Cleaning the Dashboard

We had a heat wave today (40 degrees F!) and it’s almost time to think about spring housecleaning. To begin, I’m cleaning and consolidating the “dashboard”
of drafted posts that somehow never made it to completion.

Here are a few things I’ve cooked over the winter.

~~~

Paneer is one of my favorite foods, and I am really bad with self-control when I make it. It’s a treat and there are never any leftovers next day! I was surprised to realise that I had been making paneer long before I discovered blogging. I would curdle some milk and let the whey drip through a couple of coffee filters. Chop that up and mix it into some cooked (frozen) chopped spinach. To this I would add a little tomato and cream, maybe some really pathetic bottled garam masala from Spice Island or some other horrid brand… oh, the shame of it all! I can’t think of it any longer 😉

Of course my paneer dishes are much more authentic and delicious now, thanks to many great recipes and tips obtained through the magical world of blogging!

Paneer with Peppers and Onions
inspired by Maheswari’s Kadai Paneer

1 tsp oil or ghee
1 TB ginger-garlic paste
2 green chiles, slit

2 bell peppers, seeded and sliced (any color – I used red)
1 onion, sliced
10-12 baby corns

2 TB tomato puree

1 tsp cumin-coriander powder
1 tsp kashmiri chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric

2 tb yogurt mixed with 1/2 c water and 1 tsp cornstarch

homemade paneer from 1 qt milk, cut in chunks
1 tsp kasoori methi
salt to taste

~~~

Heat oil or ghee in a large saute pan, and add the ginger-garlic paste and chiles. Saute a moment, then add the sliced peppers and onions. Cook until softened. Add the baby corn, then the tomato puree and stir to coat well. Add cumin-coriander, kashmiri chili and turmeric powders. Stir well and keep on a low flame.

In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with the water until dissolved. Add yogurt and mix well. Raise the heat to medium, and when the onion/peppers are bubbling, add the yogurt mixture. Stir well with wooden spoon until the sauce thickens a little.

Add the paneer and kasoori methi, mix everything well and heat through. Add salt to taste, and serve hot. Tasted great with rice and with chappatis. Thanks, Maheswari!

paneer with peppers and onions
paneer with peppers and onions

~~~

Here is a delicious and nutritious dish from fun and talented Inji Pennu, another of my first inspirations. This was the second time I made this dish. Both times I followed her recipe for Green Peas Gravy (In Coconut Milk), but this time I added a little rice toward the end to soak up all that coconut goodness. Thanks Inji, it was delicious!

inji’s green peas gravy with coconut milk (and rice!)
inji’s green peas gravy with coconut milk (and rice)

~~~

When I go by the supermarket on Sundays or Mondays, I always peruse the ‘breakdown lane’ (as my aunt calls it). Here is where they place the reduced-price produce, and often great bargains are to be found. One trip yielded this treasure-trove of fancy colored peppers — each and every one perfect, not a thing wrong with them! I had to join the stuffed pepper craze.

beautiful fresh bell peppers
beautiful bell peppers in a riot of colors

This is a mostly-veggie stuffing; light on seasoning to let the sweet flavor of peppers and nutty perfume of brown basmati shine through. You can of course jazz it up with any spices you desire.

Brown Rice Stuffed Peppers
inspired by nidhi’s (award-winning!), coffee’s, and sushma’s varieties

1/2 c brown basmati rice
1 1/2 c water
1/2 tsp salt

2 large bell peppers, any color, that will sit nicely for stuffing

1 tsp oil or ghee
1 healthy TB garlic paste
1 big or 2-3 small green chiles, slit

2 big bell peppers, any color, diced
1 small onion, chopped fine
1/2 tsp turmeric

1 TB besan mixed with 2 TB water

salt and pepper to taste

~~~

Preheat oven to 375F.

Wash the brown rice well, soak it for ten minutes and then drain for 10-15 minutes. In a small saucepan, bring water and salt to a boil, then add rice. Lower the heat, cover and cook for about 30 minutes, or until rice is tender, adding a little more water if necessary.

Meanwhile, wash the stuffing peppers, cut the tops off and remove seeds and ribs. Rinse them out and set aside.

In a large saute pan, heat the oil or ghee and add the garlic paste and chiles. Saute a few minutes, then add the diced peppers, onion, and turmeric. Cook for 10 minutes or so over medium heat, until vegetables are softened but not mushy. Mix the besan with water to a smooth paste, and add to the vegetables. Continue to cook, stirring, until the raw taste of besan is gone.

When the rice is cooked, add it to the vegetables and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then stuff the large peppers with the mixture.

Place the stuffed peppers in a baking pan with very little water in the bottom. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, until peppers are softened and tops are brown.

Serve plain, or with a spicy tomato chutney on the side.

Thanks Nidhi, Coffee, and Sushma!

veggie-brown rice stuffed peppers
bell peppers stuffed with brown rice and veggies

~~~

Last but certainly not least, I made Sri’s mouthwatering Chole Masala. I still can’t find a dried amla to save me — but I carried on without it and the results were fabulous. I added a few frozen green chana I had hanging around, but otherwise I followed her recipe to the letter. Run don’t walk to Daavat for this one, and thanks, Sri!

sri’s dhaba-style chole masala
spicy and tangy – sri’s dhaba-style chole masala

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14 Comments »

  1. sra said

    Hi Linda, I enjoyed reading and seeing the pix in this post. However, I really wanted to compliment you on the Dosakaya bread – I’m surprised you know about this vegetable – not many know it outside Andhra Pradesh even in India – and tho’ it’s a much-loved but ethnic and “simple, home” vegetable there, using it in something like bread is really unusual and creative.

