Saag Paneer with Palak, Hara Lasun & Hara Pyaaz: Recipe by Heena Jhanglani

I learnt this recipe for aromatic, delectable Saag Paneer (Palak Paneer) from Heena Jhanglani. Her daughter had carried just the curry base (without the Paneer) for lunch one day and told me it was just another type of Sai Bhaji (or a dish made with greens). I took that basic recipe and added some Paneer to it to make this wonderful Palak Paneer with a Difference.

Saag Paneer with Palak, Hara Lehsun, and Hara Pyaaz
Saag Paneer with Palak, Hara Lehsun, and Hara Pyaaz

Heena Jhanglani is quite a treasure trove of recipes and continues to surprise me ever so often with the stuff she sends in her daughter’s lunch box. This Saag Paneer/Palak Paneer is just another example of that skill.

Traditional Palak Paneer uses just spinach to create the green base. This recipe uses spring onions with the greens as well as generous dose of green garlic chives. This lends the dish a unique flavour and texture that sets it apart from the traditional Palak Paneer.

I am quite in love with this flavour rich version of Palak Paneer and will make it every time I find spring onions and green garlic chives. 🙂  Thank you, Heena-ji, for this wonderful recipe. Keep them coming!

Saag Paneer with Green Garlic Chives and Spring Onions
Saag Paneer with Green Garlic Chives and Spring Onions

How to Make Saag Paneer/Palak Paneer with Spinach, Spring Onions, and Green Garlic Chives

Saag Paneer/Palak Paneer with Spinach, Spring Onions, and Green Garlic
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

I learnt this wonderful recipe for Saag Paneer/Palak Paneer with Spinach, Spring Onions, and Green Garlic from Heena Jhanglani and it is set to become a staple in my home.

Course: Accompaniments, Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, Sindhi
Servings: 4 People
Author: Aruna
Ingredients
  • 1 Large Bunch Palak Approx 250 gms
  • 1 Small Bunch Green Garlic, Hara Lahsun Approx 100 gms
  • 2-3 Spring Onions Approx 100 gms
  • 150 gms Paneer
  • 2-3 Slit Green Chillies
  • 1/2 tsp Haldi
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • Salt to Taste
Instructions
The Prep
  1. Chop Paneer into 1" cubes.

  2. Chop the Palak to small pieces.

  3. Separate the tender garlic from the chives.

  4. Chop the garlic. Set aside.

  5. Chop the green garlic chives. Set aside.

  6. Separate the spring onion from the greens.

  7. Slice the spring onion. Set aside.

  8. Chop the spring onion greens. Set aside.

Making the Saag Paneer | Palak Paneer
  1. In a kadhai, heat the oil.

  2. Add the sliced spring onions and garlic pieces.

  3. Stir-fry till aromatic.

  4. Add the slit green chillies, green garlic chives, and spring onion greens.

  5. Stir-fry for about 1 minute.

  6. Add turmeric and stir-fry for a few seconds.

  7. Add the chopped palak and stir-fry till wilted.

  8. Add salt. Mix well.

  9. Turn off the heat and let the greens cool a bit.

  10. Using a bit of water, grind to a smooth paste.

  11. Transfer the paste back to the kadhai and stir-fry a bit.

  12. Add enough water to form a thick gravy.

  13. Add the chopped paneer and cook for a few minutes.

  14. Serve hot with rotis.

 

Saag Paneer | Palak Paneer
Saag Paneer | Palak Paneer

Saag Paneer/Palak Paneer Recipe with Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Getting Things Ready
    1. Cut the Paneer into 1″ cubes. You can lightly pan-fry them, if you so wish. I used Paneer “as is”.
    2. Separate the garlic from the greens.
    3. Separate the spring onions from the greens.
    4. Chop the spinach, green garlic chives, and spring onion greens into small pieces.
    5. Chop the garlic into small pieces. Set aside.
    6. Slice the spring onions. Set aside.
  2. Making the Aromatic Saag Paneer 
    1. In a heavy-bottomed vessel or kadhai, over medium flame, heat the oil.
    2. Once the oil is hot, add the sliced spring onions and garlic pieces.
    3. Stir-fry till the onions just turn transparent and the garlic becomes aromatic.
    4. Next, add the green chillies, green garlic chives and spring onion greens.
    5. Stir-fry for a few seconds. The green garlic chives and spring onion greens do not need much stir-frying and wilt pretty quickly.
    6. Add the turmeric and mix well.
    7. Add the chopped spinach and stir-fry till the palak is cooked and softens.
    8. When the palak wilts a bit, add the salt.
    9. Mix well.
    10. Take the kadhai off the flame and let the cooked greens mix cool.
    11. Transfer the cooked mix to a grinder along with a little water.
    12. Grind the greens to a thick, smooth paste.
    13. Transfer the ground paste back to the kadhai and cook the mix a bit.
    14. Add about 1/2 cup of water to the cooked paste and mix well to form a thick gravy.
    15. Add paneer pieces to the gravy and let the Saag Paneer simmer a bit.
  3. Serve hot, aromatic Palak Paneer | Saag Paneer with rotis.
Palak Paneer with Green Garlic Chives and Spring Onions
Palak Paneer with Green Garlic Chives and Spring Onions

