Anup's Mutter Paneer
A fair proportion of the recipes here are recreations of food that I've eaten in past plus the occasional dish I see on Twitter and would like to try out. Today it's our friend Anup @airplanetalk's mutter paneer: peas (mutter) and marinated Indian curd cheese (paneer) in a creamy sauce I'll be trying to recreate; that's his picture of it above for comparison. Paneer may not look like cottage cheese, but that's essentially what it is - though the curds have been pressed with weights and the whey drained off. It's quite a solid cheese.
Fry onions till brown. Add chopped garlic and ginger then add fresh tomato. Pic 2,3 Add tomato puree, peas, spices (cumin,turmeric,chilli,coriander powders+garam masala pic 4 add cooking cream/yoghurt, add salt to taste, add marinated (same spice mix above) paneer and cook 5 mins pic.twitter.com/Kw4xfRn8rh— Airplanetalk (@airplanetalk) April 23, 2023
So how did it go? Well, much, much better than the last time I tried making mutter paneer from a Tesco recipe. Actually, it was truly delicious, but I was disappointed by two things: the sauce seemed much paler than Anup's, and the yogurt split when I added it to the sauce.
The recipe below tries to take account of both these things. I'm cooking the onions longer, I've now doubled the amount of turmeric for more colour, and I'll be using less yoghurt (I used a whole cup) and whisking a little cornflour into it - as well as "tempering" it with some of the onions and tomatoes before adding it to the hot pan in the hope it won't split.
Serves 4 as a main with some rice or bread, a dahl perhaps, a bit of salad.
For the spice mix:
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
2/3 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/3 teaspoon chilli powder
200g Indian paneer (curd cheese)
For the sauce:
1 tablespoon oil
1 dessertspoon butter
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, shredded
an equal amount of peeled root ginger, shredded
3 medium tomatoes, diced small
1 cup of frozen peas, boiled for 5 minutes
1 tablespoon tomato puree (paste)
4/5 cup (200 mls) of yoghurt or single cream
salt to taste
For tempering the yoghurt (optional):
1 teaspoon cornflour (corn starch)
1 dessertspoon of cold water
Cut the block of paneer into quarter-inch slices, halve them lengthwise, and then cut into cubes.
Mix the spices well and sprinkle two-thirds of a teaspoon of the spice mix evenly over the cheese cubes. Cover and place in the fridge to marinate for an hour or two, or overnight.
Cook the frozen peas and let them drain.
Fry the onion over a medium heat, stirring occasionally till it browns but not burns. It should be browner than this.
Turn down the heat, add the ginger and garlic, and cook for a couple of minutes.
Now add the chopped tomatoes, and turn the heat back, and stir every so often.
When the tomatoes look cooked, make a well in the centre, and add the rest of the spice mix but don't stir it in immediately. Let it cook for a minute of two till you smell its fragrance.
Now turn down the heat and stir in the tomato paste and the peas.
If tempering the yoghurt, mix the water into the cornflour and add this to the yoghurt and give it a whisk. Now add a quarter of the sauce mix to the yoghurt, stir it in well, then add it to the pan.
Time to add the marinated paneer.
Cook on a low heat for five minutes, stirring every so often.
Actually, even though the yoghurt split because I didn't temper it, it still tasted superb.
To be honest, I ate this over the course of four days, but it's best eaten immediately; I don't hold with the idea that curries are better the next day.
For comparison's sake, this is what Anup's mutter paneer looked like - yes, I know it looks better!
Any questions? You can use the comments form at the bottom of the page.
Did you know?
You'll find recipes at the back of all the books in the Send for Octavius Guy series: