Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lemony Tofu Stir Fry

I’m mostly someone who loves routine or rather even if I might not love it so much…my life is more or less predictable on most days….infact both me n’ my husband are like that….i wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that we are both Capricorns…either ways…we are alike in a lot of ways….ok I won’t tell you all the details….i might just shock u with how often we prefer to eat the same food…:) anyways i decided to move out of the comfort zone today....n' decided to try this recipe...

I also know that my/our favorite cuisine is Indian, Pakistani, (a little bit of )Italian n’ Chinese ( I don’t know if I’m talking about the Indian version of Chinese food as I have never tried the authentic version I think….or so I’m told ;)…in any case I don’t think I have tried too many cuisines to say that I don’t like something…but I guess u might rarely (if ever) find anything which doesn’t fall under this category on my food blog….i kind of find baking a little intimidating so I don’t know when I will start trying that…

Anyways coming back to this recipe….i kind of stay away from buying fancy things n’ trying out fancy recipes which require fancy things (my definition of “fancy” being anything which isn’t easily available or sometimes not at all available in India...also I have noticed that once I buy some “fancy” ingredient for one recipe….i fail to use it again as most of my cooking might not need it….so I think it’s a waste of money) Which explain my limited knowledge on things with fancy names….. i was under the impression Tofu n’ Paneer (cottage cheese) are more or less the same thing….but they are not….if you wanna learn more about that…check this website…

So my veggie food adventure quest made me buy some tofu…..and the dish has come out so much better than I expected it to…..I honestly don’t know where you can buy Tofu in india so those who think tofu is “fancy” I’m sorry….this recipe is really simple n’ I had to give it a go…now I better get on with the recipe….so here you go…

1. Tofu: 350gms (cut into cubes)
2. Soy Sauce: 1 tsp ( I used light soy sauce)
3. Oyster Sauce: 1tsp
4. Lemon Juice- 1 ½ tsp
5. Onion- 1 (cut into cubes)
6. Ginger Garlic- 1 tsp (crushed)
7. Red Capsicum- 1 (cut into cubes)
8. Green Chili- 3 (Sliced- 1 cut into 3 pieces should do)
9. Mushrooms- 3-4 Sliced (optional)
10. Noodles- I don’t know how to mention how much I used as this is meant more to add some character to the dish than as a must…..but I must have used enough for some 4tbsp of cooked noodles…
11. Salt- to taste
12. Olive Oil- 2tsp (yeah I used only so much…but up to u if u want to add more do so…)

Step 1: Marinate the tofu cubes adding soy sauce, oyster sauce n’ lemon juice. Keep it aside for atleast 15mins.

Step 2: Heat Olive oil in a pan n’ add onion n’ ginger garlic paste n’ fry it till the onion turns light brown.

Step 3: Add the capsicum cubes n’ sliced green chilies to this. Stirring it occasionally let it cook well.

Step 4: Add the cooked noodles and mushroom to this. Mushrooms will ooze out water….keep the flame on medium to high so that the gravy reduces a little. You can add salt at this point, again keeping in mind that the sauces used for marinade will be salty.

Step 5: Add the marinated tofu cubes n’ the mixture to the above n’ stir fry it for a while to allow the tofu to soak up the flavors n’ turn slightly golden brown.

Best served with plain rice, fried rice or noodles, this recipe is enough to serve only 2 people so depending on the number of people you are making it for, please increase the measurements.

Paneer Tikka Masala

I have been making paneer at home mostly….but I have this problem that they don’t form a shape for me to cut them into cubes….once I hang them for the water to drain….i don’t know what to do to get them into a square or rectangular shape for me to cut them into cubes later….the day I learn how to do this…I’m gonna share it with the world…so mostly I have been making paneer burji or paneer cutlets or paneer wraps…(will post these recipes once I take some snaps)…the problem is I make all this once I get back from work….n’ my husband is no help in the kitchen….so by the time I’m done making things (I’m kind of slow)…I’m way too tired n’ hungry to get more creativity out of me for a good snap…needless to say he will be really hungry too…that’s how I have been so quite on my blog… doing this blog and the so many wonderful food blogs out there has kind of inspired me to cook new things…but the more interest I take in cooking….the more weight I put on…what with just the 2 of us to finish whatever I make….so I’m taking this food blog thing a little slow.

Anyways….so I’m on a veggie food spree and decided to buy paneer this time so that I can try some north Indian recipes……what I could mostly find on the web were panner butter masala…2 good recipes are available here

I almost went ahead n’ tried this. But then I came across a simple Panner Tikka Masala on a cooking show on the TV and decided to try it instead…so here you go….


For the Marinade:
1. Yogurt- 2tbsp (the host asked us to use thick yogurt if u don’t have that…then hang the yogurt in a muslin cloth to reduce the excess water)
2. Chili Powder- ½ tsp (more or less according to taste…this is less according to me)
3. Kastoori Methi Powder- 1tsp
4. Salt- as per taste
5. Lime Juice- Half a lime
6. Oil- 1tsp
7. Paneer- 400gms (sliced into cubes)
8. Tomato- 1 (deseeded n’ sliced into cubes)
9. Capsicum- 1 (sliced into cubes)
10. Onion- 1 (sliced into cubes)

For the rest;)
1. Oil- 2-3tbsp
2. Jeera Seeds- ½ tsp
3. Onion- 1 big (Chopped)
4. Ginger Garlic Paste- 1tsp (preferably fresh)
5. Turmeric Powder- ½ tsp
6. Coriander Powder- 1tsp
7. Cumin Powder- ½ tsp
8. Chili Powder- ½ tsp
9. All purpose flour (maida) – 1tsp
10. Tomato Puree- 1 cup
11. Fresh Coriander Leaves- 1stem (chopped)
12. Garam Masala Powder- 1tsp
13. Water- as required
14. Salt: as per taste
15. Cream : 2-3tbsp


Step 1: Add yogurt, kastoori methi, lime juice, chili powder, oil and salt (from the ingredients for the marinade) into a fine paste. Add Paneer, tomato, onion n’ capsicum cubes to this paste n’ marinate for atleast half an hour.