No Onion, No Garlic Chole Biryani | A Recipe Inspired by Nikita Jhanglani

This recipe for Chole Biryani happened totally by chance; thanks to Nikita Jhanglani for the last moment inspiration.

No Onion, No Garlic Chole BiryaniNo Onion, No Garlic Chole Biryani
No Onion, No Garlic Chole Biryani

The theme for the 107th Foodie Monday Blog Hop is a party dish. However, we are bang in the middle of the festival season and I was already thinking of Onam recipes. Given that I have a particularly gruelling week ahead at work, I was not equipped to make a party dish. So, I had decided not to participate in this week’s blog hop and was just about to send a message to fellow bloggers, when a pic of Chole Biryani pops up on WhatsApp. It was Nikita and her mom who made this No Onion, No Garlic Chole Biryani as their contribution to the Ganapati Celebrations in their apartment complex.

Indeed, as Paul Coelho said, “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

And on went the light in my head! I love one-pot meals and they make a great addition to any party, especially potluck parties; and this No Onion, No Garlic Chole Biryani can be enjoyed by one and all.

Nikita did send me her recipe. I used that as a base along with my own recipes for Pindi Chole and Ambarsari Chole to come up with my own version of this absolutely delightful dish!

Trust me everyone will love the taste and it is just so easy to make.

How to Make No Onion, No Garlic Chole Biryani

No Onion, No Garlic Chole Biryani
Prep Time
6 hrs
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
6 hrs 45 mins
 

This recipe results in a wonderful No Onion, No Garlic Chole Biryani that is a great one-dish meal, especially for parties and potlucks

Course: Main
Cuisine: Indian, Punjabi
Author: Aruna
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Chole, Chickpeas (200gms)
  • 2 Cups Basmati Rice
  • 2 Cups Peeled, Diced Potatoes (1/2" cubes)
  • 1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Fresh Coriander For Garnish
For Potli to Boil Chickpeas
  • 10 Cloves
  • 2" Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Strong Tea Leaves
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 6 Green Cardamom
  • 2 Black Cardamom
For Tempering
  • 2 tbsp Ghee or Oil I used Ghee
  • 1 tsp Ajwain or Carom Seeds
  • 2 tsp Slivers of Ginger
  • 3-4 Green Chillies, Slit
Dry Masalas
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1.5 tsp Roasted Cumin Powder
  • 1.5 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1.5 tsp Amchur, Raw Mango Powder
  • 2 tsp Kasoori Methi Powder See Notes
  • 2 tsp Anardana Powder, Pomegranate Seeds Powder See Notes
Other Ingredients
  • 1 tsp Black Salt
  • 2 tsp Thick Tamarind Pulp
  • 3-4 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tbsp Ghee Vegans use oil
  • Salt to Taste
Instructions
Cooking the Chole
  1. Soak the Chole in 3 Cups Water for 6 to 8 hours.

  2. In a small white cloth, tie-up all ingredients listed under For Potli to Boil Chickpeas.

  3. Place this potli/packet in the middle of the chickpeas.

  4. Cover and boil for about 45 minutes till done.
    Or 
    Pressure cook the chickpeas 4 whistles.

  5. Discard the potli.

  6. Drain and reserve the water in which the chickpeas were cooked.

Preparing the Rice
  1. Soak the Basmati in 4 cups water for about 15 minutes.

  2. Drain all the water.

  3. Leave the soaked rice in the colander till it is time to use.

Cooking the Pindi Chole
  1. In a pan large enough to hold the chole, on a medium flame, heat 1 tbsp oil or ghee.

