopped green chilli’s. Fry them for a around a minute. Now add the minced garlic; sauté them for a few seconds.. till the aroma of garlic fills up the room, but don’t let them turn brown, add the chopped onions, fry till they begin to turn translucent. As always add a pinch of salt to help the onions fry quick.

Now add the tomatoes & fry them, next add the garam masala powder & mix well, simmer…let the tomatoes & onions turn to pulp.. this gives time for the raw flavours of the garam masala to disappear as well. After about 2-3 minutes, add the coriander powder. After 4-5 minutes add the milk; mix well, add some salt to taste. Increase heat to medium, let the milk come to a boil, now simmer add almond powder. Next add the diced mushrooms. Mix well.

Add the diced mushrooms..

Remember the mushrooms let out water when they cook. At this point add about half a cup of water if you want more gravy in the resulting curry, else skip adding water. Simmer, when the curry begins to bubble. Close the fry pan with a lid & let the mushrooms cook.

When the mushrooms are halfway done; add the green peas. Check the seasoning in the curry & adjust. Let the curry cook for a further 4-5 minutes till the peas turn soft & you have the desired consistency to the curry. Turn off the heat.

Note: This curry is not meant to be too liquidy.. it’s supposed to be thick as in semi-gravy or as a nice thick curry.

Garnish: (Optional)
Garnish with some cream if you wish to.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot with any Indian bread of your choice. Enjoy the yummy flavours..!

Kumbh Mutter Masala.. with a Shahi twist..

If you like this recipe, you may also like – Paneer Methi Malai Kali Mirch, Makai Malai Palak/Sweetcorn in a creamy spinach sauce., Indian Kidney Bean curry/Rajma, Chole/Chickpeas in a tangy spicy Indian sauce etc.


Aloo Tikki Chole Chaat…

Aloo Tikki Chole Chaat..

Another street food that all love.. another type of Chaat… available everywhere in streets of Delhi & other neighbouring cities. In other cities you will find it as well but not as much as you do in Delhi or the Northern cities of India.. But nevertheless.. if you have never had this before.. then its a pity.. Do try it..

Some street vendors also sell just the Aloo Tikki chaat.. without the chole.. ! That’s yummy as well.. But this one is a killer combo.. Aloo tikki & chole.. both known to produce a lot of gas in your stomach.. :D Spoiler Alert – be prepared to fart around a lot..!! Ok, I don’t want that spoiler alert from making you try this out… It’s way too tasty… :)

When you prepare chole the next time.. make a lot so that you can prepare this in the evening or have this as dinner :)) That’s what I did a couple of days back. Had chole for lunch & then made this for dinner.. :) So, it does not get too monotonous.. a its a pleasant change.

:) That's what Aloo Tikki Chole Chaat looks like…

There are so many flavours in this dish that it will take your taste buds to a whole new level. The different spices in the chole, the shallow fried potato patties (Aloo tikki), the raw red onions, the cold yogurt, the tangy & sweet- tamarind & date chutney..the hot green chutney.. the crunchy sev on top.. I know too many things right.. thats why its called chaat.. :)

K was after me from quite sometime to prepare this. So over the weekend when he was home I prepared this. I could not find to post the recipe earlier.

Ingredients: (Serves 4)      Preparation Time: 30 + minutes (Based on how many tikki’s you can fry at a time :))
Chole – 1 bowl, each serving would require about 5-6 tbsp
Potatoes – 4 large-sized
Cumin – 1/2 tsp, dry roasted, & powdered
Green chilli’s – 2, finely chopped
Black peppercorns – 4-5, crushed
Bread crumbs (optional)- 1-2 tbsp,
Red Onion – 1 medium-sized, finely chopped
Date & tamarind chutney – 3 tbsp
Green/Mint chutney – 3 tbsp
Yogurt – 6 tbsp
Chaat Masala – as required
Red chilli powder – as required
Sev – 4 tbsp
Coriander leaves – 3-4 sprigs, finely chopped
Cooking Oil – 3-4 tbsp/enough to shallow fry the tikki’s
Note: I tava fried & did not shallow fry as the tikki’s tend to absorb lots of oil.
Salt to taste

For the chole, check - Chole recipe.

Pressure cook/boil the potatoes in sufficient water.

Tip: While the potatoes are cooking, you can use this time to prepare the green chutney, tamarind & date chutney.

