Thursday, 10 December 2015

Badami Paneer Pasanda ~ Happy Blog Hopversary


The year 2014 was on the verge of winding up. The chill in the Dubai air was palpable. Resting my tired feet after a busy day at work, I had opened Google plus, when I came across a very vibrant and colourful dish. Was so taken up by that dish that I typed a comment without even looking up at who was the creator of the dish. After having an eye fill of the dish I scrolled up to see who the Blogger was. A petite, doe eyed pretty face stared back at me. I read the name +Anu Nagaraja . I thought to myself, oh what a crafted Blogger she is , looked back at the scrumptious palette again and then went and clicked on the follow button. The reply to my comment was quite brisk, I remember. I was completely engulfed by the warmth of that reply and developed an instant bond with her. Interactions followed on each other's dishes and thus paved the way, to a friendship, priceless and treasured. Looking back, I knock wood and thank heavens for having met her online. From that day till this moment, she has always reached out to me magically whenever I have been down or in doubt or stressed.


Though I have never met Anupama face to face, I feel I have known her for a lifetime and can share things with her with utmost ease. All those who know her, know what a wonderful human being she is. Her Blog http://www.easybitesonline.com is ranked amongst the Top 30 Blogs in the United Kingdom and she has many other laurels to her credit. I personally consider her as my mentor and I feel I am learning every single day from her. There are two things with which she has left an indelible mark in my life. One, she stood by me and believed in me when I needed most at one point in my life and second she invited me to become a part of Culinary Hoppers, our awesome Blog Hop group which was founded by the creative +jayashree trao 

We are celebrating a year of Blog Hopping and I wanted to share this wonderful journey and the beautiful co-bloggers with you my precious readers. Many of you know the Bloggers of Culinary Hoppers, here is my story of how each one of them came to become an integral part of my Blogging. The amazing part is that they have propelled my growth not only as a Blogger, but as a human being too. 

Jayashree is an artistic person who writes lovely poems apart from being an adept Blogger. Her Blog http://www.evergreedishes.com introduced me to wholesome, hearty, fulfilling dishes. I have learnt a lot about KARNATAKA cuisine from her Blog. Simple yet supremely delicious dishes abound her Blog. I also have learnt to be more patient from her. She is a cool headed individual and has been a whiff of calm providing intelligent solutions at all point of time. I always am in awe of the decisions she makes and she teaches me multiple things in my journey of life through her deeds every single day. Apart from her Blog and qualities, I am also quite awestruck by her collection of sarees and jewellery.



+Shubha A 's smile has me floored completely. I think she is the most talented baker I know and her Bakes are the finest that I have come across till date. Her posts on baking are so well written and so clearly and elaborately described, that you can easily understand her mastery over baking, while you go through her posts. Her Blog http://www.shubhaskitchen.com has the most amazing cakes and keep me glued and drooling. We both share a common love apart from food, movies. Oh, how I love discussing movies with her. Shubha radiates a lot of positivity and happy vibes and has encouraged me through and through in each and every post of mine. Blessed I am to have such selfless Blogger friends who appreciate your labour of love and continuously propel you to give your best.

I have been the biggest admirer of Vani Padmanaban of +marudhus kitchen  Photography. Her Blog http://www.marudhuskitchen.com has a treasure trove of gorgeous clicks. I so wish that I could capture my food like Vani does. Also her unique set of recipes are such a fantastic insight into a world of recipes which are slowly becoming extinct. Hats of to her for documenting and spreading across such precious heirloom recipes, which define our culture and tradition. No wonder her Blog is among the top Indian cuisine Blogs. Apart from being an exceptional Blogger, Vani is one of the sweetest people I have met online till date. She always has the nicest things to say and I am constantly being inspired by her gorgeous food clicks.

+Poornima hegde is another brilliant Blogger who took a hiatus soon after our Blog Hop started to become a Mummy. She is back now with an adorable princess and loads of awesome posts to follow soon. I just can't wait to read through her interesting posts and try out her decadent recipes which she has lined up on her Blog http://www.poorniseasycookbook.blogspot.com for all of us.

