Indian cottage cheese in a creamy tomato and almond curry

imageI commence a new week with a new dish, I experimented with in the kitchen. It’s definitely got a touch of North India, it’s vegetarian and flavoured with my favourite spices. The creaminess in the dish is not from adding the usual heavy cream, one finds in every Paneer Tikka masala, you order at restaurants, especially here in our side of the globe. I incorporated almonds and a little white sauce, or bechamel sauce in the curry, which was the new and creative touch I gave to the dish. Along with plenty of organic and fresh homemade tomato purée, garlic and ginger. I tried to keep it figure friendly, thus no butter too! The result was a delicately flavoured, yet rich curry, best accompanied with a pilaf, any bread or good ‘ol plain rice.

Servings 4

Ingredients :

Paneer or Indian cottage cheese, cut in cubes – 2 cupsimage

Organic tomatoes – 4

Finely grated garlic – 1 tbsp.

1/2 inch piece of fresh gingerimage

1 green chille, chopped, either jalapeño or any variety of your choice. Remove the seeds, if you do not want that extra heat.

A handful of raw almonds, soaked in water for a few hours.

Milk – 1 cup

Flour – 1 tbsp.

Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp.

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp.

Hot madras curry powder – 1 tsp.

Garam masala powder – 1 tsp.

Paprika – 1/2 tsp.

1 bay leaf

Crushed kasoori methi or dried fenugreek leaves – 1 tbsp. It’s available at every Indian grocery store and imparts a nice flavour to any curry.

Salt and black pepper, to taste

Canola oil – 1 tbsp.

In a pan, heat oil over medium high heat. Add the cumin seeds and bay leaf. Add the garlic and sauté for a few seconds till light golden brown, ensuring the garlic does not burn. Add the flour and sauté for  couple of minutes. Add the milk, to make the white sauce as the base of the curry. imageBring to a boil and let simmer on low heat for 5 minutes till the sauce is thick.image

In the meantime, in a food processor, grind the almonds by adding a little water or milk to a fine paste. image

Add to the white sauce mixture.

In the same food processor, purée the tomatoes, green chillies and ginger to a smooth purée. Add to the white sauce mixture.image

Add all the spices and kasoori methi. imageSimmer on low hear for 10 minutes. If it is too thick, you may add a little water. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

imageAdd the paneer pieces, cover and simmer the curry for 5-7 minutes, till paneer is tender. Serve hot!image

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