Crispy Honey Sriracha Paneer

I found this recipe on Pinterest and I liked the simplicity of it. I had a lot of paneer and I decided to try it instead of tofu. One of the things I noted was that the paneer required a lot more cornflour. I also found that it was easier to fry the paneer as a larger slice instead of cutting it into cubes at the beginning. I cut them into cubes after they were done and gave them a final toss in the pan with the sauce.

I had cooked some Basmati rice and it was nice with the paneer. It’s also ideal to use as a filling for wraps. The honey sriracha sauce is really delectable. The paneer is crispy on the outside and soft inside. I also toasted the sesame seeds before adding them to the paneer.

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Paneer is made by coagulating the milk with lemon juice or yoghurt and the resulting cottage cheese can be used in a variety of ways. From appetizers to curries and even sweets, paneer is delicious and healthy. It is a staple food in many parts of India.

This dish can be prepared within 30 minutes and I guarantee you it’s going to be really popular as well. You can find the original recipe at https://pickledplum.com/house-foods-honey-sriracha-tofu/ .

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PREP: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 20 minutes SERVES: 2

Ingredients

500 gms paneer, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

21/2 tbsp sriracha sauce

11/2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp honey

11/2 tbsp rice vinegar

¼ cup cornstarch (for dusting)

½ cup vegetable oil

1 tsp sesame oil

2 tbsp sesame seeds

1 scallion, finely chopped (optional)

Instructions

Stir fry the sesame seeds in a small pan until they are golden. Set aside.

Remove the paneer from the package and wipe it gently with a paper towel. Slice the paneer and dust the slices with the cornflour until they are evenly coated and set aside.

Whisk the sriracha, soy sauce, honey and rice vinegar in a bowl and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pan and when the oil is really hot, add the paneer slices and fry on each side until golden brown. Cool and cut into bite sized cubes. Toss the paneer cubes in the sriracha sauce and cook for a further 3 minutes in the same pan. Turn the heat off and add the sesame oil and sesame seeds. Stir to coat the cubes well and serve garnished with the scallions.

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

This recipe has become one of our family favourites – even if you don’t like cauliflower, you will love this dish. It’s really easy to make and tastes incredible. And it’s vegan!

To cut the steaks, wash the cauliflower and cut off the stems as much as possible. Cut off the florets at the end. Cut the vegetable into one inch pieces. You will have about two steaks from each cauliflower. Look for ones that are firm and have the florets firmly packed together.

All the gaps in between the florets and the stems have to be filled with the spice paste. You also need to turn the steak and rub the paste into the florets and the stems. The important thing is to use as little water as possible while grinding the paste. I also pan fried them gently for a few minutes in a frying pan at the end.

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It goes really well with hummus or vegan mayonnaise. Or you can just have it with some Greek yogurt.

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PREP: 30 minutes COOK TIME: 40 minutes SERVES: 2

Ingredients

1 large cauliflower, washed well

Vegetable oil

4 tbsp almonds, blanched and sliced

4 tbsp raisins

Cauliflower leaves, roasted

Spice paste

1 onion, chopped

1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste

2 tbsp coriander seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp fennel seeds

2 pieces cinnamon

4 cloves

2 cardamoms

1 tsp black peppercorn

5-6 red chillis

1 tsp turmeric powder

½ cup coconut, grated

Vegetable oil

Salt to taste

Cut off the stems of the cauliflower and cut them into one inch steaks leaving the ends. You can use these to make many things like soup, cauliflower rice, curry, etc.

For the spice paste, heat about a teaspoon of oil in a small pan and add the cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Add the red chillis and pepper after a few seconds and then add the cumin, fennel and coriander seeds. Add the onions and sautè for a few minutes. Add the turmeric powder and coconut. Remove from heat and cool. Grind into a paste using as little water as possible. Add the ginger-garlic paste to the mixture and mix well. Stuff this paste into the gaps between the florets and the stems and also on the head of the florets, turning the steaks once. Grease a baking sheet with a little oil and place the cauliflower steaks on it. Drizzle a little oil on the top and around the steaks. Bake for about 20 minutes on each side, until the steaks are tender.

