Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Paneer Mattar Masala & more Awards

If you would have seen my comments in other blogs you will surely know that I'm a paneer lover. I love it fresh, deep-fried or incorporated in any dish. I'm always in search for the ideal paneer recipes that have that special restaurant taste. My favorite is paneer butter masala and my hubby's favorite is paneer matar masala. So here is the recipe for his favorite dish.

Paneer- 300 gms
Green peas- 3/4 th cup (dried ones)
Onion- 2 1/2
Ginger garlic paste- 2 tbsp
tomatoes- 4 or 5
green chilli- 5
garam masala- 1 tsp
yogurt- 1 cup
red chilli powder- 1 tsp
corriander powder- 1 tbsp
heavy cream- 50 ml
saffron- a pinch
cashew paste- 1 tbsp
corriander leaves- handful
oil- 3 tbsp
salt- as required
sugar- a pinch
kassori methi - 1 tsp

Soak dried peas in water overnight. Next day boil it with some salt until almost cooked. You can skip this step if you use frozen peas. Next bring water to a boil and put the tomatoes in it. Boil for 5 mins . Take out the tomatoes and wash it in cold water. Peel off the skin and make a puree. You can skip this step also if you have use readymade tomato puree, but I'm sorry I do not have the measure for that. Boil onions in water for 8 mins. Strain and puree.

Heat oil in a pan and fry the onion paste for 5 mins. Then add ginger-garlic paste and fry for 5 more mins. Next add chilli powder, garam masala and corriander powder. Stir well. Now add tomato puree, cashew paste ,salt and sugar. Cook till the oil seperates. Next add yogurt (beaten smooth). cook for 10 -12 mins till oil floats on top. Add little water, boiled peas and saffron.

Cut paneer into cubes and shallow fry in a non-stick pan with a spoon of oil. Put the fried paneer in hot salted water for sometime. When it's time to add it to the gravy just strain the water and use it in the curry.

Add paneer and boil for another 3 mins. Finally add cream, crushed kassori methi (soak in water for sometime to make it soft), corriander leaves and fried green chilli. Cook till you get the desired consistency. Increase the water level according to the your preference of texture.
Enjoy it with hot buttered naan or fried rice. It tastes just awesome.

Now to the awards.... As you all know that it's raining awards in the blogsphere. I have been one of the fortunate ones to get those great awards.

I've been presented the "Nice Matters" award again. This time it's by Sagari of Indian cooking and Pragyan of cooking at Pragyan's have been so sweet and gracious to pass it on to me . Thankyou so much Sagari and Pragyan. You both made me feel so special and happy.

Then, Pravs of Simply Spicy and Shanti Banu of My kitchen hobbies have been so kind enough to pass me on the "E" for Excellent Blog award. Thankyou so much girls. Your awards have inspired me so much and I'm very proud to wear it on my blog.

Last time itself I should have passed on the "Nice matters" award but I somehow forgot to include it. So , I'm passing it now to some of my friends. For some of you it might be a repetition still I hope you would enjoy it.

So the Nice matter's award is being passed to:

and SuperChef

And the "E" for excellent blog award is being passed to
Indo Sun God
Happy Cook
I hope you girls enjoy the award too as much as I did.

One more thing before I end the post. My hubby's workplace has changed. I mean he is working from home now. It's not a temporay thing as it's a permanant job. The bad thing about this is he always keep a watch on me on how much time I spend on blogging. That's why I'm unable to be in your blogs recently and also unable to update mine either. Bear with me gals. I'll organize myself soon and come back to routine.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

First Anniversary and time to say a lot of Thanks !!!

Hi Folks,


While the whole world is celebrating this great day , I have another reason to celebrate this day.

Yes! It's my blog's FIRST Birthday. Last year it was the same Feb 14th my blog was born. Like many of my friends I too never thought that I'll be blogging this long. Anyway, today I have reached a second milestone with 137 posts. Wondering what's my first milestone? Ofcourse it was my 100th post on October 2007.

Another great news is that I have recieved "The Nice Matters" award from my dear friend Happy cook who is the proud owner of My Kitchen Treasures. Thankyou so much HC, you made me feel so special.

So, let me start the story of how I was introduced to the blogging world. It was some time in December 2006 I came across a health-related blog . The same author had a food blog too. I liked the idea of recording the recipes and that inspired me to start a blog of my own. Unfortunately, I forgot her name. Then, after two months I had my own blog .... En Samayal Pakkam.

