A white girl usually can’t throw down in an Indian kitchen, and I’m no exception. But on occasion, I still like to try… So on our mission to find an awesome paneer recipe we found Manjula’s Kitchen, and decided to mix two recipes to create the perfect dish to satisfy our taste and ended up with a Mattar Paneer–Masala of sorts.
We gathered the ingredients and the wide array of spices commonly used in Indian cuisine, but less so here in the US. Fortunately, G is obsessed with collecting spices so we had most of them on hand. But for anyone out there looking for asfoetida , whole cumin seed, or garam masala you can find them at Whole Foods or our favorite shop, The Spice House. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time the trek to Devon to find the one ingredient that eluded us, tejpat “bay leaf”, which doesn’t match my western perception of a bay leaf at all!
To simplify our after work cooking extravaganza, we purchased paneer from Whole Foods and picked up some naan from our local Indian restaurant, but we hope to try Manjula’s recipes for these soon. We opted for low fat yogurt instead of heavy cream and avoided using butter altogether, creating a much healthier version of the one typically found in Indian restaurants. After laboring in the kitchen for an hour, we were overwelmingly surprised with the results! The only downside, was that our clothes and condo smelled like an Indian restaurant for a week, which might explain the strange looks I received when passing our neighbors in the hall.