Veg Tikka Masala Marinated and Grilled Vegetables in a Spicy Gravy

A couple of days back, we enjoyed a lovely evening with friends, good food and drinks at my place. I was in charge of food and we decided to use our newly acquired gas grill and a barbeque was set up. With a lot of  food and drinks around, I ended up with a big batch of grilled vegetables as left overs. Now to use up all those vegetables was a challenge and that’s when this Veg Tikka Masala came to my mind. The gravy is the same that I make for my Chicken Tikka masala and the beautiful smoky flavor from the grilled vegetables made it even more amazing. Although I used the left over vegetables to make this curry, you can specially marinate the veggies, grill them on a gas grill or a grill pan and then add them in the curry. Here is the recipe to make this very delicious Veg Tikka Masala.



All you need is

To marinate the vegetables

Capsicum – 12 ( cut into cubes )
Onion – 12 ( cut into cubes )
Baby corn – 3-4 ( cut into half )
Mushroom – 10-12
Paneer – 150 g
Cauliflower – 10-12 small florets
Hung curd – 2 tbsp ( the curd should be really thick so that it can cling to the vegetables )
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp
Kashmiri red chili powder – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Lemon juice – 2 tbsp
Garam masala powder – 12 tsp
Red chili powder-  12 tsp
Kasuri methi – 1 tsp
Oil – 2 tsp and for applying while grilling

For the gravy

Oil – 2 tbsp
Ghee – 2 tbsp
Cloves – 2-3
Black peppercorn – 5-6
Black cardamom – 2
Cinnamon stick – 1 inch piece
Onion – 1 cup ( chopped )
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp
Tomato – 3 ( medium size )
Kashmiri red chili powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 12 tsp
Salt to taste
Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
Honey – 1 tsp
Fresh coriander for garnishing

Method of preparation

For the veg tikka

Mix all the ingredients for marination and cover the bowl with a cling wrap.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Thread the vegetables on skewers and grill on a grill pan or tandoor or barbeque till done and slightly blackened.
Apply little oil while grilling.
Keep aside

For the gravy

Boil water in a pan and add the tomatoes.
Cook for 5-6 minutes.
Remove the skin of the tomatoes and grind in a blender to make a smooth puree.
Keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan.
When the oil is hot, add cloves, black peppercorn, black cardamom and cinnamon.
Fry for 10 seconds.
Add onion and fry till slightly browned.
Add ginger garlic paste and fry till onions are nicely browned.
Add tomato puree.
Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add the leftover marinade and cook for a minute.
Add the grilled vegetables and a half cup of water.
Cook for 3-4 minutes till oil separates.
Add honey and lemon juice.
Garnish with fresh coriander.
Serve hot with Naan or Laccha Paratha.

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Soft Pretzels with Roasted Jalapeno White Cheddar Cheese Sauce

I know I’m a little late to the pretzel party. I’m invoking the “better late than never” adage here. 
You know those pretzel places at the mall? I think Auntie Anne’s is one of the more popular ones nowadays but growing up all of my mall pretzels came from Pretzel Time. 

Or maybe it was Pretzel Maker. I can’t remember which. They were both mall pretzel places and my mother swore up and down that one was better than the other. 

Obviously I couldn’t tell the difference because I can’t even keep the two straight. 

When we were younger, my mother used to take us to the mall occasionally, usually for back to school shopping at ZCMI or JC Penny. If we were good, she would treat to a big, delicious, hot soft pretzel. 

She would buy two, one for my two brothers, and one for me and her. (Just an fyi, I have more than two brothers and many many sisters, but they are not part of this story.)

My mother and I loved our pretzels buttered, with extra salt, and mustard. 

Yes people. Mustard. 

I had actually never tried a soft pretzel with cheese sauce until I was much older, maybe in high school.

Oh my delicious. Love at first bite. Truly.

Love.

I still enjoy a soft pretzel with mustard. Even if it is just for nostalgia’s sake. 

