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

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GOAN PRAWN CURRY W/ LEMON RICE

The months post the three and half months long monsoon season, here in Mumbai, are terribly hot and humid. As the monsoon recedes, I dread looking ahead at October! For most of the northern hemisphere, October is the harbinger of cold winter months ahead however for Mumbai it happens to be the worst month of the year apart from April and May, perhaps. Where others are celebrating autumn, I look for ways to beat the sultry heat and try finding some comfort sitting in the cooler corners of the house.
But there is no escape from the kitchen heatand during these hot months I try to fix meals that take least time in the kitchen yet keep the family satiated. Although this prawn curry is something I love to have anytime of the year, it seems ideal during these hot days when I avoid kitchen as much as possible. It takes virtually no time to cook. The meal is ready under 30 minutes and the family happily laps it up J
Unlike many Indian families who love their curry hot and spicy, we prefer our curries medium spicy or mild. Goan curries especially are meant to be fiery hot and by that standard I would categorise this one under the mild category. Suit yourself regarding the amount of chillies that you would like to have in this curry. Enjoy this lip smacking mealany time of the year J
For the Prawn Curry you will need…

 

550 grams prawns (1 kg of prawns yielded me this much amount after cleaning)
3 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger, julienned
1 tsp coriander powder
¾ tsp roasted cumin powder
½ tsp tamarind paste (adjust to taste)
1 sprig curry leaves
2-3 dry whole red chilies
Salt & red chili powder to taste
200 mls coconut milk
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
Clean and de-vein the prawns. Wash them and drain the water. Sprinkle a little salt over the prawns and keep them aside for 2 minutes. Wash well again, drain water and keep aside.
Heat the oil in a wok and reduce the heat. Add mustard seeds and cover the wok immediate to avoid the seeds spluttering all around. Once the crackling of seeds stops, remove the cover and add whole red chilies and onions. Increase the heat and fry till they turn translucent.
Add the garlic, ginger and stir fry till the garlic becomes aromatic and the turns golden (approx. a minute). Reduce the heat to minimum and mix in the dry spices – coriander powder, cumin powder, red chili powder and salt.
Next, stir in the tamarind paste and the prawns. Stir for a minute or more, depending on the size of prawns, or till the prawns begin to change colour. 
Reduce the heat and add the coconut milk. Cook the prawns for 2-3 minutes (again it depends on the size of the prawns) in the coconut milk on low heat, stirring, to prevent the coconut milk from curdling. Adjust the seasoning, sprinkle with coriander leaves and serve with Lemon Rice
For the Lemon Rice you will need…

 

1 generous glass rice (300 grams approx)
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds 
1 tbsp peanuts
1 tbsp ivory lentils (urad dhuli dal)
1 tbsp split skinned Bengal grams (chana dal)
Salt to taste
½ – ¾ tsp turmeric powder
1 sprig curry leaves
– 1½ tbsp lemon juice (adjust to taste)
2 tbsp water
Cook the rice using the free boiling method
 
Mix the lemon juice in the water and keep aside.
 
Heat the oil and reduce the heat. Add mustard seeds and once they start crackling add the peanuts. Cook the peanuts till they just begin to change the color and become aromatic.
 
Add in the lentils and grams and cook till they become golden in color. Add curry leaves, salt and turmeric powder and add the lemony water. Now stir in the rice and serve hot with the prawn curry.
Note: The whole process of making the lemon rice takes just a few seconds, so please ensure that all your ingredients are ready to be added to oil. Any delay can lead to one or more ingredient/s getting over cooked or even burnt. I have learnt this the hard way!
Note: The amount of cooked rice yield will depend on the quality of rice.
Serves 3

 

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