Friday, May 22, 2009

Paneer Butter Masala

Fried cottage cheese cubes (aka Paneer) and peas are drenched in a creamy, flavorful, mildly spicy dish with a gravy base of tomato, onion, garlic, ginger, spices, cashews and lots of butter!

Step 1 ingredients
1 tbspn oil
1 cup paneer pieces

Heat oil in pan on high and stir fry the paneer until most sides of paneer are golden brown.
Place on paper towel on a plate to drain.

Step 2 ingredients
1 tspn oil
pinch ajwain seeds
1 1/2 cup coarsely chopped onions, pureed

In same pan, heat on teaspoon oil and add ajwain. When they sizzle and smell comes, add onion puree. Stir fry in oil about 5 minutes.

Step 3 ingredients
3 tablespoons tomato puree
3/4 cup water
pinch turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masala
3/4 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 red chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1/4 cup cashew

Add all these ingredients into a blender and puree.
Add this puree to the pan with onions, ajwain and oil. Heat and stir on low-medium heat. (If on high this will splutter out of pan and create a mess. It may splutter on low heat too. Be sure to stand away or wear an apron or 'old clothes' as it could stain.
Stir this mix for 5 minutes.

Step 4 ingredients
2 tbspn butter

Add this butter to the paste/gravy and stir nicely.
This adds additional salt to the gravy which will offset the peas that will go in.

Step 5 ingredients
3/4 cup green peas

To the gravy add the (cooked) peas and the previously fried paneer.

Keep on low heat and stir for next 10 minutes.

Eat with rice or roti (chapati).

If you make homemade paneer, keep the paneer water (whey) and use that to create chapati batter or cook rice. Makes rice or roti fluffy and creamy.

Note: This is most likely a high-fat dish. It definitely tastes rich. In fact, though there are flavorful and hot spices, because of all the creaminess of the gravy, the final product is more flavorful than 'hot and spicy'. In fact, in my opinion, the best taste for this dish is flavorful and creamy rather than hot, spicy and creamy.

This recipe is inspired by Aayi's Paneer Butter Masala.

Related Posts/Sites:
Indian Cooking Made Easier Series by Oldernwiser0

Homemade Paneer - This post has recipe measurements and an alternate video by vahchef at YouTube

Picture Perfect Paneer- Pictures of Paneer made by blog author

Peas Pullao - Peas and rice boiled with paneer water (whey)

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Indian Cooking Made Easier Series by Oldernwiser0

Many wonder is Indian cooking easy? Oldernwiser0 would say, if not shout, YES! As with anything in life, it is easy or as challenging as you think it is or make it. I have always found Indian cooking to be fun, jammed packed full of surprises and about a million and one steps in addition to stocking my kitchen with a whole set of utensils and spice mixes (masalas) that I still learn about as I go along!

I have been following the Indian cookery made easier video series on YouTube created by oldernwiser0 for about one year. His style has inspired me to make many dishes. From every third Wednesday on this blog, I will share a video from his YouTube profile and my insights. Hope you also enjoy and are able to pick up some quick and easy Indian cooking tips!

Yes, Indian cooking is both fun and easy- besides being tasty!

Enjoy today's video, Paneer Making Made Easier.

Leave comments for oldernwiser0 at his youtube page, click here.

This video inspires me in a number of ways, which I will simply list in no particular order.
1. There is no need to make a large quantity of paneer. I go overboard and make a lot every time. At the same time, it's impressive how much paneer looks to be made from straining through a tea strainer!
2. I don't need cheese cloth to drain paneer! The tea strainer idea is fantastic, less waste and just as effective. I also like that half-moon shape, it reminds me of mozzarella I buy in small packets in the store. It comes in that same shape.
3. The method of adding the citric acid comes first in this preparation. I have always boiled the milk, then added the vinegar. It's interesting how someone can show you how to make the same exact thing in a way that seems 'backwards' to your usual method but comes out exactly the same! (That can actually be a deep spiritual lesson if one meditates on it long enough!)
4. Reading the text provided with the video on the YouTube page, some ideas of what to use the paneer water for is listed. Some new ideas are there for me to keep in mind for later. How does one make buttermilk from this whey? That will be my next lesson. In the meantime, I like to use the whey to make boil rice in, it makes it fluffy and creamy.

Paneer making made easier by Oldernwiser0 video at YouTube is used by permission of the author. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us!

Oldernwiser0, aka Srivats, is a retired senior bank executive who loves various hobbies including making easier pure vegetarian foods who lives in Hyderabad, India. Watch his YouTube channel for more interesting videos!

Related Posts/ Sites:
Oldernwiser0 at YouTube

Earlier posts on this blog:
Homemade Paneer - This post has recipe measurements and an alternate video by vahchef at YouTube
Picture Perfect Paneer- Pictures of Paneer made by blog author
Peas Pullao - Peas and rice boiled with paneer water (whey)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Burritos with Ginger/Tamarind Sauce: A Mexican Indian Delight

This is a recipe posted a little over two years ago in my blog at Alaivani! Enjoy a blast from the past!

Recipe: Burritos with Ginger/Tamarind Sauce: A Mexican Indian Delight

There are two steps to this fusion dish:

1. Prepare the ginger/tamarind sauce.

2. Prepare the burrito.

Ginger Tamarind Sauce (Pulinji)


3 tbspn Finely minced fresh ginger

2 Finely chopped green chilis
1 cup water

Small ball Tamarind, small ball, a little bigger than a gooseberry
1 tbspn Chilli powder
1 tsp Mustard seeds
6-10 Curry leaves
5 Fenugreek seeds
3 tbspn grated jaggery (or brown sugar)

1-2 tspn salt to taste

5 peppercorns
3 tbspn Oil

rice powder (optional)


Step 1:
Soak tamarind in 1 cup warm water for 15 minutes and extract the juice. This should yield about a cup of thick tamarind extract. Filter it and keep aside.

Step 2:
Dry roast fenugreek seeds until the color changes. Powder it and keep aside.

Step 3:

Heat Oil in a pan.

Step 4:

When oil is hot, add the mustard seeds.

Step 5:

When mustard seeds pop, add the ginger, green chilies and curry leaves. Stir fry about 5 minutes.

Step 6:

Add the tamarind water, chili powder, fenugreek seeds-powdered, peppercorns, salt, jaggery. Boil about 15 minutes – 5 minutes on high, 10 minutes on low.

This will thicken as it cools. If you want to thicken it quicker, add a few pinches of rice powder. When you use this sauce, use it in small doses, it is quite full of taste (potent)!

Adapted from:


1 16 oz can vegetarian refried beans - warmed

½ cup each diced veggies per your taste including

tomatoes, mushrooms, green/red/orange pepper, onion, lettuce, etc.

2-4 large tortillas

2 tspn sour cream

2 tspn guacamole (optional)

To make the burrito with pulinji (ginger/tamarind sauce).

Step 1:

Place the tortilla on the plate. Spread the refried beans in the center. Put on the veggies.

Roll up. Using sour cream while rolling up the ends of the bread acts like a glue.

Step 2:

After it’s rolled up, drizzle the pulinji sauce over the top of the burrito per taste.

Step 3:

If you use guacamole it could be on the side.


Related Links:
See Nupur's Mexican Fiesta (a vegetarian version of Mole sauce included!)
Original Recipe- 8th post on Alaivani!

Thank you for reading and spending time on my blogs!