Friday, 14 October 2011

Muttar Paneer

There is nothing better then a curry, whether it be homemade or takeaway, each has a time and a place. Their simplicity and throw-it-all-in-and-see-what-happens style makes them the perfect choice for the experimental cook. In regards to the curry recipes I’ve seen in cookery books, my top choice is Gizzi’s Kitchen Magic, as one reader commented, not the most trust worthy of names, but she sure does have some lovely and more unusual recipes. You may remember her Afghan Yoghurt Curry I made a few months back, well it was delicious, and I had high hopes for the Muttar Paneer Curry that I tried next.

Now my knowledge of vegetarian curries stretches little further then the obligatory butternut squash variety, which is great and all that, but gets a bit boring after a while. This curry uses paneer as the star ingredient, an Indian cheese with a squeaky likeness to halloumi. The cheese is fried until golden brown and then added to a delicious homemade curry paste (so simple to make and useable as a base for any curry) as well as peas. The mild sauce allows the sweetness of the peas to burst out with every mouthful and the cheese adds texture, making it a great alternative to tofu. Gizzi also suggests serving the dish with a naan rather then rice, a welcome change in my opinion.

Slightly adapted from Gizzi’s Kitchen Magic
Serves 2
1 tbsp vegetable oil
125g Paneer cheese
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
150ml vegetable stock
150g frozen peas
naan bread
-For the Curry Paste-
1 tbsp vegetable oil
½ onion, peeled and chopped
1.5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
pinch of garam masala
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
  1. Put all the ingredients for the curry paste into a blender and mix to a paste.
  2. Add the oil to a pan over a medium heat, then fry the paneer until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on some kitchen paper.
  3. Add the paste to the pan and fry for 5 minutes, until it starts to brown a little. Add the stock and tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes until thickened. Add the paneer and the peas and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Season, and serve with naan bread.

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