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Achari Paneer

As most of you know by now, I am vegan by choice. I very rarely cook using any milk product. Recently I decided to make paneer when my nephews were coming for dinner. They like paneer and it was easy for me to try something new as well. I think it was second time I made something with paneer in recent years. I wanted easy no-spice recipe so that kids can enjoy. Here is the version I made which was enjoyed by adults and kids equally. I have made this twice after that and it was instant hit both the times.

Here is how I made it -

Serves 4-6

1 block of Paneer (1lb)
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Onion
1 Tomato (optional)
Salt per taste
Chili Powder per taste
2-3 tbsp Oil

Achari Masala - (Modified version of The Cooker's Bihari style Chili Pickle Masala)
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Nigella Seeds (Kalaunji)
1 tsp Fenugreek seeds
1 tsp Fennel Seeds
1 tsp Cumin seeds

Preparation -
Cut paneer in 1/2" cubes.
Similarly cut onion, bell pepper and tomato in 1/2" cube.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in pan* and…

Moong Daal Kheer

A friend of mine shared this kheer with me 12-13 years ago on the occasion of Vishu. And traditionally vegan kheer made me very happy! Taste reminded me of Mharashtrian puran but very different and good at the same time. I have been making it ofter ever since. Its simple, can be done in less than 30 minutes if you are using canned coconut milk.

1/2 cup Yellow Moong daal
1 tsp Oil (optional)
1/4 to 1/2 cup Jaggery (per taste)
1 can Coconut Milk (Lite or regular)
2-3 Cardamom pods
5-7 Cashews
1+ cups water

Preparation -
Dry roast half of the daal until golden brown.
Mix roasted and non roasted daals together and wash.
Grate jaggery so that its easy to dissolve. 
Chop cashews and roast using oil if using.
Pound cardamom seeds to fine power.
Add about 3/4 cup water and pressure cook until just done.
Once daal is cooked, mash with back of spoon add jaggery and about 1/4 cup water and let it boil until jaggery is dissolved.
Add coconut milk, cardamom powder, cashews to the kheer.
Let it …

Green Curry Noodles

Traffic on last Friday was especially very tiring. I sat in the car for almost 1 hour 30 minutes before I reached home. After that horrible traffic I was not in the mood to go out for dinner, did not want to spend more than 15-20 minutes in the kitchen, and did not want to eat same old daal-rice/khichadi. So l looked around in my stash of sauces and found a bottle of green curry paste, can of coconut milk so I decided to make vegetable green curry. While I was making the curry, I remembered I have some brown rice noodles too! Voila! A new dish was born!!!

Serves 2 - for dinner

3-4 servings of Rice noodles - cook per directions on the packet. Drain and set aside. Toss with little bit of oil to prevent them from sticking.

1 Large Potato (I used Russet)
1 Large Onion
Fist size Cauliflower
Fist size Broccoli
1 Small Carrot (or few baby carrots)
1/2 cup diced Butternut Squash
Fistful of Cilantro
1 Small Blob of Ginger
2-4 tbsp Green Curry Paste
Salt per taste
1/2 cup Coconut milk
1 tbsp …

Best Pulav Ever

My cousin visited us couple of years ago. One evening we were so busy chatting that we forgot to cook for dinner in time! So she decided to give me a break from cooking and make her pulav. It was quick and with nice cucumber raita on side, we had nice meal ready in just 20 minutes. I have been regularly making that pulav ever since! It comes out great with brown rice or quinoa too.

1 cup Long Grain Rice
1 small Potato
1 small Shallot (or very small onion)
10-12 Green Beans
Few Florets of Califlower
1 small or 4-5 Baby Carrots
2-3 Green Chilies
Few Cashews (Split lengthwise)
Salt as needed
2 tbsp Oil
Masala -  2 Cardamom pods, 2-3 black peppers, 2 cloves, 1 stick Cinnamon, 2 Bay Leaves, 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
2 cups Hot Water

Preparation -
Wash and drain rice and set aside and then start prep work. 
Peel and cut Potato into 1" cubes.
Slice shallot/onion.
Remove tips of green beans and cut into 1" long pieces.
Cut baby carrots into 4 pieces lengthwise, or similarly make car…

Pav Bhaji Paratha

Once in a while I get this urge to make nice parathas. Yesterday i made simple pav bhaji paratha. Idea was to make simple mixed vegetable stuffed paratha but decided to change things as I remembered pavbhaji midst of grinding vegetables! Here is how I made them -

1/2 cup Frozen Green Peas
1 medium Potato
1/2 small Tomato
1/2 Bell Pepper (I used red) - optional
1 medium or 5-6 baby carrots
Cauliflower floret of fist size
1 tbsp Pav Bhaji Masala
Salt as needed
Fistful Chopped Cilantro
Small blob of Ginger
Whole wheat Flour as needed

Preparation -
Cook potato in microwave until done. Set it aside to cool. 
Wash all the vegetables. Remove seeds from bell pepper if you are planning to use it.
Add all the vegetables in grinder, add ginger and grind until coarse paste. Make sure there are no big chunks of vegetable left.
Now peel potato, grate it in a large bowl you want to use to make dough. Add ground vegetable paste. Add salt, paavbhaji masala, chopped cilantro. Mix everything thoroughly…

Sprouts and Fruit Salad

I make this sprout salad very frequently in summer because weather is really good for making sprouts. I like it more with moong sprouts than mataki sprouts. Moong spruts has bit more bite to it than mataki.

2-3 cups Sprouted Moong
1 Large Green Apple or Plum (or any sweet & sour fruit you like)
1 small red onion
Salt per taste
1/2 tsp Sugar
Fistful of chopped Cilantro
Juice from 1/2 Lime

Preparation -
Dice onion and fruit you are using. If using blueberries or blackberries, no need to chop.
Mix everything in a large bowl. Adjust salt and lime juice according to taste. Let it sit in refridgerator for at least 20-30 minutes before serving.

Enjoy on a warm summer day topped with little bit of sev.

Tips -
I also make typical cucumber-tomato-sprout-chat masala salad often. But this fruit version is my favorite.
Partially raw mango tastes good too but not the sweet ripe mango :)

Pulihora/Puliyogare/Puliyodharai

This recipe was shared by my classmate about 15 years ago and I still make mine from scratch with this recipe!

2 cups Cooked Rice (I use brown)
1 Golf Ball size Tamarind
1/2 tbsp Jaggery
1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Chana Daal
1 tsp Urad Daal
2-3 Dried Red Chilies (or according to taste)
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
10-15 Curry Leaves
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
Pinch of Hing
1/4 cup Peanuts (couple of fistful)
2 tbsp Oil
Salt per taste

Preparation - 
Soak tamarind in 1/2 cup hot water for at least 10-15 minutes.  Squeeze the pulp and strain to remove all the fibrous stuff. 
Cool the cooked rice in a plate. Once cooled down, add salt, turmeric and 1 tsp oil. Mix and keep aside.
Heat oil in a non-stick pan, add mustard seeds and let them splutter.
Add chana daal, urad daal and red chilies. Let them sizzle and change color a bit.
Now add hing and curry leaves. Saute for a minute. Then add peanuts and saute for 3-4 minutes.
Add tamarind extract and cook on low heat for at least 6-7 minutes. Ad…