Initially when I started the blog I wanted it to be a personal space to record my recipes. But seeing the comments in the other blogs I was so surprised by the way people are connecting to one another and how close they become after that. This inspired me and I wanted to be a part of it.

The first indian food blog I came across was Asha's. I became a great fan of hers. It was from her I learnt to write an intro before each recipe. There were days when I used to get only one comment and that was Asha's. She has always been encouraging me with her sweet comments. So, on this day I want to give you a big hug and say THANKS for all your inspiration.

I also want to thank Deepz of "Letz Cook". She was the first one to leave a comment on my blog. I don't think she knows that but I cannot forget that day. I was soooo thrilled that I can't express it in words. Thanks Deepz, You made me so happy that day.

Next I wish to mention some of the other great bloggers who inspired me during my initial days of blogging. Sia's eye-catching pictures, Inji Pennu's style of boldly expressing her thoughts, Prema's wonderful recipes (she made me blabber about her manchurian once in my dreams), Indo Sun God's Authentic recipes, Richa's simple yet flavorful recipes..... Ah, the list goes on and on

I'm so thankful for getting friends like Happy Cook who is a soups & chaat queen, Bharathi who has a lovely collection of authentic kerala recipes, Viji of vcusine who is like a dictionary of food for me, Mansi who often tempts me to go off my diet with her awesome desserts, Jeena who inspires me with her healthy recipes, Cynthia & Bee who makes me forget to comment by getting me lost with their mind-blowing pictures and write-up, Latha ma and Lakshmi who shares their authentic Iyyengar recipes and also making a difference by reaching to the special-needs kids , Pravs who makes me drool over her non-veg dishes, Suganya of Tasty Palattes who brings out the beauty of food with her unique style of photography, Sukanya of Hot'n' Sweet bowl who makes beautiful cakes and Shella who has connected to me personally.

I also enjoy the dishes and comments of Laavanya who has a variety of yummy dishes that I'm yet to try, TBC who capitvates my heart with her unique recipes, Rajitha who makes my tummy grumble with her tempting array of dishes, Raks who gives nice step-by-step pictures to follow her dishes, Padma who creates beautiful dishes like her kesar amarkhand, Priar who makes mouth-watering tamilnadu style non-veg dishes , Ramya of Mane Adige who has introduced me to so many of her bangalore dishes, Remya of Spice n Flavors who has a variety of kerala delicacies, SMN who has great breakfast items like her different types of dosa, Seema who has simple yet comforting dishes like her appo and chicken curry , Sagari who in a short span of time has posted so many delicious dishes, meeso... more than her food, I always go to her blog to see her blush in her boyfriend's hands , Kalai who has a nice homey foods, Easy Crafts who is so talented in coming up with so many dishes that can be done in MW, Shankari who I'm so proud that she spreads our cusine through her cooking class and also does food shows in TV.....

Really guys, the list is endless. But I have to end my long list for now as I'm running short of time. At this time I cannot forget my non-blogger friends too who visit me and leave their kind comments behind. I owe it all to your encouragement . Anyway, what I wish to say is...... Each and every one of you, not only the gals mentioned above have inspired me and taught me so much. All I can say in return for that is THANKS THANKS and THANKS.

Last but not least ,I wanted to thank my hubby too who continues to encourage me (sometimes..... ) and my little kiddo Kavin who bears with me when I steal his time for blogging.

I wanted to post some nice dessert for celebrating my anniversary, but as you all know I'm in Florida for the past 10 days enjoying my vaction. So no cooking, no work, no dieting..... enjoying life to the core. Will be back to Atlanta tomorrow and resume blogging from monday. Till then take care and have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Parrupu Thuvayal

Thuvayals / Thugayals are like a thicker version of chutneys. Today I'm presenting a toor dal parrupu thuvayal. Usually they add coconut to this, but on the day I did it 'B' was sick. So, I skipped the coconut. So, when you try it don't forget to add coconut.


Toor dal- 1/2 cup
coconut- 2 tbsps
red chilli- 1
peppercorns- 3
garlic pods- 2
curry leaves- 3 or 4
salt- according to taste

Heat a tsp of oil in a pan and roast the dal, coconut, red chilli, pepper, curry leaves and garlic. Do this until the dal turns golden brown. Don't burn the dal. Switch off the gas and transfer to a plate and allow it to cool. When it has cooled down grind it with salt to a coarse- smooth paste using very little water. Serve it with steaming hot rice, sesame oil and papad.