+padma veeranki is a multifaceted and proficient Blogger who writes these amazing and explicitly detailed posts in her Blog http://www. masalakorb.com. Reading through her recipes you almost feel like watching a video on You Tube. Superbly worded and distinctly explained, its a true pleasure to try her recipes. Her Kohlrabi Khurma which I cooked in my kitchen was an instant hit in my family with continued requests for making the dish till date. I remember it was a breeze cooking the dish, thanks to her clear instructions, which leaves no room for any doubts. It is therefore easy to see why She is a celebrated food connoisseur in the German city she lives. She has very successfully introduced the nuances of Indian cuisine through her immensely popular workshops and her Blog to the German community. 

+Swati Saxena of http://www.letscookhealthytonight.com is a very deft and marvellous Blogger whose Blog is all about very healthy and uber delicious food. I was totally smitten by her Kacche Kele Ka Dahi Vada and her other innovative recipes. I am enjoying the process of learning her healthy yummy twists to all her recipes and am so looking forward to many many more.

+Parvathy Vijayakumar of http://crackleandtemper.wordpress.com has already introduced me to an element of exciting experiments with my ingredients, to bring about a novelty with my dishes while keeping the flavour and taste quotient at its highest. I am still drooling over her Chocolate Crinkle Cookies which I came across this morning.

+Shobana Vijay joined the Culinary Hoppers recently and I am already an ardent reader of her Blog http://www.shobasdelight.blogspot.in . It will surely be a journey of culinary exchange in the days to follow.

This is my minuscule ode to a bunch of adept Bloggers who have had an important influence in my Blogging in the past one year. So, as I celebrate a year of Blog Hopping with the Culinary Hoppers, I raise a toast to the lovely bond that I have formed and I rejoice for the extensive knowledge about the various aspects of food that I have learnt from them. May this group of Rockstar Bloggers continue to grace my Blogging world and beyond in the coming months....

HAPPY BLOG HOPVERSARY TO THE CULINARY HOPPERS

On this happy note I present to you a celebration dish BADAMI PANEER PASANDA. Paneer Pasanda is generally a nutty rich filling sandwiched between two cottage cheese slices, which are coated with a batter and fried first and then submerged in a silky creamy gravy. I had once chanced upon a slightly different version, where the filling was was done away with and the cottage cheese was marinated and grilled to bring about this delightful smoky flavour into a luxuriously nutty thick smooth gravy. I loved this so much that I have not only been preparing it ever since and the family also gives a huge thumbs up to this version. So dear readers here is my luscious BADAMI PANEER PASANDA for a very special post.  

Do not miss the Celebration Dishes from the rest of the Culinary Hoppers right at the end of this post. You will be delighted to find a huge array of dishes from starters to main course to side dishes to desserts which shall encompass the Culinary influences of both the northern and southern parts of India. In short to celebrate our Blog Hopversary the Culinary Hoppers brings to you a feast like never before.

BADAMI PANEER PASANDA RECIPE :

AUTHOR : PIYALI MUTHA
SERVES : 4
CUISINE : INDIAN/ NORTH INDIAN
TYPE : SIDE DISH
TIME : 30 MINUTES PREPARATION + 30 MINUTES COOKING + 2-3 HOURS OF SOAKING THE ALMOND

INGREDIENTS :

1) 250 Gms Paneer/Cottage Cheese
2) 2 Medium sized Onions thinly sliced
3) 2 Tsp Ginger and Garlic Paste
4) 1 Tsp Roasted Cumin Powder
5) 1 Tsp Roasted Coriander Powder
6) 1/2 Tsp Turmeric Powder
7) 1 Tbsp Kasoori Methi/Dried Fenugreek Leaves 
8) 2 tsp Garam Masala
9) 3 Tbsp Oil (1 Tbsp for grilling the Cottage Cheese Triangles and 2 Tbsp for the gravy)
10) Salt to taste
11) 1 tsp of Sugar ( Optional )

FOR THE MARINADE :

1) 3 Tbsp Yogurt/Dahi
2) 1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder
3) 1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder
4) Salt to taste

TO BE GROUND TO A SMOOTH PASTE :

1) 100 Gms of Almonds ( Remove 10 ~ 12 Almonds to chop into thin slivers for garnishing)
2) 2 Tbsp of Poppy Seeds (Optional)
3) 2~4 Dry Red Chillies
4) 2~3 Tbsp Fried Onions
5) 1Tbsp Yogurt

FOR GARNISHING :

1) 2 Tbsp Almond Slivers
2) Red and Green Chillies Chopped (Optional)

THIS IS HOW YOU MAKE THE DISH :

1) First let's get the fried onions ready. Peel the onions and cut them into very thin slices. Heat oil in a wok. Oil should be enough for deep frying. when the oil is hot, simmer the flame or reduce the heat and put the sliced onions into the oil. Fry the onions till golden brown. Take out the fried onions into a metal strainer to drain out the excess oil. Transfer next into a kitchen paper towel to absorb the remaining oil from the fried onions. 
NOTE : Carefully fry the onions keeping a tab on the temperature of the oil, by reducing the flame as and when required. As the onions are very thinly sliced, they burn easily.



