Thursday, 31 January 2013

Stir Fried Paneer...One of those days,part II

Stir Fried Paneer...In my previous post Spicy Stir Fried Fish, I had talked about "one of those days", but failed to mention the second reason for having those days..."the absent maid"...didn't want to let out all my secrets all at once! the reason you don't see a host of other veggies in the fish or in this Stir Fried Paneer is 'her' was her day off and of course the lazy me doesn't chop veggies if I can get away without using can go ahead shake your head at me or look at it as just one (more!!) tiny little flaw in the perfect old me J

Stir Fried Paneer mmskitchenbites

Stir Fried Paneer


  • Paneer/ Indian Cottage cheese,  300 grams 
  • Onion, cut into 4 and petals separated, 1 medium size
  • Garlic, finely chopped, 5-6 cloves
  • Fresh Coriander leaves, a handful
  • Oil, 2 tbsp
  • Corn Starch, 1-2 tbsp
  • Roasted Peanuts, roughly crushed, a handful (optional)
  • Fresh chilies of your choice, chopped (seeds removed, if you want), a handful
  • Salt, if needed

For the sauce :
  • White Vinegar, 2 tbsp 
  • Light Soy Sauce. 2 tbsp
  • Chili paste , 3 tbsp ( start with 2 tbsp if unsure about the heat level) 
  • Honey, 1 tbsp


Cut the paneer into bite sized pieces. Sprinkle with corn starch and keep aside.

Mix the ingredients mentioned under the sauce in a small bowl, keep aside.

Heat the oil in a large flat pan. Add the paneer pieces in a single layer and lightly shallow fry till crisp and light golden brown on all sides. Strain and keep aside.

In the same pan, add garlic, half of the chilies you are using and onions.

Cook on high flame till onions go soft. 

Add the paneer back into the pan along with the sauce. Toss together for a couple of minutes. 
Check for seasoning and add salt, if required.  

Switch off the heat, plate up and top up with remaining chilies, coriander and crushed peanuts (if using). Serve hot.


  • You can add other veggies of your choice along with the onions.
  • I used bottled chilli paste this time. In case you want to make your own chili paste - soak and grind whole dried chilies in warm water for an hour or so. Blend into a coarse paste with garlic using as little water as possible from the soaked chillies. Use as is, if making for immediate use. If storing for later, cook the chilli paste in a little oil and keep stirring it releases oil. Cool and store. 

Stir Fried Paneer mmskitchenbites

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Spicy Stir Fried of those days

Spicy Stir Fried Fish...Do you have one of those days when you don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen slogging away? I do...almost every other day...I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love cookingit is the whole "what should I cook today" part that gets to meso I frequently take these "kitchen is closed today" days offone of those days, hubz was working from home and took care of breakfast, we ordered in lunch and made plans to go out for dinnertowards the evening was feeling hungry again (yes, that happens pretty frequently as well!!)rustled up an old favourite...

Spicy Stir Fried Fish


  • Fish Fillets, any firm white fish would do, 300 grams 
  • Shallots, quartered and petals separated, 4 medium (or use 1 medium size red or yellow onion)
  • Garlic, finely chopped, 4-5 cloves
  • Friesh Coriander stems, finely chopped, 1-2 tbsp (optional)
  • Oil, 2 tbsp
  • Fresh chillies, Red or Green, 1-2 (optional, or simply slit and remove seeds before using)
  • Salt or fish sauce, if needed

For the marinade:

  • Rice Wine Vinegar, 2 tbsp 
  • Light Soy Sauce. 2 tbsp
  • Chilli paste , 1-2 tbsp (quantity will depend on how how hot you want the dish to be, start with 1 tbsp to be safe) 
  • Sugar, 1 tsp
  • Corn Starch, 1 tbsp


Cut the fish fillets into bite sized pieces. 

In a medium size small whisk together the rice wine vinegar, light soy sauce, chilli paste and sugar. Add the fish and toss lightly to coat the fish with the sauces. 

Sprinkle cornflour and gently toss again to coat. 

Let the fish marinate with the sauces for 15 minutes. 

Heat oil in a large non stick pan/wok. Add garlic, onions and coriander stems to the pan. 

Sauté for a minute or so till garlic becomes fragrant. 

Spoon out the fish from the marinade and add it to the onion mix. 

