Sadam Killu Vadam| Sundried Leftover Rice Fritters

Hello, people! I’m here today to share our family recipe for Sadam Killu Vadam, a perfect summer activity apt for this period of lockdown.

When the Corona pandemic took hold and the very first lockdown was announced, I made a promise to myself not to get bogged down by the situation. I vowed to myself that I would try my best to keep spirits high,  that I would spend my time exploring food. The time then was just perfect for making vadams (Tamil for sun-dried fritters), and I went on to make a few varieties under my mom’s expert guidance, with help from the bub. I had posted some pictures of the vadam-making on my Instagram page, and several readers DMed to ask for recipes. Well, I’m here with a rather late response to those queries, but one that is still relevant as it is still peak summer in many parts of the country. Today, I’m going to share with you all the proceedure for the Sadam Killu Vadam we made, a kind of sun-dried fritter made using leftover rice.

Deep-fried Sadam Killu Vadam

Tamilnadu’s rich Vadam, Appalam and Vatthal heritage


Most states in India have the culture of sun-drying food, I’m sure, an act undertaken to preserve certain vegetables as well as to create a reserve of food for later use. Sunlight being plentiful in most parts of India, especially in the months of summer, sun-drying is a popular form of preserving food. Kashmir has the tradition of drying fish, fruits, vegetables and berries, while the sun-dried lentil-based vadis of Rajasthan and Punjab are quite famous. The state of Tamilnadu also has a rich heritage of making different types of sun-dried fritters (called ‘vadam’), papads (called ‘appalam’), vegetables (called ‘vatthal’).

Vadam can be made using sago pearls aka sabudana, rice and beaten rice aka poha, among other things. Why, there are several different types of vadam made using rice in Tamilnadu! This particular vadam variety is made using leftover rice. To make this vadam, salt and a few spices are mixed with leftover rice, which is then ‘pinched’ into small portions and placed on a plate or cotton cloth and set out in the sun to dry. The name ‘Killu Vadam‘ comes from this process of pinching the rice dough – ‘pinching’ is referred to as ‘killu‘ in Tamil. These are also called ‘Pazhaya Sadam Vadam’ i.e. ‘leftover rice fritters’.

Sun-dried vadams, vatthal and appalam stay well for quite a few months. They can be deep-fried whenever needed, and make for a beautiful accompaniment to various rice dishes.

I have fond memories of making different kinds of vadam and vatthal along with my mom and grandma, in my summer holidays, back when we were staying in Ahmedabad. For the bub, the lockdown vadam experience was a great learning that she totally loved.

How to make Sadam Killu Vadam


Sadam Killu Vadam is one of the simplest types of vadam there is. It can be put together in just a few minutes, while the sun-drying might take 2-4 days, depending upon the amount of bright sunlight you get. When deep-fried, these vadam are crunchy and absolutely delicious.

The fritters are completely vegetarian and vegan, suited to those following a plant-based diet. They are gluten-free as well.

Here is how we make the Sadam Killu Vadam, in our family.

Ingredients (makes roughly 1-1/2 cups of fritters):

1. 1 cup rice
2. Salt to taste, about 1 teaspoon
3. 1 large onion
4. 3-4 green chillies
5. 2 teaspoons roasted cumin, coarsely crushed
6. Oil, as needed for greasing plates + more for deep-frying later

Method:
Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Bottom left and right: Steps 3 and 4

1. Wash 1 cup of rice thoroughly under running water. Let all the water drain out.

2. Take the washed and drained rice in a wide vessel. Add in about 4 cups of water. Place in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook for 4-5 whistles or till the rice is fully cooked. Let the pressure release naturally.

3. Meanwhile, chop 1 large onion finely.

4. Chop 3-4 green chillies roughly. Grind them coarsely in a small mixer jar.

Top left and right: Steps 5 and 6, Bottom right: Step 7, Leftmost bottom: Step 8, Above leftmost bottom: Step 9

5. When the pressure from the cooker has completely gone down, spread out the cooked rice in a large plate. Allow it to cool down fully.

