December 6, 2010

Paneer/Tofu ’n corn in pepper masala


What I used: 
1 lb paneer (Indian cheese) cut into ½ inch cubes (Vegans, substitute this ingredient with tofu)
½ cup fresh/frozen corn
6 green hot chilies split lengthwise (add less or more as needed)
2 cups fresh spinach leaves
1 large onion chopped
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
¼ cup of heavy cream (Vegans, substitute this ingredient with coconut milk)
Whole garam masala (2 cloves, ¼ inch cinnamon, 1 bay leaf, ¼ tsp fennel seeds, 1 cardamom)
½ tsp jeera
½ tsp pepper seeds
¼ tsp turmeric powder
2tsp olive oil
¼ cup oil to fry paneer
Salt to taste

In a thick bottom skillet, on medium heat, add 1 tsp oil. When it begins to shimmer, add whole garam masala and pepper. When the aroma disperses, add half of the chopped onions and slit green chilies, cook covered. When the splattering subsides, add ginger garlic and whole fresh spinach. Cook for just a minute. Turn off the heat. Cool and grind it to a fine paste.

In the same empty skillet, on medium heat, add 1 tsp oil. To this add jeera, when the aroma begins to disperse, toss in the onions and turmeric. Cook to a light brown. Add the corn, toss another minute, add the ground masala paste, and salt. Cook covered for about 10 minutes on low heat, stirring once in a while. 

In the meantime, in a small frying pan, add ¼ cup oil, and fry the paneer to a golden color. Drain it off excess oil and add it to the simmering masala. Cook on low heat for about 5 minutes. Add cream and give it a light stir before it is served.

Tip: If you want a runny curry for rice, add in extra cream, but it will make less spicy. This curry serves as a thick curry. It is complimented with flavored or plain rice. It tastes good with chapathis too. Enjoy!