Stir fry the fish for about two minutes on each side – be gentle, or else the fish will break further. 

Add the leftover marinade and fresh chillies to the pan. 

Mix gently, check for seasoning and add salt, if required. (and chilli paste if needed) 

Add coriander leaves and switch off the heat.

Plate up!

(Goes well as starters/snacks, with a side salad of cucumbers and/or with rice. Cucumbers ribbons help to tone down the heat and the sauce from the fish flavours the cucumbers beautifully)


  • You can also add other veggies like fresh young asparagus, bell peppers along with the onions.

  • I used bottled chilli paste this time. In case you want to make your own chili paste - soak and grind whole dried chilies in warm water for an hour or so. Blend into a coarse paste with garlic using as little water as possible from the soaked chillies. Use as is, if making for immediate use. If storing for later, cook the chilli paste in a little oil and keep stirring it releases oil. Cool and store. 

** picture updated 03/03/2017

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Thoran...from God's own country

Kerala...God’s own country...if you haven’t been there, you may just consider it a tagline for promoting tourismif you have been there, you know why it’s called thatbackwaters, beaches, tea estates, wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, ayurveda, spices, coconuts and the foooodOMG the die forThoran in layman’s (which includes me!!) term is a dry vegetable dish, stir fried with grated or shredded coconutlike I have mentioned (several times) before – never liked veggies as a kidmom in an effort to make me eat (French/green) beans started adding a little coconut instead of the typical Punjabi "pyaaz tamatar masala"and since then that is the only way I can eat beansbeetroot and corn are the latest additions to my love affair with thoranmix n match ingredients from the three recipes written below...adjust quantities according to your taste...use other veggies like carrots, cabbage, pumpkin, raw papaya or even chickenkeep the veggies slightly crunchy or cook them till they are well doneexperiment...have fun...they are perfect served hot with roti or with dal & rice or even served cold as salad with a squeeze of lemonand if you get a chance to visit Kerala, do try eating this with thousand other things on offer including fresh fish and prawns caught & made for you on the houseboat, while floating through the backwaters or at a beach, while watching the sunsetin God’s own country...

Beetroot Thoran (Beets Stir Fried w/Coconut)


  • Beetroot, grated, about a cup 
  • Onions, finely sliced, about ¼  cup
  • Mustard seeds, ½ tsp
  • Fresh curry leaves, 6-7
  • Green chillies, finely chopped, 1-2
  • Salt, to taste
  • Fresh Coconut, grated or shredded, 4-5 tbsp
  • Oil, 1 tbsp


Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. 

When the mustard seeds start spluttering, add the curry leaves, green chillies and onions. Stir well. 

When the onions go soft (don’t let them turn brown) , add the beetroot and salt.

Cook covered on low flame till the beetroot is cooked. Sprinkle with a little water if required.

Add in almost all of grated coconut – mix well and cook covered for another couple of minutes.

Top with the leftover grated coconut.Done!!

(Recipe moved here)

Friday, 25 January 2013

Murgh Achaari..pickle tickle

I have never eaten the actual Murgh Achaari or Achaari Murgh (Chicken curry with pickling spices)...have read/heard rave reviews about ithave seen it on menus but the  thought of the sour pickle masala mixed with chicken never made me try itso when while surfing to make something different I came across the recipe and finally read it, thought I would give it a trytweaked the recipe to suit what I thought we would like and here is the result

Achaari Chicken mmskitchenbites

Murgh Achaari (Chicken Curry with Pickling spices)


  • Chicken, curry cut, 500 gm
  • Onions, finely chopped, 2
  • Tomato, finely chopped, 2
  • Ginger,paste,1 tsp
  • Garlic,paste,1 tsp
  • Kashmiri Red Chili powder, 1 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Coriander leaves, chopped, ¼ cup
  • Mustard oil, 2 tbsp
  • Water

For the marinade:

  • Yogurt, 70 gm
  • Turmeric powder, ½  tsp
  • Salt, to taste

Achaari Spice powder :

  • Cloves, 3
  • Cinnamon, ½" stick
  • Whole dried red chilies, 2 
  • Fenugreek seeds, ¼ tsp 
  • Nigella seeds, ½ tsp
  • Mustard seeds, ½ tsp
  • Cumin seeds, ½ tsp
  • Fennel seeds, ½  tsp


Marinate the chicken pieces with yogurt, turmeric powder and salt for a couple of hours .

