Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Fresh Paneer balls with Fresh Peas Kurma - a light but smooth gravy

When life throws sour milk at you what do you do? Make paneer of course. I am glad that I did not know that the milk was sour, if I had the order of events would have been different. I proceeded to heat the milk to make some yogurt and when the timer went off, took a look at the boiling milk only to see that the cheese had separated from the whey. What normally would have happened? the whole thing would have been dumped because I am not that big on being mindful - bad I know. This time my senses were about me and I also had a sieve handy that can easily filter out the separated cheese from the whey and that is what happened. I then I tied the contents in a cheese cloth to remove the excess water. I put it in the fridge and that was a bad thing. It is important to keep the cheese/paneer moist.

If you are not using the paneer right away keep it moist by keeping the paneer tied in a cheese cloth immersed in water. Once the gravy was made DD2 was first to offer compliments. She even said that the fresh paneer was mush tastier than the store bought ones. Of course she was correct. Lighter and much more spongier and tastier than the stuff I buy. It is a really easy proces, I can make my own whenever I want rather than have my store bought paneer almost explode in the fridge.

Prepare the paneer balls and blanch the onions and blend to a paste.
Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan, season with cumin seeds and add the blended onions and saute till the onions are cooked and is shiny with oil oozing in the sides.
Blanch the tomatoes, puree and add it to the cooked onions and cook till the tomatoes are fully cooked and you see oil on the sides.
Mix in the turmeric and chili powders and the peas and if required 1/4 cup of water and cook the peas.
Brown the paneer balls in some ghee.
Lower the heat all the way and add the nut paste and whisked yogurt and paneer to the cooked tomatoes.

The gravy is light and smooth and goes well with any Indian bread.

Fresh Panner balls with Fresh Peas Kurma
Preparation Time:15 minutes
Cooking Time:25 minutes
  1. 1/2 cup of fresh paneer rolled into small 1/2 inch balls
  2. 1 cup of fresh shelled peas
  3. 1 1/2 cup of roughly chopped onions
  4. 3 plump ripe tomatoes (roma tomatoes)
  5. 1/2 cup of thick yogurt whisked
  6. 6-8 cashews or almonds (keep soaked in water)
  7. 2 tsp turmeric powder
  8. 2 tsp of red chili powder + 1/2 tbsp Kashmiri chili powder (see note)
  9. seasonings: cumin seeds
  10. 3 tsp of oil (I use Saffola oil, any vegetable oil works) + 1/2 tsp of ghee
  11. handful of coriander leaves chopped
  12. salt to taste
  1. Blanch the onions, take the chopped onions in a sauce pan with just enough water (about 1/4 cup) to cover the onions and steam for about 4-5 minutes. Drain the water completely, cool and blend to a smooth paste.
  2. In a thick bottomed pan, heat oil and add the cumin seeds. Add the onion paste and saute till the onions start to get browned and starts to change color about 6-8 minutes. (See note:).
  3. While the onion is cooking blanch the tomatoes, heat water and add the tomatoes to the boiling water and let cook for about 2-3 minutes. Cool by putting them in cold water. Peel the tomatoes and blend to a smooth puree and set aside. Blend the soaking nuts to a smooth paste.
  4. When the onions lose their raw smell and you see oil on the sides add the tomato puree and let it cook for another 6-8 minutes. You should see oil on the sides by now. Add the turmeric and chili powders. Mix.
  5. While the tomatoes are cooking, heat the ghee in a small sauce pan and saute the paneer balls so the outsides get browned a little bit.
  6. Add the peas and about 1/4 cup of water and let it cook for another 3-4 minutes. The peas should be almost cooked by this time.
  7. Lower the heat to low, add the blended nut paste, mix and also add in the whisked yogurt and keep mixing as you are adding the yogurt.
  8. Drop in the paneer balls and salt and let cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add the coriander leaves and mix and turn off the heat.
  9. Note:
  10. All Kashmiri chili powder or just regular cayenne red chili powder can be user or even pepper powder.
  11. Blanching the onions makes it cook faster, rather than just blending the onions and cooking it uses far less oil.
Serve with any bread of choice.
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1 comment:

  1. I have been experimenting with fresh cheese too -- this is awesome :)


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