6. To the cooled cooked rice, add salt to taste, the roasted cumin powder and the ground green chillies.

7. Add the chopped onion to the rice too.

8. Mix everything well together.

9. Grease a couple of large plates with some oil. Take small portions of the rice mixture and place them all over the greased plates, keeping a little space between them. You can do the same on a sheet of plastic or a cotton saree too.

10. Place the plate/plastic sheet/saree under the bright sun, best on a rooftop terrace. In a day or two, when the tops of the rice dough has dried up, flip the fritters over. Let them dry completely on the other side too, which may take another 1-2 days. Ensure that the fritters are completely dry before transferring them to a clean, dry, air-tight box for storage.

The sun-dried vadam, ready to be stored

11. Whenever needed, deep fry the fritters. Heat oil for deep frying in a heavy-bottomed pan. When the oil is nice and hot, reduce flame to low-medium. Drop a few of the dried fritters into the hot oil. Deep fry on low-medium flame till they brown on the outside and are completely cooked on the inside too. Take care to ensure that the fritters do not burn. Serve the deep-fried fritters with sambar rice, rasam rice, bisi bele bath, lemon rice, puliogare and the likes. 

Tips & Tricks


1. You can use any variety of rice you prefer. I have used Sona Masoori here.

2. In the recipe above, I have pressure cooked fresh rice just to make these Sadam Killu Vadam. You can use leftover rice instead, too.

3. Adjust the quantity of salt, onion, green chillies and cumin as per personal taste preferences.

4. Make sure the rice is completely cool before you start making the Sadam Killu Vadam. This, in case you are using freshly cooked rice.

5. The rice should be well cooked and mushy, for best results, but not too watery. You can even grind the rice in a mixer before adding the rest of the ingredients to it. I haven’t.

6. To make the roasted cumin powder, I dry roast a couple of tablespoons of cumin on medium flame till fragrant, then let them cool down fully and coarsely crush them. I keep this powder in a clean, dry, air-tight box and use it as needed. You can use whole cumin seeds in the Sadam Killu Vadam too, instead of the roasted cumin powder.

7. Some finely chopped coriander can be added to the Sadam Killu Vadam too. Here, I haven’t.

8. Do not overdo the salt. Sometimes the fritters do not taste salty when raw, but the drying and deep-frying concentrates flavours and brings out the salt.

9. Make sure the Sadam Killu Vadam are completely dry, inside and out, before storing them. A good 6-8 hours of bright sunlight a day is needed for the same, for 3-4 days. This is why summers are the best time to make these fritters. If not completely dry, you might find the vadam infested with insects in a short while – they won’t keep well for long in that case.

10. You can check if the fritters are completely dry, by deep-frying a couple of them – they should not be soft in the centre, they should be completely crunchy.

11. You might want to cover the fritters with a net, when they are sun-drying, to protect them from birds, dust and rodents. Make sure you bring them back home every evening, and set them up for sun-drying on the terrace every morning.

12. Make sure you set out very small portions of the rice batter, which are not too thick, for sun-drying. If the fritters are too thick, the centre might stay undried.

13. Completely dried Sadam Killu Vadam can be stored for up to 6 months, in a clean, dry, air-tight box.

14. Make sure you fry the dried Sadam Killu Vadam at low-medium flame. These fritters, if not watched closely, have the tendency to get burnt on the outside while remaining raw in the centre.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Ram Laddoo| Lentil Fritters Chaat

Have you ever tasted Ram Laddoo? If you have, I’m sure you have been blown away by its myriad flavours. If you haven’t yet, you must, at the earliest!

What on earth is Ram Laddoo?

For the uninitiated, I’ll start by saying this isn’t your regular laddoo. This is no sweetmeat. Ram Laddoo, popular street food in Delhi, is in fact a chaat made using deep-fried lentil fritters. The crisp fritters are served with a unique garnish of grated radish, along with the usual sweet and spicy chutneys and finely chopped onion that are the mainstay of chaats.

