Archive for March 11th, 2009

Matar Paneer

I was blog surfing a couple of weeks ago and came across this recipe from An Indian Kitchen in France. It is SOOOO good and not nearly as bad for you as the restaurant variety. I made the paneer exactly as Chandra’s recipe, but I admit I made a few modifications to the gravy recipe. Here is a link to Chandra‘s version. Check out her blog, she is a very interesting woman.

Serves 4 (unless your husband loves it as much as mine did and then it serves only 3!)


For the Paneer:

  • 1 liter of whole milk
  • 125 g of whisked yoghurt (I used no fat)
  • 3 tablespoons of lime juice
  1. To make the paneer, boil the milk in a thick-bottomed pan. When it has come to a full boil, turn the heat down very low, add the yogurt and the lime juice, and stir these in thoroughly till the paneer begins to form.

  2. Drain the paneer through a sieve that has been lined with a large, fine piece of cloth. Keep some of the whey by collecting it in a vessel placed under the sieve. You can use this later to add to the curry; some say it adds to the taste, and it is full of good things anyway.
  3. Place the cloth with the paneer in it carefully on a large chopping board, and form it carefully in to a large square shape. Fold the cloth over this, and press the paneer down with a heavy weight (typically a large vessel full of water) that places uniform pressure on all parts of the paneer’s surface, for 20-30 minutes, so that all the excess water drains out and the paneer becomes firm. When the panner seems set, cut it in to 1/2 ” or 1″ squares. Mine turned out a bit loose, so I asked Chandra for some advice, and she elaborate so:
    “To drain the paneer well, I keep the block of paneer pressed under a heavy weight for about 20 minutes on a large chopping board (and wipe/mop away the whey as it drains out on to the board), then turn it over press the other side for another 10 minutes. Over 3-4 attempts, one figures out the balance between not pressing it for long enough, and pressing it too long such that the paneer tends to then go a bit dry.”

For the Gravy:

  • 1 medium sweet onion such as vidalia or mayan chopped
  • 1 cup of stewed plum tomatoes
  • ½ a tsp, or a little more, of grated ginger
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, grated
  • ½ a tsp of ground cumin
  • ½ a tsp or a little more, of coriander powder
  • ½ a tsp of turmeric
  • ½ a tsp of garam masala powder
  • 2 tbsp of cashew paste (or tahini) (this is an optional ingredient)
  • salt to taste
  • 3-4 tbsp of sunflower oil
  1. To make the curry, heat the oil in a frying pan, add the cumin , and when these start to release their aroma put the onions in. Fry these till they start to turn golden brown, then add the ginger and the garlic and fry for another minute.
  2. Add the cashew nut paste and fry the mixture till the onions turn a darkish brown.
  3. Add the tomato purée and cook till everything is well-blended and the puree starts to dry. Add the spices and fry for a further minute.
  4. Now add a cup or a little more of the whey or boiled water, and pressure cook the curry for 5-7 minutes. Cool and refrigerate overnight (may be skipped).
  5. Blend until smooth using an emersion blender. Strain through a fine sieve.
  6. Reheat the next day and cook the mixture until a desired consistency is achieved.
    When the cooker has cooled enough for you to be able to open it easily, add the paneer pieces and simmer the curry for a little while so that the gravy is not runny.

Serve with home made naan.

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