Monday, April 17, 2006

Repentant Breakfast - Paneer Bhurji

paneer bhurji

Paneer Bhurji with toast

"I knew it! You were blogging, weren't you?"

I turn to see my son standing in the doorway of the office room. He has this accusing look on his face (or so it seems to me)

"You are always on the computer, mom!, I can't even use it anymore"!!

I can remember the days when the shoe was on the other foot, so as to speak. I would be the one catching him hogging the computer all the time.

My family thinks that I am addicted to blogging. I have to guiltily admit that I too think that I am. I am always running upstairs to check my blog for comments or respond to comments. I cannot pass by the office room without checking the computer.

Picture this: Family Movie Night - we are sprawled on the floor watching a movie with the kids. We take a break to make some popcorn. As the kernels pop in the microwave, I quickly slip upstairs to check my blog. I come back thinking no one would have noticed, but the smell of burnt popcorn in the microwave tells my sorry story. How was I to know that the popcorn setting on the microwave does not work for these new mini-bags that we picked up?

"You went upstairs to check your blog didn't you"? is the unspoken question hanging heavily in the air. I furtively throw the burnt bag away and put a fresh one in, thinking that no one will notice and sit back down to watch the rest of the movie.

It used to be, that my first activity on waking up would be to go downstairs and make a good cup of chai. Darn it, I had even blogged about this! These days, my first activity is to go to the computer and check my blog - sometimes even before I brush my teeth!!

There was one day when I was so busy blogging, I didn't realize how much time had passed and I *ahem* forgot to make dinner!!

I can almost see the headlines in the newspaper:

"Suburban mom forgets to feed kids as she shoots pictures of food"

"Starving kids wonder if aliens abducted their mom and substituted a photo fiend from planet Blogcury in her place"

Dear fellow bloggers, am I alone in my near fanatic desire to blog all the time? How much time do you spend blogging?

Is there help for people like me? Is there a "Bloggers Anonymous" ?

Anyways, back to the story. After the Family Movie Night fiasco, I made them a good breakfast the next day. My version of "Paneer Bhurji". This is quick dish despite the fact that it is made from scratch.

I think they forgave me after eating this :-)

paneer bhurji breakfast

Paneer Bhurji


4 cups of 2% or whole milk (1 cup per person)
1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice
1/2 small white onion, chopped very fine
1 tbsp oil
2 green chillies, chopped
1/2 tsp jeera seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp asafoetida powder
cilantro leaves for garnish
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Add the turmeric powder and salt to the milk. Mix well.
  2. Heat the milk in a microwave safe bowl till it starts to bubble and almost boil over. For 4 cups of milk, for me, it takes 7-8 minutes in a 1000 watt m/w oven.
  3. Slowly add the vinegar. Be very careful as sometimes the pent up steam can cause the milk to bubble over.
  4. The milk should start to curdle and break into small chunks of cheese.
  5. Step 2 can also be done over a gas/electric stove if preferred. I just like the convenience of the microwave and ease of cleanup.
  6. Line a tea strainer or small colander with a coffee filter and strain the milk cheese through it. Let this drain while you get the other ingredients ready. You can also press with the back of a spoon to squeeze more of the whey out.
  7. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a saucepan.
  8. When the oil is hot, add the jeera and then the asafoetida.
  9. When the jeera seeds sizzle, add the chopped onions and green chillies.
  10. Fry the onions till they are translucent.
  11. Add the milk cheese mixture and fry for a few minutes to incorporate well.
  12. Add salt and pepper to taste
  13. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro leaves and serve.

Variations: You can add more veggies if you wish. I avoid tomatoes as that will make the bhurji soggy, but capsicum, peas, carrots would be good choices. You can also add garam masala to spike it up a bit. My family likes this fairly plain, so that's how I make it.

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At Mon Apr 17, 10:09:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Shvetha said...

Bloggers anon haan..not a bad idea..but wud they allow ppl like me who don't write blogs but spend all their time reading others', to join??!

Awesome post, as usual.

At Mon Apr 17, 10:20:00 PM 2006, Blogger Santhi said...

awwwwwwwwww I am here to share the exact same thoughts with u..

Hubby dear thinks the only thing I do after Taking care o daughter and office is blog.

