vegetarian recipes

Sugar & Spice with Yudhika: Almond Crusted Paneer

Yudhika prepares Almond Crusted Paneer on the Home Channel's  Sugar & Spice

Yudhika prepares Almond Crusted Paneer on the Home Channel’s Sugar & Spice

Caught up in the whirlwind of cooking classes, tv shoots and just amazing times, blogging sometimes takes a bit of a beating! I am back on track and please stay tuned to the blog, social media and the Home Channel to catch up on the latest episodes of Sugar & Spice on DSTV’s 176.

Here is a recipe from last week’s show, focusing on vegetarian meals! I marinated paneer in a tandoori style paste and patted on a handful of flaked almonds to form a crust…bake in a hot oven and serve with mint chutney! You have the perfect and quite unusual oven baked paneer.

Marinated Paneer crusted with flaked almonds ready for the oven....Sugar & Spice with Yudhika on the Home Channel

Marinated Paneer crusted with flaked almonds ready for the oven….Sugar & Spice with Yudhika on the Home Channel

Almond Crusted Paneer

Ingredients

4 litres full Cream Milk, preferably Clover
180ml white vinegar

Boil milk in a thick bottomed pot and stir continuously to prevent the milk from sticking.
Once the milk comes up to the boil, remove from the heat.
Pour the white vinegar around the pot and gently move the milk – do not stir.
If the mixture still looks milky, add a little more vinegar.
Leave aside for 30 minutes.
The curd should float to the top and form a thick layer.
Place the curd in a strainer and use the back of a spoon to press out the excess whey.
Tip the curd into a muslin cloth and mould it into a ‘cake’.
Place the paneer on a chopping board and place a large pot filled with water on top.
This will help the excess moisture drain away.
Leave to drain for 2 hours.
Place the paneer in a zip seal bag and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Yudhika’s tips:
Always use full cream milk when making paneer.
Leave the paneer on the draining board while it is being pressed – the whey can cause a mess.
If the paneer is too soft, leave it unwrapped in the refrigerator to firm up.

For the marinade

60ml chickpea flour
10ml Curry me Home Magic Masala or Indian Rub
20ml red chilli powder
2,5ml turmeric
5ml ajwain seeds (carom or lovage)
10ml garam masala
5ml ground black pepper
60ml fresh cream
50ml yoghurt

50g flaked almonds
Salt, to season
Sunflower oil, to drizzle

Place the spices, chickpea flour, yoghurt and cream into a bowl.
Stir well until the marinade is smooth.

Place a piece of baking paper onto a roasting pan or baking tray.
Drizzle with a little sunflower oil and spread two tablespoons of the marinade over the paper.
Place the paneer on top and coat in the remaining marinade.
Season with salt and gently press the flaked almonds over the marinade.
Drizzle with sunflower oil.

Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees celsius for 12 minutes or until the paneer is golden brown.
Serve with mint chutney.

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Meat Free Monday…Mushroom and Spinach Curry

Meat Free Monday with Yudhika Sujanani - Mushroom and Spinach Curry

Meat Free Monday with Yudhika Sujanani – Mushroom and Spinach Curry

Another Meatless Monday…and today is also World No Meat Day! This is a quick and easy recipe that is absolutely delicious. You can serve it as a meal on it’s own or as a side dish. Mushrooms taste better when cooked in advance and absorb the spices from the sauce. Prepare the mushrooms and add the spinach just before serving, taking care not to over cook it.

Mushroom and Spinach Curry

Ingredients

50ml sunflower oil
5ml mustard seeds
5ml cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
5ml coarse salt
10ml crushed garlic
10ml red chill powder
400g chopped tomatoes, fresh or tinned
5ml ground cumin
5ml ground coriander
2ml turmeric
400g mushrooms, sliced
400g baby spinach, chopped
Fresh curry leaves or coriander, to garnish

Here’s how

Heat the sunflower oil in an AMC Paella Pan.
Add the mustard seeds and when the pop, add the cumin seeds.
Add the chopped onion and salt.
Saute until the onion is golden brown.
Add the crushed garlic and fry for a few seconds.
Stir the red chilli powder and mix for 5 seconds.
Add the chopped tomatoes and stir in the remaining spices.
Add the ground cumin, coriander and turmeric.
Simmer the sauce and use the back of a spoon to break down the lumps.
Once the sauce resembles tomato paste, add the chopped mushrooms.
Simmer until the mushrooms soften, add 125ml boiling water if the sauce is too thick.
Once the mushrooms are cooked through, add the chopped spinach and simmer uncover for a minute or two.
Garnish with fresh curry leaves and coriander.

