I love Indian food: the smell, the taste and the colours. Fabulous! The happier I was, when I shared a kitchen in the student housing during my Erasmus exchange with two Indian guys, who taught me really good recipes from their families. Since then it is one of my all-time favourites and I always cook it, when I have a moody day or I stay for a visit at my parents' house, they love it too. My grandmother is always the happiest and tells us every time, she has never eaten something like that and it is so tasty. So try it! Only one drop of bitterness exists, it is not vegan.
My paneer, the cheese, I normally prefer to buy in a Indian/Asian grocery store, mostly you can find it deep-frozen. Don't forget to get it out the freezer before starting cooking. Also the kasuri methi you find in a well organised Asian store. Lately, I saw paneer in my regular store and bought it to try, but it actually wasn't the right consistency, more like halloumi. Therefore, when you know a Indian store buy it there.
I serve the dish mostly with naan bread or rice. The bread Paratha is also really tasty, but I am not very good at making it myself and buying is not option because of the waste. Naan is pretty easy to do yourself and doesn't take a lot of time and practise. Paratha is more difficult, and well when you buy it you get a plastic layer between each of the breads - so much plastic waste: a real bummer.
The photo shows all the spices needed for this recipe. My cumin seeds are a little small and I didn't have cloves at home, hence they are missing . The dish still tasted pretty amazing.
you need ...
|2||middle sized onions|
|3||cloves of garlic|
|1/2 Tl||cumin seeds|
Chop the onion, as always. In big, middle or fine sized pieces - just as you prefer it. The ginger you should cut differently, try to get a shape like a pen. This will make the ginger taste more dominant in the end, since the pieces are so big that you can catch a bite between your teeth from time to time. Really good change of dominant spice in the mouth.
When you are done, bring a deep pan and steam the onions for 3-5 minutes in oil until they are translucent but not brown. Then add all the remaining spices and let it simmer for about 5 minutes on not too high heat, possibly add some more oil. It is important to saute the spices, so the whole flavor comes out and becomes more intense. Just be careful not to burn them. Firstly, the dish is normally ruined afterwards, and secondly, burnt chili powder really hurts your nose!
During this time, you can see if your Paneer is already defrosted and can be cut. If this is the case, carefully cut the block into 1 cm thick strips. Take a big knife and try not to break the cheese. If that does not work yet, leave the cheese for a little longer or put it in a warm water bath, or, if you have a microwave, defrost it.
As soon as you fried all the spices, you add the tomato sauce. Then let it cook on slow heat for around seven more minutes. Add the cream and stir. Now add the paneer and stir carefully again, trying not to break the paneer. Now let it blubber as long as it takes to change the colour . It turns to a really nice orange and at the edge of the pan you should be able to see some oil.
Serve it nicely, heat up some bread and put it next to it for dipping and yummy yummy dinner is done!
And hopefully, you have some leftovers, that you can bring to the office the next day and enjoy this dish again.
Jealous-greedy glances from colleagues inclusive!
For me this time with rice, somewhere hidden below the cream sauce.
This dish is actually super easy to prepare, you have a lot of time in between to prepare bread, rice or take care of other things: you only need to check the pan every now and then.
And yes, I have to admit, the glass with rosemary is only for decoration ...