I have this problem when I cook the same dish more than once - I never remember the exact ingredients, so the taste is never consistent. I’m only lucky it comes out edible every time :P So, this is an attempt to record the ingredients and see if I can remain consistent.
One of the joys of cooking is to smell the aroma of various spices as they mix with each other. The husband always mimicks Ratatouille by pretending to inhale the aroma and understanding what exactly is in it. Show off. This version of Paneer butter masala is all done from scratch. Took me about 40 minutes to make and was sold out in flat 15 minutes.
For the Gravy
Chopped onions - 1 cup
Chopped tomatoes - 1 (I used a roma tomato, average size)
Ginger - 1 inch stick (How do you provide these quantities anyway? For me it’s all visual)
Garlic cloves - 4 to 5.
Whipped Cream - half a pint (the carton said 1 pint and I used half of it, so basic math. I have no idea if it really is half a pint)
For the Masala
Green chilies - 2
Red Chillies - 3
Kasuri Methi - Half a tablespoon
Jeera - one tablespoon
Turmeric Powder - a pinch
Salt, tamarind extract and chilli powder - as per taste
Ghas poos section a.k.a. Vegetables
Paneer (not exactly ghaas poos, but its not meat either :P) - about half a cup - cubed.
Bell Pepper - use various colored ones, pleasing on the eyes
Potatoes - boiled, cubed - roughly the same size as paneer - optional.
Coriander - chopped, just to garnish.
Add half a tablespoon of vegetable oil and saute the paneer until the sides get golden. Add a pinch of salt and pepper during this process so that paneer itself isn’t very bland. Don’t squash too much since paneer doesn’t take too kindly to it and just crumbles. Keep the sauteed paneer aside. Beware there will be enough noses in the kitchen at this point sniffing at aroma and hands trying to steal the paneer. Keep a ladle at reach to swat any stealers away.
Add half a tablespoon of butter into a wok, saute the ginger, jeera and garlic. Just when the garlicky smell starts to fill your nostrils, add chopped onions and saute. Wait until the raw smell goes away. While this happens cough and cry and mutter under breath about why onions have to make you cry. Add the tomatoes and wait until tomato squashes into pulp or gets soft. Blend this in a food proc / blender and put aside. Don’t add too much water, preferably blend as is since tomato adds the necessary liquid.
Add half a tablespoon (I’m very fond of half tablespoons yes) of butter and saute the other veggies except potatoes and coriander. When the bell peppers are soft enough, add the paneer, potatoes and the gravy and let it cook well. Reducing the flame here and letting it cook longer helps the bell pepper & paneer absorb the gravy flavors. Add the salt, chili powder, tamarind extract and chili powder. When the gravy starts to boil, add the whipped cream, kasuri methi and chopped coriander. Voila!
Cooking is one of my favorite activities.
It sucks however to get creative day after day. So I’m on a quest these days to keep things simple. One such dish I discovered yesterday - simple steamed vegetables that puts me straight into rabbit category. It’s hard getting veggies into kids tummies, especially when the kids are nearing 30 years of age (ahem cough).
I’m not posting a recipe, its more of a “do this and then that” kinda blog post. No pictures either since I’m lazy or never have my camera with me when I need it. By the time I hunted the camera down, the husband had plowed through it all, so there goes the picture :P
A few french beans of the young charming and really nice looking kind
A few baby carrots - the babier the better ;)
Steam them. Steam the carrots first since they are more stubborn than the french beans.
In a pan
Butter (like Julia Child would say - everything tastes good with butter. Just limit the quantity and don’t veer into Paula Deen area of butter quantity)
Thyme, rosemary and dill - sauteed until you smell the aroma.
Toss the steamed veggies, add a little salt and voila. You will have the husband sniffing in the kitchen like you just dished up a 5 star restaurant dish. Evening well served. * blows air on nails *. I should have remembered to ask to buy something with his credit card precisely at that moment. He never refuses after a satisfying dinner. Darn!