Peas Paneer Paratha

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Today we celebrated Janmashtami / Lord Krishna’s birthday. I know the rest of the country was done with this last month. But we have our own strange calendar which always schedules Janmashtami when no one else does. When we were kids, my brother and I were told that since God had too many places to visit on a single day, he gave us a after appointment in order to be able to spend more time with us rather than a hurried visit. We felt rather special hearing it. Today I found myself giving a similar explanation to my daughter when she wondered why we chose a different day for the festival. Is this how traditions are started?

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My dish for today is green peas paratha with paneer. My daughter loves paratha of any kind. In other words, if it is round and topped with ghee it can easily be named paratha and she would eat it. So as any mother would, I manage to stuff all kinds of vegetables in the parathas and she gobbles it up. Peas is not one of her favourites. So parathas are the perfect way for her to get all the protein from the peas. As for me, I seem to have a ‘P’ fixation of some sort. I love Peas, Paneer, Paratha, Pizza, Pasta, Panagam, Pongal, etc. Maybe I will eat all salads if they were renamed as Psalads like Psmith. 

This is the first time I measured out ingredients for the paratha to write this post else I always work on estimation. I have not added green chilies to parathas since it is for my 4 year old. But you can add some to the filling to raise the spice quotient.

Protein – Green peas and Paneer (Cottage Cheese)

Makes 6 medium parathas

WHAT WE NEED

For the dough

Whole wheat flour                     400 gms

Oil                                                   2 tsp

Salt

Water


For the filling

Green peas (fresh or frozen)        1/2 cup

Paneer / Cottage cheese                 150 gms

Red chilly powder                           1/4 tsp

Garam masala                                  1/4 tsp

Fresh coriander                                Few sprigs

Salt

Water

Ghee / clarified butter


WHAT TO DO

  • In a large bowl, mix the flour, oil and salt
  • Add water to make a soft dough. Set aside for 20 minutes
  • Heat 2 cups of water in a vessel and add the green peas
  • Cook for 6-8 minutes till it is completely cooked
  • Drain the water and set aside the peas
  • Grate the paneer and transfer it to a bowl
  • Mash the peas nicely and transfer it to the same bowl. If you want you can pulse the peas in a mixer to form a coarse paste
  • Finely chop the fresh coriander and add it along with salt, chilly powder and garam masala to the bowl
  • Mix all the ingredients for the filling together
  • Heat a tava 
  • Divide the dough and the filling into 6 parts each
  • Roll out one portion of the dough with a rolling pin
  • Keep one portion of the filling inside and bring the ends of the rolled out doug together and close it
  • Roll it out again carefully to ensure that the dough does not tear and filling does not come out
  • Transfer it to the tava and cook on one side
  • After a minute, turn it over and let it cook on the other side 
  • Once both sides are cooked, take it off the tava and brush it with some ghee
  • Repeat the same process with the rest of the dough and filling
  • Serve warm with curds or pickle
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the theme, ‘Protein Rich Dishes’.
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Bansi Rava Upma

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When the husband heard about this week’s theme and my first two dishes, he was pretty upset. He felt that by documenting those elaborate breakfasts alone, I was not being completely honest. Though I do make elaborate breakfasts for the weekend, it is not quite as often as he would like it to be. So, in the interest of transparency and honesty is this breakfast which also makes a regular appearance during weekend. I make this when we plan a lunch out. I make enough so that this doubles up as dinner too and I have that rare break from the kitchen.

The husband loves rava upma but I am not a huge fan because it is not so healthy. I came across this post on bansi rava upma and it fit with what we both wanted. So I modified it significantly to suit the husband’s taste and now we are all happy. Bansi rava is hugely popular in Karnataka and easily available across all stores. From what I understand, bansi rava is brown and coarser as compared to sooji which is white and very fine but it is not as coarse as semba rava / daliya. The nice part of making this upma is that we can roast the bansi rava along with the vegetables in the pan before adding hot water.

