Paneer is an Indian cheese widely used in North India. It is available from most big supermarkets now or if you live in an Indian area most food shops will have it. Paneer is an important ingredient for vegetarians as it adds texture to a dish. This is the way my girlfriend’s mum makes it.
Mattar Paneer Ingredients
200g frozen peas
A block of paneer about 6inches by 4 inches cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Good quality tomato passata OR a tin of chopped tomatoes
1 small white onion chopped fine
2 fresh birds eye chillis slit down the middle (i.e each one into 2 pieces) – remove the seeds if you wish but I prefer them in!
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
Seasoning to taste
2 tbsp sunflower oil
Fresh corriander leaves
Heat a saucepan & put the oil in. Once the oil is hot put in the cumin seeds & let them pop for about 20 seconds. Do not allow them to go black as they make the sauce taste bitter. Throw the chopped onions in & allow them to cook on a moderate heat. The secret of Indian cooking is in the cooking of the onions. They are used as a base for most dishes. The browner they get the sweeter the sauce. For this dish, let the onions go slightly golden brown. If you find they start to burn throw in a pinch of salt & that will stop them burning any more. Add the tumeric & mix well till all the onions have taken on the colour.
Add the tomatoes & chillis. Let all the flavours combine on a low heat for about 5-6 minutes. Add the paneer cubes & peas & let the sauce infuse for another 10 minutes. Turn off the heat & tear some fresh corriander & throw on top just before serving. Enjoy!