Monday, February 7, 2011
Yay, I'm finally here with a paneer recipe! I know a lot of you made it last week and I was starting to get emails that went "what the heck do I do with the paneer that I just made? Is a recipe coming anytime soon?" So folks here's the recipe for Matar Paneer. Sorry it took me so long and as usual I can give you the same old lame excuse that things kept me busy and I did'nt get time and la la la... but in reality I was trying to make good use of the paneer that I had worked so hard for and so I was waiting for the right day. Then came Super Bowl Sunday and I grabbed it!
So tell me how was the game for you last night? Are you one of those crazy fans who live and breathe football and wait for the Super Bowl Sunday for the whole year? Or perhaps more like me who also look forward to the day for the whole year but mostly because of the feast and buzz part of it? Our evening was perfect. I didn't care much about the game personally although a few people in the family did, BIG TIME!! But yes, there was a feast and I loved it! There were a lot of things on the menu and a lot of leftovers still in the fridge which I can't wait to finish up before the husband comes back from work but let's just stick with the Matar Paneer here!
Matar is a hindi name for peas and paneer as you know is Indian cottage cheese and when they are cooked together in a creamy and rich curry sauce its called Matar Paneer. There were a few very good and important questions that you had for me about paneer when I posted the homemade recipe for it, so I first want to address those.
Cook Snap Repeat asked: How much cheese does this recipe end up making? And, just out of curiosity, can you do anything with the liquid that is left?
The posted recipe makes about 180-200 grams of paneer. When cubed I got about 2 cups. I use the left out liquid to make dough for roti, naan, and even pizza dough. You'll be amazed how soft the bread comes out to be.
Rella asked: Do you happen to know if using lactose-free milk will still work with this method of making paneer?
As far as I know, yes you can. But I have never tried it, so do let me know how it works out for you.
Gaia asked: Is it something like the middle eastern Labna?
I am not really sure about Labna. But I'd love to know more about it and if any of the readers know Middle Eastern food well, then please share and I will update this space.
Squirrel Bread asked: Can I assume you started with whole milk? I have 2% right now -- do you think that'd work?
Yes, for this particular recipe I started with whole milk but I have made paneer with 2% and even skimmed milk in the past. It works absolutely fine and paneer is soft.
This is not exactly a question but a tip from someone who didn't mention their name but I thought I would share:
I have been making Paneer for about a year now! This is a very typical recipe for making it. For some variety, try adding some chopped chives or some Indian spice to the milk just as it starts to curdle.
Alright let's get to the recipe, shall we?
Ingredients: Serves 8
2 cups of cubed paneer
1/2 pound of sweet green peas (frozen or fresh)
1 cup onion paste
1 tbsp ginger paste
1tbsp garlic paste
1 1/2 cups tomato puree (you can even used canned tomatoes or fresh diced tomatoes. They just need to be cooked a little longer to melt with the masala)
1 1/2 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp green chili paste (optional) I don't use it since I have a toddler at home. You can make it spicy according to your liking.
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
1/3 cup cream or half n half
2 1/2 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
Sour cream n chooped cilantro for garnish (optional)
Take hot water, add 2 tsp salt to it and dip your paneer cubes in it. Set aside.
Heat oil in a thick bottom pan. Add ginger garlic paste. Cook for about 15 secs and then add onion paste.
Turn heat to medium low and cook the onion, ginger, garlic paste until all the water has evaporated and the paste turns light brown.
Add coriander, chili paste (if you are using it) and turmeric powder, mix it all together and then add salt. Adding salt at this time will help loosen the paste a little and oil will start separating. That's when you know that the paste is cooked.
Now add tomato puree or if you are using diced tomatoes, add them and let it cook for about 3-4 minutes. When all the excess water evaporates from the tomato, add garam masala (my dad always says don't let the pan stay open without a lid after adding garam masala for long because all the aroma sneaks out!)
So right at this time add cream, mix it with the paste and then add the peas, mix well and cover with the lid.
I use frozen peas all the time and they cook fast. If you are using the same then let them cook just until the peas are tender and that will take just a couple minutes. In case of fresh peas it might take longer. So according to your peas adjust the time.
Now again I like my curry to be thick and free flowing but if you like yours thinner add a little water at this time.
Once the peas are close to being done, take the paneer, drain out all the water and add it to the matar curry.
Mix it all well together but go a little light handed while mixing since the paneer is soft and might break.
Cover the lid again and cook for about 3-4 minutes.
After the peas are all cooked through and paneer has absorbed all the tasty juices, I turn off the heat and let it sit for another 10-15 minutes before serving.
Posted by Prerna at 1:54 PM