Dry roast (separately) all the ingredients mentioned under "Achaari Spice powder". Cool, mix  and grind coarsely. Keep aside.

I used mustard oil since typical North Indian achars/pickles are made using mustard oil. If you don’t have it or don’t like it, you can use regular oil.

Heat mustard oil to a smoking point in a pan and reduce the flame.

Add onions with a little salt. Fry till onions turn golden brown. 

Add ginger & garlic paste and sauté for a couple of more minutes. 

Add the Achaari spice powder and mix well.  

Add the chicken with the marinade, stir and fry till the chicken is nice light golden all over. 

Add tomatoes, chili powder and salt to taste. Mix well.

Cover and cook. Give it a stir once in a while, add a little water if required. 

Take it off heat once oil separates and then add chopped coriander.

Serve with roti or paranthas. ( Tastes even better the next day!!)

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Malai Kofta in Spinach Gravy...story of how coconut got involved

Heart was set on eating Malai Kofta in Spinach Gravy, sooooooo lovingly made the koftaswith tons and tons and tons of patience... sorted, washed and chopped the spinach...started sautéing the spinach and when it was time to add the milk, opened the refrigerator and had a heart attack when couldn't find the milk in there...screamed and raged until hubz told me that the last packet got over when I had pestered him into making another cold coffee that I soooooo needed to drink while cooking!! BAH!...tried to call the shop to send over some more milk but the guy didn't pick upBAH BAH!! So what do I do instead??...I add coconut milkand so glad I did...wanted something different and here it wasthought I had invented something new with the whole coconut milk thingy but, NOOOOOOOOO!! There are plenty of people in the world who make spinach with coconut milk and not just when they run out of regular milk!! BAH BAH BAH!!!

Malai Kofta in Spinach Gravy


For the koftas:  (makes about 6- 8 koftas)

  • Potato, boiled and grated, 150 gm
  • Paneer/Indian Cottage Cheese, grated/crumbled, 100 gm
  • Onion, chopped, 1 medium
  • Corn Starch, 1 heaped tbsp
  • Coriander leaves, finely chopped, 1 tbsp
  • Green chilies, finely chopped, 2-3
  • Salt, to taste
  • Red Chili powder, 1 tsp
  • Aamchur/Dried Mango Powder, ½  tsp
  • Garam Masala Powder, ½ tsp
  • Roasted Cumin powder, ½ tsp
  • Oil for deep frying

For the spinach:

  • Spinach, 1 big bunch
  • Onion, finely chopped, 1
  • Coconut Milk, about a cup ( or regular milk)
  • Dried Red Chili, 1-2
  • Garlic, finely chopped, 4-5 cloves
  • Red chili powder, ½ tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 1 tbsp


Mix/ Mash everything listed under the koftas thoroughly (except the oil). 
Pinch out a little and roll it into balls. 
Deep fry the balls in hot oil. 
Keep the flame low and fry for few minutes till golden brown all over. 
Place them on kitchen tissues to remove excess oil. 

Wash and chop spinach finely. 

Heat a tsp of oil in a pan and fry the spinach by adding a pinch of sugar to it. This will help maintain the color of spinach. 

Sprinkle water if necessary. Close the pan with a lid and cook for few minutes. Once it becomes soft, remove from the pan and keep aside.

Heat the rest of the oil in the same pan. 

Add the red chilies,onions and garlic. Cook till onions turn golden brown add the spinach, salt and chili powder. 
Sauté for 5-10 minutes. 

Lower the flame and add the coconut milk slowly stirring it continuously. Mix well and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Add the koftas just before serving the curry. 


