Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Palak Paneer

Palak or saag is one of the favourite leafy vegetables in north Indian households. They use the versatile palak in a variety of preparations such as raita, gravy and even kofta!

Preparation Time: 
Cooking Time: 
Serves 2 


    For the white gravy 

    1. Combine all the ingredients with 1 cup of water and simmer for about 15 minutes.
    2. Cool and blend to a smooth paste. Keep aside.

    How to proceed

    1. Boil 4 cups of water with salt and cook the spinach leaves in it till tender. Take care not to loose colour of the leaves.
    2. Remove from flame and drain. Blend to a smooth purée.
    3. Heat the oil and butter in a pan and add the ginger, garlic and tomatoes to it.
    4. Sauté for sometime till the mixture leaves oil and then add the white gravy, spinach purée, black salt and salt. Stir for about 1 minute.
    5. Add the paneer cubes, dried fenugreek leaves, Punjabi garam masala, sugar and cream and bring to a boil.
    6. Serve hot.

    Recipe Source: Palak Paneer by Tarla Dalal

    Monday, August 26, 2013

    Sicilian Orange Almond Cake

    All Sicilians love desserts and cakes. Citrus fruits and almonds are widely grown and of course largely consumed in Sicily, which is an island in the Mediterranean region. I actually ate up a large chunk of this cake the first time I made it. So if you are the one who loves hot freshly baked cakes, you will love this delicious tea-time cake flavoured with orange and almonds. The use of orange squash gives a concentrated orange flavour to the cake. It is not totally essential but very helpful if you use it.

    Preparation Time: 
    Cooking Time: 
    Serves 4. 


    1 1/4 cups plain flour (maida)
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp levelled, baking powder
    1/2 cup powdered almonds
    1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
    1/3 cup melted butter
    1/3 cup curds (dahi), beaten
    1/3 cup orange juice
    2 tsp orange squash
    1 tsp vanilla essence
    butter for greasing

    For the garnish 

    1. Sieve the flour, soda bi-carb and baking powder together.
    2. Combine the flour mixture, powdered almonds and sugar in a bowl and mix well.
    3. Mix together the butter, curds, orange juice, orange squash and vanilla essence.
    4. Add this to the flour mixture and mix well.
    5. Pour this batter into a greased 125 mm. (5") diameter cake tin. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 190°C (375°F) for 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the cake comes out clean.
    6. Allow the cake to cool completely and unmould.
    7. Garnish with the whipped cream, orange segments and toasted almonds. Cut into wedges and serve.
    Recipe Source: Sicilian Orange Almond Cake by Tarla Dalal

    Friday, August 23, 2013

    Peanut Sesame Vegetables

    Stir-fried vegetables in a tangy orange sauce with peanuts and sesame seeds. This recipe works well for Jains.

    Preparation Time: 
    Cooking Time: 
    Makes 4 servings


    1 cup paneer (cottage cheese) , cut into strips
    1 cup blanched broccoli , divided into small florets
    6 baby corn , sliced diagonally and blanched
    1 green capsicum , sliced
    2 tsp soy sauce
    1/2 cup orange juice
    2 tsp cornflour
    2 tbsp roasted sesame seeds (til)
    2 tbsp roasted peanuts
    3 tbsp oil
    salt and pepper to taste

    To Serve


    1. Heat the oil in a large pan or wok, add the paneer strips and fry till they are brown.
    2. Add the brocoli, baby corn, capsicum and mushrooms and stir fry for 1 to 2 minutes.
    3. Meanwhile, mix the soya sauce with the orange juice and cornflour and stir into the vegetables, stirring constantly till the sauce has thickened and glaze develops.
    4. Stir in the sesame seeds, peanuts, salt and pepper and cook for 3 to 4 minutes
    5. Serve hot with rice or noodles.

    Recipe Source: Peanut Sesame Vegetables by Tarla Dalal

    Wednesday, August 21, 2013

    Black Bean Dip

    Healthy and yummy black beans belong to the high-fibre legume family. This dip can be stored in the fridge for up to a week! This is not really a creamy dip, but more like a salad to munch on with some chips.

    Preparation Time: 
    Cooking Time: 


    1. Pressure cook black beans with 1½ cups of water and salt for 2 whistles or till they are done.
    2. Cool, drain and discard the water.
    3. Combine all the remaining ingredients with the black beans in a bowl.
    4. Lightly mash with the back of a spoon.
    5. Serve with pita chips.

    Recipe Source: Black Bean Dip by Tarla Dalal

    Tuesday, August 20, 2013

    Cabbage and Capsicum Stir-fry Soup

    A clear soup with crispy stir-fried spring onions, cabbage and capsicum.

