Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bonus points for Kadhai Paneer!

So I finally did the unthinkable! I cooked a full fledged Indian meal last night for dinner. Don’t get me wrong...it's not that I don’t like to cook...on the contrary, I love to cook. I have hosted many parties and been at the receiving end of many a complements (on a very non-humble note)….but I keep myself far far away from Indian cooking if possible. See, living in India, we have the advantage of having domestic help who make our lives so much simpler (and they say life in India is tough!!). So, I never deny my cook the pleasure of cooking our daily meals. I like to experiment with my food…toss in a little bit of this and stir in a little bit of that, a theory that works best with Italian food. Indian food is more labour intensive – chop so many vegetables, cook the masala for ages etc.

But Mothers day also comes once a year and yours truly decided to cook dinner in honor of my mother in law. Ofcourse it goes without saying that the hours of toil in the kitchen heat paid off with all the bowls licked clean! Toss in some extra points for the gesture and you have a successful evening!

So, benevolent mood that I am in, let me share with you my version of Kadhai Paneer.

Kadhai Paneer (Spicy Cottage Cheese)
Serves: 4
Time taken: 30 mins.

Onions – 1 ½ (chopped)
Tomatoes - 3 large (chopped)
Capsicum/ Green bell-peppers – 1 (sliced thinly)
Ginger Garlic paste – 2 tsp
Turmeric Pwd – 1 tsp
Cardamom Pwd (Elaichi) – 1 tsp
Red chilly Pwd – ½ tsp
Black pepper Pwd – ½ tsp
Cottage Cheese (Paneer) – 250 grams (diced)
Curd – 2-3 tbsp
Cornflour – 1 tbsp
Kasturi Methi (dried fenugreek leaves) - 1 tsp (roasted and crumbled)
Salt to taste

1)Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok and add ginger garlic paste and onions. Fry till onions are golden brown
2)Add tomatoes and all the spices. Cook till oil leaves the masala (7-8 mins)
3)Add capsicum and cover on simmer for 4 mins. If it starts drying, add a little water.
4)Add salt, turmeric powder, cottage cheese cubes and kasturi methi. Mix and cook for another 2 mins.
5)Add the beaten curd mixed with cornflour and 2-3 tbsp water and simmer for a minute. Serve hot with Indian Chapatis or bread.

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