Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Recipe: Shahi Paneer
I was just watching Who Wants to Be a Millionaire on T.V, and the £50,000 question was "What is Paneer? is it A) lamb B) cheese C) bread D) Courgette". Was totally shouting at the TV, hah. Mind you though, I think paneer has become more popular and more well known, cause i remember when i was in my home economics class 6 years ago nowone knew what it was. For those who don't know, it is an indian cheese, that does not melt.
Ordering paneer from a curry house is a good way of figuring out whether the place is good or not- Some of them use cheddar instead of paneer and it just ends up all melty and gross. This is'nt a well known paneer dish, the main stream ones being Matar Paneer (Paneer with peas) and Saag Paneer (Paneer with spinach). "Shahi" is the indian word for "Royal". It is paneer in a nice creamy tomato sauce. When my mum and dad had this in India, it was garnished with loads of edible silver!
The coriander i used for garnish, i grew myself!!! It only took 5 weeks from seed to harvest, and was really nice. I know it sounds silly, being proud of being able to grow herbs- but i am not a green fingered girl, so it's a big deal. I am also trying to grow peppers (although i'll never grow one as massive as that one i bought in Nice, lol!). We had this with a mushroom curry, basmati rice, and naans.
This recipe was also published in local magazine Pukka Bath!
Shahi Paneer (serves 4) £1.61 per portion (£1.65 with rice)
6 tbsp vegetable oil
450g paneer, cubed
900g ripe tomatoes, soaked in a bowl of boiling water
2 white onions
½ tsp crushed ginger
3 cloves garlic, crushed
6 cardamom pods, seeds crushed
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp ground coriander
1-2 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
2 bay leaves
125ml double cream
Fresh coriander for garnish
1. Heat some vegetable oil on a high heat in a pan, and cook the paneer for 5 minutes or until golden brown, and set aside. This is if you want your paneer slightly crispy/chewy, if you want it soft; add it in at stage 6.
2. Adding a little more vegetable oil if necessary, and lower the heat, cook the onions, garlic and ginger covered for about 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile remove the tomatoes from the hot water, peel and quarter them. Add to the onions with the cardamom, garam masala and ground coriander and cook (lid off) for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Pour into a food processor with 300ml water, sugar, pepper and salt to taste, and blend until smooth. Return to the pan with 2 bay leaves, and cook on a medium/high heat for 15 minutes.
5. Add the cream and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Add the reserved paneer and cook for a further five minutes. Serve with some chopped fresh coriander.