Muttar Paneer

June 18, 2007 · 1 comment · Print This Post

in Dinner, Vegetarian

The Princess and the Paneer

I love Home Goods, it’s a gigantic store full of my favorite things that are usually relegated to four tiny aisles that you have to fight your way through at T.J. Maxx. Right before our move back to the city I was browsing around the store and I found these adorable pink canisters along with a Nigella Lawson cookbook. While flipping through Nigella Bites I realized just how much I adore her. She’s so incredibly full of life and sparkle and her recipes are homey and comforting. I’ve also been extremely intrigued by many of the Indian dishes that I’ve either read about or watched her cook on television so I finally decided to give one a try.

I Told You They Were Cute
I Told You They Were Cute
Domestic Goddess Advice
Domestic Goddess Advice

The first item on the agenda was to find paneer for the Muttar Paneer. Thankfully I live practically right on top of Whole Foods now so my quest for this decidedly non American ingredient was a snap. Back in the kitchen I had a pretty harrowing time frying the paneer. Unless you have a splatter guard I wouldn’t recommend using the amount of vegetable oil called for in the recipe. I’d either use a much smaller amount or “dry fry” it. My difficulties may also have arisen from the fact that this is the first time in several years that I’ve cooked with gas heat. I love how hot it is, but my timing is completely off now. Silly electric ovens. After cooking the paneer the rest of the steps are very simple and I really enjoyed the earthy spicy flavor of the end product. Peas may be the main ingredient in this dish, but don’t be fooled as Muttar Paneer is extremely filling and can definitely be eaten as a stand alone meal. Plus it even holds up well when reheated.

Process
Process
Dissolve
Dissolve
Fry (Look Out!)
Fry (Look Out!)
Set:  Pretty Pretty Paneer
Set: Pretty Pretty Paneer
Saute
Saute
Add Spice
Add Spice
Heat the Peas
Heat the Peas
Simmer
Simmer
Dish
Dish
Dine
Dine

Muttar Paneer (Originally published by Nigella Lawson)

1/2 cup vegetable oil
8 ounces paneer, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 onion, halved
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1-inch piece ginger, roughly chopped
Sprinkling of salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 (10-ounce) packets frozen peas
1 teaspoon tomato puree
1 cup vegetable stock

Heat the oil a large skillet and add the paneer cubes, in 2 batches, and fry until they are golden. Remove the golden cubes to a double thickness of kitchen towel. (It is possible to dry fry the paneer cubes in the pan with no oil, to avoid the oil splashing you. Then continue with the recipe below.)Pour all but about 2 tablespoons of the oil out of the pan. Put the onion, garlic cloves, and ginger into a food processor and blitz to a coarse pulp. Fry gently for about 5 minutes with a sprinkling of salt. Stir in the garam masala and turmeric and cook for another 2 minutes before adding the still frozen peas.

Dissolve the tomato puree in the vegetable stock and pour over the contents of the pan. Stir again and turn the heat down to low, cover with foil or a lid and cook for 15 minutes, tasting to check that the peas are tender. You can cook muttar paneer up to this stage, if you like, uncovering and then reheating gently with the diced, oil-crisped cheese, or proceed directly now.

In which case, take off the foil and add the paneer cubes to warm them through before serving.

Pretty Pretty Paneer

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 melissa June 18, 2007 at 10:00 pm

ZOMG! I love curried anything + paneer. It’s not hard to make yourself, you know.

We almost always sub tofu in ours though, since Aaron is on a low-fat kick and it’s our main source of protein at our house anyway.

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