Paneer Pulao Using Veggie Biryani Masala

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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

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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/

 

paneer pulao

 

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10 Delicious Diwali Dishes

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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.

rangoli 2

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.

Happy_New_Year_text

 

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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Sooji Ka Halwa

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Sooji ka Halwa | How to make authentic Gujarati Style Sheera

 

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A nice an easy to make sweet dish prepared in minutes. Sooji ka Halwa also known as “Sheera” in Gujarati is an all time favorite sweet dish that can be served as a dessert, breakfast sweet dish or prepared for special occasions or festivals. Sooji ka Halwa is a super simple and absolutely delicious dish prepared by roasting sooji also known as rava or semolina in pure desi ghee (clarified butter) cooked in warm milk with sugar  and topped with your favorite choice of dry fruits and saffron.

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This recipe is my all time favorite, I’ve learned to make this special method of “sheera” from my mom. I’ve watched her make it numerous times as a sweet side dish for dinner, for special puja’s at home. My mum’s recipe calls for warm milk, but many people substitute the milk with water which is also fine, but I find that by adding milk to the sheera gives it a nicer rich taste and texture. Also this recipes has silvered almonds, green raisins which is optional, silvered cashews and charoli also known as chirongi nuts or piyal seeds and saffron to give our sooji ka halwa a nice flavor and color.

Sooji ka Halwa can be made in many different ways. No matter what style and method rava halwa is made in whether it be North Indian-Suji Ka Halwa, South Indian Kesari Rava or Pakistani Sooji ka Halwah they all taste absolutely scrumptiously delicious. 🙂

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I’m sure a lot of us have already heard of semolina also known as rava or sooji. But did you know that it’s not just commonly used in Indian cuisines it’s also very popularly used in many other cultural backgrounds like Europe, North Africa, West Africa, North America and South America to make pasta, pudding, breakfast cereal and couscous.  Semolina is a grain that is very versatile can be used to make sweet dishes, savory dishes, baking and I’ve read and some what believe that it also has some amazing health benefits if consumed in the correct manner.

 

Sooji Ka Halwa

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 5-6

Sooji Ka Halwa

Sooji ka Halwa also known as "Sheera" in Gujarati is a all time favorite sweet dish that can be served as a dessert, breakfast sweet dish or prepared for special occasions or festivals.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup - sooji;(rava or semolina)
  • 1 cup - ghee
  • 1/2 cup - sugar
  • 2 cups - milk;warm
  • pinch saffron
  • 8-10 pieces -charoli;(chirongi)
  • 1/2 cup - mixed slivered almonds and green raisins
  • 1 tsp. - elachi powder (cardamon)

Instructions

Heat the ghee in a broad non-stick pan; add the semolina and sauté on a slow low-medium heat for 6 to 10 minutes. , while stirring occasionally. The color of semolina should slight change to a golden brown and should be able to smell the aroma of the ghee/semolina mixture.

Add the milk very slowly a little at a time; mix well and cook for 5-8 minutes, while stirring continuously until the milk is absorbed into the semolina and the ghee is starting to separate.

Add the sugar, raisin, charoli, almond slivers, elachi powder and saffron mix well. Keep stirring occasionally until the sugar is absorbed and ghee starts to separate.

Remove into desired bowl; Garnished by sprinkling a little elaichi (cardamom) powder on top and slivered almonds and serve.

Notes

Dry fruits of your choice can be added.

Milk can be substituted with warm water.**Milk gives it a nicer texture and flavor.**

Adjust sugar to your liking.

http://myfoodforthesoul.com/sooji-ka-halwa/

 

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Yum

Sunshine Ginger Smoothie

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imageStay healthy, boost the immune system, and keep the body energized with this super delicious and excellent source of “Vitamin C” packed Fruity Sunshine Ginger Smoothie. The delightful taste of your favorite mixed fruits like papaya, strawberries,plums, apple and pineapple with a piece of super anti-oxidant fighting ginger, a generous amount of honey and a huge shot of Orange Juice with the super added touch of my all time favorite “TURMERIC POWDER” all blended together. This is a smoothie that is close to impossible not to try out.

Things we should know about the “Influenza Season” also known as “flu” season. The timing of a flu is close to impossible to predict, it’s some what very unpredictable because the “flu” season varies in different parts of the country  and from season to season. The most common seasonal flu typically arrives between October and May. In parts of the world the common peaks of the flu season is around December and February.

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It’s also very different to predict how/what the flu season will be like. The “FLU” season as mentioned before is very unpredictable in numerous ways. Flu season comes around every year, the flu spreads every year, but it’s very difficult to determine the timing, the severity and the duration of the season. Again, all these common factors varies from one year to another.

