I am having fun participating in Shaheen’s event of Express Summer Cooking. How I wish all my meals were express meals because I hate being in the kitchen for long.
The express meal I made is Matar Paneer and Roti with raw onion roundels and lemon on the side. Now you must be wondering whats so express in it. I totally rely on this menu when I am in a hurry.
This meal was possible because of the Punjabi onion tomato gravy I make and refrigerate. I freeze paneer and keep frozen peas handy. Atta ( whole wheat flour dough) is mostly ready and kept in the fridge.
This time I made the dough fresh to check if I could finish within the time limit 🙂
It really consumes lot of time when the gravy is made on gas stove. So generally I avoided making it. Just can’t stand the heat of the stove for so long.
I have always been told to BHUNNO the MASALA well.
Bhunno how long no one would tell. (I used to stop when the tomato was pulpy and specks of oil were visible on top.)
Then one of my friends told me in one line Bhunno till the masala gets a Coca Cola colour. There I finally had the shade card ready. Since then I bhunno ( saute) till the masala is a dry paste and gets that shade card colour :D.
Mostly all the water content is eliminated from the masala and I store this gravy lump in the refrigerator it self safely for 8 days.No freezing it. I just scoop out as much as I require.
I have been following this method, my gravy has a rich colour and the ginger garlic does not taste harsh half cooked type. It has a subtle taste.
When Coffee posted her onion tomato gravy I just casually commented that I will try making it in a Microwave.
Since then I have been making this gravy religiously in the microwave. There is only one disadvantage and many advantages.
One disadvantage is that it takes nearly the same time to cook as it would take on a stove .
Advantages are many-
You can control the amount of oil. I use just about 1 Tbsp to roast 500 gms of onions. I can never do that on stove even if I use non stick pan.
Microwaving , gives you enough time to do other things.While on stove I had to be alert and keep stirring.
The onions become evenly golden brown. Towards the last you have to reduce the cooking time and be alert though.
At the end you need to clean just one bowl. There is no mess no splatter of oil .
The taste is same just like you make it on gas stove. No difference at all.
You make this gravy once and enjoy the whole week.
For recipe to cook the gravy in microwave click HERE.
So armed with this gravy, frozen peas and frozen paneer, I dance my way into the kitchen confidently.
Now if you do not have frozen peas or paneer you can substitute with mix vegees or simply potatoes.
This is how I did it–
I put the slice of frozen paneer and the frozen peas in two separate bowls along with plain water to thaw.
I kneaded the atta dough.
Put the peas to cook in a pan along with some water.
Chopped the coriander leaves and onion roundels along with a lemon.
Chopped the paneer into pieces.
Put the tawa on the gas stove to heat.
The peas were cooked by now.
Added the gravy masala paste, salt, garam masala /or any masala of your choice.I love to put chana masala try it.
Added the paneer pieces and 1 Tbsp tomato ketchup to give a tangy taste.( this tip I over heard in a North Indian wedding when ladies were gossiping about food)
Also added a pinch of kasuri methi.The sabzi is ready.
Now I made the rotis .
The meal was ready to serve.
If the dough was already made and stored in the fridge, I would have saved on time.
There are times when there is no ready dough in the fridge.
So to see whether I could complete the meal in such situations I chose to make a fresh dough 🙂
This is my entry for Shaheen’s Express summer Cooking.