Comfort food does not get better than this delicious North Indian curry. Soft paneer cooked in a rich and creamy spinach gravy, this versatile curry makes a perfect accompaniment to naans, rice, rotis or just on its own.
Palak paneer gets made at home quite often. It makes one of the quickest weeknight dinners. Even more so with me following the ketogenic way of eating, this curry has become a staple. It is perfect to hit the fat macros and to consume greens for the day. I love that I can bulk up the fat macros by adding more paneer/cream/butter. To me, this is a meal in a bowl and don't need anything to mop up the curry with.
Note: The recipe's ingredients are created with a ketogenic and low carb diet in mind. Tweak the fat components if you do not want a very rich curry. Increase the spinach and vegetable quantities to suit your dietary needs.
After toying with the idea of making a video recipe for the longest time, I have finally decided to take the plunge and do it! This is my very first attempt at making one, and hope you enjoy it.
I have chosen a simple recipe to kick start a series (hopefully!) of video recipes. This is a go-to egg curry recipe in my home. This has become a regular feature in my meal plans since starting the ketogenic way of life. A great low-carb curry delivering the goods. Ticks the box for flavour, nutrition and wholesomeness.
This chickpeas-based curry is a popular Indian dish, which is typically served with pooris or bhatura (both flat breads). This curry is a gorgeous blend of whole and ground spices with a hint of tanginess. Chole masala originated in North India, and is widely popular across the country.
This dish was a regular feature in my home. As a I child, I used to look forward to the days when my mum made chole masla; it was served hot with freshly made puffed pooris and a wedge of lemon on the side.
Chole masala can be made with gravy or semi dry, depending on your preference. I like my chole less watery.
Chickpeas - 1 1/2 cups
Onion - 2 large
Ginger- 1 inch piece, julienned
Tomato purée - 2 1/2 cups
Bay leaf – 1
Cloves – 2
Cardamom – 2
Tea bags – 2
Red chilli powder - 1 tspn
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Aamchur/ dry mango powder - 1/2 tspn.
Tamarind paste - 1/4 tspn.
Chole masala powder - 3 tspns.
Kasoori methi (dry fenugreek leaves) - 1 tspn.
Coriander leaves - 1 tblspn, chopped
Water - 4 cups
Salt - To taste
Oil - 2 Tblspns.
Soak chickpeas in water overnight for 8 to 12 hours.
Drain the water in which the chickpeas have been soaking.
Place the soaked chickpeas in a pressure cooker.
Pour 4 cups of water. Along with it add cloves, cardamom, bay leaf and chickpeas.
Cover pressure cooker and cook for 2 whistles.
While the chickpeas are cooking, chop one whole onion finely.
Cut the other onion into thin round slices. Keep aside.
Once the cooker’s pressure settles, discard the whole spices and tea bags.
Strain the water from the chickpeas, and reserve the stock to make the gravy.
Heat oil in a skillet or pot, add chopped onions and fry till translucent.
While the onions are cooking, add a few pieces of julienned ginger.
Once the ginger is fragrant, add tomato purée.
Allow it to cook so the raw smell of tomatoes is gone, and till oil separates from the purée.
To this, add the dry spices excluding kasoori methi and tamarind paste.
Stir to combine the spices and tomato-onion mixture.
Add some of the strained chickpeas stock to thin the gravy down.
Bring it to a boil. Add the boiled chickpeas. Mix well.
At this stage, add salt, and more stock optionally to make the gravy dilute.
Crush and sprinkle kasoori methi in the curry.
Cover and cook on medium-low for 10 minutes.
After the said time, the gravy would have reduced a bit.
You could leave it at that if you want your curry semi-dry or add 1/2 to 1 cup water and proceed cooking it for 5 to 7 minutes.
Whichever option you choose, once the curry had achieved the desired consistency, add slices onions and the remaining julienned ginger pieces on top of the curry.
Additionally, garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Cover and keep the vessel on low flame for 2 minutes.
Once done, turn the stove off and serve hot chole masala with flat breads or steamed white rice.
- This recipe does not require garlic. However if you choose to include it, add garlic paste while the chopped onions are cooking.
- If you don't have tea bags, boil tea. Strain the tea and use the water in the gravy.
- Typically, anardana powder (powdered pomegranate seeds) is added. The chole masala powder I used, contained the ingredient so I skipped it.
- If you think the dish is too tangy for you, avoid using the tamarind paste.
- To make the curry more indulgent, cook it in ghee or butter.
