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DELHI-WALA MATAR PANEER:

Ahhh, my Delhi days ! Where art thou ! The days of mayhem, the days of broken hearts, the days of back to back late night films, and the days of eating without worrying about calories.The days of not maintaining logs for daily food, to be frowned upon by your trainer the next day at the gym. The days of madness and loads of good food. Since i raved and ranted a lot about my kebab passions, so will try and not go along that path anymore. But Delhi days were also synonymous with very typical Delhi dishes, like the decadent MATAR PANEER, which tastes nothing like its namesake served across the homeland. The Delhi taste is something which is uber special.So on days when I felt that I needed to de-tox myself, I headed for some Matar Paneer, in my neighbouring Guptaji ka Dhaba in Malviya Nagar in South Delhi. It was just the right gravy you needed on a cold Delhi night, to dunk your rotis in. Nostalgia hits again.

What exactly is the secret to the quintessential Delhi-wala Matar Paneer. Firstly, the paneer is not fried, before being introduced in to the bubbling gravy. That is what makes it super soft once its served. Paneer , being a protein, will have a tendency to get rubbery, once its over cooked.Hence the Delhites skip the frying stage of the paneer, while they whip up their delicacies. This is something, which I figured out, while savoring the dish,over the years. But the second part needed some snooping around. It was the search for the mystery ingredient, which lends the dish its signature taste. It took me a long time to get to this secret. I used to try and re-create Matar Paneer, but could not get the taste. Till, one day, I decided to chat up with one of the young boys, who helped around at Guptaji's Dhaba, while I waited for my order to be packed.The journo in me, got the  secret out:  A few tablespoons of Coriander paste, added to the gravy, in the final steps of cooking. That's what makes it special. The young boy mentioned it quite casually, as if it was something which everyone other than me, already knew.
DELHI-WALA MATAR PANEER:  

Ingredients:
Paneer: Thawed and cut into cubes: 12 oz/340gm
Coriander Paste: 3-4 tbsp(made by grinding 1/2 a bunch of coriander leaves with lemon juice and a little water, in the blender).
Red Chili Powder: 1 tsp
Salt: to taste
Cumin Seeds/Jeera: 1 tbsp
Canola Oil
Tomato: 2 large: blended in the food processor
Onion: 1 large: blended
Ginger-Garlic paste: 1 1/2 tbsp
Frozen Peas/Fresh Peas: 1 cup
Coriander Powder: 1 tbsp

Procedure: 
Add canola oil to a pan and add the jeera seeds to it, till they start spluttering. Add in the onion paste and the ginger garlic paste to it, and cook it till it starts to change colour lightly. Then add the tomato paste to it, and cover and let it cook for around 3-5 minutes.
 
Then add Coriander Powder and Red Chili Powder and Salt and mix well. Cook  the masala, till you can see oil along the sides of the pan. The masala needs to be well cooked at this stage, or else it will lend a raw taste later on. But care should be taken so that the masala does not get burnt. Needs to stirred frequently.
Once the masala has been cooked well, then add the peas and half a cup of hot water. Cover and cook for around 3-5 minutes.
Next add the cubed and thawed Paneer to the gravy. Remove the cover and continue to cook.
 Once the gravy starts simmering, add in the coriander paste. Mix well.

 Reduce the gravy, so that its thickened.Be careful, so that the Paneer does not start to disintegrate. Check for seasonings.
Serve hot with rotis/parathas/naan, with some desi style green salad.

Bon Appetit !



3 comments

  1. Thank you for sharing and I want to share information about Madras Bistro which offers a wide range of delicious North and South Indian vegetarian dishes. Situated in the heart of Bergen County, Madras Bistro is located in Hackensack, NJ.

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  2. Simply awesome and delicious looking Wonderfully prepared.
    restaurant in laxmi nagar

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