Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Proud to be a Punjabi

There is a lot to be said about growing up in Punjab. For starters, its the rustic charm of the place and its warm, friendly people. Then there's poetry and music. Not just bhangra, but also heer and mirza and sufis of Bulleh Shah's stature.

And then, the food. The stories of mounds of butter on sarson ka saag (mustard greens) are all true. So are the legends of huge lassi tumblers. But then, Punjabis have always been farmers toiling away on their land all day and needing nutrition to match. Not surprisingly, Punjabi food is heavy on fats and dairy. My mother would still cook all her curries in ghee. Olive oil? What's that!

Ever been invited to a vegetarian Punjabi home for dinner. You don't need to tell me the menu, for I can guaratee it was either chhole or rajmah. And a paneer curry - there's always paneer on the menu when guests come over. I don't have guests coming over today, but I am in a mood to indulge so there's paneer on my menu too. This is the paneer curry my mother would make - it's so much like your paneer makhani or paneer butter masala and yet it's not.



Punjabi Home Style Paneer

Cube 200 gms paneer. Grate 2 onions, or chop them finely. Also puree 2 tomatoes (or do what I did : grate them, but leave the peels out). Heat a tbsp of ghee in a pan, add a tsp of cumin seeds and let them splutter. Add onions and fry until lightly browned. Now add 1/2 tsp turmeric and stir for a few seconds. I know you would usually add turmeric at the much later stage, but adding it now will take away the raw turmeric flavor you don't want in your curry.

Stir in tomatoes and stir fry until the onion-tomato mix is well cooked and oozing ghee. Now add salt and red chilli powder. Add a cup of water to the pan, bring in to a boil and let the gravy simmer for a few minutes. Now add paneer and cook for 5 minutes or so to let the flavors mingle. Your curry should be fairly thick by now. Just before serving add 1/2 tsp garam masala.

This goes on as an entry to Srivalli's Curry Mela. And now that I notice that this also fits another couple of events, here goes to:

Vandana for Paneer - a delicacy, and

Sangeeth for Eat Healthy - Protein Rich

11 comments:

notyet100 said...

love punjabi khana,,,specially roadside dhaba ones,.ur looks good,..

tasty life said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andhra Flavors said...

one award is waiting for u in my blog

Bharti said...

Love reading about Punjabi culture. Are you from a vegetarian family?
The paneer looks so tasty.

vimmi said...

Totally agree. Having lived in mumbai all my life, and now USA, I miss the life there. Our vacations to Ambala were full of golgappas, tikkis, lassis, tandoori rotis and mutton and puri aloo. Loved it. Paneer looks good.

Another proud punjabi kudi

Srivalli said...

Simran that holds true to its colour..thanks for the lovely entry...paneer rocks!

Simran said...

Andhra flavors : thanks so much for the award. Really appreciate it.

Bharti : I do come from a vegetarian (or an almost vegetarian) family.

Vimmi : Nice meeting another punjabi kudi :)

Shreya said...

hi, I have only heard about Punjabi indulgence and seen them in movies. But I would love to truly experience it some day! Love sarson ka saag, have never tried to make it myself though. parathas with ghee:D liked this post and the dish..will surely make it:-)

Shreya said...

hi Simran, thanks for the comment on my blog.. I am currently in Mumbai, you can add me to the list. Thanks:-)

Aparna said...

I'm now thinking my daughter must have been Punjabi in her previous life. She can eat paneer at every meal and also in between!

Laura said...

This was sooooo good. Added peas. :)