You can use store bought tamarind chutney if you want to. I prepared it fresh. For the tamarind chutney, soak 4 large dates, seeds removed & 1 lemon sized ball of tamarind, seeds removed in warm water for 10 minutes. Use just about enough water to cover them. Add just the softened dates & tamarind to a blender & grind this to a smooth paste. Add the water they were soaked in as required to help in grinding. Keep the rest of the water aside to dilute if the chutney is too thick.

Now once the potatoes are ready, drain out the water, cool then in cold water, drain the water away. Peel the skin off. Add the finely chopped green chilli’s, crushed black pepper , salt to taste & the dry roasted cumin powder to a mixing bowl. Add the boiled, peeled potatoes & mash the potatoes up. Make sure the other ingredients blend well into the mashed potatoes. Add the bread crumbs if the potatoes have absorbed a lot of water & the the mashed potato mix is soft & not firm enough to form patties. Close & keep aside for at least 10 minutes so that the potatoes absorb the flavours.

Heat a fry pan with a tbsp of oil or enough to shallow fry. Set heat to medium. While the oil is heating up, make 2-3 patties out of the mashed potatoes mixture. When the oil is hot, fry 2-3 the patties. Do not crowd the fry pan. Carefully turn then over when you see the bottom edges turning golden brown. Fry till they are golden brown on both sides. Take them out on a kitchen paper towel. Repeat this to prepare more tikki’s.


Now, heat the chole if its cold & then add 2 tikki’s to a serving plate. Press the centre of each of the tikki’s to mash them up a little as shown.

Mash the tikki's from the centre..

Now, add about 5-6 tbsp of chole on top.

Add Chole over the mashed up tikki's..

Add a tbsp of yogurt, 2-3 tsp of date & tamarind chutney, 1 tsp of green chutney (add more if you wish to), sprinkle some red chilli powder around.

Add yogurt, chutneys & red chilli powder...

Next sprinkle some chaat masala, a wee bit of salt too. Now, add some finely chopped onions. Next, sprinkle about a tbsp of sev. Finally garnish with some chopped coriander.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve as soon as it is prepared. Else the dish gets too soggy.Enjoy.. :)

Aloo Tikki Chole Chaat…

If you like this, you may also like - Chole Chaat…Chana Masala/ Khatte Punjabi Chane/ Tangy Chickpeas, Kala Chana Chaat/ Black Chickpeas ChaatChicken Frankie Roll, Chilly Kothu Parota/Bite sized Paratha pieces tossed in a hot & spicy sauce etc.

Paneer/Cottage Cheese Tava Masala…

Paneer/Cottage Cheese Tava Masala...

I was wondering what to cook…I just could not decide.. Called K on his way to work..  & asked him what he would like to eat for dinner when he got back.. instantly the answer was Paneer.. If you have been following y blog.. you would know from my earlier Paneer posts that I’m quite fond of Paneer & K loves Paneer..

When we were dating there was this small Punjabi restaurant in the vicinity where I used to live, in Bangalore; & he continued asking me make Paneer in the manner similar to the kind we used to eat in that restaurant. Now he put me in a spot. :D I began to mentally savour the Paneer dishes we had eaten there, since I did not quite eat the Paneer dishes much as I always ordered their yummy chicken when we visited that restaurant for a meal. This recipe is solely based on the taste that I remembered from that restaurant. Also please note that they used a Tandoor to chargrill the chicken, since I don’t have a tandoor & since I had ready cut cubes of Paneer I could not grill them in the oven.

Paneer/Cottage Cheese Tava Masala...

Tip: If you plan to chargrill the Paneer for this dish then use big chunks of Paneer that would easily go into a skewer without breaking. The pieces I had were too small for a skewer.

Ingredients: (Serves 2)     Preparation Time: 15-20 mins
Paneer/Cottage cheese: 250 – 300 gms, cut into cubes
Red Onion – 1 small-sized, cut into cubes
Peppers – 1 cup, cubed, use different colours
Tomatoes – 3 medium-sized blanched, skin removed & puree’ed or use 200 ml ready tomato puree
Garlic – 3 cloves, finely chopped
Ginger – 1 inch piece, finely chopped
Kalonji/Nigella seeds – 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
Chilli powder – 1 tsp or more based on how hot the chilli powder you use is
Turmeric powered – a pinch
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Garam Masala – 1/2 tsp
Cooking oil – 1.5 tbsp
Salt to taste

Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in a deep bottom fry pan, set heat to high. When the oil is hot, add the cubed red onions & sauté them with a pinch of salt till they begin to get slightly burnt, immediately add the cubed peppers & a pinch of salt fry these till they look half-cooked but they get slightly burnt, as shown. Take them off the fry pan & transfer them over a paper towel if they look too oily. This dish should be a little on the oiler side hence I did not use the paper towel.