Ram Laddoo is loaded with flavour, which will definitely take anyone’s tastebuds on a joyride. I read about them a few years ago, while researching about food, and then had the pleasure of experiencing it in person in Delhi. As expected, the robust flavours had me asking for more! Since then, this has been a regular at our house.

#ItsChaatTime at Foodie Monday Blog Hop

The Foodie Monday Blog Hop is a group of food bloggers who share recipes based on a pre-determined theme, every Monday. The theme this Monday is #ItsChaatTime, wherein group members are showcasing different chaat varieties on their blogs.

The term ‘chaat‘ is loosely used to mean a snack, typically sold on the streets, which is a delicious medley of sweet and spicy and sour and salty. There are hundreds of varieties of chaat popular across India, including but not limited to Bhel Poori, Sev Poori, Dabeli, Dahi Poori, Churmuri, Masala Poori, Tomato Slice, Pineapple Masala and Ragda Pattice. Chaat is more than just a snack in India; it is a way of life – heading out for a plate of chaat is a ritual, and conversations over chaat are commonplace. The husband and I are big fans of chaat too, as are thousands of other Indians. I have often waxed eloquent on the blog about my love of chaat, and was secretly thrilled when Swaty of Food Trails decided upon the current theme for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. 🙂

I have already shared a number of chaat varieties on the blog and, for this theme, decided on our favourite Ram Laddoo recipe.Swaty has a wonderful blog, with some really interesting recipes from the world over and brilliant pictures. I love her recipes for unique chaat dishes like Aloo Chane Chaat, Papadi Katoris and Vrat Ki Papdi Chaat!

How to make Ram Laddoo

Ram Laddoo is typically made using moong dal, with other lentils like chana dal sometimes being added in. This chaat recipe is completely vegetarian and vegan, suited to those following a plant-based diet. It is entirely gluten-free as well.

With lockdowns in place across India, thanks to the Corona virus pandemic, going out to enjoy chaat has become a distant dream. However, it is very much possible to whip up a plateful of delicious chaat at home, if you can get hold of the right ingredients. Please find below the detailed proceedure to make Ram Laddoo.

Ingredients (serves 4-6):

  1. 3/4 cup moong dal
  2. 1/4 cup chana dal
  3. 2 green chillies
  4. Salt to taste
  5. Oil, as needed for deep frying

For serving:

  1. Meethi Chutney, as needed
  2. Hari Chutney, as needed
  3. 1 medium-sized onion, chopped finely
  4. 1/2 of a medium-sized radish, peeled and grated
  5. Roasted cumin (jeera) powder, as needed
  6. Chaat masala, as needed

Method:

1. Wash the chana dal and moong dal well under running water. Drain out all the water. Then, take the dals together in a large vessel and add in enough fresh water to cover them completely. Let the dals soak for at least 3-4 hours or overnight.

2. Once the dals are done soaking, drain out all the water from them. Transfer the drained dals to a mixer jar. Chop up the green chillies roughly and add them in too. Grind everything together, coarsely, adding very little water. The batter should have a thick consistency, and should not be watery.

3. Add salt to taste to the batter. Mix well.

4. Now, heat the oil for deep frying in a heavy-bottomed pan. When the oil is nice and hot, reduce flame to medium. Drop in a few small balls of the batter into the hot oil, and deep-fry on medium flame till they get nicely browned and crisp. Take care to ensure that the fritters do not burn. When done, transfer the fritters to a plate. Prepare fritters from all the batter in a similar fashion.

5. You can use the fritters to make chaat once they have cooled down slightly. For this, arrange some of the fritters in a serving plate. Drizzle some Meethi Chutney and Hari Chutney over them. Garnish with some grated radish and finely chopped onion. Add some roasted cumin powder and chaat masala on top. Your Ram Laddoo are ready to serve. Serve immediately.

Tips & Tricks

1. The proportion of moong dal and chana dal differ from one person to another. Some make the fritters with moong dal only. I prefer the proportions listed above. I often make the fritters with chana dal only, and they taste just as delicious.