  • Coconut milk is a sweet compared to regular milk, so do check for seasoning before serving.
  • If you want a smoother gravy, wash, blanch, puree the spinach and then add to the fried onion mix.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Mutton Curry...missed daylight

I have been sitting on this post for a while nowthe mutton curry had turned out great but the photo...umm...not so much...well the plan was to take the photo in daylight to capture the beautiful deep reddish brown colour but, it was a weekend and I got caught up in other things and forgot!...since this has been lying in the draft folder, publishing it nowand when I make it again, will replace the photothe curry is not too hotjust the right amount of hot...because of the amount of onions used along with sugar and yogurt

Mutton Curry mmskitchenbites

Mutton Curry


  • Mutton/Goat meat, 500 gm
  • Onions, finely sliced ,300 gm 
  • Cumin seeds, 1 tsp
  • Green cardamoms , 2
  • Cloves, 4
  • Cinnamon, 1 small stick 
  • Bay leaves,2
  • Garlic paste , 1 tsp
  • Ginger paste , 1 tsp
  • Kashmiri Red Chili powder, 1 tsp
  • Coriander Powder, 1 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Sugar, 1 tsp
  • Oil, ¼ cup ( I used mustard oil, you can use any vegetable oil)

For the yogurt mix:

  • Plain Yogurt/Dahi, 50 gms
  • Chili Garlic paste, 2 heaped tbsp
  • Water, ½ cup

For the marinade:

  • Garlic paste , 1 tsp
  • Ginger paste , 1 tsp
  • Oil, 1 tbsp
  • Salt, 1 tsp
  • Coriander Powder, 1 tsp


Marinate the mutton with all the ingredients mentioned under marinade for a minimum of 2 hours ( can keep overnight). Bring to room temperature before you start cooking.

Whisk yogurt well with chili garlic paste and half cup of water. 

You can use bottled paste or make your own. If making your own : soak and grind whole chilies with garlic and a little oil. Use as is, if making for immediate use. If making for later , cook in a little oil and keep stirring it releases oil. Cool and store.

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add all the whole spices. 

Once aromatic, add the sliced onions with a pinch of salt and sugar. Fry on low flame till the onions turn golden brown. 

Increase the flame to high and add the marinated mutton and fry till it starts to turn brown. 

Lower the flame, add ginger paste, garlic paste and the spice powders.

Fry for another five minutes, add half a cup of water) and cook covered over low heat till the mutton is almost done. 

It will take roughly about an hour. Keep stirring every 10 minutes.

Add the yogurt mix, a tablespoon at a time and mix well. It is important to add the yogurt a tablespoon at a time to ensure it doesn’t curdle.

Continue to cook covered over medium heat for another 15-20 minutes or so till the oil separates .

Turn off the heat. Serve hot with rice or paranthas.

P.S. if using mustard oil, ensure that you smoke the oil first

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Khoya Matar...the real zara hatke

Sooooo while the rest of the world is busy adding Khoya* to their Gajar ka Halwas, thought I would post this one to show that there is more to khoya than just desi dessertsKhoya Matar...adapted from my mother in law’s recipe...the first recipe that I had ever used from the recipe diary she started for me...up until then, I had never cooked with Khoya and apart from this one dish, I still don’t

*Khoya is dried whole milk or milk thickened by heating in an open iron pan. Khoya is traditionally used in making Indian sweets (you can read more about it and yahoo)

Khoya Matar Sabji mmskitchenbites

Khoya Matar


  • Khoya, ½ cup
  • Matar/ Green Peas, frozen, two cups (if using fresh peas, pls. boil first )
  • Green Chillies, finely chopped, 2
  • Ginger paste, ½ tsp
  • Tomatoes, blanched, skinned and pureed, abt  ½ cup
  • Red Chilli powder, ½ tsp or to taste (for heat)
  • Kashmiri Red chilli powder, 1 tsp (for colour)
  • Coriander Powder, 2 tsp
  • Fennel powder, ½ tsp
  • Garam Masala powder, ½ tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil/Ghee, 1 tbsp
  • Water, ½ cup


Crush/Crumble the khoya.

Heat a heavy bottom bottom kadhai/pan and add khoya. 

On low heat, saute it till it changes colour to pale golden brown – ensure that you stir continuously so that it doesn’t stick to the pan or burn. Remove from the pan and keep aside.

In the same pan, heat ghee/oil on medium heat.

Add green chillies and ginger paste and saute till moisture evaporates.

Add fresh tomato puree and saute till oil separates.

Add in the red chilli powder, Kashmiri red chilli powder,coriander powder, fennel powder and salt. Let the spices cook with the tomatoes for a couple of minutes.

Add in the peas and khoya. Mix thoroughly and let everything cook together for another couple of minutes.

Add half cup water and bring to a boil. Let the water come to a boil, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes till oil starts separating at the sides. 

