Nothing more Comforting than Mattar Paneer!
What’s the longest you’ve ever been on a diet? Do you ever just give up mid way? Well this week, I’m not gonna lie I have cheated maybe once or twice. As I mentioned in my previous post I am doing the Ketogenic diet. The Ketogenic diet is a low carb diet, so the aim is to eat very little carbs ( or no carbs at all) and concentrate on eating food that contains a large amount of protein and fat.
It’s hard in the beginning to get into routine of not eating carbs. I've been doing this diet for around 3 weeks or so and it’s made me realise how many carbs I used to eat! It would either be pasta, rice, bread, crackers, cake, biscuits, the list goes on! I think I have had a good start to the diet although, one must not lie, I have had two shortbread biscuits throughout the whole 3 weeks. Now in my defence this diet says your allowed 50 g of carbs and I think that was the amount I was eating, well that’s what I am telling myself. What’s difficult about the ketogenic diet is that its very hard to make or get accessible snacks.
The problem is though, by doing this diet, your bank account suffers quite a bit. The beauty about buying carbs such as pasta, rice, quinoa or any sort of grain is that when you buy them in abundance it can last you a while. When you buy vegetables they can easily be finished within two days! When I’m going shopping I think that I am buying maybe a week’s worth of vegetables but then I cook maybe once or twice and they're GONE! Also buying meat and cheese is very expensive….my suggestion is to keep stocking up your fridge and freezer with meat and diary, that way you always have some! Why is it that trying to eat healthy has such a high price? Anyway thats another day to analyze the food health market! One thing though that I have appreciated with this diet is that I do not have to give up one of the many things I love to eat, i.e curry.
Curry is my comfort food. I love spices and I find the mixture of the spices with tomato or yoghurt sauce to be heaven on a plate. You can be very creative when making a curry. I’m not exactly sure if spices such as garam masala, turmeric, coriander fall under things you can eat in Keto (couldn’t see in my research ) but I wouldn’t think it would be that harmful to the diet in any case. There are a range of different curries out there from North India, South India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Thailand, but I learned this recipe from my mother (who is from Pakistan). I learned from the best when it came to making curry. My grandmother, mother and my aunts all taught me and each of them showed me a different way of making a masala for a curry. The masala is the key component when making a curry, you would be surprised how mixing a few spices changes a dish entirely.
With generations of knowledge at my disposal, I decided to make Mutter Paneer. Mattar Paneer is my favourite curry. My mother made it for me as a child and to this day if I am feeling home sick or craving something filling it will always be Mattar Paneer. Mattar Paneer is a tomato based curry with peas, yoghurt and Paneer! Paneer is cottage cheese, and cottage cheese is one of the many things you can eat in KETO. So double win for me! It’s somewhat of a sweet curry due to the tomatoes but with the quantity of spices it balances out. It’s very simple to make. I would advise that you get all the ingredients ready before you start cooking, otherwise you may burn a few things (which was ALMOST my case). Below I have written down the recipe.
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion (thinly sliced)
2 tsp garlic paste
2 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp dhania (coriander)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes (or passata)
salt / dried chili (optional)
1/2 cup frozen peas (or 2 handfuls)
250g paneer (cut into squares)
4 tbsp thick natural yoghurt
Place a cooking pot on the stove, on a medium flame, and add 1 tbsp of veg oil. Once the oil is hot, add the thinly sliced onions. Cook the onions till they are brownish in colour, then add a little water (which softens the onions).
Once the water has evaporated a little, add the garlic and ginger fry for a few minutes.
Then add the spices, garam masala, dhania and turmeric fry for a few minutes. Add a bit more water if the mixture seems dry.
Add the chopped tomatoes
Cook the tomatoes for 20 mins on a low heat until you see the mixture turn to a brownish red and oil has risen to the top of the mixture. Add salt and dried chili (if you wish).
Add the frozen peas and let it cook until they are soft.
Add the paneer and mix it in to the tomato curry. Cook until it’s soft.
Then add 4 tbsp of yoghurt to the mixture, and stir slowly. Make sure you don’t boil the curry so that the yoghurt doesn't curdle. The curry should be a rich, reddish colour.
Garnish with fresh coriander. Serve with Rice or if your doing KETO then with cauliflower rice!
I ate it with Cauliflower Rice :) Which surprisingly I was full after one helping!
If your having trouble making the recipe (message me below), interested to know how to make Cauliflower Rice or even have a recipe you would lie to share... I'm all EARS!!
Thanks for reading.. catch you on the flip side :)
Mattar Paneer with Cauliflower Rice