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Posts Tagged ‘Paneer’

Lentil and aubergine curry

In Recipes on May 18, 2009 at 12:27

Lentil Curry

***Supper diem Soundtrack: Dangermouse/Sparklehorse***

So we still had half of that paneer left over from last week’s dinner…it was lying there in the fridge looking sorry for itself so I thought I would do the decent thing and cut it into small pieces before heating it up in a pan and then eating it.  It was its destiny.

—SD—

Ingredients.

1 Medium Aubergine, diced (£1.30)

75g paneer, cuboided (£0.70)

Half a red onion, finely chopped (£0.15)

3 cloves of garlic, crushed (£0.10)

1 red chill, finely chopped and deseeded (£0.20)

Half a cup of lentils (£0.25)

2 tsp cinammon (£0.10)

2 tsp cumin seeds (£0.10)

1 tsp fennel (£0.05)

1 tsp turmeric (£0.05)

1 tsp garam masala (£0.05)

1 tsp Bouillon powder (£0.05)

1 tbsp veg oil (£0.05)

half a cup long grain rice (£0.20)

mango chutney on the side (£0.20)

Approx cost: £3.55

—SD—

Method.

Now some people think you should give the aubergine some serious preparation before using it in your dish, salting it to remove excess moisture and its underlying bitterness.  Well in this case I was in a rush so didn’t have time to do that, and thought that in a curry it would be okay, taking on the flavours of the spices.

After prepping the veg I started off with the garlic, then onions, and finally the chilli going into a some oil brought to a medium heat in a wok.  After a while they had softened and started to brown, so I added the cumin and fennel seeds.  In went the aubergine, and I admit it did look quite bitter, but that was to do with an unfortunate and embarassing incident that occured between us last week that I can’t go into.  After a few minutes I then stirred in the lentils, making sure they were well coated, before adding the teaspoon of bouillon.  I then added some water a little at a time, letting the lentils absorb the moisture before inundating them again.  I didn’t add all the water at once as sometimes this leads to the lentils losing their texture and the whole curry becoming quite stodgy.  When they had softened somewhat and were on their way to being cooked I added the diced paneer.  It won’t melt, it just softens a little and gives the dish another texture.

After it had cooked through for a while I added the rest of the spices and a little more water as it had started to dry out a little.  Like I said, better to hold back with the moisture until things have cooked and you know where you stand.

While the curry was finishing cooking I made the rice using the normal recipe, though I didn’t add any spices or flavourings like I sometimes do.

It turned out really well, the aubergine wasn’t bitter at all, although it had absorbed a little of the moisture.  It can handle a long cooking time it seems, as can the paneer, both holding their shape but giving a little in terms of tenderness.

Very tasty and all polished off without and leftovers, although there were slight seconds…

—SD—

Washing up count: wok, two wooden spoons, chopping board, knife, teaspoon, tablespoon = 7.

***supper diem***

Paneer Pasta

In Recipes on May 12, 2009 at 22:35

paneer pasta1

***Supper diem Soundtrack: Bill Callahan***

I liked this meal a lot, and it was very simple to make.  Spaghetti this time instead of Bucatini, along with a sauce based around tomatoes and lentils, with a few vegetables and some diced paneer.

Paneer is an indian soft cheese that is quite easy to make, although in this instance it was pur-chased from Kairali Spice Centre (a good little shop on Pen Y Wain road off Wellfield Road).  It doesn’t melt like other cheeses can, so holds its shape even though it has been added to a hot sauce.  It is quite plain on first bite, but an underlying creaminess comes through…

—SD—

Ingredients.

2 servings spaghetti (£0.20)

Half a courgette, sliced (£0.30)

Half a red pepper, sliced (£0.30)

Half a carrot, diced (£0.10)

50 g paneer, diced (£0.50)

Half a cup of lentils (£0.10)

Three mushrooms, sliced (£0.25)

Teaspoon bouillon (£0.05???)

Half a red onion, chopped (£0.20)

Two cloves garlic, chopped (£0.05)

Can of tomatoes (£0.35)

Approx cost: £2.50

—SD—

Method.

We start with the combo of pan-hob-oil-heat.  Then add the chopped onion and chopped garlic, sizzling it to a soft golden brown.  You can add the veg in any order really, but maybe hold back on the mushrooms for a bit.  When the contents of the pan have become well acquainted with each other stir in the lentils, and once they are well mixed in add the tomatoes.  I like using tinned plum tomatoes and then squashing each one into a saucy pulp with the wooden spoon.  It’s satisfying and in no way indicative of an underlying disorder on my part.  Use said spoon to encourage the well acquainted ingredients to become rather more intimate, making sure there is no courgette untouched by the red taint of tomato, and add the bouillon, or a vegetable stock cube.  Leave to simmer for a bit, and if the lentils look like they’re sucking all the moisture out then add just enough the return the sauce to a more agreeable viscosity.  Add the mushrooms too, as well as the diced paneer.  Simmer for another 5-10 minutes until everything is cooked and looking nice, dab in a teaspoon and give it a taste, before seasoning with salt and pepper as required (maybe just the pepper).

By now you will have cooked your spaghetti, so dish it all up, sauce on top, and maybe give the spaghetti a little drizzle of olive oil and extra grind of pepper if that takes your fancy.

It’s a more than adequate substitute for a meaty bolognese.  (If I keep saying it I might start believing it…no, really, it was delicious, and cheap to boot!)

—SD—

Washing up count….you know what, I can’t remember! Not that much though.

***supper diem***