Peas and Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese) curry is a very popular vegetarian side dish that goes well with rice pilaf or any kind of bread.
Matar paneer as it famously called in India, is a staple in any Indian restaurant menu and I find everyone literally drink this gravy dish and wipe the bowl clean with last piece of flat bread. I guess the mild spice and richness of cashew nut is what making it so sought after. Peas and paneer gravy doesn't have to be so oily when you make it at home that is better quality without compromising on taste.
Whenever my non-Indian friends ask me for an easy curry I direct them towards this recipe cos there is no slogging required here unlike other Indian dishes.
PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE
Frozen green peas - 1 cup
Indian Cottage Cheese - 200 gm cut into cube
Ginger- 1/2 inch piece
Garlic - -5 flakes
Green chili - 1
Onion -2 chopped
Tomato -1 chopped
Tomato paste 1 tsp
Cashew nuts - 6-8 pieces
Chili powder -1 tsp (paprika powder)
Turmeric powder - 1/3 tsp
Coriander powder -1 tsp
Dried fenugreek leaves/ Kasuri methi - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Coriander leaves fresh chopped
Salt- to taste
Cinnamon- 1/2 inch piece
Cardamom - 2-3
Cloves - 3-4
Cumin- 1 tsp
Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
Black pepper -1/2 tsp
You can drizzle some fresh cream on top while serving but I skip that.
|Add more tomato paste to get the reddish color as above or reduce as to get the golden color as final photographs.Both photographs were taken on different days.|
1.Heat 2 tsp of oil and put all the spices listed above , when it warms up then add the ginger, garlic ,green chilli and onion chopped once the raw smell goes add the tomato and tomato paste saute then add all the chilli powder,turmeric powder and coriander powder cashew nut and salt allow it to cook until the tomatoes get soft. Switch off flame then allow it to cool grind this to smooth paste.
2.In the same pan lightly brown the cottage cheese/ paneer on all sides remove and keep aside.
3.Pour the puree back into the pan add half glass water too.When it comes to a boil add the frozen peas and the cottage cheese.
4.Cover and cook (else it will splutter all over the place)on low heat for 10 minutes until the gravy is thick enough sprinkle the dried fenugreek leaves crushed with ur palms give a good stir allow a minute more to cook then switch off the flame.
Sprinkle coriander leaves on top of the peas and cottage cheese curry and serve it along with some salad and roti, plain basmathi rice or pilaf, naan etc.
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