Paneer Pin Wheels

Bored on a saturday evening and wanting to try something different and tasty, I ended up with this recipe. I realized I had some pastry puff left over after the last time I made vegetable puffs for my guests at home and decided to try something with Paneer. I really wanted to post step by step pictures recipe for this, but unfortunately missed to take pictures :( I will manage to edit and repost this with the step by step pictures sooner. Enjoy the mouth watering pin wheels


Preparation Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:
1. Paneer - 100 gms
2. Pepperidge farm Puff pastry - 1
3. Onion - 1 meidum size
4. Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tablespoon
5. Red chilly powder - 1/2 tablespoon
6. Garam Masala powder - 1/4 teaspoon
7. Salt - to taste
8. Oil - 1 tablespoon
9. Butter - to coat the wheels
10. Coriander leaves - handful
For Mint Chutney
1. Mint leaves - 20-30 leaves
2. Green chillies - 1



Preparation:

Thaw the Puff pastry per the instructions given in the pack. I generally thaw it at room temperature as I start preparing my filling.

Filling
1. Grate paneer finely and chop onions into fine pieces
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan and when hot add cumin seeds, onions and fry them until onion turns golder brown.
3. Add the grated paneer, red chilly powder, salt, garam masala and cook it for 5- 6 minutes in low-medium flame. Since we have grated the paneer finely, it will cook quickly.

Mint Chutney:
Make a fine paste with mint leaves and green chillies with a pinch of salt.

Making Pin Wheels
By now, the pastry sheet would have thawed well and ready to use.

1. Roll the pastry sheet with little flour (AP flour/Maida flour).
2. Now spread the Mint chutney all over the sheet.
3. Spread the paneer mixture over the mint chutney and finely chopped coriander leaves.
4. Start rolling the pastry from one side. Use water to seal when closing on the other end
5. Slice into wheels of required size and brush it with melted butter.
6. Spread the baking sheet over the baking tray and place the wheels without touching one another.
7. Precook the oven at 350 degrees and bake it for 10-12 minutes. Check once or twice during the baking.


Hot and spicy paneer roll is ready to serve. Serve it with tomato ketchup


Tips:
1. Place the roll before slicing in freezer for 10 minutes to make the slicing easier
2. If you don't like it too spicy, you can reduce the amount of chilly powder.

Egg Kuzhambu (உடைத்த முட்டை குழம்பு)

I am quiet bored of the egg gravies and curries I usually prepare with boiled eggs. This is one of the variations I tasted in my Chennai Grandma's house and grabbed the recipe from her. The first time I tried it almost a year back, this became my husband's favorite too. This is really very simple to make and also can be served as a side dish with Idlis/dosas/chapathis or with rice.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
1. Eggs - 4
2. Onion -1 big thinly chopped
3. Tomatoes - 2 medium sized finely chopped
4. Green chillies - 2 vertically split
5. Curry leaves - 2 to 3
6. Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
7. Urad dhal - 1/2 tablespoon
8. Oil - 3 tablespoon
9. Salt to Taste
10. Coriander leaves for garnishing.

For Masala
1. Grated coconut -
2. Pepper - 1/2 tablespoon
3. Red chilly powder - 1 tablespoon
4. Coriander powder - 1 1/2 tablespoon
5. Turmeric powder - a pinch
6. Fennel Seeds - 1 tablespoon
7. Ginger - a small piece (about 1/2 inch)
8. Garlic - 2
9. Curry leaves - 3 to 4
10. Mint leaves - 4 to 5
11. Cloves - 2
12. Cinnamon - a small stick(abount 1/2 inch)

Preparation:
1. Prepare a wet paste with all ingredients given for masala.
2. Heat oil in a pan and season with mustard seeds, urad dhal, green chillies, curry leaves and onions by adding one by one.
3. When the onion turns transparent, add tomatos and cook well for 2-3 minutes.
4. Add the paste made in step 1, salt and mix it well. Add around 1 1/2 cups of water and cook the mixture for 5 to 6 minutes.
5. Break the eggs one by one (they should be separate and not touching each other) into the boiling mixture.
6. Cook for 10 minutes in medium low by covering with a lid. Turn the eggs without breaking at half time.
7. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rice/idli/dosa/chapathi.

Tips:
1. Try using a wide pan for the eggs to cook without mixing with each other.

Mint-Spinach Paneer/Chicken Kebab

It was heavily raining and we had a tornado warning that evening and I reached home early and both of us wanted to have something spicy and it was time for me to try this recipe and we also ended up naming it "Mint-Spinach Flavored Triple Tornado Grill". On our first camping trip with our friends, I repeated this with Chicken.