    Preparation Time: 
    Cooking Time: 
    Makes 4 servings


    2 whole dry kashmiri red chillies , broken
    3 garlic (lehsun) cloves
    2 tbsp butter
    1/2 cup thinly sliced spring onions whites
    1/2 cup shredded cabbage
    3/4 cup thinly sliced red capsicum
    finely chopped spring onion greens
    1 tsp lemon juice
    a pinch of sugar
    salt to taste


    1. Put 3 ½ cups of water to boil.
    2. Soak the red chillies in ½ cup of hot water for some time. Drain and discard the water. Add the garlic and pound them into a smooth paste using a mortar and pestle. Keep aside.
    3. Heat the butter in a wok, add the red chillies and garlic paste and stir-fry for half a minute.
    4. Add the spring onion whites, cabbage and red capsicum and sauté for a 2 to 3 minutes.
    5. Add the remaining 3 cups of hot water, spring onion greens, lemon juice, sugar and salt and bring to boil.
    6. Serve immediately.

    Recipe Source: Cabbage and Capsicum Stir-fry Soup by Tarla Dalal

    Monday, August 19, 2013

    Chocolate Banana Mousse

    The flavours of chocolate and banana blend beautifully to make this mouthwatering dessert. Kids and adults alike will relish this delicious dessert. As this mousse tastes best chilled, make sure to chill it well before serving.

    Preparation Time: 
    Cooking Time: 
    Makes 2 glasses. 


    1/2 cup (75 grams) chopped dark chocolate
    1/2 cup cream
    1/4 tsp vanilla essence
    1/2 cup mashed banana (approx. 1 1/2 bananas)


    1. Place the chocolate in a pan, add 1 tablespoon of cream and melt it over gentle heat till it resembles a smooth sauce.
    2. In another bowl, whisk the cream and vanilla essence till soft peaks form. Keep aside.
    3. Pour the melted chocolate over the mashed banana and mix well till it is cool.
    4. Slowly fold in the whipped cream, pour into 2 individual glasses and refrigerate till it sets.
    5. Serve garnished with swirls of cream and grated chocolate.

    Recipe Source: Chocolate Banana Mousse by Tarla Dalal

    Saturday, August 17, 2013

    Paneer and Dill Sandwich

    Paneer and dill sandwich is an interesting combination of cottage cheese and suvabhaji perked up with olives, curds and tomato ketchup. Ideally, you should use brown bread for this sandwich—you could opt for whole-wheat bread for a healthy twist.

    Preparation Time: 
    Makes 4 servings


    8 brown bread slices
    1/2 tsp finely chopped dill (shepu / suva bhaji)
    2 tbsp butter

    For The Filling

    1/4 cup grated fresh paneer (cottage cheese)
    2 tbsp curds (dahi)
    2 tbsp tomato ketchup
    a few olives , chopped
    salt and to taste


    1. Mix the butter with the dill and spread this dill butter on all the bread slices.
    2. Mix together the paneer, curds, tomato ketchup, olives, salt and pepper to make the filling.
    3. Divide the filling into 4 equal portions and keep aside.
    4. Spread one portion of the filling on a brown bread slice.
    5. Top with another brown bread slice.
    6. Repeat with the remaining bread slices and filling to make 3 more sandwiches.
    7. Serve immediately.

    Recipe Source: Paneer and Dill Sandwich by Tarla 

    Friday, August 16, 2013

    Sindhi Kadhi ( Jain Desi Khana)

    Sindhi kadhi showcases a rare combination of vegetables like corn, cluster beans, drumsticks, ladies finger and bottle gourd in a tamarind-flavoured gravy perked up with a wide range of spices and powders. It is indeed a delightful preparation that is sure to satiate your taste buds and your tummy!

    Preparation Time: 
    Cooking Time: 
    Makes 4 servings


    1/4 cup cluster beans (gavarfali)
    1 corn cob , cut into 2" pieces
    1/2 cup peeled and cubed bottle gourd (doodhi / lauki)
    2 drumsticks (saijan ki phalli / saragavo) , cut into 75 mm. (3") pieces
    1/4 cup ladies finger (bhindi) , slit green chillies into 2 vertically
    1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
    1/2 tsp fenugreek (methi) seeds
    1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing)
    4 tbsp besan (bengal gram flour)
    2 tsp chopped green chillies
    1/2 tsp dried ginger (soonth) powder
    4 to 6 curry leaves (kadi patta)
    1/2 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
    2 tsp chilli powder
    1 to 2 tbsp tamarind (imli) pulp
    3 tbsp oil
    salt to taste


    1. Boil the cluster beans, corn, white pumpkin and drumsticks in 2 cups of water till they are tender. Keep aside. Do nit discard half the water.
    2. Heat the oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds. When they crackle add the asafoetida.
    3. Add the besan and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes over a medium flame till it is golden brown stirring continuously.
    4. Add the ladies finger and mix well. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil.
    5. Add the green chillies, dry ginger powder, curry leaves, turmeric powder, chilli powder, tamarind pulp and all the cooked vegetables and salt and bring to a boil. Simmer till the ladies finger is cooked.
    6. Serve hot.
    Recipe Source: Sindhi Kadhi ( Jain Desi Khana) by Tarla Dalal

    Wednesday, August 14, 2013

    Paneer and Tomato Tortilla Bake

    This layered tortilla casserole is stuffed with cottage cheese and a rich, thick and creamy mustard-flavoured sauce that adds a pungent flavour to the dish. Truly a party fare!

