Friday, May 29, 2009

Fast & Easy Mughlai Dinner - Any Takers?

No, I haven't disappeared but have been trying to settle into the new place and it has been surprisingly easy... sometimes things just seem to fall into place or it could be the mom-effect (my mom was down to help me settle down and things seemed surprisingly easy)!


I had my first dinner party last week and it turned out pretty well... actually pretty good coz I didn't take pics of the food before the party (yeah, same excuse - no time - baby needed attention et al) and I don't have much left to take pics of! The menu was very North Indian and routine if I may add, Dal Makhani (Maa ki Dal), Paneer Makhani and a regular and easy chicken dish of mine which I have no name for! The dessert which was supposed to be Mango Mouse with Vanilla mango swirl Ice-cream didn't turn out right... but I shall get it right by the time I put up pics :)!


Before starting out on any Indian recipes I ensure my fridge has the 'bhuna hua pyaaz ka masala' in stock. This onion-ginger-garlic paste makes life easy and cooking a breeze. I have mentioned the recipe of this somewhere in my blog earlier - it's just a paste made of about 500gm onions, a couple of cloves of garlic and same amount of grated ginger - I then saute it on low heat with very little oil till it turns a brownish black in color.


The dal and paneer were absolute rip-off's from my mom's recipe and since she was visiting I managed to sneak in and see all the extra things that make her food more yummier than mine!!!!

So this blog is dedicated to my mom and her recipes...

This is my mom's recipe for Dal Makhani and it was an instant hit.



Ingredients:


1.5 cups of black whole urad dal with 2-3tbsp of rajma (washed and soaked overnight).
1 medium onion - thinly sliced
4 medium sized boiled and pureed tomatoes
2-3 cloves of garlic diced
2-3 whole kashmiri red chilli
1/2 cup of curd
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup cream


For the tempering

1 small onion finely diced
1-2 tbsp kasoori methi
2 boiled and tomatoes pureed
1 tsp red chilli powder
a pinch of hing


Boil the soaked dal with the garlic, kashmiri red chilli, salt (as per taste) and onions in a pressure cooker and give it at least 1 whistle on high gas and leave it on sim for at least 15 mins. Wait for the cooker to cool - then open and add the pureed tomatoes and curd and put it back in the cooker for about 15-20 mins. When you open the dal now it should be pasty and the water level should be less and you should not be able to see the onions or tomatoes etc any longer.



Prepare the tempering:

In a bit of oil add the hing, red chilli, kassori methi and onions. Once the onions are absolutely soft add the tomatoe puree and cook till it well cooked. Add this to the dal and leave it on sim to boil.

Now add the milk and let it boil. Add the cream to the hot dal and mix. Do not boil after this else the cream will separate. This recipe turned out to be finger licking good.... and it was a relief coz Dal Makhani always sounds sooo tedious but this quick recipe can do wonders to your dinner menu.


Paneer Makhani
5-6tbsp ground kajus (cashew nuts)
2-3 washed, boiled and pureed tomatoes
1tbsp of my onion paste
300gms paneer (cottage cheese)
cream if required
basic masalas - any chicken curry masala, chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt to taste

This recipe is sooo easy that you can sleep walk through it and instantly uplifts your dinner table... In a little oil add the onion paste and tomatoe puree and saute till tomatoes are cooked thoroughly. Add all the masalas to this... about 1tsp red chilli powder, a pinch of turmeric and a good heaping of any chicken curry masala. Now add the ground cashews and saute for 2-3 minutes till the masala becomes thick and pasty. Add water to make a medium consistency curry. Add paneer pieces and stir and your Paneer Makhani is ready :)! Yeah, it's that easy.

My mom's TIP: She marinates the paneer in a bit of yogurt and any good chicken masala (for as little as 10 mins) and sautes it till the water left by the paneer is dry and then adds it to the gravy! This instanly lifts the taste of the dish :)!

I have been meaning to post the recipes since last week but haven't go the opportunity to... pictures to follow soon :)!

My easy-peasy chicken recipe to follow soon too...

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