    Thank you, Sra… I’m so glad you enjoyed the bread. I learned of dosakaya from Inji’s blog, Ginger and Mango. She had a photo of this cucumber a long while back, and it’s only now that I’ve started seeing them in the stores. What a delightful vegetable! I’d love to see some more recipes with it 🙂

  2. sia said

    thats all u made? my god!!! where do u find time to cook so many delicious food girl? i am amazed to see ur enthu:) i loved that stuffed peppers. i have made one with paneer and potato stuffing in saffron garvy and donno when i will be posting it:) gowd!!! even i need to clean up my drafts;)
    great going girl:) ~hugs~

    Aw, Supriya, you’re so sweet, thanks! 🙂 Can’t wait till you ‘clean the dashboard’ too so we can see peppers with paneer and potato… sounds yummy!! Hugs to you too 🙂

  3. Menu Today said

    Hi Linda,
    Nice to see sooooo many varieties of food. I love Dosakkaya Bread. Thanks for sharing.

    Hi MT, thanks for visiting 🙂 I see you’re changing things around a little with your template — looking very nice! 🙂

  4. indosungod said

    Linda! WOW that is a delicious array of foods. Love the array of colorful bell peppers and the stuffed Bell Pepper looks inviting. You know what is going to cook soon in my kitchen!.

    PS: I did publish your comment.

    Thanks, ISG — I couldn’t resist those colorful peppers! If you make the stuffed dish, you will want some chiles in it I can almost guarantee! 😉

  5. sandeepa said

    Linda
    Great array of foods and all of them delicious 🙂

    Thanks, Sandeepa! 🙂

  6. asha said

    Mmm..!!! I love each one of them.You eat well Linda.
    If you have any peppers leftover make some fritters(Bajjis) which is in my post with my special batter.
    For Chole ,you can add Mango powder too or just some lemon juice.Great going and have fun.

    Oh, Asha, I’m supposed to stop frying but with my day off, very bad, I had to fry something!! We’ll see how that turns out. I used up all the peppers, so will do your bajjis with special batter on the next day off — they looked SO good 😉

    BTW I did add amchur to the chole recipe in place of the dried amla. Came out great, thanks! 🙂

  7. Nidhi said

    Is some feast going on here :D, so may dishes and each one of them is looking great in it own way. I love them all….I would also like to thank you for appreciating my work so much. I am greatful to you that you took inspiration from my recipe and it turned out nicely for you…
    Cheers, Nidhi.

    Thank *you* Nidhi — those peppers you made were really beautiful 🙂

  8. Trupti said

    Lordy, Linda…..a heat wave, eh?? Check out the pics of the blizzard we got hit with Monday night. *groan*

    The feast looks good!!! ALL of it, though I am particularly interested in that Chhole recipe, I haven’t made that in months…

    Good work!

    Thanks Trupti! That chole is the best I’ve tried yet! I substituted amchur powder for the dried amla in the recipe. Came out great. Hang in there with the snow, sending sunshine your way! 🙂

  9. Hema said

    Heat wave..40 degrees? Boy! how I love Florida.

    Nice paneer recipes and loved the stuffed bell peppers of all.

    Thanks Hema — they were so colorful I couldn’t leave them at the store. Yea, heatwave at 40 is pretty sad… spring’s coming! 🙂

  10. Priya said

    You are one busssyyyy cook I must say !! All the dishes look fab ! I have been eying the stuffed bellpepers for quite sometime, I have one in my refrigerator rite now…and would be good for a lite dinner ..hehe
    Waiting for the dishes from your veggie shopping now.

    Hi Priya, if you try the peppers I hope you enjoy — it might need a little more spicy kick! Veggies are cooking one by one…. 🙂

  11. swapna said

    WOW inda
    every dish is mouth watering especially the stuffed capsicum..mmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!!!very lovely..and the chole too..

    Thanks so much, Swapna 🙂 Do try Sri’s chole recipe — it’s absolutely delicious!

  12. Nabeela said

    OMG Linda, you think 40 F is a heatwave??!! Man, I don’t know how you would have survived in San Jose! 🙂
    http://weather.yahoo.com/forecast/USCA0993_f.html?force_units=1

    Btw, everything looks deeeeelicious! Yummmmm

    Hi Nabeela, glad you liked the feast 🙂 San Jose weather looks pretty good from where I’m sitting! 😉

  13. Mishmash! said

    hmm…when u clean the dashboard, its like a feast for the ones out here :))Good Job and u re trying out a lot !! And 40F is heatwave for u ??? !!!!

    Shn

    Hi Shn, just joking around about a heatwave at 40 — it feels like a heatwave after the past few weeks of cold! Glad you liked the post, thanks! 🙂

  14. Sushma said

    Linda, you got to tell me something…..from where do you get so much energy and enthusiasm to cook so many wonderful mouth watering dishes….:-) You are just Awesome….
    everything looks so fabulous and the stuffed peppers they make my mouth water….
    -Sushma

    Aw, thank you Sushma! I didn’t make all these at once 🙂 I’m so glad you liked them!

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