December 6, 2012

Paneer Matar Masala (Gravy with yogurt)

For this Thanksgiving, I got a good deal on a branded food processor that I have been eyeing on for quite sometime. More so, my only solace after VJ 's travel away from home ;) 

I always fancy how chefs (in food channel) use food processor for almost everything. Quite frankly that's what inspired me to get one for myself too! With this beautiful food processor sitting in front of me, all Giada's, Ina's, Paula's and Rachael's inside me were cheering to conquer & rule the food processor. With lots of expectations, I decided to use my food processor for kneading chapathi dough and shredding few veggies for the side. I felt like a queen in my kitchen watching the food processor do the job for me ... until ..  err... errrr ... I had to actually clean the food processor! Cleaning was quite a job - thanks to the sticky chapathi dough!! How I wish food channel had also shown "the tougher part" of using a food processor .. sighhhh!

Nevertheless - chapathi turned out to be really very soft and paneer matar masala was a home-run! AndI am still a happy & proud owner of my food processor! 

Basic Info
Complexity - Medium
Prep time - 30 mins
Cook time - 30 mins
Serves - 3

Peas - 1 cup (Fresh/Frozen)
Paneer - 1/2 cup (Cut into small bite size cubes)
Onion - 1 no (shredded, used my food processor for this job)
Tomatoes - 2 nos (medium, pureed, used my food processor for this job)
Ginger - 1 inch (grated)
Garlic - 2 pods (minced)
Bay leaf - 1 no
Cinnamon stick - 1 inch
Cloves - 2 nos
Cardamom - 1 pod
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Tandoori masala / Garam masala - 1 tsp
Kasoori Methi - 1-2 tsp (optional)
Cilantro - 1 handful
Yogurt - 1/4 cup
Salt - to taste
Oil - 1/4 cup

Microwave peas for upto 2 mins and keep it aside. Skip this step if you are using frozen peas. I used fresh peas and do I have to even say - 'fresh is better' ?!?! I felt fresh peas had a bite to it even after cooking, where as frozen peas had no body. 

Shallow fry paneer cubes in little oil until brown on both the sides and set aside. Paneer might splutter when frying in oil - so, take extra care.

Heat oil in a deep pan. To oil, add bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom seeds and stir for about a minute or till fragrant. To this, add shredded onion and cook on low heat until onion turns brown, for about 8 - 10 mins.

To this, add turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, tandoori/garam masala and stir for about a minute. Now, add pureed tomatoes and let it cook until the raw smell of the tomato/masala are gone. Add kasoori methi and stir for a min. Remove pan from heat, add yogurt and mix well. Moving the pan away from heat will prevent yogurt from curdling.

Return pan to the stove. Add peas and let it simmer for about 10 mins. Then, add fried paneer cubes and remove from heat. Finally, garnish it with finely chopped cilantro and enjoy with roti/rice.

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