Coriander Powder

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I do not want to write too much story about this post. However, I have to mention one thing here. If you are used to using store bought coriander powder, switching to a home-made coriander powder can be a turning point in your whole cooking experience. It was the case with me.

I used to make everything using store bought coriander powder. Once I made my mom’s bhindi/okra fry and it was nowhere close to what she prepares, though I had taken time to fry it well like she does. Then I asked her what could have possibly gone wrong and she brought to my notice that it could be the difference due to the coriander powder. Immediately, I got the coriander powder recipe from her and the secret ingredient is the ‘fenugreek seeds’. It was a whole new revelation to me that something that small can make such drastic difference. Ever since, I have always got bhindi/okra fry just perfect.

INGREDIENTS:

Coriander seeds – 2 cups
Dry red chillies – 8 nos
Fenugreek seeds – ¼ tsp

METHOD:

1. Heat a pan and dry roast coriander seeds, dry red chillies and fenugreeks seeds together. Keep saute’ing.
2. You would know that the coriander seeds are getting roasted when you hear the popping sound. Fry in medium-high flame till the popping sound almost stops and you start getting a nice aroma of coriander seeds(Another way to identify when to stop dry roasting would be when you see the color of the coriander seeds going brown, not dark brown 🙂 ).
3. Grind into fine powder in a dry grinder/mixie.
Notes: The dry red chilli gives a good color to the coriander powder and the fenugreek seeds adds aroma to the spice mix.

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Kadai Paneer

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Paneer has never been my favorite. I don’t remember going to a restaurant and ordering even a single paneer dish nor tasting it. That is the extent to which I used to hate paneer. The reason partly could be that I used to hate milk and milk products. But now that I have developed a habit of drinking milk, I think I am slowly able to accomodate paneer also into my list of edible things 😉

This is one of the easiest and quickest recipes. It didn’t take me any longer than 15 mins to make this dish. And for the effort put into making this, the end product and the taste is simply amazing. You could make this kadai paneer if some guests are coming and you wanna give them a lip smacking item which is effortless.

Try giving this dish to someone(like me :-P) who thinks paneer is absolutely flavorless. This spicy and flavorful sauce makes the paneer so delicious that they would soon change their opinion 🙂 It can easily match a restaurant style Kadai Paneer if you serve it with naan topped with some butter…yummm!!

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INGREDIENTS:

Onion – 1 no. small sized
Bell pepper/Capsicum – 1 no. small sized
Paneer cubes – 1.5 cups
Tomato puree – 1/2 cup
(Alternatively, you could use 1 tsp tomato paste)
Red chilli powder – 1/4 tsp
Garam masala – 1/4 tsp
Butter – 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves – 3-4 strands
Salt – to taste(apprx. 1/2 tsp)

To grind :-
Dry red chillies – 4 nos
Black peppercorn – 1/2 tsp
Coriander seeds – 1.5 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Fennel seeds – 1/4 tsp
Dry Fenugreek leaves – 3/4 tsp

METHOD:

1. Dry roast the ingredients listed in the ‘To grind’ section and grind them coarsely.
2. Heat butter in a pan. Add half the portion of the ground spice mix. Then add red chilli powder, garam masala and salt. Saute for few seconds.
3. Then add diced/cubed onion and bell peppers. Saute till they soften a little.
4. Add tomato puree and saute till it cooks well.
5. To this add paneer cubes(You could use fried paneer cubes. For this, shallow fry the paneer cubes in 1 tsp butter/ghee after dry roasting the spices and keep it aside.)
6. Add the remaining half of the spice mix and mix well. Saute for 3-4 mins.
7. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve hot with naan or chappati 🙂