2) Soak the Almonds in water overnight or at least for 3~4 Hours. Drain the water and peel off the skin of the almonds. Similarly soak the poppy seeds covered with water for at least 1/2 an hour or more.

3) Drain the water out of the poppy seeds using a strainer. In a grinder or food processor grind the poppy seeds along with the red chillies to a smooth paste. Add the fried onions and grind again to a smooth paste. Add the skinned almonds and grind to a smooth and silky paste. Add yogurt and whizz for a few seconds till totally incorporated. Your gravy base is ready to go into the wok/kadai.
NOTE : You may grind the almonds to a smooth paste separately and just mix to the above paste. 



4) While buying the cottage cheese/paneer try to buy an even, square or rectangular shaped piece. If you make the paneer at home try to shape it evenly into a rectangle/square. Slice the large paneer cube into 1/2 inch thickness vertically starting from one end to the other. You will get even sized square or rectangular pieces as shown in the picture below.

Now take a piece of  the paneer and cut it diagonally, so that you get two triangle shaped paneer pieces from each slice of square/rectangular paneer piece. See the picture below for reference. Cut all the paneer pieces into triangles.

Prepare a marinade with curd, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt in a large bowl. Mix well to form a lump free marinade. Marinate all the paneer slices in the marinade and leave it to soak in the flavours for at least 15 minutes.
NOTE : Place the bowl of paneer with the marinade in a refrigerator. While the paneer is marinating you can start preparing the gravy following steps 6 and 7 given below.



5) Coat a grill pan with 11/2 tbsp of oil. When the oil starts smoking, place the marinated cottage cheese triangles one by one, carefully, on the grill pan. When one side is done turn and grill the other side too. Be careful not to burn the paneer triangles. Grilling the paneer gives them a lovely smokey flavour and enhances their taste as you bite into them. Once both the sides are done, take them out into a plate and keep them aside, ready to use.


6) In a wok or kadai heat 2 Tbsp oil. When hot add ginger garlic paste. Saute till the raw smell disappears. Next add the silky smooth almond and poppy seeds paste prepared earlier. Simmer the heat and cook covered as the thick gravy might bubble and spill out on you.

Next add the roasted cumin and coriander powder, turmeric powder, salt and mix well. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes.


7) Now add the kasoori methi and mix well. Simmer for a minute or so till you feel the ingredients in the gravy has cooked completely. Add water at this point and get the required consistency of the gravy. NOTE: This is meant to be a thick gravy, so do not add too much water.

Increase the heat a bring to a boil. Add the grilled paneer cubes and simmer for 30 seconds. Sprinkle garam masala powder, sugar and some more salt if required. Leave on the heat for 1/2 a minute.


Remove from heat and plate it. Garnish with blanched almond slivers lavishly. Optionally add chopped red and green chillies. This delicious dish tastes fantastic when had with breads. So make this festive dish and enjoy the celebration of flavours the BADAMI PANEER PASANDA indulges your taste buds in.

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BADAMI PANEER/COTTAGE CHEESE PASANDA RECIPE :


INGREDIENTS :

1) 250 Gms Paneer/Cottage Cheese
2) 2 Medium sized Onions thinly sliced
3) 2 Tsp Ginger and Garlic Paste
4) 1 Tsp Roasted Cumin Powder
5) 1 Tsp Roasted Coriander Powder
6) 1/2 Tsp Turmeric Powder
7) 1 Tbsp Kasoori Methi/Dried Fenugreek Leaves 
8) 2 tsp Garam Masala
9) 3 Tbsp Oil (1 Tbsp for grilling the Cottage Cheese Triangles and 2 Tbsp for the gravy)
10) Salt to taste
11) 1 tsp of Sugar ( Optional )

FOR THE MARINADE :

