“Weekends are a bit like rainbows; they look good from a distance but disappear when you get up close to them. ” by John Shirley.
And how true it is, weekends allures us from a distance promising so many colorful things, and once we get close to it, the days swiftly passed by and within fraction of second, Monday comes knocking at the door.
For me weekends strictly means eating out, shopping, mall hopping or a long drive on country roads, sitting quietly with a book, and yes No Cooking… I do not know what happens to me when weekend comes, some ghostly power overpowers me, I become too sluggish to go to kitchen and not even to prepare the first meal of the day, breakfast usually served by Dunkin donuts or Waffle house and back home in India, mostly by so many Udupi joints…and if I happens to be in Kolkata then it’s just like cracking a jackpot for me ….kachoris…samosas…jalebis….ooohhh.
This Sunday as we had planned, we went to the State Museum, and yes both of us are Museum bees, so history hungry that we hardly missed a museum wherever we goes and you know how tiresome too it is at the end of the day. Just as soon as we reached home, we had few un announced guest knocking at the door.
I love surprises, but not all the time definitely not on a Sunday evening. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a very good hostess, being a passionate cook I love to serve the most exquisite dishes to my guest even if that means slaving in the kitchen for hours, but sometimes we had to act smart. And that too if that happens to be Mrs K and her family. They are our distant relative, and Mrs K is kind of “know-all” person. Few years back in Bangalore, we got that divine !!! chance to host her and family, right after few months of my marriage, and my DH was so enthusiast to showcase my cooking prowess…and in all those excitement I made some unique dishes ” a fish marinated in sauce, then stuffed and cooked in one of the tastiest gravy I ever made” but all become futile when she announced to my MIL that it was “fish fry ” ….sob….sobbb… 🙁
In next few months both me and DH went on a self publicizing mode to convince everybody in the family that it was not simple fish fry !!! In a Bengali household, serving a plain fish fry or maachbaja to an esteemed guest is almost sinful . Dont you think that was oversimplification of the dish which had some gourmet stature ?
Lesson learnt – never served those dishes that can not be appreciated by your guest, well every one has their choices and liking and you will escape the chance of such brutal oversimplifications !!!
This time I act smart, I made these spice crusted paneer tikka which needs no preparation at all and good to taste. Ready in jiffy and liked by the guest too…but wait story does not ends here…after finishing the appetizer Mrs K announced they will wait till dinner….second blow to my otherwise beautiful Sunday. But DH is so sweet, he instantly suggested why don’t you have ” homemade Pizza” wife makes very good pizza”.
And thankfully she took the bait – ” homemade pizza just like Dominos…that was literally too much for her, excited and wide-eyed she rushed to my kitchen and soaked all the details that I had given her. Thankfully I had some frozen pizza dough at my home, just brushed some tomato paste over it, throw some veggies and fruits and pizza is ready in few minutes. This time she seems to be so pleased and I am hoping to get some good ratings and rave reviews. 😉
Recipe: Spice crusted paneer tikka in green chutney
Summary: Cubed panners are first marinated in green chutney , crusted with roasted spice mix and then roasted in oven for 10 minutes.
- Paneer ( Indian cottage cheese) : 15 cubes
- Green chutney / cilantro – mint chutney : 4-5 tbsp
- Spice mix roasted and crushed coarsely : 1/2 cup
- Spice mix :
- Coriander seeds : 1 tbsp
- Cumin seeds : 1 tbsp
- Fennel seeds : 1 tbsp
- White Sesame seeds : 1 tbsp
- Nigella (kalonji) seeds : 1 tbsp
- Marinate the cubed paneer in green chutney (cilantro-mint chutney) for at least half an hour. Coat each side of the paneer well with the chutney.
- Roast the spices in a pan and then crushed them coarsely in a mixer, a pulse or two is just fine to get a coarse mixture.
- Insert a toothpick in the marinated cubed paneer and dip them in the roasted spice mixture.
- Coat them well with the spice mixture and arrange them on a baking tray lined with foil.
- Roast them in a preheated oven at 375 F for 10 minutes.
- Serve immediately with green chutney or sauce.
Feel free to use any sauce you like, plain old tomato ketchup will also goes good with it.
If you want to give it Far-eastern touch, then dipped the paneer (you can use tofu too) in soy or oyster sauce and coat them with roasted white sesame seeds.
Preparation time: 30 minute(s) marination time
Cooking time: 10 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegetarian
Number of servings (yield): 6
Culinary tradition: Indian (Northern)
This is very quick paneer tikka, needs absolutley no preparation at all and very different from the usual one, try this out and let me know your reactions !!! Btw, how do you pleased your unannounced guest do share with us your little secret tips ?
Have a Happy Tuesday