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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Burmese Paneer in Tomato Sauce

You were about to ask:  where's the protein? weren't you?
I have to admit I was a little reluctant to trying a recipe using paneer that was anything else but Indian.  It's not that I didn't think it would be good, but because I wasn't sure I wanted to use up my paneer in non Indian food.
Burma is close enough to India to let me make this one exception..and I'm happy I did.  I have to say this dish was the star of my meal.  It's definately NOT a waste of paneer.  It has lots of depth and an extremely pleasant texture.  It could easily integrate an Indian thali as well, which gives it the winning points.
Burma:  Rivers of Flavor p. 124
1/4 cup peanut oil (I used sesame + sunflower)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 large shallot, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp grated garlic
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp shrimp paste (I used brown miso)
2 cups blended tomatoes (tomato puree)
4 green chilis, slit (I used 2 thai chilis)
1 lb cubed paneer (I used yield from 2L raw milk ~ 400g)
1 cup minced scallions
1 cup chopped cilantro
 1.  Heat the oil in a large wok.  Fizz the turmeric, then add the shallots.  Cook about 4 minutes or until the shallots soften.
2.  Add the garlic, chili powder, and miso and stir a few secondes until the garlic cooks.
3.  Add the blended tomatoes.  To get 2 cups I used 1 can + 2 fresh tomatoes.  The thicker the better.  Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
4.  Add the green chilis and the paneer and simmer for another 10 minutes.  Taste and adjust the seasoning.  Add salt if you need to.  It should have depth and shouldn't taste like raw tomato.
5.  Stir in most of the cilantro and scallions, keeping some aside for garnishing.

This is best enjoyed with roti or nan, but since I haven't gotten that far today yet, I ate it with my hands and a spoon, and it was perfect.  Not too spicy, not too tomato-y.  Just perfect.

Needless to say I got yelled at during the whole meal creation because I made a mess in the kitchen.  Guess who wasn't allowed to have any paneer?
To all you OCD people who do not cook.  Chill out!  You can't paint the Sisteen Chapel without getting a little paint on your overalls.  
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