Very vegetarian….Paneer and Spinach Koftas

Paneer and Spinach Koftas....by Yudhika Sujanani

Paneer and Spinach Koftas….by Yudhika Sujanani

I recently joined a group on Facebook called ‘Strictly Vegetarian Recipes’ and it has been an inspiration. The group was started by Prathna Singh in memory of her mom who was a vegetarian. I have been so amazed by the recipes posted but mostly the enthusiasm of the members. From eggless baking to old fashioned recipes, the group share their love for all things deliciously vegetarian.

I have been raised in a meat loving home where veggies were for days that were financially challenging. Preparing veggie meals has not been at the top of my list but the ladies of ‘Strictly Vegetarian’ keep me on my toes and thinking of new ideas to share.

With the rise of the celebrity and masterchef generation, we tend to forget to acknowledge the home cooks and chefs from the older generation….there is no TV audience but it is where most recipes come from! Aunties and grannies, mothers and neighbours…recipes were shared through the local grapevine….I would also like to thank the members of the group for their amazing work and spirit in keeping the page alive and brimming with decadent ideas.

Some of the contributors on the page are Mrs Priscilla Ron Sha, Prathna Singh, Usha Singh and Sherry Baijnath. Thanks ladies for the delicious shares! This blog is a celebration so don’t forget to enter the AMC Cookware Competition, click here for the details…https://yudhikayumyum.com/2015/05/04/cookware-for-queens-and-a-few-kings-too-the-amc-cookware-competition/ Don’t forget the hashtags…#amcforlife #yudhikayumyum in your comments!

Here is a recipe from my veggie files…I used a combination of Indian and Thai flavours in the sauce. Coconut milk, lemongrass and lime leaves combined with Indian spices make this sauce utterly decadent. Lime leaves can be found at Asian supermarkets and can be kept in the pantry for over a year. When I am short on lemongrass, I just add a few extra lime leaves to mimic the citrus zing….it does work so don’t panic if you can’t find the lemongrass! When using coconut milk, I recommend the following brands…Mae Ploy, Aroy D and Chao Koh or you can use the Spar brand coconut cream (with the yellow label). Some of the brands are really watery and ruin the sauce. For the basic paneer recipe, click here…https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/11/01/how-to-make-paneer/ – just remember to use Clover milk for the recipe…from my recipe testing, it seems to work best for paneer.

These recipes can be sent directly to your inbox…all you have to do is click follow on the bottom of the page…scroll down to the very bottom of the page!

Paneer and Spinach Koftas

200g grated paneer
2 large boiled potatoes, grated
150g baby spinach, finely shredded
7,5ml crushed ginger
7,5ml crushed garlic
2 green chillies, finely chopped
5ml ajwain (ajmo)
5ml fine salt

Chickpea batter
500ml chickpea flour
2,5ml ajwain
2,5ml salt
Cold water, to make batter

Sunflower oil, to fry koftas

For the sauce:
750g chopped tomatoes
250ml cold water
2 cloves garlic
5ml crushed ginger
6 lime leaves
1 stalk lemongrass
4 green cardamom pods
1 bay leaf
15ml red chilli powder
5ml ground cumin
5ml ground coriander
5ml garam masala
5ml sugar
125ml coconut milk
Fresh coriander, to garnish

Here’s how:

Place the grated paneer, potato and baby spinach in a mixing bowl. Add the ginger, garlic, chopped chillies, ajwain and salt.
Mix well until the ingredients are combined.
Mould the mixture into balls and leave in the refrigerator for a few minutes.
Make a batter with the chickpea flour, ajwain, salt and cold water.
Dip the koftas in the batter and then deep fry in hot oil.
Remove from the oil and leave to cool slightly, then dip in chickpea batter and fry again.
Leave to drain on a wire rack.

