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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Mutter Tofu Curry

peas and tofu curry indian vegetarian matar paneer

This is an adaptation of my favorite North Indian style curry called Mutter-Paneer which is basically Peas (Mutter) and Fried Paneer in a delicious gravy.

About once a month or so, I get a large batch of extra firm tofu, marinate, bake or pan-fry, and store it in the fridge/freezer for use over the next few weeks.

For a quick curry, it is nice to use ready-made pastes: I like Patak's Tikka Masala paste, Vindaloo Curry paste, Biriyani paste, and Rogan Josh paste. But, it is just as easy to create my own paste with whatever is handy.

Ingredients
6 cups frozen peas
1 can diced tomatoes
1 medium onion chopped finely
cilantro, spring onions for garnish
salt to taste
1-2 tsp brown sugar, adjust to taste

For the sauce/gravy:
dry toasting:
1 Tbsp white poppy seeds
1 star anise
2 cardamom pods
2 cloves
2 Tbsp fennel seeds
1-2 indian bay leaves
2 2" piece of chinese/indian cinnamon bark
Plus:
1-2 jalapenos or serrano
1" piece ginger, chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tbsp canola oil

Preparation
  1. For Curry/Sauce/Gravy:Dry toast the sauce/gravy spices, then grind them to fine powder, set aside
  2. Combine the rest of the sauce ingredients and grind to a fine paste
  3. Heat oil in a pan, sauté the ground paste till rawness subsides, then add the chopped onions, peas, tomatoes, some salt, water and the powdered spices, simmer over medium-low heat
  4. When peas are cooked through but not mushy, drop in the baked or pan-fried tofu and simmer to desired consistency, adjust flavors
  5. Garnish with cilantro, chopped spring onions and serve warm with naan, bathura or even plain basmati rice

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