Mateer Paneer Green Peas And Cheese In Fragrant Tomato Sauce
- 1 x Recipe Paneer (Indian cheese) made with 8 c. lowfat milk & cut into 1/2 by 1/2 by 1&1/2 inch pcs (see recipe)
- 9 Tbsp. Usli ghee or possibly clarified butter
- 2 c. Finely minced onions
- 1 tsp Finely minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp. Finely minced ginger root
- 2 tsp Grnd coriander
- 1 tsp Turmeric
- 1/2 tsp Grnd cumin
- 1/4 tsp Methi, see note in text
- 1/4 tsp EACH red (cayenne) & black pepper, (1/4 to 1/2)
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 2 c. Finely minced or possibly pureed fresh ripe tomato, or possibly
- 1 1/2 c. Canned tomatoes with their juice, minced
- 1 x Jalepeno, finely minced
- 1 1/2 c. Shelled fresh green peas, or possibly
- 1 x Ten-oz package frzn peas, defrosted but not cooked (I do not bother to defrost)
- 2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/4 c. Cream (scant)
- 2 tsp Garam masala, or possibly more to taste
- 4 Tbsp. Finely minced fresh corianger leaves, (cilantro)
- 1. Spread paneer pcs on a piece of waxed paper & allow to dry slightly for 1/2 hour.
- 2. Heat 3 Tablespoons of the ghee or possibly clarified butter over medium heat in a large heavy-bottomed pan, preferably one with a non-stick interior. When the ghee is warm, add in cheese pcs. Keep a lid or possibly splatter screen handy as the moisture in the cheese may be released explosively, causing tiny particles of cheese to fly all over. Dusting the pcs with a little flour prevents splattering. Fry the cheese, turning & tossing often to prevent sticking & burning, till lightly seared (about 5 min). Transfer pcs to a bowl.
- Fry in batches so which there is ample room for turning them without fear of breaking.
- 3. Add in the remaining 6 Tablespoons ghee or possibly clarified butter to the pan & increase heat to high. Add in onions to pan & fry till they turn light brown, about 5 min. Stir constantly so which they don't burn. Add in garlic & ginger & fry for an additional 2 min. Add in grnd coriander, turmeric, cumin, methi (methi = dry fenugreek leaves, available at any Indian market, you can easily omit if not available - Holly) red & black pepper & paprika, all at once. Stir rapidly for a moment & immediately add in tomatoes & jalapeno.
- Cook till the mix thickens to a pulpy sauce & the fat begins to separate (about 10 min), stirring often.
- 4. Add in 2 1/4 c. warm water and bring sauce to boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook the sauce, covered, for 20 min. Cold sauce briefly. Then puree it in a blender or possibly food processor, leaving the sauce a little coarse so it has a certain texture.
- 5. Return sauce to pan. Add in peas, salt, and fried cheese and bring to boil.
- Reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered, till peas are cooked through
- (about 15 min for fresh and 5 (or possibly less) for frzn). Turn off heat & add in the scant 1/4 C. cream and let the dish rest, covered, for an hour before serving. When ready to serve, heat thoroughly. Mix in garam masala & chooped coriander leaves. Check for salt, & serve. ( I usually add in the listed amount of garam masala with the cream & then add in more when reheating....and I've found I do generally need to add in more salt).
- Note: This dish tastes best if made a couple of hrs before serving...and may be refrigerated for up to 3 days without loss of flavor.
- To reheat, simmer gently till heated through. Holly thinks best if made a full day ahead, if possible. Just do not add in the garam masala (or possibly extra garam masala, using my method) and cilantro till right before serving.
- Serve with basmati rice.
- this. If you add in other entrees/sides, _then_ you can easily serve 6-8 hungry people.
- NOTES :
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