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Tofu Lababdar

How to make the most delicious and perfect healthy Tofu Lababdar

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This is the most delicious and finger licking Tofu Lababdar ever. I really mean it ….we’ve heard of Paneer Lababdar which is the original version of this dish. So, I’ve been experimenting with a bunch of different recipes to make the most authentic, but mouth-watering Lababdar dish. All the recipes that I’ve come across were made with Paneer. My take on this recipe was to make it a bit more on the healthier side, so I had substituted some of the traditional ingredients used in Paneer Lababdar and came up with my very own version of Tofu Lababdar.

This my version of a health Tofu Lababdar, it’s made with firm tofu in an aromatic, bright reddish-orange spicy gravy with sautéed onions,garlic,ginger,cashew nuts, tomatoes and spices. This dish is surely going to be a winner and the highlight of your mealtime. I love this recipe because it’s made with a healthy choice of tofu and coconut milk which still makes this dish flavorful and enriched with calcium and protein. This dish goes well with your choice of roti, paratha, naan or rice.

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I’ve been away from the blogging world for some time now. Went on a very long overdue vacation to India and since me and my kids enjoyed it some much we extended our trip too 2 and half months. Yes! it was a well deserved and most relaxing and enjoyable family vacation (dearly missed my husband and daddy). We all came back with great wonderful memories that we will cherish for a very long time. The best part of my journey was coming across many different food dishes that were completely out of this world. I plan on trying out many or all of them and coming back to you all with my version and recipes of it.

I’ve also decided that on my blog I’m going to bring you the original photos that I’ve taken right in my kitchen or dining table while preparing the dish or ready to serve. We spend so much time trying to doll up the pictures and bring to you a perfect photo shop picture of a dish that in actual may not even look like that once prepared. I’ve notices in many blogs where the pictures are so beautiful …..give them total credit for taking that time to get to this end result, but then I find that when one goes to prepare the same dish it looks nothing like the one on the picture. This is how we get discouraged and totally not motivated. So I’m going to try the “no editing” straight from the kitchen/dining table version of blogging.

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Tofu Lababdar

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4-5

Tofu Lababdar

How to make the most delicious and scrumptious Tofu Lababdar

Ingredients

  • 10-12 cubes of Firm Tofu (more can be added if you wish)
  • 2 tbsp- Oil
  • 2 tbsp- Butter
  • 3 medium size- Tomatoes - chopped
  • 2 medium size- Red Onion - chopped
  • 10 Garlic cloves- cut in half
  • 1/2 inch Ginger piece- cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 cup- Tomatoe Paste or Strained Tomatoes
  • 5-7 pieces of Cashew Nuts
  • 1 - Bay Leaf
  • 1/2 tsp- Red Chilly Flakes
  • 1/2 tsp- Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp- Punjabi Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp- Red Kashmiri Chili Powder
  • 1/4 tsp.-Crushed Kesoori Methi (Dry Fenugreek leaves)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp- Sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 cup- Coconut Milk (optional)
  • 1 tsp- Fresh Coriander -finely chopped (for garnishing)

Instructions

  • Heat a non-stick pan on medium high with 1 tbsp of oil and 1 tbsp butter. Once oil is hot, add in garlic,ginger, onion and bay leaf give it a good mix. Saute till the onions are translucent and the raw smell of garlic has disappeared.
  • The add in tomatoes, cashew nuts and tomato paste and let it cook for 5-6 minutes until tomatoes become mushy.
  • Then add in all the spices-red chili flakes, turmeric powder, garam masala, red kashmiri chili powder and 1 tbsp of water and give it all a good stir. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Then remove from stove top and let it cool for few minutes. ***remove bay leaf before grinding***
  • Now transfer into a grinder jar and grinder the tomato/onion mixture into a fine silky paste. If water is required to grind add a small amount.
  • Heat the same non-pan on medium high add in 1 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp butter once heated up add in the tomato/onion mixture very carefully ...it will splatter or remove from stove top and add. Add in salt to taste,crushed kesoori methi, half of the coconut milk and sugar (optional). Let all of this cook for about 5 minutes. **If need be cover the pan to avoid splatting**
  • Add in Tofu cubes and 1 cup water and gently give it a good mix to ensure the tofu is completely covered by the gravy. Cover and cook for another 2-3 minutes. If you like a more thicker gravy cook for additional minute or so.
  • Once ready remove from stove top add in remaining coconut milk if it a light stir and garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves.
  • Delicious Tofu Lababdar is ready to be served with your favorite naan, chapati (roti) or pulav.
  • Notes

    * Sugar is optional-but helps reduce the acidic taste of the tomatoes/tomato paste.

