A guest post by Anamika Arun from Taste Junction – Aloo Paneer Kofta in Makhni Gravy

My fingers are still dancing on key boards non stop! I never thought that writing thesis would need creativity, it not only needs some but a LOT taking away all the oxygen and blood from brain. There is no realization of what day it is or if at all it is morning or night. Though I knew this how it will be, living thro’ it is very challenging. Am waiting for my mom to arrive to give me a hug and a bowl of warm food…sometime to get to kitchen for a simple dinner is like moving a mountain!
With this scenario Anamika of Taste Junction wholeheartedly volunteered to write a post for me. Not so long ago Anamika stopped by my blog, I visited hers just few time, sincere apology to her and to many others, since i’m doing no justice, but shall return back to normal mode within two months! Her blog as it says is a junction where cuisines from world meets. I was seriously surprised when she gave me options to pick for a guest post, she sounded like a pro chef! From all her great recipe dahi vada stole my heart, exactly what i would like to enjoy now …so why wait for here is very talent Anamika from Taste Junction. And thanks  bunches Anamika for understanding and coming over you saved my nerves
Just like any home reflects the personality of the resident; so do I feel about the virtual window or the blog. The moment I visit a new blog, I immediately personify the blogger with the cues of the space. And though technical aspects have a huge role to play in that, yet there are some sure sure-shot giveaways, like the choice of color schemes, fonts and writing style.
So the very first time I visited Ananda’s blog (which unfortunately was not too long ago), I felt a sense of calmness and aesthetics. And after lingering a little more than I needed to, admiring her beautifully captured images and thoughtfully prepared delicacies, I knew it was not going to be a short stay. 
So here I’m, pleased to take this appreciation a step further with a guest post, while she dedicated herself to some meaningful research. I’m sure her tired body and mind can get a bit re-engerised after having some home made comfort food.
I’m sharing with you all a popular North Indian curry – Aloo paneer kofta in makhi gravy. You might even be knowing this dish as “Malai kofta”. Difference is that malai kofta is sweeter with cashews/ rasins/sugar and richer with cream, while this is lighter and bit on the spicier side than sweet. But to offset the spicy koftas, I add it to sweet makhni sauce to get a good balance.
Koftas are deep fried dumlings of spiced and mashed vegetables. This one is made with potatoes and cottage cheese. But ‘kofta” of spinach, carrots and cauliflowers, lauki are also very popular. If you prefer you can bake the dumplings than frying, but of course the taste and texture will be little different.
Aloo Paneer Kofta in Makhni Gravy Recipe
Ingredients
For the Kofta:
3-4 large potatoes, boiled and mashed
3 tbsp of crumbled paneer
2 tbsp of grated carrots
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander
1- 2 finely chopped green chillies (as per taste)
3/4 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
½ tsp chaat masala (optional)
½ tsp red-chilli powder
Salt To Taste
Oil for frying
For the gravy
½ kg tomatoes – chopped
1 tbsp cashews
1 bay leaf
1 tsp cumin
2-3 black peppercorn
1 cinnamon
1 clove
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp butter
Pinch of sugar
Salt as per taste
1 tsp red chilly powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp dhania powder
1/2 tsp kasturi methi
½ tbsp oil 
1 tbsp butter
Method – for kofta:
Heat oil for frying in kadahi/ deep pan. Mix all the ingredients of the kofta in bowl. With a lightly greased palms, make small balls of the mixture. 
Check if the oil is hot enough by putting a small drop of mixture. If it immediately comes on top, oil is ready. Now place koftas in it at high (gas mark 6) and then reduce it to medium-high (gas mark 4) to get crispy koftas. 
Once well browned on both sides, drain on tissue and keep aside. 
Method – for gravy:
Add ½ tbsp oil in a pan. Then add butter to it. Once butter melts, add bay leaf, cumin, peppercorns, clove & cinnamon. Let the cumin splutter 
Then add the cashews & fry it for a while till lightly browned 
Now add chopped tomatoes along with salt, sugar and all spices, except garam masala & kasturi methi 
Add milk & cook tomatoes till all pulpy. Remove from stove & let it cool. 
Remove the bay leaf and cinnamon and put in blender and blend it as puree with very little warm water (I like to keep some texture, but depends on you) 
Put it back in the pan and bring it to a boil. Add kofta balls and add garam masala and crushed kasturi methi. 
You can finish the dish with a tbsp of cream and chopped coriander. 
If serving later:
Always add koftas to gravy only 10-15 mins before serving, since once added to gravy, kofta becomes soft and breaks. You can even warm up the kofta and gravy separately before adding it so that they do not beak and are at same temperature.

