Sunday, May 3, 2009

Cauliflower Paneer Masala

Another recipe we learned at cooking school in India. Our instructor battered his cauliflower before frying it, but we're lazy and generally not inclined to batter anything, so we tried throwing the cauliflower right into the hot oil. The result -- still fatty and delicious! Also, we can hardly be blamed for giving in to the temptation to throw a little non-traditional paneer in the oil, since it was already nice and hot. Everything is better with cheese.

1 head of cauliflower, floretted and dried
1 cup of paneer, diced into 3/4 inch cubes
1/3 cup oil (high-heat friendly, like coconut, peanut or canola)
2 large shallots, sliced into half-moons
2 sprigs curry leaves (optional)
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 inch ginger, minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 1/2 teaspoons coriander
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 cups pureed tomatoes (canned okay)
salt to taste

Optional batter:
8 tablespoons chickpea flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
sprinkle of water
black pepper

Optional: If you want to make a batter, mix the batter ingredients in a large bowl and toss in the cauliflower, stirring to coat.

Heat the oil in a wok until it's hot enough to sizzle on contact with cauliflower, but not smoking. Add the cauliflower in small batches, frying until it's tipped with brown, then remove to a paper-lined plate to drain. Repeat with the paneer, frying until it's golden brown on all six sides.

Pour off the extra oil, leaving about 2 tablespoons in the pan. Set the heat to medium-high and add the curry leaves, allowing them to sizzle for 30 seconds before adding the sliced shallots. Stir continuously until the shallots are soft and brown, then add the garlic and ginger. Once they are browned and the raw smell is gone, add the tumeric, chile powder, coriander and garam masala. Stir until the onions are well coated, then pour in the pureed tomatoes. Simmer until the tomatoes are reduced, then stir in the cauliflower, paneer and salt and allow to simmer a few more minutes to meld the flavors. We served ours on a bed of upma with red cabbage.


sampada said...

Hey nice article...sounds delicious definitely have to check it...well in U.S. it is very hard to find ingredients...recently one of my friend introduced me to a great resource and i thought that i pass great along as well.

Rumela said...

Yum,Yum and YUM!!!!! I love paneer so much. How nice your cauliflower paneer masala recipes. this is such a nice and interesting recipe. I ve never heard of it before but sounds delicious. ooooooooh! my mouth is watering. Can't wait to try it. i ll make this weekend when my hubby will be at home. thank you for shearing your post.

I Heart Kale said...

Thanks Rumela, hope you like it!

Danielle said...

I tried this recipe recently, and it turned out wonderfully! I left out the shallots and curry leaves, but made my own paneer and battered the gobi in the chana mixture. I suggest not putting any water in the chana mixture, but instead moistening the cauliflower first before breading it. Also, next time I might just use store-bought paneer or cottage cheese to save time and money. The mixture of the chana besan with tomatoes and paneer was wonderful! It got A+ ratings from us!

Sarah said...

ricotta also makes a really yummy paneer substitute.