Archive for August, 2013

paneerspghaettiballs

From past couple of weeks, I have been little busy and lazy preventing me from posting recipes on regular basis. So, I decided to cook and write about something unusual yet delicious food dish. I was always curious and wanted to try Spaghetti with meatballs in restaurants but I don’t eat meatballs so thought of creating my own (vegetarian) version of it. In this recipe, I replaced meatballs with Cottage Cheese (popularly known as Paneer in India) balls cooked in tomato sauce tossed over perfectly cooked Spaghetti. Me & my hubby love pasta which encourages me to try different types of pasta inspired dishes. My hubby, especially, prefers pasta cooked by me instead of Italian restaurants :). Pasta does not always have to be full of cheese and fat. It can be extremely healthy and balanced to nourish your body and at the same time tasty and delicious to satisfy your taste buds. So enjoy this healthy and exquisite meal on any evening and make your day worth it.

Ingredients :-

For the cheese balls :-

Paneer/Cottage Cheese 1 cup/ 250 gm
Bread Crumbs 1/4 cup
Salt
to taste
Dried Parsley Leaves
1/2 teaspoon
Dried Oregano Leaves
a generous pinch
Red Chilli Powder
1/2 teaspoon or to taste
Cilantro, Finely Chopped
2 tablespoon
Olive Oil
2 tablespoon

For the tomato sauce :-

Tomatoes, Roughly Chopped 3-4
Onion, Chopped 1/2 cup
Salt
to taste
Olive Oil
1 tablespoon
Dried Parsley Leaves
1 teaspoon
Dried Oregano Leaves
1/2 teaspoon
Garlic, Finely Chopped
1-2 tablespoon
Tomato Sauce
2 cup
Chilli Powder
to taste
Bay Leaf
2

Method :-

For the cheese balls :-

  • Preheat the oven at 350 degree Celsius.
  • Mash the paneer/cottage cheese with the help of fork and add everything mentioned except olive oil.
  • Mix it well and divide the dough into 12 equal parts.
  • Roll the divided dough into medium sized balls.
  • Spray these balls with olive oil spray and place them in a baking dish.
  • Bake the balls for 15-20 minutes or until balls become nice golden  in color.
  • Keep them aside.

For the tomato sauce :-

  • Heat a pan and add olive oil to it.
  • Add bay leaf and garlic. Saute it for 1 minute.
  • Add onion to it and saute it for 2-3 minutes.
  • When the raw smell of onion disappear add the chopped fresh tomatoes and salt and chilli powder. Let the tomatoes cook down,
  • Then add the tomato sauce, dried parsley leaves and oregano leaves and let them cook for a good 30-40 minutes.

Arrangement :-

  • Boil the spaghetti as per instruction in box and keep it aside
  • Pour the sauce in serving dish and drop the cheese/paneer balls into it.
  • To assemble spoon out a serving of spaghetti on a serving plate and add a generous serving of tomato sauce along with one or
    two Cheese/paneer balls. Enjoy it hot.

paneerballsspaghetti

Note :-

  • The sauce tastes best the next day. So, you could make the tomato sauce the previous day and use it for the dish the next day.
  • You can even make sauce in bulk and can store it in freeze for 1 week.
  • You can even saute the spaghetti with some olive oil and Italian herbs as I do it.
  • You can sprinkle some more cheese on top of it while serving. I like it without cheese.
  • You can even add spinach or any other chopped vegetables to your paneer/cheese mixture.
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rasmalai1

Ras Malai is a very popular milk based Indian dessert found commonly in weddings, special occasion or at home. Its originated in West Bengal (state in eastern part of India). In Hindi, ‘Ras’ means “juice/juicy” and “Malai” means “cream”. Its very rich in texture and flavor. Its composed of sugary white or yellow colored flattened balls of Paneer (cottage cheese) soaked in Ras (milk sauce) flavored with cardamom. It is one of my favorite dessert since childhood as I love its juiciness. You can impress your family and friends by making this dessert at home as it is very easy to make. When you are running short of time, you can substitute Malai with store bought Rasgullas (Indian sweet found in Indian/Asian grocery store).
Ingredients :-

Whole Milk
8 cups
Lemon Juice
2 tablespoon
Water
5 cups
Sugar
1 cup
Saffron
a generous pinch
Cardamom Powder
1/4 teaspoon
Pistachios & Almonds, Roughly chopped
2 tablespoon
Sugar for the ras( milk sauce )
to taste

Method :-

  • Take one steel pan and pour 4 cup of milk into it.
  • Take another pan preferably non stick and boil rest of the 4 cup of milk into it. I use non stick because the milk has to be reduced half in quantity and it keep on sticking to the pan while this process. Keep the flame low and keep stirring continuously so that milk does not stick to the pan.
  • Once the milk in steel pan starts boiling add the lemon juice to it.
  • Milk will soon start curdling. This curdle milk is paneer or cottage cheese. Switch off the stove and strain the paneer in cheese or muslin cloth.
  • Pour a little cold water over the paneer and hang the cheese/muslin cloth on the tap for approx 30 minutes to remove all of the liquid.
  • Remove the paneer from cheese/muslin cloth and run it in a food processor so that it comes out very smooth.
  • Divide the paneer into 12 equal portions in a size little smaller than of ping pong balls.
  • Roll the portions in your hands to make a smooth ball. Lightly press the ball until it flattens out.
  • Take a pressure cooker. Add water to it and dissolve 1 cup sugar. When sugar fully dissolves add the flattened paneer.
  • Close the lid and cook until one whistle sounds. Immediately switch off the stove and set the timer for exactly 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, carefully take the pressure cooker to the sink and pour cold water over the lid to remove the pressure.
  • Open the cooker lid and you will see the flattened ball has grown twice in size. Take the balls out with the help of any slotted spoon. Let them cool.
  • Meanwhile the milk in non stick pan should have reduced to half. Add saffron, sugar to taste, nuts and cardamom powder and give it a good stir.
  • Switch off the stove and keep it aside. This is your ras or milk sauce.
  • Once the paneer is cool enough to handle with your hands, gently squeeze out the sugar syrup from the paneer and place the paneer into a serving dish.
  • Pour the ras ( milk sauce) on top of the paneer balls and refrigerate it to chill.
  • At the time of serving garnish it with some chopped nuts.

rasmalai

Note :-

  • You can use evaporated milk instead of reducing whole milk to half. Just boil it once with all the ingredients added to it and its ready as malai.
  • If you don’t have food processor you can soften the paneer with hands. It just take some more time.
  • Never try to replace whole milk with any other kind of milk with lesser content of fat. Lesser the fat of milk lesser will be the quantity of paneer.