Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, Salads

Fruit Salad with a Twist

Crunchy fruits, chewy paneer, sweet, citrus, and peppery. A very enjoyable mix of tastes and textures, this salad can be served before or after food.

Summer is when fruits are available in plenty. Including a salad in your menu cuts down time spent near the stove and is a welcome refreshment and hydration for your body.

A fruit salad sounds as easy as tossing pieces of fruits together in a bowl and serving it. But the amount of care and thought that you put into your fruit salad shows in its taste. Texture-wise, your fruit salad will taste better if the fruits you choose are soft and ripe with a slight crunch to each bite. Your individual fruits pieces should take on the flavor of the other pieces yet without seeping into the other pieces. Over-ripe fruits can break quickly into a mess and coat into the other fruit pieces. By mixing together ripe but not mushy fruits, your fruit salad looks fresh and vibrant for a long time.

fruit saladIngredients:
Apple – 1
Pear – 1
Orange – 1
Paneer – 100 gm
Cashew nuts – 6-8
Raisins – 6-8
Honey – 1 tsp
Mint leaves – 6-8
Pepper – 1/4 tsp
Olive oil – 1 tsp
Lemon juice – 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Method:
Wash all the fruits. Wipe clean and cut the fruits into cubes and mix in a bowl. Pour salt and lemon juice over the cut fruits to retard oxidizing (browning of exposed portions). If you plan to serve the salad chill, at this stage, you could refrigerate. This will allow the flavors to mingle. But do not refrigerate for more than four hours. Cut paneer in cubes. Add the paneer to the cut fruits along with cashew nuts and raisins. Add honey, olive oil, pepper, and mint leaves. Serve immediately or serve after chilling for a short while.

This salad is inspired by a recipe I saw here.

Breakfast, Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, Rotis/Parathas

Paneer Paratha

Winter has almost bid farewell but that does not deter paratha lovers from biting into these delectable stuffed breads. I tried paneer parathas today and it turned out quite well. Paneer parathas are easy to make and are absolutely wholesome breakfast or any-time meal option. Another advantage is that it can be served hot with curd and pickle. No need to make any accompanying dish. 

 

Ingredients:

paneer parathaTo make paratha dough
Whole wheat flour – 3 cups
Warm milk – 1/2 cup
Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
Water as needed
Salt as required
To make paneer stuffing
Paneer – 150 gm
Onion – 1 (medium sized)
Garlic/ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
Green chillies – 1
Red chilly powder – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Garam masala – 1/2 tsp
Jeera – 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice – 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves – a bunch
Oil – 1 tsp
While cooking paratha
Oil – 2 tbsp
Butter – 2 tbsp

Method
Take whole wheat flour in a big bowl, add salt and warm milk. Mix and then add small quantities of water and keep mixing until you get a smooth dough. Add one tbsp cooking oil and mix the dough well until soft and smooth. Cover the dough and set it aside. Let the dough rest for at least ten minutes.

Now to make the paneer stuffing, chop garlic/ginger garlic and green chillies into small pieces. Finely chop onion also and keep aside. If you find it difficult to chop finely, you could grate these ingredients. Bigger pieces will make it difficult for you to roll out the paratha with the stuffing inside. Grate paneer to very small pieces and keep aside.

In a pan, add oil and splutter jeera. Add ginger garlic paste/garlic and chopped green chillies. When these are properly roasted, add onion and saute until pink. Add red chilly powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and saute. Add grated paneer. Mix well and cook for couple of minutes. Add required amount of salt. Turn off the fire and add lemon juice and chopped coriander leaves. You could also use aam chur instead of lemon juice.

If you do not use onion, you can just mix the raw ingredients and make the paneer stuffing.

Take a medium ball sized piece of paratha dough. Make a small smooth ball of the dough and flatten into a small cup using your thumbs. Place 2 tbsps of paneer stuffing inside this cup. Bring together all the sides to the center and seal tightly using the dough. Dip this ball of dough filled with paneer stuffing in flour, flatten it a little using your hands. Use a rolling pin to gently roll this dough coated with flour. If the dough sticks to the rolling pin or rolling surface, lightly sprinkle flour on both sides of the paratha. Roll gently till the paratha is about 1/4-inch thick. Do not make the paratha too thin.

