Sunday 21 June 2009

Muttar Paneer (Vegetarian Curry)

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My friend A has invited me and five other friends (plus kids) for dinner tonight. I offered to help out and make one of the dishes as it is quite a big job to cook for so many and of course because I like to cook anyways. A's menu for tonight is vegetarian, which he's a bit worried about as he really likes his meat and rarely cooks veggie, but not all the other guests do share in his carnivourous preferences. So as to not to have to add any more worry, he decided to make a curry as he's good at it and South Asian is one of his favourite cuisines. He is cooking a cauliflower and potato curry and I thought Muttar Paneer would go quite well alongside it.

If you haven't heard of Paneer or Panir before, it is a South Asian cheese, which doesn't melt when cooked and therefore makes a perfect ingredient for a vegetarian curry. Muttar Paneer originates from the Punjab and is not a particularly spicy curry, instead it has many subtle flavours that compliment each other perfectly and are well balanced. If you prefer a bit of heat though, just add a finely chopped chili.

Muttar Paneer (serves 4-6)

500g paneer cheese, cubed
2 medium onions, chopped finely
2 (400 g) cans chopped tomatoes
1 cup frozen peas
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 inch of fresh ginger, grated
2 tsp ground coriander
3-4 tsp garam masala
2 tsp turmeric
2tsp ground cumin
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
salt, to taste
vegetable oil or ghee
fresh coriander, chopped (to garnish)

Heat the oil or ghee in a large heavy bottomed frying pan.

Add the cuben paneer and fry until golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.

If necessary add a little more oil or ghee and fry the onions, until soft and golden.

Now add the spices and the garlic and fry for another couple of minutes until fragrant.

Add the tomatoes and about 250ml (1cup) water and stir. Bring to a a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about five minutes.

Add the peas and return the fried cheese to the pan. Cover and continue to simmer for about 20 minutes.

Serve with pilau rice and/or naan bread or chappati.


Sean said...

Great colorful looking dish! Well done!

Jan said...

Yum! Looks really good Sylvie.

Katerina said...

I love your wooden bowl, what a beautiful way to plate the paneer - which also looks delicious!

Marie Rayner said...

Looks delicious Sylvie! I love vegetarian food!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I do wish I could find paneer cheese here. I only recently discovered it but have to make it myself. This dish sounds right up my alley!!

sangeeta said...

hey sylvie's 100% Indian recipe with the ghee n all........did you like the flavor of ghee??
i make this curry with homemade paneer n it is a hot favorite at my place....nice to see the dish here...wooden bowl accentuates the India feel...

sangeeta said...

you can see more traditional Indian recipes on my other blog here

Sylvie said...

Thanks Sean.

Jan, thank you.

Katerina, when I opened my cupboard to look for a bowl to photograph the meal in that was the first one that caught my eye and I thought I'd go well with the curry. Unfortunately I only have one of them and it's also not very big, but it worked well for the picture.

Marie, me too. I find that I eat less and less meat these days. I'll never be fully vegetarian I guess, but I hardly really cook meat at home anymore.

Val, I've got some great Asian shops around the corner that sell all Asian ingredients I could possibly need, but my friend makes her own paneer as well. One of these days I'll give it a go.

Sangeeta, I have to admit to using veg oil as I didn't have any ghee in and didn't have the patience to clarify my own butter. I do like the taste of ghee though. Thanks for the link as well. I'm off to check it out now. I'm sure you've got some cracking recipes on there.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that my local megamart will carry the paneer cheese or ghee. Lucky for me there's an Indian market just down the road. Because I can always use a new way to eat my veggies, especially in the summer.

I found you on TasteSpotting and am writing to say that if you have any photos that aren’t accepted there, I’d love to publish them. Visit my new site (below), it’s a lot of fun! I hope you will consider it.


Deborah said...

I need to find some paneer, because this sounds wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Oh this looks tasty. I must admit I have never tried paneer before but I will definately make the effort to try it out soon, this looks like it could be a nice first recipe to try it with. Thanks!

Jaime said...

i love indian food but would you believe i've never tried paneer?

Erica said...

Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe Sylvie, it was a great success. The easiest muttar paneer I have made, and the tastiest.

Choclette said...

I just made this for supper - added carrots and parsnip, but otherwise pretty much followed your recipe. Absolutely delicious - thank you.