Stir fried Peppers & red onion..

Now add 1 tbsp of oil to the fry pan. Set heat to medium. Add cumin seeds & let it sizzle, when it begins to change colour add Kalonji seeds, sauté it for a few seconds. Next add the chopped ginger & garlic, sauté them till for a few seconds. Don’t let the garlic change colour. Now add the paneer cubes & toss them around till they start to change colour. Immediately add the tomato puree & reduce heat to low. Add the different powders – Turmeric, red chilli, garam masala & coriander powder & a wee bit water if the puree is too thick. Add salt to taste. Cover & cook till the raw flavours vanish & the oil begins to separate.

Let the sauce cook till the oil separates & the raw flavours fade away...

Tip: You can make this with more sauce or gravy if you want it as an accompaniment with rice; all you need to do is after adding the tomato puree, add water, based on the consistency you require . As this is a recipe that’s eaten as a starter or to go with Indian breads this has very little sauce.

But make sure your around & the sauce does not begin to burn when the water evaporates. Now turn off the heat, add the stir fried peppers & onions kept aside. Mix well.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot as a starter or with Indian breads of your choice. Enjoy your weekend.. :)

Paneer/Cottage Cheese Tava Masala...

If you liked this recipe, you may also like – Paneer Methi Malai Kali MirchPalak Paneer , Paneer Enchiladas/Cottage cheese Enchiladas infused with Indian flavours etc.

Chole Chaat…

Chole Chaat...

I had prepared some chole for dinner & then I guess I overestimated K’s & my dinner eating abilities.. it ended up being leftover. & I was in no mood to waste chole.. If you have been following my blog, you would know by now that I’m quite a fussy eater & I need to disguise food for myself when I’m not quite in the mood to eat something…I kept racking my brains on how can I make it more interesting.. We had picked some nylon sev.. these are fine chickpeas flour noodles.. which are yellow in colour & savoury, usually eaten as a snack or added over chaat’s.. the rest of the basic ingredients are always available in anyone’s pantry..! So I threw them all in & made myself a yummy chat as a snack for the evening with the leftover chole.. :)

Chole Chaat....

Chaat is a famous evening snack in India.. mostly available in small stalls on the streets around India. Everyone loves them.. you can’t escape from the heavenly aroma around these stalls that draw you towards them… Chaat has evolved quite a bit & there has been a lot of innovation around it as well, you may or may not have heard of Paani Poori (These are small crisp poori‘s filled with some tangy & spicy water, may or may not have some sprouts or potato filling.. Once done place the entire poori in your mouth..don’t ever try to take a bite out of them.. you will end up spilling all the water over yourself.. its yummy.. ).. by innovation I meant Vodka paani poori, Yes instead of the usual spiced up water vodka is used.. never tried it though.. but heard its wonderful.. :D I’m making my mouth water now.. I can’t really make paani poori here because the ready poori packs that are available aren’t fresh & crisp & every packet has half of them already broken… I need to learn to try & make the poori’s at home.. It’s on my to-do list… I have become a little lazy after returning from my holiday..! I need to something about this laziness..

Anyways this recipe is very quick.. the stalls usually add a wee bit of green/mint chutney (click for the mint chutney recipe) & some sweet & tangy date & tamarind chutney to make it have a nice blend of all flavours to tingle your taste buds.. But I did not add any of these.. you could if you have it… Click here for the Chole recipe.

Ingredients: (Serves 2) Preparation Time: 5 minutes (Time to prepare the chole not included)
Chole – 1 bowl
Red onion – 1 small-sized, finely chopped
Tomato – 1 small-sized, finely chopped
Coriander leaves – 3-4 sprigs, finely chopped
Sev – 2 tbsp
Yogurt – 2 tbsp
Red Chilli powder- a pinch
Chaat masala – a pinch
Mint Chutney - 1 tsp, I did not use this as I did not have this ready
Date & Tamarind chutney – 2 tsp, I did not use this as I did not have this ready
Lemon juice – 1 tbsp, freshly squeezed
Salt to taste

Some of the ingredients...

