Easy Food Smith

Posts Tagged / Curry in Hurry

LEHSUNI PANEER / लहसुनी पनीर (Garlicky Cottage Cheese Curry) – GF

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Paneer is to vegetarians what eggs are to non vegetarians – a quick, easy, simple ingredient that can be turned into so many variety of dishes. In north India, if you are expecting a vegetarian at your house for a meal, paneer will invariably find its way to the menu (even more so, if it happens to be a Punjabi household). Paneer is a vegetarian delicacy of sorts. And its versatility makes it an easy ingredient to work with. You can turn it into tikka or bhurjee or kofta curry and even a cheesecake – it will never fail you. Use it with some spices and herbs to make filling for your jaffles or stuffed flatbread and there you have an excellent breakfast dish to be polished off with pickle and chai! You can find a post I had done during my initial blogging years on how to make paneer at home. The process is simple and you can use it for so many recipes or have it on its own with some sprinkle of chaat masala.

This recipe may seem to be using a lot of garlic but when it pairs with other ingredients, it mellow downs (you’ve got to trust me on that). The key here is not to compromise on the usage of tomatoes. I usually chop the tomatoes and blitz them in a grinder. For this recipe, I could obtain about one third cup tomato puree (without adding water) from one medium sized tomato. Also, do not hold yourself back from using milk. It helps bring a balance to the sourness of tomatoes, tones down the garlic and mellows the heat of chillies. This curry gets ready in under 15 minutes, what more can you ask for 😀

2 – 3 tbsp Oil

½ tsp Cumin Seeds

½ tsp Mustard Seeds

2 small Onions (thickly sliced)

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4 fat cloves Garlic (grated) {approximately 1 tbsp}

1 medium Tomato

1/3 C Milk

300 grams Paneer, (cubed)

½ tsp Turmeric Powder

½ – ¾ tsp Chili Powder (adjust to taste)

2 tsp Coriander Powder

½ tsp Garam Masala

Salt to taste

2 whole Green Chilies

Fresh Coriander to garnish

This curry takes no time to cook. So be ready with all ingredients.

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Wash, chop and blitz the tomato in a grinder. You should have at least 1/3 cup or more of tomato puree. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan and add cumin and mustard seeds. As soon as they begin to crackle, add onions and fry them on medium heat till they turn translucent and just begin to turn golden.

Now add grated garlic and fry till the garlic changes color to golden and becomes aromatic. Add the tomatoes and along with the spices and salt.

Keep stirring the contents on medium heat till the masala begins to leave oil on the sides. Now add milk and lower the heat.

Split chilies in 3 or 4 pieces and throw them in the curry. Add the paneer and stir it in. Add more milk if required at this stage. (I do not like my curry loose and rather prefer the masala coating the paneer pieces well. Suit youself)

Cook for a minute and the curry is ready. (you do not need to cook the paneer much else it will turn rubbery)

Stir in some freshly coriander to the curry and garnish the rest before serving. Remove the contents in a serving bowl and serve with roti, paratha or naan. YUM!

Note: I have added split whole green chilies coz I just wanted some grassy flavors of the chili added to the curry. Feel free to add them chopped in case you wish to add some more heat to the curry.

Note: Also, you can tinker with the amount of ingredients you wish to use.

Serves 4 (as side dish)

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QUICK ANDA CURRY / झटपट अंडा करी (Creamy Egg Curry)

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Even though it takes hardly four hours from my home town to Delhi, it wasn’t until I was in high school that I visited the capital city for the very first time. My brother had moved to the city a couple of years back after he got his first job there. The nature of his job was such that he could not afford to take leave and visit us. So a cousin and I decided to visit him to help him tide over home sickness and also to tour the city.

Now, everyone in my family happens to be a foodie and can cook a decent food. My father whips up a mean Saag Meat Curry and Kheer besides Dal Makhani. He rolls chapattis like an absolute pro! My brother, however, can dish up a whole meal for a party. I am amazed at his skill at not just cooking but also at planning the menu and executing it like a chef. When we were kids and if mum was unwell, these two would ensure that there was no compromise in meals. He actually used to make a fuss that I never helped them in the kitchen while he and dad were sweating it out 😛

Well, coming back to my visit to Delhi, my brother really pampered us with his food and even tried to squeeze out time from his schedule to take us around the city. The extent of pampering was to a level that he never allowed my cousin or me to ever cook even a single meal while we were there. With his busy schedule and our short visit, we always had a time crunch. He would dish out meals that were fast, nutritious and finger licking good. I remember, many times he didn’t really follow any particular recipe and rather went by his instincts and his understanding of flavours. This creamy egg curry was a dish I learnt from him while on my visit. This dish may be too simple for many of you but I have such fond memories of it that I couldn’t help sharing it here. We had it with flaky buttery parathas but I enjoy it equally with toasted garlic bread. Yum!

