I have been real busy the past one week- packing, making kachoris and samosas for V, trying my hand at macarons (yeah, I know, me too!!), attending a friend’s graduation walk and flying to Denver. V has some training here in Denver and I tagged along. Now for the next few days I am as free as a bird! No cooking, no cleaning, no house to look after- so now, I have all the time to blog and post the backlog of the recipes I have- sundried tomato bread, zucchini pasta, chilli paneer, Indian chowmein, macarons and lavender truffles. Today, though I won’t be posting any, but will talk about the culinary experiments that happened while the above recipes were being tried in the background.
The other day, for dinner, I thought I’ll make Paneer Parantha. For afternoon lunch, I had made dal makhani (a signature Punjabi dish made from boiled lentils that are slow cooked with tomato puree and a good amount of butter/cream) and since, there was some leftover dal makhani, I decided to pair it with some paranthas for dinner. Had paneer in the fridge- and paneer paranthas sounded like a good choice!
Paneer paranthas (flat wholewheat bread stuffed with Indian fresh cheese)- or any stuffed parantha takes me back to my MBA days and the dhaba outside our college. They served one of the best paranthas in Delhi, and they were the culprit of my weight gain during college. Well, ok, just a part of it.
All the time I was in college and the countless times I had their paranthas I never once even thought of asking how they make it so good. I was always under the impression that I’ll have access to these paranthas- didn’t think I’ll end up miles away! Now, I miss the chicken paranthas, the chilli paneer and dal makhani that had become a staple to my diet during college days.
Anyways, I decided to try making paneer paranthas at home. I have tried making other stuffed paranthas– aloo (potatoes), mooli (daikon radish) , gobhi (cauliflower). But, this was my first attempt at paneer paranthas. I decided to grill the paneer in my Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler. I love the 5-in-1 griddler – it has made making a quick snack/meal so much more easy! Well, the paranthas didn’t come out as good as the college ones, so I am not posting the recipe. They were good, but not as good and thus, the search is still on. I still crave for my college paranthas and when I’m in Delhi next (just a few weeks from now ), I am definitely going there to relive my gastronomical memories!
I also experimented with muffins. Now, the reason why I HAD to make muffins is because recently I made macarons. You ask, what does macaron have to do with muffins?! Well, macarons have filling in them and when you don’t plan too well and are experimenting with different possibilities, you are left with a lot of filling. Now, since I don’t have the option to keep the filling and using it on a different batch of macarons- I either had to throw the filling or concoct something to use it up. And, the latter is what I did. I added some cream cheese frosting with white chocolate ganache, added eggs yolks mixed with eggs (from the egg white separation for the macarons), mixed in cake flour, baking soda, baking, powder, salt– found the batter to be too thick, so added hazelnut creamer (in an attempt to finish that off!), and as a final touch some poppy seeds and popped them in the oven at 350 F for 18 minutes!
And well, they actually tasted good (they don’t look that good though, but everyone knows not to judge the book by its cover!). They were soft (thanks to the cake flour;) ) and pretty flavorful- worthy enough for Office Thursdays!:) :). V’s office people loved them, so much so that everyone finished them and hardly any one ate the store bought donuts that were there too!
The reason for not posting the recipe for either paneer parantha or the muffins is because since they were so experimental in nature, I just did not pen down the ingredients. I could have for the paneer paranthas, (the muffins were a mix of a lot of leftovers so it was impossible for me to give exact amounts), but, like I mentioned before, I am still in search for the perfect paneer parantha recipe, so till then you and I both will have to wait!
Keep reading the blog for the recipes that did make the cut!