Summer is finally here, which for many of us means bringing out the BBQ tools and scouting for dinner ideas that are easy and elegant to make. East India Pantry’s roster of upcoming cooking classes features five courses on summer meals that are easy to make and delicious to eat.
The ‘Easy Entertaining with an Elegant Indian Meal’ held on June 26th featured lessons on how to cook some popular Indian dishes. Participants learnt to make vegetable cutlets, saag panir, malvani chicken, raita, roti, nawabi pulao and mango ice cream (yummm!!). All in under 2 hrs.
Vegetable cutlets/patties are a blend of vegetables and spices shaped and coated with breadcrumbs and fried. Cutlets are great as an appetizer, afternoon snack with tea or as a side dish with dinner.
- 2 large boiled potatoes
- 1 cup chopped mixed vegetables (carrots, green peas, beans etc)
- 1 tsp of East India Pantry Garam Masala Powder
- 1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
- 1 tsp finely chopped green chilies
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 5 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 cups Canola oil
Grate the boiled potatoes. Thaw the frozen mixed vegetables and slightly mash them. Remove any excess water from the vegetables. Mix the potatoes, vegetables, EIP Garam Masala, cilantro, green chilies, salt and lemon juice.
Add 6 tbsp water to all-purpose flour to make a thin batter. Divide the vegetable mixture into 8 equal parts and shape them into flat round patties about 1/2 inch thick. Dip each patty in the flour batter and roll the patty in the breadcrumbs and set aside.
Take a pan and heat the oil on medium high heat. Fry the cutlets until they are golden brown on both sides. Alternately you could shallow fry them.
Vegetable cutlets are best when accompanied with cilantro chutney, mint chutney or date chutney.
Mint Cilantro Chutney is a great East Indian dip or fantastic non-fat spicy condiment to serve with fritters, meat, chicken, or other Indian spiced dishes.
- 11/2 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1 cup fresh cilantro
- 1 green serrano pepper
- ½ onion chopped
- ½ green bell pepper chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup water
In a food processor, combine the mint, bell pepper, cilantro, green chilly, salt and lemon juice. Process to a fine paste, adding enough water to make a sauce.
- 2 cups plain yogurt
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped tomato
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well. Chill and serve with Rice, pulao, naan or roti.
- 2 boneless, skinless breasts of chicken
- 1 medium sized onion chopped
- 1 medium sized onion blended into a paste
- 1 tomato chopped
- 3 tsp East India Pantry Malvani Chicken Masala
- 2 tbsp oil
- Salt to taste
- ¼ cup of coconut milk
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves for garnishing
Wash and dice the chicken breasts into 1-inch pieces.
Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and sauté the onion paste for 5 minutes. Add remaining half of the onions and fry another 5 minutes or till they are light brown in color. Add the tomatoes and fry till it forms a pulp.
Add the East India Pantry Malvani Masala and fry for a few seconds. Now combine chicken pieces and fry on medium level for about 5 minutes or till they are lightly browned.
Add salt and mix well. Add 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low level for about 25 minutes or till the chicken pieces are tender and fully cooked.
Mix coconut milk and let it heat through. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice.
Paneer is commonly served chopped into cubes and fried with spinach and many other ingredients such as garlic and onions. Paneer has a similar texture to firm tofu, which can be used as a non-dairy substitute.
- 2 bunches fresh/frozen spinach
- 1 medium onion chopped finely
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 medium tomato diced
- 2 tsp East India Pantry Punjabi Masala
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 cups Paneer or firm tofu cubed
- ¼ cup fresh cream
Steam spinach leaves and broccoli florets with 1 cup of water for 20 minutes. Let it cool and blend the greens into a puree.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a deep skillet over medium-high flame. Add the cubed paneer and fry for a couple of minutes until light brown on all sides, gently turning to avoid breaking up the cubes. Remove the cheese from the skillet and set aside.
Return the skillet to the heat, add 1 tbsp oil and add the onions. Cook until the onions get soft and add the tomato. Add the EIP Punjabi Masala, salt and continue cooking for another 2 min.
Add the greens puree. Stir the mixture together and let it come to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. At this point add the paneer cubes and cook for further 5 minutes. Stir in fresh cream and remover from heat.
Roti (Indian Flat Bread)
- 2.5 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup of luke warm water
- 2 tbsp of oil
- 1/4 tsp of salt
- Oil or non-stick cooking spray oil
- 1 cup flour for dusting
Making the dough
Put flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in a stream of water in the center. Use one hand to mix the flour and water in a rotating motion from the center of the bowl outward, until the dough is moist enough to be gathered into a rough mass. Wet hands and continue until the mixture cleans the sides of the bowl and has become a nonstick, knead able dough. When the dough is kneaded, it will be elastic and silky smooth. Cover with a wet towel so the dough does not dry out.
Making the Roti
Divide the dough into lime-size balls. On a lightly floured surface, flatten one ball of dough with your hand. Using a rolling-pin, roll out the dough into a thin, round patty, about 5 inches in diameter. Roll from the center, turning patty several times to prevent sticking. Try to make the edges slightly thinner than the center. As you cook the roti, one could be rolling out the next, rather than shaping all of the rotis at one time.
Method of cooking the roti
Preheat a non-stick griddle over medium heat. Place the rolled dough on the palm of one hand and flip it over on to the griddle. When the color changes on the top and bubbles appear, spray some cooking oil and turn it over. When both sides are done, use kitchen tongs to remove the roti from the skillet and keep them in a closed container and serve them hot with your favorite curry.
- 2 cups East India Pantry Basmati Rice washed and soaked for at least 30 minutes
- 3 cups water
- 2 tbsp clarified butter
- 1 tsp cumin
- 3 cloves
- 2 inch stick cinnamon
- 3 cardamom pods
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 large tomatoes chopped
- 2-3 green chilies, minced
- 2 tsp East India Pantry Hyderabadi Masala
- 1 tsp of oil to fry the nuts
- 1 cup chopped nuts (pistachios, almonds or cashews), roughly chopped
- 1 tsp raisins
- salt to taste
Heat the oil in a pan, add the cumin, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and peppercorns, let them pop. Add the onions, fry until they are a translucent, add the tomatoes and chillies. Cook for 5 minutes.
Add the rice and salt; fry for 2 min and then add water. Bring to boil, lower the heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes or till all the water has evaporated. Meanwhile heat the oil and fry the nuts and raisins.
Add the fried nuts to the cooked rice, and mix gently with a fork.
Mango Ice cream
- 8 oz mango pulp from can (sold in Indian grocery stores)
- 1 pint vanilla ice cream
- 8 oz container Light Whipped Topping
In a big bowl pour in the mango pulp, thawed vanilla ice cream and the whipped topping. Fold them in very well but very gently. Pour into a dish with a tight fitting lid.
Cover and place in the freezer for 3 hours.