Saturday, February 10, 2007

Chicken curry in coconut milk (Kerala style)


Chicken pieces (medium sized) – 1 kg
Ginger – ½ inch piece – minced
Garlic – 1 whole – minced
2 large onions – diced
Tomato – 2 medium sized – diced
Green Chilli – 2 medium sized – diced (add more or less depends on your taste)
Coriander leaves – a small bunch
Coconut milk – 1 cup (3 tbsp coconut powder in warm water)
Garam masala – 2 tbsp
Cumin powder – 1 tbsp
Coriander powder 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder – 1 tbsp
Oil – 3 tbsp
Salt to taste


Sauté ginger and garlic in oil till light brown over low heat. Add diced onions and sauté till the mixture turns brown and oil separates from onion-garlic-ginger sautéed mixture. Add the dry ingredients (cumin, coriander, red-chilli, and turmeric) to the onion-garlic-ginger mixture and sauté for a minute. Add diced tomatoes and green chillies to the mixture. Sauté for a minute and add cleaned chicken pieces to it. Add salt when the chicken is done, add coconut milk. Remove from the heat.

The chicken curry goes well with rice/chapattis/naan.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Garam Masala Powder

For making about ½ a cup Garam Masala Powder at home, we require:

2 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp cardamom seeds
2 tbsp black peppercorns
1 (3 inch) stick cinnamon, broken up
1 tbsp whole cloves
1 tbsp grated nutmeg (optional)
a pinch of saffron (optional)


Toast cumin, coriander, cardamom, peppercorns, cinnamon, and cloves in a dry heavy skillet over medium heat, by stirring occasionally until they turn several shades darker and give off a sweet smoky aroma, in about 10 minutes. It is advisable not to raise the heat to quicken the process, or the spices will brown prematurely, leaving the inside undercooked. Let it cool completely. Grind the spices and add nutmeg and saffron, if needed. Store in an airtight container and can be used up to 3 months.

Friday, February 2, 2007

How to make paneer at home

To make 100 grams of paneer, we would use 1 litre whole milk and I tbsp lemon juice or white vinegar.


Heat the milk, taking care to avoid scorching getting that fastidious film on top. Before the milk reaches the boiling point, switch off the heat and add the lemon juice or vinegar, one tsp at a time, to make it curdle. You will notice lumps developing. Let rest for a few minutes and pour the mixture into a colander, lined with a clean muslin cloth. Eliminate the excess liquid, squeezing the cloth around the cheese. Allow it to drain. Put the cheese under a weight to help accelerate the process. The firmness of the cheese will increase with time. It may take as much as two or three hours to get a firmer result, which is perfect for cooking.

Paneer Butter Masala

I bought the paneer from the market and added some my own ideas and Paneer Butter Masala turned out to be delicious.

Paneer Butter Masala goes well with naans, phulkas, chapattis, fried rice, and pulaos.

Paneer or panir is widely popular in Iran, and South Asia. The word means 'cheese' in Persian. It is an un-aged, acid-set, farmer cheese that is similar to Queso Blanco except that it does not have salt added, and to acid-set fresh Mozzarella. Like Mozzarella, Bengali Paneer is beaten and kneaded. However, other types of paneer are simply pressed. Paneer is the only type of cheese indigenous to the Indian Subcontinent. Paneer can be made at home. However, it should be consumed fresh. Unlike most other cheeses, Paneer does not melt at normal cooking temperatures.


4 medium ripe tomatoes
10 raw cashews
4 tbsp butter (divided)
1 inch cinnamon stick
2 cloves
1 bay leaf
2 cardamoms
2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
3 medium onions (diced)
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp chilli powder
4 tbsp methi (fenugreek) leaves (frozen or fresh)
200 g paneer (cut into small cubes)
2 tbsp whipping cream (divided)
Salt (to taste)


1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves

Method of cooking

Bring pot 3/4 full of water to a boil over high heat. Dip tomatoes in the boiling water for 1 minute. Remove tomatoes and plunge them into a bowl of ice-water to stop from cooking and to help them loosen the skin. Gently pierce the skin of the tomatoes with the tip of a sharp knife. Loosen the skin and peel away.

In a food processor blend tomatoes and cashews.

In a heavy saucepan heat 2 tablespoons of butter. Add cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf and cardamom. Fry for a few seconds. Add ginger-garlic paste. Add diced onions and fry till golden brown. Add turmeric, garam masala, chilli powder, methi leaves and tomato-cashew mixture. Boil gravy for about 15 minutes over low heat. Add paneer cubes; boil for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in remaining 2 tbsp butter and 3 tbsp cream. Add salt to taste.

Garnish with coriander leaves and the remaining 1 tbsp cream...

Now enjoy your Paneer Butter Masala.