Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mattar Paneer

Mattar paneer, take two! The second attempt is much better, but still doesn't taste as good as the restaurants. However, I discovered that avocado is the perfect silky-smooth complement! I love avocado. I could make a meal out of straight up avocado.

The paneer in my version is actually tofu, because they don't sell paneer in Okinawa, and because I am not ready to attempt to make my own paneer (yet?). By the way, paneer is a type of hard cheese that you can make by boiling milk with lemon juice, then squeezing dry the curds that form. Mattar is green peas. I used a recipe from Manjula's Kitchen, complete with YouTube video!

I made a few changes because of the ingredients I had on hand. For one, I used tofu instead of paneer. First, I dried the tofu a little to make it firmer so it wouldn't break apart in the sauce. I wrapped it in paper towels, put it under a heavy dish, and stuck it in the microwave for a few minutes. Much water sweated out! Then, I pan fried the tofu using more oil than Manjula.

I also added some sliced shiitake mushrooms at the last step. They add a yummy bit of butteriness to the acidity of the tomatoes. And I added some ground almonds to the final thing, to see if that would make it creamy. I didn't have enough almonds!

I'm proud of this dish because it's vegetarian and it's darn tasty for being meatless and low in fatness. *mental note to make more dishes like this.

I ate it over brown rice/grains, and, of course, avocado!!! This is the first avocado I've had in Japan, because they're so expensive. They're worth the 100-yen. Just like the 498-yen architechturally pre-cut fresh pineapple!

I made two batches of bread pudding in the last three days. Suffice it to say, I'm getting pretty good at it. I think french bread makes terrific bread pudding because it adds fluff but also a bit of sourness to offset the sweetness. I attempted to make banana pudding, but the egg ended up cooking and becoming all grainy. Will attempt a banana dessert this afternoon, since I have so many monkey bananas!


  1. Avocados are actually cheaper there than here right now... seasons and distance from tropical climates being what they are, I guess...

    Oh! and I made a sweet-potato-and-carrot soup inspired by your blog the other day! Only I don't know what soup dashi is so I used chicken broth? It turned out, well, like a work in progress, but it made enough for a couple meals, which is always good ^_^

    Yay for foodblogging by friends!

  2. I think paneer is supposed to be super easy to make! =) Make it and tell me!