I have been accused of cooking with JUST because I NEED to get the pics for the blog and that i DONNOT cook with LOVE any more...:):):):)

This blogging has become a consuming addiction that I am enjoying to my hearts content :):):):)

If u are starting Blogger Anonymous, count me in as a member for sure..:))))))

At Mon Apr 17, 11:22:00 PM 2006, Blogger MM said...

LOL, hilarious! Too funny and true. I'm glad I cook and live by myself of sorts as I only amuse my housemate but no one has to suffer with cold food or being ignored!

I for one am grateful you spend so much time on the computer blogging.

At Mon Apr 17, 11:47:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Manisha said...

He! he! So you're a blogaholic! Welcome, Saffron Hut!

Quick question: doesn't the milk curdle/separate/split (literal translation) when you heat it with salt? I had a chicken recipe with milk that my Sardaran friend made so well. It never worked for me cos the milk would separate as soon as I added it.

At Mon Apr 17, 11:50:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Manisha said...

Arrrgh! Remind me to read the whole recipe before jumping in with a question. I didn't realize you were making the paneer! I think I need help now!!

At Mon Apr 17, 11:55:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Nabeela said...

wow....looks and indira(from mahanandi)are among the best photographers and food presenters on the indian food blogging part of the world..i'll be making this dish very a big carton of whole milk in the fridge:)

At Tue Apr 18, 02:44:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Pria Balasubramaniam said...

Saffron - take pleasure in knowing that there are many silent lurkers like me, who check your blog (frequently ... erm ... too frequently ... ) just to look at your pictures. Your work is amazing - and your kids just need to get used to the idea ... but please ... keep em coming ... WE are the true addicts ...

At Tue Apr 18, 03:33:00 AM 2006, Blogger Nandita said...

Count me into the Blogoholics list- My husband even double checks if I need to click photos-before he can get his hand onto the food-lest he spoil the ahem..arrangements

It's like I've discovered some newfound love- I don't know if this addiction sticks around for too long or fizzles out in due course -must ask the people who have been food blogging for some years now-

Nice simple recipe Saffron...but your intro this time is more ponder worthy :D How much of blogging a day is good for health???

At Tue Apr 18, 03:54:00 AM 2006, Blogger LERA said...

Hey Saffron Hut, wonderful thoughts...isn't it great to know that you manage to inspire someone to recreate your delicious recipes :)

At Tue Apr 18, 04:07:00 AM 2006, Blogger shammi said...

you and me both, Saffron Hut... you and me both! :) Dont worry, plenty of people in the same boat so there's lots of company to sink or swim with :D

Oh, did I mention what a great photo this is? As always.

At Tue Apr 18, 05:06:00 AM 2006, Blogger Mahek said...

i am very sincere reader of your blog although i might not always comment , today i could not but comment as i totally agree with you about being addicted to blogging i feel exactly the same way and do exactly the same things.
for me blogging has been a life changing experience and i love every moment of it.
i would as i have said earlier take photos as great as yours but just cannot . anyway i love taking photos so thats goodenough!!!
nice to see such lovely photos and food.

At Tue Apr 18, 05:28:00 AM 2006, Blogger sailu said...

Oh,your not alone,SH.As long as the kids are enjoys mama's food and as long as your enjoying what you do and as long as your blog visitors love and appreciate your recipes and just doesnt matter..:)

At Tue Apr 18, 05:28:00 AM 2006, Blogger sailu said...

And did I mention ..great pictures as always..:):)

At Tue Apr 18, 06:24:00 AM 2006, Blogger Tanuja said...

Hi SH,

I hope all the blogger's face the same think. but its a wonderful feeling what ever we cook for our family with lots of love and care we are lucky to share those moments with friends. Ur such a nice cook and perfect photographer love to see ur snaps:)

At Tue Apr 18, 06:41:00 AM 2006, Blogger RP said...

What an easy and quick way for making paneer from the scratch. You are right about blogging. I think I spent more time reading others' blogs. My older daughter questioned me a few times too, and good for me, my one year old haven't started talking yet. Otherwise she would be accusing me for not paying enough attention to her. Poor baby! She is crying for my attention right now. Gotta go.....

