Archive for December, 2009

Chestnuts – defies crunchiness!! :)

My my!!! these are little surprise packages…little treats πŸ™‚

Started seeing them in the grocery store from mid-october , everytime I will give them a curious glance and pass off…I am glad I finally picked up the courage to try these.

In certain parts of North India, water chestnuts, otherwise called ‘Singada’ in hindi is pretty common. It is used in making subjis , tikkis etc., Tastewise these are somewhat similar to them. Unlike other nuts, these do not have crunchy texture and are more starchy, like a sweet potato.

There are lot of methods available on internet to roast them, I chose to follow the below steps and they worked very well.

Roasting Chestnuts

scored chestnut

scored chestnut

1.Preheat oven to 400 F

2.Using a small knife,make an ‘X’ scoring, as shown in the picture,Β on the flat side of the chestnut and dump them in cool water for 15-20 minutes

3.Line the chestnuts in a baking sheet, with the scored side facing upwards and roast them for 13-15 minutes.

4.Take them out, wrap them in a kitchen towel when warm, rub them hard, allow to cool and crack open the skin. ( what I did was , beat the kitchen towel hard on the ground, like how the dhobis back in India do and it worked like a charm πŸ˜› )

Chestnuts come with zero cholestrol, has a high fibre and calcium content. These are the perfect munch-ons or the in between meal snacks

Serving suggestions

They are pretty much good on their own

Heard they go well with sour cream….but you really dont want to bring in the cream I guess!!!

Should be good in salads and soups I guess

Green Palak Paneer without tomatoes!!!

I was longing to have spinach from last couple of days and so today bought this big bag of fresh organic baby spinach.

Somehow the usual palak paneer with lots of cream did not appeal to me,its more in off-white color and hardly seems like spinach . I craved for some puply green spinach which can go well with rice and roti both.Had a big can of whole milk in the fridge, so I made the paneer at home. The result was a very green , delicious curry which you cannot get enough of. I used up the whole bag of spinach and…ah!!I swear it will not last for more than 2 people!!!

Ingredients

fresh or frozen spinach – 2 or 3 cups

1 big red onion

3 cloves garlic

1 inch piece ginger

Paneer cubes Β – half cup

cumin seeds – 1 tsp

coriander powder – 2 tsp

green chillies – 5

a pinch of turmeric powder

salt to taste

whole milk/Cream – optional

oil – 2 tsp

Method

1.Wash the spinach and blanch them by dropping them in hot water for 30 seconds, immediatly drop them in cold water and then strain in a colander. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before pureeing. ( If using frozen spinach, defrost them , strain and puree)

2.Chop up the onion to big chunks and puree it with the green chillies. Make a paste of ginger and garlic and keep it aside.

3. Heat up a wok with oil, crackle cumin seeds, pour the onion-chilly paste and ginger garlic paste and saute it till the raw onion smell disappears.

4.Add the turmeric powder and coriander powder and pour in the spinach puree. Let it cook on a low flame for 5 minutes

5.If adding heavy cream , a spoonful would be more than enough.Another low fat option is microwave quarter cup of whole milk for 7 minutes allowing a standing time of 30 seconds in between and add this little by little to the spinach. Coconut milk would also work I guess, though I never tried it. (yes….the green colour stays even after adding cream!!)

6.Broil the paneer cubes for 2-3 minutes and add it to the spinach. Take care while broiling , else you will end up burning them.

Serving suggestions:

Spinach with paneer pieces goes with with warm rotis, parathas, naans etc.,

Spinach minus paneer goes awesome with hot plain rice + ghee

It tastes even more heavenly with curd rice!! πŸ™‚