Sukha Aloo – Punjabi spiced potatoes

We are all adjusting and adapting to a very new style of living right now. It’s resulted in huge change across the board and for every individual, that has translated to mean different things. The biggest change for me has been shutting shop at The Spice Club and closing my cookery school doors. It’s been very hard but I have been trying to focus on how I grateful I am that as a job, I get the opportunity to share my cookery knowledge with others and actually see my students benefit from it in their own kitchen.

Given the situation I am in, I’ve decided to take this opportunity to continue sharing. Via social media, posting recipes on here and as of yesterday by means of LIVE ONLINE COOKERY CLASSES on Facebook. I taught one of my favourite dishes yesterday, Sukha Aloo. It’s a fav because it takes 10 minutes to cook and scores high marks in the taste department (that’s an actual place in the brain). If you’d like to re-watch it and follow as I cook, you can do so here. Or if you’d rather not watch me jibber jabber, you can scroll down and read the recipe below.

I wil be doing regular FB Live cookery classes. My next one will be next Friday 3rd April at 4pm GMT. Hope to see you there!

Sukha Aloo

Ingredients
  

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 tbsp oil
  • 1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion (approx 100g) thinly sliced
  • 2 heaped tbsp double concentrate tomato puree
  • 575 g potatoes red/desiree are ideal, cooked & peeled & cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt or according to taste
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp amchur/mango powder optional
  • 1 green chilli finely chopped or 1/4 tsp chilli powder
  • Handful fresh coriander roughly chopped, optional
  • water

Instructions
 

How to:

  • Heat oil in a pan. Once hot, add the cumin seeds. Give them a quick mix and then add the onions.
  • Sauté for 2-3 minutes on medium/high until light golden in colour. Now add the tomato puree along with 4-5 tbsp water and mix well.
  • At this point, add the potatoes and sprinkle over the salt as well as all of the dry spices and green chilli. Mix well.
  • Finish with fresh coriander and mix once again. Turn off heat. Taste for salt/chilli and adjust accordingly.

Notes

To cook the potatoes, you can boil them. OR I cook mine in the microwave as it’s easy/no washing up. To do this, wash potatoes, then place in a freezer safe bag (or any clean small plastic bag) and tie it up. Pierce a hole in it and then place in the microwave on high for 8-10 minutes or until cooked.

Tandoori Paneer Masala

I love having paneer in the fridge. It’s a goodun’ to just always have in. Home from work, don’t know what to make? Get on that paneer. Paneer is an Indian cheese that’s made from cows milk and is rather excellent at absorbing flavours. The soaking attribute comes fastened with the fact that it is pressed heavily with something as trivial as a common household item that one can get online from https://www.thecheesemaker.com/Cheese-making-Presses/. It has a wonderful almost meaty texture which makes it perfect for cooking it in curries (obvs), as a stuffing (paneer parathas anyone?) or even as a salad topping (toast paneer cubes in a dry pan until golden & crisp & pop on top of your next salad – you’re welcome). In addition, it’s packed full of protein and surprisingly quick to make. But enough of the paneer ad campaign, let’s get onto the good stuff. 

Today’s recipe is one that transforms this humble cheese into a luxurious, stand out dish. Mopped up with crispy, butter laden naans (I mean if you’re going to do it, do it right), it will not disappoint. This is also a fabulous one to whip out at a dinner party or pot luck. Enjoy. 

For Paneer Marination:
225g paneer, cut into cubes
1 red or green bell pepper, cut into 1cm squares
1 onion, cut into 1 cm squares
4 garlic cloves, grated or minced
2” ginger, grated
½ tsp salt or according to taste
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp lemon/lime juice
4 tbsp Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp gram flour/chickpea flour (optional)
2 tsp sunflower/vegetable oil
For Masala:
4 tbsp oil
2” cinnamon stick
2 black cardamoms (optional), crushed open in a pestle & mortar
3 green cardamoms, crushed open in a pestle & mortar
5 cloves
4 tbsp tomato passata
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 tbsp double concentrate tomato purée
2-3 green chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp salt, or according to taste
3/4 tsp cumin powder
3 tsp kasuri methi/dried fenugreek leaves (optional)
4 tbsp cream cheese
Handful fresh coriander, finely chopped

How to:
1) Line a baking tray and pre-heat grill at highest temperature setting. Place all “paneer marination” ingredients together in a bowl and mix well.
2) Tip the marinated paneer into the baking tray and spread all over. Cook in grill for 5 minutes until slightly charred. Remove from heat and turn off grill.
3) Heat oil in a pan. Once hot, add the cinnamon, cardamoms and cloves and cook for 10 seconds.
4) Now add the tomato passata, purée, ketchup and green chillies and cook for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the remaining spices and cook for 1 minute. Now add the cream cheese a little at a time, mixing continuously until it is completely blended in.
5) Now add the grilled paneer as well as the fresh coriander.
6) Add one cup of water and bring to boil. Place lid on the pan and simmer for 5-6 minutes. Check the salt and chilli adjust to your taste. Enjoy with naan or chapatis.

Aloo Gobi

Cauliflower is so in right now. From pizza bases and buffalo wings to fried rice and nuggets, the humble cauliflower has been reinvented and is currently the trendiest vegetable around (move over kale). I’d like to point out I’ve been a fan from a young age (no bandwagon jumping here).

Cauliflower or gobi has been a regular part of my diet and in Indian cookery it’s used to make everything from curries and pakoras to pickles and paratha stuffings. Gobi Aloo is a quintessential Punjabi dish and ticks all of the boxes. With a super simple preparation and a limited number of spices, it’s unbelievably satisfying and really nutritious (without tasting like it!). Served up with some hot chapatis it’s a winner every time. Give it a go-bi! Sorry couldn’t resist…I’ll stop typing now. 

Gobi Aloo
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 5 tbsp oil
  2. 1/4 tsp asafoetida/hing (optional)
  3. 2 tsp cumin seeds
  4. 2" ginger, grated
  5. 4 tbsp tomato passata
  6. 1 green chilli finely chopped
  7. 3 medium potatoes cut into bitesize chunks slightly smaller than cauliflower florets (I like to use red/desiree)
  8. 1 medium cauliflower cut into bitesize florets
  9. 1/4 cup peas
  10. 1 tsp salt or according to taste
  11. 1/4 tsp paprika
  12. 1/2 tsp turmeric
  13. 1 tsp garam masala
  14. 1/2 tsp amchur/mango powder
  15. Handful fresh coriander, finely chopped
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a pan. Once hot add the asafoetida and cumin seeds. When they begin to splatter, add the ginger and cook for 3-4 minutes until light golden.
  2. Now add the pasata and chilli and cook for a further minute.
  3. Add the potatoes, mix and place a lid on the pan. Cook on a low/medium heat setting for approx 5 minutes.
  4. Now, add the cauliflower florets along with peas, salt, paprika and turmeric. Mix together and once again place lid on the pan.
  5. Cook on a low heat setting for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. (Keep an eye on the pan -if the vegetables are catching, you can add a little more oil or a splash of water).
  7. The vegetables should be completely tender once cooked. Now add the garam masala, amchur and fresh coriander and place a lid on the pan again. Allow the flavour of the spices and fresh coriander to infuse for 10 minutes and then mix before serving.
  8. Check for salt and adjust accordingly. Finish with fresh coriander.
Monica's Spice Diary - Indian Food Blog http://spicediary.com/