Take 2 serving plates or bowls. Add 7-8 tbsp of hot Chole along with some curry into each plate. Add a tbsp of yogurt over the top on each plate. If you plan to add some green chutney & date & tamarind chutney add half a tsp on each plate. Next throw in some chopped red onions & tomatoes. Next sprinkle some red chilli powder & chaat masala. Squeeze/add some lemon juice, sprinkle some salt to taste. Finally garnish with some sev & coriander leaves as shown.

Chole Chaat...

Dig in :). You could give the whole dish a mix before if you wish to, so that all the flavours mix well.. :)

If you liked this recipe you may also like - Chana Masala/ Khatte Punjabi Chane/ Tangy Chickpeas, Kala Chana Chaat/ Black Chickpeas Chaat, Egg Pakodi Chaat, Chilly Kothu Parota/Bite sized Paratha pieces tossed in a hot & spicy sauce etc.

Masaledar Ande/Eggs tossed in a hot & spicy onion sauce…

Masaledar Ande...

Today K wanted something to go with bread for his lunch. I’ve been making him eat a lot of rice this week,.. So I had to give in & had to prepare something in a jiffy (I had 40 minutes with me..)… The only vegetable I had with me were carrots… & cooked carrots are a big no for him…

Since we moved houses a couple of months back, the nearest grocer is 15 mins walk away.. I’m not really a morning person.. I take time to break out from my sleep.. :P So was
thankful that I did not end up using all the eggs with all the baking & the omelette’s I ended up preparing the last few days.. !! So decided to prepare some egg curry.. but again.. something which is more runny like a curry is again a NO for K as he always has this fear ” What if the curry leaks out of the box”.. so something thick was on his wish list today..

Masaledar Unde..

In Hindi eggs are known as Ande… Masaledar means it’s filled with masala… The beauty about this dish is that you don’t add the eggs when the gravy is ready… you fry the eggs & include the eggs right from the beginning..Lot of people complain that curry’s where boiled eggs are added are yummy..but then the eggs do not absorb any of the flavours.. Here the eggs do absorb flavours from the gravy since they are added right in the beginning..

Since I was on a timer.. I was not able to click pictures during the making.. :(

Ingredients: (Serves 2) Preparation Time: 30 mins (Includes time to boil eggs)
Eggs – 4
Onion – 1 large, finely chopped
Garlic cloves – 3, finely chopped
Green chilli’s – 2, finely chopped
Garam Masala – 1/4 tsp
Red Chilli powder – 1/4 tsp or more based on your taste
Sugar – 1/2 tsp
Thick Tamarind water – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Kasuri Methi – 2 tsp, this is a dried variety of fenugreek leaves…
Coriander leaves – 2 sprigs, finely chopped
Warm water – 150 ml
Cooking oil – 1.5 tbsp
Salt to taste

Tip: If you need more gravy… use 2 onions.. & adjust the garam masala & chilli powder accordingly..

Boil eggs. While the eggs are boiling, you can use this time to chop the veggies. Once the eggs are boiled, de-shell them & cut each into 2, keep them aside..

Heat oil in a fry pan. Set the heat to medium. Add the eggs. Fry the eggs till they turn golden brown. Move the eggs to one side of the fry pan.. Now add the green chilli’s fry them for a minute or so. Next add the garlic & sauté them for about 30 seconds. When the lovely aroma of garlic fills the air around.. add the onions.. add some salt to quicken the onion frying process..When the onions turn translucent add a pinch of turmeric.. Turn the heat to low. Next add the garam masala & the red chilli powder.. Mix well, leaving the eggs alone.. just toss the eggs in their place once in a while so that they don’t burn..

Once the raw flavours of the different powders begin to fade away.. mix the eggs in…now let the eggs absorb the flavours.. The onions would have turned real soft now.. With your spatula keep mashing the onions lightly.. this way you will be turning the onions into pulp.. that’s what you need.. When all the raw flavours have faded away add the tamarind water.. mix well.

Tip: Always add tamarind midway in your cooking.. when most of the cooking of the other ingredients in done as tamarind acts as an inhibitor.. & you take double the time to cook the same dish had you added it towards the beginning..

