Basic How To’s: Series I~ Ginger-Garlic Paste

Basic How To: Ginger-Garlic Paste

Ginger-garlic paste is one of the most basic and essential ingredients in almost every Indian kitchen and most used in Hyderabadi cuisine. It is used in most of the non-vegetarian preparations and a few of the vegetarian dishes as well. Every kitchen in India might have container of ginger-garlic paste stored in the kitchen.

Ginger and peeled garlic pods

I usually make ginger-garlic paste in large amounts and store it in the freezer in several small plastic boxes. I keep one box in the refrigerator and store the rest in the freezer. As it finishes with daily use in cooking, I take out an another box from the freezer compartment and again store it in the refrigerator, where it thaws and is ready to be used again. This is how I prepare and store the ginger-garlic paste for my daily cooking.

I get many queries from my readers about the procedure to prepare Ginger-Garlic paste, so that gave me an idea to start a series on Basic How To’s. You can find a list of ‘How to’s’ in the category section in the left sidebar of my blog for easy access. Here goes the recipe:

Ginger-Garlic paste

Ginger garlic paste – Adrak-Lahsun ka paste

Ingredients:
(I always use Garlic and Ginger in the ratio of 2:1 in quantity)

Ginger Root – 250 gms
Garlic pods- 500 gms

Method:

1. Wash and scrape the ginger root using a spoon. Wearing gloves, or else your fingers will burn after you finish scraping the whole amount of ginger root. Cut it into chunks.

Garlic bulbs and Garlic cloves

2. Peel garlic and cut each in half if the cloves are very large.
3. Grind the ginger and garlic together, adding little or no water to help in grinding. I always prepare Ginger-Garlic paste in the Food processor, make the job a lot easier. I don’t even need to chop up garlic, or add any water. It does the job quickly and perfectly.

Garlic and ginger in the processor

4. Store in small glass freezer proof air tight food storage containers.
5. Keep one container in the refrigerator and rest in the freezer compartment.
6. As the container in the refrigerator finishes with daily use, take a container out of the freezer and store this in the refrigerator for use.
7. Continue doing this till the whole stock of boxes finishes. You can again make Ginger garlic paste and store it the same way. It comes handy in a lot of dishes from the Indian cuisine.

Garlic bulbs soaking in water for easier and quick peeling

Tip: To peel a large amount of garlic, soak as many garlic heads as you need in just luke warm water for 15-30 minutes. Drain and peel them all. The peels should come off effortlessly.

This post is my contribution to the event Back to Basics originally stated by Jaya, and currently being hosted by Aqua at Served with Love.

Luv,
Mona

Palak Poori

I had learned this recipe during my college days in Hyderabad. I had found it very unique and delicious. I treasure this recipe. Its easy, simple and gets ready quite quickly. Enjoy the poori’s with Rajma curry and you will never forget this dish for its good taste. Enjoy.

Palak Poori – Unleavened Fried Indian Puffed Spinach Bread

Makes approx 15 Pooris

Ingredients:

Wheat flour (Durum Atta) – around 2 cups (You can even use Refined flour/All-Purpose flour if you wish)
Spinach (fresh or frozen) – 300 gms
Yellow Onions – 1 small, chopped
Milk – as needed
Salt – to taste
Small Green chilli – 4, chopped
Canola Oil – to deep fry poori’s

Palak Poori served hot with warmed Rajmah (Red Kidney Bean) Curry

Method:

  • Heat oil in a pan and saute the onions till soft. Add spinach and green chillies, salt and cook well till dry (It is important that the it is pretty dry after you cook it as if left watery, you will not be able to make a proper dough later) Puree into a paste in a food processor of a blender and keep aside.
  • Put 1 cup flour in a bowl. Make a well in the middle and add spinach paste in the center. Use one hand to mix the flour with the added mixture in a rotating motion from the center of the bowl outward, until the dough is moist enough to be gathered into a rough mass. Keep adding extra flour as needed. Sprinkle milk if needed to the dough and continue to knead it. Wet hands and continue until the mixture cleans the sides of the bowl and has become a nonsticky, kneadable green coloured dough. When the dough is kneaded, it will be elastic and silky smooth. To test the dough, press it lightly with a fingertip. If it springs back, it is ready to be rested. Resting the dough is the last step and allows the dough to relax and absorb the water and kneading.

The Prepared Dough

  • Rest for 1/2 hour in warm climates and 1.5 hours in cold climates. Cover with a wet towel so the dough does not dry out. The rested dough is light and springy, less resistant to being rolled out into the thin rounds.
  • Knead dough a little again. Dough should be stiff enough to roll without extra flour.
  • Make small balls (approx 4 cm in diameter) of the dough and cover them with damp cloth.
  • Take one ball of dough and dip a corner of ball in melted ghee or oil and roll it out into 4 to 5 inches round.
  • Repeat the same process to roll out all puri’s.
  • Heat plenty of oil in a kadhai/wok until very hot.
  • Put in a poori and immediately start flickering hot oil over the top of it with a spatula so that it will swell up like a ball.
  • This should take only a few seconds. Flip the poori over and cook the other side until golden brown.
  • Remove with a slotted sppon and stack them vertically untill all are done in a bowl lined with paper towel to absorb the oil.

Suggested Accompaniments: Enjoy the puris along with Red kidney beans curry.

Tip: Store the left-over dough in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator for upto 1 week so that you prepare it again after some days.

Luv,
Mona