Heat an iron griddle on medium high. When the griddle is hot enough, turn fire to low. Place the paratha over the skillet. Sprinkle some oil on the sides. In about half a minute, you will notice the sides of the paratha turn brown and puff up in the middle. Cook on a low heat till golden brown. Use a spatula to flip over the paratha. Sprinkle few drops of oil. Cook until sides turn golden brown. Lightly press the puffed areas with a spatula. Flip again and press with the spatula making sure the paratha is golden-brown on both sides. Remove from the griddle on to a plate. Put a dollop of butter on the hot paratha. Serve with curd and pickle.

Parathas taste yummy even when cold and make a good snack for short journeys. It is fast to make and convenient to carry and does not require side dishes.

Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, Snacks

Peppy Paneer Starter

Paneer marinated in curd, ginger garlic paste, and pepper. Its a great starter, good way of protein intake for vegetarians. Be sure you make enough because you just cant stop munching these succulent paneer chunks!

serve

Ingredients:
Paneer – 200 gms
Curd – 100 gms
Peppercorns – 20-25 nos (or pepper powder 1 tsp)
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Dry basil – 1 tsp
Salt – 1 tea spoon or to taste.
Capsicum – 1 medium size
Oil – 1-2 tbsp

Resting Time (for the marinate): 30 mins.
Cooking Time: 15 min.
Method:

Mix the curd with ginger garlic paste, crushed peppercorns, basil, and salt. Cut paneer into 1-inch squares around half a centimeter thick and put in the curd mixture.

paneer

Marinate for half an hour. Cut the Capsicum in square pieces. Pour oil in a pan and place the paneer pieces in the oil and pour the remaining marinate on to the pan. Cook in low fire. Flip over the paneer pieces one by one after 2-3 minutes.

shallow-fry

Cook for 2 minutes until the edges are crisp. Take Out the Paneer pieces and place in the serving dish. Place the capsicum pieces on the pan and cook for around 2 minutes. Take out and place in the serving dish. Its a great starter.

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Indian, Side Dishes

Tawa Paneer Tikka

Spongy, juicy chunks of paneer soaked in spicy masala and curd and shallow fried! Great as a starter and as an accompaniment with rotis.

Ingredients:

For making shallow fried paneer:

  • Paneer cut into 2 cm cubes – 250 gm
  • Sour curds* – 100 gm
  • Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp
  • Garam masala – ½ tsp
  • Black pepper crushed– 1 tsp
  • Red chilly powder – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste

For making stir fried vegetables:

  • Garlic finely chopped – 1 pod
  • Split green chilies – 2
  • Diced onion– 2
  • Diced tomato – 2
  • Diced Capsicum – 2

* In case any of these ingredients are unavailable, check the alternate ingredients section for other options.

Alternatives:
If curd is not available, lemon juice can be used.

Resting Time (for the marinate): 30 mins.
Cooking Time: 15 min.

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Method:
Mix all the ingredients mentioned in the For making shallow fried Paneer section. Keep this mixture aside for half an hour. The marinate should coat the paneer cubes well.

Pour 2 tbsp oil on to a pan. Empty the marinated mixture into this pan. Let this cook in medium heat. Constant stirring is not required. Let this cook until the sides of the paneer are brown and crisp. Remove paneer from the pan and keep aside.

Pour 1 tbsp oil on the pan and empty the finely chopped garlic and split green chillies. When these are done, add diced onion, tomato, and capsicum. Shallow fry these until half cooked. Do not overcook.

Add the shallow fried paneer to the cooked veggies. Mix well and turn off the fire.

List of accompaniments:
Rotis

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Health Benefits/Alerts:
Paneer is rich in protein. Oil usage is minimal in this method making it a healthier option.

Trivia:
This can be cooked in a tandoor or oven. Since I do not have either of these, I invented this unique way of making paneer tikka. It’s yummy with rotis. Tastes great as a sandwich filling too.

Skill Level:
Low