Heat a frying pan and gently place the cauliflower steak on it with a little oil and fry until they are browned on each side.

Roast the cauliflower leaves in the oven with a little oil.

To serve, place the steaks on a serving plate and garnish with the almonds, raisins and roasted cauliflower leaves. Serve with rice/flatbreads and/or hummus, vegan mayonnaise or Greek yogurt.

Spicy Mushroom and Cheese Omelette

Happy New Year everyone! I was travelling and I am back to posting some tasty recipes that I made recently. This recipe is great for breakfast or brunch and even if you want to prepare something quickly for dinner.

Mushrooms and cheese are great together and as a filling in this omelette, they are an extra-special combination. The spicy mushrooms make this omelette different. They should be cooked until they are just al dentè. If they become mushy, then the result will not be the same.

I used Cheddar but you could use any strong melty cheese. I often make this omelette and if you try it, I guarantee that you would also do the same.

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PREP: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 35-40 minutes

Ingredients

6 eggs, beaten

150 g tasty cheese, grated

2-3 tbsp butter

Salt to taste

Filling

400 g button mushrooms

2 onions, cut into large pieces

11/2 tsp red chili powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp butter

Salt to taste

Instructions

Add enough salt to the eggs and set aside.

To make the filling, cut the mushrooms into large pieces and transfer to a large pan. Add all the other ingredients except the butter and cook over moderate heat until the mushrooms are just cooked. Do not overcook them. Remove from heat and add the butter. Set aside to cool slightly.

Heat a skillet or frying pan and add some butter to it. Pour in a third of the egg mixture and cook until the egg is almost set and golden underneath. Spoon some of the mushroom filling on one side of the omelette and sprinkle a third of the cheese. Fold over and cook for a few minutes until the cheese has started to melt. Remove from heat and set aside. Make the remaining omelettes in the same manner and serve hot with toast.

Mozzarella Stuffed Crust Pizza

You just can’t beat a Margherita pizza or an oozy, cheesy crust filled with mozzarella – the combination of both is irresistible.

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You could make the pizza dough a couple of days in advance. However, if the dough is chilled, leave it to come to room temperature for one hour. You could also use refrigerated pizza dough. Please refer to my earlier post Paneer Tikka Pizza for the pizza dough recipe.

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You could also be creative and choose your own toppings.

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PREP: 35 minutes COOK TIME: 35-40 minutes SERVES: 4

Ingredients

Fresh pizza dough/13.8 oz refrigerated pizza

3 tbsp olive oil plus a drizzle

250 ml passata

2 garlic cloves, crushed

½ tsp oregano

½ tsp red chilli flakes

1-2 tbsp polenta

250 gms mozzarella, grated

200 gms cheddar, grated

Toppings of your choice

2 tbsp basil, chopped

Salt to taste

Instructions

Dust a large baking sheet with polenta.

Heat the oil in a pan, add the garlic, oregano, chilli flakes and a pinch of sugar. Add the passata and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the sauce is thick. Season and set aside.

Roll the dough to a pizza base about 13 inches wide. Place it on the polenta and use about half the mozzarella to create a ring around the outside edge of the pizza base leaving ½ cm gap between the edge. Brush a little water inside the mozzarella ring and fold over the outside edge to enclose the mozzarella and create a stuffed crust. Press firmly to stick the dough in place.

Spoon the sauce into the middle of the base and top with the remaining mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Top with your chosen toppings, if any and brush the stuffed crust with a little oil. Sprinkle the chopped basil on top. Cover and leave in a warm place for 20 minutes until it is puffed up.

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 220 C. When the pizza dough has puffed up, pop the pizza into the oven quickly and bake for 15-20 minutes until the base is cooked through. Serve hot.

