Mat­tar Pa­neer Peas with fresh cheese

Post - - RECIPES -

250g pa­neer or baked ri­cotta cheese

125ml melted ghee or oil

2 onions, finely chopped

3 gar­lic cloves, finely chopped

2 tea­spoons finely grated fresh ginger

2 tea­spoons ground co­rian­der

1 tea­spoon ground cumin

1 tea­spoon ground turmeric

1 tea­spoon chilli pow­der (op­tional)

2 firm ripe to­ma­toes, chopped

1 tea­spoon salt

1 tea­spoon garam masala

750g fresh or frozen peas

2 ta­ble­spoons finely chopped mint or co­rian­der leaves

If mak­ing the pa­neer, let the curds hang in the muslin (cheese­cloth) un­til cool, then squeeze out as much liq­uid as pos­si­ble by twist­ing the muslin.

Put the wrapped curds on a flat plate and put an­other plate or chop­ping board on top. Weight it down and leave for about 6 hours un­til very firm.

Re­move the muslin and cut the cheese into small cubes. If not us­ing im­me­di­ately, cover with plas­tic wrap and re­frig­er­ate un­til needed. If us­ing baked ri­cotta, cut into small cubes.

Heat the ghee or oil in a large fry­ing pan and cook the cheese, in batches, turn­ing them care­fully so they brown on all sides. As each batch is done, re­move to a plate with a slot.

Pour off all but 1 ta­ble­spoon of fat from the pan. Add the onion, gar­lic and ginger and cook over medium-low heat, stir­ring fre­quently, un­til the onion is golden.

Add the ground spices and stir for 1 minute fur­ther, then add the to­ma­toes, salt and half of the garam masala.

Cook and stir un­til the tomato is pulpy, ad­ding a lit­tle hot wa­ter if the mix­ture seems too dry.

Add the fresh peas, if us­ing, and cook un­til they are ten­der, about 20 min­utes. Add the cheese and half of the mint, cover, and sim­mer for a fur­ther 10 min­utes, or un­til the peas are cooked.

Sprin­kle with the re­main­ing garam masala and mint, and serve hot with rice or cha­p­at­tis.

NOTE: If us­ing frozen peas, add at the same time as the cheese.

Serves: 4-6.

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