Easy Food Smith

Posts Categorized / Indian Food

PANEER KOFTA CURRY / पनीर कोफ्ता करी

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Although I love cooking but I do not exactly like spending hours in the kitchen. Due to a recent injury that I took from a fall during my holiday in August, I am not able to stand for long. Therefore I have been devising ways and tweaking my old recipes so as to make them faster without compromising on their taste. During the Navratras, we abstain from eating non vegetarian food and the carnivores in my house give me a tough time, wanting to eat ‘good’ vegetarian curries and meals. Actually I love dishing out a variety of vegetarian meals to them. Those nine days of abstainanace results in almost a vegetarian feast in our house! Each day I try to excite them with a variety of vegetarian meals that vary from curries, salads and grilled food to pastas and continential meals. This time around my daughter enjoyed these meals so much that she did not consume fish or chicken for over a month!

So, one of those days, I threw in all the ingredients of a standard curry in the grinder and ground them to a paste. I fried the paste in a little oil and what an aromatic curry it turned out to be! I have used the same curry base for this kofta curry and I am sure this easy and quick kofta curry will definitely make you wanna try it in your kitchen.

Here is what all you will need,

For the Koftas

100 grams Potatoes, boiled and mashed

250 grams Paneer, grated

2 tbsp (measuring table spoon) Bread crumbs

2 tbsp (measuring table spoon) Corn flour

1 tsp finely chopped, Green Chilies

1 tbsp chopped fresh Cilantro

Salt to taste

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For the Curry

1 medium size Ripe Tomato

4 – 5 fat cloves Garlic

1 inch Ginger

2 Green Chilies (adjust according to heat of the chillies you are using)

2 tbsp Oil

½ tsp Cumin seeds

1½ tsp Chick Pea Flour (besan)

3 tbsp Yogurt

½ tsp Kashmiri Red Chili Powder

½ tsp Turmeric powder

1 tsp Coriander powder

½ tsp Garam Masala Powder

½ tsp Kasoori Methi

3 tbsp plus ¾ C Water

1/3 C Milk (i prefer using full fat)

A handful of chopped fresh coriander to garnish

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Mix together all the ingredients of the kofta and make equal sized balls. (I could yield 12)

Heat oil in a wok and on medium high heat, fry the koftas in two or three batches till they turn golden brown in color. Using a slotted spoon take out the koftas from the oil and transfer them over on an absorbent sheet.

For the curry, make paste using the first four ingredients under the curry ingredient list.

In a pan, heat oil and add cumin seeds. Allow them to crackle and add the paste. Fry the paste on medium high heat stirring all the while to prevent the paste from getting burnt. Fry till the paste becomes thick and leaves oil. Reduce the heat to medium low and mix in 3 tbsp water.

Add besan and fry the paste for about half a minunte. Whip the yogurt and quickly add to the wok. Add the spices now – chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala and kasoori methi. Fry the a few more seconds.

Now add ¾ cup of water along with the milk. Stir to make the curry homogenous in consistency. Once the curry comes to a boil, add the koftas and bring to a boil a boil again on high heat. Once the curry comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and allow it to simmer for 3 – 4 minutes.

The curry will look a wee bit watery at this stage but it will thicken as it cools gradually. Garnish with chopped fresh coriander.

Yield – 12 Koftas (3 koftas per person in a curry)

Note: You may need to add some water if the curry thickens upon cooling

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THEKUA/ ठेकुआ (Fried Indian Cookies)

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Six days after Diwali, the festival of Chhath (छठ) is welcomed and celebrated with great fervour and devotion in the the states of Bihar, Jharkhand and parts of Uttar Pradesh. The sun is worshiped with great reverence since it is considered as the provider of energy and life force. Thekua is an integral part of the chhath puja. An offering is made of this fried cookie along with fruits to the setting and rising sun. I am in awe of those who observe the chhath fasting of three days, abstaining food and water especially since I can’t go without food or water for even a day. Thekua is considered as Prasad, an offering made to the Gods. Although I have not seen this mithai being made at any other time of the year, knowing my love for it, my mother-in-law makes it for me anytime that I request her to or when we visit her for our annual vacation. She is currently visiting us and I could not let this opportunity go waste. 😉

So many adjectives can be used to describe these fried Indian cookies – rustic, moreish, earthy, comforting. Similar to khajoor or khajur cookies, they are great to snack or when travelling since they stay good for weeks in an air tight jar or to pack them in your picnic basket. Thekua has no preservatives or raising agents. When it comes to festival cooking and eating, I don’t hold myself back on indulgence. It is only on festivals, twice or thrice a year that one really indulges in all sweet, fried goodies, made mostly from ghee – may that be halwa, gulab jamuns or thekua. So chill and enjoy it! 😀

1 kg Wheat Flour

½ C desicated Coconut

1 tbsp Fennel seeds

1 tsp Cardamom Powder

100 gm Ghee (edited 12 Nov. – I feel they came out better when I increased the amount to 130 grams)

550 – 600 gm Jaggery

250 ml Water

Ghee for deep frying

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Scrap and soak the jaggery in water. (I had added it to hot water to hasten the process) Once the jaggery has dissolved completely, strain it through a muslin cloth to discard any grit and other impurities.

While the jaggery is soaking, add ghee to the wheat flour and rub it well for approximately 10 – 12 minutes. Now take a handful in your fist and press it. If the flour is not falling apart, it is ready to be turned into dough.