Step 2: Heat oil in a pan and add jeera, once the jeera splutters, add the chopped onions and ginger garlic paste to this. Let it cook until the onion turns golden brown.

Step 3: Add turmeric, coriander, cumin n’ chili powders to the onion. Let the masala cook for a while. Add the flour to this n’ let it cook for a while. (don’t move on to the next step till the flour is cooked well…you will be able to see the oil separating from the mix and that’s an easy way to know its cooked)

Step 4: Add salt and the pureed tomatoes to this…stirring it occasionally let this mixture cook for a while. Depending on the whether you are using canned tomato puree or fresh the cooking time will vary a little. If you are using canned tomato puree it will cook faster. Once the oil starts to separate add a little water to get a thick gravy (if required)…

Step 5: While the tomato puree is being cooked, grill the marinated paneer and veggies on a grill pan or in the oven, I used my grill pan this time but decided to try the grill in the oven the next time around….the only reason why I’m thinking this is as more oil is required when u grill them in a pan compared to grilling them in the oven (I think so I’m not too sure)….the tomato cubes tend to get cooked faster than the other cubes….so take them off the grill sooner than the others. (If you are using skewers in the oven I guess this shouldn’t matter.)

Step 6: Add the grilled paneer and veggies to the gravy n’ let it cook for a atleast 10 mins….add the garam masala powder on top of the curry n’ mix well….let it be covered for 5more mins. Add the cream one spoon at a time n’ mixing it with the gravy….let it cook for another 5mins n’ add coriander leaves to this to garnish.

Its best served with plain rice, tandoori roti or chapatti……I added on sliced green chili along with the garam masala as I wanted the dish to be a little more spicier….also its possible that the gravy turns a little too sour…again it depends on ur tomato puree….if this happens…just add 2-3pinches of sugar n’ that should resolve your problem…. I’m not too fond of adding red color to my food….but I guess most of the restaurants add color to enhance the look….do so for this recipe if you want….might make it look exactly like what you buy from restaurants...:)

Baby Corn Manchurian

I don’t think I have bought baby corns after moving to Bahrain. So its safe to assume its been almost 2yrs since I last had them…..atrocious rite???

Anyways now the situation sort of demands me to eat more veggies and I considered cooking something with some Baby Corn. Being a Mal there is not tried n’ tested family recipe for this and I had to get some help from the internet. I just typed ‘baby corn recipe’ as my search title n’ most of what I got were baby corn Manchurian recipes….honeslty I have never had them before n’ I decided to try…..just coz it was really easy…i love easy recipes…I mean I’m really lazy most of the time…but sometimes the whole ‘josh’ of cooking becomes a little overpowering and I end up trying something new…. this recipe is a combination of three recipes….kind of had to judge what can I avoid n’ what’s a must……I love doing this…:D so here you go….

Ingredients :

1.Baby Corn- 300gms
2. All Purpose Flour (Maida)- 3/4th of a cup
3. Corn Flour- 1tbsp
4. Chili Powder – ½ tsp (I used kashmiri chili powder)
5. Pepper Powder- ½ tsp (reduce the qty if u don’t like spicy food)
6. Ginger Garlic - 2tsp (crushed)
7. Salt- to taste
8. Water- ½ cup
9. Oil- ½ cup ( for deep frying)
10. Soy Sauce- 1tsp ( I used light sauce)
11. Oyster Sauce- 1tsp
12. Red Chili Sauce- 1tsp (use less if you don’t share my love for spicy food ;)
13. Tomato Ketchup- 1tsp
14. Onion- 1 big (sliced thin) or (2 medium ones)
15. Spring Onion- 1 Stem (add more if you like to)
16. Vinegar/ Lime Juice (optional)- a drizzle
17. a pinch of ajinomoto (optional)- I added Maggie Noodles taste maker (1packet) instead…;)


Step 1: Cut each baby corn into 3 slices, and boil the same in water adding a little salt….(i add very little water most of the time while boiling… instead of covering the vegetables with water I toss the pan to cook it evenly). Once cooked drain the baby corn n’ keep it aside. (Don’t throw the water we can use the same later)

Step 2: Mix the flour, corn flour, chili powder, pepper powder, 1 tsp of ginger garlic crushed, soy sauce (just a few drops) and salt.

Step 3: Coat this batter on the Baby corns and deep dry the same. Keep it aside.

Step 4: Remove as much oil as possible (leaving maybe arnd 1tbsp…add a little more later if required) and in the same pan add the sliced onion n’ the remaining 1tsp crushed ginger garlic. Let it cook for a while until the onion turns pink….

Step 5: Once the onion is cooked to your satisfaction, add all the sauces to this (soy, oyster, chili and tomato ketchup) again….let is cook for a while….

Step 6: Add the taste maker to the above once the same is cooked. As all the above (sauces n’ tastemaker) is a little salty, take care while adding more salt to this. Add the spring onion slices now (so that it doesn’t get overcooked)

Step 7: Add the water that we had kept aside from boiling the baby corn (not too much just enough for a light gravy). Add the fried baby corns to this….and stirring/folding it occasionally let it be on the fire for atleast 5-10 more mins…(so that the baby corn get the flavor of the gravy) and its ready to serve…

I think it will be best served with fried rice or plain rice.

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