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6 Eggs (boiled, peeled and chopped)

1 tbsp Oil

2 tsp Butter

¾ C finely chopped red Onions

1 Green Chilies, chopped

½ tsp cracked Black Pepper

½ tsp red chilli flakes

Salt to taste

150 – 175 mls Milk

2 tbsp finely chopped Cilantro

Heat oil and butter in a pan and add onions and green chillies. Sauté till the onions turn golden in colour. Add chili flakes and chopped eggs. Stir it around. Add 150 mls of milk and gently keep stirring. The milk will begin to thicken.

Add salt, black pepper and keep stirring so that the contents don’t catch at the bottom. Depending on the consistency that you want, adjust the amount of milk. Add in the chopped cilantro and serve hot with flat bread or toasted bread.

Note: You can substitute butter with oil. Also adjust the heat.

Note: I used yolk of only three eggs

Note: Each egg was 60 grams in weight

Note: I prefer to use full fat milk for a rich taste. Feel free to use low fat milk.

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Serves 3 – 4

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MURG KALI MIRCH / मुर्ग काली मिर्च (Pepper Chicken Curry)

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When you have hard core non vegetarians at home, you certainly need variety in not just whether it is a chicken, fish or a lamb dish but also the ways you cook them. That’s why I have to keep learning, trying and experimenting new ways to cook meals. When I got married, I was not at all fond of fish yet I learnt to cook how to make fish (fish in mustard curry). Then I learnt from my sister in law, how to cook fish using poppy seeds and a few years back we visited Chennai and had one of the best tamarind curry that my husband later asked me to try it at home (recipe will follow soon).

And as summers approach and make our appetites dull, we need curries that are light on the tummy (and also easy & fast to cook). I go easy on spices and use only the ones that have mild flavors or use them whole so I just get the subtle notes. My Doi Maachh (Fish in Yogurt Curry) is a proof of that belief of mine and so is this Goan Prawn Curry. This time around I just thought of a chicken recipe in my head and popped in whatever I thought would make the curry light yet keep it flavoursome. My family loved it and after I got rave reviews from friends too, I knew it was time to share it here. The recipe is no rocket science and but the flavours come together really well – gentle sour notes from yogurt, subtle hints of spices and a bit of kick from the crushed pepper corns. You may call it “Curry in Hurry” kind of recipe. All you need to do is marinate the chicken the previous night and the next day cooking is actually a breeze.

800 grams Chicken

1 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste

4 tbsp Yogurt (not Greek yogurt)

1/2 tsp Garam masala (+/- depending on the strength of the garam masala)

3 – 4 tbsp Canola Oil or any oil of your choice (I used mustard oil)

1 large Bay Leaf

1 inch Cinnamon stick

2 Cups Onions,  thinly sliced

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1 tsp Salt (or to taste)

1 tsp Crushed Black Pepper Corns

1½ tsp Coriander Powder

Fresh Cilantro, roughly chopped to garnish

Clean and wash the chicken. Drain excess water. Transfer the chicken to a mixing bowl. In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, garam masala and ginger garlic paste. Add this marinade to the chicken and using clean hands, massage the chicken so all the pieces are well coated. Keep covered in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the the cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Fry for just a few seconds and then tip in the onions. Fry the onions till they turn golden brown in color. Add the marinated chicken and fry on medium high flame for about 2 – 3 minutes.

Reduce the flame to minimum and add salt, crushed pepper corns, coriander powder. Mix well and cover the chicken to cook. You need not add any water since the marinated chicken will release water. (check after 5 – 7 minutes to see if the chicken requires any liquid)

Check for the done-ness of chicken and if it is done and it still has water, increase the heat to maximum and let the chicken absorb the rest of the liquid. Gently keep stirring the chicken so it does not get burnt or the masala does not stick to the bottom of the pan.

Garnish with cilantro leaves (coriander leaves) and serve hot with chapatti or Naan.

Serves – 4

Note: I keep less gravy in the curry since I serve it with flat breads. Add a little water to the chicken to make some gravy in case you intend to have it with rice.

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Here is another easy peasy chicken recipe that can be served as a Side dish or as a Starter

Oregano Chicken

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