(serves 4 as a main course)
I decided to make the paneer as it's really quite simple to do and ends up costing less than purchasing the ready made stuff (if you can even find it), and I wanted to use hormone and antibiotic free milk.
paneer (makes about 1/2 lb)
1/2 gallon of milk, (I used 1%)
1/2 tsp salt
2-3 tbsp white vinegar
Bring the milk and salt to a boil in a large saucepan, being careful not to let it burn. Remove from heat.
Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar and stir for about a minute until the milk curdles. If the curds don't separate enough from the whey, then keep adding 1 tsp of vinegar at a time until they do.
Matar Paneer (can be made a day ahead and reheated)*
2 tbsp ghee, or clarified butter (or just plain unsalted butter)
1/2 lb paneer, cut into 3/4" cubes
1 large sweet onion, cut into quarters
2 large cloves garlic
2" piece of fresh ginger, skin removed
2-3 jalapeno peppers, seeded
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch or more of cayenne, to taste
1/2 6oz can tomato paste, (freeze the other half for another use)
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1 cup water or whey
3 1/2 cups shelled peas, (1 lb bag frozen)
1/3 cup heavy cream (optional)
salt to taste
small handful fresh cilantro, chopped
Heat 1 tablespoon of ghee (half) in a large non-stick skillet and add the paneer cubes. Fry them until they are a light golden brown. Remove and set aside.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of ghee to the skillet, set the temperature to medium-low and add the pureed onion mixture. Cook, stirring from time to time until it thickens; about 15 minutes.
Add the tomato paste, yogurt and water or whey. Stir well then cover and simmer gently over low heat for about 25 minutes.
Stir in the peas and the paneer, and simmer for another 8-10 minutes.
Stir in the heavy cream (or more water or whey if the mixtures seems too thick) and the chopped cilantro. Bring back to a simmer. Add salt if needed.
Serve with rice and/or naan.
*This dish seems even better reheated the next day.