Sepankizhangu Poriyal

Sepankizhangu is nothing but taro root. I have already posted a deep-fry version of this dish which you can find here. But this one is much healthier, it is kadai roasted. It tastes somewhat like a potato fry but it has a little sweetness from the taro itself. This is one of the dishes that vanishes in half the quantity by the time I serve it. Tastes so yum.


mustard seeds- 1/4 tsp
urad dal- 1/2 tsp
channa dal- 1/2 tsp
jeera seeds- 1/4 tsp
Sepankizhangu -8
onion- 1(medium, sliced)
garlic- 4 pods (finely chopped)
sambar powder- 1 1/2 tsp
curry leaves
salt- as required
curry leaves
corriander leaves

Boil sepankizhangu with some salt and turmeric until 3/4 th done. peel and cut into pieces. Heat oil in kadai and season with mustard seeds, urad dal and channa dal. Add onions , garlic and turmeric powder. When onions are half done add sambar powder & salt. saute until raw smell goes. Then add sepankizhangu and keep roasting until it gets a roasted brown color. Add corriander leaves & curry leaves. This is an excellent accompaniant for sambar rice, rasam rice or curd rice. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Aloo Methi

Methi is nothing but fenugreek leaves. These are bitter but has a lot of health benefits. Usually , methi leaves are cooked in combination with other foods that have the ability to mask it's bitter flavor to some extent. Aloo methi, methi dal and methi paratha are some examples. Today I have my aloo methi to share with all of you. It is not a regular item in our home as I don't like the bitter taste of methi although it's very healthy. But 'B' loves it ,so I do it occasionally. Now to the recipe...


mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
urad dal- 1/2 tsp
channa dal- 1/2 tsp
potato- 2 (big)
onion- 1 (medium, sliced)
garlic- 3 pods (minced)
methi leaves- a medium size bunch
tomato- 1
chilli powder- 3/4 tsp
corriander powder- 1 tsp
cumin powder- 1 tsp
garam masala- 1/2 tsp
salt- according to taste
sugar- 1/4 tsp (optional)


Cut and boil the potatoes with some salt and turmeric. When 3/4 th done, drain and cube it. Prep the methi leaves by seperating it from the stalk. wash them and boil them for 5 minutes with very little water.

Heat oil in a pan and splutter the mustard seeds, urad dal and channa dal. Next add the onions and garlic. After 5 minutes add tomato and salt. Cook till the tomatoes turn into a pulp. Now it's time to add the masala powders. If you don't have the powders individually you can very well use sambar powder (1 1/2 tsp). Saute until the raw smell goes. After that add the potatoes and fry for a few minutes.

Next add the boiled methi leaves. You can squeeze out the water from the methi leaves before adding it to the aloo. This might take out some of the bitterness. But if you don't want to lose the nutrients don't squeeze out the water. Just take them out with a spoon and add it to the potatoes. Mix everything well and fry to desired consistency. If you want a gravy add 3/4 th cup of water or if you want a fry like mine skip the water. Serve it hot with some hot rice or rotis, curd and some pickle.

Cauliflower Bhaji

Fried foods always tend to taste good. It holds good for this cauliflower bhaji too. If you don't have potatoes or onions for bhaji , don't worry, cauliflower can make excellent bhajis. It is a great tea time snack. So, go ahead and give it a try sometime. (sorry... the flash has ruined my picture.


cauliflower- 1 (medium size)
oil- for deep frying
besan powder- 1 cup
rice flour- 2 tbs
turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
chilli powder- 1/2 tsp (first add 1/4 tsp, if you can handle the heat add more)
salt- as per taste
cumin powder- 1/4 tsp
amchur powder- few pinches (optional)


Wash the cauliflower well and seperate the florets. Steam them for 3 to4 minutes. You can skip this step if you want. I just do it because that's how my friend taught me. But I have tried it without the steaming also. Didn't notice any difference at all. Mix the rest of the ingredients from besan to amchur powder with water. Add water little by little. The batter should be thick and not runny. If you dip the floret and lift it up the batter should not slide away. This is the right consistency. Deep fry them in oil and drain when they are golden brown. Serve this with ketchup, corriander chutney , sweet and sour sauce or any other dip of your choice.

If you wish to add an extra touch... saute some sliced onions, finely chopped ginger & garlic, chopped green chillies with some salt and red pepper flakes. Then add a little tomato sauce and mix it. Add the fried florets and toss to coat them. Serve hot sprinkled with some corriander leaves or spring onions.