But I am a huge huuuuge fan of soft pretzels with melty, gooey cheese sauce. And I’m an even bigger fan of this Roasted Jalepeno White Cheddar Cheese Sauce. Like one of the fans that paints their entire body the color of their chosen team and sports one of those foam #1 Fan fingers. 

So I guess I’d have to paint myself white. With dark green specks. For this cheese sauce. 

Wooooooh! Go cheese sauce!! 

You get the idea. 

I’ve become pretty fascinated with the whole idea of creating your favorite dishes from memorable places and times, right in the comfort of your home. 

When it occurred to me that I could make mall pretzels at home, I bought yeast. Me! Yeast! Isn’t that incredible??

You all know how much I’ve dreaded learning to use yeast. Remember those incredible Quick & Easy No Yeast Cinnamon Rolls? They were seriously fantastic. 

And yeast free. 

This recipe put an end to my yeast fear. Or at least it lessened the fear. I don’t know if this really counts as a yeasty recipe. There’s really no rising time and the whole shebang is finished within an hour. 

Does that count for a yeast-including recipe?

And tell me… 

Am I losing my mind? Or does yeast make a hissing sound when you open the package?

 I promise I heard a hissing sound when I opened the yeast package. Lets just say it did little to comfort me. I almost backed out.

I generally have a thing against using ingredients that hiss.

These pretzels were big and puffy and salty delicious, and so so good in the cheese sauce. 

P.S. you must roast the jalapenos. It takes no effort. You just stick them in the oven while its preheating. Easy peasy. And it adds incredible flavor to the cheese sauce without igniting a mini bonfire in your mouth. So you can actually taste the pretzel. 

If you want a little more heavy jalapeno flavor, definitely go with two peppers. And this recipe makes alot of cheese sauce. So don’t dip, scoop. There will be plenty I assure you. 

*Recipe adapted from Seph&Nat

I’ve been featured by Time To Sparkle for featuring my
 Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries & Fry Sauce!





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Fish Dum Biryani Rice cooked with Spices and Fish

For some reason when ever we decide to eat non veg food, it’s either chicken or mutton that comes to my mind. I am so used to eating chicken and mutton in the name of non vegetarian food that it takes a little extra effort to cross my limits and think about sea food and fish. That is the reason you will find very few fish recipes on the blog. But now I will try to make a conscious effort and try to make more of fish recipes as it is not only tasty is also very good for health as well. This Fish Dum Biryani is a perfect start and you will love how well the fish blends with the flavorful rice and masala. I have used Seer fish to make this recipe but you can use any fish of your choice. Here is the recipe to make this delicious and flavorful Fish Dum Biryani.

All you need is

For the rice

Long grain basmati rice – 2 cups
Cloves Laung – 2-3
Black peppercorns Kali mirch – 5-6
Black cardamom Badi ilachi – 2
Cinnamon Dalchini – 1 inch piece
Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
Ghee – 1 tbsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Kewra essence – 4-5 drops

For the fish

Fish – 500 g ( I used seer fish. )
Hung curd – 2 tbsp
Red chili powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 12 tsp
Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Lemon juice – 2 tbsp
Oil – 3 tbsp
Onion – 1 cup ( thinly sliced )
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp
Green chili – 2 ( slit into half )
Tomato – 1 cup ( chopped )

For layering

Onion – 14 cup ( thinly sliced and fried in hot oil till crisp and golden brown  )
Cashew nuts – 5-6 ( fried till golden brown )
Saffron  – a pinch ( soaked in a tbsp water )
Fresh mint – 3 tbsp ( chopped )
Fresh coriander – 3 tbsp  ( chopped )
Ghee – 2 tbsp

Method of preparation

For the rice

Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes.
Drain the water.
Add all the remaining ingredients in rice along with 4 cups of water and cover and cook till 80% done.

For the fish

Wash the fish nicely.
Mix hung curd, turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder, salt and lemon juice in a bowl.
Coat the fish pieces with this marinade and keep aside for 20 minutes.
Heat oil in a pan.
Add onion and fry till they are slightly browned.
Add green chili and ginger garlic paste and fry till onions are nicely browned.
Add tomato and half cup water and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add the fish pieces along with the marinade.
Cook for 5-6 minutes till fish is done.

