Zafrani Paneer…from Royal Food Diaries 👑

Last weekend the temperature was too high here in Pune. So we were in no mood to have spicy food with loads of garam masala in it :/. But yes, for us weekends are about cooking and eating special food.
Zafrani is a very mildly spiced nutty and rich gravy. I found the recipe in an old cook book with all the chicken mughlai recipes 😍 while cleaning my book shelf (rare thing 😁). I used grilled paneer (cottage cheese) with the gravy. You can go royal with chicken or veggies too. πŸ˜‰



200gms Paneer or Cottage cheese
3/4 cup ghee or clarified butter
1 big onion, evenly sliced
7-8 cloves of garlic, sliced
1″ piece of ginger, thinly sliced
1 tbsp coriander seeds
Pods of 3 cardamoms
1 cup beaten curd
2 dry red chillies
7-8 Almonds or cashew nuts
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tbsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
Salt to taste
1 pinch of saffron strands soaked in warm water
1/2 cup cream, optional


1. Heat half of the ghee in a kadhai or pan. Fry the nuts till golden brown. Take it out and keep aside.

2. Now add dry red chillies, coriander seeds and cardamom pods. Let those pop. Then add ginger and garlic and finally sliced onion. Fry till the onion is browned.

3. When the mixture is slightly warm, soak it in the beaten curd with almonds or cashews for 10 mins and make a fine paste.

4. Grill the paneer cubes on a grilling pan. You can use it without grilling too.

5. Heat the rest of the ghee. Add red chilli powder and turmeric. Stir in the onion and curd paste and cook on low flame till the ghee comes on top. ( it should not take more than 3-4 mins as it is already cooked)

6. Add the paneer cubes, 1/2 cup warm water or milk and the soaked saffron (I used a drop of saffron extract). Cook for another 3-4 mins. Finish with fresh cream.

Serve hot garnished with chopped nuts, saffronΒ or coriander. This dish goes well with pulao or all kinds of Indian bread.


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Moist and Sinful… Veg (Soya) Galouti Kebab

When I first had Galouti Kebab, I never thought it would be so creamy and so flavorful.. The aroma.. The tickling taste buds.. Oh my god! I can’t even explain..Pure bliss.. 😌

It was created for an aging Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Lucknow who lost his teeth, but not his passion for meat dishes. β€˜Galouti’ or β€˜Galawati’ means β€œmelt in your mouth”. Traditionally, green papaya is used to make the meat tender. After being mixed with a few select herbs and spices the very finely ground meat πŸ–(lamb and beef) is shaped into patties and fried in pure ghee until they are browned. The original recipe is supposed to have more than 100 aromatic spices. 😱

Well I don’t even know the names of 100 spices 😁. So this isn’t an authentic recipe. Actually, I was experimenting with soya kebabs the other day and when I ate the final product, I had the same ‘Galouti-Kebab-feeling’. I have eaten Rajma Galouti Kebab, but it is dry. I feel that this is a better version of vegetarian Galouti Kebab. Plus it is easy… Why don’t you judge it yourself.. πŸ™„


Here is what you’ll need..


100 gms Soya chunks or granules, soaked

1 medium onion, sliced

6-7 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

1″ pc of ginger, sliced

1 medium tomato, chopped

2 tbsp roasted chana dal (split Bengal gram)

1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves

7-8 black pepper

1 Bay leaf

3-4 Cardamom pods

4-5 cloves

2″ cinnamon stick

2 dry red chillies

1 tbsp coriander seeds

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp red chilli powder

2 tsp chat masala

Juice of half lime

2-3 tbsp hung curd

3/4 cup bread crumbs

1 tbsp cream

3-4 tbsp butter or ghee

Salt, to taste


1. Heat 2 tbsp butter or ghee in a pan. Add all the whole spices. After the aroma is released,fry garlic, ginger and onion till slightly browned.

2. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, tomato and soya. Cover and cook for 5 mins.

3. Bring the mixture to room temperature, add curd, chat masala, coriander, chana dal, lime juice and grind into a fine paste.

4. Now mix cream and bread crumbs. The mixture should form a very soft dough like structure. (add more bread crumbs if you find it tough to handle). Taste and check the seasoning.

5. Grease your palms and give desired shape.(a bit messy work)
Tip: take desired amount of the mixture and roughly give a round shape, put on the heated pan and press. Be careful.


6. Heat a non stick or a grill pan, brush with ghee or butter and fry each side till golden brown.

Serve hot with mint chutney, raita or ketchup. You can use it a burger patty or as a wrap stuffing. πŸ™‚

Tip : You can use 1 tbsp of garam masala powder instead of whole spices.


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Mutton Saoji… Too hot to handle (I mean it ;))


It is so hot here in Pune, like never before (40Β°C + πŸ˜₯) and having a Saoji dish now is pretty daring 😁. I don’t usually eat mutton but I couldn’t stop myself when I saw this recipe on the channel Food Food. One of my friends tried it too and he was drooling all over 😜.

