Quick Paneer Tikka

Whenever I find a recipe that tastes great and is quick and easy to make , I go for it . My family is crazy for paneer , an Indian cheese , closest in taste to ricotta , but much firmer and left to drain till it forms firmly into a cheese . Typically it is then cut and deep or shallow fried for a crusty exterior and a hot tender inside . The only real change I made to this recipe is the addition of some red food color and I omitted the green peppers , as I prefer the paneer without it .

Serves 4

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

1 lb paneer ( available from Indian markets )

2 medium green bell peppers , cut into 1 inch pieces

3 tbs oil

1 tsp chaat masala


1/2 cup thickened yoghurt ( I use Greek yoghurt )

1 tsp each ginger and garlic paste

1/2 tsp red chili powder

a pinch of turmeric powder

1/2 tsp garam masala powder

2 to 3 tbs heavy cream

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

salt to taste  

1/4 tsp red food color ( optional)   

Cut paneer into 1  1/2 inch squares with half inch thickness .

Mix together all the ingredients of the marinade and marinade the paneer cubes in it for about 15 minutes . Heat oil in a saute pan, place in paneer cubes and fry till golden and crisp on the surface . Drain on absorbant paper .

Toss the bell peppers in the remaining marinade and saute them in the remaining oil in the pan for 2 to 3 minutes . Place a pepper piece on each paneer cube and pierce with a toothpick . sprinkle chaat masala and serve hot.


Black pepper chicken tikka

No matter the weather my family just loves to grill , with trhat in mind I set out to marinate this black pepper infused chicken , marinated in a variety of spices and yoghurt , skewered and grilled . As the rain would not let up we decided to heat our cast iron grill pan in the oven to 350*F , this takes about 20 minutes to come to temperature . The result? perfectly grilled , succulently moist chicken . A squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a little bit of fresh mint chutney finishes off the dish.

Serves 4

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

1 lb boneless chicken , cut into 1  1/2 inch cubes

12 -15 black peppercorns , roasted and coarsely powdered

1 inch ginger

6 -8 garlic cloves

2 -3 green chilles

4 tbs vegetable or olive oil to baste

4 medium onions , sliced

1 cup thickened yoghurt ( I use greek lowfat yoghurt)

3 tbs heavy cream

1 tbs cornflour

1 egg white

1/2 tsp garam masala powder


1/4 tsp crushed cardamons

Grind ginger , garlic and green chillis to a fine paste . Heat 4 tbs oil in a wok and saute onions till brown . Cool and grind to a paste .

In a large bowl combine browned onion paste , yoghurt , cream , cornflour , egg white , ginger garlic green chi;;i paste, garam masala powder , crushed black peppercorns , salt and cardamon powder.

Add chicken and refridgerate to marinate at least 1 hour .

Preheat oven to 350*F.

Skewer the chicken on to bamboo skewers . Baste with oil and roast chicken for about 15 minutes .

Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon and green chutney.

Sichuan Chilli Potatoes

These Indian Chinese style potatoes are all at once comforting , spicy and delicious . They are a staple in our home , especially when my now , grown up boys , are home to visit . I have also made these with baby corn and mushrooms , it is equally delicious and , I guess more nutritious .

Sanjeev Kapoor

Serves 4

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

4 to 5 medium sized potatoes , peeled , washed and cut into thick wedges

2 tbs oil  + to fry potatoes

3 tbs cornstarch

1 medium onion , peeled and sliced

5 -6 garlic cloves , finely chopped

1 spring onion , chopped

Dried Red chilis , whole

 8 Sichuan peppers ( optional )

1 tsp   Red Chili paste ( I use Sriracha )

1 tsp soy sauce

1/2 tsp sugar

salt to taste

1 Tbs vinegar

Parboil potato wedges , drain and cool .

Heat oil in a wok , dust the parboiled potatoes with 2 tbs of cornflour and deep fry until golden brown and completely cooked and crisp . Remove and drain.

Blend 1 tbs cornstarch in 1/4 cup water .

Heat 2 tbs oil in a wok , break whole red chilis into 2 and stir fry briefly . Immediately add sichuan peppers , sliced onion , chopped garlic and continue to stir fry.

Stir in the red chili paste blended into a quarter cup of water , soy sauce , sugar and salt . Stir fry briefly . Add fried potatoes and toss to heat through .

Stir in blended cornstarch , toss well to mix and add vinegar . Stir fry for half a minute and serve garnished with chopped spring onion greens .

Stir fried Bean Curd with Asian greens

Being vegan  is terrific when you can eat this way . The bean curd or tofu is stirfried lightly for a slight crunch , it then sits on a bed of bok choy ( a type of chinese cabbage ) ans broccoli , two vegetables so densely nutritious , you can feel terrific about what you have just eaten . Forget take out when you can have this dish on your table in mere minutes  with no added MSG or clumpy cornstarch .

