Monday, January 26, 2009

Shaam Savera

“Shaam Savera” means, dusk and dawn, represented by spinach and paneer (cottage cheese) in the recipe. It also means spinach and paneer koftas (dumplings) in butter gravy.
One of my hubby’s favorite, Shaam Savera, is a one of the regulars on my entrée list. It is inspired by the recipe on khana khazana, Sanjeev kapoor’s (one of the top Indian chefs) show. But I have made some alterations according to taste.

For Koftas (Dumplings):[for 12 koftas: 6 servings]
Spinach – 1 pkt frozen /1bunch fresh
Paneer – 3/4 lbs (grated)
Cashew nuts – 2 tbsp (finely chopped)
Chopped garlic – 1/2 tsp
Chopped green chili – 2 tsp
Corn flour – 3 tsp
Oil for deep frying
Salt as per taste

For sauce or gravy:
Whole garam masala – 1 tbsp
Onion -1 (pureed)
Tomato puree – 2 cups
Ginger paste – 1 tbsp
Garlic paste  – 1 tbsp
Paneer – 2 tbsp grated
Red chili powder – 1 tbsp
Green chili -1 tsp (finely chopped)
Heavy cream – 1/3 cup
Kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves) – 1/2 tsp
olive oil – 2 tbsp
Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
Sugar/Honey – 2 tsp.
Salt as per taste

  • Wash fresh spinach in plenty of running water to get rid of any dirt, soil or impurities. Blanch spinach in boiling hot water and refresh in cold water. Chop finely and keep aside. If using frozen, thaw the frozen spinach in microwave for 8 minutes.
  •  Add chopped green chilies, salt, chopped garlic and corn flour.
  • Mix well and divide into 12 equal portions.
  • Grate Paneer. Add salt, cashew nuts (finely chopped) and mash well. Divide it into 12 small balls.
  • Take spinach, flatten it on your palm and stuff paneer balls in it. Shape it into a ball (kofta). Deep fry for 4 minutes in moderately hot oil.
  • Heat olive oil in a pan. Add whole garam masala. Let it crackle. Then add pureed onions and sauté it, till turns light golden. Add ginger paste, garlic paste and chopped green chilies. Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add tomato puree, red chili powder, Garam Masala Powder, salt in one cup of water. Add grated paneer (2 tbsp). Bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add sugar or honey or both and kasoori methi. Stir in heavy cream.
  • Serve koftas cut into halves on top of the rich gravy. Do not boil koftas in the gravy as they are liable to break.
Enjoy with fresh naan, paratha or steamed basmati rice.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Spinach Cutlets

A mouth watering appetizer.

Ingredients: [For approx. 12 cutlets]
Spinach - 1 froken pkt [defrost and lightly squeezed to take extra water off]
Potatoes - 5 medium size (boiled, peeled and mashed)
Bread slices [Regular bread] - 3
Jeera [Cumin seeds] - 1 tsp
Red chili powder - 1/4 tsp
Fresh cilantro - 1/2 bunch minced
Salt to taste

For frying:
Cooking oil -1/2 cup olive oil

  • In a bowl, add all the ingredients, except oilove oil. Mix thoroughly and make it like adough.
  • Make 12 oval shaped patties from the mixed dough.
  • Shallow fry the patties ina pan adding 2 tbsp olive oil. Turn their sides when they look golden brown.
  • After done on both the sides, take the patties out and drain them on a paper towel to take off excess oil.
Enjoy cutlets with green chutney or ketchup.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dal Makhani or Dal Maharani

Welcome to the world of cooking. Simple recipes are always fun. Easy to make and yummy to taste. I’ll be bringing you some of my favorite recipes, handed me down by my Mom (Thanks, Mummy!). Hope you like it.

Dal Makhani
Dal Makhani means “buttery lentils”. It is one of the most requested entrees on Indian menu. Originated from the northern state, Punjab in India, it traveled all over the world.

Ingredients: (Serving 6 people)
Urad whole (black lentils) – 1cup
Urad whole (white lentils) – 1/3cup
Rajma (kidney beans)-1/3 cup
Channa dal (gram lentils)-1/3 cup
Ginger, peeled – 1 tbspn
Garlic cloves - 3
Green chillies -2
salt to taste

For tadka (tempering)Ghee (clarified butter)- 2 tbspn
Cumin- 1 tspn
Garlic cloves- 3
Onion- 1/2 finely chopped
Asafoetida powder – 1 pinch
Fenugreek seed - 1/2 tspn
Tomato paste or puree – 1/2 cup


Butter- 2 tbspn
Cream- 1/4 cup
Garam masala- 1/2 tspn

  • Soak all of the lentils (urad (white and black), rajma and channa dal) in water overnight. Wash few times thoroughly. In pressure cooker, boil all of the lentils with the ginger, garlic, green chillies and salt, and simmer until lentils are well cooked. 
  • Drain off excess water and mash the lentils lightly with the back of a ladle.
  • Heat the ghee or oil in a heavy pan until hot, and add the cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds, and stir until they crackle. 
  • Add the onions, sauté till it turns pink and translucent. Add garlic and fry until beginning to color. Add the asafoetida powder and tomato puree and stir for a minute. Add to the cooked dal, mixing well. 
  • Bring the dal to the boil again, adding butter and cream. Simmer gently for 30 minutes.
    Add the garam masala for final flavor.
Enjoy with basmati rice or Punjabi parantha.