Monday, April 29, 2013

Shahi Paneer

Monday came too quickly this week, but I guess that's the sign of a successful weekend! We had early morning plans on Saturday, so a friend from NYC stayed over to reduce her morning commute.  We had to set the alarm for 7:00AM to ensure there was time to grab breakfast, coffee, and snacks before leaving for the Hoboken Happy Hour Group's Long Island Wine tour.  The group organized a tour bus to visit three vineyards on Long Island's North Fork.

KK, myself and two friends kicked off the bus ride with mimosas and bagels.  By the time we'd finished breakfast, we arrived at Martha Clara.  KK and I left with a bottle of their 2010 Viognier and Clusters, a wonderfully sweet dessert wine that reminded us of Christmas Eve with my family.  Martha Clara also had an interesting array of farm animals on property - goats, sheep, and turtles.  Stop #2 was Pindar, our favorite vineyard of the day.  We tasted wines and enjoyed lunch and the sunshine on their large patio.  We left with 6 bottles: the Winter White (2), Sweet Scarlett, Pythagoras, Isabella, and Cabernet Port.  The last vineyard was Laurel Lakes.  Although we didn't purchase anything to bring home, we bought a bottle of 2009 Merlot to sip on while enjoying the late afternoon sun.  The bus made a quick stop at Briermere Farm before heading back to Hoboken.  Once home, we met up with the Swikers who were in town from Philly.  And cooked Tofu Pad Thai for dinner! What a great day!

Sunday was less exciting, but more productive.  Since I wasn't working from home on Friday, I caught up with laundry and did FOUR loads! Laundry is one of those household chores that is never-ending.  We also went grocery shopping; got an oil change and new tires for the car; stumbled across Free Grilled Cheese Day at Cheese Boy; and took advantage of Macy's Friends & Family sale.  The sales were amazing, and I think I even found a bridesmaid dress for my friend Jess's September wedding!

Paneer is my favorite Indian food.  What's not to love about crisped blocks of cheese in a spicy curry?!?  Monica's Spice Diary classifies this version of Shahi Paneer as "skinny."  The sauce is primarily made of water, getting its creaminess from sour cream instead of heavy cream.  I also increased the amount of peas, and reduced the oil and salt to keep things a bit healthier... something certainly required to fully enjoy the paneer! Since I'm still a novice at cooking Indian cuisine, I trusted Monica's recipe and chose not to experiment with spice ratios.  We couldn't pick one, so we chose to serve this Indian dish with both basmati rice and frozen garlic naan that we bought in Edison, NJ.

Shahi Paneer
Adapted from Monica's Spice Diary
Time: 45 minutes
Serves 4

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 block of paneer (~350g), cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon salt, divided
2 teaspoons turmeric powder, divided
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons ginger, minced
1 green chili 
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 cups water
3 tablespoons sour cream
Rice or naan, for serving

1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add paneer cubes, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder.  Heat paneer until golden brown on all sides, remove from heat.

2.  Meanwhile, combine the following ingredients in a food processor: onion, garlic, ginger, chili  1/2 teaspoon salt, paprika, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, garam masala and the coriander. Process until finely ground.

3. Using the same skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil.  Add the onion mixture from the food processor.  Cook on medium heat until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes.

4. Add tomatoes to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes. Next, add peas and paneer and mix well.

5. Add water.  Bring mixture to a boil, then cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Add sour cream and stir continuously for 3-5 minutes.  Serve with rice or naan.

1 comment:

  1. Swiker shout out! It was great to see you, MC and KK!! xoxo


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