Recipe: Aloo Matar Paneer aka Potatoes, Peas and Paneer

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BB loves Paneer and will ask for it to be added to any and all vegetables at any given chance. On Saturday, when we had to go to to the hospital so GG & BB could meet their new cousin, I wanted to make dinner at home before we left, so that once we’re back, we can eat. The most obvious choice would be roti and a sabzi. I made a traditional Punjabi dish, but with a twist that R suggested which really took it up a notch. Try it, especially with the addition of this totally unexpected ingredient!

Aloo Matar Paneer

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Ingredients:

  • 2 potatoes, peeled and diced into small pieces
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen paneer, thawed in hot water for 10-15 minutes

For the gravy

  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
  • 4-5 dried red chillies (or fresh if you have them)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp Garam masala powder
  • 1-2 tsps Kasuri Methi
  • A handful  of chopped spinach leaves, washed well to remove any residue dirt
  • 2 tbsps oil

Method:

  •  Chop the potatoes, and put the paneer in a bowl of hot water to thaw and soften.
  • Once the paneer is soft, cut them into smaller pieces.
  • In a pan, heat up 1 tbsp oil and once the oil is warmed, add the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds and carom seeds in that order. Let each pop for a few seconds before adding the next one in.
  • Then add in the garlic and ginger, stirring a few minutes each time.
  • Once the garlic is slightly brown, add the onions and stir, letting it become translucent.
  • Next add the washed spinach and let it wilt.
  • Add the tomatoes next and a pinch of salt to help cook. The tomatoes need to break down completely and become mushy. At this point switch off the gas, let this cool and once cool, blend it to a smooth paste.
  • In the same pan, add the balance oil and once warm, put the potatoes in to cook. Add the turmeric powder here and let it coat the potatoes. Cover and add a few drops of water to help it cook. When it is halfway cooked, add the peas and let it cook.
  • When the potatoes and peas are three quarters cooked, add the blended paste and some water to bring it to the consistency you like.
  • Once the whole mixture is bubbling away, add the paneer pieces to this.
  • Check for salt and add the garam masala and if you want, add a tsp or two of ghee, this really makes the dish look as if you’ve cooked the whole thing in ghee!
  • Once the gravy has attained the consistency you want, switch off the gas and enjoy hot and tasty Aloo Matar Paneer.

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