At Tue Apr 18, 06:44:00 AM 2006, Blogger Garam Masala said...

lol... SH, don't feel alone in your addiction. I was not able to blog this past week and it took most of my energy to focus on the task in front of me.

Yes, we do need a support group don't we?

At Tue Apr 18, 06:45:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made the same bhurji with tofu,healthy,and the indian spices cover up the bland taste of tofu very well.

At Tue Apr 18, 06:51:00 AM 2006, Blogger Safran said...

Hi Saffron Hut! I'm writing from Turkey...I have a cooking blog too (it is in Turkish). I like to visit different blogs about cooking like yours...I'm happy because of the similarity of our names...My blog's name is Safran Mutfakta (Saffron in the Kitchen) :). If you want to visit, it's address is: ( You can find a lot of Turkish kitchen samples but as I said before everything in my blog is in Turkish, If you like any recipe picture of mine, I can sent you the recipe in English...Meanwhile, I love your recipes and I'm a blogaholic too, I check my comments and blog every time :)) Best regards, see you...:)

At Tue Apr 18, 06:58:00 AM 2006, Blogger Priya said...

:) That was a good one 'Hon... And why wudnt u be addicted ur blog is the most popular one with some of the best photographs and recipes. I have to tell u this, i checked your blog all most 3 - 4 times yday to check if u have posted any recipe and this mornin while having my coffee (8.00a.m) i checked again , DAMN ! there is this paneer bhurji post and some hundreds of comments already !!!! this shows there are lot of ppl like me and like u r addicted to blogging ;) .. but then why wont we JEEEZ they are so informative, get too learn so many varieties of cuisines, even a culinary school wont do half the justice..
Btw the paneer bhurji looks awesome. Iam sure the kids loved it and they dont mind u blogging as long as they are treated with lotsa goodies like this.

At Tue Apr 18, 07:16:00 AM 2006, Blogger Luv2cook said...

Hey SH:

I agree with you and Santhi here. My better half thinks that I cook him food JUST so I can BLOG about it. :) :)

At Tue Apr 18, 07:38:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Pavani said...

Hi Saffron Hut,

I love to read your blogs more for the write having said that, I also enjoy reading your recipes. You are very creative and the pictures are just mind-blowing. Great work. Your family must be proud of you. Congrats on a great blog. Paneer Bhurji looks very appetizing.

At Tue Apr 18, 07:41:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well...I am no blogger...But I am so addicted to see ur blog everyday.Not one day passes by..!
Fabulous work indeed.

At Tue Apr 18, 08:03:00 AM 2006, Blogger KrishnaArjuna said...

I guess blogging is addictive :-) but in a good sense. Bhurji looks delicious with awsome pictures(the usual)!!

At Tue Apr 18, 08:13:00 AM 2006, Blogger BDSN said...

well this addiction can be's like buying a new dress or a new something...u tend to get addicted,obsessed with it until u r totally sick of it....but iam sure u r not going to get sick of blogging bcoz everyday is something new and interesting....

At Tue Apr 18, 09:25:00 AM 2006, Blogger Revathi said...

Count me in.. I really identify myself to becoming an addict to blogging. I keep checking the blogs again and again and again... Ya is this too much of a good thing ???

At Tue Apr 18, 09:47:00 AM 2006, Blogger Meeta said...

Hey SH,
Yup we all are in the same boat. As A matter of fact I commented on the same thing last week on my blog
The Family Buzz.
Great minds think a like I guess eh?

At Tue Apr 18, 09:59:00 AM 2006, Blogger SNP said...


Nice blog with great pictures.
I have a question though. The flowers in the picture...what are those? Are they some kind of jasmine?


At Tue Apr 18, 10:00:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Priya said...

Hey Saffron...just as Priya has commented..there are sooo many ppl who keep refreshing ur page to look for new posts...its like..."ok..2 days and no new shud b coming sometime now..keep refreshing the page!!" and when I get to it..there are already 20 odd comments ...:-( ...I wish I got alerts abt a new post...!!! and I being a non-blogger and a MS student need to be more worried abt my addiction...I spend soo much time reading blogs that I am now consciously having to make an effort to hold back and give schedules for blog surfing..!!!!I have hooked a couple of my frnds to ur blog too..and the worst thing is when they perpare a recipe from blogs ..I can look at it and tell them who blogged abt it...!!! ( and I am actually PROUD of it...God Save Me...:-).. )
Happy Blogging ..!!

