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Paneer and pea curry

I like to make this in the morning. This is because the children and I are in better moods and I am therefore more likely to concentrate, thus not burning the edges of the paneer or onions.  The flavour also improves with a little sitting around.  Use ground spices for this recipe, but if you have time, make your own crushed cumin and coriander.  To do this, use double the amount of cumin and coriander seeds, dry fry in a cast iron pan or heavy non-stick pan till the aroma is drawn out and then crush finely in a pestle and mortar if you have one.  Or bash with the end of a rolling pin or other heavy utensil if you don't.  Slightly tired spinach also works well in this recipe instead of peas if you need to use it up.

Ingredients 

  • half onion, chopped finely 
  • paneer, cubed - one packet usually feeds the family 
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil 
  • 2 tsp ground cumin 
  • 1 tsp ground coriander 
  • 1 tsp ground ginger 
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric 
  • remnants of a bottle of passata/ a large and generous squeeze of tomato puree mixed with water 
  • a few fresh tomatoes if you have them spare, roughly chopped 
  • frozen peas - enough to balance out the amount of paneer 
Method
  1. In a heavy pan, gently fry the onion in a little vegetable oil until it starts to brown.  Make sure the edges don't burn; they will if you turn your attention away for too long.  
  2. Meanwhile, in another non-stick pan, heat the vegetable oil until hot, then fry the paneer, until golden but not too crisp, turning as needed.  
  3. When the onion is slightly browned, add the spices and stir till a heavy, dry paste.  
  4. Add the cooked paneer, the tomatoes and frozen peas  Simmer away until all is tender. 
  5. Leave to sit until needed.
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