Preparation Time: 2 hours for marination; 20 minutes cooking time

Ingredients:
1. Paneer - 250 gms
2. Onion - 1
3. Bell Peppers (Capsicum) - All colors each one
4. Lemon Juice - 2 - 3 tablespoon
5. White pepper - for garnishing
6. Oil - to cook

Marinade:
1. Spinach leaves - 25-30
2. Mint leaves - 4 to 5
3. Coriander leaves - 4-5 stings
4. Green chillies - 2
5. Red chilly powder - 1 tablespoon
6. cloves - 3
7. Cinnamon - 2-3 small sticks
8. Cardamom - 1
9. Bay leaves - 1 small
10. Fennel seeds - 1/2 tablespoon
11. Pepper - 4-5
12. Cumin seeds - 1/2 tablespoon
13. Ginger Garlic paste - 1/2 tablespoon
14. Yoghurt - 3-4 tablespoon
15. Salt - to taste


Preparation:
1. Wash all greens and blend them along with the other ingredients given for marination into a fine paste.
2. Cut paneer,onions and bell peppers into cubes of 1 inch size and gently poke the pieces with a fork, add the paste and mix it well.
3. Keep it refrigerated for 1 - 2 hours.
4. Heat a pan and 2 tables spoons of oil and shallow fry the paneer pieces few at a time for not more than 2-3 minutes. Repeat the process until all the paneer pieces and keep it aside.
5. Pre heat the oven at 350 degrees.
6. Apply oil on the skewers and skew the fried paneers, bell peppers, onoins alternatively as a colorful combination.
7. Place a baking sheet on a tray, place the skewers and cook it in the oven for 7-8 minutes rotating sides at half time.
8. Remove it from the oven, squeze lime juice and sprinkle some white pepper and serve it hot.

Tips:
1. You can try this recipe with Chicken or any other vegetables.
2. If you are planning to try this dish in a camping site, you can skip step 4 and grill it directly. You will have to cook for few extra minutes.

Pepper Curry Leaves Gravy (மிளகு கருவேப்பிலை குழம்பு)

This is one of my very favorite preparation. Thanks to SanthaKumari aunty (a family friend, such a lovely and dear person to me and our family) for giving this recipe that I always love. This is a variation to the normal Tamarind Kuzhambu and more rich in taste and aroma.

Preparation Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:
1. Onion - 2 medium sized finely chopped
2. Tamarind extract - 200 ml
3. Garlic - 10 pods
4. Curry leaves - 5 for seasoning
5. Oil - 1-2 tablespoon
6. Mustard seeds - 1 tablespoon
7. Urad dal - 1 tablespoon
8. Butter - 1/2 tablespoon (optional)
To Powder
1. Pepper - 1 tablespoon
2. Cumin seeds - 1 tablespoon
3. Fenugreek Seeds - 1/4 tablespoon (make sure not to over fry as it will turn bitter)
4. Curry leaves - 30 - 35


Preparation:
1. Cook the garlic in little water and smash it into coarse pieces.
2. Add red chilly powder and salt to the tamarind extract and keep it aside.
3. Dry fry the ingredients given for powder, cool and grind it into fine powder.
4. Heat oil in a pan and season with Mustard seeds, urud dhal, cumin seeds, curry leaves and fry for 1-2 minutes.
5. Add chopped onions and cooked garlic and saute until onion turns transparent. Pour the tamarind extract and one cup of water, cook in medium flame for 20-25 minutes until the raw tamarind smell goes off and the mixture reduces into half.
6. Now add the grounded masala powder. Set it in low flame and continue cooking for another 5 mins and switch off the stove. Finally add one tablespoon of butter (this is optional)

Appalam/Paruppu or thengai thuvayal with this rice will make an excellent meal.

Tomato Rice (Version 1)

Here is a very simple recipe for tomato rice which can serve as a quick lunch box item and serve as scrumptious meal.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
1. Rice - 250 gms
2. Tomatoes - 3 large sized
3. Onions - 1 large sized
4. Green chillies - 3 vertically split
5. Mint leaves - 6-7
6. Turmeric powder - a pinch
7. Salt - to taste
8. Corn or peas -1/2 cup(Optional)
For Tempering:
1. Oil/Ghee - 2 tablespoon
2. Mustard seeds  - 1/2 tablespoon
3. Urad dhal - 1/2 tablespoon
4. Curry leaves - 4-5
5. Roasted Groundnuts - 20-25
6. Asafoetida - a pinch
7. Red chillies - 2 -3 
For Masala Powder:
1. Channa dhal - 2 tablespoon
2. Toor dhal - 1 tablespoon
3. Urad dhal - 1 tablespoon
4. Red chillies - 3 (vary if according to your spice level)
5. Coriander seeds - 1 tablespoon
6. Fenugreek(Methi)seeds - 1/4 tablespoon
7. Sesame seeds - 1/4 tablespoon (optional)


Preparation:
1. Cook the Basmathi rice and set it aside to cool.
2. Dry fry the ingredients given for masala one by one, cool and grind into a coarse mixture.
3. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and when it splutters, add urad dhal, asafoetida, red chillies, curry leaves, roasted ground nut and fry for less than a minute.
4. Now add finely chopped onions, mint leaves and green chillies and saute until onion turns transparent.
5. Now add the tomatoes, and cook until it becomes tender (for around 5-6 minutes in medium flame). Add turmeric powder, masala powder and little salt and mix it well. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water if it is too thick.
6. Cook in low flame for another 5 minutes. Add this cooked mixture little at a time to the cooked rice checking the spice and salt.
7. Garnish with coriander leaves and roasted cashewnuts(optional).
Papad/Potato curry is an awesome companion for this rice.

