Friday, November 21, 2014

Paneer and Vegetables Taka Tak



Surprisingly, growing up, I don't remember eating anything called "Taka Tak" in Mumbai. Of course, the only dish that would be closest to the sound of "Taka Tak" is obviously the ubiquitous Paav Bhaaji. But then, we called it "Paav Bhaaji" and not "Taka Tak", unless I missed the memo!;-) But these days, this seems to be on every possible menu card.

A friend of mine shared that this dish tastes wonderful when the veggies like cauliflower and potatoes along with paneer are deep fried before adding to the gravy. Of course, anything that is deep fried tastes sinfully delicious! But deep frying didn't justify. So I decided to roast them. Here's my version

Paneer & Vegetables Taka Tak
Indian Cottage Cheese and Vegetables
1 medium head cauliflower
2 Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 cup diced paneer/Indian cottage cheese
1 tbsp. oil
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 cup green peas (fresh or frozen)

Grind to a smooth paste
2 tbsp. cilantro
10 fresh mint leaves
3-4 cloves garlic
1"ginger, peeled
2 green chilies

1 tbsp. oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 cup minced tomatoes

You will also need
1 tsp Kashmiri Chili Powder
1 tsp Pav bhaaji masala
salt to taste
2 tbsp. yogurt
1/2 tsp crushed kasoori methi
1/2 tsp sugar

1 tbsp. minced cilantro
Lemon wedges

1. Rinse and dry the vegetables. Peel Potatoes and dice them. Cut cauliflower into small florets.
2. Mix caluflower, potatoes and paneer along with 1 tbsp. oil and turmeric powder.
3. Preheat oven 400F. Spread the vegetables and paneer into a single layer on a baking tray. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes.
4. Heat oil on a deep tawa or saucepan.
5. Add cumin seeds. As they sizzle, add onion and ground green paste.
6. Saute till onion is soft. Add tomatoes. Saute till tomatoes are pulpy.
7. Add Kashmiri chili powder, pav bhaji masala and yogurt. Keep frying for 10 minutes.
8. Add salt, kasoori methi, sugar. Keep stirring. Add 1/2 cup water.
9. Add roasted vegetables and green peas.
10. Let them simmer.
11. Garnish with cilantro.

Note -
1. Kasoori Methi is dried fenugreek leaves. They are readily available at the local Indian stores.
2. Please do not use cottage cheese from American supermarket. Indian cottage cheese or Paneer is totally different.
3. For richer taste, use heavy whipping cream instead of yogurt.

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