Friday, October 31, 2014

Kerala Style Paneer Fry

I had mentioned in an earlier post that my husband had boldly accepted the responsibility of suggesting…mind you only suggesting what to make for dinner. Even though it doesn’t happen everyday, an occasional suggestion is very welcome.
I have made this recipe a few times, but had always stuck to the original ingredients. The recipe calls for soy chunks and the two or three times I made it, my husband suggested making it with paneer. It just didn’t happen, until last week.
I was slightly doubtful about the combination of paneer and coconut oil but trust me, the combination was simply delicious.
Ingredients (Serves 3-4)
Diced paneer – 2 cups
Chilly powder – 2 tsps (or to taste)
Pepper powder – 1 tsp (or to taste)
Crushed ginger – 1 tsp
Crushed garlic – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 2 tsps
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Garam masala – 1½ tsps
Chopped onion – 1 cup
Chopped tomato – ½ cup
Salt to taste
Coconut oil – 5-6 tbsps
Coriander leaves   
Curry Leaves        
Chop the paneer into one-inch size pieces and place in a wide bowl. Pour some hot water on it and leave for about ten minutes, this will make the paneer soft and more porous.
Drain the water. Add the pepper powder, chili powder, ginger, garlic, and salt and marinate for 10-15 minutes or longer, if you start early (the longer you keep it the better).     
Heat oil in a pan and sauté the onions until they turn light brown. Add the turmeric powder and coriander powder and continue sautéing. Now add the chopped tomato and cook until it becomes tender.
Once the onions and tomatoes are well cooked, add the marinated paneer pieces, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Do not open and stir in between, the paneer pieces could break.  
Remove the lid, and allow all the extra water to evaporate. Add the curry leaves, garam masala, and more oil. Lower the heat and allow the paneer to cook well. After about 5-6 minutes, toss the paneer pieces (you might see brown spots on the bottom, that’s normal). Keep cooking, while stirring occasionally. Add more oil if required. It took about 25 minutes to get the blackened texture all on all the pieces. Keep in mind that the paneer may not char as well as the soy chunks.
Garnish with the coriander leaves and serve hot with chapathis, fried rice, or even as an appetizer. 
Celebrate the marriage of northern and southern flavors in this delicious dish

Note: When serving it as an appetizer, make sure the pieces are slightly bigger, so that they don’t disintegrate when cooking.

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