Matar Paneer is an easy, tomato based Indian cottage cheese curry that is full of flavor and pairs well with roti, naan, steamed rice or jeera rice too.
This recipe is one of the first curries I ever learned how to make. Paneer or Indian cottage cheese is not a typical ingredient used in most Goan / Mangalorean households, but it’s one that’s widely used throughout north India. If you haven’t tried it yet, you really should. It’s one of the tastiest things I have eaten. Right from the first time my mother made this curry for us, I was hooked. I think this is one of the main reasons I actually wanted to know how it was made.
To really enjoy your paneer, you need to source some good quality paneer. In India, most dairy shops have some great, fresh paneer and it’s quite easy to find. Outside India, you will have to try a couple of brands out to find something you really like. I’ve found that the brands in my local supermarkets just don’t cut it. The paneer is rubbery and chewy and is not that flavorful. Now that goes against everything that good paneer is supposed to be. So after a lot of trial, I found some great quality paneer at my local Indian grocery store. This paneer is locally made and ticks all the boxes for me, when it comes to taste and texture.
This curry is a tomato based curry. Ideally, use fresh tomatoes if they are in season. If not, you can always use some passata, canned tomatoes or tomato puree. You can serve this curry up either with some roti or naan and it even goes really well with rice. Plain steamed rice is fine, but I serve it up with a beautiful Jeera Rice that is perfect for curries like this one.
Let’s have a look at the recipe, shall we?
Matar Paneer – Curried Indian cottage cheeseCourse: MainCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Easy
Matar Paneer is an easy, tomato based, Indian cottage cheese curry that is full of flavor and pairs well with roti, naan, steamed rice or jeera rice too.
5 cloves of garlic
1/2 inch ginger
2 tomatoes /
1 tbsp oil + 1-2 tbsp oil to fry the potatoes and paneer
1/3 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
2 medium sized potatoes, cubed
250g Paneer, cubed
1/2 cup green peas
Salt, to taste
2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
- Grind the onion, chillies, ginger and garlic to a fine paste. Do not use any water to grind it down. Set this aside.
- Grind the fresh tomatoes to a puree separately and set aside in another bowl. If you’re using passata, you can ignore this step.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and lightly fry the paneer pieces till they get a little golden brown. Don’t cook for too long or it will result in the paneer getting chewy. Using a slotted spoon to drain off excess oil, take the paneer out of the pan and set aside.
- Add a little oil if needed and fry the potato cubes till they are almost done. Set aside to use later.
- Add a little oil as needed to give yourself about 1 tbsp of oil in the pan. Add the ground onion and saute this till the onion changes color. This should take approx. 3-4 minutes and this gives the ginger and garlic a chance to cook off too.
- Now add the tumeric, chilly powder and 1/4 tsp of garam masala powder and stir well to incorporate. Let the spices cook off for about 30 seconds.
- Add the tomato puree to the pan and let this cook off for a couple of minutes or till your gravy base / masala looks nice and fried. Add a little water as required to achieve the consistency of gravy you’re looking for. I recommend adding the water in a couple of stages to make sure you have the right consistency. Bring to a boil. Once it starts boiling, cover the pan, lower the heat to a simmer and cook off for about 5-7 minutes, checking the water level and stirring it through at the halfway mark.
- Add the green peas and the fried potato cubes and let it continue to cook till the vegetables have cooked off.
- At the very end, add the paneer and let it warm through. I usually let it cook for just a minute or two at this point.
- Stir in the garam masala powder.
- Take the curry off the heat and finish off with a sprinkling of the fresh, chopped coriander.
- Serve hot.
Everyone has atleast one meal that takes them right back to their childhood. For me its this Goan prawn curry. This curry with some rice, for me, is the ultimate soul food. And I must say, my mother makes the best prawn curry in the world. Atleast I think so. This is her prawn curry recipe that I’m sharing with you today.
