Friday, September 21, 2012

Paneer paratta

I get fresh paneer from a vendor near my home. It's so fresh and has a crumbly texture to it, quite similar to home-made paneer and very unlike the perfect squares of packaged processed paneer that you get on store shelves. I was sure to put it to good use.  Hubby dear said paneer paratta .
So, paneer paratta it was.

This paratta tastes great by itself. It does not need any heavy gravies to accompany it. The best side-dish would be a light raita or pickles. An easy high protein meal, but paneer has high fat content too :(

 Ingredients for paratta dough: (makes 10)
  • Whole wheat flour - 3 cups
  • Olive oil - 2 tspns
  • Salt - 1tspn
  • Water - as needed
For filling :
  • Grated or crumbled paneer - 200 gms
  • Onion - 1 medium (finely chopped)
  • Green chilies - 3-4 (finely chopped)
  • Coriander leaves (finely chopped) -  5 tbspns
  • Garam masala - 1 tspn
  • Salt - to taste
Directions for making dough: 
  • Mix salt and flour.
  • To the flour, add oil and enough water . Knead to a soft, pliable dough.(Knead for about 5-8 mins)
  • Make a ball of the dough, cover and keep aside for 15-20 mins.
  • Divide the dough into 10 equal sized balls.
For the filling: 
  • Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Keep aside.

Directions for making the stuffed parattas:

  • Flatten and roll out each ball of dough to about 2 inch diameter.
  • Place a tbsp of the filling in the centre. 
  • Cover the filling by gathering the edges and making it into a pouch. 
  • Press and roll out ,using little flour, into a small round parathas. (these 4 steps are portrayed in my collage)
  • Cook the parattas on a hot tava, using little olive oil. Cook on both sides, till brown spots appear.
  • Serve hot.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Banana fritters/ Pazham pori

Today, I'm going to confess my weakness. When we used to travel to Kerala for our vacations, the train journey was what we looked forward to. Not for anything else, but the banana fritters sold at the Shornur and Palghat stations. They are called pazham pori literally meaning banana fry. Oh boy, were they delicious!  
Hence, here I am, shamelessly admitting to eating unhygienic, Indian railway station food. I confess to still loving them, but, don't eat them at the station anymore, as I prefer homemade.

When I first made these fritters at home, a few years ago, I did a shabby job. (I'm sure that it is all in the game for beginners). When I dipped the sliced bananas in batter and fried them, most of the fritters had extensions, which I used to call hands, legs and fingers and they almost looked like tadpoles. But these days I do a better job and make a batter of better consistency. 

This snack is made rarely at home, since it involves deep frying. So, this treat is thoroughly enjoyed as it is an occasional one. It is a great tea-time snack and a wonderful comfort food for the  monsoons.

Ingredients: (Makes 6 fritters)
  • Ripe plaintains (nendran) - 2
  • All purpose flour - 3/4 cup
  • Salt - a pinch
  • Sugar - 1 tspn
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tspn
  • Water - 1 cup
  • Oil - for deep frying.
Directions :
  • Heat oil in a deep pan to a temperature of 375°F.
  • In the mean time, make a batter with the flour, sugar, salt, turmeric and water. Whisk well to avoid lumps.
  • Peel and slice each plantain lengthwise into 3 pieces.
  • Dip each slice in batter separately and deep fry till golden.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Chicken sandwich with red pepper relish and guacamole

Let's talk sandwiches today. I wonder why I never run out of ideas to make sandwiches. Maybe because I love them so. For this one, I shallow fried a spicy chicken breast in olive oil, made a relish of red peppers and caramelized onions,made guacamole (Click here for guacamole recipe) and to top it all grated a bit of sharp cheddar cheese. After all this work I was not going to ruin it by using plain slice of bread. So, I got a good crusty white bread , which is a rare sight in my home. I always opt for healthy whole wheat bread. But, once in a blue moon, it's fine to use white bread.  Right? 

Assembling was fun and I just kept piling layers and layers on. First, I slapped on some creamy guacamole. Then the relish went right on, then the chicken and then the cheese. No butter on this one. This sandwich makes for a good lunch or dinner :). For us it was weekend brunch.

Ingredients: (serves 2)

  • Good, crusty, long white loaf like ciabatta or baguette
  • Red pepper - 1
  • Onions- 2
  • Dried oregano - 1/4 tspn
  • Garlic - 2 cloves
  • Olive oil - 2 tbspns
  • Garlic paste - 1/4 tspn
  • Chicken breast - 1 pc
  • Paprika powder or Kashmiri chili powder - 1 tspn
  • Garam masala - 1/4 tspn
  • Guacamole - 1/2 cup (Click here for recipe)
  • Sharp cheddar - to taste
  • Salt - to taste
  • Cut chicken breast lengthwise into 2.
  • Marinate with chili powder, garam masala, garlic paste and salt for an hour.
  • Shallow fry the chicken in 2 tbspns olive oil. Set chicken aside. Reserve the oil for making relish.
  • Now, for the relich, slice onions and red pepper.
  • Chop garlic finely.
  • Saute garlic in the reserved olive oil. Add onions and peppers and saute.
  • When slightly caramelized and golden, add oregano and salt.

  • Slice the loaf horizontally. 
  • On lower half, slather some guacamole.
  • Add the onion-pepper relish.
  • Top with chicken and finally grate some cheese on top. 
  • Close sandwich and enjoy.



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