Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.
- Benjamin Franklin
I must admit, weekends at our house are pretty darned nice.
After a busy week (which usually doesn’t feel long at all), we all hunker down to enjoy some quality home time together, and this weekend was no exception.
I had plenty of time to catch up with my new computer – (and this is the first post I have written on it – yay!) – and with the newer, cleaner, faster and more efficient tool came a rush of energy to tackle a few big things.
So I cleaned the cupboards. Yes, the full treatment! Spices, bulk food, you name it. It was a whole day after which me and the girls trekked to the store to re-stock the ‘must-haves’ we were low on, and headed home to make dinner.
And it was Indian night by request!
If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.
- Albert Einstein
I have mentioned before that Indian food is a family favorite, and a good dinner out to us is treating at an authentic Indian restaurant.
Hands down, our favorite dish is called ‘Malai Kofta’ – otherwise known as Indian cheese (paneer) cooked in cream sauce with an added bit of (delectable) taste and texture in a generous addition of ground cashews. Yum.
Whatever you do, you should do it with feeling.
~ Yogi Berra
This recipe was from an early attempt I made (about 3-4 years ago) that was not far from the real thing. In last night’s version, I made a few changes, attempting to ‘lighten it’ ever so slightly by subbing what was entirely full cream for mostly milk.
To my strict vegan readers, I know this might be not easily veganized, but I am sure there are plenty of you who could share your own fabulous vegan Indian dishes with all of us (and don’t be shy, Richa at Hobby and More, that was for you!).
Make no mistake, this dish is a treat. It’s full of delicious rich ingredients that are to be eaten sparingly (ideally). It’s nice to treat the family to a meal like this, and we enjoy every last bite.
I hope you will too!
Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.
Less store-bought jarred spice mixes means more real fresh ingredients, less waste and more cash left over. Less super heavy cream means (just a little) fewer calories, and less wondering if you can cook Indian means knowing that yes, in fact, you can.
More home cooked, yummy foods means more reasons to stay in together. More spice and variety means you can break free of flavor doldrums. More fresh rich ingredients, means taking pleasure is more satisfying, even if you need just a little.
Saucy Spiced Paneer & Tomato Curry:
- ( 2) medium-large onions, or 3 smaller onions, peeled and quartered
- (3) tbsp butter, ghee, or canola oil
- (2) tsp salt
- (2) tbsp chopped fresh ginger
- (2) tbsp fresh garlic, chopped
- (2) tsp cumin ground
- (2) tsp ground coriander
- (1) tsp chili powder or cayenne
- (1) 398 ml can chopped tomatoes
- (3) tsp sugar
- (1/2 – 1) cup ground cashews, raw (grind to medium fine)
- (1) cup heavy cream
- (2) cups homogenized milk
- (2) tsp Garam Masala spice mixture (available in most grocery store spice sections and they vary greatly)
- (1) pound Paneer, cubed to one inch cubes (available in specialty grocery stores, and adventurous folks – you can make your own!)
- (1) tsp vinegar (optional)
Heat oil in a large saucepan at medium-high until hot. Add the chopped onions and salt and turn to medium heat. Cover and cook, checking every 5 minutes to stir, for 20 minutes.
Prepare the rest of the ingredients while the onions cook.
Once the onions are soft and quite brown, add the ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, and cayenne, and cook, on medium heat for 5 minutes until fragrant. Make sure to actively stir the mixture to prevent burning of the delicate (and delicious spices)!
Add the tomatoes and sugar, and continue to cook until well incorporated, about another 5 minutes.
Using a hand blender, or a blender, puree this mixture until blended through. Return to the stove and turn heat to medium-low. Bring the mixture back to temperature (about 5 minutes) and add the cream, milk, garam masala spice, paneer cubes, and ground cashews.
Simmer for 15 minutes or so, uncovered on medium-low. Stir frequently to keep it from sticking or burning on the bottom – this is very important!
At the end, season again to taste, and add vinegar if you like – I find it adds a little zing to the creamy base and livens the flavors very nicely.
Serve hot with rice or naan – and enjoy every yummy morsel!
This dish pairs excellently with any rice dish, broiled naan bread, and perhaps some animal protein such as tandoori chicken like my husband enjoys (but me and the girls pass on).
In my next post, I’ll share with you the yummy recipe for cumin rice with peas that we ate with this last night, as well as the refreshing shredded brussels sprout salad too
Both of those are vegan (or vegan adaptable), and contrasted beautifully with this dish.
Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.
~ Henry David Thoreau
Fortune favors the brave.
If you only look at what is, you might never attain what could be.
So whether you are an experienced cook with the amazing world of Indian flavors or not, this dish gets a thumbs up in this house, and that is usually enough to make me smile into the next day for sure.
This post is also a little deviance from the smoothies and juices I’ve been sharing – and a delicious way to tuck into something rich and soothing!
No matter what happens, it is within my power to turn it to my advantage.
I made another change this week that I’ll keep under my hat a few more days. I want to see if I can make it stick. It’s (relatively) small, but if I can do this, will be HUGE to me. I’ll keep you all posted
- Are you familiar with paneer?
- If so, have you ever made it?
- What is your favorite Indian dish (assuming you like it of course)
Let us know, will you?
Stay tuned for the accompaniments in my next post (they are yummy, and easy!) and have a great start to the week friends, and (as always) a giant thanks for reading and for your comments!
Yours in Less,