The past few weekends Joe and I have been taking advantage of the awesome weather and getting out of town and just enjoying life. While I love every moment of this it means that most Thursdays I’m trying to figure out how to use up as many leftovers as possible in order to avoid coming home to a science experiment gone wrong. The other week we were left with paneer, peppers, onions, tomatoes, and a bit of rice. Normally this combination has me going to my wok for a stir fry but I wanted to try something different and see if I could make a dry curry. I searched the web to see what spices would work best and found tons of recipes for Paneer Do Pyaza which is essentially a paneer and onion curry featuring tomatoes. While I didn’t have enough tomatoes or onion to recreate any of the dishes I found I did have enough total vegetables and so I set off to my kitchen. Since everything was pre-chopped from the earlier meals this dinner came together in record time – from the time I turned the burner on to when we were sitting down to eat maybe 20 minutes past most of which was waiting for the spices to wake up and the paneer to brown.
There are few things as amazing as a quick and easy dinner – one of which is a quick and easy dinner that also tastes out of this world! If I had more time, and wasn’t trying to get things out of my fridge, I would have made some fresh naan to go with this yummy curry.
Every now and then I tend to bite off more than I can chew when it comes to blog challenges, and this week’s r/52weeksofcooking is a prime example. The theme this week was Indian which is a cuisine I’m familiar with and have done a few times in the past. However I wanted to try something different so instead of my standard tomato based curry I decided to attempt a yogurt based dish, and then go the extra step in making it vegan. I researched a variety of different dishes before finally deciding on Navratan Korma which translates to Nine Gems Curry. For my nine gems I settled on: peas, green beans, Indian Eggplant, green bell pepper, tofu (or paneer), Indian red chilies, shallots, cashews, and carrots. I debated about using cauliflower or broccoli but it’s still too early in the season for them and couldn’t find any at the local market. Needless to say this is a very (very!!!) prep-heavy dish with lots of cleaning and cutting.
I started prep work with the tofu in order to give it time to press before moving on to the eggplant, for similar reasons, and then all the remaining vegetables. To figure out the right spices I looked at a variety of online recipes before finally settling on the below combination. For a more traditional dish use paneer in place of tofu, just keep it mind it will cook a lot faster than tofu and might require additional vegetable oil in order to brown.
I served the cashews only on top of mine since I couldn’t find a bag that was marked in such a way to indicate it was 100% peanut free. This dish might have taken a while to get started but it’s incredibly quick to come together and delicious – making all the cutting worth it! I also have a feeling this dish would work well in a slow cooker and look forward to testing that theory shortly.
Note: I’m submitting this to the So Delicious Dairy Free Recipe Contest