For layering

Take a big pot.
Transfer half of the rice in the pot.
Layer with the fish and it’s masala.
Sprinkle half of the browned onion, coriander, mint and saffron soaked in milk.
Top with the remaining rice.
Sprinkle the remaining onion, coriander, mint and saffon soaked in milk.
Add 14 cup water.
Pour the ghee.
Cover the pot tightly with a lid and keep some heavy weight over it.
Let the biryani cook on very low heat for 15-20 minutes.
Give a gentle mix.
Garnish with fried onions and fried cashew nuts.
Serve hot with mix veg raita.

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Blueberry & Peach Cobbler-Crisp with Vanilla Maple Cream Sauce

Did I tell you about my freak accident?

Lately we’ve been hearing in the news that a lot of accidents have been caused lately by debris in the road. 

Well now I’m a witness. Thankfully my incident wasn’t too awful and didn’t cause any injuries or serious damage. But it was freaky. 

Last week I was driving on the freeway, next to the car pool lane. There I was, belting loudly (and slightly off key I’m sure) the lyrics of Wagon Wheel right alongside Darius Rucker, when this freak thing happened. 

There was a big black object in the road ahead but I only caught a glimpse of it before the car in front of me ran right over it. 

It wasn’t until it flipped up in the air and was flying toward my windshield that I realized what it was. 

A popped tire. 

Thinking that I didn’t want it to come through the window at me, I swerved enough for it to miss the windshield. Instead, it hit my driver’s side view mirror. The mirror bent into the car and shattered my driver’s door window. 

I’d heard of safety glass and how they say it breaks up into little pieces but woah. Glass was everywhere! 

I’m still astounded that I have my eyesight because I never blinked. I remember seeing the entire thing happen and I swear, I never closed my eyes. Yet I had little glass splinters all up and down my arms and in my face. 

No blood. It just stung a little. And it took me about a million years to get all of those splinters out. 

It was a little bit crazy. But I’m okay and the window has been replaced and we’re just waiting on the new mirror to come. 

Oh, did I mention that it happened to the car we just bought the week before? The new/old twinner car? Yeah, funny how that works. But hey, it could have been so much worse. So I’m not complaining. 

But enough of that, lets talk about this cobbler-crisp. Because obviously it needs some explaining. 

See, the Husband had been out of town all week and was leaving again this week, so I thought I’d ask him what I should make for dessert to take to our Sunday family get together. He said a cobbler. Or a crisp. 

Well which one? Either. 

Great. That really helps my innate indecisiveness. Thank you. 


I went back and forth for a day about it but in the end I did what I usually do. I decided on both. But rather than make a cobbler and a crisp, I took the best of each and mashed them into one incredible, genius, amazingly delicious cobbler-crisp. 

The best part of a cobbler is the crust right? And the best part of a crisp is the topping. 

Bingo. As soon as I put it together in my head, I knew it was going to be dessert magic. 

And it was. Oh it was totally magic. 

The blueberries and peaches were a fantastic combination, I’m so glad I did both. Plus I fall in love with blueberries over and over every time I see that gorgeous deep purple. Ahhhhh, so pretty. 

I’m kicking myself for forgetting to grab the ice cream for these pictures because that’s how it really should be eaten and it was soooo darn good with a big scoop of cold vanilla ice cream right on top. And then drizzled with this vanilla maple cream sauce. Mmmmm…. can’t get enough. 

You can serve the sauce warm or cold, your choice. I tasted it both ways and loved it. But the cobbler-crisp should really be hot unless you have a thing for cold cobblers. And the ice cream, well, it probably needs to be cold. Unless you want ice cream soup. 

Which is totally up to you. 

I really don’t care as long as you just make this and come back and tell me that your life has been changed forever. Because really, a cobbler-crisp? Come on people. That is life changing. 

