Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Paneer Curry Without a Name

Why does this curry not have a name, you might think. Well, that's because it has been improvised from a chicken curry called 'Vattichu Chicken' seen on TV.
The process involved cooking the chicken with just the liquid released from the meat, tomatoes and onions and allowing all the water to cook off.  The procedure was fairly simple and the end product looked delicious. I figured it would taste well with paneer too, hence the trial.
Ingredients (Serves 2)
Paneer cubes – 1 cup (approx)
Finely chopped onion – ½ cup
Diced tomatoes – ½ cup
Ginger-garlic paste – 2 tsps
Red chili powder – 2 tsps or to taste
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
Chopped cilantro, mint and curry leaves – 2-3 tbsps
Water – 2 tbsps + 1 cup more for the paneer
Coconut/cooking oil – 1 ½ tbsps
Salt to taste
Bring one cup of water to a boil, turn off the heat and add the paneer to it. Cover and keep aside until required. This will make the paneer softer.
Heat oil in a pan and add the ginger-garlic paste. I learnt, while watching this recipe being made, that adding the ginger-garlic paste before the onions brings out the flavor of the garlic. Sauté for a minute and add the chopped onions.
Sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until the onions are tender. Now add the chili and turmeric powders and salt; mix well. Add the diced tomatoes and stir. Add the paneer, cover and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. Check the gravy in between and if the gravy feels to dry, add a little water.
Once the gravy and paneer look well mixed, add the garam masala. If you would like to retain some gravy, take it off the heat at this point. If you like it more dry, increase the heat and allow all the water to boil off, in an open pan.  Garnish with cilantro and/mint leaves and serve hot. We had it with chapathis but with a little gravy, I think it will complement plain rice or even jeera rice. Bon Appétit. 

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