My news years resolution was to cut down on meat as much as possible, so I needed to get myself a few go to recipes that I could just pull out of the bag when needed. So where is a girl to look too, the country that does Vegetarianism like a boss, India! More importantly there's cheese in it!
1 white onion, finely chopped
2 fresh tomatoes, 2 inch pieces and deseeded
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch ginger, minced
2 red chillies
1 red, yellow and green pepper, chopped into 2 inch pieces
200g paneer, cubed
1tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp chilli powder
4 green cardamom pods
10 curry leaves
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole dried chillies if you have them to hand
4tbsp or rapeseed oil or clarified butter
Small jug water
First things first, roast you spices,separately,put a frying pan on the heat and get it nice and toasty hot, add your cumin first and take it off the heat, toast it until you can begin to get a good smell of the perfume and put into your pastel and mortar or spice grinder if your living in the 21st century unlike me.
Do the same with the coriander seeds, reheating the pan first and agin with the mustard seeds that will begin to pop when they are ready to be taken out.
Keep a close eye the your toasting spices, and do not use if they burn in any way, you want to release the flavour gently, using burnt spices will create a bitterness in your curry
Also in your pastel put the turmeric, chilli powder and paprika and give them a good beating or whizz until it is like a powder.
Next get yourself a nice heavy based pot and add your oil or butter and get in nice a tasty hot but not burnt hot, add in your cardamom, curry leaves and cinnamon stick and dried chillies and cook on gentle heat for about 2 mins.
Add in your onions, garlic and ginger, stir through and turn up heat.
What you are looking for here is and a good strong cooking of the onions for about 10 mins, have your jug of water ready and as it catches and caramelises at the bottom of the pan add the water bit by bit and stir to stop any burning.
Next add your fresh and canned tomatoes, peppers, tsp of sugar , salt and pepper,then cover and allow to bubble away for about 10 minutes.
As your curry is doing its thing, get yourself a frying pan, add a little oil and get it up a nice heat, then add your paneer and give it a quick fry, sealing the edges and giving it a golden crust.
Using a slotted spoon, drain it on to kitchen paper to get rid of excess oil, and add to your curry.
Removing the lid, stir through paneer and allow to bubble and reduce for about another 2 minutes, you want your peppers cooked but still with a bit of bite, so the dish had texture.
Serve with fluffy basmati rice or natural yogurt and a hot soft naan bread.