  2. Add the ajwain, ginger, and green chillies.

  3. Stir-fry till the raw smell of the ginger disappears.

  4. Add the dry masalas and mix well.

  5. Immediately add the cooked chole.

  6. Mix well.

  7. Add the black salt, salt, and tamarind paste.

  8. Mix well.

  9. Add a little of the reserved water.

  10. Over medium flame, cook for about 5 minutes till most of the water evaporates.

  11. Turn off the heat.

  12. Beat the dahi well so that there are no lumps.

  13. Add the dahi to the chole and mix well.

  14. Set aside.

Deep Frying the Potatoes
  1. In a large wok or kadhai, heat 3 tbsp oil. Use a large wok/kadhai as we will cook rice in it later.

  2. Add the potato pieces and over medium flame, stir-fry till golden brown.

  3. Remove the potato pieces and set aside.

Cooking the Rice
  1. In the wok used to fry the potatoes, add the rice and stir-fry for 5 minutes.

  2. Add 3.25 cups water, 1/2 tsp salt, and mix well.

  3. Over low-to-medium flame, cook covered till the rice is done. Mix at regular intervals.

Putting the No Onion, No Garlic Chole Biryani Together
  1. When the rice is cooked, add the chole.

  2. Mix well.

  3. Cook covered for 5 minutes.

  4. Add salt, if required, and mix well.

  5. Just before serving, add the fried potatoes and mix well.

  6. Garnish with fresh coriander.

  7. Serve with Cucumber Raita or Boondi Raita and Papad.

Recipe Notes
  • To make Kasoori Methi powder, over medium flame, dry roast 3 tsp of kasoori methi till it becomes crisp. Remove into a plate to cool. Crush into a powder with your fingers.
  • To make Anardana/Pomegranate seeds powder, dry roast 2 tsp anardana. Let it cool and then grind to a powder.
  • I used readymade tamarind paste.
  • You can a complete shortcut and use readymade Chole Masala powder. The result is just as delicious!
  • You can also add some fried tomato chunks if you wish. 

Spicy Chole Biryani | The Perfect One Dish Meal
Spicy Chole Biryani | The Perfect One Dish Meal

Do you want to see other Party Dishes recipes my fellow Foodie Monday Blog Hop bloggers have shared? Hop over to our Facebook page by clicking on the logo.

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Sai Bhaji – A Sindhi Specialty

 

Sindhi Sai Bhaji Recipe

Greens are a staple in my home; whether used in dal or as dry sabzis. To alleviate boredom, I try to cook the greens in different ways. This week, I made Sai Bhaji, a Sindhi Specialty with the help of two of my  Sindhi colleagues; Roshni Sharma and Nikita Jhanglani. Both of them gave me very similar recipes; the only difference was that Roshni’s recipe used methi along with Palak (Spinach), Ambat Chukka (Green Sorrel, Khatta Palak) and Sua (Dill). Since I had methi at home, I used it as well. More the greens the better it is for health being my mantra. 😀

To get back to Sai Bhaji, it is a wonderfully tangy curry made that uses Palak and Chana Dal (Bengal Gram) as its mainstay with Sua, Khatta Palak and Tomatoes being used to add tanginess. It is a complete dish in itself and a wonderful accompaniment to both rotis and rice.

The trick to a good Sai Bhaji I am told is to ensure that the greens are mashed while the Chana Dal retains its shape. I sent the two ladies pics to ensure I got it right. 🙂

In my enthusiasm, I used a wee bit more Chana Dal than was necessary. However, it did not detract from the taste in anyway.

Thank you, Roshni and Nikita, for this recipe. It was indeed yum!

