Last Friday, when I was spooning hummus (with my index finger), Magdalena made a fascinating remark.
“If one day this girl breaks up with her boyfriend, instead of seeking comfort from a pail of ice cream, she’ll be watching some chick-flick with a tub of hummus, which she would obviously make by herself.”
The thing is, I love creamy things, but I don’t drink milk, nor do I use butter, or cream, other than in baking, where it’s a whole different story (since rarely do I get a piece of what comes out my oven).
The thing is, with a Vitamix, magic happens.
The thing is, I love Indian food for its thick rich gravy that’s spicy, savoury, sweet, sour, and aromatic.
Which, by the way, I did not get from my latest lunch venture downtown.
So, put two and two together…
of course she did.
Ingredients for the mutter paneer:
3 tbsp grape seed oil
1 large brown onion, finely diced
2 tbsp fresh ginger root, finely diced
3 tbsp madras curry powder
1 tbsp ginger
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 can (796 ml) crushed tomatoes
1.2~1.3 L water
4 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
2/3 cup roasted cashews
400 g paneer cheese, cubed (about 1/2-inch) or firm organic tofu for vegan/dairy free version
2 scant cups frozen sweet green peas, no need to defrost
To make the creamy cashew sauce, saute the onion and minced ginger in a large pot with the oil over medium heat, until fragrant and the onion is beginning to soften. Add all the spices and stir until very fragrant and just starting to brown. Add the crushed tomatoes, water, sea salt, brown sugar, and cashews and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. **Let this mixture cool for at least an hour before proceeding with the recipe to prevent damaging your blender.**
Pour the contents of the pot into a blender, preferably a Vitamix, but even a hand-held should work if you do it in batches. Puree on the highest speed until very creamy and smooth, then return the pureed sauce to the pot.
Add the paneer cheese cubes and heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sputtering. When the sauce starts to bubble, about 6~7 minutes, add the peas. Continue stirring until thoroughly heated and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt or brown sugar as needed.
Serve over steamed jasmine or basmati rice. (I used a mixture of red and brown jasmine rice this time ’round.) This recipe makes enough for six to eight, so store any leftovers in the fridge. I find the flavour’s better once it’s sat for a night.