2. Do not add in too much water while grinding. The batter should be thick and have a droppable consistency.

3. Adjust the number of green chillies you add to the batter, as per personal taste preferences.

4. Take care to to not burn the fritters while frying. They should be crisp and nicely browned on the outside, with a fully-cooked interior.

5. The quantities of the garnishes you use – chopped onion, grated radish, sweet and spicy chutney, roasted cumin powder and chaat masala – would depend upon your personal preferences.

6. Let the fritters cool down a bit before making the chaat. You can allow them to completely cool too.

7. Black salt (kala namak) can be used to garnish the Ram Laddoo, instead of the chaat masala.

8. The fritters can be cooked in an appe (paniyaram) pan, instead of deep-frying them. This makes the chaat healthier.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Meethi Chutney| Imli Chutney| Sweet Chutney

I am a big, big, big fan of chaat. The way chaat has sweet and spicy and sour and salty flavours rolled into one has my heart. And there’s so much variety, so many different types of chaat, I can never tire. Today, I’m going to share with you all the recipe for Meethi Chutney, an integral part of a chaat platter.

What is Meethi Chutney?

‘Meethi Chutney’ is Hindi for sweet chutney. It is, actually, a sweet and sour chutney, typically made using tamarind. The sweetness comes from the use of dates or jaggery in it.

Making chaat like Bhel Poori, Dabeli or Sev Poori is unimaginable without a generous dose of this chutney, often used along with its spicy counterpart Hari Chutney. The sweet chutney also makes for a wonderful accompaniment to snacks like cutlets, samosa, kachori and gota. It is also used in preparing Dal Moradabadi, a dal which also doubles up as a chaat.

A bit about my way of making Meethi Chutney

Like I was saying earlier, this Meethi Chutney is made using tamarind (‘imli‘ in Hindi), due to which it is also referred to as ‘Imli Ki Chutney’. Very often, this chutney is sweetened using dates, but I use jaggery since I’m not very fond of the texture the former lends to the dish. Roasted cumin powder is the ‘cherry on the cake’ for this chutney, giving it a beautiful fragrance and flavour.

In itself, this Meethi Chutney is completely vegetarian and vegan (plant-based). It is also entirely gluten-free. I usually make a big batch of this chutney, keep it refrigerated and use as needed.

How I make the Meethi Chutney

Here is how I go about it.

Ingredients (makes about 1 bowlful):

  1. A big lemon-sized ball of tamarind
  2. 3/4 cup jaggery powder or to taste
  3. 2 teaspoons roasted cumin (jeera) powder

Method:

1. Soak the tamarind in boiling water for at least 15 minutes, to soften it. Keep aside, and let it cool down enough to handle.

2. When the tamarind has cooled down a bit, extract all the juice from it. Use water as needed to help with the extraction. Keep the extract a little watery, as the chutney will thicken upon cooking.

3. Take the tamarind extract in a heavy-bottomed pan, along with the jaggery powder. Place on high heat. Soon the jaggery will get completely dissolved in the tamarind extract, which will start thickening. This should take 4-5 minutes. Stir intermittently. Taste and adjust jaggery as needed.

4. Reduce flame to medium when the extract starts thickening. Continue to cook on medium flame for 3-4 minutes more, or till the mixture has thickened up a bit more. Switch off gas when it is thick, but still runny.

5. Mix in the roasted cumin powder. Your Meethi Chutney is ready.

6. Allow the Meethi Chutney to cool down completely before filling it in a clean, dry, air-tight bottle. Store refrigerated and use as needed.

Tips & Tricks

1. Adjust the quantity of jaggery you use, depending upon taste preferences.

2. If the tamarind you are using has seeds and/or impurities, make sure they are removed before you set out to make the Meethi Chutney. I have skipped this step because I usually don’t find any impurities in the tamarind we use.

