Thursday, August 18, 2016

Paneer Capsicum Pulao /Indian Cottage Cheese&Bell Pepper Rice

Today I am sharing an easy to prepare Rice dish,Paneer bell pepper pulao.Paneer capsicum rice/pulao is one of the best healthy,easy to prepare rice recipes and can be served with various accompaniments and Indian curries.
It is a quick nutritious rice dish flavored with delicated spiced,paneer and capsicum.
This tomato-based paneer capsicum pulao is a toothsome treat that will delight your family and friends!

Course:Main course
Yield :4 servings
Preparation Time:10minutes
Cooking Time:20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes 


  • Basmati rice -1 Cup
  • Capsicum  -1 no (medium size)
  • Paneer cubes- 1cup
  • Carrot  -1 no
  • Onion  -1 no
  • Green Chilies-2 nos
  • Ginger-Garlic paste-1 tsp   
  • Tomato  -1 no  
  • Cinnamon - 1 inch piece
  • Cloves - 3nos 
  • Bay leaf -1
  • Cardamom  -4nos
  • Black Pepper- 1tsp
  • Shah Jeera-1/2tsp(optional)
  • Salt  - to taste
  • Water -2 cups
  • Oil/ghee -1 tbsp    
  • Coriander leaves,chopped (optional)-2 tsp


  1.  Wash and soak the rice for at least for 30 minutes.Drain it well in a colander.
  2. Cut the capsicum into medium sized cubes.
  3. Soak the paneer cubes in hot water with a pinch of salt for minimum 15 minutes.
  4. Add ghee/oil in a pan,add well drained rice and saute until it becomes dry.While roasting,be gentle otherwise it may break. 
  5. Heat oil/ghee in a pan,add cinnamon,cardamom,cloves bay leaf,shah jeera and saute for 1 minute or until fragrant.
  6. Add finely chopped onion and saute until translucent,without changing its color.
  7. Add ginger-garlic paste and saute until the raw ginger smell goes off.Add chopped tomato and fry till it becomes soft.
  8. Add finely chopped carrots along with green chilies.Fry till carrots are half done.Add crushed black pepper and mix it well.Add 2 cups of water,required salt and bring it to a boil. 
  9. Add the roasted rice bring it to a boil.Close the lid and cook in a low flame for few minutes.
  10. Mean while shallow fry the paneer cubes preferably in a nonstick pan in a medium flame until golden color and immerse them in hot water until use.Drain the  water and keep aside.
  11. Heat oil in a pan,add diced capsicum/bell pepper and saute for 2-3 minutes.Keep aside.
  12. Add paneer cubes and capsicum cubes to the rice and veggies mix,cover and cook for another 2-3minutes.
  13. Make sure that bell peppers are not over cooked.I like crunchy peppers than mushy ones.Once the bell peppers/capsicums are added,don't cook more than 2-3minutes.
  14. Taste the rice and adjust seasoning accordingly.Sprinkle coriander leaves/cilantro and serve hot.


  • Roasting rice ensures separate grains.
  • You can replace whole slit green chilies with red chili powder
  • Soaking the paneer cubes in hot water ensures  its softness even when cooled down.If not frying the paneer just dip them in hot water for5-10 minutes and drain the water before cooking.
  • While shallow frying paneer,make sure that you use a nonstick pan and fry it in a medium flame until golden color.
  • Add some ghee fried cashew nuts along with paneer.If you like sweet touch,add ghee fried raisins also.   


Serve warm along with a spicy or rich accompaniment,any kind of Raita,pickle and papad.....

Enjoy the Dish.....

Happy Cooking!!!!!


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Bottle Gourd /Lauki/Churakka Sambar

Bottle gourd is rich in vitamins B&C,potassium,sodium and iron.Since it has low fat and cholesterol level,it is consumed as juice to aid in weight loss.It is very popular for reducing blood pressure and keeping your heart healthy.So why don't you try this tasty and healthy dish?


Here goes the recipe:

  • Bottle gourd(Churakka) -1 no (diced) 
  • Toor dal/tuvara parippu-1/2 cup
  • Small onion-10 no
  • Garlic-2cloves
  • Tomato-1(finely chopped)
  • Green chilies-3-4no
  • Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
  • Coriander powder-2tsp
  • Chilly powder-1tsp(as per your tolerance level)
  • Asafoetida /kayam powder-1/2 tsp
  • Tamarind-lemon size
  • Salt to taste
For Seasoning:
  • Oil-as required
  • Mustard seeds-1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds-1/4 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds-1/4tsp 
  • Dry red chilies-2no
  • Curry leaves-2 stalks
  • Coriander leaves-chopped 2 stalks 