At Tue Apr 18, 11:20:00 AM 2006, Blogger Kitchenmate said...

Saffron: This picture is so cool and very thoughtful indeed, Tea, breakfast and especially crossword (half filled and a pen!!!). I loved it as always:) I would love to try it sometime, but these days i am gaining pounds and have to control my cooking habits though:(
Definitely you are not alone:) Though my kid is not questioning me, but hubby quite often gives me you-are-blogging-24/7 look, which makes me go guity. I used to have my home spark clean all time and i am proud of it too. I had regular schedule of cleaning, laundry, but these days i am postponing let-me-do-it-little-later.
Now I am definitely thinking abt some alternative. We are sailing on the same boat.Any idea would be appreciated and keep your blog coming:) since we love yours alot:)

At Tue Apr 18, 11:26:00 AM 2006, Blogger Vineela said...

Hi SF,
As u said blogging is really addictive.Its like a ocean.But i enjoy that coz we r sharing our thoghts ,recipes,culture.
Ur paneer bhurji is nice.Let me try.

At Tue Apr 18, 12:37:00 PM 2006, Blogger Saffron said...

Hey All! Good to know that I am not alone in this addiction :-)

I am so happy with all the responses voicing the same thoughts.

I have been thinking about designating one day of the week (Friday probably) as a "blog-free" day for me. What do you think? Too drastic? Will we survive? will the call of the Blog be too strong to resist??


At Tue Apr 18, 12:54:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Vee said...

oh dear...its been just 2 months since I started blogging and I totally identify with you. My kids don't talk yet but if look could kill,I would be dead a hundred times over by now...
I am afraid they will grow up thinking it is some kind of ritual to photograph food before eating it...
You are talking about 1 blog-free day?...I am going to india for a couple of months and am already missing blogging :(....I am beyond repair

At Tue Apr 18, 01:24:00 PM 2006, Blogger Ashwini said...

SH you forgot to mention the dents in the pocket part of blogging. How we just need to have the idli steamer that Indira has or bake a cake that Clotilde did :-)
I think Bloggers Anon would put us all back into the real world where noone gives a hoot what we make for lunch or dinner. Scared?! I know I am!

At Tue Apr 18, 04:22:00 PM 2006, Blogger Lakshmi said...

ya, it's addictive SH. I feel the same way. Starting I felt good, but now, i am just addicted to it.

At Tue Apr 18, 10:26:00 PM 2006, Blogger archana said...

Hi SH,
I am a blogger newbie, and here is one pretty stupid question for you. How did you get catagories on your side bar? Meanwhile do check out my blog.
Thank you

At Wed Apr 19, 09:36:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I check your blog and Mahanandi frequently and then carried away when I see another blogger and go to their sites etc... so I end up spending more time than anticipated! I must admit I don't just drool over the pics - have tried a couple of your recipes - they all just look too good! who wouldn't want to try it all? I'm not a blogger but if I were, I would have no free time for anything else I am sure! I'm just glad that you make all the effort and post your items and great pics... I am sure other readers will echo me in saying " WE REALLY APPRECIATE IT!" and pleeezzz don't get rid of our "fix"! :)
thanks! ABA (p.s. another great blog!)

At Thu Apr 20, 08:40:00 AM 2006, Blogger Reshma said...

crossword puzzle,garam chai in a heartwarming deep red cup, hyacinth flowers and Paneer! May I come over for breakfast pleaseeee? inspiring pic, !

At Thu Apr 20, 01:54:00 PM 2006, Blogger Kay said...

:) You caught the blog fever too, didnt you? LOL! More than the posts, it the comments from the wonderful blog friends that keep me addicted.

SF, Take breaks from blogging once in a while... after two such small breaks, you'll slow down with your blog posts... and then there will be no more guilt associated with blogging and you'll start enjoying it without going overboard. This is what I do, if I catch myself getting too-much-involved-with-my-blog ;)

Sometimes, I make myself a curfew time - say, 2 hrs... that counts the sneak peak in the morning too.