    * Coconut milk is optional or can be substituted with fresh cream.

    * Tofu can be substituted with fresh paneer. Tofu is the more healthier choice.

    http://myfoodforthesoul.com/tofu-lababdar/

     

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    How to make fresh homemade Paneer

    How to make fresh homemade Paneer ( Indian Cottage Cheese)

    Paneer 1

    Paneer also very commonly known as Indian Cottage Cheese, Chhana or chhena. It’s a star ingredient in most Indian dishes and liked by many …at least in my household. Paneer is easily now a days found in your local supermarket or grocery stores ….but where’s the fun there? When it can easily be made fresh right at home. It requires only a few ingredients; milk, lemon juice, a pot, a strainer and cheesecloth and you have fresh homemade paneer.

    The best part of paneer is that it can be eaten right away, it requires no aging or culturing and once the paneer (cheese) has set it can be added to your favorite curry or sweet dish. Normally, many make paneer using whole milk, but I’ve had great success many times making it with 2% milk.

    paneer 2

    It’s much more difficult to make paneer using skim or non-fat milk since there is not enough fat left in the milk to separate into curds and whey. The only down side of this cheese is that it won’t last very long in the fridge when it’s freshly made, so if you don’t plan to use it up within a week then make sure you definitely have plans what to do. Personally, I only make what is need at the time but, in case I have left over I wrap it up with clear cling wrap and place it in a Ziploc bag and place in the cheese drawer inside my fridge.

    paneer 3

    Paneer is absolutely delicious, but the best part of making homemade paneer is that the yellowish water from the curdled milk known as “WHEY” is super healthy and has some amazing usage. Many may not know that whey is also considered to be rich in protein and may also help build muscle strength and boost the immune system.

    With all these great health benefits why would we want to throw out the leftover water (whey) from making Paneer. Let me share with some great ways of using up whey and preparing healthy delicious dishes. Whey can used to make Chapati (roti)  or in any paratha flour just substitute water with whey water. Add whey water to any fruit juice to start off the day, add it to any gravy which can be substituted for tomatoes or tamarind. It can also be used for cooking rice or baking purpose just substitute water with leftover whey. Another great way to use whey is simply add the water (whey) when preparing food to keep the nutrients intact and also make the food more nutritious.

    I’ve used paneer making many dishes like; Paneer Bhurji Sandwich, Paneer Pulao Using Veggie Biryani Masala, Marinated Paneer Naan Pizza and Methi Muttar Malai Paneer.

     

    How to make homemade Paneer

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Total Time: 30 minutes

    How to make homemade Paneer

    Fresh delicious homemade Paneer (Cottage Cheese or Chhena)

    Ingredients

    • 2 1/2 cups - 2% Milk
    • 1 tsp - lemon juice

    Instructions

  • Pour the milk into a large pot for boiling. When it comes to a boiling, switch off the stove and wait a few minutes for hot air to release from the milk.
  • Add the lemon juice and stir, wait for milk to curd.
  • Line a bowel using a muslin cloth (cheesecloth), strain curdled milk and squeeze out all of the whey.
  • If you want solid paneer, put some weight on the drained paneer and leave it on for few hours.
  • Use as required. If not using immediately wrap cling wrap and place inside Ziploc bag and place in fridge.
  • Notes

    * lemon juice can also be replaced with vinegar.

    * for more flavor a little bit of salt can be added once you have strained the whey from the curdled milk.