How to Make Sindhi Sai Bhaji

Sai Bhaji - A Sindhi Speciality
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 
Sai Bhaji is a Sindhi specialty made with loads of greens: palak, khatta palak/ambat chukka, methi, and sua. Added to this is protein in the form of Chana Dal. Healthy and tasty!
Course: Curry
Cuisine: Indian, Sindhi
Servings: 4
Author: Aruna
Ingredients
  • 3 Packed Cups Finely Chopped Palak or Spinach
  • 3 Handfuls Finely Chopped Khatta Palak or Green Sorrel
  • 1 Handful Sua or Dill
  • 2 Handfuls Methi or Fenugreek Leaves
  • 2/3 Cup Chana Dal
  • 2 Large Tomatoes
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 1 tbsp Grated Ginger
  • 1/2 tbsp Finely Chopped Garlic
  • 2 to 3 Green Chillies
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Haldi or Trumeric
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • Salt to Taste
Instructions
Soak the Chana Dal
  1. Wash the chana dal thoroughly.
  2. Soak in about 1 cup water for 30 minutes.
  3. Drain the water and set aside the chana dal.
The Preparations for Sai Bhaji
  1. Chop all the leafy vegetables to small pieces.
  2. Peel and chop the onion to fine pieces.
  3. Chop the tomato to fine pieces.
  4. Slit the green chillies.
Method to make Sai Bhaji
  1. Heat a a heavy bottomed vessel or small pressure cooker.
  2. Add the oil.
  3. Add the onion and saute till transparent.
  4. Add the ginger, garlic, and green chillies.
  5. Saute for a minute.
  6. Add tomato pieces and saute till soft.
  7. Add the salt, red chilli powder and haldi.
  8. Mix well.
  9. Add the chana dal and mix well.
  10. Add the greens and mix well.
  11. Add about 2/3 cup water.
  12. Pressure cook for 4 to 5 whistles.
  13. Let the cooker cool completely.
  14. Using a masher, mash the Sai Bhaji such that the greens are mashed but the Chana Dal retains shape. This is the tricky bit. 🙂
  15. Serve hot with rice or rotis.
Recipe Notes

I added methi but you can omit it.

If you do not get Ambat Chukka, you could add about 1/2 tsp tamarind paste for tanginess but it does change the taste.

If you do not like too much tanginess, reduce the amount of tomato or dill.

 

Sai Bhaji - A Sindhi Recipe

Sev Burfi or Singhar Ji Barfi – A Sindhi Sweet – Diwali Special Recipe

Sev Burfi or Singhar Ji Barfi
Sev Burfi or Singhar Ji Barfi

Singhar ji Barfi or as it is often called Sev Burfi is a very famous Sindhi sweet. I was introduced to it while I was studying for my engineering degree by my friend Bindu Kodwaney. One Diwali she took me to this wonderful place called Tharu Sweets in Bandra, Mumbai and introduced me to this wonderful, wonderful sweet one Diwali and I have been a fan ever since.

Tharu Sweets is a legendary sweet shop which makes some of the most delicious and decadent sweets ever.  What I love about Tharu is their adherence to tradition and their unfailing commitment to quality. While I am writing about their Sev Burfi or Singhar ji Barfi today, I would unhesitatingly recommend  all of their sweets. I espcially love their hot Gulab JamunKaju Katli and Mixed Dry Fruit Barfi. The latter is something to die for (after Sev Burfi, of course :)) and I work through a single loaded piece over the entire day. While they are famous for their sweets, they also serve a delicious Aloo Tikki and Chole cooked in pure ghee. What is life without a little indulgence!

Coming back to the recipe  Singhar ji Barfi or Sev Burfi very very easy to make and gets done in less than 20 minutes. The key to a well-made Sev Burfi is to ensure that the Sev is cooked and yet retains its shape.

Why not try it this Diwali and surprise your guests?

I used the recipe from SindhiRasoi.com. The only change I made was to reduce the sugar a tad bit and use Kewra Essence instead or Rose Water/Essence.

How to Make Sev Barfi or Singhar Ji Burfi

Makes: 12 to 16 Pieces

Time: 20 Minutes

Ingredients

  1. Unsweetened or Feeka Mava – 2o0 gms
  2. Sev – 200 gms
  3. Sugar – 175 gms
  4. Water – 1 Cup
  5. Kewra Essence – 3 to 4 drops
  6. Yellow Food Colour – 4 to 5 drops
  7. Ghee – 1/2 tsp
  8. Pista and Almond Slivers – 2 tbsp
Singhar ji Burfi - A Sindhi Speciality
Singhar ji Burfi – A Sindhi Speciality

Method to Make Singhar ji Barfi or Sev Burfi

  1. Crumble the Mava till there are no lumps.
  2. Set aside.
  3. Grease a 7″ dish or plate with high sides with the ghee.
  4. Set aside.
  5. In a heavy bottomed pan, over medium flame, heat the water and sugar till the sugar melts.
  6. Turn the heat down to low. The water should be simmering not boiling.
  7. Add the yellow food colour and Kewra essence.
  8. Add the sev and mix with a gentle hand till the sev is completely coated with water.
    • Do not mash the sev.
    • Do not cook for long.
  9. Add the crumbled mava.
  10. Mix well with a gentle hand.
  11. Turn up the heat to medium.
  12. Cook till the mava melts.
  13. Immediately transfer to the greased plate/dish.
  14. Spread evenly and let cool.
  15. Garnish with Pista and Almond slivers.
  16. Cut into squares or diamonds and serve.

