Red Cabbage-Orange Salad

With temperatures soaring, I am looking to eat more salads and light meals. I love cabbage because it’s so low on calories and it’s very rich in Vitamin C. Both red and yellow cabbage are available almost all year round and you can make so many great recipes with them.

This salad is so vibrant and tempting. It can easily be the showstopper for an informal gathering. It’s also very tasty – the crispness of the cabbage combines with the fruity flavours of the orange so beautifully. It can also be refrigerated for a few days.

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The oranges have to be carefully sectioned using a sharp knife. You can also use any type of cottage cheese or herbs of your choice.

This recipe is from American Cooking.

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PREP: 20 minutes SERVES: 4-6

Ingredients

1 small red cabbage, shredded

3 medium oranges

¼ cup fresh coriander, chopped

1 small green pepper, slivered

¾ cup paneer, cubed

¼ cup orange juice

Salt to taste

Grated orange rind

Instructions

Peel and section two oranges. Extract the juice from the remaining oranges. Combine all the ingredients together and toss lightly. Serve on a bed of lettuce. Garnish with additional green pepper slivers and orange rind, if desired.

Polenta Croquettes with Mushroom and Paneer Sauce

The Italians hold dear their porridge or polenta made from cornmeal. I love its versatality – served plain or enriched by being baked or fried with other ingredients. In this recipe, the polenta is mixed with red peppers, celery and spring onions, cooled and cut into fingers. The colours look so pretty. They are then crumbed and fried.

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While cooking the cornmeal, add the grains slowly, otherwise the grains will form lumps. Stir continuously and add a ladleful of boiling water each time it becomes too thick. Cook for 30 minutes or longer if you want a softer textured porridge.

As for the sauce, you can opt for just tomatoes blended with some spices and herbs of your choice. I added the mushrooms and cottage cheese for more taste and variation. You can also opt for canned and peeled tomatoes to save time.

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It takes a little time and patience, but the result is just yummy.

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PREP: 2 hours 45 minutes including cooling time  COOK TIME:  45 minutes  SERVES:  4

Ingredients

  • 1 litre vegetable stock or water
  • 200 g polenta
  • 4 spring onions, finely chopped with the stalks
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • ½ small red pepper, finely chopped
  • Plain flour
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten with ½ cup milk
  • 200 g breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Mushroom and Paneer Sauce

  • 500 g fresh tomatoes
  • 200 g mushrooms, sliced
  • 200 g fresh paneer, cubed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced finely
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

Place the vegetable stock in a large saucepan and bring it to a rolling boil. If you are using water, then it has to be salted. Strew in the cornmeal slowly from a height to distribute it evenly. The water should remain on boil as you add the grains, otherwise it will form lumps. Once the cornmeal has been added, lower the heat and begin stirring it with a wooden spoon.

Stir the polenta continuously. Keep a pan of boiling water ready. Each time the polenta becomes too thick to stir, add a ladleful of boiling water. Cook for at least 30 minutes, until it acquires an elastic texture and comes away from the sides of the pan. Add the spring onions, red pepper and celery and mix well. Spread into a lightly oiled (12X8 in) shallow pan. Set aside to stand for 2 hours.

Mix the cumin and coriander powder with the breadcrumbs.

Cut the polenta into fingers, toss in flour, dip in egg mixture and then in breadcrumb mixture. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until required.

To make the sauce, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan and add the pepper. Add the mushrooms with a little salt. Cook until the mushrooms are tender and the mixture is dry.

Cut the tops of the tomatoes crosswise and plunge in boiling water for a few minutes until the skins start to come off. Drain and cool. Peel the tomatoes and chop them. Add 2 tbsp of oil in a pan, add the onions and garlic and cook until they are soft. Add the curry powder and enough salt.

Add the paneer and mix well. Stir in the tomatoes and cook until it thickens. Add the mushrooms. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large saucepan and cook the polenta fingers a few at a time until golden. Drain on absorbent kitchen paper and serve with the sauce. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spinach and Paneer Gnocchi

Fluffy, light as air gnocchis with the goodness of greens and cottage cheese. What could be better?

This recipe has been adapted from a book called ‘Great Greens’. I love to experiment with different spices. My palate is not suited to bland food. Besides spices are very good for the health.

The nutrients in spinach strengthen the body, contain calcium, iron, Vitamin K and folic acid. Even children will love these tasty gnocchis.

