Thursday, 30 October 2014

Cream of Cauliflower with Walnut and Dill

It’s a soup time now! Yeah, winters approaching near.  Hot soups are must in winters to makes one-self feel so warm and relaxed. Vegetable markets are flooded with variety fresh veggies during this season easing us to try different combinations of soups/broths.

Cauliflower is one of my favorite veggie that I relish in any form, and in winters cauliflowers are so fresh, beautiful and best. It pairs up so well with potatoes, capsicum, tomatoes, green peas, carrots and so on… when prepared in curry or stir fried form. This time I was craving for some yum, rich, creamy hot Cream of cauliflower soup which I paired up with some other flavors too. Yes, it was coupled with healthy walnut and fresh dill leaves. Cauliflower braced walnut and dill so brilliantly that when I had the first spoon of this creamy hot soup, I was completely lost in its zest, absolutely delightful. Let’s quickly go through it’s making…..

2 cups, cauliflower florets, roughly cut
1 nos, small onion, finely chopped
3nos, garlic cloves, chopped
500ml, vegetable/chicken stock
1 small bay leaf
½ tsp, red chili flakes
3 tbsp, walnut, coarsely powdered
1 cup, milk (I have used low fat milk)
¼ cup, cream (I have used low fat cream)
A large pinch of nutmeg powder
1 tbsp, dill leaves, chopped
1 tbsp, olive oil
1tbsp, butter
Salt and pepper to taste
For garnish:-
Cream, chopped walnut kernels, dill leaves, chili flakes


In a pan, heat oil, add chopped garlic and fry till light golden. Add onion and sauté till onion turns soft and pink. Add cauliflower and sauté for a minute.

Add vegetable/chicken stock, bay leaf and bring it to boil. Cover and cook till cauliflower is soft.

Take it off the heat, discard bay leaf and blend it to smooth puree.

In a pan, heat butter, add cauliflower puree and milk. Bring it to boil. Add walnut, salt, pepper, chili flakes, nutmeg powder, mix very well and cook till it reaches thick soup consistency.

Add cream, dill leaves, mix well and cook for another half a minute.

Dish out in serving bowls, garnish with cream, chili flakes, walnut and dill leaves

Enjoy this rich creamy hot soup with garlic toast/croutons/crackers/bread sticks.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Zafrani Badaam/Badaami Gosht

Aromatic Lamb/goat meat curry cooked with almonds, spices and flavored with saffron, screw pine.
Lets celebrate the festivals with this rich, aromatic curry in Mughlai style that will enrich your spread to make it a royal composition...Simply Divine!!

750 gms, goat meat/lamb with bone, cut in medium size pieces
75 gms, almonds, blanched and peeled
4tbsp, golden fried onions
1 tbsp, ginger paste
1 tbsp, garlic paste
½ cup, yoghurt, whisked well
1½  tsp, Kashmiri red chili powder
1½ tsp, coriander seeds, roasted and crushed
½ tsp, black pepper powder
½ tsp, cardamom powder
8 nos, cloves
½ tsp, black peppercorns
1 nos, star anise
½ blade of mace, crushed
1 stick cinnamon of 2 inch size
¼ cup, warm milk
A generous pinch of saffron
few drops of kewda(screw pine) essence
4 tbsp, oil/ghee
Salt as per taste
Warm water as required
For garnish:
4 hard-boiled eggs
Saffron threads
Almond flakes


Soak saffron in warm milk and keep it aside

Grind almonds and golden fried onions to fine paste. Keep it aside

In a heavy bottom pan, heat oil/ghee. Add cinnamon, black peppercorns, star anise, mace and cloves. 
Allow them to crackle.

Add meat and fry on high heat till mutton turns slight brown.

Add ginger, paste, garlic paste and sauté for another minute on high heat

Add almond-onion paste, red chili powder, crushed coriander, black pepper powder, salt and mix well

Add little warm water and cook for 8-10minutes

Lower the flame and add very well whisked yoghurt. Stir till it combines well with spices.

Cover and simmer till mutton is tender but intact (Do not overcook). If water dries up while cooking process, add little warm water and cook. (stir in between to avoid burning) This may take 1½ hour.

Finally add saffron-milk, cardamom powder, kewda essence, mix and simmer for another 4-5 minutes.

Dish out and garnish with halved or quartered hard-boiled eggs, saffron and almond flakes

Serve hot with nan, Sheermal, phulka or aromatic pulao of your choice.

Mughlai delicacies taste best when slow cooked in pot or handi. But, if in hurry, you may pressure cook it following the same step mentioned above.

I always prefer to make this dish in Ghee, but oil or oil-ghee can be used.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Paneer-Methi Bhurji

Winters…Oh winters, please come soon!! Yeah, my beloved season, Winters. It is joyous to see the vegetable markets flooding with loads of healthy veggies and fresh greens especially fenugreek (methi), Spinach(palak), amaranth, dill, green onions and so on. I would be so frequent in relishing the different combination and delicacies of fresh fenugreek, as am so much obsessed with it. Few weeks back when my guests arrived, they preferred to have vegetarian menu over non-vegetarian.  This Paneer-methi bhurji was standing out of all the vegetarian spread on the dining table to earn accolades from my guests.  That time I dint think that it would be such a hit so didn’t think of writing up and sharing on my blog until I got a exuberant feedback.  Recently when I got a craving to have it once again, I made up my mind to make it again and cook, shoot and share this time.  So here is how we can do it…

200 gms, paneer (cottage cheese), crumbled
1½ cup, fresh fenugreek leaves, roughly torn/chopped
1 nos, large onion, finely chopped
¾ cup, tomatoes, blanched, peeled and finely chopped
4-5 nos, garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp, ginger juliennes
5-6 nos, black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 inch cinnamon stick
½ tsp, cumin seeds
¼ tsp, turmeric powder
1 tsp, red chili powder
1 tsp, coriander powder
¾ tsp, cumin powder
1 tsp, garam masala powder
Juice of half lemon
½ tsp, sugar
Salt as per taste
2 tbsp, oil/ ghee

In a heavy bottom pan, heat oil. Add bay leaf, pepper corn, cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks, allow them to crackle. Add chopped garlic and fry till golden brown(do not burn).

Add onions, sauté on high heat for a minute. Add little salt and fry till it turns soft and pink

Add tomatoes, sauté for a minute on high heat

Add turmeric, red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and mix well.

Add fenugreek leaves and mix well. Cook for  2 minutes on high heat (do not cover and cook)

Add ginger juliennes, garam masala powder, lemon juice, salt, sugar and mix well. Cook till the water released by methi (fenugreek) dries up a bit.

Add crumbled paneer and gently mix. Cook for another minute

Dish out, and serve hot with parathas, naan, pav, flavored bread slices or even Dal/rice.