3. Keep the tamarind extract a little watery, but not overly so. It will thicken when cooked.

4. You can add a bit of salt to the Meethi Chutney too, while it is cooking. I don’t.

5. Adjust the consistency of the Meethi Chutney as per your preferences. For best results, cook till it thickens but is still runny – neither too watery nor thick like a jam.

6. The chutney stays good for up to a month when stored refrigerated in a clean, dry, air-tight bottle and used hygienically.

7. To make roasted cumin powder, dry roast about 2 tablespoons of cumin on medium flame till it gets fragrant, then allow to cool down and powder coarsely. Store this in a dry, air-tight bottle and use as needed.

8. Adjust the quantity of roasted cumin powder you use, as per personal taste preferences.

9. Some people add sugar to the Meethi Chutney, but I’m partial to jaggery. I don’t like the flavour of dates in this chutney either.

10. Black salt, red chilli powder, ginger powder and similar spices are often used in Meethi Chutney. However, I avoid them because the Hari Chutney I almost always use along with this includes all those spices/flavours.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Singapore Curry Powder| Curry Powder Singapura

When I read about Singapore Curry Powder on Ganga’s blog, Heat In The Kitchen, recently, I knew I had to go ahead and try it out. It sounded way too enticing not to do anything about. So, make it I did. I have to say I’m absolutely thrilled with it!

Singapore Curry Powder

About this Singapore Curry Powder


Apparently, this curry powder – also referred to as Curry Powder Singapura – is quite popular in Singapore. A blend of various ingredients like cardamom, cumin, cinnamon and coriander seeds, the curry powder is supremely fragrant, mild in heat, and flavourful.

I understand this powder is multi-purpose, used in several dishes ranging from vegetable stir-fries and noodles to coconut milk-  and tamarind-based curries. I’m surprised to see that it lends itself beautifully to various Indian dishes as well. I used it to make some Curried Noodles In Coconut Milk and Khao Suey, and it went along simply wonderfully. In fact, I find it tastes quite similar to the masala that comes with Maggi noodles, and that it serves the purpose if you want to avoid using the sachet. All in all, it’s a great thing to stock in your pantry, a nice change from the garam masala, rasam podi and sambar podi we use quite often.

Different Singaporean families have their own styles of making the curry powder, and the many recipes I found online had small variations to them. Ultimately, I decided to go ahead with the recipe from Heat In The Kitchen, which does not include spices like nutmeg and star anise. It yielded a small quantity, just about 1/2 cup, and I love the idea of making it fresh in similar little batches as and when needed. And, oh, I already know I’m going to be making this time and time again – I loved it so much!

Curry Powder, Singapore style

A Nyonya curry powder, maybe?


If you are not familiar with the history of Malaysia, you might not have heard of the terms ‘Nyonya‘ and ‘Baba‘. Let me encapsulate this rather fascinating bit of history for you, in brief.

In the 15th century, immigrants from China moved out due to the prevailing unrest in the country, and settled in regions that are, today, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. These immigrants were called Peranakans, and the ones who settled in Malaysia called themselves ‘Nyonya‘ or ‘Nonya‘ (the females) and ‘Baba‘ (the males). The Nyonyas were known for their flavourful cooking, using various spices and ingredients like coconut milk, galangal, butterfly pea flowers, pandan leaves, lemongrass, tamarind and chillies. The food of the Nyonyas also picked up influences from the places they were based in, due to which you will find subtle differences in the Nyonya cuisines of Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.

I’m presently reading a book The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds by Selina Siak Chin Yoke, where the protagonist is a strong-headed Nyonya settled in Malaysia, proud of her heritage and cooking. I’m absolutely loving the book, the descriptive writing bringing alive Malaysia of the 1900s. It has kindled curiosity in me, and now I’m greedily lapping up everything I can find online about Nyonyas and Babas and their food. Yes, that’s how I unearthed the bit of history that I just shared with you. It was during one such marathon research session that I discovered that this Singapore Curry Powder I had made and was loving to bits was more than a little similar to Nyonya Curry Powder! I absolutely love it when my real and book worlds collide like that! 🙂

Now, every time I cook with this spice mix, it brings to mind images of an iron-willed Nyonya woman evoking the same fragrances in her kitchen several hundred years ago… Ok, maybe the curry powder as such is a more modern invention, but still..