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Serves 3

WHAT WE NEED

Bansi Rava                                  1 cup

Onion, medium                         1

Green peas, shelled                  1/3 cup

Oil                                                2-3 tsp

Mustard seeds                           1 tsp

Curry leaves                              2 sprigs

Green chillies                            1-2

Chana dal                                   2 tsp

Urad dal                                      1 tsp

Ginger                                         1″

Grated coconut (optional)       2 tbsp

Water                                           3 cups

Salt

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds
  • Once the mustard seeds splutter, add the chana dal and urad dal
  • Once the dal starts browning, add the chopped curry leaves, green chillies and grated ginger
  • Then add the onions and fry till they turn translucent
  • In another vessel, boil the water
  • Then add the peas and fry for 2-3 minutes
  • Add the bansi rava and fry for 5-6 minutes
  • Once the water comes to a rolling boil, add it to the pan and mix it with the rava
  • Add salt and stir the mixture well
  • Simmer and close the pan for 1-2 minutes
  • Open it and stir it frequently till it absorbs all the water, for 2-3 minutes
  • Add the grated coconut and mix well
  • Serve hot with pickle or chutney of your choice
  • Enjoy!

I usually add coconut oil for this upma and it adds a lovely flavor.

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Weekend Breakfast’.

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North Indian Thali

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As a South Indian who lived in Mumbai most of my life, I have been frequently irritated when people assumed that all South Indians were ‘Madrasis’ without understanding the significant cultural and linguistic differences between the four southern states. Later, when I moved to Chennai and then to Bangalore I realized that the reverse was also true. The average citizen in the south is also is not aware about the differences between Punjabi and Rajasthani and Bihari culture or cuisine. Everything was bracketed under ‘North Indian’ and the revenge complete 😉

So my Thali for today is an assimilation of different North Indian states and what is generally called the ‘North Indian Thali’. This Thali usually has –

  • an option of chapati or poori 
  • One dal, almost always the yellow dal made with toor dal
  • One dry vegetable usually a toss between potatoes or lady’s fingers
  • One gravy vegetable, almost always a paneer dish
  • A raita. 
  • One sweet, popular choice is the Gulab Jamun
  • Rice – plain or jeera rice
  • Buttermilk – with the addition of roasted cumin powder, asafoetida and salt

The other items – Aam pana which is a raw mango coolant and kachoris, a spicy, fried snack and the sprouted green gram salad are my additions and are not usually found in this thali. 

I have the recipe for the Bhindi Masala here. Try it and enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme – Thalis.

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Pea & Mint Soup

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I have missed my peas terribly. Fresh peas were never available in Malaysia and I have a grudge against frozen ones. Don’t ask me why. It is a grudge, it is not supposed to be based on cold logic and reasonable arguments. Since they are my favorite and I could not have them for the longest time, I have been buying peas in Bangalore almost daily and adding it to every dish I make. The latest in that list is this peas and mint soup which captures the peas flavour beautifully while enhancing it with the freshness of mint and tangy-ness of the lemon.

Serves 2

Recipe adapted from here

WHAT WE NEED

Spring onion                    1 bunch

Potato, medium              1

Garlic clove                      1

Vegetable stock               500 ml

Shelled peas                     120 gms

Mint leaves, chopped    4 tbsp

Sugar                                   1 tsp

Lemon juice                      1 tbsp

Buttermilk                        2-3 tbsp

Salt & Pepper

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Chop the spring onions. Peel and dice the potato and garlic.
  • Add them along with the vegetable stock to a large saucepan
  • Let it come to a boil and then simmer for 10-12 minutes or till the potatoes are completely cooked
  • Set aside few peas for garnish. Add the rest to the saucepan
  • Simmer for 4-5 minutes. Any more time can take away the vibrant green of the peas
  • Add mint leaves, lemon juice and sugar and mix well
  • Let cool slightly and then blend into a smooth puree
  • Stir in 2 tbsp buttermilk and add salt & pepper
  • Put it back on the gas on simmer. Heat it without getting it to boil else the buttermilk will curdle.
  • Cook the peas set aside for garnish for 5 minutes in hot water
  • Serve hot garnished with the peas and balance buttermilk
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the September Mega Marathon under the theme – Soups.

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