~ Tomato Basil Paneer!!

Tomato Basil is popularly used in Italian dishes – soups, pasta sauce etc. but I decided to try using it in an Indian dish jus to see how it turned out. A few google searches and combining a couple of recipes, I created this magic!

This dish is definitely on the sweeter side, so adding the red chilly flakes helps out balance that.

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium tomatoes blanched and peeled
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 big bay leaf, 1 big cinnamon stick, 1 big cardamom, 1 star anise and 1 big dried red chilly
  • 10-12 fresh basil leaves
  • I pack of Nanak Paneer (cottage cheese) soaked in warm water to soften, and then cubed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/2 cup canned tomato puree
  • Salt to taste
  • Crushed black peppercorns to taste
  • 2 tablespoons red chilli flakes
  • 1/4 cup fresh cream or for healthier option use milk – full fat or 2%

Method:

1) Dice the onions, chop tomatoes and put in a blender jar. Blend tomatoes into a smooth puree.

2) Heat oil in a non stick pan, add the whole masale and ginger-garlic paste and sauté for ½ minute. Add diced onions and sauté till lightly browned.

3) Add freshly pureed tomatoes and canned tomato puree and mix well.

4) Add salt and crushed black peppercorns and mix well.

5) Add paneer and mix well.

6) Break the basil leaves by hand or cut/chop them. Breaking them keeps the taste intact.

7) Add red chilli flakes, basil leaves and cream. Mix well and cook for 1 minute.

Your dish is now ready, serve hot with Naan / Roti or Rice and Enjoy!!

We had it with Garlic Naan and Rice.

Let me know how it turned it 🙂

Until next time, enjoy yummy food!!

~ Chicken Makhani!!

Chicken makhani is a slightly sweet creamy dish of Chicken. The makhani gravy or sauce is usually made up of pureed tomatoes, ginger and garlic paste, red chili powder and cream. It is very similar to the sauce used for Butter Chicken (both of which have an additional ingredient of butter, as their name suggests), infact sometimes the names can be used inter-changeably.

In my recipe, the flavors of this dish are more in line with home style than restaurant style recipe as I have made it healthy by skipping the cream and using milk instead as well as skipping cashew nuts. If making for a party, or otherwise, feel free to use cream and cashew nuts if you are up for the additional calories! Over the years, I have consulted various websites and compiled a recipe which works best for me, so here goes:

 Ingredients:

  • Oil 4 tablespoons (to make it healthy, I use Olive Oil)
  • 1.5 pounds chicken breast cut into medium sized cubes
  • 4 Green Cardamoms
  • 6 Cloves
  • 2 inch Cinnamon Stick
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 2 medium size Green Chilies – chopped
  • 4 medium sized ripe red Tomatoes – pureed
  • 4 teaspoons canned Tomato Puree
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric (Haldi)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Coriander Powder (Dhaniya powder)
  • 2 teaspoons Dried Fenugreek leaves (Kasoori methi)
  • 3 teaspoons Honey
  • Skimmed milk 2 cups, for a creamier yet healthy version, use full cream milk
  • Fresh coriander leaves chopped for garnish

Method:

  1. Cut the chicken into medium sized cubes.
  2. Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add green cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon, garlic and ginger, and sauté till fragrant.
  3. Add green chillies and continue to sauté.
  4. Add the tomato puree (both fresh puree and canned puree together) with little salt to the ginger-garlic masala and continue cooking till it reduces slightly.
  5. Add salt, red chili powder, garam masala powder, haldi, dhaniya powder along with kasoori methi, honey, milk and mix well.
  6. Now add the chicken pieces.
  7. Cook on high flame for 5 minutes and then simmer for about 20-25 minutes to let all the juices seep into the chicken. Cook until the chicken is fully cooked, but be careful not to overlook as that can dry out the chicken.
  8. Garnish with coriander leaves and your dish is ready to serve!

This dish is best served with Roti, Naan, Onion Kulcha or Parathas, as well as Simple Basmati Rice or Jeera (cumin) Rice. Enjoy and do let me know how you liked it 🙂 I would love to hear!!

For my vegetarian readers, here’s Paneer Makhani!!