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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Mattar Paneer

This weekend I made my favourite curry dish for the first time: mattar paneer.

It's a vegetarian Punjabi dish, consisting of cubes of indian cheese (paneer) and green peas in a tomato based curry sauce. Delicious.
I used my brother and his family as guinea pigs, then with confidence from my first attempt, made it for my husband for his birthday yesterday. Both times -fantastic. It's simple, and so delicious, and really not that bad for you, as far as curry dishes go. And it's vegetarian...so woot.

And so - here's my recipe for mattar paneer. There's many variations of this out there. I found a few "watch the cook make it" bits on you tube and watched them before I started to get the gist of it. Some Hindi friends from work gave me their versions of it too, so I had a good idea of what I needed to do to make it. It really is pretty simple. I did cheat a bit and used some premade curry paste and tomato paste instead of pureed tomatoes. From what I've been told by my Hindi friends you can vary the curry sauce as you like, adding a bay leaf or a green chili or some chili powder...make it as you like your curry.
You really HAVE to try this, whether when you're out for a curry next, or sitting at home wondering what to make...it's my favourite curry dish.

I bought the paneer cubes from the frozen food section of the local ethnic grocery. (I haven't gotten that good at indian cooking as to make my own paneer yet...)

Ingredients:
I package frozen paneer (thawed)-about 2 cups paneer, 1 cm cubes
1 can tomato paste
2 T medium Pataks curry paste
2 T curry powder
2T cumin
1T turmeric
1t cinnamon
1 T ginger garlic paste
1 large white onion diced small.
2 cups frozen green peas
~2 1/2 c water (give or take)
3 T low fat sour cream or plain yogurt.
a bit of oil for frying

How To:
In a frying pan, brown the paneer in some oil until it is golden on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside.
In a medium saucepan add the peas and ~ 2 c water and bring the peas just to a boil. Turn off heat and set aside.
In the frying pan from the paneer, add a bit more oil and saute the onions and garlic until the onions are clear and start to caramelize. Then add the curry paste and spices and simmer 1 minute. Add the other spices and stir a minute, then add the tomato paste and rest of water and simmer a minute until it is all mixed together. Remove from heat and add to the peas and water.
Return the curry and peas to heat and bring the sauce to a boil. Add a bit of water if needed to get a nice thick curry sauce. Let simmer 5 minutes. Stir in the paneer and simmer another 10 minutes. Right before serving, stir in sour cream/yogurt (optional - it's how I like my curry...it's not necessary)
Serve with white basmati rice and some naan bread.

Go on...you'll love it.

1 comments:

PassionateGreen said...

What a great site! That dish looks delicious.

Thanks for dropping by and commenting! :-)