Thursday, February 5, 2009

Matar paneer (Peas cheese)

Warning! This dish is high in calories :)

This dish is another sought after delicacy by North Indian and around the world food fanatics! No North Indian restaurant would commit the sin of leaving this dish out of their menu. Matar paneer is traditionally considered a dish of the rich and therefore you will find it at any party or feast. The dish is prepared in a lip smacking tangy and spicy sauce with more peas then cottage cheese. Some people like to fry the cottage cheese but I prefer not to because that is not healthy.
And no kidding, it makes this dish a lot easier to make!

No preparation required. Serves 4-6.

Ingredients:
1. 5 cups frozen green peas. Remember this is matar paneer not paneer matar!
2. 1 block cottage cheese, sliced into sqaures
3. 1 tablespoon salt
4. 1 teaspoon cumin powder
5. 2 heaping teaspoons coriander powder
6. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
7. 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
8. 1 teaspoon garam masala
9. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
10. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
11. 1 bay leaf
12. 1 dried red chili
13. 5 tablespoons olive oil
14. 1 medium sized onion
15. 3 tablespoons tomato paste
16. coriander leaves to garnish
17. 1 teaspoon minced garlic ginger

Instructions:
1. Heat olive oil in a pan and add bay leaf and dried red chili
2. Add mustard seeds and allow to splutter
3. Add cumin seeds and when they turn brown, add garlic, ginger, and onion
4. Fry the onions and garlic/ginger.
5. Add coriander powder, garam malasa, turmeric powder, cumin powder, red chili powder and then add tomato paste.
6. Sautee until the oil starts to leave the onion tomato paste we made.
7. Add peas and cook until peas are warm
8 Add salt and cover the pan over low heat and cook for 10 minutes. Covering is important because we want the moisture from the peas mixed with masala to be absorbed by the cheese. If the vegetables look dry, add a few spoons of water.
9. Add cottage cheese slices and cook covered for another 10 minutes, stirring gently to mix the paste and peas with the spices. Make sure not break the slices of cheese while turning.
10. Garnish as desired

Serve hot with roti or paranthas.

Food Trivia:
Cottage cheese is called paneer in Hindi. It is a bi product of milk and is the base ingredient for several desserts and main course meals. Paneer can be made at home by adding a few drops of lemon juice to milk and allowing the fat to separate from the milk.

2 comments:

Rajee said...

u post delicious matar paneer whereas I post kadai panee. Can we share it? Looks gorgeous

Food Fanatic said...

Hi Rajee, ya i saw ur kadai paneer and it looked tempting too

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