Tips

  • Sev Burfi is rather soft in texture and does not solidify like other burfis.
  • Tradition calls for unsalted or feeka Sev. I used the regular sev.
  • Do not use Nylon sev or the very thin sev. It will disintegrate.
  • Do not mash the sev while mixing. It should retain its shape.
  • You can store the burfi in the refrigerator. In this case, it will solidify. To serve, keep it outside for about 30 to 60 minutes.

Singhar ji Barfi or Sev Burfi - Inspired by Tharu Bandra

 

Aani Basar – A Sindhi Speciality – Guest Post by Nikita Jhanglani

Aani Basar - A Sindhi Speciality
Aani Basar

Having grown up with Sindhi neighbours and studying engineering in a Sindhi college, I have grown to love Sindhi food. So far the only Sindhi Recipe on my blog is that of Koki and I hope to remedy that soon. I am making a start with this wonderful recipe for Sindhi speciality called Aani Basar that is presented by my friend and colleague, Nikita Jhanglani.

Nikita often gets wonderful Sindhi specialties for lunch (sometimes for breakfast as well) and is always sharing them with all of us. When I requested Nikita for a recipe, she agreed immediately and made this wonderful dish called Aani Basar for me. Essentially fried chickpea patties in a tangy tomato-onion gravy, I found that I could have Aani Basar all by itself.

Thank you, Nikita, for this delicious recipe.

Do try the Singhare ke Atte ka Halwa and Beetroot Tikkis by Nikita’s Mom.

This has been a great month for guest posts on my blog. This is my fourth guest post this month; after Aparna’s Hesaru Bele Panchakajjaya, Vidhya’s Javvarisi Vadagam, and Sandra’s Eggless Goan Baath Cake. And what a variety of recipes I have been blessed with.


Aani in Sindhi means the fish roe and is one of the preferred delicacies among Sindhis. The besan aani (or the chickpeas flour dumpling) in this dish is the vegetarian version of the fish roe.

Ingredients

2 cups Besan
2 tbsps. Khus khus (poppy seeds)
1 + 4 Finely chopped onions
2 Finely chopped tomatoes
3-4 Finely chopped green chillies
1 + 2 tsp Red chilli powder
1 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Garam masala
For garnish Finely chopped coriander leaves
6 tbsp Oil for the dough
For frying Oil

Method to Make Aani Basar

  1. Mix finely chopped onions with salt, red chilli powder, and finely chopped green chillies. Let this mix sit for about 10-15 minutes, till the onion softens a little.
    Aani Basar - Step 1
  2. When the onion has softened enough, add the besan and khus khus to the mix. You need to add three tablespoons of oil for each cup of besan. Because we’ve taken 2 cups of besan, we’ll be adding 6 tablespoons of oil.
  3. Sprinkling only a few drops of water, combine this mixture into a smooth but hard dough.
    Aani Basar - The Dough
  4. Divide the dough into two halves and make a roll out of each half.
  5. Using a rolling pin, slightly flatten each roll.
    Aani Basar - Rolling the Dough
  6. Now, cut each roll into 2” X 1” pieces. These are the aani.
    Making the Aani
  7. Deep fry the aanis and keep them aside.
    Fried Aani for Aani Basar
  8. In the same pan, retain about 3-4 tbsps. of oil and drain out the rest.
  9. In this oil, add the remaining finely chopped onions, salt, turmeric powder. Red chilli powder, coriander powder, and garam masala.
    Making the Aani Basar
  10. Just when the onions start to turn transparent, add the finely chopped tomatoes.
  11. Keep stirring the onions and tomatoes frequently so that they don’t burn.
  12. When the onions and tomatoes are half-cooked, add the aanis.
    Adding Aanis to the Onion Tomato Mix
  13. Mix well and keep the pan covered on a low flame.
  14. Keep stirring frequently.
  15. When the onions have cooked properly and the aanis have turned soft, remove the pan from the flame.
  16. Sprinkle a pinch of garam masala over it, garnish with chopped coriander, and serve with hot phulkas.
Aani Basar - A Sindhi Speciality
Aani Basar