Since consuming shallots (small onions, sambhar onions, Bombay onions, or whatever you call it) in summer is supposed to be good, I tried tweaking a traditional paneer recipe using shallots, and loved the outcome. Perhaps you'd like to try it too.
1 1/2 cups shallots, peeled
1 large onion, peeled and diced into large pieces
4 carrots, diced into large pieces
3 large tomatoes, quartered
4 green chillies
A 1-inch cube of ginger, peeled
A 1-inch long piece of cinnamon
2 teaspoons chilli powder
2 teaspoons garam masala
4 tablespoons refined oil
Salt, according to taste
Finely chopped coriander leaves, for garnishing
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a cooking pan, add the cinnamon, cardamom and cloves, and fry for a minute.
2. Add the ginger, green chillies, cubed onions, tomatoes and carrots, and saute for 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of water, close the vessel and cook on low flame for around 10 minutes, stirring once or twice in between.
3. Allow to cool, and then grind in a mixer-grinder.
4. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a kadai, and saute the shallots till golden brown in colour.
5. Add the chilli powder and fry for around 30 seconds.
6. Add the ground paste and required salt, and continue cooking on low flame for around 10 minutes till the fragrance creeps into your nostrils and excites your gastronomic juices!
7. Add the garam masala, simmer and cook for a minute.
8. Remove from fire, garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves, and serve hot with puri. For a North-meets-South combo, serve with aappam!