Hey you! Happy Friday. My man is going to a heavy metal festival and I’m laying loooooow. No whales or hikes this weekend, but I will be hanging out at the farmers’ market.
Going to the market is my absolute favorite thing to do when I’m alone. I can taste all the fruit I want to, I can talk to the people working there without having someone waiting on me, and I can walk slowly through the isles to collect everything I need.
Since it’s just two of us at home, we like to make big pots of stuff, so recently I’ve been stocking up on vegetables like sweet potatoes, corn, zucchini, eggplant, carrots and peppers for soups and have also been making big batches of curry.
Curry like this one. HELLO GORGEOUS!
Indian food is so damn comforting. It’s rich and perfect for the winter months and the amount of flavour if brings with each bite is truly exhilarating.
Being a non-meat eating gal, going out for Indian is always a safe bet. Whether we get lentils, chickpeas, vegetables or paneer, we know the food we’re ordering isn’t settling for whatever is vegetarian on the menu. We know it’s going to be awesome.
Hands down, my favorite Indian dish is ‘paneer makhanwala’ (at this restaurant in Ottawa, actually) but here in Montreal, I like the ‘mattar paneer’ at Darbar. Both dishes include fried paneer in a creamy tomato and yellow curry sauce with peas and both are perfect.
I tried and I tried to recreate this magical blend of spices and flavours at home. No matter how many times I attempted to get this recipe perfect, the flavour was always good but not quite “right”. After several tries (and years!!!!!) I finally nailed the flavour I was looking for two weeks ago. HUZZAH!!!!!
This curry is so flavourful and delicious. The sauce is made with fresh tomatoes, spices, cream and yogurt for a smooth and balanced flavour and peas are added for a bit of “pop” to go along with the paneer. Just writing about it makes me swoon.
I like to serve this up on brown rice with some naan bread, but you can use whatever your desired soaking carb is! And the best part? This curry tastes even better on day #2!
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 2 (400g OR 14oz) packages paneer, cubed
- 4 medium vine tomatoes
- 1 jalapeno, seeded
- 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger
- 1/2 tsp asafoetida (hing) (optional)
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 3 Tbsp heavy cream
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 2/3 cup green peas (fresh or frozen)
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- Fine sea salt, to taste
- Chopped cilantro, for serving
- Naan, for serving
- Cooked brown rice, for serving
- In a large skillet, deep fry the paneer cubes (in batches) in oil that is about 1/4-inch deep until golden brown and crisp on two sides. Remove, and place on a paper towel-lined plate to allow the oil to drain. Set aside.
- Using a handheld immersion blender or food processor, puree the tomatoes, jalapeño, and ginger.
- Heat 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil in a saucepan or large skillet over medium heat. Add asafoetida (if using) and cumin seeds. Once the cumin seeds have cracked (you'll hear them), add the tomato paste, tomato puree, coriander powder, turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala, and bay leaves. Cook for about 4 minutes more, or until the tomato mixture reduces to about half its starting volume.
- Dissolve the cornstarch in the heavy cream and add the mixture and the plain yogurt to the tomato sauce. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add the green peas and fried paneer cubes and let cook for a few minutes until the peas are tender. Add the sugar and desired amount of salt.
- Serve hot with rice, naan and some fresh cilantro.
Recipe adapted from 6 Bittersweets