Brinjal Potato Subzi

This is another simple dish that goes well with idllis and dosas. The dish may not be photogenic but I can assure you for the taste. My MIL usually fire roasts the eggplant until it is 3/4th done and then chop it into pieces and then use it in the gravy. The gravy prepared this way has a smoky flavor in it. But my mom on the otherhand does not roast them. She steams both the brinjal and potato together and mashes it.

So, my version is to cube both the brinjal and potato into small pieces, Cook it really well and finally mash it with a potato masher. Easy... huh? It does not taste exactly the same as the fire roasted version or the steamed version. All I can say is it tastes good. Hope you give it a try too. Here's what you need...


Eggplant- 1 (I'm talking about the big purple ones not the tiny ones) potato- 2 (medium size, cubed) mustard seeds- 1/4 tsp
urad dal- 1/2 tsp channa dal- 1/2 tsp
cumin- 1/2 tsp
onion- 1 (finely chopped)
tomato- 1 (finely chopped)
green chillies- 3 (chopped)
tamarind- 1/2 tsp
chilli powder- 1/2 tsp
turmeric- 1/2 tsp
water- 1 1/2 cups
curry leaves- few
corriander leaves- few
hing - a pinch


Heat oil in a kadai and splutter mustard seeds, urad dal, channa dal and cumin. Then add onions, green chillies and turmeric powder. After 5 minutes add the potato and brinjal cubes. Saute in medium flame until 3/4th done. Now add the hing, chilli powder, salt and tamarind. Mix well. Then add 1 cup water and boil until the vegetables are completely cooked. Then open the lid of the pan and mash the vegetables just leaving a few chunks here and there. You can skip this step if you want. Add more water if the gravy is too thick. Finally add corriander and curry leaves. Serve it hot with dosas or idllies.

Simple Channa masala

Just like sambhar, Channa masala is also a dish that tastes different from one kitchen to the other. While there are so many ways to make it, here is the simple version. I call as the simple one as it involves only sauteing onions, tomatoes and masala powders. No grinding involved. So let's move to the recipe.


Boiled channa- 2 1/2 cups
cinnamon stick- 1"
cloves- 2
red onion- 1 (medium size, finely chopped)
ginger garlic paste- 1 tsp
green chillies- 1 (slit)
tomatoes- 1 (big, finely chopped)
tamarind paste- 1/2 tsp (optional)
chilli powder- 1/2 tsp
corrianderpowder- 1 tsp
cumin powder- 1/2 tsp
Any channa masala powder- 1/2 tsp (optional, I did not use in mine)
Jaggary- 1/4 tsp (can add more. But my hubby dosen't like it , so I added less)
corrianderleaves- 1/2 cup
water- 2 cups
salt- as required


Soak channa in water overnight. Next day pressure cook for 2 whistles (depends upon your cooker) with some salt and turmeric. One of my Rajasthani friend adds a tea bag while pressure cooking channas. It does impart some color and flavor to the dish. Don't over do the tea bags. When I first tried it , I think I added 5 bags and you can imagine the color that my channa finally had. But I did not use tea bags here.

Heat oil in Kadai and fry cinnamon stick and cloves. Then fry onions with some turmeric until golden brown. Then add ginger garlic paste. After a few minutes add tomatoes and cook until it is all pulpy. Now it's time to add all the masala powders and saute for atleast 5 minutes in a medium flame taking care that the masala powder dosen't get burned. Then add tamarind paste and saute for a minute. Next add water and bring to a nice boil and the gravy becomes a little thick. Test for seasonings. Add more if needed. Then add boiled channa, jaggary and bring to a nice boil one more time. Finally add the corriander leaves and mix well.

You can serve this with puri, chappathi and dosas. To make a chat out of this, you can pour this channa masala in a plate and top it off with some finely chopped red onions, diced tomatoes, beaten curd, sweet & spicy tamarind sauce, sev, some corriander chutney and lemon juice. You can eat it as it is or serve it with some buttered toast or cutlet. The possibilities are countless. Just use your imagination...

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Going on a break again

Yes friends. I'm going on a break for one week. This is b'coz "B" is in need of his laptop for his new travel job. He will be gone for one week. Hopefully I will get my lappy by the weekend and also be able to accompany him to florida the week after. Couldn't go this week as Kavin and me are still recovering from the flu. I suffered so much that I narrowly escped from being admitted due to dehyderation. Hope we will come back to normal soon.
I successfully completed one thing today. I kept up my promise of going through all the posts (295 posts) that I missed during my previous break. My! you girls are posting in jet speed that I'm unable to keep up with all of you.
Anyway, Take care and will see you soon!