At Fri Apr 21, 11:50:00 AM 2006, Blogger RP said...

Hmmm.... Kay, this is not fair. You are suggesting Saffronhut to take a break?? Here is a million fans of her checking this place several times in a day to see if she has added something new.
SH, even if you take a break, don't make it too long.

At Fri Apr 21, 02:09:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Meena said...

Lovely pic SH! I love anything made from Paneer!!

PS: I have linked to your blog as a favourite. Hope you drop by my space! :o)

At Sat Apr 22, 03:10:00 AM 2006, Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi. Unfortunately (for me) you're not the only one. I was wondering if you could tell me what jeera seeds are/what they taste like. I've never heard of them.

At Sat Apr 22, 01:48:00 PM 2006, Blogger starry nights said...

You are not alone, I do the same ,always either checking for comments or reading other peoples blogs.But please dont stop.I just love everything u post.

At Sun Apr 23, 02:22:00 PM 2006, Blogger Fran said...

Beautiful blog! Just found your posts & love this place. Thanks!

At Sun Apr 23, 04:24:00 PM 2006, Blogger Saffron said...

snp The flowers are hyachinth. They are bulbs that are planted in the fall and are usually the first flowers to come up in spring. They have a mild jasmine frangrance.

Susan, Jeera is also known as cumin seeds - very common in indian cooking. here is a link to the spice description. You can omit from this recipe if you wish.

ALL Thanks so much for the nice guys sure have put a smile in my day and a spring in my step!!

At Mon Apr 24, 03:21:00 PM 2006, Blogger Faffer said...

Have you ever considered food photography as a career? If you haven't, I think you should.

At Wed May 17, 06:24:00 PM 2006, Blogger Melissa CookingDiva said...

They are beautiful, I have loved each one of your photos! Thank you for visiting my blog :)
A big hug from Panama!

At Sat May 27, 10:18:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last night I went with my friends for a w(h)ine and dine outing. The family sulked about that. Even though I didn't repent this outing, I made this bhurji for brunch today. Everyone loved it!

BTW, made the shamosas (which my son calls open-faced-samosas). They came out perfect!

At Wed Sep 27, 01:16:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Blog. I have tried a lot of your recipes. My favorite is the Broccli soup. I used to do the typical way with spice bag and everything but not anymore. How do you eat this Paneer Bhurji? Just by iteself or does it goalong with something real good. The picture is really tempting and I want to try it. Thanks.


At Sun Nov 19, 09:37:00 AM 2006, Anonymous orange said...

Dear Saffron Hut,
I just tried out your Paneer Bhurji and I loved it - great for a lazy, late sunday breakfast. I discovered your blog a few days ago and I only can repeat the other comments... very beautiful pictures and mouth-watering recipes... I think I'll become a regular guest here :)
With greetings from Germany

At Sun Dec 03, 04:18:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi people
I do not know what to give for Christmas of the to friends, advise something ....

At Fri Dec 29, 05:13:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So long, I hope, that it is the beginning only, and you will plea
- g
spaghetti alla carbonara

At Fri Mar 16, 03:14:00 AM 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very cool design! Useful information. Go on! film editing classes

At Mon Jul 09, 10:40:00 AM 2007, Blogger Lubna said...

Hi Saffron Hut,
Me too...I'm addicted to blogging and surfing other food blogs, day in and day out...the laptop standing ground on the kitchen island says it all ;)

At Fri Nov 16, 08:15:00 PM 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! My name is Project 71. Weird name I know, but my masters are weird too. My masters apologize for such an out-of-context comment and they know how painful such spamlike comments are. But, say masters, how else are we to present something good to the world. By that they mean me :D. Kindly see what I am about. Won't take you more than 22s to read... Enjoyy!

At Tue Sep 30, 12:38:00 AM 2008, Anonymous Ali said...

Good Job! :)

At Fri Oct 17, 03:49:00 AM 2008, Anonymous Ashwin said...

Wow paneer Bhurji ha.. Love it

At Thu Nov 20, 04:26:00 PM 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Saffron,
Just thought of saying hi. I miss your posts for sure. The photos you have in this post are my all time favorites in this blog. Be happy and please keep taking beautiful photos

Archana from Spicyana


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