Friday, March 20, 2009

What's a Mattar Paneer?

It sounds like a joke, What's a matter Paneer? Economy got you down? This cozy, gently spiced vegetarian recipe of Indian continent origin will warm you from the inside out, and help you forget the end of a dreary winter and your declining house value. Mr. Green's Social Studies class is studying India, and this recipe is posted for them. Hello!! Mr. Green's six grade class.

Are your feet cold? My feet are cold today. I've just entered myself in a Blogger giveaway of a beautiful pair of hand knit socks. Socks like this are just too beautiful to be covered in shoes! Take a look at http://yestheyareallmine-mom.blogspot.com/2009/03/my-200th-post_12.html
and see those cute socks! Tell her KelliSue sent you. It will warm your feet this winter.

Speaking of winter, I'm planting spinach seeds today, maybe tomorrow. Then peas. They do well in the cooler weather we're having here in Upstate New York. It's no coincidence that yesterday's recipe is spinach and today's is peas.

I have a good six inches of mulch sitting on the garden just waiting for me to mess about with it. Thanks FarmBoy for removing the hay from the bottom of the goat's pen where it has made nice deep piles to keep them warm all winter. The goats are perking up just like the little tips of the daffodil bulbs I saw emerging yesterday. Spring can't be far away! And after spring, comes chocolate brownies from my favorite recipe. No really it does. See tomorrow's blog post. It's chocolate!

Mattar Paneer
serves 4 -6
2 cups paneer cheese, cubed

2 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted butter
**********
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced ginger or about 1/2 inch of ginger - no need to peel
1 tablespoon garlic, pureed or several cloves, depending on size
2 teaspoons whole coriander seed
1 teaspoon cumin seed
3 Tablespoons of oil or melted butter
**********
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne or other chile pepper *omit if you wish

1 cup diced raw or canned tomato, measure after you have pressed to remove juice
1/2 cup tomato juice you pressed, above
1 1/2 cups or 1 pound pkg. of frozen sweet peas, thawed
1/2 cup chopped coriander leaf, or cilantro

Heat 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil in a large skillet and saute' the paneer in batches (add more oil if necessary), until lightly browned, and drain on paper toweling. Alternately, you may broil it until speckled on a sprayed pan, turning once. This firms the paneer and adds carmelization, and depth of flavor.
In blender container, add onion, ginger, whole coriander seed, cumin seed, and oil. Pulse until smooth. Heat a large frying pan on medium high until a drop of water dances across. Add the fragrant onion, spice mixture from the blender. Cook for 5 minutes until it begins to take on a little color, stirring often. Add the rest of the spices, and the salt. You should begin to see the oil separate from the vegetable spice puree. Do not let the onions brown. Add the tomatoes and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring once or twice to allow some carmelization.
Add the tomato juice, and and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 8-10 minutes or until the sauce is thick and smooth. Add the thawed peas and paneer and gently warm them through.
Garnish with chopped cilantro before serving. This is a terrific side dish when served with dal (lentil stew), or chicken, and warmed naan (Indian bread) or tortillas or whole wheat flat bread. Of course a bottle of home canned peaches is lovely alongside. Some mattar paneer recipes have cream added, at the end, but we prefer the vegetable taste shining through.

Variations include adding cubes of boiled potatoes or cauliflower for a low carb version.

2 comments:

Gramma 2 Many said...

KelliSue, I am so happy you came to visit me, but unfortunately, you missed the sock drawing. I will be celebrating one year soon, so keep checking in because I have another big prize in the hopper for that one.
I am so happy to meet another large family. God is so gracious when he entrusts us with his little souls to nurture and grow in His love.
Thanks for linking me up and please do come and visit again as I will you.

dmjole said...

You ever tried making paneer?
It's not that hard to do, and it's very nice.
(I found your blog via a comment you made to FXCuisine...nice to meet some New York rural LDS folk!)