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Poonam Singh

In view of the rise in COVID-19 cases and the threat of the Omicron variant, states are now clamping restrictions, night curfews and playing party pooper for and New Year festivities. So if your plans for the New year celebrations are also constrained then here are a few recipes which you can make at home and enjoy the New Year Eve in the warm and cozy surroundings of your home with your loved ones:

Dryfruits Cake:

Ingredients:

1. Maida/All-purpose Flour: 2 Cups

2. Sugar: 1 Cup

3. Butter: 1/2 Cup melted

4. Milk: 1/2 Cup

5. Eggs: 2 (or 1/2 Cup Beaten Curd if not using eggs)

6. Condense Milk: 1/2 Cup (optional)

7. Baking Powder: 1tsp

8. Baking Soda: 1/2 tsp

9. Black & Golden Raisins: 1/2 Cup

10. Almonds: 1/2 Cup

11. Cashew: 1/2 Cup

12. Vanilla Essence: 1 tbsp

Procedure:

• Separate the egg white and yolk. In a mixing bowl, add the egg white and sugar in batches and whip until its volume increases and peaks form. Then add the butter, milk and condense milk, and mix until it is fluffy.

• In another bowl, sieve the flour, baking powder and baking soda.

• Then add these dry ingredients and fold into batter for a smooth consistency.

• Now add the raisins, almonds, cashew and vanilla essence to the batter and mix it.

• Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

• Grease and flour a baking tray you can also place butter paper. Now pour the cake batter in the tin mould and bake your cake for 40 to 50 minutes.

Tips:

• While adding the dry fruits, always dust them with some flour so they don't stick to the bottom of the baking tray.

• You can add other dry fruits or candied fruits of your choice to the cake.

Paneer Makhni

For the gravy 

Ingredients:

1. Jeera (cumin seeds): 1 tsp

2. Green cardamom: 2 nos.  

3. Black peppercorns: 5-6 nos

4. Cinnamon: ½ stick

5. Garlic cloves: 5-6 nos.

6. Ginger: ½ inch 

7. Onion: 2 medium size(roughly sliced)

8. Tomatoes: 4-5 medium size (roughly chopped)

9. Coriander powder: 1 tsp

10. Red chilli powder: 1tsp

11. Turmeric powder: 1/4th tsp

12. Cashew nuts: 8-10 nos.

13. Salt to taste

14. Garam masala: ½ tsp

15. Oil: 2-3 tsp

16. Butter: 1 tbsp

Procedure:

• Set a pan or a wok on medium heat, add oil and butter.

• When the oil heats up add the jeera, green cardamom, Black peppercorns and cinnamon.

• Then add the ginger, garlic cloves, onions, and sauté for a minute before add the tomatoes and cashew nuts.

• Then add red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, salt, mix well, cover and cook for 15 minutes on medium heat.

• Stir in regular intervals to prevent it from sticking and burning. 

• Cool down to room temperature and transfer the mixture to the grinding jar, grind into a fine paste. 

For Paneer Makhni 

Ingredients:

1. Butter: 1 tbsp 

2. Oil: 1 tsp

3. Ginger: 1 inch (julienne)

4. Paneer: 350 gm (cubes)

5. Salt a pinch

6. Kashmiri red chilli powder: 1 tsp

7. Sugar: 1 tbsp (optional)

8. Kasuri methi: 1 tsp (toasted)

9. Fresh cream: 1 tbsp

10. Butter: 1 tsp (optional)

11. Fresh coriander: 1 tbsp (chopped)

Procedure:

• Add paneer cubes to the same wok/pan, sprinkle some salt to taste and lightly fry the paneer from all sides until light golden brown.

• Remove the paneer from the pan and keep aside for later use.

• In the same pan add butter, ginger & Kashmir red chilli powder. Do not cook it further as the chilli powder will burn. Remember to keep the flame really low. 

• Next, add the gravy to the wok/pan, mix, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Check the taste and add the sugar and salt as per your taste.

• Adjust the gravy consistency by adding water if it becomes too thick, cook for 2-3 minutes.

• Further add the lightly fried paneer cubes to the gravy and mix gently. 

• Add some lightly toasted kasuri methi, just rub it between your clean and dry palms before adding it.

• Add a pinch of garam masala and salt to taste, mix gently and cook it for 2-3 minutes. Now lower or switch of the flame before adding the cream, otherwise the cream will split. 

• Add some freshly chopped coriander leaves and mix well paneer makhani is ready to be served.

Tips:

• You can use almonds in place of cashew in the gravy

• As for adjusting the consistency of the gravy you can add milk in place of water.

• Add fresh cream, if you don’t have market ready fresh cream then you can add fresh home cream. Stir gently and mix well.

• Add a blob butter if you want to finish it with some more richness

Methi Chicken

Ingredients:

1. Oil: 4 tbsp

2. Ghee: 2 tbsp

3. Cumin seeds: 1 tsp

4. Bay Leaves: 2 nos

5. Red Onion: 2-3 medium sized (chopped)

6. Salt to taste

7. Masala Mixture (Ingredients given below)

8. Chicken: 750 gms

9. Fresh Fenugreek Leaves: 2 cups

10. Water 1/2 cup

For masala mixture:

1. 1/2 cup Yogurt

2. 1 tsp Turmeric Powder

3. 1 tsp coriander seeds

4. 2 tsp Red Chilli Powder

5. 1 tsp Ginger-Garlic Paste

6. 1tsp Chicken Powder

7. 1 tsp Garam Masala Powder

Procedure:

• Take a bowl, add yogurt, turmeric powder, crushed coriander seeds, red chilli powder, ginger-garlic paste, chicken powder and garam masala powder. Mix them well and keep them aside.

For Methi Chicken:

1. Heat oil and ghee in a pan, add cumin seeds, bay leaves, finely chopped onion and salt.

2. Stir them till the onion becomes soft and golden-brown in colour.

3. Add masala mixture, mix it and cook this on high flames till it releases oil.

4. Now add chicken pieces and fresh fenugreek leaves to it. Mix it and let it cook on high flame for 2-3 min. 

5. Once the chicken pieces are seared in high flame, add water to it. 

6. Cover it with lid cook on low flame for 20 minutes.

7. Turn off the flame and let it cool. Methi Chicken is ready to be served!

Tips:

• You can also give the simple marination to chicken with turmeric powder and salt.

• Use the tender stem of methi, as the thick ones will leave an untoward bite in the dish.

• And if you don't get methi leaves, you can add 1/2 cup kasuri methi in cooking stage.

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