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plumeriandeity in feastsandflicks

Recipe time: Chilli baby corn and paneer

As promised, here's the recipe concocted by lintethond  (a gourmet chef who needs a restaurant. If anyone wants to invest in an inventive chef, send him a comment!). I made a few substitutions: Instead of five green chillies, I used only one (I didn't have enough, plus I added generous amounts of red chilli powder in absence of the green chillies). I also didn't have any cumin seeds so just didn't add them and the dish was fine. I was a bit wary of how this would turn out; I didn't think my paste would be enough for the vegetables and paneer and whether I'd get the taste just right. Trust me, I've had my share of disastrous and bleah-worthy taste experiences in the kitchen.

I'm copying and pasting the recipe lintethond  sent me. I followed all the directions word for word (other than the five chillies part). For the paste, I used a Sumeet mixer and since I always have trouble blending the garlic and ginger into a fine paste in the big grinder, I used the tiny one for the small pieces of garlic and ginger and used the big grinder when I added the tomatoes. You'll have a lot of dishes to wash at the end of the night, but it's worth it.

I'm a big paneer fan so anything with chunks of this Indian cheese is good for me. If you're vegan and/or don't like paneer, I think tofu should be a pretty good substitute. I'm a sucker for paneer though so no tofu here for me!

Here's the recipe and photos follow:

Ingredients (this will serve 2 people)

Paneer - 1 block
Babycorn - 1 can
Green chillies - 5 (yes, it is meant to be spicy) thin slices if possible
Green pepper - 1 (thin slices)
Soy sauce - 2 tablespoons
Tomato - 2
Red chillies - 2 (soak in oil for about a couple of hours or more if
possible. Oil must cover the chillies)
Ginger - about an inch
Garlic - 5 cloves
Onion - 1 cut into thin slices
Salt, garam masala, turmeric powder and coriander powder to taste.
Coriander (fresh) to garnish

Prep

First we make the sauce. Throw in the ginger, garlic, soy sauce and
tomatoes in the blender. Add to it the red chillies and the oil it has
been soaking in. Do not add water. Blend this into a nice creamy
paste. You will see a bunch of oil in it, but its OK That will be
most of the oil the dish requires.

Thaw out the paneer, cut it into cubes or stars...your favourite shape. Cut the baby corn
into thin slices too. I guess batons will work too. Take a flat sauce
pan and pour in some oil. Fry some jeera/cumin (just for taste) and add the
slices of chillies followed by the onions. Once the onions are golden
brown, add the green peppers and baby corn. Once the peppers and baby
corn are halfway cooked, add the paneer and fry for a little bit.
After about a minute or so, add the paste, some turmeric powder, garam
masala, coriander powder, salt and chilli powder if you need more. If
my proportions are right, the paste should just coat all the
ingredients. Cover this mixture for about 5 minutes on a high flame
and it should cook in this time. Take the cover off and sautee until
it is as fried as you like. Add oil if needed at any time. Garnish with lots of
coriander and serve with either a pulao or rotis.





Comments

Cool pictures! You have possibly the desi world's cleanest cooktop! ;)

Also, for the grinding ginger and garlic, there's a really easy solution. Most Indian grocery stores sell ginger-garlic paste. Just throw that in the big blender with your tomatoes and you're good to go.
Ewwwwww.... ginger garlic paste in a bottle... no way am I spoiling a dish with that stuff! Plus, it takes 2 minutes to grind the fresh stuff, it tastes better and is just healthier!! Time for maa(o)mmy to learn some proper cooking :P j/k!
Oh please. Don't give me all that stuff about "real cooks don't do it." Real cooks use shortcuts all the time. They save time, they save energy, they save dish detergent. It's all worth it.

I don't know about "it tastes better" either because both ginger and garlic in their native state are total ewwww+yuck.

As for healthier, why? The ginger-garlic paste is just ground up ginger and garlic.

it's ground up and in preservatives!! and yes shortcuts in prep methods but no self respecting chef will use preserved stuff :P Well atleast I wont! hehe
There's a "non-preservative" kind too, you know. It's just the ground-up stuff, and it's sold in the frozen food section.

For what it's worth, I don't consider myself a chef or even a cook. I just like to eat! ;)
anal-retentive harini always makes sure the cooktop is clean! plus having a similarly clean roommate helps that there's no buildup on the stove top. not so was the case in my college apartment.

i've considered the ginger garlic paste but i've gotten so used to just using the fresh stuff that old habits die hard.

thanks for the compliments on the pics! i'm trying to break into the field of internet cooks and their pics...some ppl just have lovely presentation.
I like what you've done with the plating in the second picture. Very "cookbook". ;)

I do think the trick with food photography is good lighting. Even the prettiest looking dish can look crappy if the lighting is fail.
enchilada

June 2010

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