Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mattar (Green Pea) Paneer

A couple of weekends ago the fella and I went to visit some friends in Milwaukee to catch up, meet their newest bull mastiff and go bulk food shopping. As a result much fun was had and we came home with a gallon of marinated artichoke hearts, a barrel of kalamata olives and 5 pounds of paneer to list only a few items of bulk insanity. Artichokes and olives have therefor been making a lot of appearances in our cooking as of late. Being the curry freaks we are I figured that paneer would be gone in no time. Turns out finding interesting dishes other than saag paneer is more difficult than one would think. Fortunately we are resourceful and the Internet is on our side.

When I put the fella in charge of finding something delicious to make involving paneer he stumbled upon the rather interesting site of Indian Food Forever. Any Indian dish you've ever wanted to make is there and easy to find but the recipes are like a scavengers hunt of randomness. The ingredient lists are not in any logical order and the instructions call for the already mangled ingredient list willy nilly. So it's a good Indian cooking research with recipes that need to be translated into something usable before cooking, you've been warned.

At first green pea and paneer curry sounded a little dubious. But as the chef and I sat on the couch writing and let the fella do the cooking we started to smell the awesome that was emanating from the kitchen. It was about then I stopped doubting dinner would be delicious and started wishing dinner was ready.

It was a nice change to eat something this fabulous without having to be involved in it's creation, the chef and I both agreed. The fella had a huge dinner success and got to carry around the smug look of someone who made the two resident foodies coo over a perfectly spicy Indian dinner. Though we have now officially started to play with the somewhat scary precedent of trying to one up one another in making spicy food. I made a kidney bean curry with three jalapenos, the fella paneer with 4 serranos and I can only imagine what the chef will do with 5 chilies when it's his turn to cook. I'm sure it will be wonderful if dangerously spicy

Mattar Paneer

2 medium onions, chopped (divided use)
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon ground coriander

1/2 cup ghee or coconut oil
1 pound Paneer

1 tablespoon ginger, grated
4 bay leaves

1 tablespoon turmeric powder

1pound shelled green peas
3 green chilies, chopped
4 medium tomatoes, peeled and sliced
1cup plain yogurt

1 cups water

In the food processor make a paste out of one of the onions, the garlic and the coriander.

Heat the ghee or coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cut the paneer into 2 inch cubes. Fry the paneer to light brown then remove to a plate.

Add the remaining onion, ginger and bay leaves to the oil in the pan and fry until the onion is golden brown. Then add the turmeric and the onion paste mixture and fry about another 5 minutes.

Add the paneer, peas, yogurt, chili, tomato and salt to taste. Stir for 5-6 minutes over low heat until well combined.

Pour in the water and simmer gently for 20 minutes or until the sauce thickens a bit. Serve the matar paneer sprinkled with garam masala and coriander if you like.

Original recipe from IndianFoodForever.

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