Sirisha's Indian Cooking Class Recipes
Co-op teacher Sirisha joined us for our first virtual cooking class of the season! Paneer Makhani, Red Lentil Dal with Seasonal Greens, and Basmati Rice come together for a delicious and authentic Indian dinner!
1. Cut paneer into ½ inch cubes or size of your choice and soak in warm water. This works great to keep the paneer soft especially when using store bought paneer.
2. Soak cashews in a separate bowl of hot water.
3. Prep ginger, garlic, onions, tomatoes.
4. In a pan, take a tablespoon of oil, add ginger, garlic and onions and sautée until translucent.
5. Add tomatoes and salt and continue to cook until they soften and do not have any raw taste.
6. Add the soaked cashews.
7. Blend this to a smooth and creamy paste.
8. In a pan, take a tablespoon of oil, add coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric, garam masala and fry till aromatic, a few seconds.
9. Then add a little chilli powder and mix well.
10. Add the blended onion tomato mixture and cook till all the flavors come together and it is bubbly and boiling. It might splatter, keep the lid of the pan handy to restrict the splattering.
***Stop here if you are planning to make this into a dipping sauce. See notes at the end of this recipe.
11. Add the drained paneer pieces and a little water to adjust consistency. It should be creamy and thick, not too runny, or too dry.
12. Cover and let this simmer for a few minutes. Add a tbsp or two of heavy whipping cream and mix well. Crush the kasoori methi in between your palms, discard any big stems and add it to the pan. Mix well, taste and adjust
13. If you wish, to balance flavors, you could add a tsp of sugar. It is needed only if the tomatoes are too tangy.
14. Place in a serving bowl, garnish with fresh cream and a little sprinkling of kasoori methi. Enjoy with naan or rice!
***If making a dipping sauce, add cream and kasoori methi. Taste and adjust seasoning, add a little sugar if needed to balance flavors. Serve with naan bites as a party appetizer or use as a base gravy for your Indian inspired creations.
Red Lentil Dal with Seasonal Greens
1. Soak lentils for 20 minutes – this is optional but recommended.
2. Wash thoroughly and drain. Add this to a pot, add 3 cups of water and let it come to a boil.
3. Keep removing any foam that forms a layer on top.
4. Simmer and cook for around ten minutes till lentils are fully cooked, add salt to taste.
5. If using spinach or any fast-cooking greens, blanche them and set aside. If using greens that require a longer cooking time, boil/ steam them and set aside.
6. In a separate pan, add ghee and a little oil. Add cumin seeds, once they sizzle, add finely chopped ginger, garlic, jalapeno as per taste, once they are sizzling, add onions and cook till translucent. Add turmeric, add the greens, salt as per taste, enough for the seasoning and greens (remember, we added salt to the lentils).
7. Fry this for a few minutes till the flavors mix well, add the cooked lentils and mix well.
8. Let this simmer for a few minutes. Add finely chopped tomatoes or a dash of lime juice for a nice fresh flavor. If adding tomatoes, cook for a couple of minutes till they soften slightly.
9. Taste and adjust seasoning if required.
10. Enjoy with naan or rice with a dash of ghee.
Lentils, rice, and ghee are some of the best comfort foods from the Indian subcontinent. It is a super healthy meal as well. Dal and rice complement each other and together form a complete balanced healthy meal. Ghee not only enhances the taste but also helps in the absorption of nutrients from dal and rice.
1. Wash rice thoroughly in water for a few rinses till it runs clear. Soak rice for 20 to 30 minutes (optional but ensures that rice is soft and fluffy).
2. Drain the water, in a pan add 1.5 cups water and the rice, add salt and ghee if you like.
3. Let it come to a rolling boil, then simmer and cover and cook for around 10 to 15 minutes till water is completely absorbed and rice is cooked.
4. Let it rest for 5 minutes.