Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Paneer Mushroom Mahkani

Tomorrow there is a lunch pot luck at work, so I thought I'd make something interesting to bring in. A while back I made some Murgh Makhani, but I thought I would do a vegetarian version, especially for those worried about eating foods that could empathize with you.

This dish takes quite a while, so makes sure you've got time. I made the paneer the night before since they were out of already-made paneer at the store. Here is what I used:

Paneer made from 1 gallon of milk
10-12 crimini mushrooms, quartered.

For the marinade:
2 Tbsp plain yogurt
2 tsp chile powder
1 Tbsp garam masala
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp minced ginger
1 Tbsp melted butter

For the gravy:
2 tsp cumin seed
several curry leaves

1 onion
4 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp minced ginger
2-3 chile peppers

1-2 tsp turmeric powder
1 Tbsp cumin powder
1 Tbsp coriander powder

3 large tomatoes
2 handfuls of raw cashews (pre-soaked in water)

Fry the cubed paneer pieces in ghee or butter until lightly browned. Set aside and then do the same for the mushrooms. I am not sure how much the paneer and mushrooms needed to be marinated, but thought I'd do it anyway. I think next time I will skip this step and see how things change. Here, I combined all the marinade ingredients with the paneer and mushrooms and set aside for 20 minutes. Meanwhile I prepared the remaining ingredients. Before starting the gravy, I took the marinated paneer and mushrooms, and cooked them a bit more in the marinade to impart more flavor and cook down the liquid. Again, I think next time around I will just skip this part. I set aside the mushrooms and panner and then started the gravy.

Melt half a stick of butter in a wide, deep pan. Add the curry leaves and cumin seed and fry until the seeds start to pop. Toss in the onion, garlic, ginger, and chile pepper, and fry until the onions are nice and soft. Toss in the powdered spices, and fry for a bit longer. Next add the tomatoes and a bit of salt. While the tomatoes are getting started, grind the cashews along with some of their soaking water in a food processor or blender, to make a smooth paste. Add this to the pot with the stewing tomatoes. Add a few Tbsp of yogurt here to make things a bit more creamy. Once the tomatoes are cooked down a bit, remove from the heat, and carefully add to a food processor and blend until smooth.

Return the blended gravy to the pan, along with some water if the sauce is too thick at this point. Toss in the paneer and mushrooms, and simmer for a few minutes, adjusting salt and other spices as desired. Now you are ready! Serve topped with freshly chopped cilantro, and with rice or bread. Enjoy!

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