Saturday, February 18, 2012

Mutter Paneer

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
Mutter Paneer is one of my favorite vegetarian Indian dish. I serve this usually as a side dish with saffron and cadamom rice together with Moroccan Chiken or Lamb stew. The recipe has a long list of spices but as the author says, as long as you have everything ready, then this dish will prove to be really easy to prepare. Paneer is a major ingredient in the dish which can be made easily or bought ready made. An option is extra firm tofu but it doesn't have the delicate flavor that real paneer has. 

Cubed paneer
Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
Given the limited availability of spices in Bozeman, I have made some minor substitutions based on what is available in my pantry and the stores here in town. I will note the changes by indicating what I used and what was written in the recipe. This way, if you do have the actual spice, you can use it as was originally intended.

Mutter Paneer - Adapted*

4 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp ground mustard (1 tsp mustard seeds)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
1 dried red chili
4 cloves
1/4 tsp cardamom seeds( 4 cardamom pods)
2 tsp ginger, grated
1 jalapeno, deseeded and diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp hot chili powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp ground coriander and cumin powder (dhanajeera)
2 tsp brown sugar
4 tomatoes, diced
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups paneer, cubed
14-15 oz frozen green peas
1/4 cup water
4 tbsp yogurt (4 tbsp creme fraiche)
salt and pepper

1. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat and fry the cubed paneer 
    until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside. On the same 
    pan, add the cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, dried red chili, cloves and 
    cardamom seeds. Stir fry until fragrant. 

2. Add the onions and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add the ginger, diced 
    jalapeno, garlic, chili powder, garam masala, turmeric powder, 
    dhanajeera, brown sugar, and ground mustard. Stir well. 

3. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste and water. Bring to a boil. Cover 
    and lower the temperature and simmer for 5 minutes. 

4. Return the paneer and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add the peas and simmer 
    until bright green. Check for flavor and season with salt and pepper.  

5. Serve hot garnished with cilantro leaves. 

*Vijayakar, Sunil, 30 Minute Indian, Laurel Glen Publishing, San Diego: 2000.

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