My sunday Brunch
Matar Paneer is a very popular dish in North India. This gravy is made with ripe tomatoes, paneer and peas. It goes well with jeera rice.
Corn is my favourite -I can eat it with anything.
It is raining in Delhi and the market is flooded with fresh and juicy corn. Steamed corn and roasted corn chat is available in every street corner.
Paneer – 300 gms
Tomatoes – 7 nos
Peas (Matar) – fresh peas half kg
Butter – 1tbsp
Oil – 1 tbsp
Jeera – 1 tsp
Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder – 2 tbsp
Red Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Pinch of hing
Salt – 1 and 3/4 tsp
Kasuri Methi – 2 tbsp
I have used 4 tomatoes (full) and in 3 I removed the seeds (pulp inside by scooping the tomatoes). Normally tomatoes will have the sourness in these pulp and the outer portion is very sweet. If you are using more than 3 to 4 tomatoes in a recipe – remove the pulp so that the gravy is not tangy. Make a puree of these tomatoes in a mixie. We can use the pulp in sambar/ Resam / dhal.
Marinate the paneer slices (on both sides) with turmeric, red chilli powder and salt. Leave it on the counter for 20 minutes.
Roast them on a tava till slight brown ( sprinkle some oil on the tava and roast).
Normally people like to use the paneer as it is. As frying will make the paneer rubbery. I have had this recipe in many houses (in Delhi) and they all marinate and roast. Each paneer when you pickup and eat; will be full of flavour.
We get 2 kinds of panner in Delhi. One is the malai paneer and the paneer. The paneer is mixed with some flour etc and they are not soft. So I advise you to use malai paneer. When you roast the paneer the tava has to be hot and should be roasted in medium to high flame quickly. If we roast in sim (low flame) the moisture will be lost and will become hard. In this way, even if we roast the paneer ; it will be soft and tasty. Please don’t skip this step.
After roasting cut them into pieces.
Take about 50 gms of paneer and grind it to a very fine paste. Can add about 4 tbsp water.
Take a cooker. Add butter and oil. once oil is heated, add the jeera. Let it splutter. Add the tomato puree. Cover it and cook it on low flame till all the moisture evaporates.
Now to this dried tomato puree add turmeric, hing,coriander powder, redchilli powder and salt (use the quantity of masala prescribed -a good amount is required for this recipe). Mix these powder in water and add it.
Allow it to fry for 3 to 4 minutes.
Now add the peas and water (250ml approx). Cover the cooker and cook on high flame till one whistle.
A good gravy is one when the tomatoes and masalas are very well cooked and blended. If you use a cooker this will be perfect. Can make it on a open pot but it will take a long time.
After the steam is released add the roasted paneer, kasuri methi and the ground paneer (Also some fresh coriander chopped). Cover it and allow it to boil for 3 to 4 minutes. After adding the paneer the gravy should not be boiled for a long time.
On a daily basis, I use only 4 tomatoes and make the same recipe. The gravy will be thin but still it will be very tasty. I don’t even grind and add the paneer. This step is optional.
If you see in any north Indian house – the gravy and the dhals are thin but full of flavours. Only in restaurants they want to make a silky gravy.
The gravy can be silky just by cooking in butter. Watch this video.
The gravy can be silky by adding nuts like cashew, almond or sesame seed or khus khus. Watch this video.
We can even add corn starch, Besan, maida and wheat flour. Watch this video.
We can even add vegetables like pumpkin and bottle guard to make a thick gravy. watch this video.
But, according to me on a daily basis all these are not required . A well cooked tomato and masala will give a very tasty gravy. Try my cooker matar paneer and also watch all the videos. You will get a over all idea of gravy.
Of course, these (videos) are beautiful recipes we can make them on special occasions.
If we don’t use onion and garlic – the gravy is very tasty with only the flavour of the vegetables. Onion and garlic take over the flavour of the other vegetables.
Onion and garlic are tamasic. So it is wise to avoid tamasic food.
Choose a basmati rice which will take atleast 2 to 2 1/2 cups water to cook. This will give a very long nice rice.
The ones which takes 1 to 1 1/2 cups are not very flavourful.
In case of pulao with vegetables, if we use the more water version – the vegetables will get cooked along with the rice. In case of rice which consumes less water the vegetable has to cooked 3/4 th and then the rest will be cooked with rice. In this way, the rice will not be flavourful.
Basmati Rice – 200 gms.
Soak it with the quantity of water it takes for cooking. Do trial and error. Try to stick to a same brand of rice. My rice takes 2 1/2 times water.
In a heavy bottom pan, roast the cashews (10 nos) and add the jeera (3tsp). The jeera should not become brown for this recipe.
Remove and keep it in a cup and cover it. So that the aroma is not lost.
In the same pan, add the soaked rice with water (add salt).
Many people roast the rice. I don’t, as it will break the rice and the rice will be dry and not very soft.
Just cover it and cook it for 13 minutes. Mine took 13 minutes as it is 2 1/2 times water. If your rice is taking one to 1 1/2 times water, then it will take only 7 minutes.
Don’t allow all the water to get evaporated. When there is little water at the bottom. We can check it by immersing a spoon in the centre. Don’t mix the rice. Add the cashews and jeera on top.
Cover it and switch off the flame. Allow it to stand for 2o minutes. The water will get evaporated and a flavourful jeera rice is ready. Now, mix the rice and jeera.
Cook the corn (full) in a cooker. I would like to eat it as it is. But can apply salt, red chilli powder and lemon .
When you buy the corn. Open it little bit and press one corn – it should be tender ; otherwise, it will not cook well.
Try and tell me……………..