Sprinkle Garam masla and give a final stir.

Remove from heat, cover and let it rest for five minutes. 

Serve with naan or paranthas. 

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Baked Eggplant...recipe thanks to google

I have been making Baked Eggplant for quite some time’s a mix of a few recipes I found thanks to Google and have made a few changes over timealmost everyone bakes the eggplants only once with the filling stuffed in but somehow for us it tastes better when baked twiceonce without filling and once with...I don’t know, perhaps something to do with the eggplants we get heredepending on what I have at home, veggies get added in or not...spices vary from all Indian to just plain salt and pepperherbs get added in or notbasically do your own thing kind of thing

Baked Eggplant mmskitchenbites

Baked Eggplant


  • Eggplant, 1 large
  • White bread, 3 slices
  • Mince meat, 300 gm (I used mutton mince)
  • Onions, chopped, 2 medium
  • Tomatoes, chopped, 2 medium
  • Garlic, chopped, 5-6 cloves
  • Cheese, about a cup
  • Olive Oil, 1 tbsp for eggplant shells, 2 tbsp for stuffing, a little for greasing the baking sheet
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Red Chili flakes, to taste


Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Using a dry grinder, process bread into coarse crumbs.

Cut the eggplant in half (vertically) and scoop the flesh out of each half to make a shell about 3/8 inch thick – I mark with a knife and then scoop out with a spoon.  

Place the eggplant halves onto a greased baking sheet and coat with a tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with some salt.  Place in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Chop up the scooped out flesh, sprinkle with salt and keep it in a colander to drain.

Heat oil in a pan on medium flame; add in the garlic and onions. Cook till they soften and add the minced meat. 

Cook the mince, stirring until browned. 

Add tomatoes, chopped eggplant, salt, red chili flakes and pepper. 

Mix well, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes. 

Remove the cover and dry up the juices a bit – the mix should neither be too runny nor too dry. 

Taste the seasoning and stir in the breadcrumbs.

Fill the eggplant halves with the mix, cover with cheese and back into the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes. Done!! 

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Kofta Chilly Fry...AW style

Kofta Chilly Fry...There were some leftover koftas in the freezer – half were eaten up in a curry and I didn't want to do a curry again for the balance...asked around and AW suggested  Kofta Chilly Fry "make the koftas, then in a pan, add rai, when it pops, lots of chopped garlic, lots of chopped green chilies and kadhi patta. Add some fried coconut bits if you like them. Then add the koftas back, toss and serve immediately. Oh yes, add lots of chopped dhania patta in the end". I skipped the coconut bits (not too fond of it)...OMGthey were awesomehe would probably not approve of my baking the koftas instead of deep frying , so shhhhh!!

Spiced Meatballs Stir Fry mmskitchenbites

Kofta Chilly Fry (Meatballs Chilly Fry)


For the Koftas/Meatballs:

  • Minced Meat (of your choice), 250 gm
  • Onions, Grated, 1 medium
  • Egg,1
  • Salt, to taste
  • Coriander powder, 1 tsp
  • Red Chili powder, 1 tsp
  • Ginger Paste, 1 tsp
  • Garlic paste, 1 tsp
  • Bread Crumbs, 2 heaped tbsp
  • Oil

For the Masala Fry:

  • Mustard seeds, ½ tsp
  • Curry leaves, 7-8
  • Garlic, diagonally chopped, 8-10 cloves
  • Fresh chilies, diagonally cut, 5-6
  • Fresh Coriander, chopped, a handful
  • Oil, 2 tbsp


For the koftas:

Mix all the ingredients listed under the koftas except the oil. 

Oil your hands lightly and form the meatballs. 

Place the meatballs on baking tray lined with foil. Bake in a preheated oven for 30-40 minutes at 180 °C  or until browned. (makes about 8-10 koftas)

For the Masala Fry:

Heat oil in a pan, add in the mustard seeds. 

Once they pop, add in the garlic and fry it till it turns light golden brown. 

Now add in the curry leaves and fresh chilies. Fry for a bit – If you think, this amount of green chilies will be too hot for you, remove the seeds from them but try not to reduce the amount of the chilies. 

Add the meatballs to the pan and toss  around for 5-6 minutes. 

Add in the fresh coriander, mix and Done!

Leftover Meatballs recipe mmskitchenbites