This particular dish holds a lot of fond childhood memories for me, and is a beautiful reminder of our summer holiday in our great grandmum’s place in Tirunelveli. I do not remember a lot of dishes that were made by her except this one, which stood out for me. The maanga (raw mango) mor kozhambu she made for was a Nagercoil-style version, with small whole raw mangoes from the backyard in the curry.
Unfortunately, my great grandmum is no more, and her recipe was never passed on; it went with her. So, I decided to try my hand at making a Nagercoil-style mor kozhambu with inputs from family and friends from the town, and came up with this.
Combining two sour elements – yoghurt and raw mango may seem overpowering but surprisingly, the dish works well. Thanks to the addition of okra, coconut and other ingredients that balance the flavours well.
Here’s to fond childhood memories. :)
Raw mango – 1 (cut into small cubes)
Okra/ lady’s finger/ vendakkai – 4, ends trimmed and chopped into medium-size pieces
Sour yoghurt – 1 ¼ cup
Water – 2 cups (To thin down the yoghurt) + 3/4 of a cup to cook the mango
Turmeric – ¼ tspn.
Raw rice – 4 tspns.
Grated coconut – 5 heaped tblspns.
Green chillies – 5 (increase or decrease number to suit your taste)
Red chillies – 1
Mustard seeds – 1 tspn.
Fenugreek seeds – ¼ tspn.
Curry leaves - `1 sprig
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Oil – 1 tblspn.
Salt – To taste
Whisk the yoghurt smooth. Add water and turmeric powder, and churn it till the ingredients are combined well to make buttermilk out of it Add more water, if you want the mor kozhambu dilute.
Soak the raw rice for about 7-10 minutes.
Bring ¾ of a cup of water to a boil. Add the raw mango pieces, and let it simmer for about 3 minutes till the mango becomes tender. Once done, drain the water and keep the cooked mango aside.
Drain water from the soaking rice.
Place the rice in a blending jar along with grated coconut, green chillies and red chilli.
Add about a tablespoon or two of water and grind the mixture to a smooth paste.
Mix this paste with the buttermilk. Keep aside.
Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pot.
Add the mustard seeds, let it splutter.
Add the fenugreek seeds and curry leaves.
Allow the fenugreek seeds to brown a little. Add the asafoetida and sauté for a few seconds.
Add the okra and sauté for about 2 minutes or till it is cooked.
Toss in the cooked mango pieces, and allow it to cook for about a minute.
Finally pour the buttermilk mixed with the ground paste into the pot with the sautéed vegetables.
Turn the flame to medium-low.
Add salt and stir the mor kozhambu.
Keep stirring the curry to prevent the yoghurt from splitting.
Bring it to a boil and turn the stove off.
Serve it with hot, steamed rice.
-Use gourds, cucumber, pumpkin, drumsticks in place of okra.
- You could also use small, whole mangoes in the place of the chopped ones.
It is always fun to recreate restaurant dishes. In our locality (In Sydney), we discovered this nice Indian restaurant, which serves a host of Indian dishes (mostly North Indian and North West Frontier). There is this one South Indian (well, almost) dish they serve called Subz Masala Pacchadi. While it tastes nothing like a typically available South Indian dish, I must admit it is one very tasty curry.
Once a month, my husband and I order Indian food from a local Indian restaurant - Mantra; this one day, we decided to ditch our usual order of malai kofta & mushroom masla, and order this dish called ‘Bombay Aloo Chutneywala’. I had never tasted or heard of this dish until I came to Sydney, and I really felt like I was living under the rocks all these years. On further research, I figured that this was a very popular dish in India and is made in several ways – different techniques and ingredients were used. I decided to give this a go and I was mighty pleased with the results.
This minty, spicy, tangy curry is nothing like I’ve ever tasted before. Its refreshingly distinct taste is a sure winner. Like I mentioned before, there are several different versions of this curry, and this one’s mine.
Kadhi is yoghurt and chickpea flour-based gravy popular across India. The kadhi preparation varies from state to state - each state adding its own special touch to the yoghurt curry. My kadhi here is loosely based on the Punjabi kadhi recipe shared by a friend from that region; however, I have made some tweaks to my friend’s recipe, and is a much-loved dish at home.
This is an Indian restaurant classic. With buttery goodness, soft paneer (Indian cottage cheese) is cooked in creamy tomato gravy with a melange of spices. This is an indulgent curry with cream and the works that makes a great accompaniment for rotis, naans and hot steamed rice.
Note: There are several recipes to make this, this is my version. :)