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Nariyal ki Barfi Indian Coconut Fudge

It’s been really long since I made some Indian sweet. With the festive season coming close, it’s the right time to indulge in some sugary treats and so I bring you this easy to make yet very delicious Nariyal Ki Barfi. Nariyal ki barfi or coconut fudge is a must make sweet for the weddings in Mathur community and is called Pili barfi for it’s yellow color. The sweet which is decked with silver foil, saffron strands and dry fruit slivers is arranged on a big thaal or plate and is send to the grooms family along with the other goodies as a token to mark the beginning of the celebration. The soft, melt in your texture of this sweet is loved by all in my family and it is so easy to make that I end up making a batch of this goodness for all the festivals. Keep the consistency of sugar syrup in check and you will nail this recipe. Here is how to make this simple yet very delicious Nariyal Ki barfi.

All you need is

Grated fresh coconut – 3 cups
Ghee – 3 tbsp
Sugar – 1 cup
Water – 34 cup
Yellow food color – 14 tsp
Cardamom powder – 1 tsp
Khoya – 200 g
Dry fruits slivers, silver foil and saffron strands for garnishing

Method of preparation

Grease a 9 inch pan with ghee.
Keep aside.
Heat khoya in a pan.
Fry till pinkish in color.
Keep aside.
Heat sugar and water in a pan.
Cook till the sugar dissolves and the syrup reaches a 2 string consistency.
Do not swirl while the sugar syrup is cooking.
Add yellow food color and cardamom powder.
Mix.
Meanwhile, add ghee in a pan.
Add grated coconut and fry on medium heat for 5-6 minutes.
Add khoya and sugar syrup and mix well.
Pour the mixture in the prepared pan and spread evenly.
Let the barfi set for 3-4 hours.
Cut into small pieces.
Garnish with dry fruits slivers, silver foil and saffron strand.

Note – If your Barfi is not setting and is too soft, just microwave the mixture for 3-4 minutes and set again.
You can skip using food color and can make a white color barfi.
The consistency of sugar syrup is important for the barfi to set nicely.

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Grilled Peanut Butter, Mango, & Peach Sandwiches

I’m on a peanut butter kick. 
Lately I’ve been eating peanut butter every single day and in every possible way. I don’t know what it is but it just always sounds good. 

Sometimes I’m in the mood for chicken or maybe something sour, other days not so much. 

But it seems like these days I’m always in the mood for peanut butter. 

And by these days I mean the past several months. 

So maybe I should say these months I’m always in the mood for peanut butter. 

It’s only been in recent years that I’ve really honed in on my peanut butter love. Growing up I could do without it. 

Other than your traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I really never had much peanut butter. Now my next-door neighbor/best friend? She could put that peanut butter away. And I mean by the spoonful. Straight from the jar. 
Like I said, I only had it on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. 

This sandwich is like a fancy shmancy grown-up PB&J. I still love the traditional version, (with cheetos! childhood quirk) but a while back I started putting fresh fruit on my sandwiches instead of jam or jelly and I am absolutely hooked. 

I actually can’t remember the last time I actually put jelly on my peanut butter sandwiches. I’ve tried loads of combinations of fresh fruit and jelly usually just doesn’t sound as good to me any more. 
I really have tried quite a few. Apples, strawberries, pears…
This one though. Mango, white peach, and honey…  It’s my all-time favorite.
At least til I find a new winning combo. But this one will be really, really hard to beat. 

The peaches and mangos give the whole sandwich sort of a summery, tropical twist which I am really loving at the moment as it’s now August (What??!) and summer sadly will be drawing to a close before we know it…

(But lets pretend for now that it isn’t. )

 And then the bread gets a little crispy and the peanut butter becomes all melty gooey from the grilling….

Peanut butter sandwich heaven. 

 A little drizzle (or large drizzle) of honey is the perfect way to top it all off. Like wrapping it all in a pretty bow. 

If you’re not a honey person, leave it off. If i’m in a rush I’ll skip it and it’s still delicious.

