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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Green Lentil Salad

When I came to US, I knew very few things about Italian Cuisine. Italian food meant Pasta and Pizza only but thanks to Food Network and Giada De Laurentiis for introducing me to this cuisine. I think I am very fortunate to meet her personally :))

I was addicted to her 'Everyday Italian.' I tried her many recipes, pasta, soups, desserts, and salads. This is one of my favorite salad recipe.

This salad is absolutely, incredibly delicious, the way she made it so I didn't change anything. It is very fresh, light, and filling. Toasted Hazelnuts are highlights of the salad. They give them amazing crunch and flavor. Taste this and fall in love with it with first crunchy bite.


-- For Salad

  • 1 pound Green Lentils, boiled in salted water, drained and cool
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 cup Seedless Green Grapes, halved
  • 1 cup Seedless Red Grapes, halved
  • 1 English Cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup Skinned Hazelnuts, coarsely chopped and toasted
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest

-- For Vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/3 cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 tsp Honey
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Basil
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Oregano
  • Salt to taste


1. Mix lentils and remaining salad ingredients in a large salad bowl.

2. In another bowl pour lemon juice, honey, salt, and extra virgin olive oil. Whisk it for 2 minutes.

3. Add black pepper, basil, oregano, and whisk again.

4. Pour vinaigrette over the salad, toss, and serve.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Paneer Tikka Masala

What is your favorite Paneer dish? Most Desis will answer "It is Paneer Tikka Masala". You'll find this globally popular Punjabi dish mostly at parties, get-togethers, family dinners, or indian restaurants.

This is my version of one of very popular dish in Blogsphere, which is very similar to other recipes, tried, tested, and loved many times.

Only thing I would like to recommend is to use hung or extra thick yogurt with pinch of sugar in marinade, which will evenly coat paneer, and you'll get a nice spicy golden brown layer outside paneer pieces.


-- For Tikkas

  • 1 pack Paneer, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup Hung Yogurt
  • 1 tsp Garlic Paste
  • 1 tsp Ginger Paste
  • 1/2 tsp Red Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin-Coriander Powder
  • 1-2 Pinches of Sugar
  • Salt to taste

-- For Masala

  • 1/4 cup Cashew Nuts
  • 1/4 cup Magajtari (Watermelon Seeds)
  • 1/8 cup Milk
  • 1 Onion, paste
  • 2 Big Tomatoes, pureed
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 1-1/2 tsp Garlic Paste
  • 2 tsp Ginger Paste
  • 1 tsp Hot Red Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Royal Garam Masala (I used Everest)
  • 1 tbsp Dhania-Jeera Powder
  • 1 tsp Kasoori Methi
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1/8 cup Cream
  • 1-1/2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt to taste


-- For Tikkas

1. In large bowl, mix yogurt, garlic, ginger, red chili, paprika, cumin-coriander powder, sugar, and salt. Add paneer and mix very well.

2. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

3. Preheat oven on 365 degree. Spread marinated paneer on greased aluminum foil, cover with another foil.

4. Bake them for 20-25 minutes. Take out covered foil. Broil them after 25 minutes until top turn little brown.

-- For Masala

1. Soak cashews and magajtari in milk for an hour. After that make paste out of it.

2. Heat oil in pan, saute onion paste with ginger, and garlic for 3-4 minutes.

3. Add tomato paste, tomato puree, cashew paste, red chili powder, cumin-coriander powder, and salt.

4. Mix well and cover pan with lid. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until onion and tomatoes are done on medium-law heat.

5. Add water, garam masala, kasoori methi, paneer tikkas, and cream. Bring it to a boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

6. Add chopped cilantro, and serve hot.