For a recipe like this, fresh prawns are the best. Check out my video on how to clean and de-vein prawns here. I recommend using small to medium sized prawns for the curry. Save your larger prawns (like your king prawns and tiger prawns) to crumb fry or grill.
Now, to take this prawn curry to the next level, add some okra to the curry. Don’t kick it till you try it. It is really something else. I have shared a version of that curry here. This is just how my family makes this curry. And almost every Goan family has their own version of it.
This prawn curry is best served pipping hot with some boiled rice, Goan red rice is even better, if you can get your hands on some. This also goes down a real treat with some crusty bread.
The concept of Kalchi Kodi
While all this is quite common, something you may have not come across before is the concept of “kalchi Kodi” which simply translates to “yesterdays curry”. This is literally what it is. Any leftovers are reheated the next morning. This makes the curry really thick and it is then enjoyed with either chapatis or bread for breakfast. For me this curry for breakfast is a little too savoury. So instead, we just have any leftovers for lunch the next day.
Onto the recipe.
Goan Prawn CurryCourse: MainsDifficulty: Easy
A delectable coconut based curry, slightly tart, perfectly spiced and loaded with succulent prawns, this Goan Prawn curry is an absolute winner.
1/2 kg prawns, peeled and deveined
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 chillies, slit in half
1 piece of amsol (dried mango)
3-4 pieces of kokum
A walnut sized ball of tamarind
1 tbsp coconut oil
Salt, to taste
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vinegar, optional
- For the Masala (spice paste) –
1/2 cup grated coconut
6 Kashmiri chillies
2 large cloves garlic
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1/4 tsp black pepper corns
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- Sprinkle salt, squeeze some lemon juice and drizzle the vinegar over the prawns and set aside
- Pour a little warm water over the tamarind and set aside (I use about 1/4 cup of water).
- Grind all the ingredients for the masala to a fine paste, using a little water as needed.
- Heat some oil in a pot. Saute the onions till they have softened and turn translucent.
- Add the masala and let it saute for a few minutes.
- Add some water to thin out your masala and get it to the consistency you like. Remember the curry will thicken as it cooks. So add a touch more water. Add the chillies and bring it to a boil.
- Turn the heat down to a simmer, add the amsol and the kokum and let the curry simmer for 6-8 minutes. Halfway through, stir the curry through and add water to adjust the consistency, if needed.
- When the curry is almost ready, add the prawns. Add some of the tamarind extract and cook for another 2 minutes or till the prawns are just cooked. Don’t overcook the prawns.
- Check for seasoning and adjust as required.
Serve hot with rice.
Breakfast happens to be one of my favorite meals of the day. Well, a weekend breakfast, that is. Its the perfect time to whip up a batch of pancakes or French Toast or muffins. And if you’re the mood for something savory, then eggs and toast with the optional bacon and sausages is a great option. If you’re in a slightly more adventurous mood, then only a masala omelette will do. We love a good omelette. It needs to have nice bold flavors, a little spice and a little bite as well. We love it so much, that it sometimes makes an appearance as “breakfast for dinner”. Anyone else like “breakfast for dinner” as much as I do? I cannot believe that I haven’t shared this recipe with you before. It is super simple and so good. We usually serve it with some plain / buttered toast or some hot chapatis. They also make a fantastic sandwich when served between 2 slices of buttered bread. Try it out this weekend and let me know what you think of it.
Yields 1 omelette
2 tbsp finely chopped onions
2 tbsp finely chopped tomatoes
1-2 tsp finely chopped coriander leaves and stalks
1/2 birdseye chilly, finely chopped
Salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
A good pinch of turmeric powder
1 tsp oil
Add the onions, tomatoes, chilly and coriander to a bowl.
Add the salt, pepper and turmeric powder to the bowl and mix everything thoroughly.
Heat a pan over medium heat.
Drizzle the oil in the pan. When the oil has heated, pour the omelette mix into the pan.
Cook it over medium heat till the bottom side has set and turned a light brown.
Carefully flip over and cook on the other side as well.