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You can also substitute ricotta cheese if you don’t have paneer. The dressing gives it the extra flavour to make it absolutely delicious. They just disappear when I make them at home for dinner.

 

PREP:20 minutes plus chilling COOK TIME: 20-25 minutes SERVES:4

Ingredients

  • 750 g fresh spinach, washed and trimmed
  • 200 g fresh paneer (cottage cheese)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 green chili, chopped
  • 2 flakes garlic, chopped
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 50 g Parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 50 g plain flour, plus extra for shaping
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Dressing

  • 75 g butter
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder


To serve

  • 125 g Parmesan cheese, grated

Instructions

Place the spinach in a pan with the cumin seeds, green chili, garlic and 1 tablespoon water. Cover and cook for a few minutes until the leaves are wilted and tender. Increase the heat to drive off any remaining water. Squeeze dry and leave to cool.

To make the gnocchis, place the spinach, paneer, egg yolks, Parmesan, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Turn into a large mixing bowl, sift over the flour and mix to form a dough. Cover with clingfilm and leave in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Using well-floured hands, take small pieces of the gnocchi mixture (about 15 g) and shape them into 24 ovals or egg shapes. As each gnocchi is made, place it on a lightly floured tray until ready to cook.

Bring lightly salted water to boil in a large pan, reduce the heat to simmer and poach 5-6 gnocchi at a time for a few minutes until they puff up and rise to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon and pile into individual warmed dishes.

Melt the butter and add the chilli powder. Take it off the heat immediately. Spoon over the gnocchis, sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and serve hot.

 

 

 

 

 

Paneer Tikka Pizza

The recipe that I have given below is one that I have been making for years. It’s one of the best pizza recipes that I have come across. It was given to me by my friend.

It requires some effort and planning. I usually make the tomato sauce and the topping a day earlier as this saves me a lot of time. The tomato sauce is really delicious. Thick and really luscious. You can use it as a pasta sauce, for making wraps, in sandwiches and lasagne. I use this for almost all the Italian dishes. It also keeps well in the fridge for about a week.

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I have used Paneer Tikka as a topping. But you can use any topping of your choice. You can also add capsicum to the paneer and onion.

I like to make the base a little thick. It somehow tastes better – well, according to me anyway! But then again, this is a matter of choice. I used instant yeast but the active dry yeast also works well.

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You can also double the recipe. It works very well, especially if you’re having a party.

I usually use a mixture of Cheddar and Mozzarella because I like the strong taste that Cheddar cheese imparts to the overall flavour.

My children tell me that this is the best pizza they’ve tasted! Surprises me, but it’s nice to hear it.

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Paneer Tikka Pizza

Ingredients

  • 150 gms plain flour
  • 200 gms plain flour
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 5 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp salt

For the tomato sauce

  • 2 kg firm tomatoes
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • Salt to taste

For the Paneer Tikka

  • 200 gm paneer
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tbsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • 1/2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 3 tbsp curds
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste

For the topping

  • 100 gms Mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 100 gms Cheddar cheese, grated

Instructions

Cut the onion into large pieces. Marinate the paneer with the onions and all the ingredients for the Tikka and set aside for an hour or overnight.

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Take the 150 grams flour in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the yeast mixture, salt and oil. Mix well. The mixture will be sticky. Add the remaining 200 grams flour and mix well.

Knead the dough for 20 minutes until it is extremely soft. Leave it covered with a damp cloth for 2-3 hours, until it doubles in bulk.

Make an incision at the top of the tomatoes in the shape of a plus (+). Immerse the tomatoes in boiling water for 2-3 minutes until the skins peel off easily. Peel, drain and puree the tomatoes in a blender. Heat the oil, add the garlic and chilli powder. Add the tomato puree immediately and bring it to a slow boil on moderate heat. Simmer until it is really thick. It should not be runny. Add the salt, brown sugar and ketchup. Set aside to cool.

At this point, you can pre-heat the oven to 220 C.

Knock down the dough and divide into 2 portions, depending on how large you want the pizza to be. Roll out the dough, using a little flour, into a circle about ¼ inch thick. Leave it in the pan for 15 minutes to rise.

Spoon a little tomato sauce on the pizza base and spread it thickly. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the base is cooked. Add a little Paneer as topping, spreading it around the top. Sprinkle the cheese on top and bake for another 5-10 minutes until the cheese has melted. Serve hot.