June 13, 2017

Tarkari diye chanar dalna (Paneer and vegetable curry)

Vegetable and paneer curry

When all the leaves fell down last fall, we discovered an abandoned nest in the red maple tree in our front yard. It was small and lasted through most of the winter. In the spring rain last couple of months, it almost disintegrated.

The leaves came back in the maple and we forgot about the nest. Then just yesterday, we found that the birds have come back to the nest, readied it and made it their home again. Now there are four little babies hanging out in the nest.

In other news, the veggie patch has been planted, the roses are blooming again and it is the last week of school.

The temperatures are soaring, we had a few days in the 90deg F. When it happens, I switch to light curries and this chanar dalna or paneer curry is one of them. With onion, ginger and tomatoes as the base, you can add any vegetable available. I added potato, carrot, peas and beans, but you could add some cauliflower, broccoli, summer squashes too.

Here is how I made it:

(serves 4-5)
1 1/2 lbs chana or paneer, cut into cubes  
2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped  
1 medium onion - sliced thinly
1 tspoon grated fresh ginger
2 green chillies
2  potatoes cut in cubes
1/2 cup green peas
2 carrots - cubed
1/2 cup green beans cut
2 tspoons  cumin and coriander powder
2-3 green cardamoms
1 stick cinnamon
2 bay leaves
1 tspoon cumin seeds
1/2 tspoon turmeric powder  
4-5 tbspoon oil
1/4 tspoon sugar
Salt to taste
bunch of cilantro for garnishing

Heat all but 1 tbspoon oil and put in the paneer pieces and saute them till they start to turn brown. Then put them in salted warm water. 

In the same oil, add the potatoes next and saute them lightly. Keep them aside.

Now add the rest of the oil and temper it with cumin seeds, bay leaves, green chillies. Then add the cardamom and cinnamon. Saute for a minute and then add the onions. Story for 3-4 minutes till it turns translucent  Now add the ginger and the turmeric powder. 

After a minute add the vegetables - carrots, beans, potatoes and peas. Let it all salute together for a minute. Then add the tomatoes, cumin and coriander powder. 

Let it cook together for a couple of minutes till it starts to stick. 

Add the salt and about 1 1/2 cups of water. Let it cook for another 5-6 minutes till the potatoes and carrots are cooked.

Vegetable and paneer curry

Take it off the heat, garnish with cilantro (optional) and serve warm with rice or chapatis. 

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