having really enjoyed matar paneer in a few indian vegetarian restaurants - including bobby's and shivali in leicester - i was keen to have a go myself. this fairly mild north indian dish is made up of matar or mattar (peas) and paneer (indian cheese) in a lightly spiced tomato based sauce. i'm starting to build up a little spice collection lately and this recipe over at padhu's kitchen looked like the perfect place to start...
♥ 150g paneer cheese
♥ half cup frozen peas
♥ one white onion, chopped
♥ one garlic clove, chopped
♥ one 3cm piece of ginger, chopped
♥ four medium sized tomatoes
♥ 1/4 tsp turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
♥ 2 tsp coriander powder - 2 tsp
♥ 1 tsp very lazy red chillis
♥ 1 tsp garam masala powder
♥ one bay leaf
♥ 1 tsp cumin seeds
♥ salt to taste
(recipe is based on padhu's kitchen with tweaks of my own)
begin by boiling the tomatoes for 2-3 minutes and then peeling and discarding the skin. puree the tomatoes. cut up the paneer into cubes and boil the peas but set them aside ready whilst you make the sauce.
heat oil in a pan and lightly cook the onion with the bay leaf.
add in the chopped ginger and garlic - in the original recipe this was a paste which i didn't have. this smelt so lovely! :)
add in the tomato mix and dry ingredients; turmeric, coriander powder, red chillis or chilli powder and garam masala.
i added in a dash of water and a pinch of salt - though at this point you can add cashew paste too. simmer for ten mins. then add in the paneer and peas with a cup of water and continue to simmer for another ten until the water is absorbed.
the sauce will soon thicken up and the paneer will take on the flavours and colour of the sauce. i think mine looked a little too yellow and maybe needed more tomatoes? thankfully was just the right amount of spice which would have gone well with some natural yogurt.
serve with brown rice - or indian bread such as naan, roti, chapati or paratha! although i'm nowhere near an authentic curry expert, for other vegetarian curries you might like my posts about spinach, chickpea and cauliflower curry or paneer tikka masala.
if you have any paneer recipes - do let me know as i can't get enough of the stuff! x