Saturday, July 30, 2011

Paneer Curry with Peas

One of my favorite Indian recipes to make is Butter Paneer Masala. It is just so good. I could eat it every day for the rest of my life. Paneer is delicious. I LOVE PANEER. But I saw this recipe and thought maybe I would try it out. Maybe I'd deviate a little from the usual butter paneer.

Well, in actuality this recipe is not so different. It has peas in it. No cashews. Some different spices. I didn't use the usli ghee because it was too expensive at Wegmans. So this was pretty good. I can't say it was better than the butter paneer, because it just wasn't. But it was still very good!! With some microwave rice and some naan, it was a wonderful meal.

paneer

Paneer Curry with Peas
Bon Appetit, April 2010

Paneer, a fresh, mild Indian cheese, stands in for the meat in this delicious vegetarian main course. When you're shopping for the peas, look for fresh shelling peas (sometimes called English peas) that have vibrant green pods full of small round peas. Larger peas are sometimes starchy instead of sweet and crisp.

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pound paneer or firm or extra-firm tofu, cut into 3/4- to 1-inch cubes
5 tablespoons usli ghee, divided
1 large onion, cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 serrano chile, minced with seeds
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes with added puree
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 cups shelled fresh peas (from about 1 1/2 pounds peas in pods) or 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Steamed basmati rice

1. Place flour in medium bowl. Add paneer to bowl; toss to coat with flour. Heat 2 tablespoons ghee in heavy large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Shake excess flour from paneer; add to skillet and cook until browned in spots, turning occasionally, about 4 minutes. Transfer paneer to plate; set aside. Reserve skillet.

2. Place onion pieces in processor. Using on/off turns, process until finely chopped but not watery. Heat remaining 3 tablespoons ghee in reserved skillet over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and stir until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add chopped onion and cook until beginning to brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add minced ginger, minced garlic, ground coriander, and minced serrano chile with seeds; stir 1 minute. Add crushed tomatoes with puree, 1/2 cup water, and turmeric; bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium low; cover and simmer until mixture thickens slightly and flavors blend, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

3. Add shelled fresh peas and cooked paneer; gently fold to incorporate evenly. Cook mixture over medium-low heat until peas are tender and paneer is heated through, folding occasionally, about 5 minutes. Fold in garam masala and cilantro. Season curry to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with steamed basmati rice.

Ingredient Tips: Paneer, a fresh cow's milk or buffalo's-milk cheese, and usli ghee (clarified butter; also called ghee) are sold at some natural foods stores and at Indian markets. If you can't find paneer, then tofu, chicken, shrimp, or scallops would also work well in this recipe. Clarified butter or vegetable oil can be used in place of the ghee. Garam masala is a curry spice blend that's available in the spice section of many supermarkets, at Indian markets, and from thespicehouse.com. add your own note

Servings: 6

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