How to make Singapore Curry Powder


Here’s how I made it, based on the recipe from Heat In The Kitchen. It is completely vegetarian and vegan (plant-based), and gluten-free in itself.

Ingredients (makes about 1/2 cup):


1. 4 tablespoons coriander seeds
2. 1 tablespoon fennel
3. 1 tablespoon cumin
4. 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
5. 6 cloves
6. A small piece of cinnamon
7. 4 green cardamoms
8. 4-5 dried red chillies

9. 2 teaspoons turmeric powder


Method:

1. Take all the ingredients except the turmeric powder in a heavy-bottomed pan. Place over high heat for about a minute, then turn down the flame to medium when the pan gets nice and hot. Dry roast the spices for about 2 minutes or till they turn fragrant, stirring intermittently. Take care not to burn the ingredients.

2. Transfer the roasted ingredients to a plate, and allow them to cool down completely.

3. Now, add all the roasted and cooled ingredients to a small mixer jar. Add in the turmeric powder. Grind everything together to a fine powder.

4. Store in a clean, dry, air-tight bottle.  Use as needed.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Shahi Paneer Matar| Matar Paneer Mughlai

I’m back today with yet another paneer dish! This time around, I’m going to share with you all the recipe for Shahi Paneer Matar or Mughlai-style Matar Paneer.

Shahi Paneer Matar aka Matar Paneer Mughlai

What is Shahi Paneer Matar?

Quite a popular dish in India, Shahi Paneer Matar refers to cottage cheese and green peas cooked in a mildly spiced, sweetish, rich and creamy gravy.
This dish is believed to have its origins in the Mughal style of cooking, the type of cooking that originated in the courts of the Mughal emperors of India. For this reason, it is also called Mughlai Paneer Matar Korma or Matar Paneer Mughlai. The ‘korma‘ here is not to be confused with ‘kurma‘ – the former is a decadent dish from Mughlai cuisine, while the latter is a coconut-based dish from South India.

#PForPaneer at Foodie Monday Blog Hop

I’m sharing this recipe for Shahi Paneer Matar with Foodie Monday Blog Hop, a group of talented food bloggers that I am part of. Every Monday, the members of the group present recipes based on a pre-determined theme. The theme this Monday is #PForPaneer, suggested by Sujataji, the author of Batter Up With Sujata. Group members are showcasing various dishes made using paneer aka cottage cheese, for the theme. Sujataji has some really lovely cottage cheese recipes on her blog, like Paneer In 
Mustard Gravy,  Chhanar Dalna and Schezwan Paneer, which you must definitely check out.

Cooking Shahi Paneer Matar, my way

Restaurant-style Shahi Paneer Matar is often made using oodles of cashewnuts and cream, to create that sinfully rich gravy. Fresh curd is added in for flavour and extra creaminess. However, I prefer making mine with no cream or curd. I use a mix of almonds and cashewnuts, along with milk, to thicken the gravy. It turns out absolutely delicious!
I use very little oil in the gravy too, only 1/2 tablespoon in total. I go easy on the spices too – only a wee bit of garam masala to jazz up the gravy, foregoing the cinnamon, star anise, bay leaves, cloves, cardamom and other whole spices that are often used in Shahi Paneer Matar. A little amount of jaggery sweetens the gravy just enough.
Many add tomatoes to the Shahi Paneer Matar, which give the gravy an orange-ish hue. However, I prefer keeping the gravy white, skipping the tomatoes altogether.
I’m not claiming this is an authentic recipe for Shahi Paneer Matar or Matar Paneer Mughlai, but it is indeed quite flavourful and fragrant. While it is not exactly restaurant-standard thick, it is indeed beautifully creamy. I’d say this is a home-style version, developed after trial and error, a healthier one that works well for my family and me.