Banana Stem Fritters

In India, the entire banana tree is used – the leaves are used to wrap food and to eat from, food is cooked in banana leaves, the flowers and stem are used in cooking. In the recent Masterchef Australia, Gary used banana flower in one of the Masterclasses.

Cutting the banana stem is a fine art in itself, but the effort is really worth it. Only the core of the banana stem is used and it has a mild sweet flavour. It is full of fibre and is highly beneficial for treating ulcers and acidity. The raw juice is combined with buttermilk, salt and lime and is a natural diuretic. It is rich in potassium and vitamin B6.

These fritters are the only way I can get my daughters to eat banana stems. They are extremely delicious. This recipe makes around 20 fritters.

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PREP: 30 minutes COOK TIME: 30 minutes

Ingredients

11/2 cups banana stem, chopped

½ tsp turmeric powder

1 large onion, chopped

2 green chillis, chopped finely

1 tbsp ginger, chopped finely

2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped finely

1 cup roasted chana gram

2 pieces of cinnamon

3 cloves

2 cardamoms

Salt to taste

Vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

Place the banana stem with turmeric and a little salt in a large pan and add ¼ cup of water. Cook on medium heat until they become tender and the water is completely evaporated. The stems cook fast and the mixture should be completely dry. Set aside to cool. Dry grind in a blender to a coarse paste (do not make it into a smooth paste).

Powder the roasted gram dal in a blender and set aside.

Roast the cinnamon, cloves and cardamom in a small pan and powder it.

Add the chopped onions, green chillis, ginger and coriander to the stem paste. Add the powdered spices, enough salt and half of the gram powder and mix well. The mixture should be firm enough to be shaped into small fritters. If it is too wet, add more of the powdered gram dal. Shape into small fritters and deep fry.

Coffee Marinated Tofu with Caramelized Onions and Hummus

Coffee as a spice rub has been around for some time now and I wanted to try it out.

I used it on tofu with amazing results. I baked it after leaving on the marinade overnight and it tasted so good. The coffee flavour was subtle and smoky and it paired beautifully with the hummus and caramelized onions.

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I also grilled the tofu for about ten minutes after it was baked. You can use garlic powder but I prefer to use fresh garlic. I used the remaining marinade to deglaze the pan while caramelizing the onions and they smelt and tasted of coffee and spices.

This recipe is vegan and gluten free. The perfect plant based protein dish to serve with a dip. And really delicious.

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PREP: 10 minutes (not including marinating time)

COOK TIME: 1 hour

Ingredients

For the marinade

  • 400 gms tofu, cut into strips
  • 2 tbsp coffee granules
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar/jaggery
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp pepper powder
  • Salt to taste

For the hummus

  • 1 cup chickpeas, boiled
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Olive oil
  • Black olives
  • Fresh coriander, chopped

For the caramelized onions

  • 3 large onions, sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

For the marinade, mash the garlic by putting it through a garlic press. Crush the coffee granules in a pestle and mortar. Combine all the ingredients together and mix well. Arrange the tofu on a tray and pour the marinade over it, turning the tofu slices several times. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Arrange the tofu slices on a baking tray and drizzle a little oil over them, turning the slices to make sure that the oil is distributed evenly. Bake for 15 minutes on each side. Grill for another 10 minutes on each side so that the colour darkens.

Mix all the ingredients for the hummus except the olives and fresh coriander in a blender and blitz with a little water until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Spoon the hummus into a bowl and drizzle some olive oil on top. Arrange the olives at the side and sprinkle the fresh coriander on top.

To make the caramelized onions, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil and add the onions with a pinch of salt. Saute the onions, stirring every few minutes, until they change colour and become golden in colour. Deglaze the pan with the rest of the marinade and when the onions are sticky, remove from heat.

Arrange the tofu slices, top with caramelized onions and sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds on top. Serve with the hummus.