There are few recipes which shouldn’t be adapted at all….but adopted as is. This is one such recipe. I have mentioned earlier that my mother-in-law is an excellent cook and is very traditional in her approach, believing that patience, love and attention makes the best dish. No shortcuts! A..aa..not at all! She definitely eats with her eyes first. If it doesn’t look appealing to her, she won’t touch the dish.
When I was newly married, she used to make this Matar Paneer often, irrespective of a working day or weekend. No matter how much I try to replicate her style in this dish, it never tastes the same. My family would always say to my preparation, “it’s darn good but not like ma’s”. Yes, she brings the love of 2 generations to her food. SIMPLE PURE LOVE!
I had the privilege of documenting her recipe and clicking her preparation while she was visiting us this summer.
The only twist I could bring to this dish is, I clicked it with some rustic home made bread ;). Aha! I love my curries with some good dipping thick slice of bread.
Serves : 6
Kitchen Equipments Required : Chopping board, knife, blender, pressure cooker or thick bottom pan with lid.
Oil : 2 tbsp, (it’s my MIL’s recipe, so oil from her recipe :).)
Onion : 1 medium, chopped fine
Tomatoes : 2 cups, chopped
Tomato Paste : 2 tbsp
Paneer (Indian cottage cheese) : 350 gms, cut into 1 inch cubes
Peas : 1 cup
Ginger : 1/2 tsp, freshly grated
Green chili : 1, chopped fine
Cumin seeds : 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder : 1 tbsp
Cumin powder : 1/2 tsp
Turmeric : 1/4 tsp
Red chili powder : 1/2 to 3/4 tsp, as per spice level.
Garam Masala : 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Cilantro / coriander leaves : to garnish
Water : 1&12 cup
- Heat oil in the pressure cooker or heavy bottom pan and reduce the heat to low once the oil is hot.
Add cumin seeds and once they crackle, add chopped onions, ginger and chilies to it. Sauté the onions till deep golden on low flame, approximately 8-10 minutes. Cool the onions to room temperature.
Take the blender, add fried onions, tomato paste and chopped tomatoes to it and make a fine purée.
Add this purée back to the pressure cooker/pan. Add all the other spices to the purée, besides garam masala and salt. Stir well.
Lower the flame. Let it cook for 10-12 minutes till all the water is evaporated and the purée becomes deep in color.
Add paneer cubes and peas to the cooker. Add salt to taste and garam masala now. Stir. Pressure cook for 1 whistle. Let the pressure escape on its own and then open the cooker. Garnish with cilantro leaves.
Note : In case, you are using heavy bottom pan to cook this dish, then add 1/2 more cup of water and cook it covered, on low flame for 10-12 minutes !
Serve it with rice or flat bread of your choice.