To make the sauce:

Place the tomatoes in a 24cm AMC pot and bring to the boil.
Pour in the water, then add garlic, ginger, lime leaves and lemongrass.
Place the cardamom pods, and bay leaf into the pot.
When the tomatoes soften completely, pass the mixture through a sieve.
Use the back of the wooden spoon to press the mixture through ensuring just the whole spices and lemongrass is left in the sieve.
Discard the pulp and bring the liquid to the boil.
Add red chilli powder, ground cumin, coriander, garam masala and sugar.
Simmer for a 3 – 5 minutes.
Add coconut milk and simmer until the sauce is glossy.
Place the koftas into the coconut sauce and garnish with fresh coriander.

How to make Paneer….

Yudhika Paneer recipe...

Yudhika Paneer recipe…

Paneer is an Indian Cottage cheese…it resembles feta but does not contain salt. For vegetarians, this is the equivalent of a ‘lamb curry with mushy potatoes’ (my favourite). I use paneer in pastries, breyanis and even in starters!

Please please please, do not use low fat milk – so far, Full Cream Clover milk works best for this recipe. I do experiment a fair bit and this blog is not sponsored by Clover! Use a good pot, (I use AMC cookware) so that the milk does not scorch and burn on the bottom which will ruin the paneer.

I am just about to post the Paneer Makhani recipe…I anticipate that there will be recipe requests for the Paneer…

Paneer

Ingredients

4 litres CLOVER Full Cream Milk
180 -200ml white vinegar

Boil milk in a large 30cm AMC cookware unit and stir continuously to prevent the milk from sticking.
Once the milk comes up to the boil, remove from the heat.
Pour the white vinegar around the pot and gently move the milk – do not stir.
If the mixture still looks milky, add a little more vinegar.
Leave aside for 30 minutes.
The curd should float to the top and form a thick layer.
Place the curd in a strainer and use the back of a spoon to press out the excess whey.
Tip the curd into a muslin cloth and mould it into a ‘cake’.
Place the paneer on a chopping board and place a large pot filled with water on top.
This will help the excess moisture drain away.
Leave to drain for 2 hours.
Place the paneer in a zip seal bag and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Yudhika’s tips:
Always use full cream milk when making paneer.
Leave the paneer on the draining board while it is being pressed – the whey can cause a mess.
If the paneer is too soft, leave it unwrapped in the refrigerator to firm up.

Paneer and Mushroom Pasties

DSC_1172

You could take any spicy filling, wrap it in all butter puff pastry and know for sure that it will be a winner for me! I had a piece of paneer left in the refrigerator and some defrosted pastry. I rustled up this recipe in a flash. It’s a perfect veggie snack for tea time or can be served with cocktails!

Use all butter puff pastry for this recipe for the best flavour…a store bought one will do just fine! Click here if you would like to locate the nearest Curry Me Home stockists: https://yudhikayumyum.com/my-spar-stockists/ or send me a message for the mail order details.

Paneer Pasties

Ingredients:

2 x 500g ready-made puff pastry rolls
1 egg yolk
15ml Spar full cream milk

Filling

30ml sunflower oil
5ml crushed ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 – 4 green chillies, finely chopped
10ml Curry Me Home red chilli powder
1 x 400g tin Spar whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
5ml Curry Me Home ground cumin
5ml Curry Me Home ground coriander
1ml turmeric
250ml finely chopped button mushrooms
5ml coarse salt
200g paneer
100ml chopped fresh coriander

Place the ginger, garlic and chopped chilli in a mortar.
Pound until the ingredients are combined.
Pour the sunflower oil into an AMC 24cm pot and heat on medium.
Fry the pounded paste for a few seconds and then add the red chilli powder.
Stir for a few seconds and then add the chopped tomatoes.
Add the ground cumin, coriander and turmeric.
Lower the heat and simmer until the tomatoes resemble a thick paste.
Stir the button mushrooms and salt into the sauce.
Simmer for a few minutes until excess moisture evaporates.
Crumble the paneer into the sauce and leave to cool.
Sprinkle the coriander over and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Gently roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface.
Cut out little discs and place a little filling on half of the pastry.
Use a little cold water to sandwich the discs.
Press down gently around the edges with a fork.
Place the pasties on a greased baking tray.
Refrigerate the pies until the pastry firms up.
Beat the egg yolk with milk and brush this over the pastry without letting it spill down the sides.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for 12 – 15 minutes or until the pastry has puffed up and is golden brown in colour.

Yudhika’s tips:
The filling must be dry to prevent the pastry from becoming soggy.
Puff pastry needs to be kept cool for best results when baking.