I love, love, love Indian Food. I love how complex the flavors are, how when you have all of these simple spices, something magical happens when you combine them and slowly cook them. Here is one of my recent favorites-Paneer Masala Curry. Paneer is "Indian Cheese", in case you are unfamiliar with it. It's a little hard to find sometimes, but if you do....I'd buy it and try this recipe. Usually you can find paneer in the specialty cheese area at nicer grocery stores.
Creamy, luscious tomato cream sauce with spices, cubes of paneer cheese and finished off with loads of fresh spinach. It's great served over basmati rice and a side salad for a very satisfying vegetarian meal. Makes some great leftovers too if you do extra!
1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1 Large onion chopped- ½ diced for saute, other ½ saved for garlic/ginger/onion paste (recipe below)
3-4 Chopped tomatoes or a small can of crushed tomatoes
1-2 tsp salt (taste for seasoning)
¼ cup raw cashews- soak in ¼ cup of hot water for 30 minutes & puree until smooth
1 tsp coriander powder
¾ tsp garam masala
½ tsp hot chili flakes
1 tsp honey
2 Tbsp butter
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
Garlic ginger paste (puree of 2 cloves of garlic, 1 Tbsp fresh ginger and ½ onion from above-put in a small food processor and puree it)
1 “package” of paneer-cut into small cubes (about ½ inch in diameter)
Big bunch of Spinach (optional)
Heat a pan with the coconut oil. When heated, add the diced onions and saute until translucent.
Add diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes and salt-let cook down until the tomatoes are really mushy and falling apart or the crushed tomatoes lose their juices.
Add garam masala, coriander powder, pureed cashews, chili flakes and honey. Saute until the mixture gets sticky and thick. Turn off, let it cool for a couple of minutes. Blend with a cup of water until smooth and save aside until step 5.
Add butter to same saute pan, add bay leaf, cinnamon stick and cloves. Fry for one minute then add the garlic ginger onion paste. Saute until onion is cooked, but don’t let it burn. This takes about five minutes and you’ll need to stir frequently.
Pour the puree from step 3 into the pan and cook until it’s thick and bubbly. Make sure it thickens up before you add the paneer.
Add paneer and spinach, cooking until the spinach wilts and the paneer is warmed up.
Serve over steamed brown rice and be ready to be happy.