Sometimes being a vegetarian is tough. Since I don't eat even eggs, it becomes a critical thing. Not on the choice of eating, mind you. But in terms of explaining to kids why you don't eat. I have always wanted Konda to eat nonveg. And thought if she wants to stop, she can decide when she is old enough. So every time I make chicken or mutton, I tell her that it's good for her health and she should eat.
She gets right back and asks why I don't eat. I say I don't like it, so I don't eat. She says to eat an egg at least, that's so healthy right. Now, what should I say? Finally, I lost my temper and told her never to ask me to eat again. I know poor darling was upset but I tried my best to explain. Not sure if there were better ways to make her understand more. Anyway, that left me resolving to handle things better!
This curry was also something that initiated such discussions. Parents had joined us for Sunday lunch. So we made chicken for everybody and this Paneer curry for Amma and myself. I didn't show it to Konda till she almost finished most of her chicken. Then she was upset that she wasn't given Paneer. After that, the chicken was forgotten and she finished her lunch with Paneer. She is so very fond of Paneer, it makes me feel happy but not at the risk of eating only that! This is the first time we were preparing something with such a combination. I remember eating a lot of Bengal gram subzi that my gujju colleague used to get. We used to exchange and I used to enjoy those subzis. Tasting this one, reminded me of those yummy ones!
Paneer/ Indian Cottage Cheese - 150 gms
Bengal Gram / Channa Dal - 50 gms
Onions - 1 medium / 100 gms
Tomatoes - 1 medium / 100 gms
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Chili powder 1 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Salt to taste
Oil - 1 tsp
Ghee - 1 tsp for frying paneer cubes.
Coriander leaves for garnish
Cloves - 2
Cinnamon - 2"
Cardamom - 1
Bay leaves - 2
Red Chilli - 1 long
Method to prepare:
Soak Channa dal for 2 hrs in water. Cut Paneer into 2" cubes and fry in Ghee. Once they turn golden, remove, and keep aside. Use the same Kadai with ghee to make the curry.
Chop the onions and tomatoes very finely. Heat the oil in the same Kadai. Add the whole spices and fry for a min. Then add the onions and fry till pink. Then add ginger garlic paste. Fry till the aroma comes out.
Then add the tomatoes and simmer for 5 mins. Once it becomes mushy, add the chili powder, turmeric powder, and salt.
Drain the water from the Bengal gram and add to the Kadai. Fry for 2 mins. Then add 1 cup water or till the grams are well covered. Pressure cook for 2 whistles or till it's done.
Once the pressure is off, remove the lid and bring it to a boil so that you get a thick consistency. Then add the fried paneer. Let it cook for another 2 mins. Finally, add coriander leaves.
This goes well with Ghee Rice, Parotta, Naan.
The taste was something different and is really nice to have a different variety of Paneer than the usual stuff. I made it with both Rice and Parotta and with both, it tasted simply awesome.
Note: The curry had gravy though the picture shows otherwise. If you feel you need thickness, you can mash a handful of channa dal while adding it.