Sanjeev Kapoor

1/2 lb bean curd ( tofu ) cut into 3/4 inch cubes

2 Tbs oil

salt to taste

2 inches ginger , grated

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tbs lemon juice

1/2 medium broccoli , seperated into florets and blanched

4 Chinese cabbages ( bok choy ) roughly cut

4 to 5 cabbage leaves , shredded

10 garlic cloves , chopped

1 Tbs soy sauce

Heat one tablespoon of oil in a pan ; add the bean curd and stir fry for 3 to 4 minutes over medium heat . Sprinkle the salt , grated ginger , black pepper and lemon juice .

Heat the remaining oil in another pan . Add the broccoli florets , bok choy and cabbage and saute for 2 minutes . Sprinkle a little water . Add the garlic , soy sauce and a little more water and cook till the vegetables soften slightly .

Transfer the greens to a serving plate . Place the bean curd on top and serve hot .

Eggless chocolate mud pudding

This is my run to comfort chocolate dessert . it is warm and chocolatey gooey . To the eye as the dessert is taken out of the oven it looks like a well risen chocolate cake , but , when cut into , there emerges two seperate layers , “The pudding will seperate into two layer ;a gooey chocolate sauce topped with a light chocolate sponge . Needless to say , serve warm .

Sanjeev Kapoor

Serves 4

5  TBS cocoa powder

2 TBS unsalted butter

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

2 cups milk

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp  ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 *F. Lightly grease a 4 inch deep glass dish or loaf  pan .

Place the butter , half the sugar and half the milk in a pan and heat gently , stirring from time to time, until the butter has melted and all the sugar has dissolved .Remove from heat .

Sift the flour , baking powder , cinnamon powder and one tablespoon of cocoa powder together into the pan and stir well to mix. Pour the mixture into the greased pan and level the surface .

 Stir the remaining sugar and cocoa powder into a seperate bowl and mix well . Sprinkle the mixture over the pudding mixture in the dish . Pour the remaining milk over the pudding mixture.

Bake for fifty minutes or until the sponge has risen to the top and is firm to the touch . The pudding will seperate into two layers : a gooey chocolate sauce topped with a light chocolate sponge . Serve hot .

Microwave Eggless Chocolate Cake

Thanks to this recipe from Sanjeev Kapoor , I can have my cake and eat it in a few short minutes . Sometimes the craving for chocolate cake hits when I just do not have much time to preheat the oven and wait for the cake to bake . I love to serve this cake warm with a cold glass of milk and , if I feel indulgent a little whipped cream.

4  oz dark chocolate , grated ( I love lindt’s 90% chocolate for this )

1  1/3 cup All purpose flour

8  oz ( 2 sticks ) chilled butter , cubed , plus more for greasing

2 tsp baking powder

1 cup + 2 tbs powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup milk ( please use whole milk )

1/2 cup walnuts , chopped

grease an 8 inch round microwave safe dish.

Sift together the flour and baking powder into a bowl . Melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl for one minute on high . Stir well to mix .

Add powdered sugar and vanilla and mix well ; Fold in the flour . Correct the consistency by adding milk . Add walnuts and mix gently .

Transfer the mixture to the greased dish . Cook for 7 minutes on High . Leave the cake to stand for 5 minutes .

Cool , slice and serve .

Rich chicken and pistachio curry

Pistewala Murgh is a delicious , creamy , rich chicken curry . Typically I serve this for company when I want to pull out all the stops , but , on occasion , I serve this for a simple romantic dinner with my husband . I know pistachios are not always on hand , so I have made this with cashews or even macadamia nuts .

Sanjeev Kapoor

1 lb boneless chicken , cut into half inch pieces

2 large onions , boiled till tender in 1 cup water

1 inch piece ginger , 4 to 5 cloves garlic , ground to a fine paste

4 green chillies , finely chopped

1/2 cup yogurt, whisk

1/2 cup pistachio nuts

4 tbs oil

2 tbs coriander powder

1/2 tsp white pepper powder

salt to taste

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 tsp garam masala

Drain the onions , cool slightly and grind to a paste .  Soak pistachio nuts in hot water for 10 minutes , drain and peel . Reserve a few pistachio nuts for garnish .

Grind the remaining peeled pistachio nuts with chopped green chillies to a fine paste , adding a little water .

Heat oil in a pan , add boiled onion paste and saute for 3 to 4 minutes or until oil starts oozing out , careful not to brown the onions .

Add the ginger garlic paste and stir fry briefly . Add coriander powder , white pepper and salt ; mix well . Stir in pistachio and green chillies paste and cook for a minute .

Add chicken pieces and saute for 2 minutes . Reduce heat , add 1 cup water and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked . Stir in yogurt and continue to simmer for 2 minutes , stirring occasionally .

Stir in fresh cream , sprinkle garam masala powder , remaining pistachio nuts and serve hot .