RCI is a monthly blog event focusing on various Indian cuisines. The cuisine this month is Punjabi and Richa is hosting it at As dear as salt.
A funny thing happened with me the other day. We had been to an Indian restaurant and while browsing through the menu I realized I had made all the dishes at home. Palak paneer, Alu palak, Punjabi chole, Paneer jalfrezi..the list went on and on and for the first time in my life I felt like my mom. Mom would say it's useless to waste so many rupees on a simple dish in a restaurant when we can make it at home and it's much healthy too. Back then we used to get irritated when mom said this. We said "Zala hicha suru (she's started again)".
As a teenager, I was obsessed with eating out. Most of the times eating out would be =Punjabi food. However, we used to end up ordering the same dishes again and again. Thinking back I realize that most of the veggies would be stale and there would be a heavy ghee layer floating in it. For RCI, I made one of my favorite Punjabi sabzi.
Matar Paneer/Green peas with cottage cheese
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
- 2 cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 onion - chopped fine
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tbsp cashew pieces
- 2 tomatoes - cut into huge chunks
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup fresh green peas or frozen peas (thawed)
- 1 packet fried paneer (about 230 gm)
- 1 tbsp whipped cream or malai
- Soak the paneer in water for 10-15 minutes. Puree the tomatoes along with the cashew pieces.
- Heat ghee in a pan over medium heat. Add the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and bay leaf. Fry for a minute.
- Add the chopped onion and the ginger garlic paste. Fry till the onion turns light brown.
- Add all the powders from 9 to 12. Fry for a minute.
- Next, add the tomato-cashew puree and salt to taste. Mix well and cook for 3-4 minutes (till the mixture thickens).
- Add the peas and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil.
- Add the whipped cream and paneer cubes. Mix well taking care that you don't break the paneer cubes.
- Serve hot garnished with chopped coriander leaves.