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A Twist on Tradition: Kale Paneer

There is no quicker way of creating magic in an Indian kitchen than throwing in a handful of sliced garlic in a pan, which has been cradling some oil and slowly melting butter. Add in some red onion slices and crisp ginger juliennes and you have the idyllic base for most Indian curries. Ginger-garlic-onion: Call it the Indian mirepoix!

Today, I added some beautiful curly kale to this base and sautéed it until the leaves wilted, making sure the leaves didn’t lose its lively green color. A handful of cashews and raisins were mixed in as well along with salt and sugar to taste. And a couple of green chillies added the right amount of heat.

I decided to puree this concoction. A quarter cup of skim milk and two tablespoons of low fat yogurt (my substitute for cream) along with a teaspoon of brown sugar was thrown in the blender before I added in the aforementioned concoction. The final product was a creamy and decadent kale-ish curry for my Kale Paneer.

I added some butter to the pan and threw in some whole garam masalas (cardamom-cinnamon-clove), some turmeric powder and freshly ground coriander powder. The blended curry was then added and cooked for just a couple more minutes.

I sliced some store bought paneer and threw it in and there you have it — Kale Paneer, a break from the traditional Palak Paneer.

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Got Zucchini? Make kofte curry!

Image courtesy: Google Images

I wanted to buy cucumbers, from my local grocery store, but picked up zucchini instead. Ignorance was to blame; I had never had zucchini in India.

Six years later, zucchini have become a staple in my diet and they are gaining popularity in India too.

Pan fried zucchini koftes.

Today I was in the mood for experimenting. I decided to grate the zucchini and make veggie koftes out of it. I pan fried the koftes, which were later simmered in a tomato-yogurt-cashew-based gravy.

Ginger-garlic-onion paste forms the base of the gravy, which then achieves a spicier note with the addition of spices like cumin, coriander and garam masala. The tomato puree and yogurt help in mellowing the heat and the cashew paste imparts a creamy texture.

The kofte curry adds a myriad of flavors to this otherwise bland squash.

Zucchini Kofte Curry

Green Dip

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Green Dip

Caution: I call it ‘Green’ Dip because of the color. The dip is actually packed with calories from the cheese and mayonnaise.

I had bought a bunch of broccoli last week, which therefore needed immediate attention. I cooked them in a microwave steam bag for three minutes and whizzed them in a blender with 3-oz of goat cheese, two tablespoons of mayonnaise and one teaspoon of yellow mustard. And this versatile dip (you can use it as a sandwich spread or as pasta sauce) was ready in five minutes.