Add strained jaggery water to the flour in three installments while making the dough. (I allowed the jaggery water to cool down before adding it to the flour) You do not have to knead the dough. Once the flour comes together and there are no dry patches, the dough is done.

Heat the ghee in a frying pan or wok. Reduce the heat to low while you beginning shaping the dough. At all times, keep the dough covered to prevent it from drying out else it will be difficult to make the thekua cookies.

Take some dough in your hands. Keep pressing the dough between the palm and fingers of one hand to make a smooth round ball. Press it down between your palms to flatten it and then make imprint on the dough pressing it further to bring its thickness to a little more than half a centimetre. It is perfectly fine, if the sides have some cracks. These will give crispiness to the cookies.

Now, fry them on low heat till they just turn reddish brown in color. Remove on absorbent sheet and serve once cool. Enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee!

Note: These fried cookies are love’s labour and require time since the thekua needs to be fried on low heat for it to be cooked till deep inside.

Note: I measured and used exactly 50 grams of dough to make each thekua.

Note: If at any point of time the dough turns dry and difficult to handle (though it shouldn’t if you keep it covered), sprinkle a little water and mix it in the dough.

Note: I used my potato masher to make imprints on the cookie dough. The imprints make the cookie crispy besides making it look good.

Note: The cookies will be soft when you remove them from oil but they will harden once they cool.

Yields – 36 cookies

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Thanks for visiting and see you soon again with another exciting recipe! 

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MULTIGRAIN RADISH PANCAKES w/ SESAME POTATOES – मल्टीग्रेन मूली के पैनकेक और तिल के आलू

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Time for the next post for Hopscotch. It is kind of becoming a ritual that I disappear every year for a good number of days from my blog. And each time when the new year commences, I make the same resolution time and again, over and over, which is, to be regular with uploading posts through the whole year. I also make plans on requesting my favourite bloggers to do guest post for me. I propose and Gods dispose all my best laid plans. To my utter dismay it simply does not happen the way I want it to be! But I guess such is life. SO, this year, NO new year’s resolution for me as far as my blog is concerned. I intend to flow with the current and upload the posts as and when it is possible. This way I won’t get flustered or go on the guilt trip.

After seeing so many pancake recipes at EFS it is anyone’s guess how much I love pancakes. I have my own reasons for that. They are easy to make and so good to eat that I always find myself reaching out for them for breakfast or for brunch. Kids love them and they are great to pack for their lunch box. Today I dished out the multigrain pancakes that are gluten free and also vegan friendly. I threw in some shredded radish since they are in season and pep up the taste of these pancakes. Feel free to swap them with pumpkin or carrots if you wish to. I love adding rice flour to my savory pancakes since they add a lovely crispness to them. You can omit it and substitute with ragi flour. (Ragi flour is rich in calcium.)

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For Pancakes

1 C Ragi Flour (Nachni Flour / Finger Millet Flour)

½ C Chana Dal (split Bengal Gram)

½ C Rice Flour

1 tsp Green Chili (use less or omit, as needed)

2 heaped tbsp fresh chopped Cilantro (Coriander)

½ tsp Red Chili Powder

¾ tsp Garam Masala

Salt to taste

1 Cup washed & shredded, Radish (do not squeeze the water from radish)

1 plus ¾ C Water

Oil for frying

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Soak the chana dal overnight or in hot water for 2 hours. Grind to paste using half a cup of water.

Mix all the ingredients, except oil, together along with ground chana dal. Make the batter using rest of the water. (Add the water gradually and reduce the amount in case you like the pancake to be of thick consistency. I prefer mine thin and crisp and this amount was perfect)

In a non stick pan pour a little oil and grease it. Add a table spoon of batter and spread it as thin as you can. Cook on medium heat drizzling more oil if required. (these pancakes do not require too much oil) Cook each side for 2 minutes or till crisp and golden. Serve hot with sesame potatoes (scroll down for recipe).

Yield – Makes 12 Pancakes (size in the pic)

For Sesame Potatoes

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4 C of dice Boiled Potatoes (I diced them in small size)

2 tbsp Oil

2 tbsp Ghee (vegans can substitute it with regular cooking oil)

1 tsp Mustard seeds

½ tsp Cumin Seeds

1 tbsp White Sesame seeds

1 tbsp Black Sesame Seeds

1 tsp chopped Green Chili

Salt to taste

(feel free to add aromatics such as ginger &/or garlic to enhance the flavors of potatoes)

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1½ tbsp Coriander Powder

½ tsp Chili Powder

Fresh chopped cilantro to garnish

1 Lime

Heat the oils together, in a pan (oil should not be smoking) and add cumin & mustard seeds. Tip in the sesame seeds and fry till all start to crackle. Quickly add in the curry leaves and green chilies (be careful they will splatter hot oil), diced potatoes.

Add the chili powder, salt, coriander powder and mix everything together. Cook for 3 minutes (the time will depend on done-ness and size of diced boiled potatoes) and remove from heat. Squeeze in the juice of a lime and add chopped coriander, stir and serve hot along with the pancakes.

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Other recipes for healthy Pancakes

Moong Dal Chila – Mung Bean Pancakes (Gluten free, Vegan friendly)

Sweet Corn & White Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes

Spinach & Ricotta Cheese Pancakes (Gluten free)

Spicy Pumpkin Pancakes (Gluten free, Vegan friendly)

You may follow Hopscotch on their Instagram accountHopscotch has reimbursed me in no way for this post.

Thanks for visiting and see you soon again

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