Life is hectic these days. If I catch eight hours of sleep , then its a great day. My day is scheduled with small breaks . I have to be constantly on the go to complete the tasks and daily chores , Face book is also a part of it . Yesterday was one of those days that K generously offered to make dinner . I am a “sit and eat at the table” kinda gal and its been a little more than 3 months since I sat at the table without being interrupted while eating. So with my little one tucked into bed earlier than usual, we finally had some time to ourselves , cook and eat without interruptions.
A beautiful story by Meera Syal , a story of a punjabi Indian family trying to make a living and uphold tradition and culture and imbibe whatever little they can to their star , anita. The novel takes us on a journey with a young 9 year old Meera , her color , her friends , her growing up in a mining village, west Midlands , england in a predominantly white community. She comes to worship Anita , her neighbor . The novel speaks about certain characters having strong racist attitudes . For me , her grandmother’s character was the most adorable. reminded me of mine.
Last week, everyday I forgot to get my wife what she asked for. I would come home empty handed to Dee who would open the door, expecting a bunch of mint…and there I would stand my laptop case in hand, and sorry about my amnesia. So sunday afternoon both of us went hunting for mint. Not in the Asian Market..couldnt find it in Safeway or the walmart neighbourhood….looked for it in every aisle in fry’s. I was about to give up, but Dee, determined as she is, got the lady in the produce section to find out a small box of it.
The authentic Kashmiri Nadru Paneer calls for mincing the paneer and stuffing it in the Nadru along with nuts and raisins. Sounds exotic right?
A little variation in the cooking style and our experiment was a success. It was superb and made is to our “once in a while” list. Afterall , we all can take an extra serving of protein combined with fat once in a while. Well long after the curry got over, we were still licking our plates wanting more!!!
Paneer Makhani….mmmmmmmmmmmm……the very mention of it makes my mouth water. Though I’m not “FOR”very fatty food, this one is one of our all time favorite. Cubes of paneer floating in thick gravy topped with butter makes this dish one for the connoisseur’s palate. Historically, it was the mughal kings who brought the mughlai style of cooking, and paneer makhani formed the vegetarian ambrosia served to Babur’s lineage.
250 grams paneer
2 tablespoons fresh curds
3 large tomatoes
3 onions, grated
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 teaspoons coriander-cumin seed (dhana-jira) powder
1 1/2 teaspoons chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 cup of fresh cream/ evaporated milk/ Half and Half
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons of Butter/Ghee for deep frying( I used low fat butter- Smart Balance)
Chopped coriander for garnishing(optional)
1. Cut the paneer in cubes and fry lightly in ghee/butter.
2. Apply the curds to the fried paneer.
3. Blanch the tomatoes in hot water for 5 minutes. Take out the skin and chop finely.
4. Heat the ghee/butter and fry the onions until light pink in colour.
5. Add the garam masala, coriander,cumin powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt and fry for 1 minute.
6. Add the tomatoes and fry for at least 5 minutes or until ghee floats on top.
7. Lower the flame and add 1 cup of water and the cream. Cook for a few minutes and then add another tablespoon of butter.
8. Add the paneer and cook for a while. Garnish with coriander.
9. Serve hot with naan/roti.