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I have a passion for Indian food; I like my food hot and spicy, thus it’s an easy choice for me. This North Indian curry, made with mutter (peas) and paneer (“cheese”), is probably the most frequently ordered dish in Indian restaurants.

Paneer is very easy to prepare but it’s a long process, therefore unless you planned ahead you can cheat, as I did below.

  • 1 can green peas (drained) or 250 gr (8 oz) frozen peas (thawed) – Mutter
  • 250 gr (8 oz) Paneer (or 250 gr halloumi cheese)
  • 2 medium onions (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 Tbsp ginger powder
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup ghee (alternatively use vegetable oil)
  • Garam masala powder
  • Chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)

In a blender make a paste by grinding together half the onions, the garlic and coriander seeds. Heat the ghee in a frying pan and cut the paneer/halloumi into 2.5-cm/1-inch cubes. Fry the paneer to a light brown and remove to drain on a plate.

Transfer the “cheese” to a bowl of very warm (not boiling) water and set aside.
Add the remaining onion and the ginger to the ghee in a pan and add the bay leaves and fry until the onion is golden brown. Add the turmeric and the paste mixture and fry. Add the paneer and peas along with the yogurt, chili, tomato and salt.
Add the paneer and mutter (peas) along with the yogurt, chili, tomato and salt. Stir for 5-6 minutes over low heat.
Pour in the water and simmer gently for 20 minutes (if you, like me, used canned peas, add them to the mix after 15 minutes of the step above).

Sprinkle with garam masala and coriander. Serve hot.