Sunday, August 15, 2010

Paneer Rajma Parathas

Source: One Hot Stove, Talimpu, and Tarla Dalal

Ok.. I know what you're thinking. This sounds like a wacky recipe! Even my husband said that he would prefer to have Paneer Parathas AND a Rajma Subji (gravy dish).

I've recently become stuck with a huge bag of atta/ wheat flour (they only had a large size left at the grocery store). So that with the combination of a new rolling pin, has motivated me to start making rotis and parathas. I was in no mood to stand in the kitchen for 3 hours (I'm a slow cook) and make a subji along with them. Thus came about a nice hearty all-in-one meal -> Rajma Paneer Parathas!

  • 1 cup cooked rajma/ kidney beans (I used canned because I was lazy)
  • 1/2 block of paneer (~ 1 cup)
  • 7-8 green chilies
  • 1 medium red onion (chopped)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp corriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 bunch of corriander (chopped)
  • 2 cups atta (wheat flour)
  • salt to taste

1. Place the drained kidney beans, paneer, garlic, and green chilies in a food processor and pulse together.

2. Lightly fry the onions. Then add turmeric, red chili powder, corriander powder, cumin powder, and fennel seeds. Add the mixture from above. Then add the tomato paste and combine. Add salt to taste.

Note: I wasn't sure how the parathas would taste if I didn't cook the ingredients first. Most recipes don't require you to cook the above ingredients so you might be fine.

3. Taste the above cooked mixture and add additional spices accordingly. It should be at a spice level beyond what you are comfortable with because the atta will tone it down.

4. Allow the cooked mixture to cool. I placed it in the frig for 15 minutes to speed up the process.

5. Knead the above mixture and chopped corriander with 2 cups atta. Add 1/4 cup of milk and any additional water (a few tablespoons) needed in order to make a soft dough. Let it sit covered for 30-40 minutes.

6. Make parathas -> Make the dough balls larger than you do for roti; approximately the size of a lemon. Roll out the dough (it shouldn't be too thin), cook for 30 secs- 1 minute on a hot griddle on either side with ghee/ butter. Lightly fluff over an open flame for a few seconds.

7. Taste the first paratha and add more salt accordingly.

8. Serve with homemade yogurt and pickle!

Kuty's Twist

Food Processing:
I made the mistake of blending the kidney beans and paneer together a bit too much. This resulted in not really tasting the kidney beans and paneer in bigger chunks and as individual ingredients of the recipe. If you have the time, I would advise you to just mash the kidney beans separately and grate the paneer. You should still grind the green chilies and garlic.

Letting the atta/ dough sit:
Someone once told me to wrap the dough in a plastic bag or plastic wrap in order to get softer rotis which remain soft even after you put them in the frig. I've been doing that for a while and it seems to be working. Give it a try!

Creating the atta/ dough for parathas:
Many people make the dough for parathas separately, roll out the dough in to a thick circle, place a ball of the filling in the center, and then gather the edges of the dough above the mixture. They then lightly roll out the parathas. I have tried this in the past and it ended up being a huge messy disaster. I'm sure there is a correct way to do this AND the parathas will probably taste MUCH better. Why? Because they will probably taste more layered/ stuffed (i.e. layer of dough, filling, followed by a layer of dough). The parathas I made were definitely not "stuffed" parathas in the true sense, but it did take less time! :-)

Hopefully I'll attempt a "stuffed" paratha again in the near future...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pineapple Fried Rice

Source: Closet Cooking

My apologies for the lack of posts last month. Although I had been doing PLENTY of cooking, I didn't have time to blog due to family visiting me. The good news is that I was able to try a bunch of experimental recipes on my family, which will be coming your way!

So for some reason, I have never had much luck with creating Asian dishes. I'm convinced it's
because I'm not adding some "bad for you" secret ingredient like MSG or fish sauce (which the restaurants love to sneak in even though you are ordering a vegetarian dish.) Well this dish is jam packed with flavor and more! The original recipe has shrimp and fish sauce in it. I stripped it down and added my own veggies to create a vegetarian Thai Pineapple Fried Rice!

*Note: The other dish in this image is a failed attempt at making garlic eggplant tofu so I did not post the recipe :-)

**Update: Due to popular demand, you can find the original recipe to the eggplant dish here.

  • 2 cups uncooked rice (I used basmati)
  • Oil
  • 1 red onion
  • 5 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 6-7 red chilies
  • 1 red pepper (diced)
  • 3-5 tablespoons vegetable broth
  • 3-5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1.5 tablespoons curry powder (I used garam masala)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup cashews (roasted)
  • 1 medium sized pineapple, cut into small chunks (you can use canned, but I was ambitious and used fresh)
  • 1 medium head of broccoli
  • 1/4 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2-3 spring onions (sliced)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)

1. Cook rice and completely cool. It's preferable if this is day old rice

2. Cut and steam cook broccoli

3. Heat oil in large vessel

4. Add onions, garlic, red chillies and red pepper and stir-fry until fragrant, about a minute.

5. Add the vegetable broth, soy sauce, garam masala powder and sugar and stir-fry

6. Add the cashews and stir-fry for 30 seconds

7. Add the rice, break up any clumps and stir-fry for a few minutes

8. Add 3/4 of your pineapple, peas, broccoli and raisins and stir-fry to mix them in

9. Taste and adjust the following as needed: soy sauce, garam masala powder. You may need to add salt and as well. Add some red chili powder if the spice isn't enough for you. (If it's too spicy, add more pineapple or sugar.)

10. Remove from heat and serve garnished with chopped green onions and cilantro

Kuty's Twist

So this dish is actually a good 3 day process. Day1- Cook Rice, Day2- Complete Recipe, Day3- Optimal taste day!

This dish needs to sit for a while for all the spices and pineapple juices to blend together in order for it to have maximum flavor. It should be very spicy after you make it because the spice will die down by the next day. When I made this it was so spicy that I couldn't finish what was on my plate! The next day it tasted perfect because all the pineapple juices had blended in.

You can also add tofu and scrambled egg to this dish.

For the pineapple: Don't be afraid to use fresh pineapple because you have to cut it! I recently embraced my knives set, which I've had for 3 years. Up until now I only used the smaller knives in the first row. I've just started to use the bigger knives and it has made chopping SO much easier and faster. Don't be scared to use the big knives! You'll have your pineapple chopped up in no time. Also, if you want to be fancy, you can serve the rice within the empty pineapple shell :-)