Creamy Mattar Paneer Recipe


Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Creamy Mattar Paneer

Since mattar paneer is one of my very favorite Punjabi dishes, I have made several different versions over the years. Some included a fair amount of yogurt for a rich and creamy element, while others were more classic in that the cubes of tender milky paneer cheese were simmered in a spiced tomato gravy with a swirl or two of yogurt or cream added into the dish near the end of the cooking time. Sometimes I have included mint, and other times, choose dried fenugreek leaves to compliment and enliven the spices. This version also focuses on a thick rich tomato base which takes precedence as the vehicle for the paneer cheese and peas and, of course, a range of aromatic and hot spices, but because I also wanted to add a creamy element to the dish, I prepared a cashew paste that is included for a pleasant balance of earthy and spicy.

The paneer cubes may be pan-fried in some oil until lightly browned on the sides, before adding them to the dish. This of course makes the paneer firmer in texture and the paneer will assert a more prominent showing in contrast to the other components in the dish. As a good paneer should be firm, I didn't think it really necessary and as it has a high melting point, the cubes still hold their shape and I thoroughly enjoyed the creamier texture achieved by skipping that step. Either way, a good mattar paneer is one you won't soon forget.

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Quick and Easy Peanut Butter Cookies {Gluten-Free and Egg-Free}

Quick and Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

This recipe is a small adaptation of one of my favorite peanut butter cookie recipes, one that happens to be flourless and egg-free and contains only four ingredients. I've made the original countless times, and although this adaptation is new, I've made it several times already too. No need for butter or oil when you use a natural peanut butter sans extras. One bowl, a measuring cup and a teaspoon, mix, shape into cookies, bake for just under 10 minutes and enjoy if you can be patient for another 10 minutes to let them cool and firm up a bit.

Still flourless and egg-free, I've made these cookies to be ever so slightly firmer than the original recipe but still focusing on preserving the essential peanut butter purity that makes these cookies so highly enjoyable. They may have six ingredients instead of four, but they are still incredibly easy to make and have just as much of the intense peanut butter flavor. These cookies are a peanut butter lover's delight.

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Lentil Minestrone with Swiss Chard and Arborio Rice

Lentil Minestrone with Swiss Chard and Arborio Rice

Sometimes only lentils will do, and they shine in all their seemingly humble glory in soups. Puy lentils (also known as French lentils) are a favorite of mine because of their unique earthy flavor and also because, unlike many other lentils, they hold their shape well, so providing a chewy texture to that which they feature in.

Here the lentils feature in a hearty minestrone with earthy Swiss chard and Arborio rice, which I have used instead of the more traditional inclusion of pasta. The rice adds additional chewiness, and proves an ideal vehicle for the fragrant and rich flavors of the other components of the soup.

The soup can also be made ahead of time, and as it will thicken over time, especially if made the day before, simply add water to thin it out when reheating or serve spread over some toasted crusty bread to make a thoroughly enjoyable bruschetta.

Lentil Minestrone

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Baby Potato, Red Kale and Cabbage Subji


Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Baby Potato, Red Kale and Cabbage Subji

As part of my menu planning, I am mindful of the need to have a vegetable component for the meal. This does not require much thought if there are plenty of vegetables in one of the main dishes I am making, but other times, a side seems a necessary and delightful solution.

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