Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Prawn Tawa Masala & Paneer Tawa Masala

This is a wonderful dish that transforms the everyday shrimps/prawns into sizzling sirens..um well not literally but sizzle they will in spices and scents.If you are having a romantic dinner then this is a dish you would want to impress your partner with your culinery skills and if you live in a house that has a great view of the sea side then you can bet you have the best opportunity for memorable moments.. while you feast on the prawns your senses are soaking in the exhilarating scents of the sea. Coming back to our recipe let the name 'tawa' not baffle you as its simply an Indian term for a griddle.The prawns are well marinated in some exotic spices and cooked on a griddle while taking care not to overcook the shrimps/prawns.Well, if my vegetarian friends are wondering I have ignored them then do not lose heart as you can still impress your partner with a veggie version using paneer, a soft cottage cheese that's extensively used in Indian cooking.You can make it in advance or use a frozen ready- to -eat version available in Indian sections of supermarkets like, Al Kabeer for instance.You can use a non stick one in place of the iron or aluminium tawa.
Spicy Prawns Cooked On a Griddle
Ingredients :
400 gms fresh medium sized shrimps/prawns(peeled and deveined)
1 tbs vinegar(white)
1 tbs dried fenugreek leaves/ kasuri methi
1 tsp red chilly powder
3 onions chopped finely
1 tbs ginger - garlic paste
1 tbs chopped green chillies(deseeded)
1 tbs coriander powder/dhanya powder
1/2 cup tomato puree
1 tsp carrom seeds/ajwain
1 tsp cumin seeds/zeera
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp caraway seeds/ shah zeera amusingly& also literally translated as imperial cumin
2 tbs fresh cream
1 tsp garam masala
salt as required
3 tbs oil
chopped coriander leaves/ dill leaves

Method: Marinate the prawns/ shrimps with vinegar,spice powders, fenugreek leaves and salt for half an hour.Heat the oil on the tawa/ griddle/ non stick flat pan and add the cumin, caraway and carrom seeds.Now add the finely chopped onions and saute them till they turn golden brown now add the ginger-garlic paste, green chillies, tomato puree and keep stirring from time to time and cook till oil appears at the edges and now add the marinated prawns/shrimps and cook till the shrimps curl up and turn pink.Then,add the fresh cream and chopped coriander leaves or dill and mix well. Serve hot with bread, salad and drinks.

Paneer Tawa Masala
Cut the paneer into small cubes and shallow fry them in a little oil till golden brown after marinating them with the same ingredients used for marinating the shrimps,the rest of the procedure is same except add a few crushed peppercorns and its entirely optional if you want to keep it a little mellow.Also you could make this dish with tofu as it is almost similar in appearance to paneer but tastes a bit bland in comparison.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Chicken Jalfraizie & Vegetable Jalfraizie


500 gms chicken breast fillet cut into strips

3 onions sliced

2 tomatoes diced

1/2 cup tomato puree

1 tbs vinegar

2 tbs tomato ketchup

1 bellpepper diced

1 onion diced

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tbs oil
salt as required

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 tsp chillipowder

2 tbs green coriander leaves chopped
Method:Heat the oil in a pan, add the sliced onion and saute for 3 min.Add the chicken strips, spices,diced tomatoes,bell pepper,ketchup,tomato pureediced onions and keep stirring on a low flame till the chicken strips are cooked.Add the vinegar and coriander and keep tossing to avoid burning.You can sprinkle some water to avoid drying up of the gravy.

Vegetable Jalfraizie
Just use 400 gms mixed fresh or frozen vegetables(carrot,beans,peas,cauliflower,corn)in place of chicken.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Murgh Methi Malai(Herbed Chicken n Cream)

Dual delights:Taking forward the dual delights theme I present to you two dishes cooked in the same style with the same ingredients; one that tickles the palate of vegetarians and the other to woo the meat lovers.Murgh Methi Malai & Subz Methi Malai


500 gms chicken breast fillet cut into bite size pieces

4 onions finely sliced

1/3 cup tomato puree

1/3 cup fenugreek(greens) herb either fresh or dried(kasuri methi)

1/3 cup (lowfat or regular) fresh cream

3 green chillies

1 inch ginger

5 garlic flakes

2 tbs cashew nuts

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

3 tbs oil
Salt as required

spice powder:

2 small sticks of cinnamon(dalchini)

4 cloves(laung)

2 cardamoms

4 peppercorns

1 tsp cumin seeds


Wash the fenugreek leaves and add 1/2 tsp salt and leave for twenty minutes and squeeze out the water as this process helps remove the mild bitterness in the leaves.If you are using the dry herb version of fenugreek then omit the above process.Wash the chicken pieces and drain water thoroughly.

Heat 2 tbs of oil and stir fry the onions till reddish brown and remove. Blend the onions,ginger, garlic, green chillies, cashew nuts, cumin seeds and the spice powder into a fine paste. In the pan add the remaining oil, the 1/2 tsp cumin seeds and when they begin to sizzle add the fenugreek leaves/dried herb and toss about for a few minutes.Now add the blended onion and spice paste saute for a minute now add the chicken mix well, add the tomato puree, 1/3 cup water and let it cook till chicken is tender and the oil separates.Lower the flame add the cream and mix well for a minute and then turn off the flame.Do not over cook the chicken or add too much water.

Sabz Methi Malai:(Herbed Peas n Cream)

This version for vegetarians contains one cup boiled green peas and 1 large capsicum(bell- pepper)in place of the chicken.Add the peas after the blended paste is well cooked and add the capsicum toward the end to retain the crunchiness.