But if you are a honey person, or even if you just have no preference and can’t decide if it’s worth the effort, do the honey. It’s amazing. 

I almost feel strange posting this because it’s so dang easy and it’s so simple. But it’s so good it needs to be shared. 

And we all eat lunch every day right? So we could all use a new way to dress up our go-to PB&Js. 

Try this next time you’re fixing yourself a sandwich. Its absolutely amazing. Even if it only takes two seconds and requires no skill. 

That just makes it even better! 

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Chicken and Cheese Samosa

You think of Indian snacks and the first thing that pops up is Samosa. Samosas have made a big name for themselves and for Indian snacks in the foreign world. During our days of travel, lot of Mohit’s colleagues requested me to make samosas for them and it was always a joyous sight to see them devour the humble samosa with much Oohhs and aahhs. With the easy availability of samosa patti these days, it has become my snack of choice whenever I have guests at home and I keep experimenting with the filling. This time, I ditched the regular potato filling and instead whipped up a delicious chicken and cheese filling for my samosas. Needless to say, it was a hit and is definitely going to be on the menu when ever we are entertaining for the next time. So here is the recipe to make these super easy and delicious Chicken and cheese samosa.

All you need is

Samosa patti – 12-15
All purpose flour – 1 tbsp
Water – 2 tbsp
Oil – 1 tbsp and for frying
Garlic – 3-4 cloves ( thinly sliced )
Onion – 14 cup ( finely chopped )
Green capsicum – 3 tbsp ( finely chopped )
Chicken mince – 150 g
Salt to taste
Dried oregano – 12 tsp
Dried thyme – 12 tsp
Dried basil – 12 tsp
White pepper powder – 14 tsp
Lemon juice – 2 tbsp
Cheese – 14 cup ( grated )

Method of preparation

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan.
Add garlic once the oil is hot.
Fry for a few seconds.
Add onion and fry till they turn translucent.
Add capsicum and chicken mince and fry for a minute.
Add salt, oregano, thyme, basil, white pepper powder and lemon juice.
Cook till chicken is done.
Remove from heat and cool.
Once cooled to room temperature, add grated cheese.
Mix all purpose flour and water to make thick paste.
Keep a tbsp of filling on the end of Samosa patti and roll to make samosa.
Seal the ends using the flour paste.
Make all the samosas in the same way.
Heat oil in a pan.
When the oil is heated nicely, simmer the heat to medium.
Deep fry the samosas on medium heat till golden brown.
Remove on a plate lined with tissue.
Serve hot with ketchup or coriander chutney.

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{Peanut Butter M&M} Monster Cookie Ice Cream




See? I told you peanut butter has been on my mind. 
Two peanut butter recipes in a row. If you don’t like peanut butter, don’t you worry, I already know what’s coming up next and it’s not peanut butter. 

It is however, 100% mouthwateringly delicious. Ahhhh I’m so excited. 

But for the moment we will continue the peanut butter party. 
This ice cream isn’t really hard like custard, it’s more on the soft-serve side. Which complements the peanut butter M&Ms really well since they become a little more hard when they freeze. 

Yeah, peanut butter M&Ms people. I swapped those out for the usual regular M&Ms you find in “monster cookies”. 

A wise choice if I do say so myself. They go perfectly in this ice cream.
The great thing about the cookie chunks is that they soften into the whipped cream when it’s freezing. 

So when you’re eating it you get the really soft ice cream, the chewy peanut butter oatmeal cookie bites, and then a little chocolate-coated peanut butter crunch from the M&Ms. 

It’s all about the levels of texture in this ice cream. 
See now this is a version of dipping-the-spoon-straight-in-the-peanut-butter-jar kind of peanut butter eating that I can handle. Cause it’s frozen in ice cream. 

And you know I love ice cream. Oh how I love it with every bit of my being. 
Last night my husband had a genius idea when we were discussing my ice cream obsession.

He said I need an ice cream IV. I laughed for a minute and then stopped suddenly and thought, “wait, do you think that would work?”

