We had this nice lunch last weekend. The paneer was put into some mixed vegetables cooked in a rich sauce of poppy-seeds and cashew nuts. (Although paneer is supposed to be a kind of cheese and is one of the most common Indian types , perhaps it’s the only one that does not melt on cooking).Accompanied with the spinach and coriander rotis and fresh salad, it was a really hearty meal. In fact the leftovers were also eagerly looked forward to be devoured- probably that says it all…another meal gone well.
(go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paneer for more info on paneer)
What’s needed for the paneer dish-
150 gms of paneer, cubed
1C of cashew nuts and 3 tblsp of poppy seeds, soaked in a little water for an hour and grinded to a paste
a handful of french beans, cut into diamonds
1 carrot, cut into sticks
1/2 a red bell pepper, chopped
2 small potatoes, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
3 pods of garlic chopped
salt to taste
For the tempering-
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 bay leaf
1 whole red chilli
1 inch stick of cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 and 1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
Boil the french beans , carrots and potatoes, strain and keep aside.
Heat 2 tblsp of cooking oil. Add all the ingredients for tempering. When they release their aroma, and the seeds splutter, add the onions and garlic and fry till the onions are translucent, taking care not to burn the garlic.
Add the tomato along with the turmeric and cumin powders and cook till the pieces of tomato are mushy.
Add the boiled vegetables and the chopped bell pepper and stir for a minute. Add the poppy seed-cashew paste with a little water to make the gravy. Add the paneer and simmer for 3-4 minutes. If the gravy thickens too much, lighten with some more water. The dish tastes best when it is neither too runny or too dry.
Add the garam masala powder, stir for a few seconds and remove from heat.
What’s needed for the spinach-coriander rotis-
2 glasses of chappati flour
2 handfuls of spinach leaves and a handful of coriander leaves,made into a paste with very little water
1 tblsp of oil, and some extra for cokking
salt to taste
water for kneading
Add all the ingredients to the flour except the water and mix well. If at this stage, the dough is too dry and does not bind together, add a little water. The dough should be nice and soft.
Make equal sized balls and roll them one at a time on a well greased surface .
Heat and slightly grease a pan. Add a rolled rolled roti and turn it over after a few seconds. Rub a very little oil on the cooked side, turn and repeat on the other side. When brown spots begin to appear on both sides of the roti, remove from heat. Repeat the same with all the rest.
Last, but not the least, bring together both the above dishes, add an accompaniment of fresh salad, serve hot and enjoy!!!