    * for a longer life of paneer it can be freeze.

    http://myfoodforthesoul.com/how-to-make-fresh-homemade-paneer/

     

    Paneer 1

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    Paneer Pulao Using Veggie Biryani Masala

    Paneer Pulao Using Veggie Biryani Masala

    paneer pulao

    Pulao is a complete satisfying and delicious dish to be enjoyed anytime of the day. Any kind of rice meal is my always go-to dish when I’m running short on time or running out of ideas on what to make for dinner. Rice is always comforting and especially if supplementary amount of vegetables are added to it, makes is fairly healthy.

    I had come across a package of Suhana brand Vegetable Biryani Masala, when all of sudden the idea of making a mixed vegetable pulao with a hint of vegetable biryani masala and shallow fried marinated paneer cubes came to mind. We were actually planning to visit my family since it was my niece’s 10th birthday and what a better way to celebrate than to enjoy a variety of different dishes. With all that said and done ….I hopped right into it and created my exceptionally delicious, but completely scrumptious mouth-watering Paneer Pulao with a twist of Veggie Biryani Masala.

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    The special Suhana Veggie Biryani Masala Mix that I used in this pulao is exotic mix of aromatic spices dried garlic, onion, ginger, mint, red chili powder, bay leaf (taj patta), clove, black pepper, cumin, green cardamom and turmeric. The combination of spices used in this package can be overwhelming , but the blend of spices used is quite unique but it is advised that use spice mix proportionally as the taste can get intense.

    One of the star ingredients used in making Paneer Pulao is it self Paneer. I used store-bought paneer in this recipe, but if your one to make it fresh then that works the best. Small cubed paneer marinated in a home-made yogurt mixture and then shallow fried till nice and golden brown makes the perfect topper on this rice dish. I also used a specialty Pakistani long grain rice which is used in making biryanis, these rice grains cook well and each grain separates leaving a nice and loose effect on the pulao. If you like using basmati rice, the that works great also.

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    This Paneer Pulao is a party pleaser, be sure to try it out at your next dinner party, potluck or just a nice family dinner. Pair up this Paneer Pulao with a nice simple chaas (buttermilk) or a simple cucumber raita for your next meal. This recipe serves up to 6-8 people for a typical dinner.

     

    Paneer Pulao Using Veggie Biryani Masala

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook Time: 20 minutes

    Total Time: 50 minutes

    Serving Size: 6-8

    Paneer Pulao Using Veggie Biryani Masala

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups – long grain biryani rice (basmati rice is fine); Wash and soak for 15-20 minutes
    • 2 tbsps. - Ghee
    • Bay leaf – couple of leafs
    • 2 tsps. - Jeera / cumin seeds
    • 1 - Large onion; thinly slices
    • 1 cup – mixed frozen vegetables (carrots, green peas, green beans)
    • 1- Red bell pepper; deseed chopped in to small cubes
    • 1 - Medium Potato; peeled and diced into small cubes
    • 400 gram Paneer; diced into small cubes
    • Salt to taste
    • 2 1/2 tsps. – Vegetable Biryani Masala
    • 2 tbsps. Garlic/Ginger Paste
    • 3 tbsps. - Oil
    • 1 tsp. + 2 tsp. - Red chilli powder
    • 1/2 tsp. - Turmeric
    • 1/4 tsp. -Yogurt
    • 2 tbsps. -Gram flour
    • 2 tsps
    • 2-3 tbsp. -Coriander leaves for garnishing

    Instructions

    Marinate Paneer:
  • Into a bowl add 200 grams of diced paneer then add 1 tbsp. Oil, 1 tsp. red chili powder, turmeric, yogurt, 1/2 tsp. salt, gram flour. Mix well and keep aside for 30 minutes.
  • Heat 1 tbsp. oil in shallow fry pan. Remove the marinated paneer pieces with a slotted spoon. Drain off any excess marinade and slowly add to heated oil to shallow fry on medium flame until golden brown on all sides. Do not fry for too long, or they will burn and turn into a rubbery texture.
  • Pulao Steps:
  • In a large heavy bottomed pan, heat the ghee + 1 tbsp. Oil. Once hot add in jeera and let it splutter for 30 seconds, then add in garlic/ginger paste and sauté for another 30 seconds until raw aroma is gone. Add in sliced onions and sauté for another 1 minute till nice and pink. Add in Vegetable Biryani Masala, red chili powder, and salt to taste and 1 tbsp. of water give it all a good mix and cook for 1 minute again.
  • Once all spices combined together, add in mixed vegetables (carrots, green peas, green beans), potatoes, bell peppers and remaining cubed paneer pieces; mix and sauté for another 30 seconds
  • .
  • Now add in 4 cups of water. Cover and bring to a simmer. Add the rice, stir well, do a taste test and adjust salt and spices; once done cover and cook on a low flame for 10-12 minutes, until water is absorbed and rice is cooked.
  • Remove the cooked pulao in a large platter/plate. Arrange golden paneer pieces over the top. Garnish with fresh coriander.
  • Notes