Recipe for Shahi Paneer Matar or Matar Paneer Mughlai

Here’s how I go about making this dish.
Ingredients (serves 3-4):

1. 200 grams paneer

2. 1 cup green peas

3. 1/4 cup + 1/2 cup water, approximately

4. 1/2 tablespoon oil

5. 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

6. 1 cup milk, boiled and cooled

7. Salt to taste

8. 1/2 teaspoon garam masala

9. 1/2 tablespoon jaggery powder

10. 1 teaspoon kasoori methi

11. 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander

To grind:

1. 2 green chillies

2. A 1-inch piece of ginger

3. 1 small onion

4. 6 cashewnuts

5. 6 almonds

Method:
Top left: Step 1, Top right and bottom left: Step 2, Bottom right: Step 3

1. Heat 1/4 cup water in a saucepan. Add in the green peas. Cook on high flame for 2-3 minutes, or till the green peas get soft. Do not overcook them. Keep aside. Do not discard the water the peas were cooked in, but reserve it.

2. While the peas are cooking, prepare the puree, which will form the base of this Shahi Paneer Matar gravy. Peel the ginger and onion, and chop roughly. Chop the green chillies roughly too. Transfer these to a small mixer jar, and add in the cashewnuts and almonds. Grind everything together to a smooth paste. No water is required for the grinding. Keep aside.

3. Now, cut the paneer into cubes, as big or small as you require. Keep them ready.

Top left and right: Steps 4 and 5, Bottom left and right: Steps 6 and 7
4. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan, and add in the cumin seeds. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds.
5. Now, add in the puree we prepared earlier. Turn the flame down to medium. Cook the puree on medium flame till the raw smell of the ingredients goes away, and it starts thickening. If the paste gets too thick, add in a little water, but make sure no raw smell remains. Sauteing this puree to just the right extent is key to a great-tasting Shahi Paneer Matar. This should take 4-5 minutes.
6. Now, add the boiled and cooled milk to the pan. Continue to cook on medium flame for 2-3 minutes. By this time, the gravy will start to thicken.
7. Add in the cooked green peas, along with the water they were cooked in. Add about 1/2 cup more water to adjust the consistency of the gravy, along with salt, garam masala and jaggery powder.  Mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes on medium flame. Taste and adjust salt, jaggery and spices if needed.
Top: Step 8, Bottom left: Step 9, Bottom right: Shahi Paneer Matar, ready to be served
8. Now, add the paneer cubes. Mix well. Cook on medium flame for 2 more minutes. Switch off gas when the gravy is still a bit runny, as shown in the video below. It thickens further upon cooling.
9. Crush the kasoori methi between your palms, and add it to the pan. Mix well. Your Shahi Paneer Matar is ready. Serve it with rotis, parathas, jeera rice or naan, garnished with finely chopped fresh coriander.

Tips & Tricks

1. I have used paneer from the Akshayakalpa brand and full-fat milk from Nandini, to make this Shahi Paneer Matar.
2. I have used a mix of cashewnuts and almonds to thicken the gravy. You can use either one of these nuts.
3. Adjust the quantity of green chillies you use, depending upon how spicy you would like the gravy to be.
4. Adjust the quantity of jaggery, depending upon personal taste preferences.
5. Make sure you grind the puree really smooth. It is important to saute this puree till the raw smell of the ingredients is completely gone.
6. Adjust the quantity of water you use, depending upon the consistency of the gravy you require.
7. Either fresh or frozen green peas can be used here.
8. You can also skip the green peas completely, and use about 300 grams of
paneer instead.
9. Do remember that the gravy thickens up a bit upon cooling.
10. You can add in some poppy seeds while grinding, too, to make the gravy even thicker.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!
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Do check out these other North Indian recipes on my blog too:
Paneer Butter Masala|Matar Paneer|Dal Makhani|Dal Moradabadi|Tandoori Mushroom & Paneer Tikka|Boondi Raita|Masala Khichdi|Pani
Poori|Methi Raita|Methi Matar Malai|Punjabi Aloo Matar Ki Sabzi| Palak Paneer