May 20, 2012

Nankhatai - Traditional Indian Cookies

Nankhatai are traditional Indian cookies similar to shortbread cookies but not as dense and flakier. I tried few recipes and finally found one that works. I followed this recipe but made quite a few changes based on the other recipes I had tried before. It turned out pretty good but like with any baked snack it can take a few times to get it right.



Unsalted Butter 1/2 cup (1 stick)
Sugar  1/2 cup
Cardamom Powder  1/4 tsp
Maida  1 cup
Baking Powder  1/4 tsp
Salt  1/8 tsp
Cornflour 2 tsp
Sooji/Rava 1/4 cup
Besan/Gramflour 2 tbsp
Yogurt   2 tbsp (optional)
Pistachios 8/9 chopped

Beat butter and sugar until well blended and light and creamy. Add the cardamom powder and cornflour. Sift maida, sooji and besan along with baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture and make sure they are well blended. If needed add the yogurt and form a dough. Put the dough in the fridge for 15/20 minutes to firm up. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Cut the dough into equal size portions based o the desired size and form rounds preferably with no cracks and form in the shape of a peda. Arrange the pistachios on top. Place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 21/23 minutes and let them cool for about 10 minutes on a cooling rack.

May 19, 2012

Paneer Butter Masala - Quick and Easy version

Quick and simple home made version of the paneer butter masala found at most of the restaurants. One of the most ordered dishes at restaurants but this one does taste quite different from the typical restaurant taste. Wish very simple ingredients its a very easy recipe and can be made quickly. Basic ingredients are Paneer, cream, tomato puree and kasuri methi. Kasuri methi is very important as it adds a very distinct flavor to the dish and complements paneer and cream very well.


Paneer 1 cup diced
Tomato 4 pureed or 1 can
Cream 1/2 cup
Kasuri Methi 3 tsps
Red chilli powder 2 tsp
Garam masala 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Jeera 1 tsp
Oil 1 tbsp
Cinnamon stick 1
Cloves 3
Bay leaf 1

Heat oil in a pan and add the whole garam masalas and jeera. Once they crackle add a tspn of the kasuri methi and let it fry and next add the tomato puree and let it cook. Add the red chilli powder, salt and garam masala. Add water if needed but make sure to not make it very dilute. Meanwhile if you prefer you can shallow fry the paneer cubes in oil. Once it boils for minutes add the paneer cubes and let it boils for 2 more minutes. Add the cream to make it of desired consistency and turn it off after a minute. Now add the left over kasuri methi and make sure to crush it a bit before adding it, that will enhance the flavor.