Thursday, October 20, 2011

Palak Paneer (Cottage cheese in a creamy spinach gravy)



Here's another Paneer dish that I really like... but rarely make cause when the word spinach is mentioned at home I get looks of revulsion. My mom in law brought home some beautiful spinach from the market and they were too pretty to chop up and cook into a coconut induced coma (that's what happens to most of the vegetables cooked in a south indian household... people have a thing for coconuts here). Anyway, getting back to this awesome palak paneer... my sister liked it, which says a lot cause she was the one who gave me this dirty look when I mentioned I was gonna make palak paneer for lunch.

First off, wash the pretty spinach leaves.

Take little water in a vessel, drop the leaves inside and let them cook for a few minutes. Spinach cooks really soon, and it gives off water too... so make sure you take little water while you cook the spinach. Here they are nicely cooked... drop only the leaves into a food processor and blend them to form a vivid green paste.
Chop up your paneer and shallow fry them till they get brown tinted all over. Then drop them in warm water.
Heat a little oil in a pan and throw in some cumin (jeera) seeds, hear their robust crackling.

Now drop in some chopped garlic and stir it around...

Add some finely chopped onions and garam masala, stir them around.
Drop in some giner & garlic paste, stir everything around.

Add some chopped tomatoes and stir this around till...
You get a nicely cooked mixture like this.
Now add the masala powders, turmeric, chillie, cumin and coriander powders, stir them around.
Now add the spianch puree to this and mix it well.
If you have the left over water that the spinach was boiled in, you can add that too, cover and cook for a few minutes.
This is how it looks when the curry slowly starts coming together. I know, it might look yucky... nobody really likes green gravy. But don't be fooled by looks, by the time you are done with this dish, it won't taste anything like spinach. If you have kasuri meethi (fenugreek leaves) , sprinkle a few strands on top and let it cook for a while.

After a few minutes add fresh cream (use milk if you haven't got fresh cream). While adding fresh cream or milk, reduce the flame and add cream slowly, mixing as you add... so that the cream doesn't curdle. Finally, add the paneer pieces that were soaking in warm water. Check the consistency of the gravy, if it requires more water just add the water that the paneer has been soaking it or just add the paneer peices... upto you. Cover and cook for a few minutes and that's it... your palak paneer is ready.

Looks nice right... a healthy curry, tastes great with chapathi.
A blob of butter and its ready to go on the table. Now how can you resist digging into this... its healthy and delightful at the same time.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Eatalica


So after the evening mass on Sunday, we decided to go out for dinner and that's how we ended up at Eatalica. And boy, I'm so glad we did... the food was really really good, both in quantity and quality, and it was quite easy on the pocket too. But the most striking feature of this place is its menu card, it cracked me up. Every time we (me, my sister and Tonio) wanted to order something we would start laughing... all the items on the menu were modified names of Hollywood celebrities. Sample this...


This chicken steak burger is called Tommy Lee Bones.


This chicken sizzler is called Henzel Washington.


This beef sizzler is called Kurt Cowbain.


These deep fried prawns are called Pierce Prawnson.

The garlic bread we ordered was called Bred Astaire, the chocolate milk shake we had was called Calista Chochart. It was all so hilarious... here are a few other names on the menu: Smiley Cyrus, Trihanna, Beyonce Knowles (brownie with hot chocolate sauce), Jodie Froster ice cream, Chillary Swank, Lawrence Fishburne (Good old fish & chips), Juice Willis (a juicy beef steak), Clint Eatwood, Clarke Gobble (veg steak), Monica Chewinsky, Heath Wedger (potato wedges), Ethan Hawke (spicy chicken wings), Gill Bates (fish fingers), Stew Barrymore, Francis Ford Cupolla, Keanu Leaves (salad), Hamfree Bogart, Jennifer Showpez, Cheese Witherspoon, Puff Daddy, Tex Harrison, Kevin Bacon (bacon cheese burger), Tiger Would (a burger with all the works!!!), Must-in Timberlake, Ate Winslet...
Needless to say we will keep going back, the place is rather small... but the food is great. The decor is ordinary (pic above), the place is clean and the service is good. We ordered about eight items on the menu and the price came to about Rs. 1300. All in all, a pretty nice place to hang out and have some good fulfilling food.

On to some great news, I've been featured on a wonderful friend's blog... I haven't met Beth in person, we got to know each other through our blogs, then we connected on Facebook and she is a gorgeous person, inside and outside. Her faith makes her beautiful, she finds beauty in almost anything... and that's why her blogs are pure delight. She is incredibly talented, I love her paintings and the beautiful creatures she brings to life in them. Thank you Beth, for this honour... I am delighted!