recipe: paneer masala

Okay.  You guys.  This is actually the best dinner on the entire planet.  I’m not kidding.

My sister-in-law made a version of this a couple months back from Vij’s cookbook, and I became obsessed.  While I was eating it, I was like “Mm…what are these little green things?” to which she replied, (to my surprise) “Brussel Sprouts!”  I was totally shocked.  Brussel sprouts have been so off my radar since I was about, oh, 5  years old (all I remembered was that they smelled like old socks.  Who wants to eat that?) So I didn’t even recognize them.

Over the last few months I have taken the recipe and adapted it to my liking.  It’s so easy, and very fresh tasting.  The spices are the perfect blend, and the cashews put it over the top for me.  We also love that it’s vegetarian.  It’s hard to find good well rounded vegetarian meals it seems.

PANEER MASALA

Makes 4-6 servings

What you’ll need:

- Approx. 15 brussel sprouts, ends cut off and quartered

- 1 Red Bell Pepper, cubed

- 1 Green Bell Pepper, cubed

- 2 Medium Tomatoes, cubed

- 1 cup Roasted Unsalted Cashews

- 1 – 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh cilantro (I always add a lot.  I LOVE cilantro)

- 1 lb paneer (a fresh cheese), cut in 1/2 cubes

SAUCE

- 1 cup canola oil

- 2 tsp black mustard seeds (I’ve used ground mustard powder before and it works, but just use half the amount)

- 1 1/2 tsp granulated garlic

- 2 Tbsp Cumin seeds

- 2 tsp Cumin

- 4 tsp salt (I usually taste in between adding tsp of salt to make sure that it doesn’t get too salty)

- 1 tsp Cayenne pepper

In a large pan, heat the oil for one minute on a medium-high heat.  Add mustard seeds and allow them to sizzle until you hear the very first popping sound (about 1 minute).  Add the cumin and granulated garlic and allow them to sizzle for another 30 seconds.  Add turmeric, salt and cayenne, and reduce the heat to medium for about 1 minute.

Add tomatoes and brussel sprouts and stir well.  Cover and cook for 5 minutes.  Stir in paneer and cook for another 2 minutes uncovered.  Add bell peppers and cook 2 to 3 minutes more, until vegetables are cooked but not mushy.

Just before serving, stir in the cashews and cilantro.

Serve with basmati rice and naan.

And you will never be the same again.  I promise.


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