I have to admit, I will make this curry just to have leftovers. Because leftover muttar paneer turns into the most perfect ‘gravy’ for a vegetarian muttar paneer poutine!
But first the muttar paneer. Or ‘peas and cheese’!
Paneer – a great veg protein choice
Paneer is a firm cow’s milk cheese that is very popular in south asian vegetarian cuisine. It has a slightly salty creamy taste and it holds up well to cooking on high heat, and takes on the flavour of whatever it is cooked in which makes it a great vegetarian protein option in curries or even grilled. Tofu would also make a great substitute if you want to make this dairy free.
What to do with Leftover Curry
This curry is perfect to eat with rice or naan. But also, leftover curry works so well as a gravy poured over some oven baked fries for a desi take on poutine!
Easy Muttar Paneer Curry
- 400g paneer, diced (substitute firm tofu for dairy free/vegan version)
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 inch ginger
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 small green chillies
- 2 tbsp oil (canola or avocado)
- 400g canned crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- 1.5 cup frozen peas
- 1 tbsp honey or brown sugar (optional)
- salt & pepper
- 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped (for garnish)
Curry Spice Mix
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder (less if you want it mild)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- Prepare your ingredients. Chop the paneer or tofu. Slice the onions. And in a blender blend together the 2 inch piece of ginger, 3 cloves of garlic and 2-3 green chillies till smooth. Mix the curry spices together in a separate bowl and set aside.
- In a large pan, heat 2 tbsp oil on medium heat and add the chopped paneer. Allow to cook on medium till golden brown on the bottom. Give them a gentle toss and brown on the other side. About 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- In the same pan, add the diced onion. If it is looking too dry, you can add 1-2 tbsp oil to help the onions cook. Add a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally till the onions soften and start to turn golden brown, about 10 minutes. If your pan is starting to look like the brown bits on the bottom from the paneer are starting to turn burn, add a splash of water to help deglaze the pan a bit.
- Once the onions are softened, add the ginger garlic chilli mixture. Cook for 1-2 minutes till fragrant.
- Add the spice mix. Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute to allow the spices to cook. If the mixture is too dry, add a splash of water so it doesn't burn on the bottom.
- Add the crushed tomatoes and 1 cup water. Stir well and make sure to remove any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Turn heat to medium low and allow to simmer for 10 minute, stirring occasionally.
- You will know the curry is ready when the oil starts to float on top of the curry and the liquid has reduced a bit.
- Add the paneer and frozen peas into the curry. Add additional water depending on how much liquid you like in your curry.
- Bring to a boil, add the 1 tbsp honey, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with a generous sprinkle of fresh cilantro, if you like.
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