Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Paneer Tomato & Green Bean Masala

So it's been a while since we went to the land of curry. I'm on a bit of an 'eat less meat buzz' right now, and I had some paneer lurking in my fridge for a week or two now. I think I should prob brush up on new Indian recipes, I've fallen into a rut with the spices and herbs I use - but hey they work - so why change!

Paneer is a lovely dense cheese, used in Indian cooking, like tofu, but much nicer. It comes in a block, and can be added to curries and cooked in the mixture, or I prefer to fry it a little to give it a nice golden brown colour and then allowing it to bubble away in the mixture to absorb all the depth and spice of your chosen curry. I made a Panner Butter Masala which is delicious, creamy and rich, make this if you feel like a treat, this however is a more healthy way of using this great cheese - inspired by the delicious food served at Govindas if you've never been it's well worth trying one of their three restaurants in Dublin City for a HUGE portion of healthy delicious food.

I block of paneer - cut into small cubes 2cm squares
2 small red onions - finely diced
4 large tomatoes - chopped (skins removed if you prefer)
3 cloves garlic crushed
1 inch of ginger root grated
a handful of green beans cut in half
1 red chilli (seeds optional - I optioned them in!)
1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon masala curry powder
1 pinch of asa foetida (optional)
3 curry leaves (bay leaves will do)
3 cardamon pods
1/2 teaspoon of funugreek (ground)
1/4 stock cube

First dry roast the whole spices (mustard seeds, cumin and cardamon seeds) in a dry frying pan for a few minutes until fragrant. Remove to pestle and mortar and crush to release the flavors. The heat some oil in your frying pan and fry the cubes of paneer 10 or so at a time - till a nice golden colour on a few sides. Then remove to a plate and continue till they're all done.

Alternatively - use a pre-mixed spice - like garam-masala - or any type of curry powder/paste that you  have, don't let my extensive list of spices put you off!  

Add in the onion, cook for one minute before adding in the garlic and ginger. Cook these for several minutes until the onion is translucent. Then stir in your crushed spices and cook for a further minute or two, then add in the dried spices and stir. After this tip in the chopped tomatoes and stock cube add a little water and bring up to simmer, cover and leave o cook for about 20-25 minutes. Before you're ready to serve put the green beans on top of the curry - cover for two minutes, and then shy should be cooked but not mushy, stir well and serve.

I serve this with some jasmine rice and a side of aloo-gobi.

All veggies came from our box from Fruitfellas - I feel healthier just looking at this!

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