Friday, October 7, 2011

Indian Simmer loves..... Sinfully Spicy!

I have been asked this question over and over again...what blogs do you read? Would you recommend a blog? What are the blogs that Indian Simmer loves? Every interview I do, any research or survey I am a part of, every person I meet who happens to know that I am a food blogger. Through emails, online chats or in person this question has been asked to me way too many times that I thought I better start making the answer more public than I already do. Hence came into existence the idea for this new series named, "Indian Simmer loves.....". There are so many beautiful blogs in the blogosphere and so many people doing some exceptional work through their websites. Through this series I simply want to let you know what Indian Simmer reads and loves. And when the lovely people behind those blogs agreed to help I thought why wait? Let's start it from today itself, shall we?
As a part of this series I will showcase one of my favorite blogs/bloggers each month. To kickstart the series I have a very dear friend of mine who like me hails from India and shares her stories, experiences and recipes from the country. I just like the refreshing feel of her blog. Her simplistic writing accompanied by the gorgeous photography is just a breath of fresh air. Will not waste time because she is the one who is going to do all the talking today. Let me introduce you to Tanvi of Sinfully Spicy and lets show my homegirl some love!

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Prerna is one person who never fails to fascinate me with her warmth & energy. Always full of excitement, I would say that she is one of the most cheerful lady I have met in the blogging world. They say that you need an eye for beauty, as much as I have known her, I feel that the kind of emotions & personality you carry around in life tend to reflect in everything you do - be it words, lens or recipes. Beautiful people make beautiful blogs - Indian Simmer is a testimonial of exactly that! Her lens is what personifies indian cuisine to the root  - Vibrant, colorful & mouthwatering.
I was honored when she asked me to guest post on her blog. Thank you so much, Prerna! Among many of her creative ideas, she came up with this series where she wants to feature her favorite blogs. Well, the thought of kick starting the series is jaw dropping for me! Thank you so much again Prerna for inviting me here. To make the series fun, she posed me with a little questionnaire, which I tried my best to answer. Please keep in mind that this is the first time EVER in my life that someone interviewed me, don’t mind if I got carried away at places :)

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Tell us about yourself and what you would say is your food philosophy?
Hi, I m Tanvi  & I blog at Sinfully Spicy. I grew up in Delhi, India in a food loving, big joint family. No points for guessing that cooking caught my interest interested right from childhood. Indian families have this tradition where elders give money or gifts to kids as a token of appreciation for any good deed done.With my grandma, cooking always scored; what started as a hobby to fill up my piggy bank, slowly turned into a passion. Whatever I have learnt in kitchen, I owe it to her & my mom, who are two of the greatest cooks I have come across in my life.

My food philosophy is very simple - I like to cook from seasonal ingredients, include lots of whole grains & legumes in our daily diet and follow portion control. I hardly buy any canned produce and stick to natural (and sometimes organic) food items. I maintain that meals cooked with fresh ingredients & good mood always come out delicious. My family likes food with spice level spiked up; our daily meals are full of flavors from Indian spices but low on oil & cream. While weekdays are mostly home cooked meals, on weekends, we like to experiment with different cuisines when eating out.

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What led you to starting a food blog?
Before shifting to USA, I led a very busy corporate life & believe me that I had never heard of a food blog! After coming to USA as a dependent wife, my life became as slow & boring as it could be. Just to kill the boredom of lazy afternoons, one day I reached out for the camera & starting taking pictures of the meals I cooked. It went on for a week before my husband spotted the images in my laptop & suggested that I should document them somewhere & share the recipes, the blog was born within an hour & as they say rest is history!

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What would you say is "Sinfully Spicy" all about and please share a recipe that best describes your blog?
Sinfully Spicy is my humble effort to showcase the magical world of Indian spices & share how to use them creatively in preparing delicious indian recipes. Usually people think that spicy food necessarily has to be “hot”, it’s my sincere wish to clear this misconception with this blog. As with the rest of the world, the only “ hot” spice in Indian cuisine is red chili powder, all other spices are to enhance taste & flavor. Spices need not add heat to food always, they are as diverse as moods of life - warm, sweet, pungent, comforting, sour, bitter and when used in the right proportion, make food tasty and not fiery.

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Paneer Jalfrezi is a spicy indian stir-fry made with bell peppers, onions, tomatoes & spices. As with many Indian dishes, Jalfrezi is not a dish in itself but a cooking method. You substitute paneer with rotisserie chicken or shrimp and make your own version. The idea is to make a quick stir-fry with ingredients, which require less cooking time. The dish was initially created by The British to use left over meats but, over the years, it has evolved as a popular side dish in Indian restaurants. Jalfrezi dishes are colorful, have pronounced use of chilies and the texture of vegetables is crunchy. You can add stock or cream & make a sauce & serve as a main dish but I like to prepare it a dry curry.

