Give me a time machine and I would love to travel down the era of our grand moms and great grand moms who were the real Indian queens to craft out the rich culinary flavors of our holy country. The magic spice boxes, the selective flavors, the naturally grown vegetables and the secret pinch of their treasures…have made a standard which remains unbeatable. Every gem of their spice box boasted about the authenticity and hard work with which they prepared those flavorful spices to make the final dish irresistible…
In the fast race of today’s life where every thing is unreachable, we youngsters are craving to go back to old, time-tested traditions and rituals to preserve the culinary heritage, the authenticity of the process and the food itself. Challenge is tough but it’s attainable… after all in these testing times, there is a new set of millennial who are rising together to protect the rich culinary history of India through their natural ingredients which encourages the young modern generation to take a turn and dig deep into the authentic old kitchens which are standing with pride and boasting about the golden eras…
In India, every region holds a special importance and exclusive recipes… Food of the bygone era was not about packed paneer packs or packed flours…it was not cream packs or tomato puree packs but it was all about real ingredients – Like home made paneer, home made cream, home cooked puree and moreover the addition of specifics like melon seeds, watermelon seeds, kokum, ratanjot, twigs etc. I being a hard core fan of authentic Indian recipes, always look for stuff which can help me craft out the best out of the bestest… I keep asking my dad, mom and aunts about the core stuff which our dadi-nani used and try to come up with something near to them…
Since long time, I wanted to use seeds in my cooking as the seeds has all the nutrients infused between them and they give a different taste to a normal food…My very first experiment started with melon seeds (magaz) way back and today I am moving to next step by using True Elements WaterMelon seeds, from True Elements, in my traditional recipe of Paneer K Nazraane. 🙂 True elements offers a range of high-quality snacks and supplements that are inspired by natural foods consumed by our ancestors.
Nutritional Value of Water Melon Seeds
These seeds are loaded with nutrients including fatty acids, essential proteins and lots of minerals. These seeds are rich in vitamin B like thiamine, niacin, folate and minerals like magnesium, potassium, manganese, iron, zinc, phosphorus and copper. Besides, they are a great source of calories with 100 grams of watermelon seeds providing around 600 grams of calories. [ Source: StyleCraze]
One fine day I got a chance while going through the old diaries of my mom where she has mentioned about the recipes cooked by my dadi and nani… One such recipe is Paneer K Nazraane – Prepared with mashed home made paneer and potato mix and merged into a rich dry fruits gravy, this dish boasts about the simple yet rustic flavors. The best part about this recipe is it’s subtle taste and completely grounded natural flavors… I remember my dadi used to prepare this recipe very often as we all are a big paneer fan and the golden fried balls of home made paneer always made us reach the next level… Simplest of the simple dishes, the recipe is super easy to prepare and simply out of the world.
Let’s have a look at the recipe!
Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
For Home Made Paneer
- 2 kg Milk
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp sugar
For the Balls
- 100 gms home made paneer
- 1 mashed potato
- A pinch of grounded cardamon
- A pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- chopped corriander leaves
- finely chopped green chillies
- Oil to fry
For the gravy
- 2 medium onions
- 3 medium tomatoes
- 1 inch ginger
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp True Elements WaterMelon seeds
- 4-5 cashews
- Garam Masala powder
- Corriander powder
- Kashmiri mirch powder
- Bay leaf, Black cardamon, Green Cardamon
- 1 tbsp curd
- Salt as per taste
To make Paneer or Chenna ( Grandmom’s lingo :D)
- Heat milk. Add sugar. Let it boil. Once is it done, add lemon juice and let it curdle. Let the whey gets separated.
- Rest for 2 mins and drain the extra whey while preserving it in a bowl The whey is full of nutrition and can be utilized in making curries, kneading dough etc etc.
- Now transfer the chenna into a soft muslin cloth properly and cover it with a heavy pan to give it a shape.Let it rest for 15 mins. ( Since we need to mash it, we need not to shape however for other recipes you may go this way)
- Keep it in freezer for another 15 mins and your home made paneer is ready.
To make Paneer Balls
- Take all the ingredients of paneer balls apart from oil
- Mash well and make small balls out of it
- Let it rest in a cornflour mixture for 2 mins
- Heat the oil and fry them well till light golden [ Be very careful while frying as balls may open up. Tip is to coat them well with cornflour solution and fry carefully with 4-5 balls at a time]
To make gravy
- Soak cashews and Watermelon seeds in the milk for 20 mins. Churn it into a fine paste.
- Boil tomatoes, onions, garlic and ginger for 10 mins. Drain out the water and grind it into a smooth paste.
- Heat Ghee in a Kadhai.
- Add cloves, bay leaf, green cardamon.
- Add cumin seeds and once done, add Cashew – watermelon seeds paste. Add spices.
- Fry well for a minute and add Tomato-Onion paste. Fry well till the time oil seperates. Once it is fried, add 2 cups of water.
- Add salt and let it boil on high for 5 mins. (Till this time, you will see a yellowish white thin gravy).
- Cover the lid of the Kadhai.
- Let is simmer for 15 mins on low flame.
- After 15 mins, the gravy will be settled with thick texture, beautiful colors and delicious aroma.:)
- Transfer the gravy into your serving platter
- Arrange the paneer balls over them
- Your historic dish of Paneer K Nazraane is ready! 🙂
Serve it with hot chapatis and rice and re-live the era which was phenomenol!!! 🙂
I have started a series of authentic ancient recipes prepared using some finest of the True Element ingredients… Stay tuned!
Do share your feedback and do share your traditional recipes… Let’s travel the time machine together… 🙂
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Bon apetit! 🙂