Tips:
1. Spread the cooked rice in a sheet or plate and let it cool completely before you mix it.
2. You can roast little grated coconut and grind it with the masala powder for an additional rich taste.
3. Soak Basmathi rice for 5- 10 minutes, dry the water completely and roast it in 1 tablespoon of ghee/oil until it turns white and becomes non-sticky, then cook the rice. This will help the grains remain separate and look delicious.

மிளகு வடை( Pepper Vada)

மிளகு வடை(Pepper Vada) is a very famous offering for Lord Anchaneya(Hanuman). This is one of my favorites and I wanted to try this recipe for a very long time. Today being Hanuman Jayanthi (in Andhra), and fortunately I had a day off from work, decided to prepare this vada and small pooja at home in the evening. Thanks to my mom(in-law) for this wonderful recipe. The vada came out so well and it was a surprise snack for my husband today :)

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
1. Urad dhal - 100 gms
2. Rice - 2 tablespoon
3. Pepper - 10-12 (for medium spice)
4. Cumin Seeds - 1 tablespoon
5. Salt - to taste
6. Oil - for frying


Preparation:
1. Soak dhal and rice for not more than 10 minutes and then drain the water completely and set it aside for atleast 30 minutes to 1 hour until it becomes dry.
2. Grind dhal and rice along with Pepper, cumin and salt into a coarse thick mixture. Do Not add water.
3. Heat oil in a deep pan.Keep a wet cloth or thick plastic sheet( like ziploc cover) ready to make the vada.
4. Take a portion of the mixture (size of a medium goosberry) and spread it on the cloth/plastic sheeet and make it an even thin round and make a small hole in the center.
5. Drop it in the oil and cook in medium flame. Turn sides as it cooks and take it out when it becomes golden brown on both sides.

Crispy pepper vada is ready. This will stay nice for a longer time, so you can store it in an air tight container and consume for a week.

Makkan Peda (with Gulab Jamun Mix)

"Makkan Peda" also known as "Arcot Makkan Peda" is a very famous sweet in Arcot(my neighbour town in my homeplace) in Vellore district.  I still remember my childhood days where this sweet was very popular in one special shop named " Chairman Sweet Stall" in Arcot. Though now we started getting this sweet in many places in and around. Any guest to our house will definitely not miss this sweet as part of their lunch or dinner treat. At first look it would seem like 'Gulab Jamun' for most until they take a bite with those crunchy nuts. 

This sweet is generally made of sweetless kova (a milk product). I couldn't find kova anywhere here at my place and decided to give a try with the instant Gulab Jamun mix and it really came out yummy!!! 

Ingredients: (for 5 pieces)
1. MTR instant Gulab Jamun mix - Half packet
2. Cooking soda - a pinch
3. Milk - less than 1/4th of gulab jamum mix
4. Sugar - 3 cups
5. Dried nuts mixture - one cup. I used cashews, Almonds, Pistachio, dates, dry grapes. Do not miss to use pumpkin seeds if you can acquire some. It adds richness to the taste.
6. Oil - to fry




Preparation:


1. Mix the gulab jamun powder with cooking soda and milk and knead gently and make a soft dough without sticking and rest it for 5 - 10 minutes.
2. Prepare the dry nuts mixture by cutting the nuts into smaller pieces.
3. Now make soft round balls with the dough in hand and make a small hole and fill it with the nuts mixture, close the hole and roll it again and flatten it a bit
4. Now heat oil in a pan and fry the balls 1 or 2 at a time.
5. Most importantly, do not over heat oil. Keep it in a very low flame otherwise it will turn brown quickly but the inner part might not cook.
6. Cooking time for each piece should be 7 to 8 minutes and turn sides slowly for even cooking.
7. In another pan add sugar and equal amount of water and bring it to boil to make the sugar syrup.
8. Once the syrup thickens after boiling for 5 to 7 minutes, switch off.
9. When the peda pieces are cooked, drain the oil and drop into the sugar syrup. Sugar syrup should be hot.
10. Set it aside for 15 -20 minutes to soak it completely and dress it with dried nuts on top.
Delicious, mouth watering Makkan peda is ready to eat.


Tips:
1. When the peda soaks in syrup it will expand in size, so prepare enough syrup to serve.
2. To get the rich taste, use Kova instead of the gulab jamun mix