You can watch how I make it here –
It’s the perfect baking option for holidays or when you’re baking for a crowd because of its simplicity. The recipe can be doubled if you like. And when simple recipes yield such fantastic results, you know you’re on to a winner.
So I do hope you try these brownies out.
The Best Chocolate Brownies
110g all purpose flour
185g salted butter
175g dark chocolate (either buttons, or roughly chopped bars, both would work)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
A pinch of salt
50g chocolate chips.
Melt the butter and dark chocolate in a heavy bottomed pan on low heat. Once everything has melted, take the pan off the heat and set it aside to cool.
Halfway through the cooling process, turn the oven on and preheat it to 180ºC. Line an 8 inch square baking tray with some foil and leave an overhang on the sides. The foil makes clean up so much easier and the overhang helps take the brownies out of the try very easily.
Crack one egg into a small bowl and lightly whisk it. Add it to the melted and cooled butter and chocolate mix and whisk to incorporate. Repeat this with the second egg.
Add the vanilla, salt and sugar and whisk well, making sure everything has mixed well.
Now add the flour and whisk until just combined.
Add the chocolate chips and fold it through the batter with the help of a spatula.
Pour the batter into the foil lined tray and bake for about 25-30 minutes.
Take the brownies out of the oven and let them cool completely.
Pin now and try later!
So, a while ago, when I saw this episode of Poh & Co, where Poh (one of my favorite TV chefs) whipped up a Nonya (a type of Malaysian) Chicken Curry, both, my husband and I knew we had to try the recipe out. The recipe does call for a few specialty ingredients, but the first time I made this curry, I didn’t have them and so I left them out. Even then the curry was a great one. But I knew I wanted to try the recipe with all of the ingredients. So I picked up the Pandan leaves and the Shrimp Belachan at a local Asian grocery store and made the curry again. This time with all the ingredients. The result was a mind-blowing curry. Now I don’t often refer to a curry as mind-blowing. A cake, maybe, but never a curry. But this curry is all that, and then some. It is one of my favorite chicken curries. And today I’m going to show you how I make mine. I have altered the method a tiny bit, to make the recipe more convenient and I hope you try this out the next time you want to make a chicken curry.
If you’ve never made a curry before, don’t let the idea scare you. It is easier than you think. I’ve put together a video to walk you through the process.
Let’s move on the the detailed recipe for this Nonya Chicken Curry.
Nonya Chicken Curry
Recipe from: Poh Ling Yeow
3 tbsp Coriander seeds
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp Fennel seeds
15 dried red chillies
2 onions, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic
20g toasted Belachan
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
8-10 curry leaves
2 tbsp oil (I use olive oil for all my cooking. You can use whatever oil you normally cook with.)
1 star anise
1 inch cinnamon
1 1/2 kilo chicken pieces
2 potatoes, cut into large cubes
2 birdseye chillies, slit lengthways
1 can coconut cream (400 ml can)
2 pandan leaves
Take the skin off the chicken, cut into pieces, trim the fat off and set aside.
Deseed the dried chillies and soak them in hot water till they’ve rehydrated and softened.
In a dry pan, on medium heat, roast the coriander, cumin and fennel seeds till fragrant. Take them off the pan and set aside to cool.
Using a blender or food processor (you can also use a mortar and pestle if you dont have one), grind the roasted coriander-fennel-cumin seeds mix, drained red chillies, onion, garlic, belachan and turmeric to a fine paste, adding a little water as needed.
Heat oil in a large pot / pan over medium heat. Add the star anise, cinnamon and cloves and let them fry till fragrant about 20-30 seconds.
Add the spice paste (rempah) to the pan and saute for 6-8 minutes till the sauce is very fragrant.
Tear the pandan leaves into 3 strips lengthways and knot them together. Add the pandan and curry leaves to the spice mix.
Add the chicken to the pan and stir to coat with the spice paste. Saute for 1-2 minutes or till the chicken pieces start to look opaque.
