August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6


1 cup small split yellow dal, pre-soak for 30 minutes
1 cup of rice
2 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)
1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
½ teaspoon of asafetida (Kayam) powder (found at specialty Indian store)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 small piece of ginger, grated
2 green chilies, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 whole black peppercorns
4 whole cloves
1 red potato, small dice
1 medium onion, small dice
½ cup of green Indian peas or frozen green peas
4 cups of water
Salt to taste


Wash and soak the split yellow gram and rice together for 15 minutes. Drain till water is clear. Heat the water until it is boiling and keep aside. On medium heat, add ghee in a large heavy pot (cast iron will work) until the hot. Add the cumin seeds and let them splutter. Add the asafetida, turmeric, ginger, peppercorns and cloves. Stir for a minute or till fragrant. Be careful not to burn the mixture. Add potatoes and onion with salt. Cook until onions become translucent. Add the split yellow gram and rice, mix well. Add peas at the very end. Add the hot water to this and bring to a boil. Cover and keep on low heat for 25 minutes or till the mixture is slightly mushy. Taste to make sure dal is cooked all the way.

Khichdi is traditionally cooked in a pressure cooker which is much faster. If you happen to have one, in the last step after adding all the ingredients, cover and bring to maximum pressure on high heat. Pressure cook on high heat for 4 whistles. Put off the flame and set aside till all the steam escapes.

*Recipe Property of Palak Patel

Mattar Paneer

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6


1 package of paneer (cubed)
2 tablespoons ghee
3-4 cardamom pods, whole
1 small stick of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 small onion, diced
1/4 teaspoon ginger, grated
3 green chilies, finely chopped
3-4 large tomatoes, pureed
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Salt (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
3/4 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
3 tablespoons of kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves, found at specialty Indian shops)
1/4 cup water (or as needed)
1 ½ cups of frozen peas
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro


Heat oil and fry paneer cubes till they turn golden brown. Set aside. In a separate pot, heat ghee, cumin seeds, until they are aromatic, turn a slight brown color and sputter. Add chopped onions, ginger, chilies and garlic and cook until onions soften.Add tomato puree, salt, sugar, and cook till the tomatoes soften till fat separates. Then add garam masala, chili powder, turmeric powder coriander powder, cumin powder, and kasoori methi. Cook for another few minutes to release spice flavors. Add the water and stir it in, using your discretion depending on how dry the dish is. If you added too much water, just let it simmer away until much of it evaporates – you want your tomatoes soft anyway. Add the peas. Cook just until the peas are tender. Pour in the cream, mix, and add the paneer and let simmer on medium heat for the paneer to absorb the flavors.

*Recipes Property of Palak Patel

Indian Cheese in an Herbed Green Sauce

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4


For the paneer

1 pound whole milk ricotta cheese
½ to 1 tablespoon canola oil

For the green sauce

1 pound bag fresh spinach, stemmed and washed, or 1 pound frozen spinach, unthawed
1 tablespoon ghee, butter, or canola
3 whole dried red chiles
¾ teaspoon cumin seeds
7 green cardamom pods
7 whole cloves
¾ teaspoon fennel seeds
18 teaspoon asafetida (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste

For the tempering oil (optional)

1 tablespoon ghee or canola oil
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
1 whole dried red chile
18 teaspoon asafetida (optional)
18 teaspoon cayenne pepper


For the paneer, preheat the oven to 450°F. Spread the ricotta evenly in a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Bake until the cheese is lightly browned on top and firm but not dry, about 40 minutes. Let cool (the cheese will firm as it cools), then cut into 1 to 1½-inch squares. Reserve half, and refrigerate or freeze the rest for another use.

Heat ½ tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add as many squares of paneer as will comfortably fit, and brown the squares on all sides. Drain the cheese on paper towels. Continue this way to brown all of the paneer, adding ½ tablespoon more oil as needed. Set the paneer aside.

Bring about 2 inches of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the spinach, cover, and cook, stirring every now and then until fresh spinach is wilted or frozen spinach is thawed, about 5 minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking water, and puree in a blender or food processor, adding a few tablespoons of the cooking water if necessary for pureeing.

Heat the ghee, butter, or oil with the red chiles, cumin, cardamom, cloves, and fennel seeds in a large wok, kadai, or frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the cumin turns a golden brown color, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the asafetida, if using. Then add the ginger, and cook, stirring, 45 seconds. Add the spinach puree and the salt. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat, 5 minutes. Gently place the paneer squares on top of the greens. Cover, and cook gently 5 more minutes. Halfway through the cooking, use a large spatula to gently turn the paneer in the spinach. (Careful, the paneer will break easily). Taste the green for salt.

For the tempering oil (if using), heat the ghee or oil with the cumin, fennel seeds, and red chile in a small frying pan or kadai over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the seeds, until the seeds turn a golden brown color, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the asafetida, if using, and cayenne and pour immediately into the spinach mixture. Give it a stir, and serve hot.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Shrimp Scampi Masala

January 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6 to 8


¼ cup lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 pounds large or extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
12 scallions (white and light green parts only), thinly sliced
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
½ teaspoon ground peppercorns
8 ounces capellini or angel hair pasta or thickly sliced rustic Italian bread (grilled, toasted, or broiled if you like), for serving
¼ cup ghee or clarified butter
3 dried red chiles
12 garlic cloves (about 1 head), peeled and finely minced


Place the lemon juice and salt in a gallon-sized resealable plastic bag. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes and then add the scallions, cilantro, and ground peppercorns and set aside.

If serving the shrimp with pasta, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, cook until al dente, drain, and set aside.

while the pasta boils, cook the shrimp. Heat the ghee of clarified butter with the chiles in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat until the chiles start to sizzle, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring often, for 1 minute. Add the shrimp and cook until curled and opaque, 2 to 4 minutes, stirring often so the garlic doesn’t stick to the bottom of the skillet. Toss the shrimp with pasta or divide among bowls if serving with bread, taste for seasoning, and serve.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

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