Indian Comfort Food


So the combination of heavy workloads, semi winter last week and not a lot of R&R time means we’ve been feeling a little run down lately. Which means we’re craving comfort food in a big way!

Comfort food means different things to different people; pizza, fries, shepherd’s pie, chocolate cake, mashed potato, burgers, curry and according to the comments to this Guardian article, even soup and salads! We love all of these things but sometimes we want something fresh, flavourful and something that reminds us of home. Matar paneer or Indian-style peas and cottage cheese is a great choice and relatively healthy! This recipe is one of the first few things we learnt from our grandmother whilst growing up and Anchal can do it in her sleep! (Maybe.)

Here’s how:

250g block of paneer, cubed (you can find this in Tesco’s “ethnic” foods fridge)
oil for frying
1 tsp cumin
1 medium onion, chopped
2 inch piece of ginger, chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 can of chopped tomatoes
400g frozen peas
salt to taste

  1. In a non-stick pan, add more oil than you’re comfortable with (or cover the bottom of the pan) and fry the cubes of paneer for 2 minutes until golden brown. (Or a regular pan if you like the slightly charred look!) Set aside.
  2. In another pan, heat 2 tbsp of oil at a high temperature. Add the cumin and fry for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the onion and ginger and fry for 1 minute or until the onion is golden.
  4. Add the turmeric, coriander, garam masala and red chilli powder. (We like to turn the heat down slightly when we do this so that the dry spices don’t burn.)
  5. Cook for 1 minute and then add the chopped tomatoes. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes or until the oil starts to separate.
  6. Add the frozen peas and cook for another 10 minutes. (The frozen peas will add more liquid to this concoction, but if you feel it is a bit dry, add half a can of water so that the peas are covered and bring to a boil.)
  7. Add the fried paneer to the pan and add salt to taste. Simmer on low-medium heat for 5 minutes.
  8. Serve with chapatis, pitta bread or on its own.

So what do you think? Feel free to share your questions and comments below! We’d love to hear what you have to say.

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