Add the coconut cream and stir well.
Add the potatoes, salt and sugar. Add a little water to thin down the sauce a little to reach the desired consistency. Let it come to a boil.
Add the slit birdseye chillies, lower the heat, cover the pot and simmer till tender. Check after 5-7 minutes, add more water if needed, stir to make sure the curry doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Cover the pot and continue cooking till the chicken and potatoes are cooked.
Serve hot with rice. I tried to serve it up like a Nasi Lemak, but with plain rice instead of coconut rice. I added some fried baby anchovies, peanuts, boiled egg and some cucumber slices.
This curry also goes really well with roti or even bread. If you can get on hands on some Roti Canai, even better.
These Beef cutlets have got to be one of my favorite recipes. When we were kids, my brother and I would wait for Mum to make a batch of these cutlets at home. It wasn’t made very often, but when it was, it was a real treat. I have, for the most part, stuck to my Mum’s recipe, with just a few tweaks.
These cutlets are very versatile. Make them smaller in size and serve them up with some tomato ketchup or Barbecue Sauce as starters or Finger food, make them larger and use them as patties in Burgers or make a medium size and serve it up with some Mashed potatoes / Roasted potatoes / Fries and a salad .
I have posted a beef cutlet recipe before, but that was a really long time ago. This recipe is the same, with just the addition of some Worcestershire sauce. I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to take some new pictures. After all, its been a long journey from ‘My Hobbie Lobbie’ to ‘The Aspiring Home Cook’. I’ve also filmed a little video with some handy dandy tips too. I will link the video at the end of this post.
Goan Beef Cutlets
(Makes about 14-15)
500g ground beef (beef mince)
1 large or 2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 birdseye chillies, finely chopped (optional)
3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2″ ginger, finely chopped
1-2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
1/4 tsp black pepper powder
1/4-1/3 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
Salt, to taste
2 slices of bread
Bread crumbs, to coat the cutlets
Olive oil, for frying (You can use whatever cooking oil you have on hand)
Soak the slices of bread in water for a few seconds, drain out all the liquid and crumble. Mix together all the ingredients except the bread crumbs and vegetable oil.
Make sure all the ingredients are well mixed and evenly distributed.
Shape into cutlets.
Coat with bread crumbs.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan. Carefully place the cutlets in the pan and let it cook on a medium heat till its done to your liking. Turn over and cook the other side as well.
Repeat till you’re done with the meat mix, adding more oil to the pan as and when you need to.
Here’s the video –
Looking at my collection of recipes on this blog, it might be hard to tell that I actually love pasta. Nothing specific, just about all shapes and sizes and all kinds of sauces too. There is just one condition, they need to have flavor. Unfortunately, I’ve had pasta at too many restaurants, including a couple of Italian restaurants around Sydney and it has been disappointing, to say the least. So I usually end up eating the pasta I make at home. And I can’t to that too frequently, because my husband is not the biggest fan of pasta. What then is this pasta-loving soul supposed to do?
Because of this, I’m always on the look out for new ways to serve pasta. And when I saw this pasta, I knew I was onto something. I have two versions of this pasta. Today, I will share with you the basic version, which I happen to really like. Sometime soon, I will share a more dressed up version, something my husband and I came up with while eating a bowl of this gorgeous green. The sauce comes together in sheer minutes and the only cooking it needs, is blanching the spinach. So you can easily serve this up on a busy weeknight in under half and hour. That is one of the many things I love about this recipe. If you have ‘littles’ in the house who might be a little skeptical about eating green pasta, call it something fun like ‘an alien dinner / alien pasta’ or ‘the Hulk’s pasta’ or something fun like that, and watch it get gobbled down. An extra sprinkle of cheese on the top doesn’t hurt either.
works well) and immerse in the ice cold water. This will stop the cooking process immediately and help the spinach retain a vibrant shade of green. You may need to do this in batches. Repeat the process till all the spinach has been blanched.