  •  Peel off the skin.Cut it into half lengthwise.Scoop the seeds and wash it.Chop it into medium size cubes.
  • Soak tamarind in 1/2 cup warm water for 10 minutes and extract the juice.
  • Remove the skin of small onion and keep it aside. 
  • Heat oil in a pan and add small onions,green chilies,garlic and saute for few minutes.Add chopped churakka to this and saute it again.Add salt,curry leaves.
  • Add 1/2 cup of water to this and bring it to a boil.Close the lid and reduce the heat cook until it is done.
  • Wash toor dal and pressure cook with water just to immerse the dal.Add turmeric,asfoetida/kayam,salt and cook till dal is done.Let it cool down.Remove the lid and add tomato pieces to this.Let it cook for few more minutes.
  • Add cooked churakka mix to this and mix well.Add tamarind extract also.Let it boil again.
  • Heat oil in a pan.Splutter mustard seeds,fenugreek seeds,cumin seeds.Then add one finely chopped small onion, dry red chilies,curry leaves.Reduce the heat and add coriander,chilly powders to this and stir well.Pour this into the churakka-dal mix.Add chopped coriander leaves.Bring it to a boil.Turn off heat and close the lid.Keep covered for at least half an hour.Sambar is Ready.
Serve it warm as a side dish with plain Rice,Dosa,Idli...... 
Happy Cooking!!!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Lemon Pickle / Naranga Achar Kerala Style

Pickle is a traditional condiment used with Indian meals.Pickle is pronounced as Achar/ "uppilittathu" in Kerala.
Home made Pickle always taste good than store bought one.

Today I am sharing a Pickle recipe.I love making pickles and lemon pickle tops the most made pickle in my kitchen.Its quite a lengthy process to make,but it is worth all the effort and it's taste is much more authentic. Usually I do not make large quantities.If it can be preserved in a ceramic jar(Bharani) or in a glass jar,it can be kept for years.

There are multiple ways to prepare lemon pickles.But this recipe helps you to make the pickle without any bitterness and here is recipe I used given to make mouth watering tangy Traditional lemon pickle.Do try this recipe and let me know how you like it....

Lemon Pickle

Lemon Pickle/Naranga Achar Recipe

Preparation Time: 20 minutes +7 days

  1. Lemon /Cheru Naranga-7-10 nos(medium size)
  2. Ginger-1 tsp(chopped)
  3. Garlic-10 cloves(cut lengthwise)
  4. Mustard seeds-1/2 tsp
  5. Fenugreek seed-1/2tsp  powder
  6. Gingely oil/Nallenna-2-3 tbsp
  7. Chilly powder-3-4 tbsp
  8. Turmeric powder-1/4tsp
  9. Asafoetida powder/kayam-1/2tsp
  10. Sugar-1/2 tsp(optional)
  11. Vinegar-1 tsp or as required
  12. Curry leaves- 1 sprig
  13. Salt - as required
Lemon pickle prepared using an Earthen ware

    1. Clean,Wash lemon/Lime thoroughly and pat dry.Steam it in a steamer or an Idli vessel .Once steam comes, simmer it for about 5-8 minutes.Do not let the lime crack.
    2. Remove from the fire and take out the lemon from the steamer.Let it cool and wipe it with a kitchen towel.Cut the lemon into quarters.
    3. Add salt to the lime pieces and mix it well.Keep aside for minimum 1 hr.
    4. Heat Gingely oil/ oil in an Earthenware pot or in a pan.Add mustard seed,when it starts spluttering add the curry leaves.Saute for 30 seconds.Add ginger and garlic slices into it and saute until it turns to light brown color.
    5. Simmer the flame and add chilly powder,turmeric,asafoetida powder,fenu greek seed powder and saute for couple of seconds.Remember to keep the flame on the lowest level.
    6. If you want pickle to be little gravy then add reserved liquid from the lemon if any or add  1/4 cup water along with the vinegar.Bring it to a boil,when the gravy becomes thick and switch off the heat. 
    7. You can add 1/2 tsp sugar to neutralize the taste.
    8. Add  the salted lemon pieces and mix well.Adjust the salt.
    9. Now in another pan dry roast 1/2 tsp mustard seeds and 1/2 fenugreek seed Powder them and sprinkle on top of the lemon pickle. This is a tip to get that authentic Kerala flavor.
    10. Leave it in the pan for 2-3 hours.
    11. Transfer it in an air tight glass jar or in a ceramic jar(Bharani) and  heat 2tbsp  gingely oil and allow it to cool and then pour the oil  on the  top of the pickle.This will prevent 'fungus'.Keep it in a room temperature for a weeks for a flavour to set in and then refrigerated it for further use.
    12. Traditional Kerala Style Lemon pickle/Naranga Achar is ready.Start using this pickle after one week.

Lemon Pickle


  • Do not use wet spoon which adds moisture and very easily get "fungus" and that spoils the whole pickle.Even while serving the pickle,make sure the spoon you put in this container is very dry.
  • Avoid using steel container for in  a dry ceramic jar or in an air tight glass bottle.Please note to clean the bottle and caps which you are planning to store for lime pickle with hot water and wipe and dry well without any water content.
  • Use lemon that has lots of juice.
  • Any type of pickle should taste salty when it is prepared.The salt gets absorbed by the pieces as time passes. if the pickle taste less salt when it prepared,it gets spoiled soon.
  • Using Sesame oil increase the shelf life of the pickle and gives a special flavor to the pickle.

Serve and Enjoy with anything as you wish! Pairs well with Biryani,Curd Rice,Ghee Rice and Mint Rice.....

Happy Cooking!!!