1) 3 Tbsp Yogurt/Dahi
2) 1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder
3) 1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder
4) Salt to taste

TO BE GROUND TO A SMOOTH PASTE :

1) 100 Gms of Almonds ( Remove 10 ~ 12 Almonds to chop into thin slivers for garnishing)
2) 2 Tbsp of Poppy Seeds (Optional)
3) 2~4 Dry Red Chillies
4) 2~3 Tbsp Fried Onions
5) 1Tbsp Yogurt

FOR GARNISHING :

1) 2 Tbsp Almond Slivers
2) Red and Green Chillies Chopped (Optional)


THIS IS HOW YOU MAKE THE DISH :

1) First let's get the fried onions ready. Peel the onions and cut them into very thin slices. Heat oil in a wok. Oil should be enough for deep frying. when the oil is hot, simmer the flame or reduce the heat and put the sliced onions into the oil. Fry the onions till golden brown. Take out the fried onions into a metal strainer to drain out the excess oil. Transfer next into a kitchen paper towel to absorb the remaining oil from the fried onions. 
NOTE : Carefully fry the onions keeping a tab on the temperature of the oil, by reducing the flame as and when required. As the onions are very thinly sliced, they burn easily.

2) Soak the Almonds in water overnight or at least for 3~4 Hours. Drain the water and peel off the skin of the almonds. Similarly soak the poppy seeds covered with water for at least 1/2 an hour or more.

3) Drain the water out of the poppy seeds using a strainer. In a grinder or food processor grind the poppy seeds along with the red chillies to a smooth paste. Add the fried onions and grind again to a smooth paste. Add the skinned almonds and grind to a smooth and silky paste. Add yogurt and whizz for a few seconds till totally incorporated. Your gravy base is ready to go into the wok/kadai.
NOTE : You may grind the almonds to a smooth paste separately and just mix to the above paste. 

4) While buying the cottage cheese/paneer try to buy an even, square or rectangular shaped piece. If you make the paneer at home try to shape it evenly into a rectangle/square. Slice the large paneer cube into 1/2 inch thickness vertically starting from one end to the other. You will get even sized square or rectangular pieces as shown in the picture below.

Now take a piece of  the paneer and cut it diagonally, so that you get two triangle shaped paneer pieces from each slice of square/rectangular paneer piece. See the picture below for reference. Cut all the paneer pieces into triangles.

Prepare a marinade with curd, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt in a large bowl. Mix well to form a lump free marinade. Marinate all the paneer slices in the marinade and leave it to soak in the flavours for at least 15 minutes.
NOTE : Place the bowl of paneer with the marinade in a refrigerator. While the paneer is marinating you can start preparing the gravy following steps 6 and 7 given below.

5) Coat a grill pan with 11/2 tbsp of oil. When the oil starts smoking, place the marinated cottage cheese triangles one by one, carefully, on the grill pan. When one side is done turn and grill the other side too. Be careful not to burn the paneer triangles. Grilling the paneer gives them a lovely smokey flavour and enhances their taste as you bite into them. Once both the sides are done, take them out into a plate and keep them aside, ready to use.

6) In a wok or kadai heat 2 Tbsp oil. When hot add ginger garlic paste. Saute till the raw smell disappears. Next add the silky smooth almond and poppy seeds paste prepared earlier. Simmer the heat and cook covered as the thick gravy might bubble and spill out on you.

Next add the roasted cumin and coriander powder, turmeric powder, salt and mix well. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes.

7) Now add the kasoori methi and mix well. Simmer for a minute or so till you feel the ingredients in the gravy has cooked completely. Add water at this point and get the required consistency of the gravy. NOTE: This is meant to be a thick gravy, so do not add too much water.

Increase the heat a bring to a boil. Add the grilled paneer cubes and simmer for 30 seconds. Sprinkle garam masala powder, sugar and some more salt if required. Leave on the heat for 1/2 a minute.



Remove from heat and plate it. Garnish with blanched almond slivers lavishly. Optionally add chopped red and green chillies. This delicious dish tastes fantastic when had with breads. So make this festive dish and enjoy the celebration of flavours the BADAMI PANEER PASANDA indulges your taste buds in.
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DISHES FROM THE NORTHERN PART OF INDIA BY THE CULINARY HOPPERS FOR OUR BLOG HOPVERSARY :