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Posts Tagged / Gluten Free Curry

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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BESAN KI TARKARI / BESAN GATTE KI SABZI / बेसन के गट्टे (Chickpea Flour Dumplings in Mustard Curry)

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Gluten free food has been an integral part of the Indian cuisine. Each state has its own gluten free recipes. Besan ke Gatte is a Rajasthani vegetarian delicacy of sorts. Gatte are pepped up chick pea flour dumplings. Chick pea flour is turned into a dough with spices added to it. The dough is rolled in a log shape and sliced. The sliced pieces are boiled in water and then added to an onion, ginger-garlic, and yogurt curry. The perfect gatte curry should have soft gattas or dumplings soaked in the slightly tangy and spicy curry. And making soft guttas is a somewhat tricky job. I never liked the gatte much anyway, coz I hardly found anyone making them perfectly. My mother never used to make them and it was post my marriage that I had developed a taste for them. But it was not that classic gatte ki sabzi that I had.

My mother inlaw one day asked me if I would eat gatte ki sabzi and being a new bride, i didn’t want to appear choosy. I told her I have never had them. She said, I will make gatte today and although they are not the way the Rajasthani make, I am sure you will like them nevertheless. Just for records, she is one of those cooks who never use a measuring spoon or cups to measure the quantity of ingredients and yet the dishes they turn out have a perfect balance of everything in it, from the ratio of ingredients to the seasoning. I donno how the women of her generation managed to do that. She was indeed right that I would like the curry. In fact, I loved it and it is my all time favourite curry amonst the ones she makes. She makes another on where she cooks the gatte in onion and ginger garlic paste to which she adds tomatoes. But I prefer this one anytime.

This is one dish I never cared to learn (up until now) from her coz every time I visit her or she visits me, she ensures that she cooks this one for me diligently. She makes it like a fusion curry. She uses the Bengali spices such as the mustard seeds to make the curry. She uses no onions in this recipe. Also, she does not boil the gutte. Instead she makes the chickpea flour batter and whisks it before adding it to a hot pan with a little oil and furiously stirring it. The cooked hot dough (almost like a choux pastry) is then rolled flat on a plain surface using hands, which she cuts in diamond or square shape. These are shallow fried in hot mustard oil on a griddle and kept aside while she makes the curry. I don’t know if this curry can really be categorised as gatte. Interestingly a few days back on an Indian channel I was watching a program where a lady made a dish similar to my mother inlaw’s. She belonged to a royal family from the central state of India. She made the gatte the same way my MIL did but she made the gravy using onion, ginger garlic paste and made it tangy by adding yogurt to it and called the dish ‘khandaiyan’. Well, gatte or khandaiyan, take your pick. I like to call it my mother in law’s besan ki tarkari.

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For Gatte:

1 C Besan (chick pea flour)

½ C Water

¾ tbsp (for batter) + 1½ tsp (for sauteing) Oil

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp Turmeric Powder

½ tsp Garam Masala

¼ tsp Red Chili Powder (+ / -)

½ tsp Jeera (Cumin Seeds)

1 tbsp Oil for shallow frying

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For Curry:

1 tbsp Peeli Sarson (Yellow Mustard Seeds)

1 tsp Ginger Paste

1 tsp Garlic Paste

2 tbsp Mustard Oil

1/2 tsp Jeera (Cumin Seeds)

A pinch of Methi dana (Fenugreek Seeds)

1 medium Tomato (I grate it to attain the pulp)

Salt to taste

½ tsp Red Chili Powder (adjust to taste)

½ tsp Turmeric Powder

1 tsp Coriander Powder

1½ C Water

½ tsp Amchur/ Amchoor (Dry Mango Powder)

2 Green Chilies

1 tbsp chopped fresh Coriander (Cilantro)

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For the gatte, whisk together chick pea flour, water, salt, turmeric powder, garam masala, cumin seeds and red chilli powder till a smooth consistency is achieved. Add ¾ tbsp oil and whisk again for a minute. The consistency of the batter should be almost like that of pancake batter. (it should not be thick)

Heat a wok or a heavy bottom pan on medium high heat. Add 1½ oil and grease the pan or wok. Pour in the chick pea batter and stir continuously till the batter comes together as one mass. Remove the batter from heat and spread it carefully with hands or rolling pin on a working surface or chopping board to a little less than a centimeter thickness. Slice the dough to the size you like. (I suggest keeping it the size I have shown in the pic as the dumplings will soak water once they get cooked in the curry and swell in size)

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a skillet (it should not smoke) Lower the heat and gently add the sliced dough and shallow fry on low heat till just golden. Remove on an absorbent sheet. Set aside.

Begin to prepare the curry by grounding the mustard seeds to powder. Add two table spoons of water to make a paste and to this, add the garlic and ginger paste.

Heat oil in a pan and allow it to smoke. Reduce heat and add cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds. The moment they begin to crackle, add the mustard paste to it. Fry on medium high heat. Stir the paste every few seconds to ensure it does not burn. Once it begins to dry out and turns golden brown add two table spoons of water and sauté again the same way.

Once the paste again turns golden brown, reduce heat and add tomato pulp along with dry ground spices except amchur. Sauté again till the oil appears towards the edges of the masala.

Add water and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and gently add the fried chick pea batter dough. Add the amchur, whole green chillies (since we only want their fresh grassy flavor and not the heat) and allow the curry to simmer for 2 minutes. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with rice.

Serves 3 – 4

Note: Let the curry sit for half an hour so that the dumplings absorb all the flavors.

Note: You may need to adjust the water since the dumplings will greedily soak the water.

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Check out other Chick Pea based goodies

Chhole Kulche

Badam Besan Laddu

Spicy Pumpkin Pancakes

For more gluten free recipes click HERE

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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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