I need help people. 
My mother used to make monster cookies and this ice cream is like a frozen version of those goodies. 

All the peanut butter oatmeal cookie chunks, big M&M candies, and soft and creamy peanut butter loving that is happening is just glorious. 

Do you like peanut butter? Yes? Good, make this.

No? Make it anyway and give it to someone who likes peanut butter. And P.S. you’re a little crazy. 

But it’s okay. We’re all crazy. 


If you liked this, you’ll LOVE these other fantastic recipes!
Oh and my Creamy Chipotle Pasta Salad was featured over at Whats Cooking With Ruthie this week! Check it out! 

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Gosht Aloo Bukhara ( Mutton in a Plum Gravy )

With the summers comes the stone fruits and I get obsessed with cooking and baking with them. This obsession is not irrational as you just get a few days to enjoy these and then have to wait for an entire year for them to come back. So please bear with the upcoming recipes which will be featuring a lot of stone fruits 🙂
Made this not so common combination a few days back and it was loved by all in the family. The sweet and tangy plums gives a characteristic flavor to the gravy which goes very well with the spicy mutton. This recipe need both dried plums and fresh plums but if fresh plums are not available, you can add a few teaspoons of lemon juice.The thing that you should always keep in mind while cooking with plums is to add them at the end of cooking. If they are added in between, they make the gravy a bit bitter. Here is how I made this curry.

This recipe goes to the Kitchen Aid Contest organised by IFBM, the first f it’s kind, food Blogger’s meet that is happening in Bangalore.

All you need is

Oil – 3 tbsp and for frying onions
Ghee – 2 tbsp
Onion – 2 cups ( Finely chopped )
Cloves – 2-3
Black cardamom – 2
Cinnamon stick – 2 inch piece
Black peppercorns – 4-5
Mutton – 500 g
Yogurt – 14 cup
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp
Kashmiri red chili powder – 2 tsp
Coriander powder – 2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 12 tsp
Garam masala powder – 12 tsp
Salt to taste
Dried plums – 100 g ( I used Del Monte’s California prunes )
Fresh plum – 1 ( cut into thick wedges )
Fresh coriander for garnishing

Method of preparation

Coarsely puree the dried plums using a chopped.
Heat 3-4 cups of oil in a heavy bottom pan.
When the oil is hot, add the onion.
Fry the onion till they are golden brown.
Keep stirring in between for uniform browning of onions.
Drain the browned onion on a tissue lined plate.
Transfer the remaining oil in a vessel and keep for future use.
Add 3 tbsp oil and 2 tbsp ghee in a pressure pan.
Add cloves, black cardamom, cinnamon and peppercorn.
Fry for 20 seconds.
Add mutton and fry on high heat till slightly browned. ( approx 5 minutes )
Mix yogurt, ginger garlic paste, fried onions, kashmiri red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder and salt in a bowl.
Add it in the pressure pan.
Add a cup of water and pressure cook till mutton is done.
Let the pressure pan cool completely.
Open the pan and add the fresh plum wedges and coarsely chopped dried plums.
Adjust the water and let it come to a boil.
Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Switch off the heat.
Garnish with fresh coriander.
Serve hot with rice or Naan.

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Cinnamon Roll Pound Cake

Eat cake for breakfast.

That’s probably one of my very favorite pieces of advice in this entire universe. 

And I’m a big fan of eating cake for breakfast. Whether it’s pancakes or chocolate cake. It’s delicious at eight at night or six in the morning. 

This cake has officially changed the entire breakfast experience for me. Cinnamon roll…. cake. 

There aren’t words.

But since this is a blog post and I’m here to write about this cake, I’ve taken it upon myself to find words at times like this. 

So I will simply tell you that this pound cake is dense, and moist, and so much like a cinnamon roll is almost scary. 

 Really. I kept looking at it thinking, this isn’t a real cinnamon roll?? 

No, it’s cake. Cinnamon roll cake. 

Ahhhhhhhh so good!! And so gone. which means I need to make more. 

And my cereal for tomorrow is looking extremely dull now. 


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