Paneer in Cashew Sauce – Shahi Paneer

December 14, 2011 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Side Dishes

You ever go to a restaurant, eat your meal, and wish you could recreate what you just ate at home? Shahi Paneer has been that elusive dish for me. Until now. This recipe nails it on the head.

This paneer in a creamy creamy cashew sauce with that oh-so-good flavor will keep you going back for more.

Shahi Paneer (Paneer in Cashew Sauce)
from Show Me the Curry

  • Paneer – 14oz block (home-made or store bought), cubed
  • Oil – 3 tbsp
  • Onions – 2 small, finely copped
  • Tomato Sauce – 1, 8oz can
  • Garlic – 3 cloves, finely chopped
  • Ginger – 1 tbsp, grated
  • Green Chili – to taste, finely chopped
  • Cumin Powder – 2 tsp
  • Coriander Powder – 2 tsp
  • Garam Masala – 2 tsp
  • Cashew Pieces – ¾ cup
  • Milk- 1 cup
  • Water – 1 1/2 cup
  • Sugar – 1 tbsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Cilantro – 5 sprigs, finely chopped for garnishing

Soak cashews in milk for about 15 min or until ready to use.

Heat 2 tbsp Oil in a medium size non-stick wok on medium to high heat. Add Onions and fry until they start to dry out. Add Ginger, Garlic and Green Chili and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add Tomato Sauce, stir well and cook until oil separates.

While Onions/Tomato Sauce is cooking, blend soaked Cashews and Milk in a blender until smooth.

Once Onion/Tomato mixture is ready, add Cumin Powder, Coriander Powder and GaramMasala – mix well.

Add Cashew and Milk mixture and mix well. There should be no lumps in the gravy.

Add Water, Salt and Sugar and bring to boil.

While waiting for the gravy to boil, sauté cubed Paneer in 1 tbsp oil, on medium to high heat in a non-stick pan. Once Paneer is light gold/brown in color, take it out on a paper towel to drain excess oil.

Once gravy comes to a boil, add in Paneer and mix.

Garnish with fresh cilantro or with additional broken cashews.

Serves 6.

Cooking with Kids: Zippy Ranch Dip

March 20, 2011 By: Megabeth Category: Other, Side Dishes, Snacks/Appetizers

Zippy Ranch Dip (2) Auntie Megabeth knows that a kid’s meals is not complete unless you have something to dip your food in. Ranch dressing makes everything better, right? So, get out your blender, throw the ingredients in, and within less than two minutes you’ll have a yummy sauce to accompany your veggie corn dogs or zucchini chippys.

This recipe just requires some scooping, some measuring and some fun watching it all swirl around in the blender. The kids were impressed at how these ingredients, all spun together, make their favorite ranch dressing…it doesn’t just come from a bottle.

Substitute your favorite vegan mayo and soy milk and you’ve easily got a vegan dipping sauce.

Zippy Ranch Dip
by Megabeth

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon cider vinegar

Zippy Ranch Dip (5)

Throw all ingredients in blender.

Zippy Ranch Dip (4)

Blend until smooth.

Zippy Ranch Dip (3)


Zippy Ranch Dip (1)

Vegetarian Giro d’Italia: Say Cheese! (a.k.a. Adventures in Making Mozzarella)

May 17, 2010 By: Megabeth Category: Other, Snacks/Appetizers, Vegetarian Giro d'Italia

In the Campania region, buffalo mozzarella cheese is a local delicacy. For nearly 2000 years, buffalo have been raised in this region and the mozzarella from buffalo milk is acidic in flavor and rather juicy.  I had heard that making cheese was something I’d be able to do at home and I really wanted to see how easy it was to make good and edible cheese from scratch. Luckily, a friend of mine was up for the challenge and invited me over so we could try our hands at cheese-making. Try as we did, we couldn’t find any buffalo to milk in the Washington, DC region, so we had to settle for cow milk. (Cows milk mozzarella produces a more firm, slightly drier cheese.)

We used a kit that provided some of the ingredients and instructions for a 30-minute mozzarella. (Note: It took us a little longer than 30 minutes, more like an hour. But, honestly, from start to finish it did not seem to take to long for us to be enjoying our finished product.)

The ingredients required included: a gallon of milk, unchlorinated water, citric acid, rennet, cheese salt. Kitchen equipment included: thermometer, sieve, slotted spoon, cheese cloth, wooden spoon, large pot, smaller pot, two bowls.

As this recipe came from a kit and fits the ingredients provided in it, I’m not going to list out the recipe we used in detail here. As I am no where near a cheese-making expert, I suggest following the recipe that comes with the kit you purchase or find some cheese-making resources. All I merely want to demonstrate is how easy it was to make and to outline the basic steps we took to come up with some remarkably good cheese.

There were a few moments of disbelief as we stirred the liquid that was soon to be cheese. To be honest, we were pretty incredulous the entire time we were in the kitchen. But, through the magic of science, we ended up with some pretty good cheese. In the end, although we didn’t come out with a Mozzarella di Bufala that is coveted and revered by gourmets, we did end up with a truly fresh and palate-pleasing cheese.

Here is a basic outline of what we did  to make our mozzarella cheese…

Dissolve rennet in a bowl. Dissolve citric acid in bowl. In a pot, pour one gallon of milk and stir in citric acid. Heat the milk to 90 degrees.

Remove pot from burner and add rennet to the milk. Stir in a top to bottom motion for about 30 seconds, then stop.

Cover pot and leave undisturbed for 5 minutes. (We actually had to have it sit for more than 20 minutes.) The curd will look like custard and there will be a clear separation between the curds and whey.

Cut the curds into a 1″ checkerboard pattern.

Put the curds back on the heat, slowly stirring the curds with your ladle. Bring to 110 degrees.

In another pot, heat water to 135 degrees.

Remove curds from heat. Line a sieve with cheese cloth and remove curds from the pot with a slotted spoon. Press the curd gently pouring off as much whey as possible.

Dip curd into hot water bath and form it into a mushy ball.

Once it is cool enough to touch, knead the curds so that it becomes smooth and shiny. (If the cheese breaks apart, dip it back into the hot water bath.)

Add salt and herbs into the cheese and knead it until the seasoning is distributed. Stretch the cheese like taffy.

Form the cheese into whatever shape you’d like and drop the cheese into a cold ice bath.

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