Route 79 : Mutter Paneer

The effects of feeling hungry on the way home

May 15 2004

Mutter Paneer

Mutter Paneer is a delicious curry of peas and home-made cheese cubes (paneer). Once again - it's a Punjabi dish - and is extremely tasty when served with roti - or pitta bread: you can choose! And again - it's really easy to make. Just get the following ingredients together:

Ingredients used for mutter paneer

1 packet of ready-made paneer cubes from your local Indian shop - about 500g
2 medium onions chopped finely
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
A generous bowl of frozen peas

The usual chunks ginger, chillie, garlic from your freezer (thawed of course)
2 (heaped) teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons salt
3 (heaped) teaspoons garam masala
1 and a half teaspoon of haldi (turmeric)
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 pinch of cumin seed if you have some

Heat up a couple of tablespoons of veg oil in a frying pan until hot and then add the cube sof paneer and fry until golden brown - turning over frequently to ensure even browning.

When the paneer cubes have browned - place them onto a plate lined with kitchen paper so that the excess oil is absorbed away. In the meantime - get a large-ish pot and heat some vegetable oil in it until hot - and add the pinch of cumin seed and wait until it splutters.

Then add the chopped onions and fry until goldeny-brown. After which add the ground dry spices and fry some more for about 5 mins gently.

Then when the spices are infused int he onion mixture - and the oil begins to separate from the onions - add the tin of chopped tomoto - and stir around on highish heat for a few mins.

After about 5 mins of simmering tomato-onion-spice mixture - add about 4 small glasses of water to the pot - and bring to simmer. Then add the previously-fried cubes of paneer to the pot and let it simmer for a few minutes more.

Then add the bowl of frozen peas - mix it about and simmer with the lid partially on for about 20 mins - stirring occasionally. The paneer cubes - which started out as "stodgy" plain cheese pieces should by now be of a texture a bit like sponge - and should have absorbed the masala flavours too.

When the "soup" in the pot is of the consistency that you prefer - simmering with the lid off to let some water evaporate - then just stir in some freshly chopped coriander leaf if - and switch the flame off - put the lid on - and then go and prepare some pitta bread or toast - or whatever - to accompany the mutter paneer.

Mutter Paneer

Congratulate yourself for preparing such an enjoyable dish! And enjoy eating it too!

Have you tried this? Even if you haven't - let me know what you think!
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