    Recipe has been somewhat adapted from Saffron Trail-Paneer Pulao; but changed up to suit my tastebuds.

    http://myfoodforthesoul.com/paneer-pulao-using-veggie-biryani-masala/

     

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    10 Delicious Diwali Dishes

    Wishing every one a Happy Diwali and Happy New Year “Saal Mubarak” 

    diwali

    Deepawali – “Festival of Lights” An ancient Hindu festival to celebrate the triumph of light over dark and good over evil. This year Diwali will be celebrated on Wednesday November 11th, 2015, this is one of the most major holidays in India. Although, it’s not just celebrated in India it’s actually celebrated by millions all over the world.

    No festival or celebration is complete without delicious food and sweets.  This Diwali and New Year’s be sure to check out these great 10 recipes that is guaranteed to please the whole family.

    Diwali is celebrated in many different ways, but the most traditional ways that people celebrate is by lighting lamps and clay diyas, fireworks, music, decorations, delicious food and sweets. Rangoli patterns are decorated inside and outside created with colorful rice, sand and colorful flower petals. These colorful geometric rangoli designs are created for the entrance ways, living rooms or courtyards of houses that encourage and welcome the goddess Lakshmi Mata.

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    Diwali is one of the most lavishing, fun, full of tradition, bright, colorful and exciting festivals celebrated around the world. I find Diwali to be very similar to the traditional holiday “Christmas” which is also celebrated by many around the world. Diwali is all about exchanging gifts and sweets, greeting friends, family and loved ones with Diwali wishes, indulging in lavishing festive meals, buying and wearing new clothing.

    For some of us the next day after Diwali, is Gujarati New Years also known as “Bestu Varsha”, “Nutan Varsha”, “Padwa” and “Saal Mubarak”. We celebrate the year 2072 this year, Gujarati’s all over the world will celebrate this day to mark the beginning of a new year and put all their worries behind, forget the past and prepare to welcome the “New Beginning” of a new year.

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    No festival or celebration is complete without delicious food and sweets.  This Diwali and New Year’s be sure to check out these great 10 recipes that is guaranteed to please the whole family.

    1. Sooji Ka Halwa

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    2. Corn Flour Spinach Onion Pakora

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    3. Dal Dhokli

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    4. Dry Fruit Anjeer Kajoor Ladoo

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    5. Methi Muttar Malai Paneer

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    6. Mattar Tofu in White Gravy

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    7. Moong Dal Dhokla

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    8. Strawberry Rose Lassi

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    9. Methi Kela Na Bhajiya

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    10. Carrot Kheer – Gajar Dhoodh Pak

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    Wishing you all a very Happy Diwali and Prosperous New Year. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Methi Muttar Malai Paneer

    Methi Muttar Malai Paneer | How to make Fenugreek Leaves with Green Peas & Paneer (Cottage Cheese) in a creamy sauce

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    Methi Muttar Malai Paneer is an irresistible, delicious and tempting dish you don’t want to miss. The super combination of Methi (fenugreek leaves), Muttar (green peas), Paneer (cottage cheese or chhena) simmered in a flavorful, aromatic creamy, delicious smooth gravy.  This is a North Indian based dish that can be made in many different variations.

     

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    Any North Indian Punjabi dish is my all time favorite. My kids love it too ! I love to cook at home, but just like many other moms I like to take time away from the kitchen and enjoy a nice lunch or dinner at one of my favorite restaurants. We have many Indian Pure Vegetarian restaurants around ..choices are phenomenal and love the whole idea of the thali system. You can choose from many different curries & vegetables, rice, salad, pickle and variety of different Indian Flat breads.