Mutton Saoji is one of the specialities of Nagpur (Maharashtra). It is listed under the spiciest dishes cooked in India. So if you love spicy Indian food, THIS IS HOT AS HELL !! GO FOR IT! πŸ™‹



500 gms Mutton

2 medium potatoes, peeled and halved (optional, I love potatoes cooked in non veg curries😁)

1 tbsp Garam Masala

8-10 Cloves Garlic

1″ piece of Ginger

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp turmeric powder

1Β½ tsp Caraway seeds

5tbsp Mustard Oil

1tsp Coriander seeds

6-7 Green cardamom

12-15 Black pepper

1 tsp Cloves

1 star anise

2 Black cardamom

1 Cinnamon stick

3 Bay leaves

8-10 Dry red chillies, soaked

2 tbsp Dry grated coconut

2 Onions

2 tbsp Poppy seeds

Salt To taste

4 Green chillies


1. Marinate mutton overnight with salt, garam masala, turmeric powder and lemon juice.

2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan. Add all the whole spices then fry roughly sliced onion, garlic and ginger till it turns brown. Now add rest of the ingredients except mutton, potatoes , oil and green chillies. Cook for a minute and keep aside.

3. In the same pan seal mutton on high heat.

4. When the onion mixture is slightly cool, grind it till smooth. Add water if required.

5. Heat rest of the oil in a heavy bottom pressure cooker. Add sliced green chillies and the paste. Saute till the paste leaves oil and stop sticking to the bottom. Put potatoes and sealed mutton. Pour 3 cups of water and salt. Cook on low heat till 4-5 whistles. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with rice or roti (flat bread).


I served it with sorghum flat bread known as “Bhakri”.


… And don’t forget to keep something sweet handy… 😜


Paratha is a flat bread that we Indians love to eat. It is a very common food item here, especially in North India. There are ‘n’ numbers of version Β of a paratha. Ask any mother here and she will tell you a different one. So I won’t say that this is a recipe of paratha, it is just an idea to feed some nutrition into people like me who hate spinach and beetroot. 😁I mean who doesn’t like colours. It looks beautiful and tastes nothing like the veggies. Moreover, you don’t have to serve loads of dishes with it, only curd or pickle would do (you can if you want to 😜). It is easy to make (if you have a food processor), tasty and healthy. Children will love it (you don’t have to tell them that it has beetroot and spinach :D).

4 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups plain flour

3 tbsp oil + oil for shallow frying

1/2 cup beetroot puree

1/2 cup blanched spinach puree

1 tsp onion seeds

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp coriander powder

Salt, to taste

1. Make 3 dough adjusting the liquid content,

a) 2 cups plain flour, onion seeds, salt, 1 tbsp oil and water.

b) 2 cups whole wheat flour, coriander powder, salt, 1 tbsp oil and spinach puree.

c) 2 cups whole wheat flour, garam masala, salt, Β 1 tbsp oil and beetroot puree.

(Do it in the same sequence so that you don’t have to clean the food processor every time)

2. Roll each dough flat, about 2 cm thick.

3. Arrange the dough on top of each other. Green at the bottom and pink on top.

4. Roll in a cylindrical shape. Cut circles with a sharp knife πŸ”ͺdusted with flour (1 inch thick).

5. Roll them out with a rolling pin. Fry on tawa or pan with 1 tbsp oil (each paratha) on medium heat.

Serve hot with curd or pickle or any chutney.
Doesn’t this looks great? πŸ™‚ Every layer will have different flavor from the spices.

I hate spinach, I hate beetroot.. But I absolutely love this! 😍
IMG_20141124_122354 Try different colours like orange carrot, yellow turmeric or red with kashmiri red chilli powder. πŸ˜€

Credit : I got this idea from a masterchef Australia 6 contestant Nicole Cleave who once shared a pic of pasta made with beetroot puree.



Everyone in my family is fond of sea food. But we usually don’t cook these at home (except fish and prawns). So one fine day my dad and sis went to buy fish and instead bought fresh and real good crab for me to cook!  😨 It was my first time to cook crab and I had no idea what to do with it. They wanted to have it the Indian way. I searched on net, asked some friends but nothing satisfied me. So I came up with my own recipe i.e. of using everything I have at home and the ingredients complimenting each other without too much of work;). After I was done, it looked great but I was kinda nervous about the taste. And guess what? It was yummy :). The flavors complimented each other very well. Never thought of posting this random recipe but my sister asked me to do so while licking the crab’s claw. 😝

500g crab, prepped
4 tbsp mustard oil
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
3 tsp coriander seeds
5-6 whole black pepper
6-7 cloves
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
2 Bay leaves
1 dry red chilli
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp sugar
Juice of 1 /2 lemon
1 tomato, pureed
2 onion, sliced
10-12 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tbsp ginger, chopped
1/2 cup coriander leaves, chopped
Salt, to taste

1. Heat oil in a kadhai, add all the whole spices to release their flavors.

2. Throw in sugar, chilli powder and turmeric powder. Gives a nice colour if you add it now. (tip by mom)

3. Fry onion slices, chopped garlic and ginger till slightly browned.

4. Mix tomato puree and keep cooking till the oil floats on top.

5. Add salt, cumin and coriander powder and 3/4 cup water. Let the water boil.

6. Put crab and stir well. Cover for 10 mins or till the crab is cooked(on medium heat). Squeeze juice of 1/2 lemon. Stir.

7. Top with some ghee or butter, Β garnish with coriander.

Click a picture and enjoy with steamed rice. πŸ™‚