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Ingredients  (Serves 2):

3 tbsp canola/olive/sunflower oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds, lightly crushed
1 large onion, sliced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1" fresh gingershoot, minced
2 Thai green chilies, chopped
2 medium roma tomatoes, quartered & sliced
3/4 tsp turmeric powder
1.5 tbsp red chili flakes (adjust to tolerance)
1 cup sliced bell peppers (use any colored peppers of choice)
7 oz / (200gm) paneer (Indian cheese), sliced into 2” batons
Salt to taste
½ tsp garam masala
1.5 tbsp white vinegar / fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp sugar
Chopped Cilantro for garnish

 Method:

Heat oil in a cast iron skillet or pan /wok/kadhai on high. Once smoking, add cumin & coriander seeds and fry for 30 seconds or so till they crackle.
Next, add the minced ginger & garlic along with green chilies and cook for another 30 seconds till you smell the aroma.
Reduce heat to medium and add sliced onions next to the pan and fry till soft and translucent. About 2-3 minutes.
Add sliced tomatoes, turmeric powder & red chili flakes to the pan next and fry for 5-7 minutes till tomatoes begin to sweat & soften but do not turn mushy. You will see oil separating on sides of the pan. Stir frequently to prevent tomatoes from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add the sliced peppers next, stir and fry them for 5-8 minutes so that they cook slightly but still hold their shape & are crunchy.
Add the paneer next along with salt, increase heat to high and cook for 2-3 minutes with gentle tossing so as not to break the cheese.
Remove from heat, sprinkle the garam masala, sugar & top up with vinegar. Combine well. Garnish with chopped cilantro & serve with steamed rice or Indian breads.



34 comments:

  1. Great way to get to know other foodies...lovely pics and makes me want to try the Jalfrezi again as my first attempt was a flop....

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  2. Great post by Tanvi!! Loved reading more about her!
    'Indian Simmer Loves'... is a great idea!! I am so exited to get to know more wonderful blogs through you Prerna!

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  3. Lovely post prerna... I am a follower of Tanvi's blog. Loved to know so much about her :)

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  4. What a great idea Prerna, and thanks for introducing me to a new blogger!

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  5. You two ladies ALWAYS make me hungry and inspired.

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  6. Gosh!!!!....What a fantastic creative space you got here girl! Love it. Stunning shots...and yes, now your happy follower too :)
    Hope to see you on my little blog...sometime :)
    Happy Dusshera!

    Sanghamitra.
    RAINBOW-The Colours of India

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  7. I've been following Tanvi ever since I found her blog. She taught me so many Indian dishes and this is another one. Looks so delicious and her pictures are always convincing the food is as great as the photography. It's nice to meet you Prerna!

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  8. Wonderful! I feel like I can actually tackle this recipe!

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  9. Wonderful blog and a great guest post. This dish looks delicious I am going to try making this. I followed over from Sinfully Spicy. Nice to meet you Prena.

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  10. This is fantastic way of knowing other wonderful blogs.Will surely check sinfully spicy blog. Lovely recipe as well.

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  11. Great post Tanvi. I love paneer jalfrezi. I too love sinfully spice. Thanks for starting this series, prerna.

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  12. This looks wonderful Tanvi- I will be trying it with chicken as I don't eat paneer. What a great idea to feature your favorites with a whole post dedicated to them. I look forward to eeing more on this section :)

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  13. Such a lovely share - I adore Tanvi's blog. It's beautiful, heartfelt and interesting to read.

    Looking forward to seeing your other picks!

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  14. Thanks so much everyone...You all are really encouraging!
    Prerna-Loved sharing your space :)

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  15. Hi Tanvi, Im so glad to discover your beautiful site through Indian simmer, happy to follow!

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  16. Lovely presentation Tanvi and a great series Prerna!
    I need to whip up some tempeh Jalfrezi pronto!

    Richa @ Hobby And More Food Blog

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  17. This looks delicious,the captures,as always,are stunning!

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  18. Thanks for much for introducing us to Tanvi. Her blog looks sinfully delicious!

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  19. Lovely post and it was wonderful reading about Tanvi. I love her blog,recipes and photographs! Prerna I am glad to have found your blog through this. I have so much to explore here!!

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  20. Happy to read about tanvi and her succulent paneer jalfrezi. The vibrant color of the dish speaks a lot. Appreciate your efforts of introducing other foodies prerna.

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  21. Nice to see Tanvi featured! I love your new series and look forward to discovering more of your favorite blogs.

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  22. Hey Prerna, this's cool. I love this series and can't wait to discover some lovely talents through this space. You said it right, there are lots and lots of inspirations out there on the web. Tanvi is one of my favorite bloggers and this's yet another wonderful recipe from her accompanied by beautiful shots. I'm not a fan of paneer but that doesn't stop me from ogling the pictures.

    Love ya girls!

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  23. This is a great series Prerna; and I'm happy to see Tanvi here. You both are inspiration when comes to introducing the wonderful Indian cuisine to the world. Like many who appreciate the flavorful Indian food, we can't wait to see more!

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  24. Amazing series featuring one my favorite blogger, Tanvi :)

    I love paneer jalfrezi and how mild spices are used as to not overpower the delicateness of paneer :)

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  25. There are no words for how happy this makes me. SIGH!

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  26. Mouth watering clicks! I make something very similar, along with chili flakes I also use sriracha sauce.

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  27. oh your pictures are gorgeous... if only i was as good as you!

    Amanda
    softandstiffpeaks.blogspot.com

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  28. Love the look of all those spices in this dish. Might keep this one for a mid week lunch with my friends thogh as my oldest son doesn't tolerate anything too spicy :)

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  29. seriously your pictures are inspirational as are ur recipes!

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  30. very nice post . thanks for sharing :)

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  31. Thanks for your sharing, I like it!

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  32. Thanks for sharing recipe with us, i like it & it looks very delicious . i will defiantly try b'coz my family love paneer. Once again thank you.

    real estate search

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  33. Just made this. Skipped the rice and used pita bread.

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  34. Hello,
    We love your recipes, especially when its on Paneer.
    These are so delicious.
    I have always looked at your blog for the various pictures and the way you write.Just Love it!
    You have shared some nice information about Paneer Jalfrezi in this post.
    The points you mentioned are genuine and perfect.
    The content completely describes about the topic you wanted to portray with us.
    Thanks for sharing such valuable post.

    Regards
    VentairIndia Team

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