    I was doubting myself before attempting to make this dish, I surfed the net and found many different recipes based on Malai Muttar, but nothing that I was fond of making. To be honest, it’s not the recipes that I saw were not interesting but, I was taking a few things into consideration actually a huge thing MY HUSBAND! 🙂  He’s not a huge fan of muttar and especially if it’s made in a tangy tomato gravy….too acidic ! So, keeping him in mind I altered my own recipe and made it so that he would enjoy the taste of muttar with the sinful creamy gravy.

     

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    Another thing I was worried about was the possible bitterness of the Fresh Methi in this dish. Guess what! there was not even the slightest bitter taste of the Methi in this dish. I guess the milk, cream and butter and flavors of the gravy take away the bitterness of the methi. Paneer and Tofu are also another all time favorite in my house. I usually would opt for Tofu …but for some reason my gut was telling me to go with Paneer in this recipe. Plus, I don’t like to keep unused Paneer for long in my fridge, due to it being a dairy product I tend to use it up quickly.

    I had served this up with Plain Parathas, rice and a side dish of salad. Now, there is no right way to serve up curries. Some like it Roti-Indian Flat Bread, Bhatura, Puri or even Naan.

    I also have some other mouth-watering recipes that you should check out and try them out: Pav Bhaji, Mattar Tofu in White Gravy, Chori-Dhokli, Bhindi KadhiMango Lassi, Mango Banana Milkshake.

     

    Methi Muttar Malai Paneer

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook Time: 15 minutes

    Total Time: 30 minutes

    Serving Size: 3-4

    Methi Muttar Malai Paneer

    Methi Muttar Malai Paneer a Irresistible, Delicious, tempting dish you don't want to miss

    Ingredients

    • 1 ½ cups – Muttar (Green peas-fresh/frozen)
    • 1 cup -Methi leaves fresh
    • 1 cup – Paneer (cottage cheese or Chhena) adjust amount to your liking
    • ¼ cup – Heavy Cream
    • ½ cup - Milk
    • ½ tsp. – Red Chili Powder
    • Turmeric - a pinch (optional)
    • 1 tbsp. – Butter (ghee)
    • Salt to taste
    • ½ tsp. – Sugar (optional)
    • 1 tsp. -Jeera
    • Asafetida – pinch (optional)
    • 1 tbsp. – Oil
    • 2 tbsp. - water
    • Couple of springs of Coriander- Finely chopped for garnishing
      Gravy Paste
    • 1 Medium Onion – chopped into chucks
    • 7-8 – Cashews (kaju) broken into pieces
    • 1-2 - Green chilies
    • Ginger - 1 small piece
    • 3-4 – Garlic Cloves

    Instructions

  • Separate methi leaves from stem, chop it roughly, wash in colander and keep aside.
  • Shallow fry paneer cubes until slightly golden brown color. Transfer onto plate with paper towel to absorb excess oil.
  • Pressure cook or pre-boil muttar (green peas) and keep aside.
  • Into a grinder add in all of the ingredients listed under “gravy paste” and make a smooth consistency paste, add a little water at a time as needed.
  • Heat up a kadai on medium heat ,add oil, once warm add in jeera and asafetida and sauté for 30 seconds. Then add in the grounded gravy paste give it a good mix and let it cook till raw smell is gone, but color has not changed. Keep stirring continuously to avoid burning.
  • Add in all of the dry spices; red chili powder, turmeric, salt to taste and sugar and water and give it a good mix. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add in muttar (green peas) and methi (fenugreek leaves), paneer, milk, butter and cream mix all together. **make sure heat is on medium low** need to simmer not boil. Let it all simmer for 5-8 minutes. NOTE: if you don’t like a very thick consistency then add in water at this point to your liking and cook.
  • Switch off flame, serve it in your desired dish and garnish with fresh finely chopped coriander.
  • Notes

    Sugar, Turmeric and Asofitida are optional but they do enhance the flavor.

    Paneer can be substituted with Tofu.

    No need to pre-cooked fresh or frozen muttar (green peas) but helps make the green peas tender.

    http://myfoodforthesoul.com/methi-muttar-malai-paneer/

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