    Preparation Time: 
    Cooking Time: 
    Baking Time:  15 to 20 minutes
    Baking Temperature:  200°C (400 ° F)
    Makes 4 servings


    6 tortillas

    For The Filling

    1/2 cup grated paneer (cottage cheese)
    1/4 cup chopped onions
    1 cup chopped tomatoes
    1/2 tbsp tomato ketchup
    1/2 tsp chilli powder
    2 tsp oil for cooking
    salt and to taste

    To Be Mixed Together For The Mustard Sauce

    1/2 cup grated processed cheese
    1 tsp dry red chilli flakes (paprika)
    2 tbsp fresh cream
    2 tbsp thick curds (dahi)
    1 tsp butter
    1 tsp prepared mustard (rai / sarson) paste
    salt and to taste

    Other Ingredients

    1/4 cup grated processed cheese
    butter for greasing

    For the filling

    1. Heat the oil in a pan, add the onions and sauté till they turn translucent.
    2. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
    3. Add the tomato ketchup, chilli powder, paneer, salt and pepper and mix well. Keep aside.
    4. Divide the filling into 4 equal portions. Keep aside.

    How to proceed

    1. Place one tortilla at the bottom of a 200 mm. (8") diameter greased baking dish.
    2. Spread 1 portion of the filling over the tortilla and place another tortilla on it.
    3. Spread 2 tbsp of mustard sauce and place another tortilla on it.
    4. Repeat the same procedure with the remaining tortillas, filling and mustard sauce. Finish off with the filling as the last layer.
    5. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200°c (400°f) for 10 to 15 minutes.
    6. Serve hot.
    Recipe Source: Paneer and Tomato Tortilla Bake by Tarla Dalal

    Tuesday, August 13, 2013

    Brownie and Whipped Cream Sundae

    Freshly-baked, gooey brownies are placed in between layers of fresh vanilla cream, and topped up with peach halves, and cocktail cherries. A delicious, yummy-looking dessert that kids will definitely love, and probably eat it up before dinner!

    Preparation Time: 
    Cooking Time: 
    Baking Time:  25 to 30 mins.
    Baking Tempearature:  180°C (360°F).
    Makes 8 glasses


    For The Chocolate Brownie

    1 cup plain flour (maida)
    1/4 cup cocoa powder
    3/4 cup powdered sugar
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    6 tbsp curds (dahi)
    5 tbsp milk
    5 tbsp melted butter
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts (akhrot)
    1/2 tsp vanilla essence

    Other Ingredients

    2 cups unbeaten whipped cream , chilled
    4 tbsp powdered sugar
    1/4 tsp vanilla essence
    8 canned peach halves

    For the chocolate brownie

    1. Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl using a wooden spoon. Make sure there are no lumps.
    2. Pour this mixture into the greased and dusted 200 mm. X 200 mm. (8" x 8") baking tray.
    3. Bake it in a pre-heated oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
    4. Cool and cut into 20 mm. X 20 mm. (¾" x ¾") pieces. Keep aside.

    How to proceed

    1. Whip the cream in a bowl till it doubles in volume and forms soft peaks.
    2. Carefully add the sugar and vanilla essence.
    3. Fill into a piping bag and keep aside.
    4. Place a few brownie squares at the bottom of the glass.
    5. Pipe out little whipped cream on top of the brownie.
    6. Put another piece of brownie and pipe out little more whipped cream.
    7. Finally put some more brownie squares on top and a peach.
    8. Repeat steps 4 to 7 to make 7 more glasses.
    9. Serve immediately.

    1. If you are in a hurry, use a ready-made brownie.
    Recipe Source: Brownie and Whipped Cream Sundae by Tarla Dalal

    Monday, August 12, 2013

    Healthy Coconut Chutney, fresh from my kitchen.

    This recipe is for those who want a healthier option to their daily chutney. Coconut is high in saturated (bad) fats that cause obesity and heart diseases and aggravate diabetes. Reduce the quantity of coconut you normally use and add roasted coriander, urad dal and chana dal for healthier, tastier chutney.

    Preparation Time: 
    Cooking Time: 
    Makes 1 cups

    1. Heat the oil in a broad non-stick pan and add the chana and urad dal and lightly roast them till they turn crisp and brown in colour. Keep aside to cool.
    2. When cool, blend the dals in a mixer to a fine powder.
    3. Add the coconut, coriander, green chillies, ginger and salt to it and blend to a smooth paste 5 tbsp of water. Keep aside.
    4. For the tempering, heat the oil in a small non-stick pan and add the mustard seeds.
    5. When the seeds crackle, add the urad dal, red chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida and sauté on a medium flame for 10 seconds.
    6. Pour this tempering over the chutney and mix well.
    7. Refrigerate and use as required.