Now add the warm water.. mix well.. check & adjust the salt.. Add the sugar,..mix well.. When the water begins to bubble.. keep that spatula going & continue mashing up the onions..:) It would have turned into a pulp by now… Crush the Kasuri Methi between your palms & add it.. Mix well.. When you see the water evaporating…, the oil separating…& the curry is more like a paste.. turn off the heat…

Transfer to a serving dish…

Transfer to a serving bowl...

Garnish with some chopped coriander leaves.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot with any Indian bread by the side.. You can also have this as a starter with a couple of beers.. :)

Masaledar Unde...


If you like this recipe, you may also like – Muttai Kolumbu/ Egg curry with a Tamil Nadu influenced twistIndian spiced scrambled eggs/Anda burji…Masala Eggs in curry…Red pesto Egg Bomb Burgers… etc.

Makai Malai Palak/Sweetcorn in a creamy spinach sauce..

Makai Malai Palak/Sweetcorn in a creamy spinach sauce..

It took me a good 20 years to realise that Spinach is yummy… just like all parents run behind their kids to make them eat greens, I made my mum run too… don’t know why I never liked any kind of spinach then… Now anything green.. & leafy I just gobble it up.. hell no.. I’m not a cow..

Anyways.. I wanted to use up the cream I had in my fridge. There was also a packet of frozen sweet corn kernels I had been meaning to use from a while. It all fell into place when I picked up the spinach from the grocers..

Makai Malai Palak/Sweetcorn in a creamy spinach sauce..

Punjabi’s (People from the state of Punjab in India) eat a lot of corn & prepare loads of dishes using corn. They even prepare a bread callled Makki di Roti using a flour of corn.

This dish is very very simple.. ( ;) You need a blender though.. ) but it’s lip smacking.. so it’s totally worth it.. There are similar dishes available in most Indian restaurant menu’s. This is my quick version of the same.

Ingredients: (Serves 2)       Preparation Time: 20 mins
Sweet corn kernels – 1.5 cups
Spinach – 150 gms, I used baby spinach leaves, You can use the variety that you want.
Double Cream – 2 tbsp
Ginger – a piece which is equivalent to a small clove of garlic
Green Chilli’s – 3, slit
Garlic – 2 medium-sized cloves, peeled & roughly chopped
Onion – 1 small, peeled & roughly chopped
Cumin Powder – 1/4 tsp
Clove – 1
Cinnamon – 1/2 inch piece
Bay leaves – half of a small leaf
Cooking oil – 1/2 tbsp
Salt to taste

Wash the spinach leaves. Add the spinach to a bowl of water & cook them in the microwave for 3-4 minutes till they turn soft. Then let them cool to room temperature. I used about 200 ml of water.

Some of the ingredients..

Washed the frozen sweet corn & kept them in a bowl of warm water so that they defrost & cook quickly…

While the spinach is cooking in the microwave, you can use the time peel & cut garlic & onion. Once the spinach has cooled to room temperature, add the leaves along with the garlic, ginger, green chilli’s & onion to a blender jar & blend to a smooth paste. Do not discard the water used to cook the spinach. You can use this if required while preparing the paste in the blender or while cooking the dish.

Heat oil in a pot & when the oil is hot add the dry spices – clove, cinnamon & bay leaf. Fry these till you can smell the blend of these spices. Make sure the heat is set to medium. Now add the ground paste of spinach. Fry for a minute. Now add the corn kernels & mix well. Add some water used to boil the spinach. Add little by little. The sauce will be too runny if you add all the water. Also it depends on if you preparing this curry to go with rice or with breads. If with rice then you can add all the water. If with roti then add accordingly, because you need the curry to be thick, so that you can scoop it easily with a piece of bread. Add the cumin powder, mix well. Add salt to taste.

Tip: If you want to, you can add some cubes of cottage cheese at this stage..

Add salt to taste. Simmer & let all the raw flavours fade away, once they do add the cream. Mix well. Let the curry cook for another 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Garnishing: (Optional)
If you really want to indulge.. then add a dollop of butter on top before you serve. I did not add any..

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot along with some hot Indian breads or with actual bread.. :D. Serve it with some rice if you have made a sauce a little runny..

Makai Malai Palak/Sweetcorn in a creamy spinach sauce..

If you liked this recipe, you may also want to check out – Indian Kidney Bean curry/RajmaPalak PaneerDal Makhni/ Buttery Black LentilsLobia Dal.. more


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