    Mom ka Khana – Chicken Briyani & chilli Chicken

    I know I know my blog baby has been sleeping unattended for a while now, I’m left occupied through out with all good warm food right from kitchen, sometime I enjoy warm puries sitting on the kitchen table, can you believe that? Right now I’m like little over grown hamster 😀 Doesn’t actually matter since I will be deaerated as soon mum goes back to India.We invited Somjai Tero and her mum for Indian lunch, Somjai came with her little princess Aida. Oh my my she is such a darling, very obviously everyone’s attention was only towards her. While we were busy eating, everyone had their turns to play and keep her occupied. Baby darling kept us on toe with smile, cry, potty, snuggle and much more. What can I say? Just for couple of hours the whole house was vibrant.

    Mum made our typical Sunday special lunch as we do at home, chicken briyani (with coconut milk), chilly chicken, dum aloo, raita and suji ka halwa. This Briyani is very unconvetional type very simple and easy too cook. The whole lot is mum’s recipe, hope you guys will enjoy as much as we did….Wish you all a happy weekend  :)

    February is heart month, so folks eat healthy, exercise some, no to smoking and have a perfect healthy heart!

    Inherited recipe – Okra curry / Okra soup kolambu

    I’m sure your new year is bustling like a bee and you are completely into it…Mine started with bit of vacation hangover gradually moved to normal routine – running in and out. Keeping it short since it’s Monday morning and you know how Monday syndromes are! This recipe is from my Ammama (Maternal grandma) I don’t remember she making it but mum makes them so very often. Yet again it’s our favorite, which is quite suitable with rice and papads. For those who are wondering how on earth I’m posting okra recipes during winter, I looted huge amount of okras from oriental shop during early winter and very well stored it my freezer. Now I’m making best use of my all time fav veggie. Have a great productive week ahead.

    Pearly Delight – Coconut Ladoo

    Asima Bengali beauty is well know for the simple and delicious coconut ladoo. Whenever she made  those ladoo’s either for Indian get together or for some pooja, all of us used to binge on it immediately. As it was moist, light, fresh and indeed delicious. Best thing is, it is cream and milk free. Basically low fat and juicy inside.
    I come from coconut background, back in India my home is surrounded by mango, 5 coconut, guava, pomegranate and custard apple trees. Most likely we have some fruits or the other throughout the year. Every 2-3 months either of the coconut trees were harvested. My dad always made sure some fresh tender coconuts were served for the day, oh missing it. When I buy some kind of coconut from normal markets in Finland, I shed blood tears.
    So, learning something from coconut was on the priority list, by which I could surprise mom when I go back to India. Asima was very happy to teach me, Shanthi too joined us, so obviously we have short girls evening, with good food and lots of ladoo. Thanks to PhD I have enormous patience, spent two hours to skin off the brown layer underneath the white part, wanted ladoo’s to resemble pearl.

    Baked – Shredded Chicken Gravy

    Am sure many of us miss mum’s food, especially when we are far from home. No wonder why mum’s food is delicious, because they cook with total devotion and love for their  children. During last Christmas holidays, when I was in India, I was busy with my new camera taking pictures in and around my home. Mum was making many varieties of food for me, particularly with the veggies and  country chicken  that I don’t get in Finland.  I still remember the taste of country chicken gravy! Ohhh yum!
    To expect something similar from modern broilers is out of question. But to be happy with what we get is considered wise. So I came up with baked chicken gravy. This gravy tasted best with Finnish dry bread. It goes very well with any bread or rice.
                                                              Full moon hidden between the clouds