Some of the most common symptoms of the flu are:

People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
  • Fever* or feeling feverish/chills.
  • Cough.
  • Sore throat.
  • Runny or stuffy nose.
  • Muscle or body aches.
  • Headaches.
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

 

“What should we do to protect ourselves from the flu season”

There are many different options we are given to protect ourselves from the flu. One of the most common recommended yearly by our doctors, pharmacist and health officials is the “flu vaccine” . The vaccination is for everyone from 6 months and older, this has to be the first and foremost important step in protecting ourselves against the flu. Health officials announce it every year that we should start getting vaccinated as soon as the flu vaccine becomes available. Normally, these vaccines are ready and available by Mid-October and the best part now about these “flu vaccines” is that they’re “FREE” at least where I live in Canada. Also, they’re no longer  just available at the doctor’s office, these vaccines are readily available to be taken at many pharmacies, community health centers and flu clinics.

There are many other preventive things we can do to stay healthy and protected this flu season:

  • get your flu shot early
  • wash your hands often
  • avoid touching your eyes and face
  • do not share personal items such as drinking cups
  • cover your cough or sneeze
  • do the fist bump instead of shaking hands

These are facts and information that is readily always available to use through our local health centers, doctors office, pharmacy and the internet. I have also read up on many different factors relating to the “flu season”, “Influenza”, prevention, and also participated in classroom sessions learning about the prevention and protection. I believe that the number one protection and prevention starts at home. 🙂

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I’ve shared many different smoothie and drink recipes that will help you stay protected, help boost the immune system and energize the body to stay protected all throughout the season. Be sure to try out some of these everyday smoothies; Orange Immune Booster JuiceFruity Turmeric SmoothieCold Buster Ginger-Turmeric Drink, and Tropical Turmeric Smoothie.

 

Fruity Ginger Smoothie

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 7 minutes

Serving Size: 2

Fruity Ginger Smoothie

Vitamin C packed stay healthy Fruity Ginger Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup - frozen Mixed Fruits - papaya, pineapple, strawberry, plum and apple
  • 1/2- 1 inch piece - Ginger; chopped into small chucks
  • 1 tbsp. - honey
  • 1 tsp. - turmeric powder
  • 1 cup - orange juice

Instructions

Blend all together into a nice smooth consistency and enjoy!

http://myfoodforthesoul.com/sunshine-ginger-smoothie/

 

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Yum

Corn Flour Spinach Onion Pakora

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Corn Flour Spinach Onion Pakora | Special Corn Flour Spinach Onion Deep Fried Fritters

 

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Dull rainy days always make me feel a bit down…can’t go out since it’s too wet and cold and staying in can get boring. That’s when these totally scrumptious, delicious and quick preparing Corn Flour Spinach Onion Pakoras (fritters) come handy. I’m not one to always deep fry, but some things just taste much better when deep fried ….like Pakora! 🙂 Enjoy these divine little fritters with your favorite sauce and a cup of tea (chai) and trust me ….the rainy day blues will disappear.

Corn Flour Spinach Onion Pakora are sinfully delicious little fritters made in a combination of corn flour, besan (gram flour), spinach, onion and flavored up with a combination of dried spices and deep fried till nice and golden brown.

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Pakoras are really famous in Northern Indian, they’re made in many different variations of vegetables, spices, veg or non-veg and batters. Normally, all pakoras are deep fried till nice and golden brown and served as a snack or appetizer. They are considered to be a quick fast food item and are very regularly found sold on side street food trolley, in restaurants and grocery stores.

I won’t say that these are  a healthier version since I’m using yellow corn flour, but yes ! one thing for sure that they taste awesome. The combination of yellow corn flour, besan, spinach, onion and spices is a total WOW!. I’ve made different pakoras before that are either completely traditional Gujarati or traditional Punjabi.

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Some of my all time favorites are Methi Palak Pakora and Methi Kela Na Bhajiya with my favorite chutneys Green Coriander Chutney and Mint Coriander Chutney.

 

Corn Flour Spinach Onion Pakora

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Serving Size: 4-5

Corn Flour Spinach Onion Pakora

All time favorite and super simple Corn Flour Spinach Onion Pakora

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup - corn flour (I used the yellow corn flour)
  • 3 Tbsp.-besan (chick pea flour)
  • 1 medium - onions; finely chopped
  • 2 cups - spinach; washed & finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. - ginger-garlic Paste
  • 1 tbsp. - green chili paste
  • 1 tsp. - red Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp. –turmeric Powder (haldi)
  • Pinch of Baking Powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp.- kesoori methi; crushed (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • ½ tbsp. - oil
  • 3 Tbsp. -coriander leaves / cilantro; finely chopped
  • Water as needed
  • Oil to deep fry

Instructions

In a mixing bowl, add corn flour, besan, green chili paste, ginger-garlic paste, baking powder, kesoori methi, salt to taste, red chili powder, turmeric, oil and combine all together. Then add in chopped spinach, onion and coriander leaves; mix well by adding in very little water at a time to create a smooth flowing batter of medium consistency. (Spinach releases water)

Heat a frying pan with oil while the Corn Flour Spinach Onion Pakora batter gets ready.

When the oil is medium hot ;test by gently sliding a little dough in the oil and it should rise to the top almost immediately. Drop spoonful of the batter in medium hot oil and fry the pakoras till golden and crisp.

Remove and drain on paper towels.

Serve hot with your favorite chutney/sauce.

http://myfoodforthesoul.com/corn-flour-spinach-onion-pakora/

 

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