Monday, March 31, 2014

Simple Paneer Curry

North Indian curries(except dals), generally have an elaborate procedure compared to South Indian curries. I don’t know if it is just my perspective as an amateur or others feel the same way too. There is sauteing, blanching, grinding, adding last minute ingredients... basically, you need to be in front of the stove all the time!! And more often than not these curries tend to shrink after they are done. I am never able to gauge how much to make when someone is coming over. And you can never do last minute changes in the quantity. 

South Indian rasams and sambars, on the other hand, are easy and predictable that way. You can always add water and curry powder in the end to increase the volume instantly without compromising too much on the taste or vegetable to gravy ratio. 

So generally, whenever I have guests over, I limit my North Indian cooking to only channa dal, or regular dals. But there was always this penchant to cook some elegant north Indian curry. 

Then I came across this curry. It is everything I dreamed of :)
It is elegant, healthy, tasty and more importantly very quick to make.

Instead of using heavy cream for thickening, it uses carrots! CARROTS! what an ingenious idea! it gives both color and thickness. This curry doesn’t leave you with a heavy feeling like other creamy(albeit tasty) curries do. 

As the blogger points out, this gravy could be used as a base for other vegetable curries too. 

Do try!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Singapore - as I saw and a Recipe - Peanut Chutney

We recently returned from our vacation to India. On the way back, we stopped over at Singapore for 4 days.

The trip was hectic, nevertheless amusing. 

Merlion @Sentosa

It’s amazing how in Singapore, they’ve maintained cleanliness and order with so many people in such a small place. The public transportation is state of the art. Whoever has planned it has thought it out from all angles. Buses, trains, taxis all very well connected and so user friendly! 

Perfection Indeed! 

No doubt this place is catered to tourists. But then again, as an outsider one can appreciate the way city’s growth is kept under control with highly priced real estate, high tariff for car owners, and so many dos and don'ts - which clearly are giving results, but I doubt if one would really appreciate it the same way living inside the country. When we spoke to couple of localites, they didn’t seem as happy and content we thought they would be. I wonder if I’d ever complain if I had to live here!

Marina Bay

Marina Bay

The highlight of our trip, I must say, was the fresh fruit juice we were drinking everywhere. Oh the sweetness, my goodness! with no added sugar! We literally survived on them during the day, only to keep our stomach empty to gobble up the oh-so-delicious South Indian thali at an Indian restaurant(Ananda Bhavan) in Little India area. 

South Indian thali @Ananda Bhavan

The attractions were all so very people friendly. Like, we went to a River Safari  which had covered walkway throughout the zoo!! I mean, it would have been such a tiring walk in the hot sun otherwise.. but to have a covered walkway, with fans, with aptly placed restaurants which served fresh fruits and juices.. they really have gone out of their way to make people feel comfortable. Truly admirable!
*standing ovation*

Walkway @River Safari

Check out these gigantic fans at the train stations. 

@ a train station

To summarize, Singapore is a good place with good food and more importantly a means to a good appetite - with all the walking around one needs to do. 
All in all, a good trip! 

Coming to the recipe - 

Peanut Chutney is a delicious accompaniment for dosa/idli. I ate it at my  friend Roopa’s place and instantly fell in love with it. My other friend Lalitha, who also has a wonderful food blog, has a slightly different version of this chutney.