Mutter Paneer

Mutter Paneer
Warm yourself up with a bowl of this Mutter Paneer! This loose curry warms you with both the burn of serranos and its gentle warmth over a serving of rice.

It is not necessary to make the paneer from scratch as it can certainly be purchased from international markets or grocery stores with well-stocked international sections. Making it at home is just more fun!

1 gal whole milk
1/4 c lemon juice

Bring the milk just to a boil, then reduce heat. When all bubbles have disappeared, add the lemon juice and let set 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until large curds develop. Pour into a colander over a large bowl lined with a double layer of cheesecloth. Fold the cheesecloth over the curds and place a plate topped with heavy cans on top to press out the whey. Allow to drain for 1 hour. Squeeze the curds well, then tightly rework the cheesecloth. Allow to drain in the refrigerator overnight before using. Makes approximately 1 lb 10 oz of paneer.

1/4 c mustard oil or vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seeds, whole
1 tsp whole coriander, crushed lightly with hands
1 1/2 c chopped red onion
1 tsp salt
2 serranos (you might want to use less if you don't like spicy food)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1” knob ginger, minced
1 (15oz) can tomato sauce
1 Tbls tomato paste
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cayenne, or less to taste
1 tsp turmeric
3-4 c water or stock of choice
3 c peas
1 lb paneer, cubed + pan fried, if desired

Place oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds and coriander, then cook until they pop, about 3 minutes. Add in the onion and salt, stirring constantly and cooking until well-browned, but not burned, about 15-20 minutes. If necessary, pour in a few tablespoons of water to deglaze and prevent sticking while cooking. After the onions are cooked, turn the heat down to medium and add the jalapenos, ginger and garlic to the pan. Cook about five minutes, being very careful not to burn. Pour in the tomato sauce and paste, then sprinkle in the garam masala, cayenne and turmeric. Stir to incorporate, then cook 3-5 minutes to caramelize the tomato sugars. Pour in the water (to desired consistency), peas and paneer, then cook for one minute longer. Adjust seasonings if desired and serve over rice.