After the feasting and indulgence over Christmas and New Year celebrations, I know most of you are on a detox or cleansing spree; salads are popping up everywhere and veganuary seems to be very in right now.
While I had genuine intentions of eating light too, I’m gonna blame this lapse on two things: one, I had a New Year’s Dinner with my department at a fancy restaurant, where they make their own organic charcuterie, mozzarella and pizza.
The restaurant is owned by a Michelin-star chef, who has worked in Noma and elBulli! How can one say no to an experience that?? It certainly was a night to remember, but it was not light on the stomach 😀
The second reason is the weather in Copenhagen. After the second warmest December in recorded history, just when we thought we were set for an early spring, Winter graced us with its presence!
The first days of the year have been frightfully cold with strong wind and some snow. With weather like that, we are in no mood for salads. We need comfort, we need warmth. We need food that can envelop us like a cozy blanket and tell us everything will be alright.
Which is why I made this fabulous Paneer Lababdar for our lunch this Saturday. A gorgeous curry with Paneer (Indian-style Cottage Cheese) simmered in a tomato and cashew nuts gravy. Indulgent and the perfect curry to cozy up with on a snowy afternoon
Btw, if you want to learn an easy, fool-proof method to make the perfect, melt-in-your-mouth paneer at home, you can see my earlier post here. It is super simple and you probably have the ingredients in your kitchen already.
Coming back to the curry, lababdar means something that is intensely desirable. One spoonful of this curry and the moniker will make complete sense, I promise 😉
It is loaded with flavors, yet all of them are subtle, a bit of cardamom, a hint of clove, a sprinkle of kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves), and the tomato and nuts gravy is the perfect medium to transport all those flavors deep into the paneer cubes.
I served this divine curry with roti (simple Indian flat-bread) and a quick salad of onions, tomatoes and cilantro. So wonderfully satisfying…the cleansing can wait a while 😀
I am bringing this delightful curry to Angie’s Fiesta Friday with this week’s co-hosts, Jhuls and Mr Fitz, to Saucy Saturdays hosted by The Flavour Bender, Take Two Tapas, La Petit Chef and Mid-Life Croissant, and Friday Favorites!
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- 200 grams Paneer (Indian-style Cottage Cheese), cut into cubes
- 2 large Tomatoes, chopped
- 12 Cashew Nuts
- 2 Green Cardamom pods
- 1 inch piece Cinnamon
- 3 Cloves
- 2 Green Chilies, slit
- 1 large Onion, finely chopped
- 3 medium Garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 inch piece Ginger, chopped
- 1 Bay Leaf
- ¼ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- ½ teaspoon Red Chili Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
- 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder
- ½ teaspoon Cumin Powder
- 1 teaspoon Kasuri Methi (dried Fenugreek leaves)
- ½ teaspoon Garam Masala powder
- 1 tablespoon Cooking Oil
- 1 tablespoon Butter
- 2 teaspoons fresh or sour Cream
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped Cilantro, to garnish
- A large pinch Kasuri Methi, to garnish
- In a medium saucepan, bring together the chopped tomato, ginger, garlic, cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon and cashew nuts.
- Add ½ cup water, heat and simmer until the tomatoes are soft. You may need to add a bit more water if the water evaporates before the tomatoes are soft.
- Cool the mixture and then grind it to a smooth paste in a mixer or food processor. Keep aside.
- Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan.
- Add the bay leaf, followed by the chopped onion.
- Saute till the onions are a light brown.
- Next add the prepared tomato paste and saute for a couple of minutes.
- Add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder and coriander powder. Mix well.
- Saute on a medium flame until the spices are cooked and the paste starts looking glossy, with fat separating out.
- Add 1 cup water and mix well and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and add the slit green chillies, salt to taste and the cream. Mix well.
- Add the paneer cubes, mix gently and simmer for a couple of minutes.
- Add the kasuri methi, crushing it with your palms as you add it. Also add the garam masala and mix.
- Finally, garnish with chopped cilantro and a pinch of kasuri methi and serve hot with roti, chapati or naan.
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