I've been thinking about finding some some Indian recipes to try at home, and when I was out with a coworker at lunch today, and the store we were in had blocks of paneer for a good price (our local grocery store never has paneer, which is sad), I decided that tonight would be the night I would try my hand at an Indian inspired dish. This turned out pretty good, but since I threw it together without a recipe, based on what was in the fridge and pantry, it is very definitely not anywhere close to authentic tasting.
Partner told me it was really good when going back for seconds and thirds, so I'm taking that as a good sign.
|I should have taken this photo before I mixed everything together, but you get the idea|
Here is how I cooked my Inspired by Indian Restaurant Vegetable Paneer
oil for frying
1 onion (I had a large shallot, so I used that), sliced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 large carrot, cut into chunks
1 small zucchini, sliced
1 stalk celery, chopped
2-4 mushrooms, sliced
1 frozen spinach block (from the kind that come frozen in a bag, in large blobs, not a bag where the whole bag is one block)
frozen green beans
1 tin coconut milk
1 tin diced or crushed tomatoes
paneer, cut into cubes
1 tsp curry powder (or to taste)
1 tsp cumin (or to taste)
1 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)
1 tsp ground ginger (if you have fresh ginger on hand, use that instead!)
1 tsp chili powder
something spicy, if you like spicy (we added ours after, because the small child would have objected to hot sauce in her dinner)
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium, and add the onion. When the onion starts to soften, add the garlic. Let them cook until both are softened, and then add your carrot, celery, mushrooms and zucchini.
Give everything another minute or two, and add your spices to taste. Remember that you can always add more later.
After the spices have had a moment to warm, put in the coconut milk and tinned tomatoes and give everything a stir. Put in your frozen vegetables, and give another stir.
Let everything cook together for 1-3 minutes, and then add your paneer. Make sure everything is well mixed into the sauce, and then turn up the heat to bring to a simmer (you want the sauce to reduce a bit)
When everything is cooked through, serve it with some rice, naan or other grain product like quinoa or couscous. Essentially, something to soak up the sauce.
I think that next time I may try cooking this in the slow cooker (adding the paneer at the end, so it doesn't disintegrate), so that the flavours have even more time to get to know each other.